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Republicans nix two-state solution language in resolution marking Israel’s 75th birthday

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to congratulate Israel on its 75th birthday and to wish it well in making peace with other countries.

But the encouragement of peace deals did not extend to the Palestinians, in a breach with the language typical of U.S. lawmakers’ past Israeli Independence Day resolutions — and, insiders say, a departure from the language originally drafted for this one.

Democrats pressed for the inclusion of the Palestinians in a resolution focused on peace-making between Israel and its Arab neighbors, but Republicans rejected the language.

The behind-the-scenes struggle to even mention the Palestinians reflects how far apart the parties have drifted on Israel issues, with the Republicans joining Israel’s hard-right government in refusing to countenance Palestinian statehood.

It also undercuts a bid to show bipartisan comity on Israel issues, as the top House Republican, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and top Democrat, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, are visiting the country to mark its 75th anniversary.

“We worked diligently with Foreign Affairs Committee Republican staff to find a way to maintain precedent and maintain two- state language when honoring Israel’s birthday which has been done for decades,” said a Democratic senior staffer who remained anonymous to speak candidly. “Unfortunately Republican leadership could not accept two-state language and we were forced to move ahead with a ‘happy birthday.’”

The resolution passed Tuesday, the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, 401-19, with all but 18 Democrats voting for the resolution. It “encourages the expansion and strengthening of the Abraham Accords to urge other nations to normalize relations with Israel and ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries and all peoples in the region.”

But in an unusual and bitter caveat after the vote, leading Jewish Democrats joined a statement denouncing the GOP for cutting out the Palestinians.

“Unlike previous resolutions honoring Israel’s birthday and achievements, this resolution, principally drafted by Republicans, broke the longstanding bipartisan tradition of acknowledging the importance of achieving a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians,” said the statement issued after the House approved the resolution. “We remain resolute in our aspiration to help Israel find peace with all its neighbors, including and particularly the Palestinians.”

Signing the statement were Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and eight top Jewish Democrats: Jerry Nadler of New York, Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Kathy Manning of North Carolina, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and Jan Schakowsky and Brad Schneider of Illinois.

Phillips, Manning, Wasserman Schultz and Schneider are all known for their willingness to take on fellow Democrats they feel are too critical of Israel and for crossing party lines to promote Israel. Manning and Schneider were the Democratic lead sponsors of the resolution. It is highly unusual for the authors of a resolution to complain afterwards that it has been altered. (The Republican lead sponsors were Michael McCaul of Texas, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, and Ann Wagner of Missouri.)

An insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, described for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the evolution of the resolution. Early this year, pro-Israel groups approached Democrats and Republicans to draft a bipartisan resolution marking Israel’s 75th birthday.

Lawmakers from both sides saw that as a no-brainer, despite recent turmoil in Israel. Massive protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed radical changes to the courts system have filled the streets for weeks, and Israeli-Palestinian violence has intensified.

Staffers, working in a bipartisan fashion, resurrected the language from a resolution in 2018 marking Israel’s 70th anniversary, sponsored that year by Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican. Staffers from both parties thought the Foxx resolution was a good template.

That resolution included what was by then boilerplate language, supporting “a negotiated settlement leading to a sustainable two-state solution with the democratic, Jewish state of Israel and a demilitarized, democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security.”

There was a minor wrinkle: Republicans no longer want purely commemorative resolutions.

At the outset of this congressional session, Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana banned any resolution that “expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of, an entity, event, group, individual, institution, team or government program; or acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes.” He allowed exceptions for resolutions that call “on others (such as a foreign government) to take a particular action.”

So the staffers agreed to frame the 75th anniversary resolution around a topic everyone likes, the Abraham Accords, the 2020 normalization deals between Israel and four Arab states. The Trump administration brokered the deals, and in a rare example of continuity, the Biden administration is committed to expanding them.

In addition to the two-state boilerplate language, a draft resolution circulated that mentioned bringing in the Palestinians to the Abraham Accords. That was not seen as problematic, since it was an explicit aim of the accords as envisioned by former President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner.

But after about a month, the Republican leadership came back, according to this account, with a clear instruction: Don’t mention the Palestinians, at all — even though centrist pro-Israel groups, chief among them the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were lobbying for the two-state language to remain in the resolution. (AIPAC declined to comment.)

The Jewish organization most consistently influential during the Trump presidency was the Zionist Organization of America, which rejects two states, and top conservative pro-Israel influencers in 2016 persuaded the party to remove two states from its platform.

The resolution, which also upholds defense assistance to Israel and bilateral U.S.-Israel cooperation in defense and civilian spheres, mentions every peace and normalization agreement Israel has signed — with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco — except for the 1993 Oslo agreements with the Palestinians.

The top Democratic staffer said that of course the party wanted to wish Israel well — but that those well-wishes were wrapped into concerns that it remain a Jewish and democratic state.

