Amiri Baraka, New Jersey’s controversial poet laureate who some New Jersey lawmakers are seeking to strip of his title, now faces a libel suit by five Israelis mentioned in his poem, “Who Blew Up America.”
Israeli officials and analysts expressed surprise and confusion over Bush administration statements this week critical of Israel, with some speculating that the remarks may have been triggered by domestic politics.
On Monday, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” about the thousands of Palestinians left stranded by Israel’s decision to close the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The Reuters news agency called it “an apparent rare rebuke of the Jewish state.”
As a third-year law student at George Washington University prepared to speak last week at a meeting calling for divestment from Israel, the school's Hillel sent out an e-mail to students claiming that the Palestinian student is "considered a terrorist by the State of Israel."
Fadi Kiblawi, 24, has denied the charge and other claims in the e-mail, such as its contention that he advocates the destruction of Israel, has spoken of becoming a suicide bomber and led chants calling for "death to the Jews."
A year ago, a number of Jewish groups mobilized young people to help others rebuild homes and communities in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This week a new Jewish group announced plans to send some 500 young adults from the U.S.
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