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Berman, Ros-Lehtinen Introduce Toughened Iran Sanctions

05/18/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan bill introduced by top lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives would considerably tighten sanctions on Iran.

The bill, introduced May 13 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), its ranking Democrat, would ban business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year.

It also would expand sanctions against alleged human rights violators and financial institutions that deal with Iran.

Hearing Set to Seek New Rubashkin Trial

05/17/2011

(JTA) – A hearing has been scheduled to request a new trial for former Agriprocessors official Sholom Rubashkin.

Documents filed Monday indicate a new hearing is set for June 15 before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, The Associated Press reported.

Rubashkin, the former head of what once was the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and packing plant in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of financial fraud in 2009 and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

White House Hosts Jewish Heritage Month Festivities

05/17/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama hosted a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month.

The reception Tuesday was less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music.

The 300 invitees included "grass-roots Jewish community leaders from across the country, rabbis, Members of Congress, and a broad range of leaders engaged in business, the arts, education, and public and community service," a White House official said.

On Eve of Netanyahu Visit and AIPAC Conference, Obama and Bibi Appear on Same Page

05/17/2011
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Crush terrorists and then make peace.

Through quirks of timing, it's a narrative that President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally can agree on when they meet this week in Washington.

There remains a critical difference, however, between the two over what happens in the next chapter: Keep up the fight or step out and make peace.

The Obama administration, at least by default, seems to have embraced Netanyahu’s longtime mantra that the best way to clear the path to calm is through the elimination of terrorists.

Syrian Infiltrator Turns Himself In to Tel Aviv Police

05/17/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Syrian infiltrator who breached Israel's border during Nakba Day protests turned himself in to police in Tel Aviv.

A Tel Aviv court on Tuesday ordered Hassan Hijazi, who said he entered Israel to look for a job, held until later in the week. Two other infiltrators discovered to still be in Israel were returned Tuesday to Syria.

They were among hundreds who breached Israel's border on Sunday.

In West Bank, Palestinians Marking Nakba Day Encouraged by Arab Spring in Their Fight Against Israel

05/16/2011
JTA

RAMALLAH, West Bank (JTA) -- Clouds of tear gas hovered over hundreds of rioting Palestinian youths on the road to Jerusalem, where demonstrations marking the anniversary of Israel’s founding 63 years ago turned violent.

“I want a third intifada," said Ala Barghouti, a 21-year-old accounting student, his nostrils stuffed with tissues to keep out the sting of the tear gas. "I hope things do escalate today. A third intifada will help move the Palestinian Authority to improve our political situation.

Obama to Address AIPAC

05/16/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama will address this year's AIPAC conference.

Obama's decision to keynote the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference, rumored for days, was confirmed Monday by Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, to reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. AIPAC confirmed the news.

The Associated Press quoted Carney as saying that Obama will not outline policy in his speech but instead will focus on the "deep bond" with Israel.

White House: Israel Has Right To Defend Borders

05/16/2011

White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Monday defended Israel's use of force against hundreds of Palestinians who tried to cross the borders from Lebanaon, Syria and Gaza, while calling on neighboring countries to prevent future incidents.

Indictments Handed Down in AMIA Bombing Cover-Up

05/16/2011

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) -- A former Jewish leader was among those indicted in Argentina for bribery during the original investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Ruben Ezra Beraja, who once headed the DAIA Jewish umbrella organization, was among those charged May 12 by Federal Judge Ariel Lijo as he closed the first part of his investigation into reported irregularities that took place during the probe.

The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

Israel Files Complaint With U.N. Over Border Infiltrations

05/16/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council against Syria and Lebanon over the breach of its border by protesters.

The delegation said Monday it filed the complaint in the Security Council and with the U.N. Secretary-General's office for violation of international law.

The complaint follows demonstrations on Sunday for Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, marking Israel's achieving statehood. Israeli troops fired on protesters from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza who tried, and in some cases succeeded, in breaching Israel's border.

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