Israel

Jewish groups praise Iran sanctions passage, dovish groups split

My email inbox today has been chock full of statements from Jewish organizations and Capitol Hill politicians lauding final passage of the new, tougher Iran sanctions bill, and groups like AIPAC deserve a pat on the back for getting the legislation through a largely gridlocked Congress.

This from AIPAC:

U.S. Calls Flotillas to Gaza ‘Irresponsible’

06/24/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is "irresponsible."

"Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so," a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter's question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. "Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances."

Marilyn Monroe & The Flotilla (She Identified With Israel)

Unlike the assimilated, self-doubting, young American leftist Jews who just can't identify with Israel, we bring you Marilyn Monroe as an example of the righteous convert, someone who wasn't afraid to stand by her people.

Day School Scientists Solve Israel’s Problems

06/23/2010

Israel may not be ready to wash its dirty laundry in public, but a local day school has some ideas for cleaning up the wastewater.

With the level of the Sea of Galilee — Israel’s major freshwater source — steadily declining, a prestigious science competition there is this year asking for new ways to treat washing machines’ “gray water.” A greater supply of safely recycled water that is fit for drinking or watering crops means less demand on the Kinneret, as the Sea of Galilee is known in Israel.

Aryeh Snyder, fourth from right, says water filter system developed by his day school can help preserve the Sea of Galilee.

David Weprin’s Excellent Adventure

06/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The number of people who attended last month’s Israel Day Concert, the annual right-wing rally in support of Israel’s settlement movement, and a joint event, two weeks later, between Jews and Muslims, would almost certainly be zero if it weren’t for one person — state Assemblyman David Weprin.

David Weprin: Hard-right Jewish crowd one day, Muslim-Jewish coexistence crowd another.

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Clash Of Zionisms In Academia

Group of scholars pressing idea of cultural Zionism, amid pushback.

06/23/2010
Staff Writer

 From the United Nations to the capitals of Europe to the pages of the New York Review of Books, Zionism — and the Israeli policies that undergird it — have lately come under withering attack.

Israel is reeling from the international condemnation following the failed flotilla attack. And Peter Beinart’s essay in the NYRB — which attacked Jewish leaders for failing to inspire a new generation of Jews committed to Israel — urged a more liberal Zionism as a way to get young Jews back in the fold.

Noam Pianko’s new book  focuses on forgotten cultural Zionists.

Dreams Confront Reality On Pilot Israel Campus Trip

College students, recent grads hopeful and fearful about taking Israel plunge.

06/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

They came from all over the United States and Canada — college and graduate students, ready to embark on a whirlwind tour of Israel.

This wasn’t a Birthright trip, though. The 33 students who participated in the Jewish Agency’s Campus Aliyah Fellowship pilot trip had all been to Israel before. Now, they came with practical goals — and big dreams.

Syosset, L.I., native Brooke Katz shows off her Israeli passport. Jewish Agency

Oren ‘Clarifies’: Pollard Spied for Israel

06/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's ambassador to Washington "clarified" that Jonathan Pollard spied for Israel and was not run by rogues, as he had said earlier.

Michael Oren in an interview Tuesday on the Washington news station WTOP was answering questions about whether Israel still ran spies in the United States. He was making the case that such allegations are long out of date.

Chabad Schools, Gets Schooled in Diplomacy at D.C. Confab

06/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Chabad emissaries usually associate Washington with their emphasis on education, but this year they got a taste of foreign policy suasion while handing out some, too.

Hundreds of emissaries from across the United States and the world descended on the U.S. capital for two days last week for a conference organized by American Friends of Lubavitch.

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