JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel peacefully intercepted a seventh Gaza-bound ship and brought it to Ashdod port.
The Irish-owned ship named the Rachel Corrie, in memory of an American activist who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, was boarded Saturday by Israeli Navy forces 22 miles off the coast of Gaza. The ship was boarded from the sea, and not by helicopters as six flotilla ships were last week, when nine activists on a Turkish-owned ship were killed during clashes with Israeli Navy commandos.
CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Israel a "genocidal state" during nationally broadcast comments following violent clashes aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.
Chavez called Israel a "cursed terrorist and murderous state" amid shouts of “Long Live Palestine” during a June 1 speech, the day after Israeli Navy commandos boarded a Gaza-bound ship and nine people were killed in the ensuing violence. He also accused Israel of supporting the local opposition against his government.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- President Obama reiterated his call for an investigation into the flotilla confrontation and urged parties in the Middle East to transform the situation into a chance to advance the peace process.
In an interview with Larry King on CNN Thursday, Obama called the loss of life on the boat "unnecessary" and predicted that the Israelis would agree to an "investigation of international standards" because they recognize that the current situation "can't be good for Israel's long-term security."
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Democrats pressed Republicans to distance themselves from a major donor involved in Richard Nixon's campaign against Jewish government employees.
Fred Malek's role in demoting Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics while working as personnel director in the Nixon administration was first revealed in 1988, when it led to his resignation as deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. He subsequently reached out to Jewish groups to make amends.