LIVE BLOG – Operation Protective Edge Day 21: UN, Obama Push For An Immediate Cease-Fire

17:50: Several foreign journalists currently reporting from Gaza have been harassed and threatened by Hamas for documenting cases of the terrorist group’s involvement of civilians in warfare against Israel, Israeli officials said, expressing outrage that some in the international media apparently allow themselves to be intimidated and do not report on such incidents. [Times of Israel]
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Kerry Highlights London’s Hasidic Community For Helping Protect Religious Freedom

kerry religious freedomSecretary of State John Kerry on Monday presented the State Department’s 2013 report on International Religious Freedom. Kerry was joined with President Obama’s newly minted nominee as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein.

“When it comes to the work of protecting religious freedom, it is safe to say that David Saperstein represents the gold standard,” Kerry said of Saperstein’s appointment. Read more »







TEXT: Sec. Kerry Defends Aggressive Gaza Cease-Fire Effort

Kerry SpeechSecretary of State John Kerry addressed on Monday the United States’ aggressive effort to push Israel and Hamas to agree to an unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.

The following are Kerry’s remarks re: the matter, at the beginning of speech presenting the 2013 International Religious Freedom Report: Read more »

NYGov – Cuomo Confirms He’s Planning Israel Trip

CuomoNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Monday that he is weighing a trip to Israel, marking his first international travel since he took office on January 2010.

“I have not yet set a plan to visit, but it’s not out of the question,” Cuomo told reporters at an unrelated news conference in Buffalo, NY. “I have been corresponding with Israeli officials on the current situation that is going on in the Middle East.” Read more »







GOP State AG Hopeful John Cahill Releases Statement in Support of Israel

john cahillSince political candidates are not called to address pro-Israel rallies, John Cahill, Republican candidate for New York State Attorney General, released Monday a strong statement in support of Israel’s self defense war in Gaza.

“Today, I stand with the Jewish community in support of Israel during its unending struggle with terrorism. What is happening in Gaza is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude and my heart goes out to those innocent families and individuals living in constant fear for their lives,” Cahill said in a written statement, as 10,000 New yorker gathered in Manhattan to stand in solidarity with Israel. Read more »

Two Marshals and Cop Wounded in West Village Shooting; Suspect Dead

via Twitter/@RabbiAFriedman

via Twitter/@RabbiAFriedman

(AP). A fugitive task force and a sex-assault suspect got into a shootout Monday in Greenwich Village, leaving the suspect dead and two federal marshals and a police detective wounded, authorities said.

The wounded officers were in stable condition, Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. Read more »







At DC Rally, House Speaker Boehner Urges U.S. Solidarity with Israel

via Twitter/@EthanFelson

via Twitter/@EthanFelson

(AP). House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that support for Israel must be the United States’ main focus and not peace mediation in a subtle jab at the Obama administration.

“At times like this, people try to isolate Israel – but we are here to stand with Israel,” Boehner said in remarks at the National Press Club. “Not just as a broker or observer — but as a strong partner and a trusted ally.” Read more »

Fruits of Terror: Hamas Leaders Make Millions While Gazans Languish

Courtesy of Maan News

Courtesy of Maan News

A fascinating article on Algemeiner reports on a bizarre manifestation of economic inequality in the Gaza Strip, wherein the leading officials of Hamas have become super-wealthy – living in extremely luxurious surroundings – while the Palestinians they govern reside in utmost poverty and squalor.

According to Dr. Moshe Elad, a Middle East expert from the Western Galilee Academic College, the majority of Hamas’ founders were refugees or direct descendants of refugees. “Some of them were born of intermarriages between Egyptians and Gazans, with no money at all,” Elad explains. Read more »

Senators Cruz, Gillibrand Introduce Pro-Israel Resolution, Condemning Hamas

gillibrand-and-cruz-Texas Senator Ted Cruz and New York’s  Kirsten Gillibrand teamed up on Monday to introduce a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas for targeting Israeli civilians and for using “innocent civilians as human shields” in their war against Israel.

