As Palestinian President Yasir Arafat struggled for his life in a Paris hospital this week, his wife, Suha, was lashing out at other Palestinian leaders and being branded by the press as the “first lady from hell” for being power and money hungry. She reportedly is seeking to keep as much as $6.5 billion her husband squirreled away.
As a new Palestinian leadership begins to emerge along with the hope of a new era in Israeli-Palestinian relations, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican has suggested that Israeli attention should now focus on improving relations with the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
Jews in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania turned out in large numbers to vote Tuesday, despite rain and long lines in some parts of the country.
In Florida, exit polls by Frank Luntz, who has worked with Republicans in the past, showed that 74 percent of Jews supported Kerry and 23 percent supported Bush.
Robert Glaser, 72, of Boca Raton told The Jewish Week he had considered voting for Bush again but switched to Kerry in the last few weeks.
The bitterly fought 2004 presidential race may be remembered as the first election in recent memory in which the Republican incumbent put the Democratic challenger on the defensive about his support for Israel, essentially turning Israel into a wedge issue for Jews.
Concern about Israel was heightened by the four-year Palestinian intifada that has killed more than 1,000 Israelis, the fear of another terrorist attack in the United States and apprehension about the war on terrorism launched after 9-11.
Boca Raton, Fla. — Rosita Bard, a retired accountant from Lake Worth, came to a Republican Jewish Coalition training session at the Rascal House here two weeks ago and was clearly glad to meet fellow Jewish Republicans.
“Everybody I know is for anybody but Bush,” she said. “And they are so hostile. … I’m afraid to tell people I’m Republican. When I do, they say they can’t believe I’m Jewish.”
Using a one-on-one approach to fund raising rather than continuing to solicit a large number of low-end donors, UJA-Federation of New York raised a record $135.6 million for its recently concluded general campaign.
“We changed the culture of this organization,” said Paul Kane, the organization’s senior vice president for financial resource development.
Tens of thousands of Jews who were forced by the Nazis to perform slave labor each will receive a check of about $3,000 this week, the last half of the $7,500 the German government and industry agreed to pay them as part of the German Foundation settlement with survivors in 2000.
The second payment was mailed and wired Monday to 130,681 survivors. The first payment took three years to process and mail.
Boston — Even before Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president here Thursday night, a group of his friends was preparing to fan out across the country to stump key battleground states where the Jewish vote could spell the difference between victory and defeat.
A new computer program to improve the chances of matching Swiss bank claims against dormant Holocaust-era accounts, plus a tentative agreement by Swiss banks to release the names of 5,000 more dormant bank account holders, may result in the return of up to $800 million to their rightful owners.
The future of the once-dominant Labor Party as a major player in Israeli politics is at stake as party voters go to the polls Tuesday to select their candidate in January’s general election.
An internal Labor Party poll placed Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna ahead of his nearest challenger, former Defense Minister and Labor Party chairman Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, by 18 percent. The third candidate in the race, veteran politician Haim Ramon, trailed Mitzna by 30 percent.