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Articles written by ron kampeas


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  • 'An incredibly volatile time': From Iran to Yemen

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 9, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A conflict that started on a tiny perimeter of land on Oct. 7 is, less than four months later, reverberating throughout the region, from Lebanon in the north to Morocco in the west, Iran in the east and Yemen in the south. “This is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday at a press conference. “I would argue that we’ve not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we’re facing now across the region since at least 19...

  • More countries cut funding to UNRWA over allegations of involvement with Oct. 7 attack

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 2, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A growing number of countries has suspended funding to the main United Nations agency aiding Palestinians in the wake of allegations that a number of its staffers were involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, known as UNRWA, protested the cuts, saying that they were accelerating an oncoming famine in the Gaza Strip. The agency was founded to administer relief to Palestinian refugees and their descendants and is the main provider of aid in Gaza, where it emp...

  • 15 Jewish House Democrats blast Netanyahu for rejecting two-state solution

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 2, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Fifteen Jewish Democrats, including some pro-Israel stalwarts, slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he rejected the idea of creating an independent Palestinian state after the Israel-Hamas war. “We strongly disagree with the prime minister,” said the brief statement released Friday morning by the office of Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York representative who is the unofficial dean of Jewish House Democrats. “A two-state solution is the path forward.” The statement — which comes amid rising calls from some Jew...

  • DeSantis: Israel may need to remove Palestinians from Gaza if it faces a 'second Holocaust'

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that if Israel were faced with a “second Holocaust,” he could understand why it would remove Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip. The statement came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has no intention of doing so. DeSantis’ remarks at a Republican presidential debate came on the eve of opening arguments at The Hague, where Israel faces charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice. The debate was the final one ahead of the Iowa Republican caucuse...

  • Gabriel Attal says his Jewish ancestry has shaped him

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — France’s newest prime minister is getting attention for the two firsts he brings to the job: Gabriel Attal, at 34, is the country’s youngest ever prime minister, and its first to be openly gay. He says another facet of his identity also shapes him: His late father’s Jewishness. Attal’s mother raised him and his siblings in her Russian Orthodox Christian faith. But his father, the film producer Yves Attal, was Jewish, born in Paris to Tunisian Jewish and European Jewish parents. “My father said to me, ‘Perhaps you’re Orthodox but yo...

  • Americans for Peace Now becomes first US Zionist group to call for an end to the Gaza war

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 19, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now, a left-wing pro-Israel organization, is calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, the first American Zionist group to do so after more than three months of fighting. “Continuing this devastating war poses unacceptable risks for Israel, Gazan civilians and the entire region,” James Klutznick, the group’s chairman, said Monday in a statement. “For the sake of the security and wellbeing of civilians in Israel and in Gaza, the Biden administration must push Israel to bring about an immediate cessation...

  • Biden administration, Reform Jewish leader slam Smotrich and Ben Gvir for calling for Palestinians' removal from Gaza

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 12, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Biden administration condemned calls by two Israeli government ministers for Palestinians to be removed from the Gaza Strip. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, also condemned the call. The criticism comes as gaps remain between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over who will govern Gaza on the day after Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas, the terror group that controlled the territory prior to its Oct. 7 invasion of Israel. While Biden has pushed for the Wes...

  • What you need to know about Dean Phillips, the Jewish congressman running for president

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 5, 2024

    (JTA) — Dean Phillips is running for president. And he wants to talk. Talking runs in the Jewish Minnesota congressman’s family — his grandmother is Dear Abby. And he’s friends with Ilhan Omar, despite their polar opposite views on a range of issues, including Israel, because they like to talk things through. Now, Phillips, 54, is hoping that penchant for dialogue will fuel his latest endeavor — a long-shot bid to defeat Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary. “The greatest ch...

  • House calls on MIT, Harvard presidents to resign over campus antisemitism, with 125 Democrats voting against

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 29, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives called on the presidents of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to resign after they declined to say clearly in a congressional hearing that their schools would take action against those calling for the genocide of Jews. The vote Wednesday night was 303-126, with three voting “present.” All but one of the votes against the resolution were by Democrats, including seven of the caucus’ 24 Jewish Democrats. The three voting “present” were likewise Democrats,...

