civil rights

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

01/06/2011

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

01/06/2011

(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

01/05/2011
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?”

You Want A Kosher Roommate? You're Under Arrest

One of the great urban legends among Jews is that we, as a minority, will benefit from the civil rights of others and therefore Jews should be trusting of a liberal government with expanded powers, punishing disrimination with a merciless vigor. But what if those rights only protect the racial and sexual and not the religious?

Some say that Zionists and religious Christians may have support for Israel in common but we must part ways on domestic issues within the United States. 

Diaspora Rabbis Urge Israeli Colleagues to Speak Out on Rental Ruling

12/14/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Over 750 rabbis and cantors of all denominations signed a letter urging their Israeli colleagues to speak out against a ruling by 39 municipal rabbis banning renting to non-Jews.

"The recent halakhic ruling from community rabbis in Israel that forbids leasing apartments to non-Jews has caused great shock and pain in our communities," said the letter, initiated by the New Israel Fund. "The attempt to root discriminatory policies based on religion or ethnicity in Torah is a painful distortion of our tradition."

Rabbis' Ban Of Renting To Arabs Must Be Condemned

12/13/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Israel is roiled once again in sad and needless moral controversy. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, son of former Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu, and with the support of 49 other rabbis, has ruled that it is forbidden by Jewish law for Israeli Jews to sell land or rent property to an Arab.

Protesters in Jerusalem Rally Against Rabbinic Ruling

12/09/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Protesters rallied in Jerusalem against a rabbis' ban on renting apartments to Arabs.

About 150 demonstrators on Wednesday night took up positions across from Jerusalem's Great Synagogue to protest the rabbinic ruling, issued Tuesday by dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis.

"Racism is blasphemy" and "Rabbis' letter – public blasphemy" read the signs carried by some of the protesters.

Dozens of Israeli Rabbis Forbid Renting to Gentiles

12/07/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a religious ruling that forbids renting homes to gentiles, and more specifically to Arabs.

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