The America of today is not the America of 40 years ago, but young people still need role models and Carolyn Goodman of Manhattan said her slain son should be among them.
“I think Andrew was the model of a steadfast person who believed that it’s important to reach out to people no matter what their color or ethnicity or race,” she said. “That is what he meant to people 40 years ago and it’s even more important today because we are living in precarious times.”
Sri Lankan officials denied reports this week that their country had refused tsunami aid from Israel. The reports triggered criticism of Sri Lanka by the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano for declining Israeli assistance because it would have been furnished by the Israeli military.
Compounding the problem, a faulty translation by Catholic World News had led its Web site to run a story saying the Vatican newspaper had criticized Israel for not providing help to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.
The strident comments this week of Mahmoud Abbas, the frontrunner in Sunday’s Palestinian presidential election, have left Israelis puzzled and concerned after weeks of more conciliatory talk and directives on his part to end Palestinian incitement against Israel.
Abbas, the man viewed by both Israel and the United States as a moderate who could lead the Palestinian people to statehood, called Israel the “Zionist enemy” during remarks to thousands of supporters in the Gaza Strip Tuesday.
Edward Fagan, the first lawyer to sue Swiss banks for hoarding the money of Holocaust victims and who championed survivors’ rights in insurance and art cases, has been charged by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics with looting more than $400,000 from the trust accounts of two survivors he represented.
Disciplinary action ranges from an admonition to disbarment.“The knowing misappropriation [of funds] is a disbarable offense,” said John McGill III, the deputy ethics counsel who is overseeing the case.
Armed Palestinian terrorists continued to defy Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts this week to disarm them or get them to rejoin the Palestinian security forces to which most of them had once belonged.
Unable to get the security situation under control, Abbas was forced to delay his planned trip to the United States to meet with President George W. Bush. The trip had been expected to take place about a week after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to Bush next week.
Two weeks after returning from Uganda, where he oversaw the conversion of about 300 members of the Abayudaya community to Judaism, Rabbi Howard Gorin of Rockville, Md., is already planning a trip back.
“This is not dunk ‘em and leave ‘em,” he said, referring to the mikveh, the ritual immersion conducted as part of the conversion process.
As European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana sought further clarification this week of a Saudi statement that promised true Middle East peace, the idea that Israel would no longer be virtually isolated amid hostile Arab neighbors brought a glimmer of hope to Israelis still reeling from a week that left some 70 Israelis and Palestinians dead.
Christoph Meili, the Swiss bank guard whose actions led in 1998 to a $1.25 billion settlement with Holocaust survivors and their heirs, is finally going to get his reward.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Edward Korman is expected to approve as early as next week a $1 million payment to Meili in settlement of a suit he filed against the bank after it had him fired for rescuing incriminating bank documents meant for the shredder.
Now that survivors and their heirs have begun receiving payments in Holocaust claims from Germany and Switzerland, the next fight appears to be within the Jewish community itself.
The Jewish Agency for Israel has written to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asking that he stop the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany from voting April 11 on a new slate of lay leaders. The agency’s treasurer, Chaim Chessler, said in an interview that his organization is upset that there was no Israeli representative on the nominating committee.
After making calls last year for Super Sunday, UJA-Federation’s annual phone solicitation drive, Rhonda Buckley of Dix Hills, L.I., returned this year with two of her daughters.
“Years ago, UJA-Federation helped me out with a subsidy for the kids’ summer camp ... and I thought it would be nice to give back,” she said at the organization’s Syosset office.