Month: November 2016

Keith Ellison’s Ascent Signals the Democrats’ Willingness to Redefine ‘Pro-Israel’

Above: Rep. Keith Ellison (D- MN) at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, May 24, 2016. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The most shocking thing about talk of Keith Ellison’s Israel record as he rises within the Democratic Party is how few think it’s shocking.

Rep. Ellison, D-Minn., is a leading contender for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, despite a record of tough criticism of Israel that pro-Israel insiders say would easily have disqualified him a decade ago.

That he is being seriously considered now — and with…

As wildfires rage across Israel, firefighting efforts diverted from Haifa to Jerusalem

Fire fighters trying to extinguish a wildfire, which broke out at the entrance to Nataf, outside Jerusalem, Nov. 25, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) — An Israeli village west of Jerusalem was evacuated due to fires raging on its margins, as some firefighting efforts were being diverted from Israel’s north to its center.

The flames nearing the village of Nataf were among three fires reported in the Jerusalem area Friday — the fourth day in which emergency services were battling multiple blazes across Israel, some of which were started by arsonist “terrorists,” according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Top US firefighters ‘dropped everything’ to help Israel battle the blaze

Above: American and Israeli firefighters posing for photographs after returning from a call in Jerusalem, Nov. 27, 2016. (Courtesy of Emergency Volunteers Program)

By Andrew Tobin (JTA)

Call them Israel’s American volunteer fire brigade.

Dozens of firefighters from across the United States put their lives on hold – leaving behind jobs and families – to help subdue the wildfires that swept Israel over the past week. While they all share a love of Israel, only a handful of them are Jewish.

“We’re just firefighters. When guys hear about a situation like this one, where the Israelis are working…

British soccer fans repeat anti-Semitic chant on London subway

Referee Mark Clattenburg needing to intervene was a frequent sight in an ugly, bad-tempered London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. (Credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Fans of a British soccer team were filmed singing an anti-Semitic chant on a London subway.

The chant by backers of the Chelsea club followed the team’s victory on Saturday night against the rival Tottenham Hotspur, which has many Jewish and pro-Jewish fans.

“I’ve got foreskin, how about you? F****** Jew,” they reportedly chanted.

One Spurs fan said the Chelsea supporters were “goading any Spurs fans they could” on the subway car and at two…

Rob Reiner: Jared Kushner ‘turning his back’ on Judaism

Above: Director Rob Reiner speaking during the introduction at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival Premiere of “LBJ” at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 15, 2016. (J. Countess/Getty Images)

(JTA) — American filmmaker Rob Reiner accused Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, of turning his back on his religion.

“I don’t understand Jared Kushner at all. What is he doing? He’s turning his back on his religion and his heritage just so he can make money? I don’t get it. I just can’t wrap my mind around it,” Reiner, who is Jewish, told The…