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Syria Makes Overture Over Negotiations

By Marc Perelman

Worried about being diplomatically isolated by Middle East peace talks, Syria has signaled its willingness to enter into negotiations with Israel for the second time in recent months.Syrian President Bashar Assad and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak issued a joint communiqué Monday urging the United States, European Union,Read More


Sharon Mum As Minister Slams ‘Map’ In N.Y. Talk

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Sharon has no plans to rebuke a senior minister in his Cabinet who publicly lambasted President Bush’s Middle East policy in a New York briefing this week and stated — incorrectly, it appears — that he had the support of a ranking presidential adviser.The minister, Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party,Read More


Israel Tries To Ease Concern About Fence

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — Responding to American criticism of its West Bank security fence, Israel has given Washington assurances that the fence, which snakes and winds inside the West Bank, is not intended as a border with the future Palestinian state.Israel also assured the Bush administration that it will give due consideration to PalestinianRead More


Bush Bid for Jews’ Votes Zeroes In on Gen X

By E.J. Kessler

The White House is nurturing a cadre of Generation X Republican Jewish activists, many of them Orthodox, as part of a concerted strategy to boost Republican strength among Jewish voters — and Jewish political donors — in the run-up to the 2004 election.In private conversations recently, Bush aides have voiced hopes that the president’s imageRead More


Playwright Attacked Over Speech

JERUSALEM — A public attack against playwright Arthur Miller is the latest in a string of moves by Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski that critics say raise questions about his ability to reach out across religious boundaries.Lupolianski, a relatively tolerant ultra-Orthodox politician, was upset by remarks made by Miller late last month in hisRead More


Orthodox Seek Help of UJC To Roll Back Israeli Reform

By Nacha Cattan

In a rare bid for cooperation, the leading voice of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in the United States is reaching out to the nation’s main Jewish philanthropic network to seek assistance in a plan to aid Israeli families.The Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America, appealed in a letter last week to United Jewish Communities, the roof body ofRead More


Rikers Island Inmates Seek Different Menu Behind Bars

By Max Gross

Three Jewish prisoners in the New York City jail on Rikers Island are suing the commissioner of the Department of Corrections demanding a change in the menu.No, these prisoners are not campaigning for kosher cuisine. They want their jailers to provide them with a vegan diet that excludes not only meat but also eggs, dairy and all otherRead More


In Judicial Twist, Republicans Seen Stalling Bush Pick

By Ami Eden

After months of Republicans crying foul over Democratic efforts to filibuster conservative judicial nominees, Democrats are accusing GOP leaders of delaying a vote on one of President Bush’s most controversial picks.Democrats are ready to debate and vote on the district court nomination of James Leon Holmes, but Senate Republican leaders areRead More


Jerusalem Mayor Eyes ‘Black-Red’ Coalition

By Elli Wohlgelernter

JERUSALEM — Five weeks after he was elected, Jerusalem’s first ultra-Orthodox mayor is set to announce his governing coalition next week, formally ushering in a new and unfamiliar era in municipal politics in the Israeli capital.While the city council was certain to be dominated by the Orthodox and right-wing parties that back the new mayor,Read More


Out of Africa: Zimbabwean Jewry Faces Extinction

By David Saks

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Political turmoil in neighboring Zimbabwe is threatening southern Africa’s second-largest Jewish community with extinction.Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of sub-Saharan Africa, has rapidly become a basket case in recent years, as the regime of President Robert Mugabe has resorted to ever more extreme measuresRead More


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