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Rabbis Denounce Sharon’s Plan for Disengagement

Former Israeli chief rabbi Avraham Shapira warned Tuesday night that any politicians who even considered “evacuating a flourishing part of the land and expelling Jews from their homes [would] lose their seat and power.” Shapira made his statement as several hundred rabbis convened in Jerusalem to denounce Prime Minister ArielRead More


U.S. Tries To Build Momentum for Peace

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — Faced with a deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process and international pressure to demonstrate a commitment to resolving the conflict, the Bush administration is hoping to generate momentum — or at least the appearance of progress — with Israel’s unilateral separation initiative.“Instead of [the unilateral initiative]Read More


P.A. Set To Handle Gaza Pullout, Palestinian Security Chief Says

If Israel unilaterally withdraws from the Gaza Strip as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suggested, no governmental vacuum would be formed, Jibril Rajoub, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s national security advisor, said Tuesday in an unusual briefing with Israeli reporters.“We have a plan to handle the territory,” RajoubRead More


Orthodox Feminists Grapple With Issues of Sexuality

By Nacha Cattan

Faced with lurid popular images like Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl striptease and the stark reality of sexually active adolescents, Orthodox girls would be expected to turn to rabbinic law for guidance. The problem, says Jewish educator Tova Hartman, is that in religious schools sexuality is either dealt with through an “oy vey” curriculum thatRead More


Discussion of Women Rabbis Causes Stir

By Nacha Cattan

At this week’s gathering of Orthodox feminists, women read from the Torah and led the Kaddish prayer during mixed-gendered services. Still, at least one topic had the power to shock this crowd: women rabbis.At this annual conference of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, the subject was raised by two young women in the audience who calledRead More


Grasping for God With Arms Outstretched

By Nathaniel Popper

Most of the congregants who trickled in for Saturday services on a recent morning in Evanston, Ill., were wearing spandex. Warming up from the sub-freezing weather outside, they rolled out their blue plastic mats in preparation for the first prayer.When Rabbi Andrea London began the morning blessing, everyone assumed the lotus position, with backs…Read More


GOP Senator Raps Bush And Sharon Over Talks

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — Senator Lincoln Chafee has a reputation as a maverick within the Republican Party, but that’s only half his troubles. Much of the pro-Israel lobby views him as a pain in the neck and wouldn’t mind seeing him gone from the Senate.Yet, in an exclusive interview, Chafee argued that it was President Bush and Prime MinisterRead More


Apartheid Enforcers Guard Iraq For the U.S.

By Marc Perelman

In its effort to relieve overstretched U.S. troops in Iraq, the Bush administration has hired a private security company staffed with former henchmen of South Africa’s apartheid regime.The reliance on apartheid enforcers was highlighted by an attack in Iraq last month that killed one South African security officer and wounded another whoRead More


Hawkish General Set To Snag Top Military Post in Jerusalem

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — Although the official announcement has not been made, the word out of the Defense Ministry is that the commander of the Israel Air Force, Major General Dan Halutz, will be appointed deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces this summer. The promotion makes Halutz the prime candidate to become Israel’s next military chief ofRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

When the president of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, Bruce Raynor, endorsed North Carolina Senator John Edwards for president at a February 7 rally in Milwaukee, it was only the latest maverick move by the union leader.Many unions were flocking to the camp of the Democratic front-runner, Massachusetts Senator JohnRead More


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