International Jewish groups expressed concern after an attack on a Caracas synagogue, blaming President Hugo Chavez for creating an atmosphere of hate in Venezuela.
In a reversal of the usual fight over border crossings — with Gaza’s rulers demanding they be opened and Israel refusing — Hamas has stopped a group of children crossing to Israel for a therapeutic vacation.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are vying to head the reconstruction efforts in Gaza. Many in Israel are hoping that the reconstruction will be led by the P.A., which will be strengthened by getting credit for the estimated $2 billion effort.
In recent months, the broader American Jewish community has reeled from the financial tsunami wrought by Bernard Madoff, the alleged perpetrator of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that stripped the coffers of Jewish charities and wiped out the savings of individuals from New York to Florida. Meanwhile, Beverly Hills-based Iranian-Jewish community has grappled with its own financial catastrophe in light of revelations that one of its own may have lost some $400 million of the community members’ money.
Judging by the headlines in Israel’s daily tabloids, the first task of President Obama’s new Middle East envoy is earning the trust of the Israelis.