(JTA) — A proposed Knesset bill would ban Arabs from eastern Jerusalem from serving as tour guides in the city.
The bill, proposed by Kadima Party lawmaker Gideon Ezra and sponsored by seven other Knesset members, proposes that guides leading groups of more than 11 or traveling in more than one vehicle be an Israeli citizen.
Most Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem have permanent residency status but not citizenship, according to Haaretz.
According to the bill, the Arab tour guides do not present the Israeli viewpoint.
(JTA) — Israel is ahead of its record pace for tourism in a year. Some 2.5 million tourists have visited Israel since the beginning of 2010, according to figures kept by the nation's Central Bureau of Statistics. The figure is 9 percent more than in 2008, which was the record tourism year in Israel, and a 27 percent increase over the same period last year.
According to the bureau, 22,300 tourists visited Israel on cruise ships, double the number visiting in September 2009 and three times more than in 2008.
Joey Russell, a Borscht Belt comedian who worked the nightclub circuit with some of the era’s biggest names and established a career as a TV clown in Connecticut, where he lived most of his life, died Sept. 25 in Milford. He was 90.
(JTA) — Orthodox and Reform Jewish groups are backing a letter circulating in the House of Representatives asking President Obama to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for passing classified information to Israel.
U.S. Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Bill Pascrell (D- N.J.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Anthony Weiner (D- N.Y.) are circulating the letter among their colleagues and plan to submit it to Obama in the coming days.
(JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the annual
General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization announced.
The conference, which annually gathers several thousand officials and lay leaders of the Jewish federation system, will be held Nov. 7-9 in New Orleans.
(JTA) — Congressional Democrats defended their meetings with Richard Goldstone and denied any J Street role in arranging the sit-downs with the author of a controversial report on the 2009 Gaza War.
Goldstone and two senior aides to top Democrats who had knowledge of the meetings denied J Street's involvement. The denials followed a Washington Times report last week asserting that J Street facilitated the meetings.
Rome (JTA) — The official Vatican newspaper slammed Italy’s prime minister for a joke that played on Jewish stereotypes and made fun of the Holocaust.
Silvio Berlusconi told “offensive” and “deplorable” jokes, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said in an editorial published Sunday
Berlusconi was filmed telling the “Jewish joke” to well-wishers Oct. 2; the video clip was posted online by the anti-Berlusconi newspaper La Repubblica.
(JTA) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill requiring companies bidding on the state’s high-speed rail contract to disclose their roles in transporting Jews to Nazi concentration camps.
The legislation, which overwhelmingly passed the state’s Assembly and Senate over the summer, did not name a specific company. However, the bill’s chief sponsor, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, made it clear that the main target was the French national railway SNCF.
(JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the Syrian foreign minister and discussed reviving Israeli-Syrian peace talks.
The U.S. secretary of state met with Walid Muallem on the sidelines of the launching of this year’s United Nations General Assembly, the signature annual event that brings together foreign ministers otherwise not inclined to meet one on one.