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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Breaking: Bomb Threats Lock Down 8 Schools Northern New Jersey

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Students in several northern New Jersey high schools were forced to leave their classrooms due to a bomb threat Wednesday.

Bomb threats were reported Wednesday at eight schools in New Jersey, according to local media. North Jersey schools received bomb threats in an automated call on Wednesday morning, according to the NorthJersey.com website. Not all were in session: some are on spring break this week.

New Jersey has received threats several times before; in January 11 schools received robo-call messages routed through California that made references to explosives or mass shootings.

Among the schools targeted Wednesday morning were Fair Lawn High School (spring break); Midland Park Junior/Senior High School (in session); Hawthorne High School (in session); Lodi High School (in session), Paramus High School (in session), Dwight Morrow High School in Paramus (spring break) and Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls (in session).

The threats came a day after a presentation at Passaic High School warning students about the consequences of calling in fake threats. There have been eight bomb threats called in to that school so far this year. Wednesday was not one of those days, however: on Tuesday, sappers from the Passaic County Sheriff’s office met with half of the school, and were scheduled to meet with more students on Wednesday.

Schools in Bergen and Passaic counties have been targeted with bomb threats in recent months as well.

Last month classes were interrupted in nine Bergen County districts after schools received bomb threats that turned out to be fake. At least one school was evacuated and several others received “shelter in place” orders. In February five New Jersey schools received bomb threats and at least two were evacuated.

There’s been a rash of bomb threats robocalled into dozens of schools in the eastern United States this week, closing classes and forcing authorities to evacuate schools. Some schools were located as far west as Indiana.

Several schools in Massachusetts also received bomb threats this week. On Monday (April 11), State Police spokesperson David Procopio said “numerous “ threats were received at schools in Hudson, Hopkinton, and Leominster. Cambridge, Marlboro and Brookline high schools also received automated robo-call bomb threats. The schools were evacuated and police swept the buildings. Melrose high school and middle school were also threatened, and faced a temporary “shelter in place” order.

A similar string of robo-call bomb threats were recorded on voice mail in Lake County, Indiana Monday night, prompting the closure of nine schools in Lake County, Indiana for Tuesday. But by the afternoon an unidentified suspect was in custody. The school superintendent said in a statement released later in the day, “It is important to share with everyone that the individual who is in custody did not have the capacity to carry out the threats that were made on the 911 calls.”

Hana Levi Julian

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

New York State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, June 19th, 2015

The New York State Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, becoming the latest state government to do so.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and co-sponsored by 74 other members, rejects BDS activities that “undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.”

The resolution states:

This Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.

The resolution also recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and says the U.S. and Israel share “a common bond rooted in the values of freedom, democracy, and equal rights.”

The New York resolution follows anti-BDS measures in several other states, most recently in Illinois, which prohibited state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee also recently passed resolutions condemning BDS, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois bill’s specific economic action.

JNS News Service

Anti-BDS Bill Advances In Illinois State Legislature

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The 10-0 committee vote follows the 49-0 passage of the measure in the Illinois State Senate and precedes a vote among the full Illinois House, after which point the bill would go to the desk of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for a signature into law.

B’nai B’rith International said in a statement that it “applauds Illinois citizens and their representatives for taking such a strong stance against a movement rooted in anti-Semitism that ultimately impedes the peace process by opposing constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians.”

State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee last month passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois legislation’s concrete economic action against BDS.

JNS News Service

Indiana becomes 2nd State to Pass Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly has become the second-ever state legislature to pass a resolution that formally opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tennessee lawmakers approved a similar measure on April 21.

Adopted in a voice vote, the Indiana Senate approved Resolution 74, which “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement.

The Senate’s move came after the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously (93-0) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 59 on April 22. The measure now goes to Indiana Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Pence recently visited Israel and express his whole-hearted support for the country.

