Dec 4, 2017

Trump's next moves on Israel

Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Sebastian Scheiner / AP

This week will be the most important so far in the Trump presidency for supporters of Israel:

Move 1: Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a speech on Wednesday. (The administration still refuses to confirm this and has been sticking with the line that Trump is still considering his options. Jared Kushner was guarded in rare public remarks Sunday at the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C.)

  • The Trump administration won't move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem — for now. But the Jerusalem announcement is a big deal. No American president has recognized the city as Israel's capital since the state was established in 1948. As my colleague Barak Ravid has written, news of Trump's decision — which Axios broke — has angered Palestinians and could derail the Middle East peace negotiations brokered by the Trump team.
  • Why this matters: Per the NYT — "The diplomatic status of Jerusalem is one of the world's most contested issues, with Israel and the Palestinians claiming it as their capital. Its holy sites are sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and any change in its status would have vast repercussions across the Middle East and other Islamic-majority countries worldwide."

Move 2: The Republican-led House will vote Tuesday on the Taylor Force Act. The bill would restrict U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority unless they stop paying terrorists and the families of dead terrorists who attack Americans and Israelis.

Move 3: The White House is hosting its Hanukkah party on Thursday night. It's been a hot topic in Republican Jewish circles — and not for good reasons. A number of Republican Jewish leaders, including major party donors, were upset they weren't invited. The White House apparently wanted a "more intimate event," said a source close to the process, who argued it was a mistake and revealed this administration's political ineptitude.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,595,350 — Total deaths: 95,455 — Total recoveries: 353,975Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 461,437 — Total deaths: 16,478 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  6. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  7. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  8. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air this weekend with a remotely produced episode.
  9. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — along with patients nearing the state's time limits on the procedure.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

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