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A view of the reactor at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran as the first fuel is loaded, Aug. 21, 2010. (Iran International Photo Agency via Getty Images)
A view of the reactor at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran as the first fuel is loaded, Aug. 21, 2010. (Iran International Photo Agency via Getty Images)

U.S. talk of thawing relations with Iran highlights rift with Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Obama administration officials and Iran skeptics, chief among them Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are presenting starkly different outlooks of what the world would look like should negotiators meet a Nov. 24 deadline and strike a nuclear deal. The topic is likely to dominate the meeting Wednesday between Netanyahu and President Obama. […]

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his address at the U.N. General Assembly shows a photo of a rocket launcher in a civilian area of Gaza with children nearby, Sept. 29, 2014. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his address at the U.N. General Assembly shows a photo of a rocket launcher in a civilian area of Gaza with children nearby, Sept. 29, 2014. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

At U.N., Abbas attacks Israel, but Netanyahu’s mind elsewhere

NEW YORK (JTA) – In the end, there was much to talk about at the U.N. General Assembly but few genuine surprises. With an eye on the jihadist group ISIS, President Obama focused on the need for the international community to counter the dangers of violent extremism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to […]

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President Obama speaks before the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014. (Getty Images)
President Obama speaks before the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014. (Getty Images)

For Obama at the U.N., what a difference a year makes

NEW YORK (JTA) – A year ago, when President Barack Obama took the dais at the U.N. General Assembly, his speech focused on Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s chemical weapons and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He talked about Egypt’s messy transition to democracy and defended America’s actions in Libya. A year on, Obama’s mind is elsewhere. Now […]

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President Barack Obama speaking at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 24, 2014. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaking at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 24, 2014. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Focusing on ISIS in U.N. speech, Obama virtually ignores Iran

NEW YORK (JTA) – President Obama devoted the bulk of his U.N. speech to the fight against violent Islamic extremism and hardly mentioned Iran’s nuclear program. In his address last year to the General Assembly, Obama spent a great deal of time talking about Tehran’s nuclear pursuit, describing it as one of two major focus […]

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Ohio U. students protesting ‘blood bucket’ video are arrested

(JTA) — An Ohio University Student Senate meeting erupted into a chaotic scene and four students were arrested over protests of the Senate president’s “blood bucket challenge” of Israel. At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Student Senate, pro-Israel students staged a filibuster and called for the resignation of Megan Marzec over her Sept. 2 video in which she poured […]

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Melissa Duchan
Melissa Duchan

Is Yeshivah of Flatbush ‘predatory’ in its scrutiny of girls’ attire?

NEW YORK (JTA) – For years, Melissa Duchan had found the dress code for girls at her Orthodox school in Brooklyn, the Yeshivah of Flatbush, onerous. But it wasn’t until recently that Duchan, 16, felt that scrutiny of female students had crossed the line from irritating to what she called “predatory.” Though girls by and large were […]

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Mark Wallace, CEO of the new Counter Extremism Project, is flanked by board members Fran Townsend and Joseph Lieberman in announcing the group's creation in New York, Sept. 22, 2014/ (Courtesy of Counter Extremism Project)
Mark Wallace, CEO of the new Counter Extremism Project, is flanked by board members Fran Townsend and Joseph Lieberman in announcing the group's creation in New York, Sept. 22, 2014/ (Courtesy of Counter Extremism Project)

Backers of anti-Iran group create mirror group against violent Islamists

NEW YORK (JTA) – Imagine taking the 6-year-old nongovernmental organization United Against Nuclear Iran and swapping out the word Iran with “violent extremists.” That pretty much sums up the Counter Extremism Project, an NGO launched Monday that aims to expose the financial, ideological and recruitment architecture that supports violent Islamic extremists. The new project will […]

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A U.S. Army casket team lays to rest Pfc. Bernard Gavrin at Arlington National Cemetery while Rabbi Marvin Bash looks on, Sept. 12, 2014. (Ron Kampeas)
A U.S. Army casket team lays to rest Pfc. Bernard Gavrin at Arlington National Cemetery while Rabbi Marvin Bash looks on, Sept. 12, 2014. (Ron Kampeas)

70 years on, a missing private comes home

ARLINGTON, Va. (JTA) — The scene at Arlington National Cemetery last Friday was not quite routine, but nor was it unusual: A clergyman said a prayer, an army NCO handed Bernard Gavrin’s closest living relative a folded U.S. flag, and a volunteer — one of the “Arlington Ladies” who attend to the needs of grieving […]

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Jewish House members, present and past, clockwise from left, John Yarmuth, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler, Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. (house.gov)
Jewish House members, present and past, clockwise from left, John Yarmuth, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler, Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. (house.gov)

Amid declining Jewish caucus in Congress, rising concerns over communal influence

WASHINGTON (JTA) – From 31 in 2009 to a likely 19 in January, the unofficial Jewish caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives is shrinking fast. Jewish lawmakers have traditionally been the first stop for Jewish lobbyists seeking inroads for their issues, including Israel, preserving the social safety net, and keeping church and state separate. […]

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Chloe Valdary called her AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel "life changing." (Lauren Clarice Cross)
Chloe Valdary called her AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel "life changing." (Lauren Clarice Cross)

Chloe Valdary: Christian, black and a rising star of pro-Israel campus activism

(JTA) — Growing up in New Orleans, Chloe Valdary kept kosher, studied the Jewish Bible and celebrated Jewish holidays with festive meals. In recent years she has become an outspoken pro-Israel campus activist, contributing regularly to the Jewish press, and speaking and posting widely about the merits of the Jewish state on social media. But […]

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