Leaders of the American Jewish Committee emerged optimistic from meetings with top Egyptian officials in Cairo this week.
“There is a new recognition among Egyptian policy makers and the government establishment that the future success of Egypt is tied to Egypt’s relationship to Israel,” AJCommittee President Robert Goodkind told the Jewish Week.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit hosted the three-member delegation.
The controversy over Mel Gibson's upcoming film about the death of Jesus has spurred painful exchanges between Jews and Christians and progressive and traditional Catholics in recent days. To date, the debates have centered on the "proper" interpretation of the role of Jews in Jesus' Crucifixion, as presented in the four New Testament Gospels.
But this week, Gibson's $25 million biblical epic, which the director insists is about love and forgiveness, has triggered a new squabble: among Jewish scholars.
Determined to stop construction of a "desecrating" sunken walkway through Poland's Belzec concentration camp, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the American Jewish Committee, this time naming himself as a co-plaintiff.
But AJCommittee executive director David Harris labeled the lawsuit "frivolous" and defended the walkway, or "trench," as part of a necessary $4 million permanent memorial to the nearly half-million Jewish victims buried in mass graves at the death camp.
How best to honor the memory of half a million Jews buried in the horrific and long-neglected Belzec death camp in southeastern Poland?
That's the heart of a running dispute pitting several rabbis and Jewish organizations that support the approved design plan against New York activist Rabbi Avi Weiss, who insists the plan desecrates the victims and violates Jewish law.
The dispute echoes the debate in New York City over the memorial for the Sept. 11 World Trade Center victims.
The American Jewish Committee is grappling with internal labor unrest that threatens to mar its showcase annual meeting in Washington, D.C., next week featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
About 75 AJCommittee senior staff professionals nationwide staged a one-day May Day work stoppage to show their frustration with stalled contract negotiations since the last three-year pact expired in December.