Another Jewish hero was lost two weeks ago, this one on the ground, only a few miles from Ground Zero, where his uncle perished on Sept. 11.
Just a few days before Col. Ilan Ramon was killed in the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Saul and Sue Zucker of North Massapequa, L.I., who lost a son, Andrew, on 9-11, learned that their 20-year-old firefighter grandson was killed while driving to school in Brookville, L.I.
When Dan Gillerman was in the fifth grade, a reporter for the school newspaper asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"I want to be Israel's ambassador to the United States," Gillerman recalls replying.
Last month, Gillerman, 58, who was born in Tel Aviv and still has a home there, became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has gained an important ally in her efforts on behalf of Israel's Magen David Adom. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), whose husband challenged Clintonís husband for president, signed onto Clintonís amendment to force the acceptance of MDA into the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Dole was formerly director of the American Red Cross. Her husband, Sen. Bob Dole, lost the 1996 presidential race to Bill Clinton.
Jerusalem (JTA): Palestinian security forces are taking steps to prevent rocket attacks into Israel, according to Israeli intelligence sources. Palestinian security forces arrested members of a cell in the Gaza Strip that was firing rockets at Israeli targets, and have disrupted the activities of other cells, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. According to the paper, the moves stem from concern that Israeli retaliatory raids would destroy what remains of the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus in Gaza.
In yet another attempt to privatize Israel's national airline, the government announced plans this week to sell a 49 percent share of El Al Airlines on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in May. The rest of the airline would be sold later.
Los Angeles (JTA): The last five Jews held in an Iranian prison on charges of spying for Israel have been released on "vacation," although it remains uncertain whether they will be permanently freed.
The five were among 13 Jews arrested on spy charges in early 1999.
In a case that drew worldwide attention, they were tried in the southern city of Shiraz, and 10 received prison sentences. Five already have been released after serving some of their time. Israel denies the men were its spies.