12:24: BREAKING: Israel and Hamas have reached a cease-fire deal, Channel 2 reports. “All the sides have agreed,” the report said on the possible imminent truce reached. However, Ch. 2′s diplomatic correspondent Udi Segal quoted a senior Israeli official that as of now, the operation is continuing. The officials admitted that there’s some movement between the two sides and have agreed in principle to the Egyptian humanitarian cease-fire deal.
This is a sticky post! continue reading?
In the latest uptick of tension between the United States and Israel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer attempted to defuse criticism in Israel of Secretary of State John Kerry for the manner in which he has handled cease-fire talks for the current war between the Jewish state and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Rice and Ambassador Ron Dermer both took advantage of a gathering in Washington yesterday of hundreds of American Jewish supporters of Israel to defend the highest-ranking American diplomat. Kerry had generated outright scorn in the Israeli media for offering peace plans that were interpreted by many as being in favor of Hamas at the expense of Israel’s security.
”A distinction must be made between harsh, but legitimate, criticism and protest and encouraging the enemies of the state, calling for harm to come to Israel and giving legitimacy for terrorist acts against the citizens of the state,” the Knesset Ethics Committee said after it decided on Tuesday to ban MK Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) from the plenum and the Knesset committees for a period of six months.
“Republicans are united in our support of Israel’s defense, and this morning my colleagues will explain our opposition to any effort to force a ceasefire on Israel that does not further its security objectives,” McConnell said on the Senate Floor. “Israel’s right to defend itself should be affirmed.”
As many as 80 percent of Israeli Jews are currently opposed to a cessation of the ground operation in Gaza, even temporarily, as long as the rocket fire on Israel from Gaza continues, according to a to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute.
An average of 80 percent were opposed to a unilateral ceasefire lasting up to 48 hours if the rockets did not stop, and an average of 65 percent disagreed with an immediate ceasefire so as to negotiate a long-term calm.
Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has decided to stop selling all sales of products originating from the West Bank, the Jewish Chronicle reported Monday. The decision will go into effect starting this September.
According to the report, a Tesco spokesman stressed that the decision was not politically motivated” and not related to the current Gaza-Israel conflict during Operation Protective Edge, but rather was made as part of a “regular product review process”.
Last week it was revealed that Hamas planned a major terrorist attack for the Rosh Hashana holiday this September, in which hundreds of terrorists would exit Hamas tunnels very near Israeli kibbutzim and towns to kidnap and kill thousands of Israelis. Clearly the tunnels represent an immediate, serious threat to Israeli civilians. For that reason, Israel is determined to eliminate the tunnels before ending its operations in Gaza.
As reported by nystateofpolitics.com, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick insisted on Monday that the Moreland Commission To Investigate Public Corruption made decisions that were independent of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, though he confirmed that a high-level aide to the governor attempted to influence the panel.
Fitzpatrick said further that the commission “was not an independent prosecutorial agency” and was thus unable to make arrests or convene grand juries.
As explored in a lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was facing a decline in support from voters in public opinion polls for several months before his administration conceded that it had wielded influence with an anti-corruption panel that had been presented as independent. In the two most recent statewide public polls, Cuomo’s favorable ratings fell to their lowest levels ever.
When Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia, stated that he feels a “powerful connection” to Israel, he was clearly trying to distance himself from part of the legacy of his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, who is known to be harshly critical of the Jewish state.
As the New York Times outlines, the gubernatorial hopeful is attempting to walk a fine line as he both embraces his famous lineage and separates himself from its more controversial aspects.
(CNN). The opening was so small that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer — no giant — had to bend down to climb inside one of 30 or so Palestinian tunnels from Gaza to southern Israel.
“I guess the tunnel was built for relatively short people, because if you stand up you’re going to hit your head,” Blitzer said of the almost two-mile concrete corridor about 45 feet underground where he reported from Monday.
(AP). Members of Congress are falling over one another to show their support for Israel.
While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations.
Another Palestinian-American teen has been in Israeli custody for already three weeks without seeing his family, the State Department said Monday.
The State Department said that 15-year-old U.S. citizen Mohamed Abu Nie, was arrested in Israel on July 3 during protests in the Shoafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Another teen, Tariq Khdeir, drew headlines when he was arrested and allegedly beaten by Israeli authorities, but he was united with his family within days and has already arrived home.
A new CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker estimate has determined that the Republicans are well-positioned to take control of the Senate this year, with a likely 51-49 seat edge if the November election were to be held right now.
The margin of error on that current seat estimate, at plus or minus 2 seats, does mean that Democrats still have a real possibility to keep the chamber and that the country goes into campaign season with Senate control still technically up for grabs — with a closely-divided Senate inevitable in 2015 in either case.
(AP) - A North Texas man accused of sending more than 500 hoax letters that contained a white powder to schools, government offices, day care centers and other locations in the U.S. and around the world was arrested Monday, federal authorities announced.
Hong Minh Truong, 66, made his initial appearance in Dallas federal court after he was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with false information and hoaxes.
Sen. Ted Cruz said on Monday that he lifted his hold on State Department nominees following an extensive briefing this morning with senior Federal Aviation Authority officials who answered his questions regarding the decision to ban all U.S. flights to Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel for thirty-six hours last week.
Following the ban, the Texas Republican charged that it was put intact to put an economic burden on Israel to comply with Obama’s foreign policy.
More than 100 hate crimes have been recorded by police and community groups in the United Kingdom in July, more than double the usual number.
In one of the most recent hate attacks, a Swastika was scribbled on a brick wall outside a home in North London, a neighborhood with a large Jewish population.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the $225 million requested by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for Israel, may not be enough.
Sen. Reid (D-NV) called on congress to immediately pass the legislation that includes the funds for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. The bill is still on hold since senate democrats have tied the aid together with funding for immigration and for wildfires.
The protest, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, took place at the main entrance of Boeing offices in Tukwila, WA, on Monday morning.
A school principal in Chicago has been reassigned after a series of outrageous bullying incidents that targeted Jewish students.
Ogden International School of Chicago principal Joshua VanderJagt requested the reassignment because “challenges” arose after two students – one 14 years old and one 8 years old – were the victims of repeated threats by classmates.
(AP) – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says a security breach involving the changing of flags at the Brooklyn Bridge last week is “a wake-up call.”
De Blasio said Monday police have increased security on all the city’s bridges.
Police believe four or five people climbed the bridge’s two towers on July 22 and replaced the giant American flags with white ones.
The same cemetery, the Blackley Jewish Cemetery on Rochdale Road in Greater Manchester has also been desecrated a week later, when about 40 gravestones were pushed over or smashed.
(AP). A judge ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
In the ruling, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas sided with Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly Sterling, who burst into tears when the ruling was announced.
Secretary 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.