Elie Wiesel, who until now has scrupulously stayed out of politics, endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton Monday at a press conference here in which the two criticized the Palestinian Authority for continuing to publish anti-Semitic school textbooks that promote the hatred of Jews.
It was after 5 p.m. and almost all of the television cameras, newspaper reporters and photographers had left the waterfront Bellport, L.I., home of Regina Seltzer last Wednesday when Rep. Carolyn McCarthy called from Washington to extend congratulations after Seltzer's apparent upset primary victory over Rep. Michael Forbes.
"How's it going?" asked fellow Democrat McCarthy.
"I think you know how it's going because you went through this once too,"Seltzer said, referring to McCarthyís own 1996 upset victory over Republican incumbent Dan Frisa.
Two Jewish incumbents survived challenges in Tuesday's Democratic congressional primaries, while in a stunning upset, a Long Island representative with a strong pro-Israel record appears to have been ousted, and a Jewish Democrat has been nominated to succeed Republican Senate candidate Rick Lazio.
An Israeli court has issued a temporary injunction barring the Foreign Ministry from removing its consul general in New York, Shmuel Sisso, pending a hearing. Sisso went to court after learning from his wife of the planned removal. She had heard it on Israel radio while vacationing in Israel. "I had been informed by the Foreign Ministry that I was staying," said Sisso.
"They had completed 99 percent of the paperwork, and they had already paid my children's tuition for the coming school year."
Even as American and British troops continued fighting in Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in the United States this week in part to press the Bush administration to finally release the "road map," a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan leading to a Palestinian state by 2005.
Israel's new foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, also arrives this week to meet senior administration officials. The road map is expected to be a prime topic of discussion.
After failing to woo the left-wing Labor Party in pursuit of a unity government, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned in the other direction and tentatively formed a government of largely right-wing parties that many analysts believe will make it more difficult to pursue a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
"I don't think it's going to last long," Alon Ben-Meir, project director at the World Policy Institute in Manhattan, said of the new government.
There were increasing signs this week that Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were genuinely interested in forming a unity government, despite Mitznaís campaign pledge never to join such a coalition.
Yuli Tamir, a strong opponent of such a union and a founder of Peace Now in 1978, told Israel Army Radio Wednesday that Labor Party leaders were getting the "impression that there is willingness on the part of the prime minister to reach more serious discussions."
On first blush, there seems to be little connection between the two seasons foremost on our minds these days: the presidential campaign and the High Holy Days.
Indeed, one seems driven by aggression and cynicism, forsaking openness and honesty for twisting the facts in a way to make one’s opponent seem wrongheaded at best, evil at worst. And the other appears to be about inner reflection, stepping away from the everyday world to reconsider our actions in light of our deepest values and faith.
Benjamin Gilman, one of two Jewish Republican members of the House of Representatives and for three decades a staunch supporter of Israel and Jewish causes going back to the struggle for Soviet Jewry, announced his retirement Tuesday after redistricting pushed him into a new district with fellow Republican Rep. Sue Kelly.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna, who will face off in national elections Jan. 28, were sharply reminded this week that within their own parties they are more dovish than their political colleagues.