Newsdesk May 30, 2003

Arabs To Visit Auschwitz

Some 300 Israeli Arabs and Jews toured the former Jewish district of Krakow on Monday, beginning a visit that aims to help Muslims understand what Jews suffered in the Holocaust.

The group of 150 Israeli-Arab intellectuals, athletes and businessmen, joined by as many Jews, were to spend the next two days touring and learning about what happened at Auschwitz.

A delegation of about 200 Arabs and Jews from France also are set to join the group.

Brits Feared Jewish Terror

The British government feared the possibility of Jewish terrorism aimed to drive Britain out of Palestine in the years before the establishment of the State of Israel, newly declassified documents reveal.

The director of Britain’s MI5 intelligence organization warned in 1946 that then-Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was a potential target for assassination and that Jewish militants from the Stern Gang and Irgun could join forces and “send five cells to London to work on IRA lines.”

In fact, no Jewish groups carried out attacks in Britain.

Key Post for Jewish Aide

President Bush nominated a senior Jewish policy adviser to his Cabinet. Josh Bolten was nominated to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Bolten is a former Goldman Sachs executive.

Sharon Meets Pop Diva

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met Tuesday with American pop singer Whitney Houston and her husband, Bobby Brown, at his Jerusalem residence.

Sharon said that he hoped it would be the first of many trips to Israel, to which Houston replied, “Yes.” When Sharon asked her how she felt in Israel, Houston said, “It’s home, it’s home.”

Houston arrived Sunday for her stay with the Black Hebrews, a group of nearly 2,000 African Americans who followed a Chicago bus driver to Israel decades ago and believe they are descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel.

According to one news report, Houston is said to be planning a recording about Israel with several members of the community.

Madonna Pays for Center

Madonna reportedly is funding a new building for the London Kabbalah Centre. The singer, who in recent years has become a student of Jewish mysticism, and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, donated nearly $6 million to help the center move into a 10,000-square-foot building. Madonna also is writing a series of children’s books based on kabbalistic parables.

Canadian Columnist Quits

Canada’s most outspokenly pro-Israel columnist has resigned from the nation’s most visibly pro-Israel newspaper, after attacking the paper’s owners for their support of the ruling Liberal Party.

David Frum, a former White House speechwriter who claimed credit for the “Axis of Evil” phrase in President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address, resigned from Canada’s National Post newspaper in April over editorial differences with publisher I.H. “Izzy” Asper. The Toronto-born, Yale University-educated Frum had written a weekly column for the Canadian daily since February 2002, after leaving his job in the Bush administration.

Earlier this month, in a National Review Online column announcing his decision to quit, Frum described the paper’s founder, Conrad Black, as “a highly intellectual conservative.” But, Frum argued, Asper and his family, who acquired ownership of the paper in August 2001, “never seem to have felt much zeal for the National Post’s mission.”

Frum’s departure drives a wedge in Canada’s pro-Israel community. Frum established himself as the most pro-Israel voice in the Canadian media, while the Asper family has been outspoken in its criticisms of the Canadian government and media for insufficient support of Israel. Still, despite their criticisms the Aspers have continued to support the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien and have objected to the National Post’s no-holds-barred attacks on the government.

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national newspaper, with slightly more than half the circulation of the better known Toronto Globe and Mail.

Frum’s resignation has become a cause celebre among Canada’s tiny circle of Jewish neoconservatives, who have long chafed under the community’s overwhelmingly liberal leanings. “Jewish politics is stuck in a time warp,” said attorney Ezra Levant of Calgaray, Alberta, an activist in the right-wing opposition Canadian Alliance Party. “Jews are still using the matrix of the 1930s and 1940s, when we were being killed by the right and the parties of the left were our friends. But since 1967, our old friends on the left have forsaken us.”

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Newsdesk May 30, 2003

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