The Indiana bill contends that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

JNS News Service

Fight against Boycott Movement Moving to State Legislatures

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Resolutions condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in the Tennessee and Indiana state legislatures mark what a group of pro-Israel organizations and grassroots activists hope is just the start of a new trend in fighting BDS on American soil.

The Tennessee General Assembly on April 21 became the first state legislature in the U.S. to formally condemn the BDS movement through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 170. The resolution was initiated by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of the Christian Zionist group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). Cardoza-Moore worked with local Jewish and Christian organizations to bring the resolution to the state legislature.

Cardoza-Moore said:

With the current climate of increasing anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionist campaigns, Tennesseans and all people of conscience should endorse public statements of support for our Jewish brethren living in Tennessee and pro-Israel students attending colleges and universities in our state.

The resolution, initially passed April 9 by the Tennessee Senate in a 30-0 vote, was approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives in an overwhelming 93-1 vote 12 days later, with Democratic State Representative G.A. Hardaway the lone dissenter.

The measure, which is expected to be signed next week by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, declares that the BDS movement is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state,” adding that BDS activities in Tennessee “undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are fulfilling in the State of Israel.”

Furthermore, the resolution states that the BDS movement and its agenda are “inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

According to a PJTN press release, “BDS has an active presence in Tennessee, particularly through The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a group that is a leader of BDS. UT (University of Tennessee) Knoxville alumnus Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a leader in the U.S. Campaign, was this year’s keynote speaker at the national meeting of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a college campus group that has spearheaded anti-Israel demonstrations.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), whose 2 million-plus members make it America’s largest pro-Israel organization, strongly supported the anti-BDS resolution in Tennessee. CUFI’s coordinator in the region, Pastor Lyndon Allen, testified in support of the measure.

Also testifying before the same committee to advocate for the resolution was Mark S. Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, who said, “While the majority of delegitimization efforts are defeated, and support for Israel in the United States and in Tennessee remains strong, the opponents of Israel continue to make headway simply by poisoning the public discourse around Israel.” Freedman added that besides condemning divestment, Tennessee can go further by beginning “to think about investment in Israel.”

Joanne Bregman, a local Jewish activist and attorney who advocated for the resolution’s passage, told JNS.org that the Tennessee General Assembly’s action could serve as a template for other U.S. states to recognize the growing threats of the BDS movement and anti-Semitism. She added that the Christian-initiated bill should be a “wake-up call” for the Jewish community to be the ones “who need to fill the public information void” on BDS and anti-Semitism.

That effort is already underway, with the Indiana House of Representatives this week unanimously (93-0) passing a resolution that now moves to the Indiana Senate, after which point it is expected to be signed by Governor Mike Pence.

Similar to the Tennessee resolution, the Indiana measure “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement, adding that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

JNS News Service

Indiana Gov. Pence Sat with Abbas at Xmas Dinner but Refused Private Meeting

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Visiting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence attended a Christmas dinner hosted by Palestinian Authority  chairman Mahmoud Abbas but snubbed Abbas’ presumptive attempt to talk with the governor at a private meeting.

The Indianapolis Star contradicted reports that Pence, a possible candidate for the GOP nomination as presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, did not attend the dinner with Abbas.

Pence, a devout Christian, is on a nine-day visit to Israel sponsored by the Christians United for Israel group.

Abbas holds an annual Christmas dinner for dignitaries, and Pence attended but then refused an invitation from Abbas for a private meeting after the event.

Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks told the Indiana newspaper, “The governor is in Israel to strengthen economic ties between Indiana and Israel, to support Israel and to enjoy Christmas with his family. He declined to meet with President Abbas because that was not the purpose of the trip.”

Pence did meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week and issued a statement that “our industries are finding their stride in the innovation sectors of life sciences, technology and advanced manufacturing, while our educational institutions share bonds in thought.”

Obviously, Pence did not see much use, politically or economically, in meeting with Abbas.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/indiana-gov-pence-sat-with-abbas-at-xmas-dinner-but-refused-private-meeting/2014/12/31/

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