Tag: White House

17 Jewish groups call on White House to fire adviser Stephen Miller

(JTA) – Seventeen Jewish groups, including the left-leaning J Street, called on the White House to dismiss Stephen Miller as senior policy adviser.

The organizations, including American Jewish World Service, Americans for Peace Now and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, issued the call in an open letter they sent Thursday to the White House chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly.

The co-authors wrote that Miller, who favors an immigration reform he said would benefit applicants who would assimilate more easily into American society than others, has “extreme viewpoints and advocacy of racist policies.”

“As Jews, we are in…

Will Abbas’ explosive comments kill the peace process?

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Oslo Accords? “Killed,” the Palestinian Authority president says, blaming Israel.

The Israeli prime minister says the Palestinians are now “unmasked” — but naturally he blames the Palestinians.

Notably, the United States is silent.

The P.A. president, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered a rambling address of more than two hours this weekend to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council.

“Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end,” he said. “Israel killed them.”

Abbas blamed the restrictions under which his Palestinian Authority operates and what he regards as Israel’s unrestrained occupation activity.

“We are an authority without any…

Trump waives Iran sanctions, he says for the last time under the current deal

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump waived nuclear sanctions against Iran for what the White House said was the final time under the current deal.

By the time the next waiver signing rolls around in 120 days, Trump wants a new deal in place that removes “sunset clauses” allowing Iran to resume enhanced enrichment of fissile material within a decade, three senior administration officials said Friday. Trump wants the bans to be permanent. “He wants to deny Iran access to nuclear weapons forever and not just for 10 years,” one of the officials said.

The officials spoke…

FEMA extends assistance to houses of worship

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will now extend assistance to houses of worship, reversing years of policy that excluded such aid.

“Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment within the ‘community centers’ subcategory of … nonprofit applicants,” FEMA said in guidance for 2018 issued Tuesday.

Orthodox Jewish groups, which have been lobbying for legislation that would codify the inclusion of houses of worship for assistance, welcomed the change.

“We at the Orthodox Union have been working for more than 15 years to have this policy changed,” Nathan Diament,…

How do you define anti-Semitism? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (JTA) — JTA doesn’t give out Person of the Year honors, but if we did I’d be tempted to nominate Michael Kadar, the Israeli-American teenager accused of making hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in early 2017.

As I wrote soon after his arrest:

“[T]he JCC bomb threat hoax wasn’t just an isolated swastika daubing — it was an ongoing story affecting Jewish institutions in nearly every American Jewish community. It shaped a communal narrative that something ugly and insidious was happening out there. And it fueled a political crisis among most American Jewish organizations and the…