  • A poll shows Palestinians overwhelmingly support Oct. 7. What does that mean?

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 29, 2023

    (JTA) — When a recent survey showed that nearly three-quarters of Palestinians supported Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Israeli officials and commentators cited it to justify their country’s war in Gaza, which aims to depose the terror group. “Palestinians need to focus on prioritizing the building of their nation, rather than trying to destroy ours,” read an online post by Act4IL, an Israeli government-run social media feed. “It’s not a conflict about borders, it’s about the mere fact that Palestinians don’t want us here.” For Israelis and others...

  • House passes resolution equating antisemitism with anti-Zionism, despite many abstentions

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 22, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives approved a nonbinding resolution saying that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, with support from all but one Republican and a substantial minority of Democrats. The resolution was introduced by the two Jewish Republicans in the House, Max Miller of Ohio and David Kustoff of Tennessee. It was notable for the number of Jewish Democrats who voted “present,” effectively abstaining, in part because they did not agree with the resolution’s contention that all forms of anti-Zionism were antisem...

  • Families of American hostages meet with Biden in person for the first time

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 22, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - Wearing black T-shirts bearing the photos of their captive loved ones, families of American hostages held by Hamas met face-to-face with President Joe Biden for the first time, part of a high profile U.S. tour by the group to keep the hostages' plight at the front and center of public discussions about the Israel-Hamas war. "We are grateful to President Biden for his steadfast commitment to bringing our family members home and the compassion he demonstrated today," said a...

  • Stark images of murder and torture in Israel leave US senators in tears and silence

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 15, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — If there’s a trait that unites the 100 members of the U.S. Senate, it is volubility: These folks, who invented the filibuster, know how to talk. It was remarkable to see them then exiting a screening room on Tuesday in the bowels of the Capitol building, barely able to shape their mouths into a single word. The unusual silence came after two senators, Jacky Rosen, a Jewish Nevada Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, screened for their fellow senators 43 minutes of harrowing footage of the carnage Hamas ter...

  • GOP candidates spar in debate over whether to send US troops to Gaza

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 15, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Candidates sparred over whether to send U.S. troops to Gaza and Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed a conspiracy theory that has inspired antisemitic violence at the Republican primary debate last night. The debate was held at the University of Alabama less than six weeks before the Iowa caucuses kick off the nominating contest. Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador who is rising in the polls and has received an infusion of donor money, was the prime target of the other three candidates on stage: former New Jersey Gov. C...

  • 10 Israelis, including teen with her dog, and 2 Thais freed from Gaza as ceasefire goes into overtime

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — Hamas released another 10 Israeli hostages, nine women and a 17-year-old girl, on the first day of a two-day extension of a ceasefire, one the Biden Administration hopes to further extend as it seeks to expand humanitarian relief for Palestinians in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. The hostages released Tuesday bring the total of Israeli hostages released to 61. Also released were two Thais, bringing the total number of foreigners released to 20. They are among an estimated 240 hostages taken when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel from G...

  • A weekend of hostage releases from Gaza

    Gabe Friedman Ron Kampeas and Ben Sales|Dec 1, 2023

    This is a developing story. Friday - First 13 Israeli and 10 foreign hostages released (JTA) - Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages into Egypt on Friday, Nov. 24, a sign that the four-day ceasefire brokered between Israel and the terror group that runs Gaza was holding. Ten Thai nationals and one Filipino national were also released in a surprise additional deal that Egyptian officials said they had brokered. Thirty-nine Palestinian prisoners were released from Israel as part of the agreement,...

  • Members of Congress evacuated as police crack down on Jewish anti-Israel protesters outside Democratic HQ

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 24, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - Capitol Police arrested activists from two left-wing Jewish groups protesting outside the Democratic Party headquarters and calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. At least two Democrats in Congress said police evacuated them from the building during the protest, the latest in a string of high-profile actions by the groups, IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace. The police said that the protesters with the two Jewish groups and a third organization, Democratic...

