U.S. Drops Settlement-Freeze Push


(JTA) — The Obama administration reportedly has abandoned efforts to have Israel freeze its settlements.
"After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations," a number of media quoted a senior administration official as saying Tuesday.
The Palestinians left direct talks in late Septemb

Smoking Teen Who Started Fire Is Released


(JTA)—The teen arrested after admitting to starting the Carmel Forest fire was released from police custody to house arrest.
The teen admitted to smoking a nargila water pipe and dumping its embers into an open area before returning to school last week, the day the blaze erupted, near his Druze village of Ussfiya.

Judge Kimba Wood Grants ‘Writ Of Simcha’


(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.

Poll: More Than Half of Jewish Israelis Want Arabs Out


(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.

White House Raps Palestinian Position on Western Wall


(JTA) — The Obama administration condemned a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall.

OU Condemns PA Study Of Western Wall


(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.

Jewish Groups Call For START Ratification


(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.

Report: British Islamic Schools Teaching Anti-Semitism


(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.”

Nov. 30 Declared Buy Israeli Goods Day


(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.

Susan Sher To Leave White House




(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.

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