by James D. Besser and Stewart Ain |
Washington Correspondent and Staff Writer
After eight days of tough negotiations on a host of thorny final-status issues, it was not surprising that the deal-breaker issue of Jerusalem set the Israeli-Palestinian summit at Camp David spinning into crisis on Wednesday.
With Israeli officials saying the Palestinians had shown no flexibility on the Jerusalem question, Prime Minister Ehud Barak threatened to leave the presidential retreat on Wednesday.
After no more than 20 minutes in a Nazi concentration camp, Polish diplomat Jan Karski had to leave. “I couldn’t take it,” he recalled later. Karski, who in 1942 would provide the West with the first eyewitness accounts of Holocaust atrocities after secretly entering the camp and the Warsaw Ghetto, died last week in Washington. He was 86.
“I cried when I read he had died, not just because I had lost a friend but imagine what could have happened if people had listened to him,” said Michael Berenbaum, a prominent Holocaust scholar.
James Besser |
The Fight Over Family Values
by James D. Besser
When a major education authorization bill began working its way through Congress this year, conservative lawmakers introduced provisions making it easier for states to develop their own school voucher programs.
Jewish groups quickly staked out competing positions. And both sides quickly played their trump card: families, Capitol Hill’s favorite buzzword.
Holocaust denial may be down, but it’s not out. Just ask Charles “Skipp” Porteous, a New York writer, activist and investigator targeted in a lawsuit by an author who calls the Shoah a “myth.”
Historian Deborah Lipstadt recently triumphed in a similar case in London, in which a judge not only denied David Irving’s accusation of libel but branded Irving an anti-Semite and racist before ordering him to pay millions in court costs.
Advocates for children in international custody cases are warning that the unfolding Elian Gonzales saga could have drastic repercussions on efforts to retrieve kids from foreign countries, including Israel, where such cases have risen sharply in recent years.
“This gives those who want to justify the non-return of children another peg to hang their hats on,” said Nancy Hammer, international director of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia.
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
In Richardson, Texas, they call it “Miriam’s seder.” “Hers Seder” is the term of art in Pennsylvania, at the American Jewish Congress gatherings. And in a diverse cross-section of neighborhoods, towns and cities, from the semi-suburbia of Hollis Hills, Queens, to the flatlands of Canton, Ohio, to the East Bay of San Francisco, to the deep South of Birmingham, Ala., the event is known simply as a women’s seder.