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President Trump Vows at Inauguration: From This Day Forward, It's Going to Be America First

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President Donald Trump waves as he walks with first lady Melania Trump during the inauguration parade in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2107.
President Donald Trump waves as he walks with first lady Melania Trump during the inauguration parade in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2107.Credit: EVAN VUCCI/AFP
Updates

White-nationalist leader Richard Spencer assaulted at anti-Trump inauguration protest

White nationalist and far-right leader Richard Spencer, who became notorious after giving a Hail Trump speech after the elections, was attacked in Washington D.C. on Friday.

Spencer, who was in town for the inauguration, was giving an interview on the streets of D.C., as seen in the video of the attack. I have given conferences for ages, we usually expect some protesters, they usually have some silly string, but we have entered this new world, he says in the video, when he is interrupted by people asking if he is a Neo Nazi, if he likes Black People and what he is wearing on his Jacket. 

Oh, this is Pepe, he has become kind of a symbol.., he starts explaining, when a men leaps at him and punches his face. 

Spencer has also tweeted a video about the attack, where he said that the same men who attacked him did so again, punching his head, and spat at him. He added that because of the attacks, he will reconsider his security plan, and will not be attending the womens march today, as he planned to do.

If law enforcement can't protect us from antifa assaults we will begin protecting ourselves, he later tweeted. If you think because you are alt light you won't be a target for the antifa thugs think again. To them we are all Nazis!" Later he added, I'm not afraid of a fight but I can't respect an adversary that throws sucker punches and targets our women and our mothers. 

The comment may refer to Spencers own mother, since Neo-Nazis announced their intentions to hold an armed march against the Jewish community in Whitefish, Montana, after Spencer's mother said that a Jewish real estate agent pressured her to sell a building she owns in Whitefish. The Neo Nazi march was planned for January 16, but was postponed at the last minute. (Taly Krupkin)

Rabbis 'In Mourning' Over Inauguration Call for a Fast, Plan Resistance to Trump

Even as rioters were arrested in the streets of Washington, a number of rabbis called for a different expression of dissapointment in the inauguration of President Donald Trump: The Jewish tradition of fasting.

I've been casting about for an appropriate reaction to the inauguration of a man who is being characterized as an illegitimate president," Rabbi Burt Visotzky wrote to rabbinic colleagues this week. "Looking to my own Jewish history and customs in reaction to unfortunate political events I have decided to fast during the day in mourning for the state of our republic."

Read more here

Washington DC feels like Carnival-Judgment Day chimaera

The wide and well-kept boulevards in the heart of Washington D.C. were intermittently reminiscent of Jerusalem on unusually tense days. Police officers, soldiers, Secret Service men and members of other units flooded the streets.

Entire swaths of the city were blocked off to traffic: Long cordons were fenced off so that only those with special permits can enter. Concrete blocks were placed for miles and helicopters are circling above.

The prevailing atmosphere is a confusing blend of Carnival and Judgment Day. One walking the streets encounters a mix of Trump supporters in red caps sporting the slogan "Make America Great Again," street venders selling scarfs and pins emblazoned with Trump's visage, but mostly protesters.

These protesters are mostly young and predominantly white. They look a lot like Israel's Anarchists against the Wall protesters in Israel. The signs they carry in hand testify to the many agendas they support: support for immigrants, women's reproductive rights, the Palestinian statehood, BDS, Black Lives Matter, and more. What they all have in common is their opposition to Trump.

If Trump was elected for his attacks on political correctness, these protesters are wearing the not politically correct pins saying "Fuck Trump." If he compared the reporting on the report about him and the Russians to Nazi Germany, many of the protesters are comparing him to Hitler.

Only few of the protesters are picking fights with security personnel, overturning trash bins, lighting fires or shattering glass. On this day, which is supposed to be a holiday for the world's leading nation, the United States seems more divided and afraid than ever. (Uri Blau)

Trump signs executive order directing agencies 'ease regulatory burdens of Obamacare'

President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on Friday, heading into the Oval Office shortly after his inaugural parade to direct agencies to ease regulations associated with Obamacare, the signature healthcare law of his predecessor that Trump has vowed to replace.

