Latest Chapter in Mideast Tension Is Dennis Ross vs. George Mitchell

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process may be near collapse, but the Washington turf wars surrounding it are still going strong, according to sources involved in the negotiations. The administration’s top Middle East hands — special envoy George Mitchell and White House adviser Dennis Ross — are increasingly at loggerheads, these sources say.


Giffords’s Jewish Journey: From Israel To Service and Study

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords invited her rabbi, Stephanie Aaron, to accompany her to this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, on February 3. Aaron plans to be in Washington for the gathering, but acknowledges she won’t likely be sitting alongside Giffords, her friend, congregant and student.


May Brain-Dead Jews Donate Organs for Transplant?

With recent pronouncements from Orthodox authorities diverging in multiple directions, uncertainty reins on just when and under what conditions traditionally observant Jews may donate their vital organs to save others. Under strong fire, the country’s major Modern Orthodox rabbinic body is seeking to clarify its position on a study by its own authorities that is seen as casting doubt on whether Jews who are brain-dead may donate their vital organs for transplants. The same study, meanwhile upholds the right of Jews to receive such organs.


The Heart of Israel’s Reform Judaism

In this congregation, there is an excerpt from Psalms set to a tune the rabbi picked up in a French monastery; a prayer for peace in Arabic, contributed by a Malaysian Muslim and an annual expedition to a nearby home for the disabled, to spread cheer. Your typical Jerusalem synagogue it is not.


Knesset To Investigate Funding of Left-Wing Israeli NGOs for Terror Ties

Amid growing fury on the Israeli right toward the country’s human rights groups, the Knesset has approved two motions aimed at examining whether there are skeletons in NGO closets. The separate but similar motions, submitted by the Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud parties, mandate a Knesset investigation of funding sources of left-leaning nongovernmental organizations. The motions, passed January 6 by large majorities, emerged from the Knesset’s two largest right-wing parties.

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