“We were happy to say happy birthday on the floor and we will continue to advocate for peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” the staffer said.

McCarthy’s office did not respond to requests for comment. McCaul’s office in its response did not address questions about why the two-state outcome or the Palestinians did not appear in the final version. 

“The United States and Israel have stood together as partners since Israel’s founding 75 years ago to overcome shared challenges and global threats,” McCaul said in a statement to JTA. “Together, we’ve achieved major milestones, such as the signing of the historic Abraham Accords. I look forward to continuing the longstanding tradition of friendship and partnership between our two countries.”

AIPAC praised the resolution. “The resolution recognizes that a strong and secure Israel is a vital pillar of America’s national security policy in the Middle East,” it said in a statement.

Liberal Jewish Middle East policy groups decried the omission of the Palestinians. “The decision to strip support for the Two-State Solution from the text requires that we ask exactly what ‘shared values’ is Kevin McCarthy referring to?” said Americans for Peace Now. “And more importantly, it begs the question, what future solution to the conflict do House Republicans support?”

J Street said it would lobby the Senate, where Democrats are in the majority, “to introduce a resolution that takes a different approach, consistent with the bipartisan commitment to a two-state solution that ensures a peaceful future for both Israelis and Palestinians.”


The post Republicans nix two-state solution language in resolution marking Israel’s 75th birthday appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Comparing European, American, and French Roulette at Canadian online casinos

Roulette is the most popular table game at online and land-based casinos alike. You can easily find a seat at the table, place your bets, and hope that the wheel turns in your favour. But you have surely noticed that the roulette section is quite rich, featuring at least a dozen different tables. Most of them come with a different design and different rules. The most popular roulette variants are American Roulette, European, and French Roulette. In this article, we will try to explain the main differences between each one.

French VS European Roulette

We’ll first compare the French versus the European version of roulette since they are the most similar. The layout of the bets and the wheel is basically the same. Even the table layout is pretty much the same at most online casinos. Depending on the provider some differences can be found, like the layout of the table or the order of the numbers of the wheel. But as far as the odds and gameplay are concerned, European and French Roulette are basically the same. 

Both roulette variants have a single 0 on the board and the same number of slots on the wheel and numbers on the table. There are 36 additional numbers you can bet on, along with the standard Red or Black and Odd or Even bets. This means both games come with a house edge of 2.7%. So, the only difference comes from the introduction of two basic rules in French Roulette. 

  • La Partage
  • En Prison

La Partage

This rule applies to even money bets, and in case the ball lands on the 0 slot. The term comes from the French word which means to divide. All even money bets are divided into half, and the player gets one half, while the other half goes to the house. This rule works greatly in your favour, especially if you’re playing on higher bets. 

En Prison

The En Prison bet is also applied to even money bets and only when the ball lands on 0. Instead of counting as a loss, the bets are held on the table for the following spin, and if you win, you get your bet back. Even though you don’t actually win anything extra, the En Prison rule gives you a chance to get your money back without a loss. 

The introduction of these rules lowers the house edge on French Roulette down to 1.35%. This is why many players prefer the French version, as the odds are better for the player. 

French VS American Roulette

The main and pretty much only crucial difference between American and French roulette is the 00 and the layout of the slots on the wheel. The added 00 on the American version means that the house edge is higher. It climbs up to 5.26%, which is almost double the house edge on European Roulette and a massive difference from the 1.35% on the French version. 

Since there is an added 00 number, the layout of the slots on the wheel is different. On the table, the 00 is next to the 0, so it doesn’t make a big difference to the layout of the table. But the rules in American roulette are quite simple. If your number doesn’t come up, you lose the bet. There are no extra rules like in the French version. 

Conclusion 

If you go by the odds alone, it turns out that the best roulette variant to play at Canadian online casinos is French roulette. But this doesn’t mean you will lose more when you play American or European Roulette. Many players prefer to play the American wheel as it’s faster and more exciting. With the right strategy and some luck on your side, you can easily make a profit on any type of roulette game. 

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Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism

niversity of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

University of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

JNS.org – “Never would I have imagined that I’d need to fight for my right to exist on campus,” laments Shabbos Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard University who is suing the school because “antisemitism is out of control.”

Jewish students have suffered an unrelenting explosion of hate on American higher education campuses—so far with little relief. They have endured antisemitic rhetoric, intimidation, cancellation and violence. But those charged with keeping campuses safe—whether administrators who govern student and faculty behavior or federal agencies responsible for ensuring that schools adhere to civil rights protections—are failing in their jobs.

Many Jewish students have complained to their colleges’ administrators about the injustices. But instead of responding with measures to ensure Jewish students’ safety—like stopping pro-Hamas protestors from hijacking campuses or expelling militants who incite Jew-hatred— administrators have largely shown indifference. In some cases, college authorities have made things worse for Jewish students by appeasing the riotous, pro-Hamas mobs who have been primary perpetrators of Jew-hatred on campus.

