What next? As Mayor Rudolph Giuliani basked in his smashing election victory, New Yorkers, a famously demanding bunch, already were considering what they expected of his second term.
For Jews, at least, it appears that more of the same will not be enough.
For all their enthusiasm for the huge drop in crime during Giuliani’s first four years, Jews appear to be more adamant than most among the growing constituency calling on Giuliani to make education his priority this time around.
Spurred by a grass-roots alliance of local Jews, Latinos, labor unions and clergy, California’s state legislature is investigating the business dealings of Dr. Irving Moskowitz, a controversial sponsor of Jewish settlements in Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
The defeat of Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato Tuesday was also a big defeat for controversial campaign strategist, Arthur Finkelstein, the reclusive D’Amato protege who has made one-note attack ad on “liberals” his specialty.
Similarly, Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer’s triumph over D’Amato heralds the rise of newer campaign guru, Hank Morris, a feisty strategist who specializes in helping Democratic centrists repulse the often disabling liberal label.
In a coda to the investigation of Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind and various associates, Rabbi Elliot Amsel, a key Hikind fund-raiser, pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $700,000 from Syrit College, the Brooklyn computer school he ran until his indictment.
By midnight, the precinct-by-precinct numbers stretched across the length of the wall at Melinda Katz’s campaign headquarters. But one of her most seasoned campaign workers honed in on a mere handful from Far Rockaway and Howard Beach.
“Look over there,” he said. “That’s where the election was lost.”The crucial returns, from the 23rd Assembly District, a collection of mostly Irish and Italian neighborhoods, and a sprinkling of Jews, were from Katz’s own geographic base in Queens, where she serves as a state Assembly member.
Like the candidate, the audience was Orthodox and likely to be staunch in its defense of Israel. So Noach Dear lost no time in making his pitch explicit.
“We have how many shomer Shabbos politicians?” he asked the Sunday morning bagels-and-cream-cheese crowd gathered to hear him at the Young Israel of Far Rockaway last month, using the term for Sabbath observers. Touting his campaign to represent them in Congress, Dear urged, “This is a way to contribute to the community.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the furthest thing from Joseph Fteha’s mind when he sought to sue the family next door to his elderly mother’s house for building their garage over her property line. True, the property was in East Jerusalem, his late Palestinian father’s native city. But what did a boundary dispute there between him and the Arabs next door to his mother’s property have to do with Middle East politics?
Once it went to the jury, Dov Hikind’s fate was never in doubt. “We decided pretty quickly he was not guilty” of the bribery charge against him, Lucille Muscarella, a juror in the federal corruption case against the Brooklyn assemblyman, told The Jewish Week. And the jury dispensed quickly, too, she said, with the charge that he had misapplied federal funds.
Jewish Week stories invoked in closing arguments in Brooklyn assemblyman’s federal corruption case; judge narrows charges
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman launched his summation this week in the Dov Hikind federal corruption trial. One of his first targets was The Jewish Week. “The evidence is incontrovertible this case began with a series of articles in The Jewish Week,” he told the jury. “Are they fair? Or are they simply an organization that didn’t like chasidim, or an Orthodox organization?”
International businessman Ronald Lauder told American Jewish leaders unequivocally last week that he had never given material support — directly or indirectly — to the political campaigns of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
The assurance, coming in the wake of a Jewish Week story that renewed questions about such ties, abruptly aborted a brewing movement to postpone voting Lauder in to lead organized Jewry’s most prominent umbrella group.