The White House also directed an immediate regulatory freeze for all government agencies in a memo from Trump's chief of staff, Reince Preibus, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

The White House did not immediately provide details about what the executive order or memo entailed.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was a central pledge for Trump during the presidential election campaign, although Republicans in the U.S. Congress have not yet laid out a plan to replace the insurance program.

In a hastily arranged signing ceremony, with some of his top aides around him, Trump sat behind the presidential Resolute Desk, signing the order. He also signed commissions for his newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Trump spoke briefly about his day with reporters. "It was busy, but good. It was a beautiful day," Trump said. (Reuters)

Senate confirms John Kelly as Homeland Security secretary

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security on Friday, making him the second confirmed member of President Donald Trump's cabinet just hours after Trump took the oath of office.

Eighty-eight senators approved Kelly and just 11 opposed him. One senator did not vote. (Reuters)

Senate approves Mattis to lead Pentagon

The U.S. Senate confirmed the first member of Republican President Donald Trump's cabinet on Friday, voting overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General James Mattis as secretary of defense just hours after Trump was sworn in as commander-in-chief.

The vote was 98-1.

>> Trump's Pentagon Pick: Aggressive on Russia, anti-Iran, and Doesn't Mince Words About IDF Either

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the only no vote. She was also the only member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote against Mattis when the panel approved him by 26-1 earlier this week.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions did not vote.

Gillibrand has said she admires Mattis. But she objected to waiving a law on civilian control of the U.S. military to allow him to lead the Pentagon only 3-1/2 years after retiring from the Marines, instead of the seven required by the statute.

Both Republicans and Democrats have heaped praise on Mattis, who is hugely popular with the Marines, since Trump announced his nomination.

Congress passed the waiver last week, and Trump signed it shortly after he was inaugurated on Friday. (Reuters)

Trump leads the inaugural parade

The presidential motorcade drives down Pennsylvania Ave towards the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Credit: JOE RAEDLE/AFP

Trump leads the inaugural parade. 

Protesters, police clash blocks away from inaugural parade route

Protesters burn the American flag and an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump in front of the U.S. Embassy in Montreal, Canada January 20, 2017.Credit: Christinne Muschi, Reuters

Protesters and police clashed blocks away from the inaugural parade route in Washington, D.C., according to MSNBC. At least 95 protesters were reportedly arrested.

Police officers pepper spray a group of protesters before the inauguration of now President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: ZACH GIBSON/AFP
Protesters rally against the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: Uri Blau

President Trump aims to eliminate Obama Climate Action Plan

The administration of President Donald Trump is committed to eliminating former President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan and other environmental initiatives, according to the recently updated White House website. 

"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years," the website said. 

Obama's climate plan proposed cuts to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, in part by preserving forests and encouraging increased use of cleaner renewable fuels. 

Trump's efforts to boost the U.S. oil and gas sector will help increase government revenues to "rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure," the website said.

Trump was sworn into office earlier on Friday. (Reuters)

White House: Trump to develop missile defense system against Iran, North Korea

The Trump administration intends to develop a "state of the art" missile defense system to protect against attacks from Iran and North Korea, the White House said in a policy position posted on its website on Friday. 

The statement, posted on the White House website within minutes of Donald Trump's inauguration, did not provide details on whether the system would differ from those already under development, its cost or how it would be paid for. (Reuters)

Trump signs his cabinet nominations into law

Trump is joined by the Congressional leadership and his family as he signs his cabinet nominations into law in the President's Room of the Senate.

President Donald Trump is joined by the Congressional leadership and his family as he signs his cabinet nominations into law, in the President's Room of the Senate, in Washington, DC January 20, 2017.Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AFP

Barack Obama departs Washington by helicopter.

Barack and Michelle Obama depart Washington by helicopter, heading to Palm Springs.

Former president Barack Obama waves as he departs the U.S. Capitol building, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, after Donald Trump was inaugurated.Credit: Evan Vucci, AP

'America First': Trump uses slogan once aimed at appeasing Nazi regime

Donald Trump made it a point to say America First not once, but twice in his inaugural address, using the slogan of what was once an anti-Semitic organization created in the 1940s aimed at appeasing the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler, and for which he came under fire during his presidential campaign. 

