civil rights

Battle Over Circumcision is Shaping Up in California

05/30/2011 - 20:00
JTA

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- In November, San Franciscans will vote on a ballot measure that would outlaw circumcision on boys under the age of 18.

Although experts say it is highly unlikely the measure will pass -- very few state propositions pass, much less one this controversial -- the mere fact that it reached the ballot, and in such a major city, has caused much concern for Jews and their allies.

The Rabbi Was A ‘Freedom Rider’

N.J. spiritual leader, part of a new PBS documentary, looks back on his role in the civil rights struggle.
05/10/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Rabbi Israel S. Dresner got a call 50 years ago asking if he’d be willing to go on a Freedom Ride aimed at desegregating bus stations in the South, he did not hesitate.

“Remember, I’m a guy who grew up in the 1930s when Hitler was on the rise,” Rabbi Dresner, now 82, said in a recent interview from his home in Wayne, N.J. “How can I not be against racism?”

Rabbi Israel S. Dresner

Israel Cancels Residency Status of Thousands of Palestinians

05/10/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel canceled the residency status of 140,000 Palestinians, allegedly without warning, the daily Haaretz reported.

A document obtained by Haaretz, following a request filed under the Freedom of Information Law by a human rights organization, shows that the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians were canceled between 1967 and 1994, shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Inquiries Into Left-Wing NGOs Could Violate Rights, Israel AG Says

02/20/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The establishment of panels of inquiry to look into the funding and activities of left-leaning non-governmental organizations could violate basic human rights, Israel's attorney general said.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein made the statement Sunday in a brief filed with Israel's Supreme Court, in response to a petition asking the court to prevent the establishment of such Knesset inquiry panels.

The Knesset is set to vote next week on a bill that would establish two panels to look into the funding sources and activities of left-wing organizations.

Martin Luther King and Jewish isolation

On Martin Luther King's birthday, we're going to hear a lot of starry eyed reminisces about the glory days of black-Jewish amity during the civil rights movement, and muttered complaints about anti-Semitism among African Americans. And we're going to hear the usual stories about how King wasn't a perfect human being and how he sometimes opposed the things most of the Jewish community supports.

AJC, NIF share a concern: Israeli democracy

I can't recall many times when the American Jewish Committee and the New Israel Fund have been on the same page on a critical issue involving Israel, but it happened this week.

Bus Gender Segregation Can Continue, With Caveats, Supreme Court Rules

01/05/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Gender segregation on public buses can continue as long as passengers agree, Israel's Supreme Court ruled.

The practice may continue on dozens of bus lines serving the haredi Orthodox community, known as "Mehadrin" lines, as long as passengers are not coerced and no violence erupts, the ruling, issued Thursday, said.

AJC Urges Knesset to Rescind Investigation Vote

01/05/2011 - 19:00

(JTA) -- The American Jewish Committee called on Israel's Knesset to reconsider its decision to form a parliamentary committee to investigate Israeli groups critical of the country's military.

“The Knesset’s action today contravenes the democratic principles that are Israel’s greatest strength,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris in a statement released Wednesday. “Israel’s vibrant democracy not only can survive criticism, but it also thrives and is improved by it.”

Achieving a More Perfect Union: An Agenda for the New Congress

01/04/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

The newly elected leaders in the House of Representatives plan to open the 112th session by reading the Constitution into the record. That's not a bad beginning - this Congress must dedicate itself to addressing fundamental problems in order to keep alive the promise of our constitution's preamble: "to...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

Nancy Ratzan

Scary story: an amendment to unravel federal protections?

Am I the only one alarmed by today's New York Times story on a growing movement among conservatives and Tea Partiers seeking “ a constitutional amendment that would allow a vote of the states to overturn any act of Congress?”

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