News

Journalist David Twersky dies

07/17/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- David Twersky, a veteran journalist and former kibbutznik, has died.

Twersky died last Friday night at his home in West Orange, N.J., following a long battle with cancer. He was 60.

Twersky opened the Washington bureau of the Forward in 1990, at the end of the first President George Bush's administration.

Following his stint in Washington, Twersky was named editor of the New Jersey Jewish News, which he led from 1993 to 2002. He later joined the New York Sun as foreign editor and columnist.

American Jewish Congress Suspends Activities

07/17/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- The American Jewish Congress has suspended its activities after running out of funds.

The suspension of the venerable Jewish-American advocacy organization's activities, confirmed to JTA on Sunday by acting co-executive director Marc Stern, comes after months of rumors that the organization was on the verge of collapse after losing most of its endowment in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

As of Sunday afternoon there was no mention of the suspension on the AJCongress website.

Netanyahu Tells Cabinet He Opposes Rotem Conversion Bill

07/17/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes a proposed conversion bill, which "could tear apart the Jewish people."

Netanyahu made the comments Sunday at the regular Cabinet meeting.

The bill, which has been roundly condemned by the Reform and Conservative movements in the United States, Israel and in other countries in the Diaspora because it centralizes conversion in the hands of the Orthodox Rabbinate, could come up for a first reading this week.

Homeland Security Releases New Funds to Jewish Non-Profits

07/15/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Department of Homeland Security released $19 million to secure non-profits, the vast majority Jewish.

Of 271 institutions named in a list released this week by DHS, 254 are Jewish, including synagogues, schools, community centers and offices.

The funds were released as part of a congressionally mandated program in place since 2005 that targets institutions that are vulnerable to attack.

Obama Official Guarantees Levels of Israel Defense Funding

07/15/2010 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An Obama administration official committed to sustaining a 10-year defense assistance program to Israel, saying that advanced tehnology is endangering Israel.

Andrew Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said in a rare speech on Friday that the Obama administration has since its outset been committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge over its neighbors.

Israel Accuses 8 of Weapons Charges, ‘Jihad’

07/15/2010 - 20:00
JTA

(JTA) -- Israeli authorities alleged that eight Israeli Arabs charged with weapons offenses had ambitions of joining a global jihad, or holy war.

According to media accounts of the eight Nazareth men charged Thursday with illegal weapons trading, the group tracked speeches and writings by al-Qaida leaders and spoke of Jews and Christians as "infidels."

Support for Israel Near Record High, Gallup Poll Shows

07/14/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Support for Israel among Americans is at a near record high, a new poll showed.

According to the Gallup Poll, 63 percent of Americans say their sympathies in the Middle East conflict are with Israel, while 15 percent side with the Palestinians. The rest favor both sides, neither side or have no opinion.

Support for Israel was higher only in 1991, shortly after Israel was hit with Scud missiles during the Gulf War, when it was at 64 percent.

Campaign to Bring More Falash Mura to Israel Gains Steam

07/14/2010 - 20:00
JTA

NEW YORK (JTA) -- After months of fits and starts, advocates for Ethiopian aliyah are hoping that a visit to the African country this week by Israel’s minister of immigrant absorption will help set in motion a process that will bring some 7,500 additional Ethiopians to Israel.

So far, the Israeli government has committed to checking only 1,800 of them for aliyah eligibility and bringing those who qualify to Israel.

Israelis File $1.2 Billion Suit Against Al Jazeera

07/13/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A group of Israelis has filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit in U.S. federal court against the Al Jazeera news network.

Ninety-one Israeli plaintiffs, civilians who were injured during the monthlong 2006 Second Lebanon War or are relatives of victims, are charging in their suit that the Qatar-based network's war coverage was designed to help Hezbollah. Al Jazeera has offices in New York.

J Street Calls For Settlement Funder Probe

07/13/2010 - 20:00

 J Street called for an investigation into American charities — including one based in the Five Towns — that fund Israeli settlement activity.

J Street, the self-proclaimed political home for “pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” launched a campaign Monday calling on the U.S. Treasury Department to look into whether organizations named in a July 6 New York Times report have broken the law. 

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