Biden's Israel speech: not a game changer

 So did Vice President Joe Biden accomplish his top goal during this week's Israel visit – reassuring a skeptical Israeli public about the Obama administration's intentions while also reassuring the Palestinians that the administration is still determined to play a role in bringing the two sides back together for serious peace talks?

New Battle Brewing Over Sudan Boycott

Special To The Jewish Week

An otherwise noncontentious national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs next week could see a fierce debate and politicking over a proposal to put the umbrella Jewish group in line behind efforts to impose divestment on Sudan because of the genocide in Darfur.

Mulling Divestment, From The Sudan

Special To The Jewish Week

The Jewish community appears poised to join a growing movement of city and state legislatures, universities, religious organizations and other groups in calling for a targeted economic boycott of the Sudan.

The move, supporting divestment from companies with business ties to the Sudanese government, would come as the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, a region of the Sudan, enters its fourth year. The slaughter, considered a genocide by the U.S. government and much of the international community, has killed at least 400,000 civilians and displaced as many as 2.5 million.

Bibi’s New Strength – Weakness

Lawrence Cohler-Esses is a staff writer. James D. Besser is Washington correspondent.
Scathed but far from destroyed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now has the same secret weapon that has long served Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat so well when dealing with Washington: his weakness.

Split On Jerusalem

Staff Writer
When the small Jewish Peace Lobby released a petition signed by 300 liberal rabbis calling for Israel to share Jerusalem in a peace settlement, the response could have been: So what? What’s news about a group of Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis advocating a view many experts privately say is inevitable? Not to mention that 800 other non-Orthodox rabbis refused to sign the document.

JCC Rampage Part Of ‘Pattern’ Of Hate

Staff Writer
New York-area Jewish community centers moved swiftly Tuesday to increase security in response to the day’s shooting rampage at North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area. One Jewish leader declared the incident — the third attack on Jews and Jewish property in the United States in the last two months — to be part of a frightening trend.

Spiritual Struggle

Staff Writer
Baltimore — What do an expert on Buddhism, a Christian theologian and a former Reagan administration bureaucrat have to say about Jewish spirituality to a room full of Conservative rabbis? That was the question here this week when all three addressed several hundred rabbis and guests at the 99th annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, the organization representing the world’s 1,500 Conservative rabbis.

U.S., Israel Part Ways On Georgia Conflict


Editor At Large
For Israel this week, the outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia has been all about Iran. As Tblisi and Moscow agreed to a cease-fire Tuesday in their five-day conflict over two disputed territories, Russia was still bristling with anger over U.S. policies and statements on the issue. But thanks to Israel’s decision to limit its arms sales to Georgia, the Kremlin had only kind words for Israel, Washington’s closest ally, as the guns of war died down.

Jews Turn Against Torture


Editor At Large
As Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s stand on government torture meets widespread criticism — including, increasingly, from the organized Jewish community — a former Israeli military attorney who oversaw terrorist cases is pushing for the United States to borrow, selectively, from Israel’s approach to the issue. Since a 1999 High Court ruling mandated it, says Amos Guiora, Israel has established a “no-torture-based paradigm” that contain key elements the U.S. should adopt; but also some elements it should avoid.

Finding Their Voice

Staff Writer
Just last week, in a pricey Chelsea accessories boutique, Danielia Roberts encountered an attitude that she finds herself getting used to. As she purchased some candleholders, it somehow came up that the sales clerk was Jewish.
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