Snubbed by college administrators, Jewish students and their supporters have appealed for federal protection, filing Title VI complaints with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the body tasked with enforcing protections under the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, the OCR, which has the power to levy severe financial punishments against colleges that neglect students’ Title VI rights, has so far rewarded negligent universities with little more than slaps on the wrist.

Until college and university boards of trustees begin hiring administrators committed to Jewish students’ safety—and until the OCR begins seriously punishing antisemitic perpetrators—we can expect no respite. Safe to say, colleges and universities run by arrogant, apathetic administrators will not change until their jobs and schools’ survival are threatened.

College/university administrators don’t take antisemitism seriously. Their reactions to Jewish students raising concerns about Jew-hatred range from indifference to outright hostility. For example, when Mohammed Al-Kurd, who the Anti-Defamation League says has a record of “unvarnished, vicious antisemitism,” came to speak at Harvard, Shabbos Kestenbaum and other Jewish students complained to administrators.

Rather than cancel Al-Kurd’s appearance, which would have been the appropriate action, the administrators ignored the students’ complaints. “Harvard’s silence was deafening,” Kestenbaum wrote in Newsweek. Kestenbaum said he “repeatedly” expressed concerns to administrators about the antisemitism he experienced, but as his lawsuit alleges, “evidence of uncontrolled discrimination and harassment fell on deaf ears.”

Administrators at Columbia University reacted to Jewish students’ complaints about antisemitism even more cynically. In fact, during an alumni event, several administrators exchanged text messages mocking Jewish students, calling them “privileged” and “difficult to listen to.”

When Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania if calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ codes of conduct, none could say “yes.” The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have since resigned. Good riddance.

Some college/university administrators have outrageously granted concessions to pro-Hamas students. For instance, Northwestern University agreed to contact potential employers of students who caused campus disruptions to insist they be hired, create a segregated dormitory hall exclusively for Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim students, and form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists could wield undue influence. Brown University agreed to hold a referendum on divestment from Israel in October.

Similar appeasements were announced at other colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Riverside.

So far, OCR has failed to take concrete action against antisemitism on campus. This is evident in recent decisions involving the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan. CUNY was ordered to conduct more investigations into Title VI complaints and report further developments to Washington, provide more employee and campus security officer training, and issue “climate surveys” to students.

The University of Michigan also committed to a “climate survey,” as well as to reviewing its case files for each report of discrimination covered by Title VI during the 2023-2024 school year and reporting to the OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination for the next two school years.

Neither institution was penalized financially, even though the Department of Education has the power to withhold federal funds, which most colleges and universities depend on. There are now 149 pending investigations into campus antisemitism at OCR. If these investigations yield toothless results similar to those of CUNY and Michigan, it is highly unlikely that colleges and universities will improve how they deal with antisemitism.

Putting an end to skyrocketing antisemitism on campus involves three things.

First, donors and governments at every level should withhold funds from colleges that fail to hire administrators who will take antisemitism as seriously as they take pronoun offenses or racism directed at people of color.

Second, the OCR must mete out serious consequences to Title VI violators in the form of funding cuts. This may require legislation that specifically mandates withdrawing funding from offending parties. A bill recently introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)—the University Accountability Act—may be ideal, as it is designed to financially penalize institutions that don’t crack down on antisemitism.

Third, if OCR won’t act, Jewish students and their supporters should turn to the courts. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the legal director of the Deborah Project, a public-interest Jewish law firm, argues that the CUNY settlement demonstrates the futility of going to OCR and that going to court is more likely to produce “a clearly delineated and productive result,” such as punitive and compensatory fines. As of late May, at least 14 colleges and universities are facing lawsuits over their handling of antisemitism on campus since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

As long as college administrators are allowed to ignore antisemitism on campus and as long as OCR and other government institutions fall short in punishing Jew-hatred, antisemitism will continue to plague Jewish students.

The post Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.
“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.
Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.
However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”
Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.
The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”
Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.
Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“In all communities there are gangs. In the black community we’ve got the Bloods, we’ve got the Crips. Well, imagine if the Bloods and the Crips were doing horrific things, murdering people, controlling people with blackmail, and then every time a person spoke out about it, the Bloods and the Crips would call those people racist,” Owens said while still at The Daily Wire. “What if that is what is happening right now in Hollywood if there is just a very small ring of specific people who are using the fact that they are Jewish to shield themselves from any criticism. It’s food for thought, right? … this appears to be something that is quite sinister.”
Additionally, after getting into a spat with an outspoken and controversial rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she said, “Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi?’”
“You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you,” Owens continued.
The list of controversial incidents involving Owens continued to grow longer with time. In one case, she “liked” an X/Twitter post that promoted the antisemitic “blood libel.” The post read, in response to Boteach, “Rabbi, are you drunk on Christian blood again?”
The “blood libel” is a medieval anti-Jewish slur which falsely claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in their religious rituals.

The post Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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