The words "New York mayor" and "low profile" are rarely uttered in the same breath these days. Rudolph Giuliani tends to dominate the headlines. His predecessor, David Dinkins, has been at the center of recent protests against police policies. And one would practically have to make an effort to avoid the opinions of three-term mayor Ed Koch, a newspaper columnist, TV commentator and, until recently, radio host.
Rep. Steve Israel, that is, as committee carves Dem-friendly Suffolk district.
by Adam Dickter
It could have been the race to watch on Long Island this year: Two old friends from Huntington vying for a congressional seat in the first all-Jewish general election anyone can remember in Suffolk County.
Amid speculation about shifting party loyalties, it might have been interesting to see if Jewish voters picked Democratic incumbent Steve Israel or Republican Allan Binder.
Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the presumptive GOP frontrunner for president, is facing an uphill battle for Jewish support in one of the 2000 campaign's most heated battleground states.
Only 34 percent of Jews in New York have a favorable opinion of Bush, according to a poll released Monday by Zogby International. The figure is far below the 57 percent of statewide voters polled who approve of Bush. Thirty-three percent of Jews have a negative opinion of Bush, while an almost equal number have no opinion about the namesake of the 41st president, according to the survey.
Jewish police officers this week are standing firmly behind one of their own who breached the so-called "blue wall of silence" in the Abner Louima trial.
"He said what he saw, and that's what a cop is supposed to do," said Sgt. Eric Finkelstein, president of the Shomrim Society, of Det. Eric Turetzky.
Shomrim represents 2,800 officers, civilian employees and retirees of the NYPD.
He may be trailing in Israel, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a straw poll of sorts in Brooklyn this week. Along a Middle Eastern shopping strip of Brooklyn's Kings Highway on Monday, native Israelis overwhelmingly gave the Likud incumbent a vote of confidence.
"I am 100 percent for Netanyahu," said Oded Hakabyov, a native of Eilat, now working as a contractor, as he waited for his wife at the Cholon Market. "If Barak wins, Arafat is going to win," said Hakabyov, referring to Labor Party candidate Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
Along the peaceful streets of Riverdale on a sunny summer afternoon, signs of Jewish life are everywhere. Kosher shops and restaurants abound on Riverdale and Johnson avenues, and seven synagogues and the Riverdale Y are bursting with activity in this suburban-flavored, hillside Bronx enclave overlooking the Hudson.
Yet synagogues, kosher shopping or even housing stock do not hold the key to Riverdale's Jewish future, community leaders say, as much as a single unremarkable building on the corner of Independence Avenue and 237th Street: Middle School 141.
Her campaign for Senate may be in deep freeze while Hillary Rodham Clinton toys with her own campaign, but Rep. Nita Lowey insists she holds no grudges. "I respect Hillary Clinton's decision-making process," she told Political Memos in a recent interview. "In the meantime, I'm doing what I have to do, should I be the candidate."
Think of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the world's most notorious killing ground, and most people will picture emaciated Jews destined for the gas chambers.
Few will recall that on Oct. 7, 1944, inmates smuggled gunpowder into the camp and destroyed one of its crematoria, consuming three Nazi officers in the fires they had intended for Jews.
The death camp at Treblinka is notorious for having killed between 700,000 and 1 million Jews. But the story of a 1943 revolt by some 600 inmates has barely been told.
The ongoing debate over police brutality, which has gripped the city like few issues in recent memory, should be a matter of serious concern to the Jewish community, says a key Jewish councilman.
"We want a city that runs well, that people feel is operating in the interests of everybody," says Sheldon Leffler (D-Northern Queens). "Otherwise we have the potential for unrest, for explosion, for striking out."