Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Andrew Bernard


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  • Pro-Israel candidates win key primaries in Maryland, Nebraska, West Virginia

    Andrew Bernard|May 24, 2024

    (JNS) - Pro-Israel candidates fared well in primary races across the nation on Tuesday, although their opponents largely shared their views about the Jewish state. Sarah Elfreth, a Maryland state senator, won the Democratic primary for the state's 3rd Congressional District with $4 million in spending from AIPAC's United Democracy Project super PAC. She defeated Harry Dunn, a former Capitol Police officer who rose to national prominence for his actions defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6...

  • House committee grills education officials on Jew-hatred in K-12 schools

    Andrew Bernard|May 17, 2024

    (JNS) — Members of Congress grilled education officials from New York, California and Maryland on Wednesday about “pervasive” antisemitism in K-12 schools. Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s subcommittee on early childhood, elementary and secondary education repeatedly asked David Banks, the chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, about a student-led rampage at Hillcrest High School in the borough of Queens that targeted a Jewish teacher. “We suspended students. We removed the principal of the school. W...

  • Republicans slam Biden for pausing Israel arms shipment

    Andrew Bernard|May 17, 2024

    (JNS) — House and Senate Republicans slammed U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to pause an arms shipment to Israel and demanded that the administration explain why it failed to notify Congress. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) wrote to the Biden administration asking for answers about the frozen arms deal. “We are shocked that your administration has reportedly decided to withhold critical ammunition to Israel,” the senators wrote. “You promised your commitment to Israel was ironclad,” they added. “Pausing much-needed m...

  • Unrest on American campuses: Yale police arrest 47 anti-Israel protesters as 'Gaza solidarity encampments' spread

    Andrew Bernard|May 3, 2024

    (JNS) — Yale University police arrested 47 anti-Israel protesters for trespassing on Monday morning, as “Gaza solidarity encampments” continue to disrupt college campuses across the country. After the arrests in New Haven, hundreds of students continued to rally while university maintenance workers cleared Yale’s central Beinecke Plaza of tents, the Yale Daily News student newspaper reported. Anti-Israel students formed the first of the encampments at Columbia University on Wednesday ahead of congressional testimony by Columbia preside...

  • Christian, Jewish leaders call for Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria

    Andrew Bernard|Apr 26, 2024

    (JNS) — Christian and Jewish leaders gathered in Washington on Monday evening to call for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and to oppose proposals for the creation of a Palestinian state in the wake of Oct. 7. David Friedman, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and one of the leaders of the Keep God’s Land movement that organized the event, told JNS that the group proposes to extend Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. “Some of the most important parts of biblical Israel—whether it’s the Old City of Jerusalem, the city of...

  • House passes a dozen pro-Israel, anti-Iran bills

    Andrew Bernard|Apr 26, 2024

    (JNS) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a dozen pro-Israel and anti-Iran bills and resolutions this week, in the wake of the Islamic Republic’s missile attack against the Jewish state on Saturday. Lawmakers passed two bills on Monday that target Iran’s finances and a third that would deny tax-exempt status to U.S. charities that fund foreign terrorist organizations. The House passed nine bills and resolutions on Tuesday designed to support the Jewish state and combat Iran. Most of the bills passed overwhelmingly, facing oppos...

  • Orthodox Union delivers 100,000 pro-Israel letters to White House

    Andrew Bernard|Apr 19, 2024

    (JNS) - Orthodox Union leaders delivered 100,000 letters to the White House on Wednesday, urging U.S. President Joe Biden to continue supporting Israel, demanding the release of hostages whom Hamas holds in Gaza and combating antisemitism domestically. The letters were the first batch of more than 180,000 that the OU has collected from synagogues across the country since Thursday, marking 180 days that the hostages have been in captivity. Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the OU,...

  • Austin: No proof Israel is committing genocide

    Andrew Bernard|Apr 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Washington has no evidence that Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testified during a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2025 defense budget. About a dozen and a half anti-Israel protesters, who disrupted the beginning of the nearly three-hour hearing, were removed from the room. “I want to address what the protesters raised earlier: Is Israel committing genocide in Gaza?” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked Austin. “We don’t have any evidence of genocide,” Au...

  • Hours after Israel frees hostages in Rafah, Biden says no operation there sans civilian plan

    Andrew Bernard|Feb 23, 2024

    (JNS) — U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that Israel “should not proceed” with a military operation in the Palestinian city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, without a plan for the more than 1 million civilians currently sheltering in the area. Speaking alongside the visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II at the White House, Biden added that there have been “too many” Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza. He appeared to cite statistics from the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry, despite having criticized those numbers in the pa...

  • Outright Jew-hatred and support for terrorists on display during 'March for Gaza' in Washington

    Andrew Bernard|Jan 26, 2024

    (JNS) - Speakers at a "March for Gaza" in Washington on Jan. 13 promised that Israel would cease to exist and, to the cheers of thousands of attendees, accused U.S. President Joe Biden of supporting genocide against Palestinians. Osama Abuirshaid, executive director of American Muslims for Palestine and the final speaker of the nearly four-hour event, promised that Palestine would be "victorious" and accused Biden of fueling Jew-hatred by supporting Israel. "We're not the antisemitics [sic]...

  • NY GOP taps Ethiopian-born, Orthodox IDF veteran to replace Santos

    Andrew Bernard|Jan 5, 2024

    (JNS) — New York Republicans selected Mazi Melesa Pilip, an Ethiopian-born, Orthodox Jew and Israel Defense Forces veteran, on Thursday to run for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. A current Nassau County legislator, Pilip is running for the seat that Republican Rep. George Santos held before being expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives, on Dec. 1, following federal criminal indictments for fraud. It was also revealed that Santos had fabricated his backstory, including his supposed Jewish heritage. Santos’s inventions stand in dr...

  • Schumer calls for $1 billion in new funds for Security Grants

    Andrew Bernard|Nov 17, 2023

    (JNS) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his intention on Monday to pursue a $1 billion surge in funding for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which helps bolster security for synagogues, day schools and other at-risk locations. The legislation would more than triple the existing $305 million in annual funds available for the program, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers. Speaking at a press conference, Schumer said that that level of funding was necessary in response to the spike in a...

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