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The Baha’i community is working to gain the release of seven of its leaders in Tehran, who are facing down their own charges of spying for Israel. The seven — including a 45-year-old mother of three and a 37-year-old optometrist — have been imprisoned since last spring. In addition to espionage, they stand accused of insulting religious sanctities and of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic.
In the short time that Barack Obama has served as America’s president, the organized Jewish community has been one of the young administration’s most solid bases of support for its liberal political agenda. But now, many of the major Jewish organizations are taking issue with a proposal that they fear will strike at their very lifeblood — charitable donations.
The Jewish community’s main umbrella organization for domestic policy has struck a significant blow against internal resistance to dialogue with Muslims.
On the surface, Joseph Diangelo and Flora Jessop couldn’t look more different. Diangelo grew up in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Jessop was raised in a polygamous compound, part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect on the Utah-Arizona border. But as Diangelo listened to Jessop tell her harrowing tale of abuse, forced marriage, spiritual threats, rape and eventual escape, he found himself nodding in recognition.
Eric Cantor, a Republican congressman from Virginia, wasn’t anybody’s idea of a household name a few weeks ago, but you’ll be hearing a lot more about him in the weeks ahead because he’s emerging as one of President Obama’s biggest headaches.