Petach Tikvah, Israel — Recounting how officials in this central-Israel city stonewalled complaints this month about the segregation of four Ethiopian schoolgirls, Daniel Uoria paused to answer his cell phone. It was an adviser to the deputy mayor.
"It’s because the minister of education is coming here to see what happened," explained Uoria, 29, after the call as he sat in an office at the headquarters of the Kadima Party. "Once you make a stink, suddenly everybody wants to help."
Jerusalem — While British Prime Minister Tony Blair practically did cartwheels to avoid courting controversy during his visit to Israel this week, New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, also on a whirlwind tour, took no such precautions.
Jerusalem — Having successfully recovered millions of dollars worth of Jewish property lost in the Holocaust, restitution experts in Israel and the U.S. are now setting their sights on the Arab world.
The Knesset Parliamentary Committee on the Restitution of Jewish Property announced plans this month to create a national center to register documents and testimony about the possibly “tens of billions of dollars” in property left behind by Jews who emigrated to Israel from Arab/Muslim countries.
Jerusalem — What do Israelis make of the crisis over conversions that has bitterly divided American Jews? While many are still unaware of the Reform and Conservative movements and what they stand for, there are indications that the issue, which has simmered for about a year, is finally making an impact here.
The media this week devoted more attention than ever to the issue. The mass-circulation dailies, which rarely referred to the conversion crisis, have been brimming with articles on the so-called “conversion bill crisis” for several months now.
Yanukovich’s victory welcomed cautiously by community.
Moscow — In a country where anxieties about anti-Semitism are never far from the surface, Viktor Yanukovich’s victory in Ukraine’s presidential election is being welcomed with caution by Ukrainian Jews.
Yanukovich, who has close ties to the Kremlin, replaces Viktor Yushchenko, his West-leaning rival who won five years ago in a second runoff election between the candidates. Widespread protests claiming fraud in favor of Yanukovich in the original runoff spurred the rematch. The pro-democracy protests became known as the Orange Revolution.
JERUSALEM How many casualties are too many casualties? How much destruction is too much destruction? And how long should Israel continue its military assault on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in order to achieve at least part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s stated goal of destroying “every terrorist infrastructure, everywhere?”
A month after controversy engulfed The Jewish Museum’s upcoming exhibition of Nazi imagery in contemporary art, the real thing is now on display in a Chelsea gallery.
Scheduling Leni Riefenstahl’s first New York solo show of photographs from “Olympia,” her film about the 1936 Berlin Games, to coincide with the Salt Lake Olympic Games, gallery owners Marianne Boesky and Marla Hamburg Kennedy are now scrambling to soften the impact of their exhibition of Hitler’s favorite filmmaker.