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Biden Admin Planning to Label Goods From West Bank Jewish Settlements as US Ramps Up Pressure on Israel: Report

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses members of the news media as he meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan at the State Department in Washington, US, March 8, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis

The Biden administration is planning to require goods produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be clearly labeled as coming from there as the US continues to increase pressure on Israel amid its ongoing war against the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, according to a new report.

A final decision on whether to approve the move has not been made, but its purpose would be to increase pressure on Israel over alleged violence by some Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, the Financial Times reported, citing anonymous US officials.

Critics have argued such policies would be anti-Israel and discriminatory. Proponents who oppose Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank say labeling the goods would make it easier for US consumers to avoid the products by marking them as coming from “occupied” territory.

The US State Department told The Algemeiner that, as a general matter, it does not comment on “internal government deliberations,” adding only, “We have no changes to announce.”

The move would reverse a policy implemented by the former Trump administration that required goods produced in the West Bank to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

The potential decision came amid increasing US pressure on Israel over the war in Gaza.

In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, US President Joe Biden issued his toughest public rebuke of Israel since its war against Hamas began in the fall, warning that US policy moving forward will be determined by whether Israel takes certain actions to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

According to a White House readout, Biden demanded that Israel agree to “an immediate ceasefire” with Hamas and “made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.”

Without such steps, Biden threatened to fundamentally change the US-Israel relationship: “He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

The US reportedly considered marking products from Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank with special labels in February, when Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced plans for the construction of more than 3,000 settlement homes in response to a deadly terrorist shooting in the territory. According to the Financial Times, the Biden administration was close to announcing the step.

The post Biden Admin Planning to Label Goods From West Bank Jewish Settlements as US Ramps Up Pressure on Israel: Report first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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