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Hitchens On Jewishness, Israel And Zionism

06/10/2010
Staff Writer

People seem to love author and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens for precisely the reason other people seem to hate him: he has an opinion, and a strong one, about almost everything. His new memoir, “Hitch-22,” is chock full of them, too. And when he appeared at at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday night, in a chat with his close friend Salman Rushdie, that fact was not glossed over.

Jewish Leaders Press Abbas on Direct Talks, Incitement

06/10/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.

Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.

The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.

Orthodox Union Leaders Meet With White House Staff, Senators

06/09/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.

Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.

The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.

The Stupid Things We Say

I was once discussing a home improvement project with a potential contractor, when a date to start the job came up and I mentioned that it was Martin Luther King Day.

The contractor, who is white, then repeated the name of the holiday in an exasperated voice, and added “What will they think of next?”

In one small utterance, this man had given me a window into his soul, and it wasn’t pretty.

First reactions to UN Iran vote - J Street and AIPAC, plus White House 'Fact Sheet'

As the United Nations Security Council took up a new, tougher Iran sanctions regime, I was wondering: which Jewish group would be the first out of the gate praising its passage?

Backlash To Helen Thomas Video Hits L.I. Rabbi

Rabbi David Nesenoff of Stony Brook targeted with anti-Semitic emails after veteran White House correspondent resigns under fire.

06/09/2010

No sooner was the video posted on YouTube of longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas saying Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home [to] Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,” than anti-Semitic e-mails began descending on the Long Island rabbi who interviewed her.

Rabbi David Nesenoff: Shocked by outpouring of hate after he aired Helen Thomas video.

Search For Heirs To Shoah Victims’ Assets Takes Shocking Turns

Some shun money, property, Jewish roots; others overcome with joy. Inside Israel’s little-known restitution effort.

06/09/2010
Staff Writer

 It’s like an episode of the late-‘50s hit TV series “The Millionaire.”

Elinor Kroitoru pores over documents in hunt for heirs of those killed in the Holocaust.

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.

06/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

Respected foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman: Genuine alliances are two-way streets.

Rabbi Nesenoff's 25,000 Pieces of Hate Mail

Before this past weekend, Rabbi David Nesenoff was a virtually unknown rabbi who lives and works on Long Island. When his teenage son finished his high school exams and uploaded a 2-minute video of Helen Thomas expressing her anti-Israel views on the Whitehouse lawn, Nesenoff gained global fame. That 2-minute video on his RabbiLIVE.com website brought Helen Thomas' long career in journalism to an abrupt and embarrassing end.

This photo of Charles Manson was sent to Rabbi David Nesenoff

Netanyahu, Obama to Meet at End of June

06/08/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in Washington with President Obama at the end of the month.

Israeli officials told Jewish groups Tuesday that Netanyahu would be in the U.S. capital on June 28-29.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to meet with Obama last week, but was diverted by the fallout of Israel's deadly raid on a Turkish-flagged ship attempting to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Obama and Netanyahu both want to upgrade U.S.-brokered "proximity" talks between Israel and the Palestinians to direct talks.

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