Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break news letter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world thats spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
Sign up now to save time and stay informed!

Israel, American Jews Far Apart on Trump

There’s a world of difference between how Israel and American Jews view the Trump administration, despite the Trump administration’s very positive pro-Israel steps.

From Israel, all looks good. But the majority of American Jews don’t share their Israeli cousins’ perception. Seventy-one percent of American Jews voted for Hillary Clinton for president, and a new poll shows only 31 percent of them -- 11 points below the national average of 42 percent -- approve of Trump’s performance so far.

The good -- the very good -- news is that it increasingly appears that the Trump administration shares Israel’s perception of Iran as a strategic threat, and is looking to roll it back.

Iran is now trying to turn Syria into a strategic military threat to Israel. In a rundown on the problem, the Christian Science Monitor notes that Iran “oversees a multinational Shiite militia force” in Syria and is “train[ing] Syrian militia networks” based on Iran’s own Basij force.

Iran is also seeking to create a naval base in Syria. It’s working to build a military presence in the northern Golan Heights, facing the Israeli-controlled southern Golan Heights. To that end, an Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militia has formed a Golan Liberation Brigade:

[It] released a video … that showed fighters marching in columns and carrying a banner reading, “Israel will be destroyed.”

The Christian Science Monitor also reported that Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, "intends to fire long-range projectiles at the Jewish state” from Syrian mountain ranges that are “ideal for easily and safely firing.”

But so much for the worrisome news from Israel’s standpoint.

MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reports that Iran is “in a state of shock” over joint U.S., Russian, and Turkish plans to push Iran out of Syria altogether. An Iranian website close to the Iranian Foreign Ministry lamented:

The American representative in the U.N. spoke about the need for Iran to exit Syria … As far as America is concerned, Iran is Enemy No. 1.

And a former official of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps wrote:

When the final decision [on Syria] is reached, the roles of Russia, America and Turkey will become clearer and Iran will effectively be marginalized.

The Trump administration has also indicated that it has aligned with Israel in other ways. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that the U.S. will leave the notorious Israel-bashing kangaroo court unless it undertakes “considerable reform.” He added that the U.S. would:

… reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.

In a speech to the UN Security Council, Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley strongly condemned the council’s hectoring of Israel: