Senator George Allen's mother confirms Jewish heritage, according to the Washington Post.
In a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the Holocaust and defended Iran’s nuclear program. (JTA)
Under tough questioning Wednesday at the council in New York, Iran’s president told one man who saw the Dachau concentration camp shortly after its liberation that the world “should allow more impartial studies” on the Holocaust.
He also refused to discuss specifics of Iran’s controversial nuclear plans and insisted Iran is fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Several Jewish leaders, including Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, boycotted the event, but decided not to resign from the council.
The Bush administration opposed the event, saying it gave legitimacy to Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel’s destruction.
But the council said it has invited controversial leaders in the past and that its mission is to provide a forum for understanding international affairs.
Some 35,000 supporters of Israel protested outside the United Nations building. (JTA)
Wednesday’s protest in New York, organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and other groups, was held to show solidarity with Israel; ask the United Nations to enforce Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the unconditional release of three Israeli soldiers kidnaped by Hamas and Hezbollah this summer; and denounce Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presence at the 61st convening of the U.N. General Assembly.
“We will defeat any enemy and overcome any challenge,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the crowd, which spanned two city blocks. “We say terror will not defeat us.”
Other speakers included the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.
A chief Nazi-hunter welcomed the arrest in Germany of an alleged Nazi war criminal. (JTA)
Soeren Kam, 84, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Bavaria, ending decades of diplomatic limbo.
Kam, a former member of the SS, is wanted for his role in the murder of a Danish journalist in Denmark during World War II.
Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem issued a statement Thursday urging Kam’s speedy extradition to Denmark, where he would stand trial.
Zuroff said the move could mark the beginning of a series of extraditions of foreigners who had collaborated with the Nazis, committed serious crimes and subsequently fled to Germany, where they were granted citizenship that protected them from prosecution in their native lands.
A German court decision on Kam’s extradition is expected by the end of end of September.
The former cantor of a New York City synagogue was sentenced to 12 years’ probation for sexually abusing his nephew. (JTA)
The judge on Tuesday also ordered Howard Nevison, 65, former cantor at Temple Emanu-El, to refrain from all contact with children under age 12.
The attacks took place from 1993 to 1997, while the boy in question was 3 to 7 years old.
Two other family members were previously convicted of molesting the boy.
At the sentencing, the nephew, now 17, called Nevison a “coward” who had robbed him of his trust and happiness. “As a cantor in the Jewish religion, you should know that what you did will not sit well with God,” he said.
A group of Israeli psychologists created an online help service for those traumatized by the Lebanon war. (JTA)
The site, www.minustress.com, provides basic guidance and therapy to veterans of the 34-day offensive against Hezbollah or residents of northern Israel who suffered from cross-border rocket salvoes.
One of the service’s founders, Danny Hamiel, said it was not intended for those with serious post-traumatic stress disorder, but only milder cases that can be cleared up in a few clinical sessions.
According to Hamiel, 90 percent of those who suffer from stress in Israel cannot obtain face-to-face professional help, either because of the cost or because there is none available near where they live.
Ehud Olmert came fifth in an Israeli opinion poll on who should be prime minister. (JTA)
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came first in the Yediot Achronot survey published Thursday, with 27 percent of respondents supporting him.
He was followed by Avigdor Lieberman, head of the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Vice Premier Shimon Peres. Olmert’s low ranking, with 7 percent support, reflected dwindling public faith in his government since the Lebanon war.
On Wednesday night, a group of veterans and parents of slain soldiers disrupted a speech the prime minister was giving to his Kadima Party.
The hecklers demanded that Olmert step down, accusing him of mishandling the offensive against Hezbollah.
Top Israeli retailers agreed not to used underweight models in their advertising campaign. (JTA)
The decision, a safeguard against anorexia, was announced Wednesday. It followed a ban at last week’s Madrid Fashion Week of models who looked unhealthily thin, and calls for similar measures in Britain.
Adi Barkan, a leading Israeli fashion photographer, said he initiated the Israeli campaign after realizing that many of the models he worked with had a body mass index — the ratio of height to weight — that was dangerously low, sometimes less than 14.
He said major Israeli ad companies had undertaken not to hire models whose BMI is less than 18, and that he expected fashion agencies to sign on as well. Legislation that would enforce the BMI threshold is awaiting ratification in the Knesset.