An Islamic elementary school from the South Bronx tours the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Lower Manhattan. Muslim students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore invite Jewish students to a Ramadan break-the-fast banquet. A Pakistani man invites 100 Muslims and Jews to an interreligious dialogue meeting in his Washington, D.C., home.
Less than a year into new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem, diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel are bleak, but not that bleak, Middle East experts in an academic conference here agreed this week.
The participants in “U.S.-Israel Relations: In the Era of Obama and Netanyahu,” held at the Schottenstein Cultural Center in Manhattan, said the continuing pressure on Israel by the Obama administration to halt the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories is not likely to improve the relations.
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
The blogosphere is buzzing with commentary about an op-ed in today’s New York Times blasting the group Human Rights Watch for its obsession with Israel – an obsession the writer says diminishes its effectiveness in addressing epidemic human rights abuses around the world.
Adrian Shanker, a college student from Westchester, spent this summer working as an intern in Washington. During his time in the capital, he took part in a training program run by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The other young participants in the RAC program shared Shanker’s support for Israel. And, like him, many of them, opposed Israel’s month-long war in Lebanon this summer. A war — spurred by Hezbollah attacks on Israel and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers — that the leadership of the Reform movement supported.
A green hatchet, some red Cedars of Lebanon, some poetry, some cartoons, some photographs, some blog journals printed out on pink sheets of paper.
In the weeks since the war in Lebanon began, a wide variety of artistic and non-artistic types have expressed their feelings about the fighting — and the 92nd Street Y’s Makor Gallery on the Upper West Side has put many of their expressions in 8-by-10-inch wooden frames and hung them in a public display.
As far back as the Munich Olympics of 1972, Palestinian terrorists and their supporters have used kidnapping as a political tool, abducting Israeli civilians and soldiers to be used in potential prisoner swaps and to obtain other concessions from Israel. Following is a chronology of prominent Israeli kidnappings and MIA cases:
1972: Members of the Black September terrorist group sneak into the Olympic Village in Munich and take 11 members of the Israeli delegation hostage. All 11 are killed.
A largely behind-the-scenes campaign on behalf of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has gone public in recent weeks, as a variety of Jewish organizations and former American political officials have urged the onetime naval intelligence analyst’s release from a life prison sentence.
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.
New Haven, Conn. — For a long time Yale University was not a good place to be a Jewish student. The WASPy Ivy League school here maintained a Jewish quota from the 1920s until the ‘50s, limiting the number of Jews to 10 percent of the undergraduate class.
For a forthcoming television documentary and DVD about contemporary anti-Semitism, New York producer Andrew Goldberg interviewed academicians, theologians and journalists on four continents. Many of the experts were Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, because, as the documentary shows, that region is the source of most anti-Semitism today.
For another, less-intellectual, perspective, Goldberg also wanted a look at public opinion, the “Arab street.” So he went to an Arab street.