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Is Trump reversing course on settlements and Iran? — ZioWatch, February 7, 2017

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Analysis

Is Trump reversing course on settlements and Iran?

President Donald Trump before boarding Marine One and departing the White House, Feb. 3, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli settlements are no big problem. Wait — maybe they are, after all.

The Iran deal is trash. No, the deal is here to stay, despite being “weak.”

On Thursday, the White House pronounced on Israel’s announced settlement expansion that it “may not help” peace, and it put Iran “on notice” for testing ballistic missiles and announced new sanctions while the president fought with the regime on Twitter.
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From The Times of Israel

Precedent for Trump’s Muslim ban exists from nearly a century ago

While temporary restrictions on immigration have been put into place in recent times, it has been almost 100 years since religion played a key role

February 3, 2017, 7:19 pm

Demonstrators hold signs during a rally against a ban on Muslim immigration at San Francisco International Airport on January 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. ( Stephen Lam/Getty Images/AFP)

NEW YORK — “No hate. No fear. Refugees are welcome here.” Thousands of protestors chanted the slogan at airports nationwide last week in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“There is no other president ever that has effectively banned an entire religious group. This is breathtaking in its scope and in its disdain for the law,” said attorney David Leopold, past president of the Washington, DC-based American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

“I think we are going to see whether Donald Trump has respect for the rule of law. I believe we are in a constitutional crisis; he has taken a sledgehammer to the Statue of Liberty. This goes well beyond the scope of his authority,” said Leopold.

Yet, Trump isn’t the first president to ban immigrants and refugees from the United States. Indeed, there have been numerous times in US history when immigrants and refugees couldn’t enter the country for various reasons, including political affiliation, nationality, epilepsy, and even for being paupers.

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1995, passed under Democratic president Bill Clinton, the president has broad powers to regulate and restrict immigration without congressional approval. The president can act to restrict any non-citizen deemed “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
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From The Times of Israel

Trump under fire for saying he respects ‘killer’ Putin

Republicans, Democrats slam president for playing down political assassinations in Russia, countering with ‘we’ve got a lot of killers’

February 6, 2017, 2:50 am

This combination of photos show US President Donald Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington and Russian President Vladimir at a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. ( (AP/Evan Vucci and Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

This combination of photos show US President Donald Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington and Russian President Vladimir at a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. ( (AP/Evan Vucci and Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

PALM BEACH (AFP) — President Donald Trump is drawing fire from Republicans and Democrats alike after playing down political assassinations in Russia and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Trump — now two weeks into his four-year term — showed no signs of yielding to demands from within his own Republican Party to distance himself from President Vladimir Putin’s regime, instead plunging himself into a fresh political firestorm.

“I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with them,” Trump said in an excerpt of an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing,” Trump said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. “Will I get along with him? I have no idea.”

O’Reilly then said about Putin: “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”
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From The Times of Israel

US President Donald Trump speaks to Fox News, February 5, 2017. (Screenshot)

US President Donald Trump speaks to Fox News, February 5, 2017. (Screenshot)

US President Donald Trump charged on Sunday that Iran “lost respect” for the US in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the US-led P5+1 world powers, and that it now feels “emboldened” by the agreement to act confrontationally on the world stage.

In a Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly hours before the Super Bowl, Trump said the nuclear agreement that saw Tehran curb its atomic program in exchange for the lifting of punishing sanctions was “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated; it was a deal that never should have been negotiated.”

Stopping short of saying what precisely he would do with the deal, the president said Tehran “lost respect [for the US] because they didn’t think anyone would be stupid as to make a deal like that,” and that Iran was now “emboldened” by the agreement, citing a number of incidents last year in the Persian Gulf where US ships were surrounded and otherwise harassed by Iranian military boats.

