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Poll: Obama Struggling With Jews, but Not on Israel

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.

The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.

Q: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue? Image: AJC

Liberal Jewish Groups Optimistic About Stevens’ Replacement

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Jewish groups who liked John Paul Stevens as a Supreme Court justice are getting ready to dish out the same like to whomever replaces him.

Most of the Jewish groups closely tracking court decisions favor Stevens' liberal record, with minor qualifications, and do not believe that President Obama will choose a replacement who deviates from the norm.

Multiple Battlegrounds in Fights Over Eastern Jerusalem

04/13/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The day that Zacharia Zigelman, 26, moved into a home in the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in eastern Jerusalem, he got beaten up, he says.

“You get used to it," Zigelman said of the incident, which occurred about six months ago.

Ex-Bishop Blames Jews for Church Woes

04/12/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A Jewish group urged the Italian Bishops' Conference to condemn anti-Semitic comments made by a retired Catholic bishop.

Giacomo Babini, bishop emeritus of Grosseto, allegedly told the Catholic Web site Pontifex that Jews are behind the latest round of criticism of the Church's handling of clerical sex abuse. Babini, 81, allegedly called the criticism a “Zionist attack," saying, "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

Israel, Jews express shock, condolences to Poland

04/11/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's president expressed "pain, shock and distress" following the airplane crash Saturday that killed Poland's president, Lech Kaczynski, and a swath of the country's leadership.

"In the many meetings I had with President Kaczynski, I discovered a great leader, determined to press his country forward, a man very much in touch with his people, and who had adopted the viewpoint of a democratic and advanced world," Shimon Peres said in a statement Saturday.

New AJC Survey: Jews back Obama, Bibi

04/09/2010

A solid majority of American Jews support Barack Obama's and Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of U.S.-Israeli relations, according to a new survey.

The "2010 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion," commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, found that 55 percent of U.S. Jews approve of Obama's handling of relations with Israel, with 37 percent disapproving. Netanyahu scored slightly better, with 57 percent approving of his handling of relations with the United States and only 30 percent disapproving.

Kyrgyz Jews hold breath amid upheaval

04/08/2010
JTA

MOSCOW (JTA) – As the capital of Kyrgyzstan erupted in violence Wednesday, members of the Central Asian nation’s small Jewish community held their breath and sat tight.

The ORT school in the capital, Bishkek, shuttered its doors, sending students home just as they were returning from their Passover break. With public transportation suspended and the city in disarray, only three people made it to morning services at the local synagogue. Meanwhile, Jewish community leaders exchanged frantic phone calls, updating each other about the situation on the street.

Obama nuclear plan raises questions about long-term impact

04/07/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama's proposal to reduce nuclear weapons is expected to have little immediate impact on Israel's posture because of its caveats for enemies and allies.

In the long term, however, there is some concern that a new focus on transparency ultimately could pressure Israel to make its nuclear capabilities publicly known.

For the time being, Jewish groups are hoping that the policy’s noted exception of Iran will ratchet up the pressure on the Islamic Republic to end its own opacity about its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Iran excepted from Obama’s new nuclear policy

04/06/2010

(JTA) -- President Obama's new strategy to limit U.S. use of nuclear weapons would not apply to "outliers like Iran and North Korea," he said.

Survivors’ group seeks probe of Torah-rescuing rabbi

04/02/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- A Holocaust survivors group has asked Maryland to launch a fraud investigation into the sale of reclaimed Holocaust-era Torah scrolls.

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants requested a probe into the work of Rabbi Menachem Youlus and Save A Torah Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports the rabbi's finding, purchasing and restoring of European Torahs, in a letter to state Attorney General Douglas Gansler.

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