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after taking the oath of office during his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.Credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

In March, Trump told the New York Times that I like the expression. Im America first, elaborating that he meant the U.S. would not allow other nations to take advantage of America.

The Anti-Defamation League urged Trump in April to reconsider his use of the slogan, citing its anti-Semitic use in the months before Pearl Harbor by a group of prominent Americans seeking to keep the nation out of World War II.

According to the ADL, "the slogan and attitudes were popularized by the America First Committee and pilot Charles Lindburgh, who sympathized with the Nazis and whose rhetoric was characterized by anti-Semitism and offensive stereotypes, including assertions that Jews posed a threat to the U.S. because of their influence in motion pictures, radio, the press, and the government. For many Americans, the term will always be associated with and tainted by this history, the ADL added.

The term found a brief resurgence in the 1990s during Pat Buchanans presidential aspirations. Many Jewish-American groups have charged Buchanan with being an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. (Allison Kaplan Sommer and Ben Samuels)

Trump sworn in as the 45th president of the United States

After his swearing in as America's 45th president, Donald Trump addressed the inauguration ceremony, saying: "We will confront hardships, but we will get the jobs done."

He thanked President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, saying they "have been magnificent" throughout the transition of power. "We are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it to the people," Trump said.

"This, the United States of America, is your country," he continued. "What truly matters is what party controls the government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 17, 2017 will be remembered as the day that the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

"We made other countries rich while the wealth and strength of our country has dissipated over the horizons."

"A new decree that is to be heard in every city foreign capital and hall of power. From this day forward a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it will be America first," Trump said, vowing to eradicate Islamist terrorism "from the face of the Earth."

"We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, who are constantly complaining but are never doing anything about it."

"Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same blood of patriots. We all enjoy all glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag."

Trump concluded his speech by saying: "We will make American strong again, we will make America proud again and yes, we will make America great again."

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is sworn in as U.S. president at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017.Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP

Rabbi Marvin Hier leads prayer

Rabbi Marvin Hier is among clerics leading prayers at Trump's inauguration ceremony.

Hier, head of L.A.'s Simon Wiesenthal Center, is one of six clergy participating in the inauguration. The last time a rabbi led a prayer at a presidential inauguration was in 1985, after Ronald Reagans second election victory.

Chuck Schumer booed during speech on America's diversity

Senator Chuck Schumers address at the inauguration of Donald Trump was like a rebuttal to a speech that hadnt yet been given. 

Senator Chuck Schumer speaks during the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP

Anticipating Trumps speech following his oath of office – and probably his entire presidency – Schumer made a point of mentioning members of all of the groups with the most to fear from a Trump presidency. 

We Americans have always been a forward-looking, problem-solving, optimistic, patriotic and decent people, said Schumer Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity – whether we are immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not, in wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional in our commonly held yet fierce devotion to our country, and in our willingness to sacrifice our time, energy, and even our lives to making it a more perfect union.

Schumers appearance on the podium at the ceremony, which he opened by noting that we live in challenging and tumultuous times and in which he noted the importance of freedom of the press at a time when Trump regularly attacks the media, was greeted by boos from the crowd. The Senate minority leader, however, looked unperturbed, even energized – energy which will serve him well in the many fights he clearly has ahead. (Allison Kaplan Sommer)

Mike Pence sworn in as vice president

After Clarence Thomas, the associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, administers the oath of office to Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana is sworn in as vice president.

Vice President Mike Pence is sworn in as his wife Karen holds the bible at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

Washington metro: crowds smaller than those at previous inaugurations

The Washington metro points out on Twitter how small the crowd is at Donald Trump's inauguration compared to past ceremonies: "Metro Ridership: As of 11am, 193k trips taken so far today. (11am 1/20/13 = 317k, 11am 1/20/09 = 513k, 11am 1/20/05 = 197k)"

Washington Metro.Credit: Screenshot / Twitter
Spectators fill the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017.Credit: ALEX WONG/AFP

Trump's inauguration ceremony begins

Trump's inauguration ceremony begins. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, chairman of the congressional inauguration committee, makes an address. A prayer ensues. 

