NEW YORK NEWS
Two men were arrested in connection with online threats to attack a New York City synagogue. Investigators from the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force and the NYPD Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau, in collaboration with law enforcement partners, uncovered what they called “a developing threat to the Jewish community,” and authorities “moved swiftly to gather information, identify those behind it, and operationally neutralize their ability to do harm,” according to Commissioner Keechant Sewell. The suspects allegedly had a firearm, a high-capacity magazine, ammunition, an 8-inch-long military-style knife, a swastika arm patch, a ski mask, and a bulletproof vest when they were arrested. “This was not an idle threat. This was a real threat,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference. “It is my duty to protect Jewish New Yorkers from antisemitism.”
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York State Police is increasing surveillance and protection for communities at risk of hate crimes, following a thwarted attack on Jewish communities in New York City and a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado. “I have directed the New York State Police to ramp up monitoring and increase support for communities that are potential targets of hate crimes,” Governor Hochul said. “Here in New York, we will not tolerate violence or bigotry toward any community. We stand united against hate — today and every day.” At Governor Hochul’s direction, New York State Police is ramping up surveillance for communities that are potential targets of hate crime. State Police is in contact with the NYPD and continues to monitor social media for hateful threats that may impact New Yorkers. The State Police’s Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit is conducting outreach to LGBTQ communities across New York, as well as to synagogues and other Jewish community spaces in the state.
Representative Hakeem Jeffries is poised to succeed Nancy Pelosi as head of the House Democrats in the new Congress. Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, would be the first black Party leader if he wins the support of his colleagues. In a letter to the members of his Party, Jeffries wrote, “Our top non-governmental priority, for the sake of the American people, must be retaking the majority in November 2024. It has sometimes been said that the job of the majority is to govern, while the job of the minority is to get back into the majority. Given the dangerous and dysfunctional nature of the Extreme MAGA Republicans who will dominate the ranks of the other side of the aisle in the 118th Congress, we must do both.” Jeffries himself has been called an election denier by his critics, as he has repeatedly claimed that Donald Trump stole the election of 2016.
The International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries resumed after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus. Over 5,000 rabbis from all 50 states and more than 100 countries gathered at the famous Chabad World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. At the event, the organization announced that 120 new Chabad centers have been established in the past year, and 36 Torah Scrolls are being written simultaneously and given to the most needy centers around the world.
The New York Times received an unexpected visitor, as a man wielding an axe and sword entered and demanded to speak to the political editor. The man relinquished his weapons when he was asked to wait while Times staffers called building security and the police. Upon arriving, the NYPD took the man to Mt. Sinai West Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. A representative said in a statement that the Times was grateful to police “for responding to an incident in our lobby that was resolved quickly and peacefully.”
A mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBT nightclub left 5 dead and 17 others injured. The alleged shooter was apprehended by two people inside the club, including a former Army Ranger, who held him until police arrived. The shooting drew a massive response from the media, who blamed anti-LGBT rhetoric for the attack. Democrats were quick to point fingers at Republicans like Lauren Boebert, who represents the area. Boebert has not responded directly to these attacks, but simply put out the statement, “The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.”
The Supreme Court refused to block a release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, paving the way for them to be turned over to a House committee. The court order was unsigned and did not include any dissents. The Treasury Department will likely turn over the documents very quickly, as the House is poised to be under Republican control starting in January. Trump’s legal team had urged the justices to extend a lower court’s stay as it pursued an appeal before the Supreme Court, saying the House’s request raised issues that were too important to let the Treasury Department turn over his files before they were resolved. But Douglas N. Letter, the chief lawyer for the House, urged the Supreme Court not to intervene, pointing to a new Congress in January. Any further delay “would leave the committee and Congress as a whole little or no time to complete their legislative work,” he wrote in a brief earlier this month.
Kevin McCarthy is poised to be the next Speaker of the House, and he has vowed to follow in his predecessor Nancy Pelosi’s footsteps and kick people off committee assignments. Pelosi prevented Marjorie Taylor Greene from serving on any committees, an unprecedented move at the time, and refused to allow Republicans to choose their own members of the January 6 Committee. McCarthy claims he will not allow Ilhan Omar to sit on the Foreign Affairs committee over her anti-Semitic comments. He also said he would bar Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee because of security concerns. “Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the public sector. Why would we ever give him a security clearance in the secrets to America? So I will not allow him to be on Intel,” McCarthy said. “You have Adam Schiff, who had lied to the American public time and again. We will not allow him to be on the Intel Committee either.”
Nancy Pelosi announced that she will not be seeking re-election as leader of the House Democrats, ending a 20-year career in that post. Pelosi says she will stay in Congress as a Representative of San Francisco, but that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” she said. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.” Pelosi will be remembered among Democrats as the first female Speaker of the House who united the Democrats on many key issues and led the two impeachments of President Trump. Republicans will remember her as the person who claimed that they had to pass Obamacare “so you can find out what’s in it,” the moment she ripped up Trump’s State of the Union speech, and leading the two impeachments of President Trump.
The Republican Jewish Coalition held its annual leadership event in Las Vegas, as political heavy hitters from around the country joined to speak with the assembled crowd. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, widely seen as the top challenger to President Trump for the 2024 election, touted his “blueprint for success” and his connection with the State of Israel. “We were the first statewide elected officials to do public events in Judea and Samaria,” DeSantis said. “We understand history. We know those are thousands of years of connection to the Jewish people. I don’t care what the State Department says. They are not occupied territory, it is disputed territory. You gotta know the history.” Trump spoke about his tenure, saying that he was the greatest friend to Israel that was ever in the White House and claiming that there would have been multiple more signatories to the Abraham Accords had he been re-elected. “Under my administration, we fought for Israel and the Jewish community like no president in history,” Trump said, receiving a standing ovation from the audience. Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland also appeared in person.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has named a special counsel on Friday to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6 insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election. “The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases, it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Garland said. “Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel.”
Elon Musk conducted a Twitter poll, “Reinstate former President Trump,” with a simple choice: “yes” or “no”. After 15,085,458 votes, with a margin of 51.8% to 48.2%, the yays had it and Trump was reinstated to Twitter. The reactions from the Left were filled with outrage, with calls to Apple and Google to de-platform Twitter from their app stores and claims that his presence on Twitter would lead to political violence. The House Judiciary GOP account tweeted, “Covfefe Forever,” parodying one of Trump’s more famous tweets. Trump himself said that he will not return to Twitter, and will instead remain on Truth Social.
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides ended his policy of refusing to visit any settlements in Judea and Samaria, making a condolence visit to the family of one of the three Israelis killed in a terror attack. “I came here to show respect. I think it’s the right thing to do, and that’s why I’m here,” Nides told the relatives of Tamir Avihai at their home in the northern West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim, in a recording obtained by Kan news.
A joint military operation by the United States, Japan, and South Korea prompted North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to promise to use nuclear weapons to counter threats. The military operation was itself a response to North Korea test-firing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which they claim can hold multiple nuclear warhead and hit anywhere in the United States. “Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to pose threats … our party and government will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday. The United Nations Security Council prepares to convene an emergency session on Pyongyang’s actions.
Retraction: Last week, the News Roundup claimed that Russian missiles crossed into Poland. The day after publication, new facts emerged that the missiles were likely launched by Ukrainian air defenses. Russia had been bombarding Ukraine at the time in an attack that savaged its power grid. “Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions, and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”