“Hamas is undoubtedly guilty of violating international humanitarian law through its deliberate, repeated, and consistent use of civilians as human shields,” Cruz said in a statement. “The United States of America, along with the entire international community must expose and denounce Hamas’ barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defense.” Read more »

PEW Survey: Partisan, Racial and Age Divides In Support Of Israel’s Gaza Operation

Flags US-IsraelSupport for Israel in the United States is still strong, yet a deep partisan and racial divide between Democrats and Republicans, White, Black and Hispanic Americans are recorded in regards to Israel’s ground operation in Gaza, a new PEW Research poll shows.

40% of American adults say Hamas is responsible for the current violence in Gaza, while 19% blame the escalation on Israel. Just 25% believe that Israel has gone too far in responding to the Hamas terror activities. 35% believe Israel’s response has been about right, while 15% think Israel has not gone far enough to crush Hamas. Read more »

Obama Administration Pushes Back At Unfair Kerry Criticism

John Kerry israelThe Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a barrage of attacks by Israeli officials on Secretary of State John Kerry over his latest failure to secure a cease-fire with Hamas.

“It’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday during a press briefing at the State Department. Read more »

Rising European Anti-Semitism Dominates Meeting of Jewish Leaders & Senators

via Twitter/@NDiament

via Twitter/@NDiament

As reported by JTA, the annual meeting between Democratic senators and Jewish organizational leaders, held this past Wednesday, was greatly focused on the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.

The recurring theme, broached both by the 24 senators who attended and the Jewish leaders, reflected the anxiety generated by recent reports of attacks on European Jews.

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Woodbury, NY – BDE: 44-Year-Old Man Found Floating In Pool

A 44-year-old man was pronounced dead Sunday evening, after lifeguards found him floating in the Syosset Park Pool.

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From Alaska to Israel: Jews Make Aliyah Despite Current Dangers

In an in-depth article exploring the phenomenon of a group of Jews who have decided to leave their native Alaska and settle in Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency focused on such individual aliyah-makers as Rebecca Scoggin, who has lived most of her life exclusively in the 49th state. Inspired by a Birthright trip she went on at age 19, Scoggin made the life-altering decision to relocate to Tel Aviv.

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Conservative-GOP Consultants Rake In Big Bucks

A report by Politico reveals that the highest-profile Republican insurgents of 2014 all share several common aspects: They have all run against longtime incumbents whom they accused of going native in Washington; they have all relied on super PACs (political action committees) to boost their campaigns; and in three of this year’s biggest primaries, hard-right candidates have hired the same general consulting firm to guide their campaigns: Cold Spark Media, a small, Pittsburgh-based company operated by former advisers to Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey.

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NY Congressional Delegation, Electeds Join Thousands At NY Stands For Israel Rally

20140728-130350.jpgThe New York Congressional delegation, as well as NYC elected officials, joined Monday afternoon 10 thousand New Yorkers gathered at a mass ‘New York Stands with Israel’ rally at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Midtown Manhattan.

The rally was organized by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC) and co-sponsored by The New York Board of Rabbis, Conference of Presidents, Orthodox Union, Union for Reform Judaism, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the National Council Young Israel. Read more »

Report: IRS Left 9/11 Victims In Dark About Tax Breaks

An exclusive report in the Daily News has revealed that victims of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks and their families are entitled to major tax breaks, but many are not taking advantage of those breaks because the Internal Revenue Service has not been informing them about the benefit.

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Obama Names Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein As Ambassador For Int’l Religious Freedom

rabbi david Nathan Saperstein President Barack Obama on Monday announced the nomination of Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom and the State Department.

“I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead,” President Obama said in a statement. Read more »

Gov. O’Malley Steps Forward In Iowa As Potential 2016 Clinton Competitor

omalley(AP). Martin O’Malley’s latest foray into Iowa begins, appropriately, in a place called Clinton.

