SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- For three decades now, the American Jewish Reform movement has considered as Jewish the child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who is raised as a Jew.
But most Reform Jews in the rest of the world still do not accept “patrilineal descent.”
That makes the debate about “Who is a Jew” not just between the Orthodox-dominated Israeli Rabbinate and American Jewish liberal movements, but also between American Reform Judaism and most of the Diaspora.
(JTA) -- Israel and the United States reportedly are attempting to prevent missile sales to Lebanon and Syria.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, in a bid to persuade him not to sell P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, Ha'aretz reported on Friday, and Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak is set to make the same case in Moscow this week. Israel's case is that Hezbollah used Chinese-manufactured missiles purchased by Syria to target Israeli ships during the 2006 Lebanon war.
Leaders of the American Jewish Congress have a message for critics of the group's stance on French anti-Semitism: Let them eat cake.
A delegation of AJCongress leaders who visited France earlier this month said the country's Jews heavily support the group's tactics, which include an ad campaign criticizing the French for inaction on the eve of the Cannes film festival, and directing newspaper readers to a Web site, BoycottFrance.com.
Responding to increasing signs of anti-Semitism at home, most recently an arson attack on a Jewish school near Paris the day after the Istanbul synagogue bombings, the French government has created a new ambassadorial position to deal with Jewish organizations around the world and with Holocaust restitution.
A new public opinion poll in France appears to confirm Abba Eban's oft-quoted observation that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
The survey, conducted for the Israel Project, a Washington-based nonprofit designed to promote Israel, found that French support for Palestinians has plummeted since Israel withdrew from Gaza and the Palestinians then elected the Hamas terrorist group to represent them.
French President Jacques Chirac told Jewish leaders here that although Palestinian President Yasir Arafat is to blame for the failure to reach a peace agreement with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Israel must still work with Arafat because only he can reach a settlement.
That statement did not sit well with the half-dozen Jewish leaders who met with Chirac Monday at the French Consulate, according to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
"Arafat always wants a little bit more," Foxman later told The Jewish Week.
Although Jewish leaders agree that France is experiencing the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism since the Holocaust, a rift has emerged over whether a boycott is justified while French President Jacques Chirac warns of "repercussions" if anti-French attacks persist.
Although Jean-Marie Le Pen received one of the largest votes of any far-right candidate in western Europe since World War II in his failed bid for the French presidency, his National Front party is unlikely to do as well in parliamentary elections next month.