“We gave them $1.7 billion in cash which is unheard of… and we have nothing to show for it,” said Trump in reference to the revelation last September that the Obama administration had authorized the transferusing non-US currency, to settle a decades-old arbitration claim between the US and Iran. An initial $400 million of euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency was delivered on pallets Jan. 17, the same day Tehran agreed to release four American prisoners. The Obama administration had claimed the events were separate, but later acknowledged the cash was used as leverage until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran.

During his campaign, Trump promised both to “dismantle the disastrous deal” and to “force the Iranians back to the bargaining table to make a much better deal, but in a recent call to the Saudi king promised to “vigorously enforce” the agreement.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Netanyahu will use meeting with Britain’s May to tighten alliance with UK, US

LONDON (JTA) — En route to London, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would use his meeting with British counterpart Theresa May to tighten the trilateral alliance with Britain and Washington.

Netanyahu made the statement Sunday, one day ahead of his first meeting with May, a right-wing leader who replaced David Cameron last year following the referendum vote to leave the European Union, and one week before his first meeting with Donald Trump since his election as president of the United States.

In a statement that did not hide Netanyahu’s satisfaction with the transitions of power in Washington and London, Netanyahu spoke of “opportunities [that] stem” from the changes.

In his meetings with May and Trump, Netanyahu said he would speak about “tightening relations, between each side and Israel and trilaterally.”
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From The Times of Israel

Le Pen defends Trump in interview with Israeli TV: ‘Patriotism is never racism’

Far right leader rejects notion that president’s executive order is anti-Muslim, defends initiative to ban religious clothing in France, including kippa

February 3, 2017, 10:57 pm

French far right National Front (FN) political party leader Marine Le Pen, member of the European Parliament, and candidate for the 2017 French Presidential elections presents her New Year's wishes to the press at her campaign Presidential headquarters, in Paris, France, January 4, 2017.  (Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images)

French far right National Front (FN) political party leader Marine Le Pen, member of the European Parliament, and candidate for the 2017 French Presidential elections presents her New Year’s wishes to the press at her campaign Presidential headquarters, in Paris, France, January 4, 2017. (Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party, said in an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 that her party fully supports the executive order signed by US President Donald Trump last week, in which the president temporarily banned entry to the US to arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“I strongly oppose the claim that this is an attack against Muslims, this is a lie – because there are dozens of Muslim countries in the world that are not on this list,” Le Pen said. “I see this is infuriating everyone. On the other hand, the fact that there are 15 countries that prevent entry to Israelis is not troubling anyone,” Le Pen said.

“I think patriotism is never racism,” Le Pen told a Channel 2 interviewer. “Loving the country, wanting to preserve the culture and identity, protecting the interests of the Americans in America, of the French in France of the Israelis in Israel seems to me perfectly legitimate,” Le Pen said.

“I say we should behave like landlords and like renters or squatters with no rights. This is the first aspiration of countries – we are the landlords in our countries, so that they remain free and we can live in security,” she added.

Le Pen’s anti-Muslim views are popular among the Israeli right wing, but the party is shunned by official Israel, as are many far-right parties in European countries.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 3, 2017 2:32PM
This file photo shows a Rafale fighter jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base used for raids purportedly targeting Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria. (Photo by AP)
This file photo shows a Rafale fighter jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base used for raids purportedly targeting Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria. (Photo by AP)

An airstrike by the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has destroyed the water supply system in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday that water supply was cut off in the city after the recent bombing of two bridges over the Euphrates River.

The SOHR added that an aircraft, most likely from the US-led coalition, destroyed the bridges on Thursday.

The aerial bombing damaged main pipeline supplying water to the town, it noted

Meanwhile, Raqqah is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), a group of citizen journalists documenting abuses in the Daesh stronghold, confirmed that the strikes had targeted local infrastructure.

