Tag Archives: Israel

Unpacking PM Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress earlier today to oppose the P5+1’s nuclear deal with Iran. The speech has been controversial due to a breach of Speaker of the House John Boehner extended the invitation to speak without consulting President Obama, but many Members of Congress still came to hear what Prime Minister Netanyahu had to say.

Also in attendance was RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who issued a statement in response to the speech,

“I was grateful to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu. The issue of Iran’s nuclear capability is of critical concern to Americans, Israelis and people around the world. This morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made his case before the U.S. Congress and the American people. In so doing, he also clearly and rightly made an effort to address and ameliorate the partisan tensions that surrounded the speech and detracted from the real issue, which is Iran. He acknowledged the long-standing commitment of President Obama to the concerns of Israel that so clearly coincide with our own nation’s security needs and values.”

There were many different reactions to the speech, from The New York Times editorial board finding PM Netanyahu’s reasoning “unconvincing”, to the American Jewish Committee calling on world powers to “heed Israel’s warnings.”

The rest of Rabbi Pesner’s statement can be found on our website, along with our other work on Iran issues.

Jewish Disability Awareness Month Logo February 2015

As JDAM Comes to a Close, Focusing on Israel

As we wrap up Jewish Disability Advocacy Month, we think also of people with disabilities in other countries. Worldwide, 650 million people live with disabilities, more than twice the population of the United States. In Israel, there are over a million children and adults of working age who live with disabilities, according to a report by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. About one out of every five Jewish Israelis lives with a disability, and about one of four Arab Israelis. Read more…

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Coming Soon to the U.S. Congress: Israeli PM Speech

On March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing a joint session of Congress to talk about the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Prime Minister Netanyahu has long been vehemently opposed to these negotiations. The speech would have been a hallmark example of the cooperation between the United States and Israel, except for two facts: Read more…

Beth Israel of Colleysville TX 4

L’Taken Students: Our Support for Israel as Americans, Reform Jews and as Teens

At our L’Taken Social Justice Seminars, teens take what they’ve learned from the program to Capitol Hill. Over the January 6-9 program, students Allie Gurwitz and Caroline Kaden from Congregation Beth-El in San Antonio, TX spoke about their support for Israel and the peace process to the offices of Senator Ted Cruz, Member of Congress Lamar Smith and Member of Congress Lloyd Doggett: Read more…

UC Davis Seal

Concerning Act of Anti-Semitism at UC Davis

Early Saturday morning, two swastikas were painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house at University of California Davis. The police have deemed the attack a hate crime. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and other UC Davis officials condemned the crime in a statement saying, “this kind of behavior is not only repugnant and a gross violation of the values our university holds dear, it is unacceptable and must not be tolerated on our campus or anywhere else.”

Read more…

Rabbi Jonah Pesner appears on the Rachel Maddow show

Rabbi Jonah Pesner on the Rachel Maddow Show

You may not have seen it last night, but Rachel Maddow interviewed Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the RAC’s new director. You can watch the entire clip below, but essentially, Rabbi Pesner was responding to political leaders accepting support and funding from a hate group in making an important trip to Israel.

Read more…

Israeli Elections

Seven Weeks ‘Till (Israeli) Elections!

It’s been just 29 days since I last gave an update on new elections for the Israeli Knesset, but there has been no shortage of newsworthy developments from the Jewish State. With only seven weeks left until Israelis go to the polls, parties (and party leaders) are frantically posturing for their party to look the most attractive to voters on Election Day. Read more…

Sec. Kerry walks down a hallway with the Iranian Foreign Minister and EU Representative

Keeping up with the Iran Negotiations

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, will be holding informal talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiating teams on the sidelines of World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland. Yet the real negotiating is going on around Capitol Hill, where the newly-sworn in 114th Congress is proposing new legislation around the talks. Three different pairs of Senators are proposing new bills: Read more…