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Brooklyn man charged in Capitol riot • Rep. Meeks wants to build on Abraham Accords • Jewish Vote endorses Dianne Morales
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Daily Update

Brooklyn man charged in Capitol riot • Rep. Meeks wants to build on Abraham Accords • Jewish Vote endorses Dianne Morales

NEAR MISS: Israeli soldiers inspect a piece of debris after a missile launched from Syria landed in the southern Negev desert, on April 22, 2021. The missile was reportedly aimed at an Israeli jet that was striking Syrian territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces. No injuries or damage have been reported. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
NEAR MISS: Israeli soldiers inspect a piece of debris after a missile launched from Syria landed in the southern Negev desert, on April 22, 2021. The missile was reportedly aimed at an Israeli jet that was striking Syrian territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces. No injuries or damage have been reported. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens/Nassau) co-sponsored a bill that supports the expansion of normalization agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The bipartisan bill would task the State Department with identifying opportunities to expand last year’s Abraham Accords, as well as obstacles. AIPAC backs the legislation.

Why it matters: It’s a sign of increasing bipartisan support for the accords between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco launched by former President Donald Trump.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is among the Jewish lawmakers behind a gun violence bill named for Jaime Guttenberg, the Jewish girl who was among the 17 people killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

The bill, introduced in the Senate by Blumenthal and in the House by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, would subject ammunition purchases to background checks.

A still from a security camera shows Dovid Schwartzberg, circled, inside the U.S. Capitol after entering through a broken window on Jan. 6, 2021. (FBI)

The FBI charged Dovid Schwartzberg, 19, of Brooklyn in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol.

Schwartzberg confessed to breaking into the building along with the pro-Trump mob and recorded several videos. He turned himself into the FBI in New York April 20 and was released on bail, Brooklyn Paper reports.

Other Brooklynites arrested for their participation in the insurrection include the son of a Jewish Supreme Court Justice.

The progressive group Jewish Vote endorsed Dianne Morales for mayor of New York.

An arm of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the group picked the nonprofit housing advocate first under the city’s new ranked-choice primary system, and endorsed attorney Maya Wiley and city comptroller Scott Stringer as its joint second choice on the ballot.

Morales “has never run for office before and is not a career politician,” but “nevertheless has the right kind of executive experience and lived experience,” Rachel McCullough, JFREJ’s political director, told HuffPost.

RelatedFormer Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch endorsed Assemblyman David Weprin for the city’s next comptroller.

Blake Bailey, the author of a bestselling biography of Philip Roth, has been accused of grooming former middle-school students for sex, with one woman accusing him of rape.

In the wake of the allegations, which were reported Tuesday by the Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, the publisher of the Roth biography, W.W. Norton & Company, said it would stop promoting and distributing the book pending further information. Bailey’s literary agent has also dropped him.

Bailey acknowledged that he had sex with former students but has denied doing anything illegal.

What Else

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the founder of Israel’s Zaka emergency service, was found unconscious in his apartment Thursday morning after an apparent suicide attempt, weeks after reports revealed numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.

Israeli basketball player Deni Avdija of the Washington Wizards suffered a serious injury to his lower right leg Wednesday night that reportedly has ended his season.

Reuters profiles Julian Melcer, a 26-year-old Israeli who spends his days clearing the Tel Aviv beach of discarded cigarettes butts.

Deaths

Jim Steinman, the prolific songwriter who penned 1980s pop hits and the tunes for Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell,” one of the most popular albums in history, died Monday at 73. Steinman grew up on Long Island, and while he was never all that forthcoming about his Jewish identity, he would later complain that the marketing team behind “Bat Out of Hell” thought his name was “too Jewish” to include prominently on the cover.

Opinion

On Earth Day, Rabbi Noam Marans calls for an interfaith response to the warming planet. “As it has been the case since creation, our world’s preservation is in our collective hands,” he writes in a Jewish Week essay.

Yehuda Kurtzer is no fan of a bill in the House that would condition US aid for Israel on its behavior in the West Bank. But he warns against turning the debate into a brutal, internal Jewish fight, saying, “the organized Jewish community has to open a wider lane than what now exists for political progressives to stay engaged with Israeli policy and for them to express their values.”

Streaming Today

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research presents “Sutzkever Essential Prose,” celebrating Zackary Sholem Berger’s new book translating prose by famed Yiddish poet, partisan and Holocaust survivor Avrom Sutzkever. Featuring Berger and scholars Miriam Trinh and Karolina Szymaniak, and moderator Justin Cammy. Register here. 1:00 pm.

Neuroscientist Dr. Daniela Schiller, who leads the Affective Neuroscience Lab at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and filmmaker Liron Unreich have joined forces with producer Roy Wol to create the upcoming feature-length documentary “The Ripple Project ONE,” which profiles five creative individuals working through the enduring trauma of the Holocaust. Join Schiller, Unreich and Wol for a discussion exploring Schiller’s personal story, the journeys behind the film, and the dynamic nature of traumatic emotional memories. $10 suggested donation. Register here. 2:00 pm.

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