Washington

Church-state follies in Virginia riles Jewish groups

 Christian right groups are applauding and Jewish groups are protesting the recent action by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, rescinding a 2008 order requiring police chaplains in the state to use only nondenominational prayers at official events, not prayers invoking the name of Jesus.

Well, no big surprise here; McConnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University, and he's the guy who managed to embarrass many Virginians wityh his recent decision to revive Confederate History Month - later amended after a flurry of bad nationwide publicity.

No good options for Jewish leaders as Ahmadinejad heads to New York

You gotta feel a little bad for Jewish leaders here, who were sandbagged by last week's announcement that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York on Monday for, of all things, the UN's nuclear nonproliferation talks.

The last-minute announcement by the Iranians meant there wasn't enough time for the customary debate over the best communal response, inevitably followed by the various Jewish organization going their own way, anyway.

And when you come down to it, what can Jewish organizations do?

Lieberman Thanks Clinton on UNESCO

04/28/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel’s foreign minister thanked Hillary Rodham Clinton for removing items critical of Israel from UNESCO’s agenda.

The United States’ “strong and consistent position,” Avigdor Lieberman wrote in an April 25 letter to the U.S. secretary of state, “prevented the introduction of five anti-Israel resolutions initiated by the Arab group.”

Selection of Israeli Envoy Sparks Debate at Brandeis

04/27/2010
JTA

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Brandeis has sparked a controversy in the university community with its selection of Israel’s ambassador to Washington as its commencement speaker.

Last week's announcement of Michael Oren as this year's keynoter has evoked a spectrum of responses in campus publications and online forums ranging from enthusiastic support to wary apprehension to outrage.

Neither Oren nor the suburban Boston university are strangers to such controversies.

American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee to merge? Don't hold your breath

The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.

Pardon me while I snort.

In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.

Museum Launches Fund To Honor Slain Guard

04/27/2010

(JTA) — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has established an endowment fund in memory of Stephen Tyrone Johns was gunned down last June 10 by 88-year-old white supremacist James Wenneker von Brunn of Maryland during an attempted raid on the museum. Johns died from his injuries shortly after the attack.
 

Rethinking, And Rejecting, The ‘Peace Process’

04/27/2010
Editor and Publisher

One side effect of the current showdown between Washington and Jerusalem is that it has provided an opportunity for American diplomats and Mideast experts to step back and reassess the situation, and the results have been fascinating. Several key figures long involved in pushing the Oslo/land-for-peace equation are now saying quite bluntly that it doesn’t make sense, at  least for now, and that the Obama administration should back off.

Gary Rosenblatt

Gen. Jim Jones and fast and easy charges of anti-Semitism

 I can't quite get my mind around the fierce reaction to an allegedly anti-Semitic joke told by Gen. Jim Jones, the Obama administration national security adviser,  during a recent appearance before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank.

Those reactions range from ADL national director Abe Foxman's relatively sedate label of “inappropiate” to emails I've received (the usual chain emails, suggesting Obama-inspired pogroms are just around the corner) calling his joke “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”

Jewish Groups Slam Arizona Immigration Law

04/27/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An array of Jewish groups expressed their dismay at the passage of Arizona's restrictive new immigration enforcement law.

"The Jewish community has long called on our national leaders to reform our immigration laws to 'welcome the stranger' and to create an effective federal immigration system characterized by the rule of law and the humane treatment of newcomers," the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society said in a statement after Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law Friday afternoon.

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