Jewish groups are signing letters, dispatching lobbyists and mobilizing grass roots efforts in opposition to a wave of proposals being pushed by the newly installed Republican majority in the House of Representatives, to restrict abortion and family-planning funding.
The movement to free Soviet Jewry was just heating up in 1971 when Zev Yaroslavsky and a crew of co-conspirators steered a rented motorboat across Los Angeles Harbor, attached themselves with a pair of toilet plungers to the hull of a Soviet freighter and, with hasty strokes of spray paint, delivered a seaborne message to the Kremlin: “Let Jews Go.”8
As developments in Egypt move many Israelis to become more wary of a peace process that will require them to give up occupied land and Jewish settlements on the West Bank, Palestinian advocates for a two-state solution in Washington are struggling to persuade Israel’s supporters that the opposite is true.5
A newspaper advertisement bearing the signatures of 400 rabbis who criticized Fox News host Glenn Beck for his televised statements about the Holocaust has itself been criticized by America’s best-known Jewish communal relations group.63
Bernie Sanders hasn’t provided any long-term strategy for securing a two-state solution, Jane Eisner writes. That’s not just bad for Israelis and Palestinians — it’s bad for Sanders himself.
The headline on the conservative news website WorldNetDaily was as compelling as they come: “Rutgers bars Jews from anti-Zionist gathering.” Days earlier, the conservative blog Atlas Shrugged had exhorted readers to protest the pro-Palestinian presentation at Rutgers University, whose organizers the blog described as “Holocaust Deniers and Islamic Supremacists.”56
A video clip produced last October by the American Jewish Committee aimed to explain the reason for the repeated failures of the Middle East peace process. “The one word that frustrated over 60 years of hope for peace: no,” the clip stated, going on to detail Israeli peace efforts in the past two decades while stressing that the Palestinian response has always been negative.18
Among the volunteers who joined a sewing circle to remember the victims of the Triangle Waist Company fire 100 years ago, the talk around the table jumped from details of the historic blaze to an eerily similar fire that erupted in a garment factory in Bangladesh in December. Several Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition members discussed the fire in a factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh, that killed at least 25 workers and injured another 100. More than a dozen trapped workers jumped to their deaths from the 10th floor to escape the blaze.
Sholom Rubashkin has never lacked for passionate defenders, but he surely never thought the ACLU would one day be among them. The former executive of the now-defunct Agriprocessors kosher meat company is serving a 27-year sentence without chance of parole after being convicted last June of bank fraud in a case that began with a massive immigration raid on his Postville, Iowa, meatpacking plant.24
In the context of Israeli politics, it is the most incendiary charge made thus far against human rights groups and other left-wing nongovernmental organizations: some of the money that funds their work comes from Arabs — or even from terrorists. As the Knesset steams ahead with plans to probe the country’s human rights groups, critics of the NGOs are now seeking to advance this charge with a study that purports to supply supporting data.13
The developer of the Islamic center planned for near Ground Zero has demoted the imam who has been the controversial project’s main public face, while naming a comparatively little-known Muslim cleric to its leadership team. In a January 14 press release, those behind the center announced that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, would no longer be speaking or raising funds on behalf of the project, which has been the focus of national controversy.
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