10:50: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday held talks in Doha with exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshal, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA. “President Mahmoud Abbas met in Doha with emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to discuss the latest development in Israel’s aggression in Gaza and how to stop it,” the agency said.
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As chronicled in a report in the Washington Post, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – who describes himself as a “socialist” – got into a verbal tiff with some constituents at a town hall meeting in Cabot, VT, when the topic of Israel and the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza came up.
The confrontation began when Sanders attempted to answer a question about the conflict, in which the questioner expressed concern for the Palestinian deaths. Sen. Sanders claimed that Israel had “overreacted,” but that Hamas was shooting rockets into Israel from “populated areas” and constructing tunnels to send terrorist infiltrators into the Jewish state. The senator later said that Hamas did not want Israel to exist.
As outlined in great detail by the Washington Free Beacon, a Georgetown University professor whose father pled guilty to terrorism charges has come under heavy criticism for comparing Israel to the terrorrist group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) on Twitter. Georgetown University History Professor Abdullah Al-Arian, who is the son of Sami Al-Arian, a controversial critic of Israel, tweeted his mocking version of a common nursery rhyme that lumped Israel into the same murderous category as ISIS, which just released a video showing its apparent beheading of an American journalist.
The junior Al-Arian’s exact Tweet was, “Israel and ISIS sitting in a tree, K-I-L-L-I-N-G, First come the bombs, then come the savages, then come the U.N. to survey the damages.”
According to a report by jweekly, an Israeli-operated cargo ship that had been blocked from unloading its goods for four days in Oakland by virulent anti-Israel protesters managed to outwit its tormentors by signaling a return to sea before doubling back secretly to port. The standoff began Saturday when the Piraeus, operated by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Israel’s largest shipping company, was supposed to dock at Oakland Port. A crowd of hundreds of protesters, organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center in San Francisco, blocked the entrance to the port to prevent any longshoremen from being able to enter, ostensibly to attract greater attention to Israel’s military operation in Gaza.
(AP). Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday pressed for a more aggressive U.S. military response in Iraq to combat Islamic state militants, including a sustained air campaign, and signaled he would support sending American ground troops.
“We need to have all of our options open,” Perry told a standing-room-only crowd at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Controversy has ensued in the primary race for New York State governor as – despite calls for him to do so – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not agreed to publicly debate either his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, or his Democratic primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout.
In the past month, Cuomo’s political enemies have tried to get him to make a statement on the issue, but he has declined to do so. On Wednesday, Astorino announced that if the governor refuses to engage in a debate with Teachout before the Sept. 9 primary, the GOP challenger would debate her himself. ”This is what voters deserve and this is what one does when they respect democracy,” Astorino contended in a video release.
(AP). A senior Hamas leader has said the group carried out the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June — the first time anyone from the Islamic militant group has said it was behind an attack that helped spark the current war in the Gaza Strip.
Saleh Arouri told a conference in Turkey on Wednesday that Hamas’s military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, carried out what he described as a “heroic operation” with the broader goal of sparking a new Palestinian uprising.
According to an article in the Jewish Chronicle, British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has pledged to never again remove kosher products from its shelves. The statement was issued after Jewish customers had reacted with anger to the kosher food being hidden by the manager of a central London branch in anticipation of reprisals from anti-Israel activists.
At first, the company said it would not institute a national policy instructing managers on how to handle protesters. However, after being contacted by the Jewish Chronicle, Sainsbury’s altered its position and claimed it wanted to reassure its Jewish customers. “This will not happen again,” corporate affairs director Trevor Datsun stated. “Managers will be told not to move kosher food because of some perceived threat. It should not have happened and, explicitly, it cannot happen again.”
According to a news item in Israel Hayom, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has named Israel the fourth most attractive target for foreign investments among its 34 member nations. The citation is particularly notable given the difficult security situation at present in the Jewish state as well as the threats of European boycotts. Overall, the OECD reports that foreign investments in Israel amounted to $11.8 billion in 2013.
While staying mum on the ongoing tension between residents, outside activists and the new Hasidic Jewish community in the small village of Bloomingburg in Upstate NY, governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration granted as much as $42,750 to Bloomingburg activists to aid its process of dissolving itself into the Town of Mamakating.
According to the Governor’s office, the Sullivan County village was one of three municipalities in the entire state to be awarded money under the state Local Government Citizen Re-Organization Empowerment Grant program.
As reported by the Times of Israel, British companies are still being allowed to export arms and weapons components to Israel, despite the United Kingdom’s announcement last week that it was going to suspend export licenses in regard to the Jewish state if military hostilities would start up again between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. “We said we would suspend licenses if there was a significant resumption of hostilities,” a spokesperson for the British government stated. “We are closely monitoring the situation. Our assessment so far is that the resumption of hostilities has been limited.”
