The Rev. Al Sharpton's $30 million defamation suit against the Republican party could bring the most intense scrutiny yet of the black activist's role in two deadly anti-Semitic incidents, at a time when Sharpton is seeking a more mainstream image.
"They are inadvertently giving me an opportunity to clear my name," said Sharpton, who filed suit in Federal District Court in Washington last week against the Republican National Committee and its chairman, Jim Nicholson over a March 11 letter to the Washington Post.
Even as she moves to contain the damage from her conduct during a West Bank visit last week with Yasir Arafat's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton is facing new charges from her opponent that she has abandoned her declared support for Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Firing back, Clinton's campaign is accusing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of "playing politics with the peace process."
The controversy suggests that with one year until the two face off in an expected Senate race, both sides already are waging war for undecided Jewish votes seen as crucial to victory.
You can't please all the people all the time, but Hillary Rodham Clinton seems to be trying her best when it comes to her trip to Israel this week.
The first lady and near-certain Senate candidate was to visit the Western Wall, as well as the wife of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, following reports that she would steer clear of East Jerusalem and Arafat during her two-day journey.
Clinton insisted this week that reports of her itinerary were premature, and no political considerations were involved in the planning.
Black anti-Semitism "hardly exists," the Rev. Jesse Jackson insisted during a visit to New York last week to discuss relations between Jews and African Americans.
"There is no black philosophical anti-Semitic ideology, like the Germans supported race ideology," said the civil rights leader and founder of Operation PUSH. "Blacks don't like some Jews, Jews don't like some blacks. That is personal and not ideology."
A congressman is joining the family of a disturbed Borough Park man killed by police in calling for a federal civil rights probe after a grand jury on Monday declined to indict the four officers involved in the shooting.
"There are lots of reasons to wonder about the local investigation," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat whose district includes Borough Park. "A federal investigation would put those questions to rest."
A Brooklyn rabbi who supported Patrick Buchanan for president in 1989 is turning his back on the arch-conservative commentator because of his refusal to mend fences with Jews.
"It was counterproductive for me to spend my time putting out his fires," says Rabbi Yehuda Levin. "He stands for a lot of things that irritate my community."
After months of avoiding criticism of Pat Buchanan, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is now blasting the conservative isolationist who has been accused of anti-Semitism.
Giuliani's spokeswoman this week said the mayor "strongly opposes" Buchanan's presidential bid, and blasted comments in Buchanan's new book that the United States shouldn't have fought Hitler.
Following word that a case of St. Louis encephalitis had hit Borough Park last week, top city officials flocked to the Vizhnitzer yeshiva there, where they briefed community leaders on efforts to contain the deadly mosquito-borne virus.
The officials included the commissioner of the Department of Health, Neil Cohen; the director of the mayor's Office of Emergency Management, Jerome Hauer; the mayor's chief of staff, Tony Carbonetti; and the police commissioner's chief of staff, Richard Sherer, as well as high-ranking officials from the 66th Precinct.
At the headquarters of the National Action Network in Harlem last week, Rev. Al Sharpton punched his access code into a telephone, and replayed an unusual voice-mail message.
"This is one of your Jewish brothers in Brooklyn," said a voice. "We're a minority, just like you. They pumped 12 bullets into this guy ... I guess they wanted to get rid of him. Come on guys. We need your help. Get some buses over here. No justice, no peace!"