Lawrence Cohler-Esses

Trial Seen Likely For Iranian Jews

06/25/1999
Staff Writer
At the urging of leaders in the Iranian Jewish community here, American Jewish leaders this week suspended their public campaign calling for the release of 13 Jews accused of espionage in Iran. Instead, they are beginning to implicitly acknowledge the inevitability of a trial for the 13 by shifting their demands to the legal arena.

Key Ministry Could Sway Culture War

06/11/1999
Staff Writer and Israel Correspondent
Jerusalem — For more years than he cares to remember, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and his movement, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, have been pressing Israel’s Interior Ministry to comply with the law. But that law, which requires the ministry to accept and register as Jews immigrants who have converted to Judaism abroad, repeatedly has faced a harsh political reality:

Can Barak Heal Israel?

Just one day after his landslide victory, aides to Israel’s newly elected prime minister put one of American Jewry’s key pro-Israel groups on notice.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, organized Jewry’s pro-I

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
Just one day after his landslide victory, aides to Israel’s newly elected prime minister put one of American Jewry’s key pro-Israel groups on notice. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, organized Jewry’s pro-Israel Washington lobby, “has been less than wise in several of their endeavors over the last few years,” Alon Pinkus, Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak’s spokesman, said Tuesday.

‘Left-Wing’ Election Flights May Be Illegal

05/07/1999
Staff Writer
Chai L’Yisrael, the cheaper of the two at $180 round trip from New York, is offering flights tied to the May 17 election for prime minister and parliament, the Knesset. The latter will decide the fate of the Orthodox religious parties. Kesher’s round-trip flights are for an expected June 1 runoff between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud Party and Ehud Barak of the left-leaning One Israel Party. Kesher’s fares are $449 from New York and $649 from Los Angeles.

Centrist Party To Use Charity For Campaign

03/12/1999
Staff Writer
In the clearest account to date of how Israeli political candidates exploit U.S. charities for their campaign needs, an activist for Israel’s new centrist party, Mercaz, this week detailed its plans to raise at least $750,000 from U.S. donors through an American nonprofit organization. “[We’ve] created a ‘Friends of Mercaz’-type agency to which people can actually donate their money,” enthused Shelly Sitton, referring to the Mercaz Party. “The other parties have been doing it for decades.”

Likud’s Tangled Charity Web

02/19/1999
Staff Writer
Nearly a half-million dollars raised in America for Israeli children by Likud fund-raisers cannot be properly accounted for, a joint investigation by The Jewish Week and the Israeli daily paper Haaretz has found. The joint probe, which included scrutiny of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign financing, has found that some of the money in question — about $47,000 — was instead channeled directly to the Likud Party and other Israeli political causes.

Chabad Under Fire

11/27/1998
Staff Writer
Members of the Chabad chasidic sect danced in the streets Monday when one of its local activists emerged from an Israeli prison, where he had been imprisoned on suspicion of plotting an attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But in Brooklyn Monday, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chabad’s international director, was striving to put as much distance as possible between the organization and the activities of its Israeli members. “I don’t know who he is,” said Rabbi Krinsky, “I’ve never heard of him.”

Wye ‘Report Card’ Rapped

11/20/1998
Staff Writer
Two weeks after Israel and the Palestinians signed their most recent recommitment to the Mideast peace process, a dovish Jewish group’s finding that Israel is failing to meet many of its obligations has set off storm of criticism from some other Jewish groups.

Police State On Israel’s Doorstep?

11/06/1998
JTA Reporter and Staff Writer
Al-Burg, West Bank — From her hilltop village of Al-Burj, located southwest of Hebron, Majida Talahmeh closely followed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators last month as they put the finishing touches on the Wye River Memorandum in the United States. Like many Palestinians, Talahmeh, 27, worried about how a new agreement on security cooperation would affect the Palestinian people. Her family feels that it has already paid a heavy price for Israeli security demands.

Bill, Bibi Raise The Stakes

05/15/1998
Staff Writer
As tension built between Washington and Jerusalem last week, Dr. Mandell Ganchrow, a leader of the Orthodox movement, rose to urge American Jewry’s primary umbrella group to issue a clear statement strongly condemning U.S. pressure on Israel. Instantly, a chorus of no’s echoed in the Manhattan meeting room of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. And conference chairman Melvin Salberg, ever sensitive to the consensus the group needed to act, told Ganchrow quickly, “I think you have your answer, Mendy.”
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