  • Israeli Supreme Court rules that Israel's Law of Return extends to widows of children and grandchildren of Jews

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 24, 2023

    (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that the non-Jewish widows of the children and grandchildren of Jews may emigrate to Israel under its Law of Return. The 4-3 ruling this week was an example of the court’s role in determining Israeli policy, a capacity that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had sought for months to diminish prior to the outbreak of Israel’s war with Hamas on Oct. 7. Critics of the judicial overhaul contended that sapping the judiciary of its power endangered Israeli democracy. The ruling is...

  • Candidates agree: 'Finish them'

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 17, 2023

    (JTA) — It was one of the few questions that united all five candidates at what was a no-holds-barred Republican primary debate: What would they advise Israel’s prime minister as he wages war against Hamas? The uniform answer: Finish them. Israel and antisemitism featured large in the latest GOP primary debate in Miami on Wednesday, in part because a cosponsor of the debate was the Republican Jewish Coalition, which got to ask two questions, a first for a Jewish group. But they would have been asked even without the RJC’s influence, becau...

  • US House of Representatives censures Tlaib for Israel remarks

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 17, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives censured Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Palestinian American Democrat, for her rhetoric in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, including using the term “from the river to the sea.” The 234-188 vote late Tuesday night saw 22 Democrats vote to censure Tlaib, and was sure to sharpen divides among Democrats over Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. Some Democrats vehemently defended Tlaib’s right to free speech and others said the “From the river to the sea” term signifies the elimination...

  • Henry Swieca quits Columbia Business School board, saying campus is 'unsafe' for Jews

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 17, 2023

    (JTA) — A Jewish billionaire investor and philanthropist quit the board of Columbia Business School, saying the campus had become unsafe for Jews since the launch of the Israel-Hamas war. “With blatantly anti-Jewish student groups and professors allowed to operate with complete impunity, it sends a clear and distressing message that Jews are not just unwelcome, but also unsafe on campus,” Henry Swieca said in an Oct. 30 letter obtained Tuesday by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “My resignation is an expression of my deep concern for the directi...

  • What the polls say about Americans' support for Israel, Biden and the war in Gaza

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 10, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Younger voters are less likely to back Israel, support among Democrats for Israel’s conduct has declined and Americans overall are wary of being drawn into a Middle East war. Those are three takeaways from a series of polls on Israel, the Palestinians and the war in Gaza that have been published in the more than three weeks since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. In that attack, Hamas terrorists killed 1,400, wounded thousands, took more than 200 captives and sparked a war in which Israel’s stated goal is to depose the terro...

  • Israeli forces rescue kidnapped soldier, the first since Oct. 7

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 10, 2023

    (JTA) — Israeli forces rescued an Israeli soldier from the Gaza Strip, the first such successful operation since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, and the first since the terror group assumed control of the territory in 2007. “Last night, our forces liberated Pvt. Ori Megidish from Hamas captivity,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday in a statement. “Ori was abducted on the black morning of October 7th. Welcome home Ori! I commend the [Shin Bet security service] and the IDF for thi...

  • White House convenes meeting to address spike in campus antisemitism during Israel-Hamas war

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 3, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Biden administration convened a meeting with Jewish leaders on Monday on what it says is an “alarming” rise in reports of antisemitism on college campuses in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. Doug Emhoff, the Jewish Second Gentleman who launched a task force on antisemitism last year along with the Biden administration’s plan to counter anti-Jewish bigotry, will convene the meeting, which will take place at the Department of Education. “The Biden-Harris Administration is taking multiple actions to address the alarming...

  • Pence pulls out of GOP primary

    Ron Kampeas|Nov 3, 2023

    LAS VEGAS (JTA) - Mike Pence chose a Jewish gathering to announce his exit from the presidential race, with a veiled warning that his onetime boss, Donald Trump, posed a threat to a robust American foreign policy that he said was vital to Israel's interests. Pence, the former vice president, elicited gasps and cries of "We love you!" when he addressed a presidential forum at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas. "I came here to say it's become clear to me this is not...

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