A CBS News / NY Times poll has shown that in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of an African-American teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri and the consequent area unrest, less than half of Americans are satisfied with President Obama’s response, but overall assessments are more positive than negative.
According to the poll results, forty-one percent of Americans say they are satisfied with how the president has been responding to the racially charged situation in Ferguson, while 34 percent report feeling dissatisfied with his response. Twenty-five percent of poll respondents said they did not have an opinion on the matter.
An article by the Times Union is disclosing that registered lobbyists in New York will soon be required to take a mandated online ethics training course that will be given under the auspices of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics. While the training requirement was already presented in detail in the 2011 law that created JCOPE, which oversees lobbying and government ethics in the state, it has not yet been prepared for implementation. At recent meetings, JCOPE commissioners have been informed that the training is being developed and is expected to be completed shortly.
(AP). The charity stunt has lured athletes, celebrities, politicians and rock stars and gone viral on the Internet, but don’t look for any more U.S. diplomats getting in on the fun.
Lawyers at the State Department have banned American ambassadors and other high-profile foreign service officers from participating in the ice-bucket challenge to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
A Jewish student was viciously assaulted on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia on Wednesday – while receiving a verbal onslaught of such insults as “kike” and “baby killer” – by members of the openly anti-Semitic student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Daniel Vessal, a Camera on Campus fellow who is also a member of the Jewish fraternity AEPi, was punched in the face by an SJP member during “Templefest,” an event which gives the college’s students the opportunity to obtain new information about campus clubs a week before the onset of the new semester. Vessal is majoring in the study of managing information systems at Temple’s Fox School of Business.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted on Wednesday a meeting between religious and law enforcement leaders to call for calm and collaboration, following weeks long tension over the police-involved death of Eric Garner.
“Religion in this great city is a cause of bringing people together,” Dolan said. “It’s a bridge. It’s a source of reconciliation and peace and unity.”
(AP). The explosions rocking the Gaza Strip may seem far removed from the flashy cars and skyscrapers of ultra-rich Qatar, but efforts to end fighting between Hamas and Israel could hinge on how the tiny Gulf Arab state wields its influence over a Palestinian militant group with few friends left.
Qatar has been home to Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal since 2012 and has carved out a role as a key financial patron for Gaza, buying influence while shoring up an economy overseen by Hamas.
COJO of West Side Solidarity Mission Concludes Israel Trip With Series Of Security/Economic Briefings
On Tuesday night the tranquility which enabled the group to travel around the country free of worries about Hamas rockets, was suddenly shattered before the end of the cease-fire. Sirens were heard all over the country and members of the group were sent scrambling for bomb shelters as rockets were detected heading for Jerusalem shortly before midnight.
With the help of Hashem, there were no casualties and the tired COJOers were able to head for bed before 1:00 a.m.
Recently ousted “Meet the Press” host David Gregory is writing a book on his Jewish faith, Politico’s Mike Allen reports. The book will apparently focus on “the inner spiritual journey many of us take in our lives.”
Gregory was raised Jewish by his Jewish father, even though his mother was non-Jewish. In an interview to The Daily Beast in 2011, Gregory spoke about his Jewishness and his practice of the Jewish religion.
The embattled Met Council organization is going through another earthquake. David Frankel, head of the organization since the arrest of his predecessor, William Rapfogel, will leave the Met Council before the end of the year, according to a report in the Jewish Daily Forward.
According to unnamed sources, Frankel will either leave the Met Council in September or at the end of December.
The website featured a picture that it said is of Deif’s body. The article was taken down shortly after it posted yesterday. But Globes managed to screenshot the article before it was removed.
(AP). An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three senior commanders of the Hamas military wing Thursday, delivering a likely blow to the organization’s morale and highlighting the long reach of Israel’s intelligence services.
The pre-dawn strike leveled a four-story house in a densely populated neighborhood of the southern town of Rafah, killing six people, including the three senior Hamas commanders.
(AP) - The U.N. nuclear agency says that Iran is keeping commitments it agreed to with six world powers in a pact that temporarily caps its nuclear activities and eliminates material that could be most easily used to make nuclear weapons.
The finding is contained in a restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report released Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press.
An Israeli cargo ship – of the Zim Integrated Shipping Services – that was scheduled to dock at the seaport of Oakland in California on Saturday but remained off coast due to ongoing protests, has docked at a different terminal on Tuesday night.
Protestors thought they had their way, when on Tuesday night the ship left its original docking position and maps showed it heading to Los Angeles. But a short while later, the ship returned to a different terminal and workers began unloading the cargo.
A Jordanian who has also been charged for spying on behalf of Israel has been sentenced to 10 years. The maximum sentence in Egypt, including those sentenced to life, is 25 years.