Israeli officials in bind about planned visit by sheik with popular TV show.
Jerusalem — The Israeli government will have a tough choice to make if a Saudi cleric with a popular TV show makes good on his promise to broadcast from Jerusalem.
On Sunday Sheik Mohammed al-Areefi, a Muslim cleric who hosts a program with many young viewers, announced that he would be in Jerusalem next week, a claim that caught Israeli officials, and at least some Muslim officials, completely off-guard.
As a succession of disasters strike, Jewish relief organizations struggle to raise enough funds to respond.
Almost four years after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history, relief and rebuilding efforts in the affected areas are far from over.
But in the years since, disasters and crises in other areas of the world have also demanded attention and humanitarian aid, including the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in Sichuan, China, both of which hit in May of this year, and more recently the war in South Ossetia, Georgia. Add to that the damage on U.S. soil from a succession of tropical storms and hurricanes.
The escalating U.S.-Israel diplomatic crisis will dramatically change the calculus for the upcoming AIPAC policy conference, which starts on Sunday, in ways difficult to predict.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be the top administration speaker, and you have to bet AIPAC leaders are nervous about how she will be received by the 3000-plus delegates after her tongue-lashing call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.
Miffed that the keffiyah, the draped checkered headscarf worn by Yasir Arafat and often identified with the Palestinian cause, has become a “must-have” for many fashionistas?
Concerned that even the most humungous Jewish star around one’s neck can’t compete in the ethnic pride department?
If so, check out the “Israeli Keffiyeh,” the brainchild of New Yorker Bernard Chertok. Chertok’s company, Dveykus, manufactures “JewCentric” T-shirts aimed at promoting Jewish pride.
Schneider, 68, takes over the day-to-day reins of the World Jewish Congress at a time when, he acknowledges, the organization is searching for new causes to champion, and amid questions about its own ability to function effectively after so much internal conflict. But Schneider sought to portray himself in the interview as being above the fray, coming in with a fresh slate to re-energize the organization.
The new top leadership team of the embattled World Jewish Congress will head to Eastern Europe soon to re-energize stalled negotiations over Holocaust-era restitution payments, Michael Schneider, the group’s next secretary general, said this week.
The political discussions will represent a return by the WJC, perceived as rudderless in recent years, to the activity that cemented its reputation as a representative of Jewish interests.
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