In the days leading up to “Israeli Apartheid Week” sponsored by the Arab Students’ Collective at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, the Hillel of Greater Toronto sponsored a citywide celebration of the Jewish state’s art, culture and diversity. Israeli pop star Idan Raichel was among the highlights of IsraelFEST, the weeklong event that ended Friday.
Three days after 9-11, a professor from Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology walked through security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport carrying two pounds of an extremely powerful explosive in his bag. He went unchallenged. The explosive, the same type used by the so-called “shoe bomber,” Richard Reed, went undetected because it is made with acetone and hydrogen peroxide and not nitrogen, which all conventional airport detectors are designed to spot.
Although Buckingham Palace is said to be considering offers by Jewish groups to take Prince Harry on a private tour of Auschwitz after he wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said cryptically, “He is not worthy of it.”
On a family vacation in Israel last year, the Silbermans of Bayside started discussing the forthcoming bat mitzvahs of twins Naomi and Giselle.
They didn’t want a ceremony, a typical gaudy American-style ceremony, back in Queens. They ruled out Israel. Too traditional.
Caryn Silberman, the girls’ mother, suggested Budapest — and the decision may have marked a first in post-Communist Budapest. Caryn, an attorney, and her husband George, a retired social worker, have roots in Hungary. The Silbermans had visited Budapest a few years earlier.
The names of another 3,100 dormant Holocaust-era Swiss bank depositors were to be made public this week, bringing the total number of published account holders to nearly 25,000. The names are to be posted Jan. 14 on the Internet at www.crt-ii.org and www.swissbankclaims.com. Owners of the accounts or their heirs must complete the application form posted on the Web sites by July 13. The deadline for claiming the other 21,500 posted bank accounts has expired.
Preventing a potential parliamentary crisis, the Knesset on Wednesday approved the first reading of the 2005 budget bill after members of the Likud Party against the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank decided to support the measure. The bill passed 64-53. Sources close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned that had the bill been rejected, Sharon would call new elections. The second and third readings are in March.