Trump's spine-chilling trip to the great unknown gets underway | Chemi Shalev

The inauguration of Donald Trump, if one wants to be positive, is worthy of the famous Star Trek opener: To explore strange new worlds, to boldly go where no man has gone before. For others, more pessimistic perhaps, the Twilight Zone may be more appropriate. After Trumps inauguration on Friday, the world is headed for a place between light and shadow, between science and superstition. For many it is a one-way journey, as Rod Serling would put it, to the pit of ones fears.

Read full story here

White House posts final tweet under Obama

The White House posts its final tweet under President Barack Obama: "Yes we can. Yes we did. Thank you for being a part of the past eight years."

The White House posts its final tweet under President Barack Obama.Credit: Screenshot / Twitter

Michelle, Melania arrive at Capitol

Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, arrive at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. They are followed by Melania Trump, on the arm of a military escort, and the spouses of the congressional leadership.

Melania Trump arrives for the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP

Trump children arrive at Capitol

Donald Trump's five children, Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric, Tiffany and Barron arrive at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. accompanied by Trump's in-laws Jared Kushner, Vanessa Trump, Lara and others.

The Trump children arrive for the inauguration in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: Drew Angerer/AFP

Obama, Trump arrive at Capitol

Donald Trump and Barack Obama arrive at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with Paul Ryan walking behind them. 

Clintons, other VIPs arrive for Trump's inauguration ceremony

Republican and Democratic VIPs have arrived at the inauguration ceremony, including George W. Bush and his wife Laura, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton to watch Donald Trump take the oath of office. 

Hillary Clinton and her husband and former U.S. president Bill Clinton arrive at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration, January 20, 2017.Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP

Hillary Clintons attendance in particular is seen as a signal to Democrats that they should respect the democratic transfer of power, despite their fierce opposition to Trump and his policies. Democratic congressional leaders are also in attendance, including Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, who is spearheading the fight against the Trump administration. 

One-third of the House of Representatives announced that they will be boycotting the ceremony, many saying that they dont want to normalize a Trump presidency. They were led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who said that I dont see this president-elect as a legitimate president and "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton" and was subsequently slammed by Trump on Twitter. (Allison Kaplan Sommer)

Former president George W. Bush keeps covered in the rain as he sits with his wife Laura at Donald Trump's inauguration on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. Credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration, January 20, 2017.Credit: POOL/REUTERS

Protesters clash with police

A large group of protesters clashed with police near a security checkpoint ahead of president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. The protesters, who chanted "Fuck Donald Trump" and "Whose streets? Our streets," were led by a large banner reading "Make Racists Afraid Again." Police with batons confronted the protesters, who toppled trash cans and shattered a window of a McDonalds restaurant.

A protester is dragged away from a public access point prior to the inauguration in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017.Credit: Patrick Smith/AFP

1,000 protesters gather outside Trump's inauguration in Washington D.C.

A thousand protestors gathered in downtown Washington D.C. carrying signs against Trump, attacking the incoming president on a wide range of issues from his connections to Russia to his immigration policies. Many signs were directed at the allegations of sexual assault that he has been accused of by more than a dozen women. The protesters yelled "not my president," "pussy grabs back" and "no trump, no kkk, no fascist usa," while a number of men marched as Russian soldiers marched by, draped in Russian flags and singing about Trump and Putin.

In the streets around the protest, supporters of the new president - wearing his "Make America Great Again" merchandise - walked by. Most ignored the protestors, but in some occasions verbal confrontations broke out. "You're murdering democracy" one woman in a red MAGA hat yelled at the crowd. 

One married couple of Trump supporters who spoke with Haaretz could not agree if the protests were legitimate or not. Preston Kerry, a Virginia native who came to Washington to "show my support for my president," said the protesters were "fools" for not "at least giving the man a chance before they do all this noise." However, he insisted that it was "not against the law" for them to demonstrate, and said Trump himself probably feels the same. His wife Martha thought otherwise. "This should not be happening," she said. "They need to respect the results of the election.

