Congress

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:

Congress Passes New Iran Sanctions

06/24/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Congress overwhelmingly passed expansive new Iran sanctions.

The sanctions passed Thursday in both houses: 99-0 in the Senate and 408-8 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and now go to President Obama for signing.

The sanctions expand existing sanctions targeting investment in Iran's energy sector to encompass trade with the energy escort and business with the banking sector.

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.

Rubashkin Sentence Seen As ‘Piling On’

But debate over whether 27-year rap will hold up on appeal.

06/23/2010
Staff Writer

The 27-year bank fraud sentence imposed Tuesday on Sholom Rubashkin, former manager of what was once the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, was widely viewed by law professors and criminal defense attorneys alike as too severe.

“A sentence of 27 years is beyond excessive, it is patently offensive — especially for a nonviolent crime in a case where the defendant had no prior criminal record,” said noted criminal attorney Ben Brafman, who was not involved in the case. 

Sholom Rubashkin: Judge said she tacked on points because of his “obstruction.”

Forging Ties Between Bukharian Jews, Muslims — Slowly — In Queens

Joint projects have drawn the involvement of community leaders — but not yet of community members.

06/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When a group of Bukharian Jews and representatives of a mosque in Queens held a Muslim-Jewish health fair earlier this month, more than 100 local Muslims turned out for the afternoon of free blood tests, eye exams and other procedures, as well as brief comments by religious, community and elected leaders.

Muslim women attending this month’s Jewish-Muslim health fair line up to see Regina Smolyak. Inga Kotlovsky

A Way Out Of Our Oil Dependency

Expert says even Jewish groups ‘disappointing’ in promoting fuel alternatives to foreign control.

06/22/2010
Editor and Publisher

If there is one consensus issue that unites an increasingly frayed American Jewish community — and is also overwhelmingly supported in both Jerusalem and Washington — it is the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and energy, particularly from Iran and OPEC.

But the gap between recognition of the problem and active efforts to solve it is frustratingly wide, even as the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico dominates the headlines and demands our attention.

Gary Rosenblatt

Syracuse Shul: Young Israel ‘Bullying’ Us

06/22/2010

 

The National Council of Young Israel has threatened to seize the assets of an Orthodox synagogue in central New York State that resigned two years ago from the Young Israel movement and joined the Orthodox Union network of congregations, the synagogue claims.

According to an e-mail notice sent this week by Beverly Marmor, president of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, the Delegates Assembly of the National Council was to vote this week on a motion to expel the congregation, which formerly was known as Young Israel – Shaarei Torah of Syracuse.

World Zionist Congress: There Has to be a Better Way

06/18/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I probably should wait a few days before writing this article. It would, undoubtedly, come out much less hot and bothered if I did. But deadlines being what they are, I am obliged to write it now. I apologize in advance- I think- if it offends certain sensibilities...

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

World Zionist Congress Calls for Settlement Freeze

06/18/2010

(JTA) -- The World Zionist Congress passed a resolution endorsing a two-state solution and a West Bank settlement freeze.

The vote in Jerusalem came a day after some opponents of the resolution walked out of a meeting of the 36th Congress’ settlement committee. Following the walkout, the remainder of the meeting was chaired by Hadar Susskind, the vice president of policy and strategy at J Street, which favors U.S. pressure on Israel toward a two-state solution.

The Gaza flotilla, Turkey - and some ugly talk about the Armenian Genocide

Here's something pretty ugly percolating just beneath the surface of Jewish politics these days.

For years, Armenian Americans have appealed to the Jewish community for help in their efforts to get official U.S. recognition of the World War I era Armenian Genocide by Turkey.

Jews were their natural allies, they thought, because of our own history, but pro-Israel leaders had different ideas.

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