The shofar was blown in one suburban Philadelphia synagogue last Friday night to celebrate an answered prayer – the release by Iran of the two American hikers, one of whom, Josh Fattal, had become a bar mitzvah with the guidance of the shul's rabbi.
Ronald Lauder has a good idea. In a gesture of peace and understanding, he wants to save the Iranians the humiliation of being defeated by Israeli athletes at the 2012 Olympics in London and protect the losers from any retribution they may incur for returning home with the stigma of having been bested by a Zionist by having them sit out next year's games.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Protesters demonstrated outside the New York headquarters of several companies accused of conducting business with Iran.
Demonstrators from Iran 180 and United against Nuclear Iran, two groups promoting a democratic Iran, rallied June 10 in Midtown Manhattan, booing a large papier mache construction of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Eni Corp., one of the companies being picketed, sent down a spokesperson to declare the Italian energy company's plans to officially cease doing business with Iran.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Senators introduced an enhanced Iran sanctions bill matching one recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The crux of both bills is a ban on business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year. The current threshold is $20 million in business per year.
WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any peace deal with the Palestinians must grant Israel a military presence along the Jordan River, exclude repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel and leave Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital.
However, the Israeli leader said in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, some Jewish settlements in the West Bank would fall outside Israel’s borders in a final peace deal.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Let’s get past this U.S.-Israel relationship thing, so we can get on with important stuff, like the U.S.-Israel relationship.
That seemed to be the message this week at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. With 10,000 people and both the U.S. and Israeli leaders in attendance – plus 67 U.S. senators and 286 members of the U.S. House of Representatives at the gala dinner on Monday night – this AIPAC parley was the biggest and in many ways the most impressive ever.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan bill introduced by top lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives would considerably tighten sanctions on Iran.
The bill, introduced May 13 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), its ranking Democrat, would ban business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year.
It also would expand sanctions against alleged human rights violators and financial institutions that deal with Iran.
A nuclear Iran is clearly a danger to the world and a particular threat to Israel, but I've always wondered: how much of the intense focus on Iran among pro-Israel groups here is the result of a sober analysis of the threat, and how much is about finding a good organizing and fundraising focus for groups that do the best when they confront a dire menace and a clear cut villain?