PARIS (JTA) -- Shock waves continue to ripple throughout France as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, considered the likely Socialist Party candidate to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy in French presidential elections next year, remains in a New York City jail on charges of sexual assault.
Saturday's arrest of Strauss-Kahn significantly changes the political playing field in France, as some recent polls had showed that the 62-year-old head of the International Monetary Fund was the most popular among those considered to be possible presidential contenders.
(JTA) -- Danish film director Lars Von Trier described himself as a Nazi who is not against Jews during the Cannes Film Festival.
Von Trier, who was at the festival to promote his film "Meloncholia," reportedly made the comments in jest. During a news conference Wednesday he said that "I am a Nazi," and called Israel "a pain in the ass."
“I really wanted to be a Jew, and then I found out that I was really a Nazi because, you know, my family was German, which also gave me some pleasure," he said.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan bill introduced by top lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives would considerably tighten sanctions on Iran.
The bill, introduced May 13 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), its ranking Democrat, would ban business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year.
It also would expand sanctions against alleged human rights violators and financial institutions that deal with Iran.
(JTA) – A hearing has been scheduled to request a new trial for former Agriprocessors official Sholom Rubashkin.
Documents filed Monday indicate a new hearing is set for June 15 before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, The Associated Press reported.
Rubashkin, the former head of what once was the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and packing plant in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of financial fraud in 2009 and sentenced to 27 years in prison.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama hosted a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month.
The reception Tuesday was less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music.
The 300 invitees included "grass-roots Jewish community leaders from across the country, rabbis, Members of Congress, and a broad range of leaders engaged in business, the arts, education, and public and community service," a White House official said.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Syrian infiltrator who breached Israel's border during Nakba Day protests turned himself in to police in Tel Aviv.
A Tel Aviv court on Tuesday ordered Hassan Hijazi, who said he entered Israel to look for a job, held until later in the week. Two other infiltrators discovered to still be in Israel were returned Tuesday to Syria.
They were among hundreds who breached Israel's border on Sunday.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (JTA) -- Clouds of tear gas hovered over hundreds of rioting Palestinian youths on the road to Jerusalem, where demonstrations marking the anniversary of Israel’s founding 63 years ago turned violent.
“I want a third intifada," said Ala Barghouti, a 21-year-old accounting student, his nostrils stuffed with tissues to keep out the sting of the tear gas. "I hope things do escalate today. A third intifada will help move the Palestinian Authority to improve our political situation.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama will address this year's AIPAC conference.
Obama's decision to keynote the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference, rumored for days, was confirmed Monday by Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, to reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. AIPAC confirmed the news.
The Associated Press quoted Carney as saying that Obama will not outline policy in his speech but instead will focus on the "deep bond" with Israel.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Monday defended Israel's use of force against hundreds of Palestinians who tried to cross the borders from Lebanaon, Syria and Gaza, while calling on neighboring countries to prevent future incidents.