Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Ron Kampeas


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 647

  • Rutgers students, faculty decry 'intimidating' environment

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 14, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — One day before their university’s president was due to appear before Congress, hundreds of Jewish Rutgers University staff and students decried what they described as an intimidating campus environment for Jews. “The entire university community has suffered through the disruption of normal university operations and an often chaotic and intimidating environment on our campuses,” said one letter released Wednesday by Rutgers Jewish Faculty, Administrators, and Staff, with 208 signatures. A separate letter from close to 160 Jew...

  • Republican Jewish Coalition defends Donald Trump

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 7, 2024

    (JTA) — The Republican Jewish Coalition leapt to the defense of Donald Trump after he was found guilty on 34 charges related to falsifying records to conceal that he paid an adult film star to cover up a sexual liaison just before the 2016 presidential election. The verdict makes Trump, who is seeking to return to office this fall, the only U.S. president ever to have been convicted of a felony. “Without question this is a political prosecution of a political opponent,” Matt Brooks, the group’s CEO, said after jurors in Manhattan deliver...

  • After Oct. 7, just 19% of Israeli Jews believe a Palestinian state can peacefully coexist with Israel

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 7, 2024

    (JTA) — The share of Israeli Jews who believe an Israeli and a Palestinian state can peacefully coexist has plummeted since Oct. 7, according to a new survey. The figure of 19 percent, reported in a study published Thursday by the Pew Research Center, was the lowest since Pew started surveying Israelis in 2013. It is down from 32 percent in a survey released just weeks before the war broke out. In 2013, according to Pew, nearly half of Israeli Jews — and a majority of Israelis overall — supported a two-state solution. In 2005, another polli...

  • Images of death and devastation in Rafah rattle some of Israel's most ardent defenders

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 7, 2024

    (JTA) – For months, Zoe Buckman, a Brooklyn artist with more than 72,000 followers on Instagram, has posted about the hypocrisy she sees in critics of Israel who downplayed atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. On Monday, she again decried hypocrisy. But this time, she aimed her criticism in large part toward fellow supporters of Israel. "Folks who do not condemn loss of civilian life in Palestine are akin to the many who refuse to condemn 10/7, h@mas and what is being done to the h...

  • Biden: Gaza war 'not genocide'

    Ron Kampeas|May 31, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden told a Jewish gathering that he will ensure that Israel will have “everything it needs” to fight Hamas, a pledge that comes after weeks of tension between the governments over his pause on the delivery of large bombs. “I’ll always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas, and all its enemies,” Biden told a White House reception on May 20, marking Jewish American Heritage Month. The crowd of several hundred in the Rose Garden cheered and applauded. Biden also denounced t...

  • Lily Greenberg Call, Jewish staffer who quit Biden administration over Israel policy: 'There are so many of us who feel this way'

    Ron Kampeas|May 24, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Before sending the letter she knew would ricochet around the world, Lily Greenberg Call gave her parents a heads-up and said goodbye to her colleagues. Then she went home and prepared for the storm that she correctly predicted would be unleashed Wednesday night, May 16, when she was revealed to be the first Jewish staffer to resign from the Biden administration to protest President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza. Speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after watching her story unfold in public, Green...

  • ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leaders

    Ron Kampeas|May 24, 2024

    (JTA) — The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as well as the leadership of Hamas for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The charges Karim Khan announced Monday against Netanyahu and Gallant — the first ever to charge Israeli leaders by name — echo accusations Israel’s critics have made for months surrounding the war in Gaza: They include starvation as a means of war, willful killing and intentionally targeting civilia...

  • This Jewish Gen-Z-er wants to be the next progressive pro-Israel congressman

    Ron Kampeas|May 24, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — At least twice while campaigning in the small towns of the western stretch of Maryland’s 6th District, Joe Vogel headed to Shabbat services. Synagogues in Cumberland and Frederick were only too happy to accommodate when his campaign called ahead and said the Jewish candidate wanted to stop by on a Saturday morning. In fact, the Frederick congregation had a favor to ask of the young elected official: Could he lift up a Torah scroll? “It’s a slightly older congregation and they needed someone that could do the hagbah,...

  • IDF recovers bodies of 3 festival victims, including Shani Louk

    Ron Kampeas|May 24, 2024

    (JTA) — The Israeli military has recovered the bodies of three people who were killed in the massacre at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, including Shani Louk, whose body was photographed being carried away in a pickup truck by Hamas terrorists. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman, said Friday evening in a press conference that the three were killed on the day of the Hamas massacres that launched the war. Like other hostages held by Hamas, their bodies were taken into the Gaza Strip as leverage. “According to the cre...

