(JTA) — Federal Judge Kimba Wood agreed to recess a fraud trial so that the Orthodox Jewish defense attorney could attend his grandson's brit.
Wood, in Manhattan District Court, ordered the recess of the trial Monday after learning of the birth of Bennett Epstein's grandson. Epstein had filed a motion last month asking for a "writ of possible simcha" in order to attend a brit in Philadelphia if his daughter gave birth to a boy.
(JTA) — Some 53 percent of Israel's Jewish population believes that the state can encourage Arabs to leave the country, a new poll found.
The Israel Democracy Institute's 2010 poll released Tuesday also found that 86 percent of the Jewish public, constituting 76 percent of the total public, believes that critical decisions for the state should be made by the Jewish majority.
(JTA) — A Palestinian Authority study that says the Western Wall was never a part of the Temple Mount complex is “contemptible, historically false and runs afoul of efforts to achieve peace with the State of Israel," the Orthodox Union’s director of public policy, Nathan Diament, said in a statement Tuesday. "Coming from an official arm of the Palestinian Authority, it is nothing other than official incitement."
The paper was prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a senior official with the PA Ministry of Information, according to The Jerusalem Post.
(JTA) — Two Jewish groups are pressing the U.S. Senate to ratify the new START missile reduction treaty with Russia.
The calls from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Council of World Jewry came after Senate Republicans said in recent weeks that they will use member prerogative to block ratification. Upon further examination, the GOP lawmakers said, the treaty has weak verification measures and unnecessarily reduces the U.S. profile in Europe.
(JTA) — Textbooks used in a network of Islamic schools in Britain promote anti-Semitic views, the BBC reported.
The textbook says Jews were cursed by God and “looked like monkeys and pigs,” and it asks children to list the “reprehensible” qualities of Jews. The curriculum also contains homophobic views and instructs children on where to amputate the hands and feet of persons convicted of theft, in accordance with Islamic law, the report says.
The report was broadcast Monday night on the BBC program “Panorama.”
(JTA) — Pro-Israel groups are asking supporters to buy Israeli goods on Nov. 30 to counter a boycott on the same day.
In response to the planned boycott against Ricky’s, a New York store that carries West Bank-made Ahava products, StandWithUs and the America-Israel Chambers of Commerce have declared Nov. 30 to be Buy Israeli Goods day. The two organizations are urging members of synagogues, schools, colleges and community groups to go to local stores and request Israeli-made products, particularly those targeted by boycotters.
(JTA) — First Lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff Susan Sher, who has served as an administration liaison to the Jewish community, will leave the White House.
Sher has plans to return to Chicago early next year, and no successor has been named, according to Politico.
“Susan has brought tremendous skill and dedication to the First Lady’s office, as well as my Administration’s outreach to the Jewish Community and our efforts to pass health care reform, and I thank her for her service,” President Obama said.
(JTA) — An international symposium in Paris looked at ways to improve often sluggish international cooperation on genocide prevention.
Senior international human rights officials gathered Monday and Tuesday at the French Memorial de la Shoah in an event that was convened also with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Samantha Power, senior director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the U.S. National Security Council, said she and other U.S. officials traveled to Paris to help streamline proactive, multilateral responses to the threat of genocide.
(JTA) — An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale hit northern Israel, the seventh temblor in two days.
Tuesday morning's earthquake hit near the border with Lebanon, and marked the highest magnitude quake of the seven that began on Sunday evening with a 2.7 temblor, Haaretz reported. Residents of the Upper Galilee reported feeling the quake on Tuesday, according to the newspaper. No injuries or damage were reported.
Israel sits on the Syrian-African fault, and mild earthquakes are not unusual in the region.