Newsdesk October 8, 2004

Advisers To Address Aipac

Top foreign policy advisers to both presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in an upcoming conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse that is reportedly being investigated by a counterintelligence unit of the FBI.

Both National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and the chief foreign affairs adviser for Senator John Kerry, Richard Holbrooke, are set to speak at the event, which is to take place in Hollywood, Fla., later this month. The event is closed to the press.

A spokesman for Aipac said that the group views the participation of Rice and Holbrooke as an expression of confidence in Aipac and proof that “it is business as usual” in terms of the White House’s warm approach to the organization.

The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating whether two of Aipac’s top executives, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, violated the law by transferring classified documents from a Pentagon analyst to an Israeli diplomat. The investigation was characterized in press reports as a spying probe, but according to pro-Israel activists who have been in touch with law-enforcement officials, the suspicions are more mundane. These activists said that the investigation is ongoing, and it is still unclear whether it will result in indictments. Aipac officials vehemently denied that they broke the law.

Rice would not be the first senior administration official to appear before the organization since reports of the investigation emerged, Aipac officials said. Other senior administration officials have briefed Aipac’s staff recently on America’s Middle East policy. Routine work contacts between Aipac staffers and administration officials, on various levels, have not diminished in the past two months, Aipac sources said. The sources added that the same is true of Aipac’s contacts with legislators and congressional staffers on Capitol Hill.

Comedian Dies

Rodney Dangerfield, who got his start at resorts in New York’s famed Catskills region, died Tuesday at 82. Born Jacob Cohen, on Long Island, N.Y., Dangerfield was a self-deprecating comic. He was a regular on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and began starring in his own movies after appearing as a blowhard in the film “Caddyshack.” On the day he died, his personal Web site offered the following joke: “I tell ya, I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, ‘There goes the neighborhood.’”

Ex-Judge Loses Case

The U.S. Supreme Court refused a case brought by an Alabama judge contesting his removal from office for refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument. Monday’s decision came in response to Roy Moore, a former chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court who had refused to remove the monument from the state judicial building. In response to the decision, Moore said: “God is sovereign and shall remain so despite what the Supreme Court and the federal district courts of this land say.”

Israeli Drones Used

Officials in Arizona are using Israeli drones to help patrol the state’s border with Mexico. The drones are being used to catch people trying to immigrate into the United States illegally and to seize illegal drugs, Ha’aretz reported.

TV Show Contestant Fired

A contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice” lost her real job because of comments seen by critics as antisemitic. In the final episode in which she appeared last week, Jennifer Crisafulli got into an argument with two customers at a restaurant she was managing for the show, which puts contestants into real-life business situations as they vie for a job with Donald Trump. Crisafulli later referred to the customers as “those two old Jewish fat ladies.” She was later fired from her job at Douglas Elliman, the Manhattan real estate firm. Crisafulli noted after the show that she has Jewish relatives and that her apology was edited out of the show.

Scientists Share Nobel

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko of the Technion in Haifa and American chemist Irwin Rose with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their breakthrough research in the 1980s into the human immune system. The $1.3 million prize, announced Wednesday, will be awarded December 8.

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Newsdesk October 8, 2004

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