  • Top Biden official tells Jewish leaders: Claim that US withheld intelligence on Hamas from Israel is 'not true'

    Ron Kampeas|May 24, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House denied reports that the United States withheld intelligence from Israel on the whereabouts of Hamas’ leaders. The reports alleged that the United States would provide the intelligence in exchange for Israel curbing its offensive in Rafah, the city in southern Gaza. “The United States is working with Israel day and night to hunt the senior leaders of Hamas, who were the authors of the brutal terrorist assault of Oct. 7,” a White House official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We are providing unprecede...

  • 26 House Democrats tell White House, 'We cannot undermine our ally, Israel'

    Ron Kampeas|May 17, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Twenty-six Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have asked the White House for a briefing on why President Joe Biden suspended the delivery of large bombs to Israel, the latest sign of fractures in the party over Israel policy. “We are deeply concerned about the message the Administration is sending to Hamas and other Iranian-backed terrorist proxies by withholding weapons shipments to Israel, during a critical moment in the negotiations,” said the letter sent Friday to Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national securit...

  • Bernie Sanders, 82, announces run for a fourth Senate term

    Ron Kampeas|May 17, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bernie Sanders, the two-time presidential candidate and leading progressive senator, has announced he will run for a fourth term. Sanders, 82, an independent from Vermont, made history in 2016 as the first Jewish candidate to win a major party’s presidential primary, and ran again in 2020. In both primaries, he finished in second to the Democratic nominee. He is considered the de-facto leader of progressives in the Senate. In an eight-minute campaign launch speech posted online Monday, Sanders called to suspend U.S. mil...

  • Israeli police arrest author Ayelet Waldman and 6 others in Gaza border protest

    Ron Kampeas|May 17, 2024

    (JTA) - Israeli police arrested Ayelet Waldman, a Jewish American author, while she was with a group trying to deliver relief to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Waldman, who is Israeli-born, was one of seven people arrested Friday morning at a protest action organized by Rabbis for Human Rights, and one of five Americans. Two were released before Shabbat, organizers said, but Waldman was still in custody at the police station in Ashkelon, a city near the Gaza border. Her husband Michael Chabon,...

  • Biden says don't call federal troops

    Ron Kampeas|May 10, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — In his first address about the pro-Palestinian protests rocking campuses nationwide, President Joe Biden said “order must prevail” but rejected proposals to bring in federal troops. “Dissent must never lead to disorder, or to denying the rights of others so students can finish the semester and their college education,” Biden said Thursday in the four-minute speech. “It’s basically a matter of fairness. It’s a matter of what’s right. There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos.” Biden did not announce conc...

  • Israel announces Rafah invasion and Hamas claims ceasefire deal

    Ron Kampeas|May 10, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel’s war cabinet unanimously voted to approve an invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza, shortly after Hamas said it had agreed to a ceasefire deal with Israel. The announcements were two landmarks in a whirlwind — and confusing — day of diplomacy and warfare following months of speculation and negotiations. As of Monday night Israel time, both the fighting and diplomacy were ongoing. Israeli officials said the proposal Hamas accepted was different from the one Israel had agreed to. In its statement, the war cabinet said th...

  • Israel's military intelligence chief resigns, taking responsibility for Oct. 7 failures

    Ron Kampeas|May 3, 2024

    (JTA) - Israel's military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, resigned, saying he assumed responsibility for the intelligence failures that failed to prevent the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion that launched the current war. The resignation letter Haliva sent Monday to the Israeli military chief of staff, Lt. Herzi Halevi, is unusual in that he assumed responsibility for the failures even before the launch of a state inquiry into the missteps that left Israel unprepared for the attack. "The intel...

  • Biden says Gershkovich's detention will 'cost' Russia

    Ron Kampeas|Apr 5, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - President Joe Biden said the United States would continue to "impose costs" on Russia for its imprisonment of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested one year ago. The Journal marked the March 29 anniversary by leaving most of its front page empty below a headline reading, "HIS STORY SHOULD BE HERE." Every other article and headline on the front page involved Gershkovich. "Today we mark a painful anniversary: one year of American journalist Evan...

