James Besser |
New U.S. Plan In Works?
by James D. Besser
With Palestinian terror attacks continuing unabated, the Bush administration is dropping broad hints that it may be almost ready to offer more detailed suggestions for ending 20 months of violence.
James D. Besser |
Anti-Semitism is a hot topic on Capitol Hill these days, but lawmakers sometimes seem to get confused about the difference between the good guys and the not-so-good guys.
That was apparent when plans by the Helsinki Commission to hold hearings on anti-Semitism in Europe touched off a political rumble after the chairman announced the list of witnesses.
The commission, an independent federal agency that monitors human rights across Europe, includes members of both houses of Congress and representatives of the State, Commerce and Defense departments.
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.
Members of the World Jewish Congress executive who had flown to Brussels to discuss the wave of anti-Semitism in Europe felt the sting of that hate firsthand in the Belgian capital.
During the 36-hour meeting last week, there were four separate anti-Semitic attacks against members of the 100-member group, according to its secretary general.
"If you analyze the statistical probability [of that happening], it's a serious lesson," said Avi Beker. "And our people were [primarily] not in the streets but in the hotel."
The surprise second-place finish of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in Sunday's presidential vote has at least one Israeli official calling on French Jews to make aliyah.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai spoke with French community leaders, his spokesman was quoted as saying, and "implored them to start packing their bags and come to Israel."