Protesters gather in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2017, outside the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump.Credit: Amir Tibon

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders arrive at Capitol

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders arrived at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

Hillary Clinton arrives at the U.S. Capitol for president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, January 20, 2017.Credit: ROB CARR/AFP

Sheldon Adelson arrives at Capitol

Casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam arrived at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Adelsons are two of the top donors who contributed to Trump in the last stages of his presidential campaign.

Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam sit on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017.Credit: JOE RAEDLE/AFP

Ivanka, Jared don't hold prayer book at church

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner did not hold the book of prayers during the Trump family prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church, Jacob Kornbluh tweeted.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in church.Credit: Screenshot / Twitter

Netanyahu congratulates 'friend' Trump on Twitter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates president-elect Donald Trump on Twitter: "Congrats to my friend President Trump. Look fwd to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel&USA stronger than ever."

Netanyahu congratulates Trump on Twitter.Credit: Screenshot / Twitter

Ivanka, Jared arrive at Capitol

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa and Tiffany Trump and the youngest Trump, Barron, arrive at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Trumps meet Obamas at White House

President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania meet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the stairs of the White House. The Trumps hand the Obamas a gift and pose for a picture.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with president-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania at the White House in Washington, January 20, 2017.Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Obama leaves Oval Office for last time as president

U.S. President Barack Obama left the Oval Office for the last time as president. He apparently left a letter for president-elect Donald Trump on the Resolute desk.

President Barack Obama kisses first lady Michelle Obama as they await for the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the White House in Washington.Credit: Evan Vucci, AP

Trump kicks off Inauguration Day with drive to church

President-elect Donald Trump emerged from Blair House to start the Inauguration Day festivities.

Trump and his wife, Melania, stepped out of the government guest house next to the White House just after 8:30 A.M. local time and took a motorcade for the short drive to St. John's Episcopal Church.

After the service, they'll head to the White House to be greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Coffee With the Obamas and Prayer: A Close Look at Trump's Inauguration Day

The day the world has been waiting for – some with fear and anxiety, others with excitement and joy – has arrived. Today at noon, Washington time, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Barack Obama, meanwhile, will no longer be officially referred to as "The President," and will instead be address as "President Obama," as he and his family move out of the White House after an eight-year run.

The events of Inauguration Day will be kicked off at 8:30 A.M., Washington time (3:30 P.M. in Israel,) when Trump and his family will pray at St. John's Episcopal Church in central Washington. From there, Trump and his wife Melania will continue to the White House, where they will sit down for coffee with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, as is customary. Then, President Obama and President-elect Trump will ride together to the Capitol to attend the swearing-in ceremony, which will kick off at 11:30 AM.

For the full preview - click here

Jerusalem mayor welcomes Trump with video blasting Obama

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat posted a video on his Facebook page on Thursday welcoming Donald Trump's planned inauguration on Friday as the United States' 45th president. The video is cross-posted from an Israelwelcomestrump.com web site. In his message, translated into English with subtitles, Barkat, who has sought to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leadership of the right-wing Likud party, lambastes the outgoing Obama administration.

Read full story here

Jews have a critical role in resisting the Trump administration | Audrey Sasson

It was nearly impossible to get out of bed on November 9th. The grief, shock and rage immobilized me. I knew that I was not alone in this feeling, I knew that it was plaguing almost everyone in my life that I hold dear, and millions more. The American election had just ripped the rug out from under us, and ripped our hearts wide open. The prospect we most dreaded had come to pass, and I, for one, did not feel ready to face it. 

I did the only thing I know how to do in moments of crisis - I turned to my community.

Read full op-ed here

Trump officials offer conflicting views on Israel policy | Analysis

It's been nine days since the Senate began holding confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's nominees for cabinet positions. One thing that has emerged from the hearings thus far, is that the new Trump administration might find it difficult to speak in one voice on a series of foreign policy issues, including Israel.

Read full story here

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