Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.
The last time Mordechai Gafni was in the news was two years ago, when the charismatic and controversial rabbi accused of sexual misconduct here and in Israel was dismissed as the rebbe of Bayit Chadash, a spiritual renewal community in Tel Aviv.
Faced with sexual abuse complaints filed with the police in Israel by several women who were former students or employees of Bayit Chadash, Gafni came to the U.S., issued a public statement apologizing to those he had hurt, said he was “sick” and needed treatment, and disappeared.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
Jewish leaders are understandably nervous as they continue pressing for a stronger U.S. and international response to Iran, while trying to avoid stirring up recurrent charges that Jews somehow caused the seemingly endless Iraq war and are now trying to do the same with Iran.
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) signaled an aggressive effort to win the pro-Israel vote in November with a stingingly partisan speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday.
Breaking with a tradition generally observed by AIPAC keynoters, McCain attacked Sen. Barack Obama by name for his positions on Iran and the Iraq war.
McCain warmed up a friendly crowd by indirectly criticizing Obama’s offer to meet with Iranian leaders.
Last December, The Jewish Week published an Opinion piece titled "Last Stop On The Libel Tour," in which I discussed a lawsuit that few people had heard of and almost nobody seemed to care too much about. The suit between Rachel Ehrenfeld and Sheikh Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz had proceeded virtually off the media radar. I only learned of it when researching defamation lawsuits initiated by individuals accused of involvement in terror financing.
Several weeks ago the New York State Court of Appeals began hearing arguments in a case with monumental and far-reaching implications for the protection of United States citizens abroad and the rights afforded by the First Amendment. The stakes are high in the case of Ehrenfeld v. Mahfouz, and the very future of free expression and public participation for all U.S. journalists, authors and their publishers hangs in the balance. The decision of the Court of Appeals will affect whether foreign defamation judgments rendered against U.S.
Thanks in large part to attention from Elizabeth Samson, 29, a local attorney and Legacy Heritage Fellow, Gov. David A. Paterson signed the Libel Terrorism Protection Act this past week, the first bill of its kind in the United States.