The two bridges were the only ones that connected the northern part with the south of the city.
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From Ynet News

‘Jews belong in the ovens’ written on NYC subway

Anti-Semitic incident joins chorus of recent, high-profile occurrences all throughout the United States in which Jews and their property have been attacked by assailants; FBI: Anti-Semitic crimes are the most common hate crimes based on religion in the United States and racist violence against Jews is on the rise.
Several high-profile anti-Semitic incidents in the United States have been reported in the last few days, including the latest incident in which swastikas and racist graffiti saying, “Jews belong in the oven,” were scribbled on a Manhattan subway.

According to Gregory Locke, a resident of New York City, “The train was quiet and everyone looked at each other uneasily about what to do. One of the passengers stood up and said, ‘Rubbing alcohol. Let’s get rid of this shit.’ He found some tissues and we got to work.

 

"Jews belong in the oven" (Photo: Gregory Locke) (Photo: Gregory Locke)

“Jews belong in the oven” (Photo: Gregory Locke)

 

“I’ve never seen so many people put their hands in their pockets and bags at the same time looking for tissues and hand sanitizer. Within two minutes, all the Nazi symbols were gone.”

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From The Times of Israel

Jewish woman shoved, called ‘dirty Jew’ on NY subway

In an apparently unrelated incident, a swastika found etched in a subway window at a station in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood

February 3, 2017, 6:49 pm

Illustrative photo of a New York City subway (Melanie Fidler/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of a New York City subway (photo credit: Melanie Fidler/Flash90)

A Jewish woman was verbally abused and shoved aboard a New York City subway by a man with a German accent who recited an anti-Semitic pamphlet, according to a newspaper report.

The incident Monday evening occurred shortly after the suspect, a white man in a dark blue jacket with close-cropped blond hair, boarded the train at a downtown Manhattan station, according to the report Thursday by the New York Daily News, which cited unnamed police sources.

The suspect shoved the woman, an unnamed 25-year-old, after shouting at her “Dirty Jew” and “Hail the Hitler Youth!” He was carrying a black bag or briefcase and is still at large, the report said.

In an apparently unrelated incident, a swastika was found etched in a subway window at a station in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood on Wednesday morning.

The New York Police Department said it has seen a dramatic rise in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump, with the majority of incidents directed at Jews.
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From The Times of Israel

Trump renews attack on judge over travel ban, says ‘blame him’ if ‘something happens’

President says temporary hold puts ‘our country in such peril’; White House indicates courts will affirm executive order barring travel from 7 Muslim countries

February 6, 2017, 1:54 am

US President Donald Trump in the White House February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP/ Brendan Smialowski)

US President Donald Trump in the White House February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP/ Brendan Smialowski)

US President Donald Trump on Sunday renewed his verbal attack on a federal judge who temporarily put on hold his controversial travel ban last week on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, which unleashed a wave of chaos and protests at US airports.

Trump’s order applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — Muslim-majority countries that the administration said raise terrorism concerns. The order caused confusion for many foreigners trying to reach the United States, and led to multiple court challenges.

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!” Trump tweeted Sunday of US District Court Judge James Robart, appointed by President George W. Bush.

He followed with another tweet saying he had instructed the Homeland Security Department to check people coming into the country but that “the courts are making the job very difficult!”

A day earlier, Trump had called Robart a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”
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From The Times of Israel

Capture

Actor Alec Baldwin returned to “Saturday Night Live” as US President Donald Trump on Saturday to mock the real-life bloopers made by the White House in the past week, with chief strategist Steve Bannon cast as the Grim Reaper.

The cold open begins with Trump flanked by an assistant who assures him that his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared have gone home for Shabbat.

“Perfect,” Trump quips. “When the Jews are away, the goys will play. Send in Steve Bannon.” Trump’s chief strategist then enters the Oval Office dressed as the Grim Reaper.

The president shares with his adviser that he is “tired and cranky” from a long day. Accordingly, Bannon uses the opportunity to goad the president into making a series of rash calls to world leaders in order to flaunt American power.

The first call, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, mocked the real conversation between the two heads of state this week, during which Trump reportedly hung up on the Australian leader.
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