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Prisoner Swap With Hezbollah Sparks Heated Debate

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — Amid preparations for the homecoming of four captives — three soldiers presumed dead and a kidnapped businessman — in a prisoner swap with Hezbollah, Israelis this week were fiercely debating the wisdom of the deal and speculating on its fallout.The deal dominated public discussion for days, pushing Prime Minister Sharon’sRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

O’Neill Observations: A story about President Bush told by former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill in a new tell-all book is drawing fire from Jewish Democrats, including Howard Dean’s campaign chairman.Quoting O’Neill on the early days of the Bush administration in the book, “The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and theRead More


Rabbi’s Trial Draws Protest

By Nathaniel Popper

The trial of an Israeli rabbi who attempted to physically block the demolition of two Palestinian houses is drawing increasingly vocal protest in the United States.In the boldest act of protest yet, Rabbi Arthur Waskow stood up in the middle of an event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. at the Israeli embassy in Washington and deliveredRead More


Canada’s Court Weighs Religious Freedom

By Sheldon Gordon

MONTREAL — The Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal this week by a group of seven condominium owners who contend that they have a constitutional right to build makeshift huts on their balconies in celebration of the autumn festival of Sukkot.Julius Grey, a constitutional lawyer representing the group of Orthodox Jews, argued at the three-hourRead More


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


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