You have no doubt heard that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, embattled in a corruption investigation and still taking heat from the 2006 Lebanon War, announced he will step down yesterday.
What do you think? Is this a good thing for Israel? Who should take Olmert’s place? The leading replacement candidates are Kadima’s own Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) and Benyamin Netanyahu (Likud).
Who will step in?
(Stay tuned. We are working on republishing our profile of Olmert from the June 2006 issue.)
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Posted in Misc
When Dinko Sakić, the last living Holocaust concentration camp director, died last week, Jewish organizations and others hoped that his funeral would not be used as an opportunity for far-right groups to celebrate the actions of this mass murderer.
Instead, The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other groups wanted Croatian leaders to take the occasion to condemn Sakić’s crimes.
That opportunity has since come and gone.
According to the AP, Sakić’s funeral was indeed used to celebrate him: Continue reading
Just when you thought we were finished with Jewish/African-American issues…
The House of Representatives voted yesterday to pass a resolution issuing a formal apology to African-Americans for slavery and Jim Crow segregation, and the sponsor of the bill? None other than the Jewish Democratic congressman from a mostly black constituency in Memphis, Steve Cohen.
There’s no need to go too far into this, so let’s just interactively pat Rep. Cohen on the back.
Thank you again to everyone who voted in our Moment Presidential Poll these past few weeks. We have received many votes and submissions, and we are so very pleased.
Voting will continue for a little while longer. So, if you still haven’t voted and you’d like to have your voice heard, please submit your answers to email@example.com by Thursday July 31 at 5:00 pm.
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Israel will get a radar system to bolster her short-range missile defenses, according to CNN.com and Ha’aretz. Says the latter:
Signaling willingness to focus on defensive measures, [Israeli Defense Minister Ehud] Barak said he had secured the Pentagon’s agreement to post a powerful radar, known as the forward-based X-band, in Israel “before the new (U.S.) administration arrives” in January.
Built by Raytheon Co, the system has been described by U.S. officials as capable of tracking an object the size of a baseball from about 2,900 miles (4,700 km) away. It would let the Arrow engage an Iranian Shehab-3 ballistic missile about halfway through what would be its 11-minute flight to Israel. Continue reading
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Kotel rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovitch, has sent Sen. Barack Obama a letter apologizing for the publication of the note the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee left in the Kotel last week:
“As the rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites, I express my deep regret for this despicable act. Many people visit the Western Wall—Jews and non-Jews—and the respect for them and their prayers is of extreme importance to us,” wrote Rabinovitch. “I can only apologize that the holy atmosphere didn’t touch the heart of the yeshiva student as it touched your heart.”
“Your prayer, of course, has not been spoiled and you have not been damaged by this publication,” he stressed. “I wish for your prayers to be answered and may you be a faithful servant to the Almighty and be among those who work for and see the goodness of Jerusalem.”
An Al-Qaeda commander, Abu Yahia al-Libi, said as much in a video released recently.
Saudi King Abdullah did indeed participate in the World Conference on Dialogue earlier this month. From the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding:
Soon after King Abdullah kicked off the conference at the ornate El Pardo Palace with a call for increased dialogue and understanding among followers of all religions, Rabbi [Marc] Schneier and Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, one of the leading experts on Islamic jurisprudence in North America, had a private conversation with the Saudi monarch.
According to FoxNews (via AP), al-Libi said, “Bringing religions together…means renouncing Islam.”
“Equating Islam with other religions is a betrayal of Islam.” He calls for “the speedy killing of this tyrant.”
Thanks to JTA today for pointing out where those of the kosher persuasion can find grub in Beijing when the Olympics kick off in less than two weeks.
That would be Dini’s Kosher Restaurant. According to Ynet:
“The days in which Jews had to wander through China with suitcases full of preserved food are over,” said Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, Chabad’s envoy to Beijing. […]
Rabbi Freundlich, on whom the title “The Olympic Rabbi” has been bestowed, has even received a list of guests from the Olympic Games Committee. He said the kosher meat is already awaiting them in the freezer: 7.5 tons of beef and 9 tons of chicken, prepared by kosher demand.
Dini’s website says they have a wide assortment of food—”Jewish food, Chinese food, Western food, and a spectacular sushi bar”—for visitors. Their menu, which includes gong bao beef, potato knishes and hot pastrami on rye, can be downloaded from here.