Ukraine has blocked more than 200 Ukrainian children from going to Israel this week to start their school year there under a Jewish Agency program promoting immigration to the Jewish state.
The government’s roadblock against the children’s exit, say Israeli and Jewish communal officials, is but the latest in an escalating spiral of hostility between Ukraine and the Jewish Agency, an Israeli government-linked body responsible for bringing and resettling Jews in the Jewish state.
Guess who's still coming to dinner?
Despite some controversial comments about Mussolini made last week, Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will still be the guest of honor at a New York City dinner in two weeks sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.
Berlusconi, a moderate right politician, triggered worldwide headlines last week when he was quoted in a regional newspaper appearing to defend Italy's World War II fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as a benign leader.
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.
Chicago — Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s maiden speech to the pro-Israel lobby last week saw a man described by early supporters as an ardent dove on Israel take flight as a bird of considerably more hawkish mien.
Obama, Illinois’ Democratic junior senator, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last Friday that he was committed, above all else, to “peace through security” for the Jewish state.
I remember Tom Friedman from the Madrid peace talks in Washington in the early 1990s. An up-and-coming Israeli politician named Benjamin Netanyahu was the briefer at the Israeli delegation's daily press conferences at the Madison Hotel. Dozens of reports fought to get Bibi's attention every afternoon, usually unsuccessfully, but Tom would stand in the back, seemly above the melee; the merest nod from the New York Times diplomatic correspondent would cause Netanyahu to stop what he was saying and give him the next question.
“Congratulations to the Yankees on a well-purchased victory,” writes Dan Gerstein, a political consultant, on his Facebook status.
Within 24 hours this week, the highest spending politician in the world and the top-spending sports franchise both celebrated victories. Yet neither can claim a blow-out. Mike Bloomberg walked away with a 5 percent margin over an opponent who sent a tenth as much, losing some 200,000 of his 2005 supporters.
In England, a prominent politician with a reputation as an anti-Semite is defeated in a re-election bid.
In France, three policemen shout anti-Semitic slogans and make the Nazi salute in a bar.
In the United States, a leading spokesman for European Jewry brings a cautionary message about the “current state of anti-Semitism” on the European continent.