When Tehran police handcuffed Sepehr Ebn Yamin last Sunday and hauled him off to jail in connection with a business dispute, the 45-year-old Iranian Jew’s health was already less than hearty: Just two weeks earlier he had suffered a minor heart attack.
By last Monday, Ebn Yamin was dead. And his family in Los Angeles is charging Tehran police with willful negligence of his cries for medical help.
Implicitly rebutting several senior government authorities, the Central Jewish Committee of Iran last week publicly asserted for the first time that 13 Iranian Jews currently imprisoned on suspicion of spying for Israel and the United States are innocent.
Putting its own resources on the line, the committee, which serves as the umbrella group for Iran’s 25,000 Jews, also announced it was prepared to raise money for attorneys to defend the imprisoned Jews.
Ruth Moskowitz was the youngest of 10 children born to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents Jacob and Ida. Little did they imagine that their baby daughter would grow up to create one of America's most popular icons.
As the creator of the Barbie doll and co-founder of the Mattel Toy Corp., Ruth became one of the country's most enterprising and powerful businesswomen.
The FBI is ignoring its own guidelines on terrorism in the July 4 El Al shootings, possibly undermining America's war against Islamic extremists, several experts told The Jewish Week.
The counterterrorism experts, both American and Israeli, say they are baffled by the FBI's continuing refusal to label as terrorism the Independence Day attack at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian gunmen that killed a female El Al ticket agent, an Israeli diamond broker, and wounded three others.
Charging that the FBI is being compromised by political concerns, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss is seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to discuss why the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport have not been classified a terrorist incident: in apparent neglect of the Justice Department's own guidelines.
Two Brooklyn congressmen have joined a grassroots campaign to have the FBI officially designate the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian gunman as a suspected terrorist attack.
"The FBI's failure to publicly acknowledge this fact is dangerous because it lessens the vigilance against similar acts ... in the near future," said Rep. Major Owens in a July 21 press statement.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, in a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, urged Mueller to investigate the act as "a possible terrorist attack."
The FBI, under pressure from the Jewish community, is now investigating the July 4 killing of two Jews at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport as a terrorist incident.
This comes nearly eight weeks after the bureau first rejected, then downplayed, that the random shooting by an Egyptian gunman might have been a terrorist act.
Islamic anti-Semitism is increasing. Roman Catholic leaders are eerily silent about Mel Gibson's filmed Passion play and its negative portrayal of Jews. Southern Baptists are reaffirming their call to convert Jews.
Stepping into this current state of interfaith affairs comes David Elcott, who this week assumes the post of U.S. director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee.
But Elcott, a 54-year-old California native who has spent most of his career in Jewish communal work, says he's excited to assume the post, which has been vacant for a year.
Fallout continues this week over Mel Gibson's upcoming film "The Passion," about the violent death of Jesus, following a blistering review by the Anti-Defamation League and other viewers after a screening in Houston.
New developments include:
Two thumbs down. That was the consensus of a group of horrified Jewish interfaith and community leaders after watching a rough cut of Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion."
It was the first mainstream Jewish group to screen the Hollywood star's gory recounting of the trial and death of Jesus.