(JTA) Israel's interim prime minister said ties to the Palestinian Authority would continue as long as it is not led by Hamas. Ehud Olmert, who briefly ordered suspension of tax payouts to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won its parliamentary election last month, on Monday defended his decision not to pursue this punitive route, saying it would only "play into the hands of the extremists". Addressing a Tel Aviv economic conference, Olmert said the monthly transfers of taxes levied on behalf of the Palestinians by Israel would continue, but on a case-by-case basis, as long as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remains independent of the Islamic terrorist group. "So long as he does not cooperate with Hamas, and so long as the Palestinian Authority is not led by Hamas, we will cooperate with the Palestinian Authority," Olmert said. Abbas has several weeks in which to form a new Palestinian Authority government, and has tried to mollify international concerns by proposing that he keep control of security forces even if Hamas ministers are appointed.

(JTA) Jewish leaders in Ukraine blamed Ukrainian authorities, law enforcement and societal attitudes for an attempted attack on Kiev's central synagogue. Last Friday night, a man stormed into a Kiev synagogue and disturbed the Sabbath service by shouting anti-Semitic threats. The incident took place when the Central Brodsky Synagogue in downtown Kiev was full of worshippers. The man, whom police later identified as Georgy Dobryansky, 53, burst into the synagogue and demanded he be brought to a rabbi. The guard stopped him at the entrance. The attacker shouted that he came to desecrate the synagogue and that he hated Jews and wanted to act on their holy day of the week. Some witnesses reported that a large knife was found on the floor near the entrance. The man is now in police custody. Jewish leaders said authorities have not responded properly to previous anti-Semitic and hate incidents. "We won't be silent," Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of the United Jewish Community in Ukraine, said minutes after the attack.

(JTA) A Palestinian man killed an Israeli woman during a stabbing rampage in the city of Petach Tikva. Four others were wounded in the incident aboard a minibus, which police are calling a terrorist attack. The assailant was overpowered by a crowd before police arrived to arrest him. The woman killed was identified as Kinneret Ben Shalom.

(JTA) Israel killed two suspected Palestinian bomb-makers in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Israeli army spokesmen said two Islamic Jihad members were killed in Sunday's strike. Earlier Sunday, Israel killed three men believed to be members of the Al-Aksa Brigade in another airstrike in Gaza. The attacks came in retaliation for a Palestinian rocket attack last Friday in southern Israel that left three Israelis wounded.

New York Magazine has a small piece about the new Yiddish film, A Gesheft. Story here.

(JTA) Betty Friedan, whose book "The Feminine Mystique" launched the feminist revolution in the United States, died Saturday at 85. Friedan died of congestive heart failure in Washington. In "The Feminine Mystique," Friedan used her own experiences as a wife and mother to critique the role of women in U.S. society. In 1966, Friedan helped found the National Organization for Women, which helped launch feminism. She was born Bettye Naomi Goldstein in Peoria, Ill.

(JTA) Al Lewis, the son of Jewish immigrants who later became a TV legend and leftist politician, died last Friday at 95 in New York City. Lewis, who was raised by his mother, an immigrant sweatshop worker in Brooklyn, was best known for his role as Grandpa Munster on the TV show "The Munsters." He also had a doctorate in child psychology and ran for governor of New York on the Green Party ticket in 1998.


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