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March 22, 2019     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 22, 2019
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 22, 2019 PAGE 3A 9 By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- President Donald Trump promoted on his Twitter feed a group founded by Republicans that hopes to draw young Jews away from the Democratic Party. "'Jewish people are leav- ing the Democratic Party,'" Trump said Tuesday morning on his feed, quoting Elizabeth Pipko, a spokeswoman for "Jexodus," who appeared the same morning on "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News network. "Jexodus" was launched last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference by JeffBallabon, a Republican strategist who advised the Trump presidential cam- paign. Pipko, 23, is a former Trump campaign staffer. In a news release an- nouncing its launch, Jexodus wrote, "We are proud Jewish Millennials tired of living in bondage to leftist politics. We reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti- Semitism of the rising far-left. Progressives, Democrats, and far too many old-school Jew- ish organizations take our support for granted. After all, we're Jewish, and Jews vote for Democrats." In the tweet he posted shortly after the "Fox and Friends" segment, Trump continued: "'We saw a lot of anti-Israel policies start under the Obama Administration, and it got worsts [sic] and worse. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They don't care about Israel or the Jewish people.' Elizabeth Pipko, Jexodus.'" Trump's comments follow a controversy within the Democratic Party sparked by remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn which were seen by Jewish Democrats as invoking anti-Semitic slander. Jewish Democratic leaders in the House led efforts to pass a resolution condemning the kinds of anti-Semitic tropes seen in Omar's comments, although the resolution even- tually was expanded, under pressure from party progres- sives, to include Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry. On Tuesday, the Jewish Democratic Council of Amer- ica posted on Facebook poll data from the last two presi- dential elections showing a decline in Jewish support for the Republican candidate. "President Trump--Let's get the facts straight," the JDCA posted. "Republicans have lost support among Jew- ish voters since you've been in office." On the Jexodus web site, Pipko is described as an "in- ternational model, Trump 2016 campaign staffer, poet, patriot, and fiercely proud millennial Jew." She and her husband, Dar- ren Centinello, a staffer on the 2020 Trump campaign, were married in December in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony at the Trump-owned Mar-a- Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. "We invited the President but, unfortunately, it was just before the federal shutdown began," she told the New York Post last year, in an article about how she felt she had to hide her work for Trump to protect her model- ing career. "Our invitations were red hats that read 'Make Marriage Great Again,' with a tag hanging off that listed all the wedding information." disappointed that his govern- ment hasn't made good on a deal to allow them to pray according to their customs at the Western Wall. The conference comes two weeks before the April 9 elec- tions, in which Netanyahu is facing a serious challenge from Gantz, Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon, whose parties make up Blue and White. Meanwhile, Oded Revivi of the West Bank settlers Yesha Council also will appear on a panel discussing the legacy of the 1967 war--the first time a senior settlement leader has been invited to the conference. Revivi told The Times of Israel that he has addressed AIPAC delegations that visit Israel over the last two years as his organization has worked to build a relationship with AIPAC. AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann told The Times of Israel that Revivi's appearance does not indicate a shift in the organization's position in support of a two-state solu- tion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif also confirmed their participa- tion in the conference, as did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConneU, R-Ky. ,~:'~'~ ~ ~:i~ < : Retired General Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By Marcy Ostcr (JTA)--Israeli Prime Minis- ter Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival, Benny Gantz, will speak at the annual AIPAC policy conference inWashing- ton ahead of national elections next month in Israel. Gantz, whose new center- left Blue and White party is leading Netanyahu's Likud in the polls, will address the pro- Israel lobby's main session plenary on March 25. Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israeli militarywho heads Blue and White, will "use his speech to emphasize that after the election he will work to rebuild the relation- ship with American Jewry and ensure that Israel will once again enjoy the support of its friends across the spectrum in the United States," a party statement read. AIPAC announced in late February that Netanyahu would appear at the confer- ence in person this year. He has often spoken via satellite during his tenure in office. Netanyahu is scheduled to speak the day after Gantz. Why it matters: Israeli poli- ticians who are feted at AIPAC hope to signal to voters back home that they are suited to preserving the critical alli- ance with the United States and its Jewish community. Netanyahu has made his close relationship with the Trump administration a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, although his relations with a largely liberal and centrist community of American Jews have been strained. AIPAC last month slammed a political maneuver by Ne- tanyahu that they and others said would bring legitimacy to the far-right Jewish Power party, or Otzma Yehudit. Non-Orthodox Jews remain By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--The Trump administration ended the policy of referring to the West Bank and the Golan Heights as "occupied" by Israel. The State Department's annual report on global human rights issues, is- sued Wednesday, drops the "occupied" language from passages on the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza. It refers to the Golan Heights as "Israeli-controlled." A State Department official argued that the change did not signal a shift in department policy on the territories. Why it matters: The Trump team has broken from prec- edent established by past Democratic and Republicah administrations. The tim- ing of the move is especially crucial for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been lobbying the Trump administration to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel ahead of national elections there on April 9. Netanyahu can point to this development as another ac- complishment on his national security resume. More info: In the first offi- cial explanation of the change, the State Department official, Michael Kozak, explained the difference in a news confer- ence Wednesday. "'Occupied territory' has a legal meaning to it," Kozak said. "I think what they tried to do was shift more to just a geographic description. "So we said Israel, Golan, West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and it's a complicated report because there are sometimes multiple authorities who have authority over people in par- ticular parts of that territory." Kozak said the change was recommended by the State Department's Legal Adviser's office and policy on the terri- tories is a difficult one to write. He said "my understanding from the policy bureaus on this is that there's no change in our outlook or our policy vis-a-vis the.territories and the need for a negotiated settlement there." The Trump administration has not used "occupied" for at leastayear in describing these territories. Spokespeople have not fully explainedwhy except to say that there was no policy change. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to gV radiation can seriousty damaoe the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the flJture. Shield your eyes (aid yeer famil~s eyes) Ire-. bannflll ~ rays. Wear sunglaSSes with mine UV pndectJon. % %