Short Takes

Mayor Snubs Palestinians At Gracie Mansion Gala

04/19/2002
Staff Writer
Refusing to "glorify" an "organization that uses violence," Mayor Michael Bloomberg excluded diplomats from the Palestinian Authority from a Gracie Mansion concert recital Tuesday. "Given the fact that the mayor has been outspoken in his criticism of both [Yasir] Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, he felt the city should not be glorifying an organization that uses violence as a political tool," said Bloomberg spokesman Ed Skyler.

Haaretz Editor Urged Rice To ‘Rape’ Israel

David Landau: Crude language over the top, or well placed?

12/28/2007
Editor and Publisher
Israelis are known for being direct and blunt. But comments made by David Landau, editor of the Israeli daily, Haaretz, to Condoleezza Rice about Israel needing to be “raped” by the U.S. to achieve a Mideast settlement caused quite a stir among the 20 or so attendees at a confidential briefing with the secretary of state on a recent visit to Israel.

Holidays Bring Spike In Bias Crimes

10/10/2003
Staff Writer
Vandals in Brooklyn and Queens greeted the Jewish New Year with slashed tires and swastikas in what appeared to be a wave of bias crimes. Some 35 cars in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, were vandalized on Yom Kippur, while swastikas were painted the previous night at the Queens Jewish Center in Forest Hills and the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. On Tuesday, swastikas were also etched in chalk in front of homes in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn. Last month, Jewish residents of Staten Island reported that eggs were tossed at them on the way to synagogue.

You've Got Kvitlach

10/03/2003
Staff Writer
Is it a sign of high-tech spiritual devotion, or just another step in the melding of Israelis and their cell phones? Reuters reports this week that an enterprising Jerusalem company is offering a text-message service for those who can't make it to the Western Wall, where Jews traditionally deposit handwritten prayer notes in the ancient crevices. They are called p'takim in Hebrew, but more commonly referred to in Yiddish as kvitlach.

The NYPD

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
It's not by chance that a group of Jewish cops who went to Israel earlier this month returned on Sept. 11. "We chose that date purposely," says Detective Sam Miller, president of the Shomrim Society, the organization of Jewish police officers. "We wanted to show that we weren't intimidated, weren't afraid to fly on that date." Many of the members were no strangers to danger, having served in some of the city's toughest precincts and, in one case, as an FBI agent. Miller is currently a hostage negotiator.

Sofer Sex

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
When she debuts Thursday in NBC's "Coupling," perhaps the raciest show on network TV, Rena Sofer will have come a long way since her days as a yeshiva girl in New Jersey. Based on a British show by the same name, "Coupling" centers on the sex lives of six young Manhattanites. Sofer's character, Susan, is "a beautiful and sexy go-getter with an uninhibited attitude toward life and the world of romance," according to network publicity.

Busch Report Blasted On Shooting Anniversary

09/05/2003
Staff Writer
Marking the fourth anniversary of the shooting of Gideon Busch, family and friends gathered at the site in Borough Park to recite poems and prayers, while politicians called for a new investigation of the incident. Busch was gunned down by police officers who said he charged at them with a hammer after they answered a disturbance call. Witnesses said Busch posed no threat to the cops, and a forensic expert is expected to concur in a civil trial this fall.

Bar Exam Scheduled For Tisha B'Av

08/15/2003
Staff Writer
The state's Board of Law Examiners is assessing what accommodation, if any, will be made for observant Jews who may be forced to take next yearís bar exam on Tisha b'Av. The board has set up an e-mail address, tishabav@nybarexam.org, to determine how many people will be affected if the exam is held on the day of mourning, which is a fast day. Those requesting an accommodation should notify the board in writing by Oct. 10.

Coroner Backs Witnesses In Borough Park Shooting

08/15/2003
Staff Writer
An expert medical examiner has corroborated witness accounts that Gideon Busch was not charging at police when they shot him to death in a controversial August 1999 incident in Borough Park, recent court documents reveal. Suffolk County Medical Examiner Charles Wetli, who is to testify for New York City in a civil suit this fall, told lawyers for both sides during a deposition that the hammer-wielding Busch was "standing straight when he was first shot and his upper right arm was close to his chest."

Longer Sentence Sought For Nelson

08/08/2003
Staff Writer
Lawyers for the family of Yankel Rosenbaum filed a brief last Friday asking a federal judge to keep the chasidic scholar's assailant in jail longer than guidelines suggest when he is sentenced Aug. 15 on a civil rights conviction. But Lemrick Nelson Jr. is almost certain to be released within a year since a jury in May found that he was not responsible for causing Rosenbaum's death, although he admitted attacking him during the 1991 Crown Heights riots. Nelson faces a 10-year sentence for violating Rosenbaum's civil rights; he already has served much of that term.
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