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Trump’s Germany ambassador pick under fire from Jewish groups for statements on immigrants and Nazi history

JTA - Fri, 2020-08-07 15:19

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish groups are taking aim at President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Germany for his past statements about Muslim immigrants and for downplaying the importance of Nazi history.

The nomination of Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat veteran who now frequently appears on Fox News, made headlines this week after CNN’s K File unearthed a long history of the retired colonel’s comments. In 2018 he said “There’s sort of a sick mentality that says that generations after generations must atone sins of what happened in 13 years of German history and ignore the other 1,500 years of Germany.”

He also called Muslim immigrants “invaders” who want to turn Europe “into an Islamic state” and called for martial law at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying U.S. authorities should “shoot people” if necessary to prevent immigrants from entering the country.

Prior to the CNN report, B’nai B’rith International had already expressed concerns about Macgregor. In a July 28 release, it noted his past propensity to insinuate that “neocons” serving Israel’s interests were controlling U.S. foreign policy.

“It is important that American diplomats not question the patriotism of other Americans who hold political views different from their own, especially given that questioning Jewish loyalty to America is an anti-Semitic trope,” B’nai B’rith said.

The American Jewish Committee on Friday urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to withdraw Macgregor’s nomination.

“It is because of our intensive engagement with Germany that we were so troubled by the reports of recent days regarding Col. Macgregor’s many incendiary comments over the years about the German government, Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi past, the NATO alliance, immigration policy, and other topics,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a letter to Pompeo.

The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said on Twitter that some of Macgregor’s past statements were “bigoted and abhorrent.” He also critiqued Macgregor’s comments on Nazi Germany.

J Street Vice President Dylan Williams on the same platform decried Macgregor’s “shameful record of expressing profoundly bigoted views.”

The post Trump’s Germany ambassador pick under fire from Jewish groups for statements on immigrants and Nazi history appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Nasrallah: Beirut warehouse did not contain Hezbollah weapons; we know more about Haifa port

Haaretz - Fri, 2020-08-07 15:08
'We as Hezbollah know perhaps more about what goes on at the Haifa port than what happens in the Beirut port'

Biden intervened to keep ‘occupation’ out of Democratic platform

JTA - Fri, 2020-08-07 15:02

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joe Biden personally intervened to keep the word “occupation” out of the official Democratic platform, according to a new report.

Foreign Policy reported Thursday that Biden intervened after pro-Israel groups appealed to him, citing three sources, including Jason Isaacson, the chief policy and political affairs officer at the American Jewish Committee.

“The question of whether to allow the text to refer to ‘occupation’ or use the phrase ‘end the occupation’ was taken to the vice president and he said ‘no,’” Isaacson told Foreign Policy.

Prior to Biden’s intervention, progressives in the party had secured agreement to include the word for the first time in the Democratic platform.

Ultimately, the section on Israel included more robust language defending the rights of the Palestinians to a state. It also condemned the boycott Israel movement.

The platform included a number of victories for progressives on domestic issues, including closing the wage gap and climate change. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Biden, the former vice president, defeated in the primaries, is working closely with Biden to shape party policies.

The post Biden intervened to keep ‘occupation’ out of Democratic platform appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

What Seth Rogen’s new movie gets right and wrong about the history of pickling

The Forward - Fri, 2020-08-07 15:00
The true history of American pickles is one of murder, moral outrage and scandal.

Border Policeman shoots, severely wounds Palestinian in the head in case of mistaken identity

Haaretz - Fri, 2020-08-07 14:51
Police were looking for victim's brother during 'operations against car thieves' when they shot him in the eye before asking for a name to confirm his identity
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