Monday, December 14th, 2009
I haven’t spoken to Michael Oren, Israel’s current ambassador in Washington, more than a handful of times, but he’s always struck me as smart and sophisticated. So I can’t help but wonder why he continues to pick needless fights with J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee (see a JTA story on his latest comments here).
Under a bright sun, Guilla Boukhobza walked up to a microphone in front of the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations and cleared her throat.
For the first time, she was going to publicly talk about her family's perilous expulsion from her native Libya.
It was not easy, Boukhobza confided, because even a generation later, a deep fear remains about discussing the heart-rending events that forced her parents and seven siblings to leave Tripoli one step ahead of anti-Jewish mobs.
Israel's Ministry of Interior for nearly two years has refused to grant or renew visas for Christian clergy and other religious officials, an apparent violation of international religious freedom agreements, The Jewish Week has learned.
Critics of the policy, which has prompted rising anger and frustration among Christian leaders, are blaming Shas, the fervently Orthodox Sephardic political party, which has been running the Interior Ministry.
Ernestine Schlant Bradley, a Holocaust author and wife of presidential candidate Bill Bradley, told a group of Flatbush yeshiva students that she and her husband agree that the United States must keep the pressure on Austria to reverse the decision to include the rightist Freedom Party in its new coalition government.
"It's a very disturbing and crippling event," the German-born professor of German literature at Montclair College in New Jersey told about 350 students Monday at the Yeshivah of Flatbush-Joel Braverman High School.
Had it been in the theater of war, it would have amounted to a surprise attack. After all, it's not every day that a celebrated general comes to a yeshiva that educates Russian Jewish youth deep in the heart of Brooklyn. And it's rarer still when that general drops a bomb, so to speak.
The junior high students of the Be'er Hagolah Institutes didn't know what hit them.
Oswiecim, Poland: Under sunny skies tinged with a hint of autumn, dozens of Jewish men and women from Long Island gathered in a courtyard near the site of Judaism's greatest tragedy to fulfill the tradition's last commandment.
It was from this same small courtyard 57 years ago that Jews from this Polish town, which the Germans called Auschwitz, were forcibly massed and deported to nearby concentration camps, to be used as slave laborers or sent to their deaths.
Nearly 40 years ago, Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” accused Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII of moral cowardice and indifference while millions of Europe’s Jews were being murdered.
The German playwright’s work triggered a worldwide wave of anti-Pius XII criticism, prompting the Vatican — in an unprecedented move — to unlock some of its secret wartime archives in an attempt to refute the charges, arguing he worked behind the scenes to save Jews and did not speak out for fear of a backlash against Catholics and Jews.
Dallas — Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar had heard enough. Israel’s top representative to the United States was squirming in his seat at the Reform movement’s national convention as he listened to noted Jewish historian Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg refer to Israel’s chief rabbis as “bigots with computers” — referring to a confidential computer list they maintain of children of illegitimate unions known as “mamzerim.”
Israel is heading toward an international religious crisis and the loss of untold millions in tourism following increased police actions against Christians.
So warned millennium experts and Christian and Jewish leaders in the wake of Israel’s midnight raid, arrest and deportation this week of a group of 21 Christians, mostly Americans, who had been living without incident near the Mount of Olives anticipating the “return” of Jesus and the beginning of the End of Days.
U.S. officials are condemning as “discriminatory” a draft bill by Poland’s parliament that would block Holocaust survivors from reclaiming billions of dollars in private property confiscated by the Nazis and Communists 50 years ago.
The proposed legislation by Poland’s Sejm, or lower house of parliament, would restrict property claims to Polish citizens who have lived in the country for the last five years — effectively barring claims from Jewish and non-Jewish Polish survivors, or their heirs, now living in America or elsewhere.