Twelve elderly Jews gather at the grave of an esteemed rabbi in Prague; they plot to consolidate their power and sow global unrest. Their words ultimately conjure up the Devil himself. The stuff of ghost stories? Perhaps, but this nefarious legend is source material for one of the most potent pieces of propaganda in the anti-Semitic arsenal, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."
Poland has introduced legislation that would cut compensation to former Jewish property owners and heirs whose homes and businesses were seized by the Nazis. The legislation would cover fewer claims than previous versions of similar bills and would also pay only 8 to 10 percent of the property's value. The Polish government had previously agreed to discuss such legislation with Jewish leaders before submitting it to parliament for approval.
Hungarian authorities ousted a police official this week for issuing a permit allowing an anti-Semitic protest by more than 100 skinheads in a downtown Budapest square that prevented members of Chabad from lighting a Chanukah menorah there, according to the World Jewish Congress.
There was no physical altercation but the skinheads blocked the square. Only after the skinheads left an hour later did the lighting take place on the sixth night of Chanukah.
A former Israeli living in New York, Rachel Alkalay was disheartened by the wave of terrorism that struck her homeland last spring. "I wanted to do something about it," she said. So she did something on-line.
First, Alkalay founded shevetnewyork.com, a Web site that offered U.S.-Israeli forums on the Internet and links with other pro-Israel Web sites. Through her circle of "like-minded people," area young professionals, shevetnewyork.com quickly grew.
Last week it reached out to all Americans.
Hitler is coming to a theater near you. A film about the Fuehrer's younger years as a struggling artist opens Dec. 27 on both coasts, and nationwide in February. New York audiences can catch a preview of "Max," which stars John Cusack as the one-armed Jewish art dealer Max Rothman, at the JCC in Manhattan on Dec. 19.
New Jersey lawmakers were set this week to review bipartisan bills aimed at ousting the state's poet laureate, Amiri Baraka, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in his poem "Somebody Blew Up America." One bill, from Democratic state Senate President Richard Codey, would authorize the state Council for the Humanities to remove a sitting poet laureate. The other bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Peter Inverso, would allow the governor to fire a poet laureate.