Newsdesk October 28, 2005

Satmar Holiday Melee Erupts

A riot broke out at a Satmar synagogue in Brooklyn Tuesday, forcing police to order up to 1,000 worshippers to cut short prayers on Shmini Atzeret.

The melee, at the Yetev Lev Bikur Cholim synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, included punches, slaps and beard pulling, according to the New York Post. There were no arrests, and injuries were minor.

The dispute was part of an ongoing feud between the two sons of the elderly leader of the Satmar Hasidic community, Grand Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum. He appointed his younger son, Zalman, chief rabbi of Williamsburg a number of years ago after appointing his older son, Aaron, chief rabbi of the Kiryas Joel community in Orange County, N.Y.

Since 2001, the two brothers have fought in court over the succession in Williamsburg, according to AM New York, a free daily newspaper in New York City. Yesterday’s fight, which follows similar riots in 2002 and 2004, broke out when members of the Kiryas Joel community tried to assert themselves.

Aipac Prosecutor Promoted

President Bush nominated as deputy attorney general Paul McNulty, the prosecutor who obtained indictments this year against a former Pentagon analyst and two former senior staffers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

McNulty is currently the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Pentagon analyst, Lawrence Franklin, pleaded guilty earlier this month, and the two former Aipac staffers, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, go to trial January 2, 2006.

McNulty is also well known for handling a number of terrorism-related cases in his district. Bush nominated McNulty for the post on October 21, after another nominee, Timothy Flanigan, withdrew because of questions about his ties with scandal-tinged lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

McNulty, 47, will begin serving immediately as acting deputy attorney general pending his approval by the Senate. He also will continue in his current position for the time being.

Ukrainian Newspaper Sued

Alexander Feldman, a Ukrainian Jewish lawmaker, brought a libel lawsuit against a newspaper with a history of publishing antisemitic articles.

Feldman, who also serves as president of the Jewish Foundation of Ukraine, told reporters late last week that he filed a lawsuit in a Kiev court against Silski Visti for publishing articles that “insult the national dignity and religious feeling of Ukrainian Jewry.” An October 7 article headlined “Who Needs ‘Mein Kampf’” said the “Judeo-Nazi sect Chabad” was going to “rob the country completely.” The article was written by Eduard Khodos, a former Jewish activist who in recent years gained notoriety in Ukraine for his antisemitic pieces. With a circulation of about 500,000, Silski Visti is one of the most widely read Ukrainian newspapers, catering to rural readers. In 2002 and 2003, the newspaper published a series of antisemitic articles that outraged the Jewish community. The paper was sued over antisemitic articles last year, but the case was closed without a verdict.

New Fed Chief Tapped

President Bush nominated Ben Bernanke to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Bernanke, whose full name is Ben Shalom Bernanke, would succeed Alan Greenspan, who is also Jewish. The nomination of Bernanke, announced Monday, now goes to the U.S. Senate. Bernanke, who has served on Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, was previously on the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors.

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Newsdesk October 28, 2005

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