Russia

Lavrov Defends Russia’s Talks With Hamas

06/30/2010

 (JTA) — Russia’s foreign minister defended his country’s holding direct talks with Hamas in Gaza, while his Israeli counterpart said achieving peace would take time.

“Yes, we are holding talks with Hamas—because it was elected by a large Palestinian majority in free elections, according to all elements,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Jerusalem following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman.

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."

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.

Richard Cohen Psychoanalyzes President Obama

President Obama, cool and detached and still sounding more like a professor than a president, remains a mystery to many analysts. In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen takes a stab at psychoanalyzing the chief executive, and the results are interesting.

Annual ‘Peace Walk’ Stirs Tensions in Sheepshead Bay

Event takes place amid controversy over plans for a four-story mosque in the neighborhood.

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

To organizers of the Children of Abraham Peace Walk, an annual event in which Jews, Muslims and Christians march through various areas of Brooklyn, the idea of wending their way this year through Sheepshead Bay — to the site of a proposed mosque — seemed like “a lovely gesture,” said one the planners, Rabbi Ellen Lippmann.

A peace walk caused controversy in Brooklyn when it includes a stop at the site for a controversial proposed mosque.

The Stupid Things We Say

I was once discussing a home improvement project with a potential contractor, when a date to start the job came up and I mentioned that it was Martin Luther King Day.

The contractor, who is white, then repeated the name of the holiday in an exasperated voice, and added “What will they think of next?”

In one small utterance, this man had given me a window into his soul, and it wasn’t pretty.

First reactions to UN Iran vote - J Street and AIPAC, plus White House 'Fact Sheet'

As the United Nations Security Council took up a new, tougher Iran sanctions regime, I was wondering: which Jewish group would be the first out of the gate praising its passage?

U.N. Security Council Passes Iran Sanctions

06/09/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United Nations Security Council passed new sanctions against Iran, setting the stage for new and tougher U.S. sanctions.

The vote Wednesday was a victory for U.S.-led efforts to garner international support for isolating the regime until it makes its nuclear program more transparent.

Key to its passage was the support of China and Russia, both major traders with Iran and veto-wielding members of the council.

A Ballet For Bugsy Siegel?

06/09/2010
Staff Writer

 When she was growing up, Melissa Barak hated Christmas. “I used to beg for a tree,” said Barak, a choreographer who premiered a new work for New York City Ballet last weekend.

Her mother, who was Jewish, tried to cheer Barak up by listing all the famous Jewish stars. “Joan Rivers, Barbra Streisand, she’d say. She did it to make me feel better.” It didn’t work, Barak said.

But then her mother added one more: “Well, the guy who created Las Vegas was Jewish,” Barak recalled her mother saying. That caught her attention.

Melissa Barak, foreground, rehearsing dancers Robert Fairchild and Jennifer Ringer for “Call Me Ben.” Paul Kolnik

Recession Fuels Rise in Russian Aliyah

06/04/2010
JTA

MOSCOW (JTA) – Years after Russian immigration to Israel dipped and then plateaued, the global economic downturn appears to be sending it higher again.

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