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Israel Grapples With Fallout of Flotilla Violence

05/31/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine people aboard a Gaza-bound ship, israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Obama following a weekend visit to Canada, which included a working meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The visit would have been Netanyahu's first meeting with Obama since a late March meeting at the White House in which the administration was accused of snubbing the Israeli leader.

White House statement: Obama Speaks to Netanyahu

05/31/2010

“This morning between 10:00 and 10:15 AM CDT, the President spoke by phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said he understood the Prime Minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events. They agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity. The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals.

Protesters on ship bound for Gaza killed in rioting

05/31/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- At least 15 activists onboard a flotilla of ships bound for Gaza were killed during rioting after Israeli Naval forces boarded the ships to redirect them to an Israeli port.

Israel's Navy intercepted six of the ships early Monday morning as they attempted to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel had radioed to the ships numerous times, requesting that they head to the port in Ashdod, where they could unload their aid material to be transferred to Gaza after security inspections, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesman said in a statement.

For Manning-Kaplan Duo, Jewish Nonprofits are the Ties That Bind

05/28/2010
JTA

PALM BEACH, Fla. (JTA) -- It’s a cool spring night, and Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan are battling their way out of the west lawn of the sprawling bay-side mansion of Jane Goldman and Benjamin Lewis.

Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Kaplan, the chairman of the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, have just spent a few hours schmoozing with 80 donors, a handful of boards of trustees and several members of Hillel’s board trying to make the case for their organizations.

New Zealand Bans Shechita

05/28/2010
JTA

SYDNEY (JTA) – New Zealand has banned shechita, the kosher slaughter of animals.

The country’s new animal welfare code, which took effect Friday, mandates that all animals for commercial consumption be stunned prior to slaughter to ensure they are treated “humanely and in accordance with good practice and scientific knowledge.”

The regulation has shocked the Jewish community.

Jewish Leaders Meet with Senate Democrats

05/27/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders met with more than a third of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

Twenty-two senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), attended Wednesday's meeting. The caucus has 59 senators.

Emanuel Heckled During Jerusalem Visit

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Activists heckled White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as he and his family toured the Old City of Jerusalem in honor of his son's bar mitzvah.

Emanuel and his entourage on Thursday visited the newly restored Huvra synagogue, amid shouts of "anti-Semite."

When the family arrived at the Western Wall, Rahm Emanuel did not approach the wall, though his son did, the Jerusalem Post reported,

Heavy security surrounded the family during their tour of Jerusalem, according to reports.

Pro-Israel, With Questions: Beinart Pins his Thesis to the Synagogue Door

05/26/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president.

Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits who defend Israel, Zionism and the right of American Jews to lobby for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Beinart also frets about how Jewish his kids will be.

Terror Attack Averted on Tel Aviv Bus

05/26/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli police were searching the Tel Aviv area for a man and woman who reportedly tried to carry out a terror attack on a bus on Dizengoff Street.

A man sitting in the back of the bus wearing a heavy coat on a hot day yelled "slaughter the Jews" in Arabic, while a woman in the front of the bus tried to prevent the frightened passengers from getting off the bus, according to reports.

Washington JCRC to National Geographic: You’re All Wet on Water Exhibit

05/26/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A prominent Jewish umbrella organization rebuked National Geographic for "singling out and negatively portraying the State of Israel" in an exhibit dedicated to water.

The Jewish Community Relations Council sent a letter to National Geographic regarding an exhibition running through June 13 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, Calif.

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