"I happen to be in Iraq and am looking for a place to spend Passover," read the e-mail message I received Monday night. That got my attention.
It was from a Jewish woman from Washington, D.C., who said she had arrived in Baghdad two days earlier as a consultant for USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). She wrote she had come on short notice and had "no time to plan for Passover, aside from bringing a couple of boxes of matzah ball soup mix. No one else who is here is Jewish."
Jerusalem — Yossi Oren says he isn’t worried that Iraq will attack Israel with conventional, biological or chemical weapons.
“The situation is a lot better now than it was seven years ago,” asserts the 43-year-old Jerusalemite, referring to the 1991 Gulf War. During that six-week battle, Iraq lobbed 39 Scud missiles at Israel.
“Today,” Oren continues, “Israel has more sophisticated tools to destroy missiles. And anyway, I don’t think any Scuds will fall.”
It was not, perhaps, the most fortuitous timing. The coincidence of Muhammad “Abu” Abbas, the Palestinian who engineered the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, being captured by American troops in Baghdad in mid-April and the debut of a new film version of John Adams’ opera about the hijacking, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” is not the sort of publicity-grabbing confluence of events that a major arts organization like Lincoln Center usually seeks.
Mithal Al-Alusi is literally betting his life that Iraqis are ready for their country to open a positive relationship with Israel.In a phone interview from his party’s office in Baghdad, Alusi, 51, a former Iraqi government official who was indicted in October after attending a conference in Israel on charges of violating a 1969 law barring contacts with enemy states, said, “I believe in living in peace with Israel, a country with which Iraq has no conflict.“Iraq has no reason to be against Israel simply because Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians have disputes
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
I’m as sympathetic as the next guy to the idea of a “united” Jerusalem but I love Jews more than I love Arab neighborhoods and meaningless municipal boundaries that have zero historic validity. It’s time to keep those parts of Jerusalem that Jews actually live in and visit, and throw the rest overboard.
How does the State of Israel figure into the crisis for the soul of Islam?
These questions are raised, and more importantly answered, in an important double edition of Bill Moyers' critically acclaimed "NOW" weekly news show airing July 12 on PBS.
Mark Asher Evnin wanted to improve himself, and the world, too. At 18, after graduating from Vermont's South Burlington High School in 32 years, the well-liked student athlete and only child of Mindy Evnin joined the Marines.
So while his friends were taking freshman college courses, Mark was in basic training: much to his mother's chagrin.
"My son, a Jewish Marine, how bizarre," Evnin told The Jewish Week Tuesday. "We come from a professional Jewish family, rabbis, cantors and biochemists."
Carole Basri stood in the bright sunshine in front of the Isaiah Wall, only blocks from the United Nations headquarters. She clutched a black-and-white picture of her white-bearded great-grandfather — the former chief rabbi of Baghdad.
“I come here as a Jew and an Arab,” she told a small gathering of reporters and Jewish officials Monday. “My family had lived there for 2,500 years, before the rise of Mohammed and Islam. I want to see Iraq someday, see the home of my parents and my legacy.”
Stuart Wolfer, who grew up in Dix Hills, L.I., surprised his parents on a visit back home during his freshman year in college when he announced he was going to join the ROTC military training program and eventually serve in the U.S. Army.
“We’re not army people. This is not your personality,” his father, Len, told him.
“I only go around once. I want to try everything,” Stuart Wolfer answered.
Jewish leaders saw the Clinton administration’s last-minute decision to call off an imminent bombing raid on Iraq as one more retreat by Washington in the face of Saddam Hussein’s skillful maneuvers.
‘He Frittered It Away’
‘It’s so obvious, it’s almost comical,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “We know exactly what Saddam’s doing, but we continue to play his game.”