US House passes resolution condemning BDS: Israel Update

July 26, 2019

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The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Tuesday evening condemning the anti-Israel BDS movementThe final tally was 398 in favor, 17 against and 5 present. Our JCRC extended our gratitude to our Cincinnati area congressional delegation for their support. The resolution enshrines the two-state outcome to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its passage in the House with such a wide margin showed that congressional support for Israel remains strongly bipartisan. But the congressional battle over BDS is far from over. 


Israeli forces began Monday demolishing buildings in an East Jerusalem neighborhood under the control of the Palestinian Authority, following a legal challenge to the Defense Ministry-issued order to evacuate apartments deemed too close to the West Bank separation barrier, which runs through the city. Demolition of unauthorized Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem is not unusualand in this case all but one structure were unoccupied. However, the demolished homes, some of which had still been under construction, are located in the Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A of the West Bank. Israel says the 10 structures in the Sur Baher neighborhood are in an area where construction is barred because of its proximity to the security barrier. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas declared on Thursday that the P.A. would cease implementation of all agreements with Israel, including on security coordination, and announced the formation of a special committee to that end. However, the Palestinian Authority depends on Israel for much of its water supply, electricity and aerial traffic within its borders. 


A Syrian-based terrorist network that tried to recruit Israelis and Palestinians on behalf of Iranian intelligence was uncovered recently. According to the Shin Bet, while the network was directed by Iran, it operated from Syria and was led by an individual known as Abu-Jihad, who tried to recruit people by initiating contact from fictitious Facebook profiles and then speaking with the target through messaging applications. Recruiting assets via social media is a common practice among terror groups, and similar tactics have recently been employed by Hamas and Hezbollah.


A well-known Saudi blogger was attacked in Jerusalem on Monday by Arab protesters angry at his participation in an event hosted by the Israeli government. Mohammed Saud, famous for his command of Hebrew, was spat at, had plastic chairs hurled at him and was verbally attacked during a visit to the Temple Mount, holy to both Jews and Muslims. Three Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the assault. The Saud was in Israel at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hosted a delegation of journalists and bloggers from Arab countries in his office, including Saud.


With Israel's election season shaping up, several smaller parties on Israel’s right and left are seeking to correct the mistakes of the last election in an attempt to cross the threshold or gain more seats in the next Knesset. “We will run to the end, even if there are no mergers. I believe that it is possible to be an independent and strong party, but would prefer to lead a broad right-wing union,” said Ayelet Shaked, New Right chairwoman. The newly formed “Democratic Camp” party introduced themselves to Israelis on Thursday, promising to set the country “back on the correct path.”


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


Shep Englander, CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati 


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Cincy Interns in Israel

Cincy Journeys, funded by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and administered by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, helps fund Jewish overnight camps and teen and young adult travel to Israel, including Jewish college students in the 2019 Onward Israel summer internship program. You can follow the students on their blog. Will Coleman, Sycamore High School graduate and current Junior at Indiana University writes about their final day trip to Be'er Sheva. You can also watch videos from Onward Israels vlog by Ben Ruskin, a film student at Ohio State University.


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"We Need to Talk" About Israel

Facilitated Discussions Begin

Join the Cincinnati Public Library, the Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Community Relations Council for book club discussions of Yossi Klein Halevi's New York Times bestselling book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. It's one Israeli's powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians.


The next discussion will take place at the Deer Park Library on Monday evening.

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The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

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