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Trump raps Iran for violating ‘spirit’ of nuclear deal

Trump raps Iran for violating ‘spirit’ of nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran is failing to fulfill the “spirit” of its nuclear deal with world powers, President Donald Trump declared Thursday, setting an ominous tone for his forthcoming decision about whether to pull the US out of the landmark agreement.

As he often had during the president campaign, Trump ripped into the deal struck by Iran, the US and other world powers in 2015 and said “it shouldn’t have been signed.” Yet he pointedly stopped short of telegraphing whether or not the US would stay in.

“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said of the Iranians, though he did not mention any specific violations. Earlier this week, the administration certified to Congress than Iran was complying — at least technically — with the terms of the deal, clearing the way for Iran to continue enjoying sanctions relief in the near term.

In a news conference alongside Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, Trump also said:

— The US is committed to a strong Europe, though he didn’t say directly whether he prefers that the European Union stay intact.

— He sees no military role for the US in stabilizing Libya.

— It’s possible he may soon be able to strike deals with Congress on both health care and funding legislation to head off a government shutdown.

On Iran, Trump and his top officials have been walking a narrow line as they seek to show an aggressive stance. While disparaging the nuclear deal and accusing Iran of fomenting violence and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Trump has avoided committing to abandoning the agreement, a move that would be staunchly opposed by US businesses and European allies.

Read More: Times of Israel

Nikki Haley urges UN to shift its criticism from Israel to Iran

Screen-Shot-2017-04-20-at-9.19.32-PM1-e1492712521176-635x357UNITED NATIONS — It’s high time the United Nations Security Council set its sights on Iran, rather than Israel, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Thursday during the Security Council’s monthly meeting on “the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.”

“Every month the Security Council convenes a meeting on the Middle East. We have lots of meetings on specific countries and conflicts in this region but this debate is our opportunity to talk about the Middle East as a whole. Regrettably, these monthly meetings routinely turn into Israel-bashing sessions. That’s the way the Security Council has operated for years. It’s a formula that is absurdly biased against one country. It’s a formula that is painfully narrow in its description of the conflicts in the region,” said Haley, who is this month’s president of the Security Council.

In her remarks before the 15-member council, Haley condemned Iran, which she said is responsible for regional tumult, from meddling in Yemen and Syria, to its support of Hezbollah.

“Iran is using Hezbollah to expand its regional aspirations. That is a threat that should be dominating our discussions at the Security Council,” she said.

 

Read More: Times Of Israel

Texas Becomes 18th State to Pass Anti-BDS Bill

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In a groundbreaking legislative act to blunt economic warfare against Israel, the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed on Thursday an anti-boycott bill that bars the state from engaging in business with companies that are involved in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement targeting the Jewish state.

The bill was passed 131-0 and the author of the legislation was Representative Phil King. Pro-Israel organizations welcomed the vote.

Joel Schwitzer, the Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee in Dallas, told The Jerusalem Post, “AJC together with other community leaders worked diligently to ensure that every legislator received multiple contacts about the importance of passing this bill.  We’re excited that this brings this legislation one step closer to being law of the land in Texas, strengthening its relationship with Israel, Texas’ 4th largest trading partner.  We appreciate the leadership of Representative Phil King in authoring the bill.  It is gratifying to see our elected officials sending such a clear and principled message that Texas will not do business with those who boycott our friend Israel.”

Sen. Brandon Creighton, the author of the Senate anti-BDS bill, said Texas should not do business with companies that participate in the BDS movement.

Christians United for Israel  (CUFI) said in a statement that ,” CUFI has been working closely with lawmakers in support of the legislation since its conception. These efforts included bringing Texans from across the state to Austin to lobby lawmakers in support of the bill, testifying before both the Senate and House committees to which the legislation was assigned, and distributing an action alert earlier this week letting Texas State Representatives know that CUFI’s membership is behind the bill.”

Read More: J Post

NBA, FIBA and Israel Basketball Association to host first Basketball Without Borders camp in Israel

NBA, FIBA and Israel Basketball Association to host first Basketball Without Borders camp in Israe

NEW YORK, MIES, TEL AVIV – The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Israel Basketball Association today announced that the 16th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held Aug. 13-16 at The Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Israel.

BWB Europe will bring together the top male and female players born in 2000 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the continent.  BWB Europe will also include a variety of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA community outreach efforts with youth in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in partnership with local community organizations.  These programs will highlight the power of sport to promote cultural understanding while teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and the values of the game, including teamwork, integrity and respect.  Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.

Read More: NBA