Russia

Berman, Ros-Lehtinen Press Obama on Iran Sanctions Enforcement

11/30/2010 - 19:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The top Republican and Democrat House foreign policy members called on the Obama administration to more closely scrutinize nations that do not comply with Iran sanctions.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the outgoing chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, convened a hearing Wednesday on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran.

Death, and "Fiddler of the Roof"

My story this week is about the scholars who are pushing hard against myths about the shtetl, especially the kind peddled by "Fiddler on the Roof."  

As it happens, the composer of that Tony-winning classic died yesterday: Jerry Bock, at 81.  Eerily, the writer of the musical's book, Joseph Stein, died ten days before.  They both will be missed, deeply.

Russian Census to Find Large Jewish Drop, Expert Predicts

10/24/2010 - 20:00

MOSCOW (JTA) -- The Russian census under way will show a Jewish decline of as much as 25 percent, a specialist on Russian Jewish demography predicts.

The estimate by Mark Kupovetsky, director of biblical and Judaic studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, for the 2010 census is based on the stable decline of the Jewish population in Russia over the past years, as death rates rise and birthrates fall.

Russia Ordered to Return Documents to Chabad

08/04/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A U.S. court ruled that the Russian Federation must return sacred documents to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Last week’s ruling by the Washington, D.C., District Court, which was filed Wednesday, came after over 5 1/2 years of legal proceedings to recover documents seized by the Russian government during World War II.

The Russian government was ordered to hand over the documents to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow or to Chabad officials.

Teaching Talmud In Moscow

07/26/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Now that the Russian government permits the practice of religion, I often wonder what is happening to the Jews of Russia. This past May I found out. I spent the month in Moscow teaching Talmud at the Moscow State University for the Humanities. 

Neo-Nazis Stay Home from Washington March

08/12/1999 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

Saturday’s planned neo-Nazi march in downtown Washington had all of the elements of a major clash — including thousands of counter protesters, Jewish militants itching for a fight and armies of shield-toting police — except for one thing: the neo-Nazis themselves.
Only four supporters of the American Nationalist Party, formerly the Knights of Freedom, showed up. Faced with thousands of jeering spectators, they promptly turned tail.

Russian Firms Get Sanctions

Russian Firms Get Sanctions

Jewish groups welcomed last week’s imposition of sanctions on three Russian companies accused of supplying military technology to Syria, but expressed concern about the impact of the wor

04/08/1999 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

Russian Firms Get Sanctions

Jewish groups welcomed last week’s imposition of sanctions on three Russian companies accused of supplying military technology to Syria, but expressed concern about the impact of the worsening U.S.-Russian relationship on Jews in the former Soviet Union and on the Middle East peace process.
The sanctions decision set off alarm bells in Jerusalem, where officials fear that their recent diplomatic efforts to press Russia on the proliferation question could be compromised by the new U.S. action.
The administration action touched off an angry blast from the foreign ministry in Moscow, which described the move as “illegal from the point of view of the international law,” and warned that it represented one more blow to relations strained by differences over the NATO campaign against Serbia.
Jewish groups generally welcomed the move — the first time officials here have imposed sanctions based on dealings with Syria.
“My feeling is that the United States is trying to find a credible approach to the problem of proliferation,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
But other observers warned that sinking U.S.-Russian relations will reduce this country’s leverage in the battle against the new epidemic of Russian anti-Semitism.
“Historically, U.S. leverage on issues like anti-Semitism is greatest when the relationship is good. When relations cool, it declines,” said Robert O. Freedman, president of Baltimore Hebrew University. “And relations are definitely cooling.”
Last week’s sanctions decision “confirm the rumors we’ve heard for a long time about major arms deals between Russian and Syria,” he said. “This is one more effort by [Prime Minister Yevgeny] Primakov to reintroduce the Russians into the Middle East.”
Mark N. Katz, an expert in U.S.-Russian relations at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., agreed that the Primakov factor is troubling. He cited recent reports that Primakov, an old Mideast hand with close ties to Saddam Hussein, received an $800,000 payment from the Iraqi government in 1997.
Katz warned that sanctions alone will not be enough to slow Russia’s dealings with countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria.
“The Clinton people keep saying we have to treat them gently or we lose leverage,” he said. “But we never seem to get what we want, anyway. We need to talk more openly about more sweeping measures.”

Nightmare Budget Awaits Legislators

Lawmakers come back from their spring recess on Tuesday, and waiting for them will be an explosive budget debate that Jewish leaders fear may result in big cuts to domestic programs and new problems for Israel’s foreign aid.
The first confrontation will come as legislators resume bickering over the administration’s supplemental aid request that includes money for hurricane disaster relief in Central America and a special appropriation for Jordan.
That measure has been loaded down with special appropriations for a number of business interests, increasing the chances of a presidential veto.
And congressional Republicans have insisted that the supplemental money must be “offset” by cuts in already-strapped domestic spending programs. That could be a troubling precedent when Israel’s supplemental aid comes up for review later in the year.
Before they left town, both Houses passed budget resolutions providing a rough blueprint for Fiscal Year 2000 spending. The Republican-crafted proposals are based on the 1997 deficit-reduction agreement, with stringent spending caps that leave little maneuvering room.
At the same time, GOP leaders are insisting on significant tax cuts and increases in military spending. The war in Kosovo will add even more pressure on congressional budgeters.
“Basically we’re in the third year of a five-year deficit-reduction process,” said Reva Price, Washington representative for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
“Congress backloaded the cuts because nobody wanted to admit up front how difficult the process would be. As a result, this year’s budget is turning into a nightmare.”

Jerusalem  Embassy Deadline Approaching — Again

Next week could produce some dramatic news in the fight to force the Clinton administration to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Iran Sanctions: Is Action on Russia Enough?

Pro-Israel groups are playing a cautious game of wait-and-see in response to last week’s dramatic developments in the battle over sanctions on Russian companies that contribute to Iran’s missile development program
07/23/1998 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent
Is Action On Russia Enough? Pro-Israel groups are playing a cautious game of wait-and-see in response to last week’s dramatic developments in the battle over sanctions on Russian companies that contribute to Iran’s missile development program. Facing an almost certain override of his veto of the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, President Bill Clinton announced he would impose trade sanctions on seven of nine Russian companies accused of contributing to Iran’s weapons program.

Russian Crisis Has Leaders Fearing Worst

American Jewish leaders, jarred by the accelerating economic and political chaos in Russia, are privately beginning to discuss contingency plans for coming to the aid of Russia’s vulnerable Jewish population.
09/03/1998 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent
American Jewish leaders, jarred by the accelerating economic and political chaos in Russia, are privately beginning to discuss contingency plans for coming to the aid of Russia’s vulnerable Jewish population. Their concern is being fueled by rising panic among Jews who fear a wave of anti-Semitism as rubles evaporate into thin air and communists crank up their efforts to unseat President Boris Yeltsin. But some wonder if Jewish communal institutions here are prepared for the consequences of a full-scale meltdown in Russia.
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