Briefs

Harvard Says It's Not Divesting From Israel

08/17/2010

(JTA) — Harvard University said the sale of some of its investments in Israel was not politically motivated and it is not divesting from Israel.

Harvard spokesman John Longbrake told Foreign Policy that the university sold $39 million in stocks in five Israeli companies because Israeli stocks could no longer be considered part of the emerging markets portfolio, where they previously had been held.

Shots Fired from Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv

08/17/2010

(JTA) — Shots were fired from inside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israeli media have reported that a Palestinian from Ramallah barricaded himself inside the building Tuesday night with two hostages. He allegedly was threatening to “kill any Jews” who enter, according to Haaretz.

The streets around the embassy have been closed. Embassy staff reportedly have prevented police and medical personnel from entering the building.

Russian Jewish Mathematician Rejects $1 Million Prize

07/07/2010

 (JTA) — A reclusive Russian Jewish mathematician turned down a $1 million prize for solving a seemingly unsolvable math problem.

Grigory “Grisha” Perelman told the Russian Interfax news agency on July 1 that he had turned down the prize for solving the Poincare conjecture from the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass. because he disagreed with the organized mathematics community and believed that an American mathematician had contributed to solving the problem.

Obama Reaffirms U.S. Ambiguity On Israel Nukes

07/07/2010

 (JTA) — President Obama said he will not press Israel when it comes to nuclear issues.” The United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine its security interests,” Obama said Tuesday after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to a conversation they had on Obama’s efforts to have more countries abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Divorcing Jewish Couple Ordered To Erect Wall

07/07/2010

 (JTA) — A New York judge has ordered a divorcing Orthodox Jewish couple to split their home with a dividing wall as the proceedings continue.

Superior Court Judge Eric Prus on Thursday ordered Pinchas and Nechama Gold to divide their house in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in half while they go through their divorce, the New York Post reported.

The couple, who have been married for 21 years and have five children, have two weeks to decide where to place the wall in the 3,000-square-foot home.

Israeli Army To Charge Gaza War Soldiers

07/07/2010

 (JTA) — Israel’s chief army prosecutor will bring charges against some Israeli soldiers for their conduct during the Gaza war.

In one case, an army staff sergeant will be indicted on manslaughter charges for shooting and killing two women near Gaza City.

Anxiety Over Legislators’ Funding As Budget Wraps

06/30/2010

The apparent demise of member item funding for hundreds of state legislators in this year’s overdue budget process is causing anxiety for neighborhood social programs that rely on the grants.

Gov. David Paterson vetoed the grants as part of his showdown with the Legislature over state spending as Albany grapples with a $9.2 billion deficit.

Lavrov Defends Russia’s Talks With Hamas

06/30/2010

 (JTA) — Russia’s foreign minister defended his country’s holding direct talks with Hamas in Gaza, while his Israeli counterpart said achieving peace would take time.

“Yes, we are holding talks with Hamas—because it was elected by a large Palestinian majority in free elections, according to all elements,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Jerusalem following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman.

Sen. Robert Byrd, Critic Of Israel Aid, Dies at 92

06/30/2010

(JTA) — Robert Byrd, the longest-serving U.S. senator who criticized Israel but refrained from using his considerable power to cut its funding, has died.

Obituaries for Byrd, 92, a West Virginia Democrat, focused on the bookends to his 51-year career: His membership for several years before his election in the racist Ku Klux Klan and his unsuccessful effort to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and his opposition in the last decade to the Iraq war.

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