Saying that the treasure trove of Jewish artifacts found by American troops in Baghdad in 2003 “were stolen” from the Iraqi Jewish community, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called on the State Department not to return them to Iraq.
Under an agreement with the Bush administration at the time, the more than 2,700 artifacts – including partial Torah parchments and ancient prayer books –were to be returned to Iraq by June of next year after being restored and preserved by the National Archives in Washington. The National Archives plans to exhibit some of them in the near future.
Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman will join former Sen. Jon Kyl in heading a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.
"There is an urgent need to rebuild a bipartisan -- indeed non-political -- consensus for American diplomatic, economic, and military leadership in the world," Lieberman (I-Conn.) said in a statement issued Monday by AEI, a conservative think tank, announcing the American Internationalism Project.
The world financial crisis and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led commentators to conclude that the United States is slipping from its position as global hegemon. In this episode of Faith Complex, Robert J. Lieber, Professor of Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University, joins new host Mitchel Hochberg to discuss why America is not destined to decline.
Watching last week’s Veterans Day parade on Fifth Avenue, Rabbi Irving Elson was filled with emotions. One of them was anger.
“So many people didn’t give a second look,” he recalled later that day. “They didn’t even stop talking on their cell phones.”
Rabbi Elson conceded that he might be oversensitive, having just returned from a second tour in Iraq.
Even as they firmed up Israeli-American strategy in their handling of a war with Iraq, this week’s meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush focused also on ways to best to defuse the Palestinian conflict.
The Wednesday Oval Office meeting — the seventh since Sharon took office in March 2001 — was to ensure that both were on the same page to prevent surprises in the future, according to Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University.
After an explosion at a dining hall at an American military base in Iraq killed 22 in December 2004, military dining facilities in the region imposed strict rules against anyone bringing in bags or boxes — except when Rabbi Sarah Schechter tried to enter with a bag of matzah and a box of kosher-for-Passover food.
“They are very strict about this,” Rabbi Schechter said, adding that the guard who stopped her was very apologetic but insistent.
The looming war with Iraq has long ago taken on the language of a religious crusade, in Arab capitals as well as the White House. But the Jewish messianic excitement that grew out of the first Gulf War back in 1991 is more muted now, humbled after a decade of the crash and burn of the peace process, controversy over the Lubavitch messianic aspirations, and Israelís Palestinian war that has shown little evidence of anyoneís grand plan, let alone Godís.
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein has touched off a scramble among Jewish groups seeking compensation for Jewish refugees from Iraq as well as other Arab countries. In many cases the groups are competing against each other.
At stake potentially are billions of dollars from individual and communal claims.
The push for reparations comes at a time when Palestinians are demanding the right of return to their former homes in Israel.