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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


July 15, 2016  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

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Just a nosh...

Complied from JTA news service

Platforms: GOP removes commitment to 2-state solution; Dems maintain it

Donald Trump praised the Republican Party platform as “the most pro-Israel of all time!” — a signal to pro-Israel Republicans that he embraces their outlook.

Trump’s tweet appeared to be aimed at assuaging doubts among pro-Israel Republicans that the party’s presumptive presidential nominee will hew to its pro-Israel trajectory of recent decades. He followed the pro-Israel tweet with another asking, “Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel with all his bad moves? Think about it and let me know!”

The Republican Platform Committee, at the behest of right-wing pro-Israel delegates, removed the party’s commitment to a two-state outcome. It also rejected describing Israel’s presence in the West Bank as an “occupation” and said Jerusalem was “indivisible” as Israel’s capital.

Two states has been the policy of Republican and Democratic presidents since the late 1990s, along with much of the pro-Israel community. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it is still his favored outcome, although most of his government rejects it.

Trump’s team was involved in drafting the platform, and his aides favored the pro-Israel language, delegates said.

The Democratic platform preserves its commitment to two states but also commits to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both platforms decry the the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has praised both platforms as including “strong pro-Israel language which is reflective of the broad bipartisan consensus in support of the Jewish state.”

Trump pledges to reverse ban on non-profits endorsing candidates

Donald Trump pledged that if elected president he would repeal a law that keeps tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, from endorsing candidates.

During his speech introducing his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump veered to an array of other topics including concerns by evangelicals about their political activities.

“You are absolutely shunned if you’re an evangelical if you want to talk religion, you lose your tax-exempt status,” he said, noting that his advisers had shepherded a pledge to repeal the “Johnson amendment” into the Republican Party platform.

“We’re going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we’re going to let evangelicals, we’re going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said.

Sponsored by Lyndon Johnson in 1954 when he was a Texas senator, the amendment limits political activities for nonprofits classified as tax exempt. The law does not apply to individuals.

An array of Jewish groups, among them the Reform movement, endorses the church-state separations embedded in the law.

Dodgers sign Israeli in Major League first

Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Kremer, a 20-year-old Israeli-American Tuesday, June 14.

By July 3 he was assigned to play for the Ogden, UT, Raptors in the Pioneer League. The Dodgers drafted the right-handed pitcher in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB draft.

Kremer, a Stockton, CA, native born to Israeli parents, was the first Israel drafted by an MLB team last year when he was selected in 38th round by the San Diego Padres. But he did not sign with the team. He transferred from San Joaquin Delta College to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he went 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts.

Kremer played for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three years. He was named the European baseball championship’s most valuable pitcher each of the last two years and led Israel out of the tournament’s C-pool into the stronger B-pool last year.

“I was born here in the United States, but I go back and practically live [in Israel] for two months out of the year in the summer, so it’s definitely home,” Kremer told the Las Vegas Review Journal in February.

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