Two weeks after the American Jewish Congress suspended its operations, the American Jewish Committee has hired the shuttered group’s highest-ranking professional.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley strove hard to hit the right note August 2 in describing the Obama administration’s recent effort to push the Palestinians into direct peace talks with Israel.
The dilapidated former Burlington Coat Factory on Manhattan’s Park Place seems an unlikely locus for a controversy that has swept up Republican gadflies, political candidates, Jewish leaders, and New York City’s mayor. Through a glass door decorated with a bumper sticker reading “U.S.A.,” one can see a quiet, makeshift Muslim prayer space. Security guards say it is packed with more than 400 worshipers on Friday afternoons, though on a recent weekday the only traffic came from the handful of reporters and technicians from the satellite trucks parked outside the door.14
Congressman Steve Cohen was the first to pass a resolution apologizing for black slavery; He frequently joins African-American voters in his district in dancing and singing; Cohen even asked to become a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, a request that was denied due to the group’s policy of accepting only black lawmakers.
On a single week in late July, a major flashpoint in the internal culture wars of the Orthodox world erupted in two unrelated but connected incidents. The issue was homosexuality.38
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