New York

Stuart Levey: The Man Trying to Make Iran Sanctions Work

07/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.

Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

Stuart Levey (U.S. Treasury Department)

Bringing Newly Discovered Memoir Of Partisan To Print

06/30/2010
Staff Writer

Two weeks ago, The Jerusalem Post published a lengthy story about a recently discovered manuscript by Tuvia Bielski, the leader of the Polish Jewish brigade that rescued 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust, the largest such rescue in history.

To the public, it was a revelation. But it was not to Jonathan Brent, the director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which holds the manuscript.

Tuvia Bielski

Countering Oil Dependency

06/30/2010

 Regarding, “A Way Out Of Our Oil Dependency” (Editor’s column, June 25), reducing fossil fuels globally will not only help improve energy security throughout the world but also decrease greenhouse gas emissions. If every nation had its own supply of renewable energy, fossil fuel tyranny and energy scarcity would decrease. As oil is a primary source of income for Iran, it’s hard to see how reducing our need for oil detracts from our security interests.

Disturbing Decision On Guns

06/30/2010
Editorial

Firearms are not the inherent evil that some gun control advocates claim, but as New Yorkers we have a common-sense understanding that the easy availability of everything from pistols to assault rifles is part of the fear and insecurity that we live with on a daily basis.

The Jews Of ‘Restrepo’

06/30/2010

 His parents gave Misha Pemble-Belkin a pacifist, “hippie” upbringing, forbidding him and his two brothers from playing with toy guns or watching violent films.

But both of them, including his Jewish father, were “very proud” that he enlisted in the Army, says their son, now a sergeant at Fort Polk, La., and one of 11 soldiers interviewed in “Restrepo,” a new documentary about one company’s grueling tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, left, is one of 11 soldiers featured in the new film “Restrepo,” about U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Ten Commandments, 613 Laws, Six Million: What is it with Jews and Lists?

Earlier today I came across a listing for an upcoming reading in Bryant Park with the poet Wayne Koestenbaum. (July 6, 7 p.m. Free.) He's a local New York treasure--a CUNY Graduate Center English professor--and not in the least peevish about his Jewishness.  "Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films" is the title of one of his better known collections.

Koestenbaum's poems tend toward the ribald and profane, both wickedly funny and equally smart. You can find some of the poems in "Jewish Porn" online, and one in particular, "John Wayne's Perfume," got me thinking about our timeless fascination with lists.  Among poets, it's something of an in-house game to make list-poems, and "John Wayne's Pefume" certainly plays it well. Koestenbaum structures this particular list poem around seven stanzas, each three lines deep. The length of the lines within each stanza diminish as the list unfolds, giving the poem a comfortable rhythm.

Aliyah Journal: Two Second Acts In Full Swing In Israel

A musician and a tour guide, both with N.Y. ties, are overcoming odds to rewrite their life scripts in Jewish state.

06/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: With the numbers of those making aliyah from North America on the rise, much of the attention has been focused on Orthodox families making the move. Last week, we reported on a pilot program for college students and recent graduates considering moving to Israel. This week, meet two people — both young singles — who each left New York to move to Israel alone.

Ben Soloway is persevering as a tour guide despite walking with difficulty. Rivka Oppenheim

First Jewish reactions to Supreme Court gun decision

 It will be much harder for cites to regulate the firearms that are turning some neighborhoods into free-fire zones in the wake of Monday's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. the City of Chicago, according to several Jewish groups.

In a 5-4 decision, the Justices ruled that the right to keep and bear arms can't be restricted by state and local governments, at least not easily.

The case zeros in on the nation's toughest laws, starting with Chicago, but could also affect gun restrictions in New York.

Jewish Activists Sail Flotilla For Shalit To UN’s Backyard

06/24/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Waving Israeli and U.S. flags and posters of Gilad Shalit, hundreds of Jewish activists on eight ships sailed up the East River to the United Nations on Thursday to call for action on behalf of the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for four years.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations organized two large passenger boats and several groups joined the flotilla on sailboats and other pleasure craft as it rounded lower Manhattan from the West Side. The flotilla set sail on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Shalit’s capture.

Photo: Michael Datikash

In Jerusalem, Making Hugs, Not War

06/24/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — It was 102 degrees here earlier this week, but that didn’t deter a few hundred Israelis, Palestinians and others from gathering outside the Old City of Jerusalem for The Jerusalem Hug, an annual event designed to open hearts and heal the world.

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