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.”
Hillary Clinton is holding top-level discussions to determine whether to call for the declassification of a damning secret memo that led to spy Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence, The Jewish Week has learned.
It was also learned that Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman recently asked President Clinton to consider declassifying secret documents about the Pollard case, days before being chosen as Al Gore’s running mate.
The other day, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant group in America, declared that wives should “submit themselves graciously to their husband’s leadership.”
Try selling that to Jewish women.
“My husband tells me that all the time — ‘can’t you be a little more submissive’ ” — chuckled political consultant Suri Kasirer when asked about the newest development in American gender politics.
Gov. George Pataki’s top Jewish liaison has been grilled by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn investigating whether the state gave special treatment to two Israeli drug dealers. The dealers were granted leniency after requests from a leading Pataki fund-raiser, Rabbi Leon Perlmutter, a prominent member of the Satmar chasidic community.
Jeff Wiesenfeld, Pataki’s executive assistant who deals with Jewish affairs, appeared before the grand jury in Brooklyn several weeks ago, sources said.
With some 53,000 residents in the state’s rural north-central flatlands, Monroe, La., is not the kind of town that would normally expect to play host to the mayor of Jerusalem. But in October 2002, Ehud Olmert came to the county seat of Ouachita Parish to urge 500 to 1,000 Evangelical Christians to give, and give generously, to support victims of terrorism in the Holy City he then governed.
A free speech dispute over campus speakers has continued to roil Brandeis University in the wake of controversy over its hosting of former president and Israel critic Jimmy Carter.
Brandeis’ president waded personally into it this week, voicing hope that right-wing Middle East policy advocate Daniel Pipes would soon lecture there — but issuing no such statement for Norman Finkelstein, a left-wing academic students have also invited.
Jerusalem — A visitor handed Teddy Kollek a book to autograph several years ago. Kollek, sitting behind his desk in the office of The Jerusalem Foundation, where he worked as international chairman after losing a race for re-election as the city’s mayor in 1993, looked at the cover — the book, distributed by the foundation, was a collection of writings and photographs from his career.
“Where did you get this?” Kollek asked.An assistant said she had given it to the visitor.
Cool: last week Jewish lawmakers, pundits and partisan activists got into an involved discussion about the rules of the English language and how they apply to anything having to do with the term “holocaust,” or “Holocaust.” Note the caps. Who knew they were such an erudite bunch?
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s future could lie in the hands of a millionaire Long Island rabbi and businessman who is reportedly set to testify as early as this week that he gave bribes to Olmert while Olmert served as Jerusalem’s mayor from 1999 to 2002.
On the eve of the first World Jewish Congress Assembly in three years, the group’s chief spokesman said he welcomes the prospect of an investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office into its financial dealings but regrets the failure to resolve internally a conflict over past governance.The WJC Assembly will meet in Brussels for three days starting Sunday, with an expected 500 participants representing 88 Jewish communities from around the world.