On the eve of his first U.S. visit since becoming deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, has received a provisional pass from much of the Jewish establishment — and a stamp of approval from one leader who denounced him just last May.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week this week, “I don’t see anything extremist since he became part of the government.”
Bella Zuzel is Sabbath observant but plans to break tradition to march in Saturday's rally against the war in Iraq.
"For me this is pikuach nefesh, with many lives at stake," she said, referring to the Jewish provision allowing one to break Jewish law in order to save a life.
Warwick, N.Y. — The sun was setting at the Reform movement’s teen leadership camp in this picturesque upstate town, and in the dying light of a sweet summer day it was time for the evening prayer service. In the lakeside pavilion that serves as Kutz Camp’s synagogue, the visiting musician who led the evening service on the Fourth of July, a Wednesday, set the prayers to an easy-listening jazz sound. It was a musical style, played on an electric keyboard, that almost none of the campers connected with, many said later.
J Street, the pro-peace-process political action committee and lobby that many pro-Israel hawks love to hate, demonstrated this week that it can pull off an overflow Washington conference, attract hordes of media, feed the passion of supporters and use new technologies to satisfy young activists.
Adrian Shanker, a college student from Westchester, spent this summer working as an intern in Washington. During his time in the capital, he took part in a training program run by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The other young participants in the RAC program shared Shanker’s support for Israel. And, like him, many of them, opposed Israel’s month-long war in Lebanon this summer. A war — spurred by Hezbollah attacks on Israel and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers — that the leadership of the Reform movement supported.
In the end, the fight over whether Reform and Conservative leaders could sit on powerful religious councils in Israel apparently turned on a Talmudic loophole. By a vote of 50-49, the Knesset this week adopted a bill crafted to keep Reform and Conservative representatives off religious councils, which dispense millions of dollars to religious institutions throughout the country.
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
So will the exchange of make-nice letters between ADL chief Abe Foxman and Pastor John Hagee tamp down the controversy swirling around the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) leader once an for all?
As Sen. John McCain was cutting ties to Pastor John Hagee, the controversial Christian Zionist leader whose endorsement he sought, a top Jewish leader also changed course and called for ties to Hagee’s pro-Israel group to be put on “hold,” the Jewish Week has learned.