WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.
Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.
A light rain fell as hundreds of New Yorkers rallied across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan Wednesday to voice their support for the embattled Jewish state in the wake of the Gaza flotilla deaths.
“This is a consensus rally,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns. “Israel is facing an existential threat. It’s important for everyone to express solidarity with Israel.”
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.
Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.
The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the decision to resign by journalist Helen Thomas was the right thing to do.
Thomas, a columnist with the Hearst Corp., ended a career spanning six decades and 10 presidents on Monday in the wake of criticism of her remarks that Jews in Israel should "go home" to Poland and Germany.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The founder of the "birther movement" sought Republican Jewish support for her candidacy for California secretary of state.
Orly Taitz attended the Republican Jewish Coalition's California division's annual "summer bash" last weekend.
Taitz has earned notoriety for heading the movement based on the false assertion that President Obama was not born in the United States. She has been censured in court while representing troops who refuse to take orders from the "de facto" president, as she calls Obama.
(JTA) -- The Conservative movement has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's youth and young adult services department has begun a Yellow Balloon campaign to mark the fourth anniversary of Shalit's captivity. Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006 and reportedly is being held by the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Helen Thomas quit her job with Hearst in the wake of mounting outrage over her assertion that Israeli Jews should "return" to Poland, Germany and the United States.
"Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately," said a statement issued Monday by the Hearst Corp. "Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet."