Seymour Reich

Fresh Rift Emerges Over War Response

01/07/2009
Washington Correspondent

Beneath the surge of Jewish unity, as a broad spectrum of pro-Israel groups back Israel’s Gaza military surge, are differences over tactics, growing uncertainty over exactly how to express support for the embattled Jewish state and some of the sharpest skirmishes yet between “mainstream” Jewish organizations and the peace camp.

Joe's Tongue Is Tied

10/27/2000
Staff Writer
Where's Joe? That's the question some American Jews are asking about Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman as the crisis in Israel sinks to its worst levels in decades. Some are concerned that the Connecticut senator (the first Jew in history to run on a major presidential ticket) has not been more out front in defending Israel in the face of increasing criticism from the United Nations and Arab countries over the violence. More than a hundred Palestinians and eight Jews have been killed since the conflict broke out this month.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

09/15/2000
Staff Writer
Two landmark theological documents were issued last week, one by leading Jewish thinkers and one by the Roman Catholic theologian. Besides timing, they couldn't be more different. The Jewish statement calls for Jews to re-evaluate their historic negative feelings about Christianity and affirm the shared roots of the two faiths. The Vatican statement declares the Roman Catholic Church is the only way to salvation, rejecting alternate paths. It advocates missionizing of non-Catholics. For Jewish interfaith leaders, it's all very troubling.

Gore On Pollard: It's Justice's Call

12/17/1999
Staff Writer
Vice President Al Gore, making his first campaign trip to Brooklyn's Orthodox community, found himself at odds with supporters on several key issues: including private school vouchers and freedom for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Gore said Pollard should be granted clemency by the president only if the Justice Department recommends it. It apparently was the first time Gore has addressed the issue as he raises campaign funds for his 2000 Democratic presidential nomination bid.

‘Open Season On Jews’

05/11/2001
Staff Writer
World Jewry is facing an interfaith crisis with Christians and Muslims over the anti-Jewish tirade spouted by Bashar Assad in the presence of Pope John Paul II, who failed to repudiate the Syrian president. Anxious and irate Jewish leaders this week called for an unprecedented interfaith summit and dashed off letters imploring the Pope to renounce the stunning remarks by Assad. Experts say Assad has elevated anti-Jewish religious charges to dangerous levels.

ADL Quits Dialogue Group

10/08/1999
Staff Writer
A new dustup has hit IJCIC, the Jewish coalition group that claims to represent the world Jewish community to the Vatican. One key member, the Anti-Defamation League, has quit, even as the umbrella group officially known as the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations tries to resurrect itself in the face of sharp criticism and years of ineffectiveness. ADL interfaith director Rabbi Leon Klenicki said the IJCIC is no longer relevant. Last March, the group was declared dead by the Vatican’s chief interfaith official.

Interfaith Scholars To Study Vatican War Archives

10/22/1999
Staff Writer
Nineteen months after it was first proposed, an “unusual” agreement was reached this week between the Vatican and Jewish leaders to assemble a team of scholars to study World War II-era Vatican records that have been publicly available for more than 30 years. Jewish leaders cautioned it is only a first step in answering questions about the Vatican’s response to the Holocaust. A key area of inquiry will be the actions of Pope Pius XII, whom critics say kept silent during the Holocaust.

Interfaith Scholars To Study Vatican War Archives

10/22/1999
Staff Writer
Nineteen months after it was first proposed, an “unusual” agreement was reached this week between the Vatican and Jewish leaders to assemble a team of scholars to study World War II-era Vatican records that have been publicly available for more than 30 years. Jewish leaders cautioned it is only a first step in answering questions about the Vatican’s response to the Holocaust. A key area of inquiry will be the actions of Pope Pius XII, whom critics say kept silent during the Holocaust.

Barak Subtly Shifts Balance Of Power

07/23/1999
Staff Writers
Striding across the opulent lobby of Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel last Sunday morning, Michael Sonnenfeldt, chair of the pro-peace Israel Policy Forum, spotted Malcolm Hoenlein, the top executive of the nation’s leading Jewish umbrella group — the 50-year-old Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “It seems like I’m always following you around,” joked Sonnenfeldt, a private investor with a linebacker’s build, extending his hand.

Will Pope Apologize For The Holocaust?

03/10/2000
Staff Writer
All eyes now turn to Jerusalem. Not satisfied with Pope John Paul II’s general apology to the world on Sunday, some Jewish leaders are hoping the pontiff will come through with an unprecedented and specific declaration about Christian responsibility for the Holocaust and 2,000 years of anti-Semitic acts when he visits the Yad Vashem memorial next Thursday. He will meet with survivors from the Polish town of Wadowice, where the Pope was born 79 years ago.
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