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May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

US Senate May Vote Thursday on Nuclear Review Bill

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

The U.S. Senate may vote as early as Thursday to pass the Iran nuclear review bill, according to Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN).

Corker told reporters at a briefing at the Capitol building Tuesday he believes there will be an “overwhelming” vote to pass the bill.

Senate leaders are still trying to work out a way to consider at least some amendments to the bill, said Corker.

As of last week, more than 66 amendments to the bill had been submitted by various lawmakers for consideration.

Meanwhile, world powers led by the U.S. return next week to continue talks with Iran, this time in Vienna.

Talks at this point will be held among diplomats at the level just below foreign ministers, starting next Tuesday, with the negotiations to end on Friday.

The U.S. is expecting to wrap up talks on how to limit Iran’s nuclear development technology by June 30.

Iran is still insisting the international community lift all sanctions imposed on Tehran immediately when the document is signed.

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.

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.

Is Tennessee Teaching Its Children to Hate Jews?

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

A Tennessee watchdog group is warning the state’s governor the school system’s textbooks are filled with the “new anti-Semitism.”

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations said the textbooks contained more than 700 problematic sections with inaccuracies, biases and disinformation, according to a report posted on WND.com .

PJTN charges the textbooks violate both the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions because they teach the “dogmas of one religion” – Islam – and contain anti-American and anti-Christian content as well.

Cardoza-Moore asked Governor Bill Haslam to carry out a “full and thorough” review of actions of the state’s recently-resigned education commissioner Kevin Huffman.

Parents in two school districts in the state have also asked the group about a presentation in their children’s classrooms teaching about Islam. According to PJTN, five of the slides used in the presentation were attributed to CAIR (Council of Arab-Islamic Relations), which recently was listed by the United Arab Emirates to its official list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Last year PJTN pressured to remove a social studies textbook because it promoted moral equivalence between Palestinian Authority terrorism and actions by Israel’s government.

Rep. Steve Cohen Proposes Building Moat around the White House [video]

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee’s first Jewish Congressman, came up with a brilliant suggestion Wednesday to beef up security for President Barack Obama by building a moat around the White House.

‘Would a moat – water, six feet around, be kind of attractive and effective?” Cohen asked with a straight face at a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Joseph Clancy, the acting director of the Secret Service.

Clancy didn’t bat an eye and politely responded, “Sir, it may be,” but he explained that the Secret Service is considering changing the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

‘Like a higher fence?’ Cohen asked.

“You’re right sir, a higher fence would certainly help us,” Clancy responded.

Cohen didn’t suggest that moat should include a drawbridge, without which no one could arrive or leave the White House except by boat or helicopter.

Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert couldn’t miss the opportunity to rap the Obama administration and said maybe should there be no fence at all around the White House since the government has not agreed to build a fence at the Texas-Mexican border.

“I would think that if the admin’s gonna being consistent, t’s now time to remove the fence from around the White House – ’cause if it isn’t good enough for our border, it shouldn’t good enough for our White House,” Gohmert said.

The hearing was held on the background of recent slip-ups in security, such as a mental disturbed man’s sprint across the White House lawn before he was nabbed.

Rep. Cohen, a Democrat, had the last laugh, though.

“This guy got further into the White House than some of my Republican colleagues have ever gotten,” said Cohen.

Cohen suggests the moat in the video below.

Self-Acclaimed ‘Satanist’ Jailed for 4 Years for Defacing Torah

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A Tennessee court Monday sentenced self-acclaimed anti-Semitic and anti-Christian Satanists Justin Baker to four years in prison for defacing a Torah scroll and prayer books in Memphis last January.

Baker pleaded guilty on December 9 to damaging and defiling holy Jewish items of the Margolin Hebrew Academy. Judge Roy Morgan Jr, sentenced Baker to the maximum amount of time in jail for each charge, but all of the sentences will be served concurrently, the Jackson, Tennessee Sun reported.

“I think that’s just so very obvious from what’s been presented today as to why these individuals were victimized in this case,” Morgan said in court. “It’s quite clear that for thousands of years people have been attacked around the world and persecuted for their religious beliefs, whatever that belief is, and the nature of the crime here is clearly a direct, intentional attack on what’s guaranteed as a freedom in this country, freedom of religion.”

Baker vandalized the Torch scroll and marked on it phrases, such “Gentiles Win” and “Hail Satan.”

His Facebook and MySpace pages were full of hate statements and Baker’s interest in Satanism and violence.

“Currently in Iraq. Like metal and Muy Thai. I’m a father to a little boy, a husband to a sexy wife. I like working out and eating everything. Dedicated spiritual Satanist. Anti-Jew, Christian, and drama. If you fit the above, don’t send me a request,” he wrote. A screenshot of the pages was read by the prosecution in the courtroom.

One posting read, “Satanic priest, one with a darkness and loving it I also have a little thing with blood lust. And I live for music and Satan. I like to make bombs and blow up (expletive) that doesn’t belong to me. I also practice ninjutsu and beat the hell out of (expletive) that also don’t belong to me. And singing in my strange (expletive) band. I know I can’t spell for (expletive).”

Baker’s wife Jordan, who also said she is a Satanist, testified, “He’s a really good father and husband. He done a very (good) job taking care of us, and his boys are his entire world and he would do anything for those kids.”

Baker’s defense lawyers claimed he suffered mental problems, anxiety and loss of memory, but Judge Morgan didn’t buy it and said Baker should be held fully responsible for his crimes.

The court also ordered him to up to $89.999 in restitution costs.

Baker still faces sentencing in March for charges of damaging religious property.

Tennessee Security Guard Pleads Guilty to Defacing Torah Scroll

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

A former hotel security guard pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge for defacing a Jewish school’s Torah scroll and prayer books.

Justin Shawn Baker, age 25 and an Iraq War veteran, admitted during a plea hearing Monday in a Jackson, Tenn., court to violating the civil rights of students of the Margolin Hebrew Academy’s Cooper Yeshiva High School of Memphis.

Baker was arrested in January after the school’s students and faculty showed up for a worship service in the conference room at the DoubleTree Hotel in Jackson and discovered the Torah scroll and prayer books damaged and covered with graffiti, including “Gentiles win, Jews lose” and “Submit to Satan.”

He also admitted to spitting on the Torah scroll, according to WJJB, the western Tennessee ABC television affiliate.

Some 50 high school students and faculty from the school were spending the Sabbath at the hotel on their way to a ski trip in the Smoky Mountains.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tenn-security-guard-pleads-guilty-to-defacing-torah-scroll/2013/12/10/

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