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Groups Say Ban on Gay Vows Breaches Religious Freedom

By Nacha Cattan

In an unusual move, a local prosecutor’s effort to stop ministers from performing same-sex marriages is drawing fire from Jewish civil rights agencies not only on grounds of privacy or gay rights, but also of religious freedom.Officials with the American Jewish Congress and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism charge that the districtRead More


Newsdesk March 19, 2004

By Forward Staff and Jta

Beilin To Lead New PartyTEL AVIV — Foreign policy maverick Yossi Beilin won the election Tuesday as leader of the newly formed Yahad Party, edging out veteran Meretz lawmaker Ran Cohen.Beilin won 53.5% of the votes, showing strongly in big cities and Arab communities, while Cohen took 46.5%, doing well among kibbutzim.Yahad was created this yearRead More


After Attack, Tanks Roll Back Into Gaza

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — As Israeli tanks and armored vehicles rumbled into Gaza this week, responding to Sunday’s double suicide bombing in the port city of Ashdod, officials cautioned that the incursions would not be a repeat of the massive 2002 operation known as Defensive Shield. Israel does not intend to reoccupy the streets of Gaza, officials said. InRead More


Tooker Gomberg, 48, Presumed Dead

Tooker Gomberg, an environmental activist known as one of Canada’s most colorful political figures, was reported missing and presumed dead after apparently jumping off a bridge March 5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was 48, and was said to have suffered from depression.In the early 1990s, Gomberg served one term as a member of the Edmonton cityRead More


J. Gutman, Rights Advocate, 80

By Miriam Colton

Jeremiah S. Gutman, one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys and a vocal advocate for Israeli civil liberties, died February 25 after suffering a heart attack at a Metro-North Railroad station. He was 80.The night before his death, Gutman presided at a meeting of Meretz USA, a Jewish organization promoting peace and civil rights inRead More


PLO Militant Turns Diehard Israel Supporter

By Marc Perelman

Walid Shoebat is arguably the most unlikely diehard supporter of Israel.A former militant of the Palestine Liberation Organization who used to hate Israel, did time in Israeli jails and nearly beat an Israeli soldier to death, Shoebat is now singing Israel’s praises to North American audiences.“I am against a Palestinian state and I prefer theRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Flipping for Florida: Pounding the Republicans’ main line of attack on the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman rapped Massachusetts Senator John Kerry on Monday for “flip-flopping” on Israel’s security fence and for “mistakes in judgment” regarding a 1997 remark praising Yasser Arafat as aRead More


The Blood of Martyrs

By Gus Tyler

While on a recent trip to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld predicted that Osama bin Laden would be captured “at some point.” The scuttlebutt is that such a “capture” seems likely to come near enough to Election Day to provide President Bush with the votes necessary to lift him out of his sagging standing in theRead More


Groups Back Bill To Monitor Universities

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — Risking a clash with civil libertarians, major Jewish communal organizations are lobbying the Senate to approve a bill that would tighten federal monitoring of government-funded Middle East studies programs at universities.The bill, which passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly, is pitting the JewishRead More


Author Challenges Rambam’s Principles

By Steven I. Weiss

A religious debate over intellectual freedom is brewing in the Orthodox world, following the recent publication of a book challenging the widespread view within Orthodoxy that Maimonides’s Thirteen Principles of Faith represents a binding articulation of Jewish theological dogma.In his book, “The Limits ofRead More


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