CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Published March 11, 2005, issue of March 11, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

American Apathy?: Is the White House snubbing Israel? It kind of looks that way. In what is expected to be the largest gathering of world leaders in Israel (with the exception of the 1995 funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin) in the Jewish state’s history, leaders of 30 nations are descending next week on Jerusalem for the opening of Yad Vashem’s new Holocaust History Museum. Expected are the presidents of nine nations, including Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Switzerland and Slovakia, and the prime ministers, vice presidents or foreign ministers of France, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Britain, Germany, Russia, Norway, Spain and Portugal. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is using the Yad Vashem museum opening as the jumping-off point for a regional trip to promote peace. But the White House, officially, doesn’t know whom it is sending. “An announcement hasn’t been made,” said spokeswoman Maria Tamburri. Unofficially, we hear from a source in Jerusalem that America is sending Lynn Cheney and Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois — estimable folks, but not the top of the political and diplomatic heap. Yad Vashem officials were told to expect an American representative of at least cabinet rank and privately were surprised that does not appear to be forthcoming. The delegations will hear Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Moshe Katsav, Education Minister Limor Livnat and Annan speak March 15, while the head of each delegation will speak the next day. A state dinner will be had with Sharon on Tuesday. Who’d want to miss that? Yad Vashem spokeswoman Iris Rosenberg said, “We are pleased by the large number of world leaders who are coming to Yad Vashem, will welcome them equally and will be honored by their presence.”

* * *

Stem-cell Set-to: Speaking of Jerusalem, it’s being cited in Massachusetts as a beacon of embryonic stem-cell research. That’s a controversial subject in the Bay State, where Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, is threatening to veto a bill authorizing funds for such studies, which scientists think will lead to treatments for many diseases but religious conservatives feel constitute a destruction of human life. In an editorial rapping Romney, the Boston Herald pointed to the embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning going on at the “renowned Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.”

“It is almost beyond belief that Romney thinks this state — with some of the finest minds and research facilities in the world — should outlaw (and that’s really what we’re talking about here) a form of research that is being conducted throughout the civilized world,” opined the Herald, a conservative-leaning tabloid. Meanwhile, the women of Hadassah — the largest Jewish organization in America, which supports the hospital — are being praised for their efforts in pushing stem-cell legislation in Massachusetts this month. “These women came prepared with all types of materials and understood the issues here,” State Senator Harriette Chandler told the Boston Globe. The group has embarked on a 48-state stem-cell advocacy drive.






Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.