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French Ban on Muslim Veil Protects Girls, Advocates Say

By Marc Perelman

PARIS — Proponents of a controversial law banning the conspicuous display of religious symbols in French public schools are rejecting charges that the measure is aimed at discriminating against Muslim girls who wear headscarves.Rather, said Patrick Weil, one of the 20 members of a presidential commission that proposed the lawRead More


Religious Overtones Color a Murder in Texas

By Seamus Mcgraw

The victim was a Jew, slaughtered in a Houston apartment, his throat slit so deftly with a 6-inch butterfly knife that he was nearly decapitated.The killer was an Arab, a newly minted religious Muslim and the son of a millionaire Saudi businessman. He had been bailed out of trouble by the Saudi consulate after previous scrapes with the law, and inRead More


U.S. Advice To Israelis: Don’t Start Syria Talks

By Ori Nir, With Reporting From Jta.

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration recently advised the Israeli government against taking up the offer of Syrian President Bashar Assad to resume peace negotiations, Israeli and American diplomats in Washington confirmed.The administration, according to sources, voiced several concerns regarding Assad’s recent public claims that heRead More


A Flawed Fix, and an Opportunity To Address Immigration Problem

By Howard L. Berman

Jews know how it is to arrive in a foreign land as strangers — and not always to welcoming arms. In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, waves of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, including my father, arrived in the United States, often fleeing pogroms. Many were unskilled laborers who took low-paying jobs in factories where they wereRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

With Jewish support for the Democratic presidential candidates shifting after Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the campaigns are stepping up their outreach to the Jewish communities in New Hampshire and across the country.Following his rout at the hands of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who inRead More


Sharon Aide: U.S. ‘Indifferent’ To Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Chemi Shalev

JERUSALEM — The Bush administration, while focused intensely on its “grand plan” for remaking the Middle East, is “indifferent to the situation” between Israel and the Palestinians and is unlikely to re-engage until after the November elections, according to Israel’s defense minister, Shaul Mofaz.Speaking to the Forward in an exclusiveRead More


Cardinals Meet For a Dialogue With Top Rabbis

By Nacha Cattan

In a move that may reestablish the World Jewish Congress as the primary Jewish partner for dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, this week the organization arranged an unprecedented gathering of top-level Catholic and Jewish religious leaders from around the world.The two-day “open dialogue” included current and former chief rabbis from sixRead More


Survivors’ Group Leaders Split Over Aid

By Nacha Cattan

Four leaders of a prominent Holocaust survivors’ coalition, including its board chairman, have broken with the group’s approach to the allocation of Holocaust-era restitution payments, saying the group’s campaign for increased aid to American survivors had become overly combative and had “backfired.”The four dissenters are chargingRead More


The Illusion of the Latest Medicare Reform

By Gus Tyler

Just about every major industrial democracy in the world has a single-payer system to provide medical services. The payer is the government that, in turn, is financed by taxes paid by those who someday may require medical care.The United States has a multi-party system involving insurance companies, health maintenance organizationsRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Clark Climb: Capitalizing on his surge in New Hampshire, retired general Wesley Clark is stepping up his push for support in the Jewish community, which some observers have identified as a key source of the more than $10 million in contributions that he posted for the fourth quarter of 2003.According to an e-mail message being circulatedRead More


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