Western Communities Battle Isolation

By Steven I. Weiss

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — A conference this month aimed at reviving Jewish life among communities in the American West turned into a debate between communal and religious leaders over the character of Jewish identity.The conference, Hadesh West, was organized by United Jewish Communities’s Renaissance and Renewal Pillar and brought togetherRead More

Pols Pressure President Over Saudi WTO Entry

Senators and members of the House of Representatives are calling on the Bush administration to oppose Saudi Arabia’s admittance into the World Trade Organization unless the kingdom clearly renounces its support of the Arab boycott against Israel, aggressively cracks down on terrorist financing and improves its human rights record.In two separateRead More

Groups Cheer Senate Passage of Hate-crime Bill

Several Jewish groups last week welcomed the Senate’s approval of a bill that would broaden the federal government’s authority to prosecute criminals who commit acts of violence or intimidation against individuals because of the victim’s gender, disability or sexual orientation.The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, whichRead More

Putting the Squeeze on Social Security

By Gus Tyler

The Social Security system upon which millions of retired Americans depend for their daily bread is in danger. And it is not due to any inherent faults within the system itself. Indeed, the Social Security system is, by far, the most successful profit-making operation that Uncle Sam ever has run.Created in 1935, the system began to pay outRead More

As Sharon’s Plan Advances, Officials Reconsider Arafat

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — For months, the Israeli public and the political system waited anxiously for the announcement of Attorney General Menachem Mazouz on whether he was going to press bribery charges against Prime Minister Sharon. Sharon’s security plans, the composition of his coalition and his own political future hung in the balance. WhenRead More

Court Actions Highlight Lack Of Special Rep On Restitution

By Nathaniel Popper

The last month has seen the first major spate of legal action on Holocaust-era issues since 2001, when the Bush administration downgraded the American government’s representation on restitution and reparations matters.To observers from almost every side of the debate, the recent wrangling in court has revealed the deep impact the absenceRead More

Halliburton Investigated For Iran Ties Under Veep

By Marc Perelman

A Treasury Department investigation into the activities of oil giant Halliburton in Iran is looking at potentially suspicious business contacts between Iran’s oil company and Halliburton at the time it was headed by Vice President Richard Cheney.According to documents dating from 1997 and 1998, a Dubai-based Halliburton subsidiary receivedRead More

Bush Pushing Israel on Terms Of Disengagement From Gaza

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — As Israel prepares to withdraw from Gaza, the Bush administration is laying down a stiff series of expectations that could set the stage for a rocky few months between Washington and Jerusalem, pro-Israel activists say.President Bush expects Israel to start taking steps to rehabilitate Gaza’s shattered economy by settingRead More

O Father, Who Art Thou?

By Stuart Eizenstat

During the last decade, Swiss, German, Austrian and French companies and their governments paid some $8 billion to Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Third Reich, disgorged thousands of dormant bank accounts, finally honored prewar insurance policies and returned confiscated property and artwork.The Europeans paid reparations for their conductRead More

Ten Years After Schneerson’s Death, Lubavitch Movement Flourishes

By Steven I. Weiss

This is the first in a series about the progress of the Lubavitch movement since the death of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the charismatic head of the Lubavitch chasidic movement, died 10 years ago this week, leaving both followers and observers wondering about the future of the highly successful religiousRead More

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