  • Joseph Lieberman, first Jew on a major presidential ticket, dies at 82

    Ron Kampeas|Apr 5, 2024

    (JTA) – Joseph Lieberman, a longtime senator from Connecticut who as Al Gore's running mate in 2000 became the first Jewish member of a major presidential ticket, died Wednesday. He was 82. A statement sent to former staffers and reported widely said Lieberman had suffered complications from a fall. A moderate - some would say conservative - Democrat turned independent, Lieberman was known for his attempts to build bridges in an increasingly polarized Washington, sometimes losing old friends a...

  • AIPAC director to retire

    Ron Kampeas|Apr 5, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - Howard Kohr, the CEO who has led the powerhouse American Israel Public Affairs Committee since 1996, is set to retire by the end of this year. Under Kohr's leadership, AIPAC has traversed five presidencies and more than 10 Israeli elections. In that time, its budget and staff have enjoyed significant growth as it has become one of the best known and most powerful lobbies in Washington. During his tenure, the United States' military aid to Israel increased to $3.8 billion per...

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley invokes Easter to condemn 'Netanyahu's indiscriminate bombing of Gaza,' drawing condemnation

    Ron Kampeas|Apr 5, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A range of Jewish and pro-Israel figures, including Israel’s antisemitism envoy, accused Sen. Jeff Merkley of advancing a “blood libel” for linking Easter to what he called Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza. Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, had already marked Easter Sunday on X with a generic wish for a “blessed holiday.” He followed up with a post citing the holiday in his call to cut arms shipments to Israel and to pressure the country to facilitate the entry of more humanitarian assistance into Gaza. “On this Easter,...

  • Tens of thousands participate in global Shema prayer on behalf of Israeli hostages

    Ron Kampeas|Mar 29, 2024

    (JTA) - Tens of thousands of Jews around the world joined in a collective recitation of the Shema prayer on Thursday that was broadcast from Jerusalem's Western Wall to support the more than 130 hostages still held by Hamas. The event was organized by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum along with Aish HaTorah, a haredi Orthodox yeshiva and outreach movement. They timed it to the Fast of Esther, which commemorates the threat the Jews of Persia faced from their persecutor, Haman, during the...

  • Most Jewish Americans support Israel's war against Hamas, and how it's fought

    Ron Kampeas|Mar 29, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — An overwhelming majority of U.S. Jews say Israel’s reasons for launching a war against Hamas are justified, and a substantial majority approve of how Israel is conducting the war. The Pew Research Center study published Thursday is billed as the rare survey of sentiment about the war to include enough Jewish and Muslim respondents to garner an accurate reflection of their views. It shows that Jewish views on the conflict are in many ways starkly different from those held by the rest of Americans. Far fewer U.S. res...

  • Kamala Harris calls for 6-week 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza and places onus on Israel to deliver aid

    Ron Kampeas|Mar 8, 2024

    (JTA) — Vice President Kamala Harris called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza and placed most of the onus on Israel for a shortfall in humanitarian aid entering the enclave. The call for a cessation of fighting was not actually a change in the U.S. position on the war. In her speech, at a civil rights-focused event on Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama, Harris made clear that she was not referring to a permanent ceasefire, which progressive activists have advocated for months. Rather, she was voicing support for the current Israeli-backed propo...

  • Joe Biden is pressing Congress to send $14B to Israel - what is the emergency aid for?

    Ron Kampeas|Mar 8, 2024

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA) — For months, President Joe Biden has asked for — and Congress has debated — sending wartime foreign aid to Israel as it battles Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The bill currently on the table, passed in a bipartisan vote by the Senate last week, would see some $14 billion go to Israel as part of a $95 billion foreign aid bill. Biden is now pushing the Republican-led House to take up the bill. The majority of the bill’s funds would aid Ukraine in its war against Russia, and a smaller portion is earmarked to help Taiwan deter C...

  • 'Uncommitted' campaign protesting Biden's Israel support nets 100,000+ votes in Michigan primary

    Ron Kampeas|Mar 1, 2024

    (JTA) — A campaign to protest President Joe Biden’s support of Israel by voting “Uncommitted” in the Michigan Democratic presidential primary declared victory on Tuesday night, as returns showed the movement garnering more than 10 percent of the vote. Biden still won the primary overwhelmingly. But the Uncommitted movement, also called Listen to Michigan, had set a goal of drawing 10,000 votes — the margin by which Donald Trump won the state in the 2016 presidential election. By early Wednesday, with most votes counted, more than 100,000 p...

Page Down