Politics

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

Judge: Rubashkin To Get 27 Years

Former Agriprocessors executive ‘lied at trial,’ pocketed $1.5 million in fraud; defense says sentence ‘overzealous.

06/21/2010
Staff Writer

A federal judge in Iowa said she plans to sentence Sholom Rubashkin, a former executive at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Iowa, to 27 years in prison and to pay $31 million in restitution for bank fraud.

Judge Linda Reade, chief judge of the Northern District Court in Iowa, wrote in a 52-page sentencing memorandum that the sentence of 27 years is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary,” to comply with the law.

World Zionist Congress: There Has to be a Better Way

06/18/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I probably should wait a few days before writing this article. It would, undoubtedly, come out much less hot and bothered if I did. But deadlines being what they are, I am obliged to write it now. I apologize in advance- I think- if it offends certain sensibilities...

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Israel’s Conversion Bill May Change

Knesset Member David Rotem says law
would apply only to Israeli conversions;
Reform and Conservative leaders not satisfied.

06/16/2010
Staff Writer

 The author of Israel’s controversial conversion bill has for the first time suggested a change in the bill in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that any bill dealing with conversion “must ensure the unity of the Jewish people in its entirety.”

B'nai B'rith poll: the latest in the 'who can slam J Street the most' sweepstakes?

Update: the folks at Americans for Peace Now point out that I missed a key finding of the B'nai B'rith survey. APN spokesman Ori Nir, in a press release, points out that "a full 55 percent agreed" with the statement "A two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel's survival as a national home of the Jewish people as a vibrant democracy."  

U.S. and Israel Agree on Key Issues—For Now

06/15/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode.

On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions.

Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

Hoary Bugaboo

06/15/2010

 Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e.,  public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.  

Gaza Flotilla Commission Sets Sail

06/15/2010
Editorial

Over the weekend Israel’s cabinet approved creation of a commission to investigate the controversial, ill-fated Israeli interdiction of a Gaza-bound humanitarian-cum-propaganda flotilla.

That’s a good first step, particularly because two of the five members are distinguished foreign observers. But it is naive to believe this will settle the matter for a world predisposed to see Israel as a kind of universal villain. And no finding by the commission will dampen international criticism of Israel’s (and Egypt’s) Gaza blockade.

Yoav Sivan, 34

Israeli LGBT rights activist and journalist

Staff Writer
06/15/2010

Two weeks before receiving his diploma from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Yoav Sivan was shaking hands with none other than the president of the United States and hugging the first lady at the annual White House Correspondents dinner.

Sivan is a journalist, political activist and gay rights proponent from Tel Aviv, and the second Columbia Journalism graduate student ever — and first Israeli — to receive a White House Correspondents Association fellowship for his studies.

Yoav Sivan
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