The Maryland governor is filling the void in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond during the early stages of the 2016 presidential race, campaigning for fellow Democrats and making personal appeals while former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the prohibitive — if yet undeclared — favorite. Read more »

France – Firebombs Hurled At The Toulouse Jewish Community Center

Three firebombs were hurled on Saturday at a Jewish community center in Toulouse, following an anti-Israel protest, the AFP news agency reported.

The man, later arrested by the Police, threw two firebombs over the center’s fence and a third at the security officers guarding the Jewish center, but none of the bombs successfully ignited fire. He also hurled stones at the Espace du Judaisme center, which contains a synagogue, a library and a lecture room, among other facilities. Read more »

Report: The Williamsburg Armory Is Not For Sale

wsbg armoryThe two Satamr factions’ dream of getting the Williamsburg armory for their own use – some hoping for affordable housing units – from Governor Cuomo has been laid to rest, The Daily News’ Reuven Blau reported Monday.

The state’s push to bid out the 165,000-square-foot venue, announced last April, has been abolished due to an increased use of the space for movie shoots and large community events, Empire State Development spokesman Jason Conwall said. Read more »

Michigan US Senate Candidate’s Campaign Contributions Raise Questions

terry lynn landAs reported by the Detroit Free Press, the campaign of Terri Lynn Land – a Republican United States Senate candidate from Michigan – insisted on Thursday that the nearly $3 million in contributions she made to herself are legal and proper, even as Michigan Democrats urged state and federal authorities to investigate.

Land’s campaign this week filed a correction to her federal financial disclosure, which showed a previously undisclosed joint checking account she controls with her husband Dan Hibma from which she has taken out $2.9 million for her race. Read more »

NY04 – JP INTERVIEW: Kathleen Rice Talks Israel Trip and Jewish Issues

via Twitter

via Twitter

Nassau District Attorney and Democratic Congressional candidate Kathleen Rice just returned from an uplifting 3-day visit to Israel, a tradition for many congressional and gubernatorial candidates, especially those vying to represent a large Jewish constituency.

Rice, running in NY’s 4th congressional district that includes the Five Towns with a prominent Jewish population, said she initiated the visit before the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas. “After I won the primary, I said, if and when I win the primary I’m going to plan a trip to Israel,” she told JP. Read more »

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer: City Pension Funds Reach All-Time Record High

Scott StringerNew York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer announced Monday that the New York City Pension Funds achieved a 17.4 percent investment return for Fiscal Year 2014, which ended June 30th. The total fund value of the pension funds is now $160.5 billion — the highest ever recorded to end a fiscal year.

“Five years of positive returns are good news for the pension funds and for the City,” Comptroller Stringer said in a statement. “I am proud of the hard work put in by the Trustees of the Pension Boards, our former Chief Investment Officer Seema Hingorani and the entire Bureau of Asset Management staff to achieve these results.” Read more »

UN Ambassador Prosor Slams The UN For Ignoring Hamas Rocket Fire In Cease-Fire Statement

ron-prosorIsrael’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor early Monday morning criticized the UN Security Council presidential statement that called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, noting the absence of any reference to Hamas’ rocket fire in the statement.

“The presidential statement miraculously managed to not mention the Hamas or rockets or Israel’s right to defend its citizens,” Prosor told reporters at the media stakeout. Read more »

Satellite Footage Shows Gaza Before and After

gaza_bef_aft.jpg_waSatellite footage published by Ynet showed the destruction Hamas rocket fire brought upon them in the so far 21 days of Israel’s operation in the Gaza neighborhood of Sajaiyeh and the Nuseirat refugee camp.

The photos, taken by the Pleiades satellite for the United Nations, capture the areas before and after the operation, focusing on Sajaiyeh – nicknamed the “Dahieh of Gaza.” An overall look at the picture shows the damage in Sajaiyeh is greater than that caused by the Israeli Air Force strikes in Beirut’s Dahieh suburb during the Second Lebanon War. Read more »

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