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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Israel Campus Beat - April 30, 2006

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Coalition Agreement Sets Stage for Moderate Israeli Government
by Robert Berger

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima Party and the dovish Labor party have signed a coalition agreement. It includes a pledge to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank over the next four years. Under Mr. Olmert's plan, about 70,000 Jewish settlers would be removed from their homes.  At the same time, Israel would annex big West Bank settlement blocs. Mr. Olmert (pictured with Labor leader Amir Peretz) says he would prefer to do this as part of an agreement with the Palestinians. (Voice of America)

Additional Headlines

"Iran's President on Par with Hitler"

Israeli Satellite to "Spy on Iran"

Secretary Rice: Hamas Must Renounce Violence and Terrorism

U.S.: Hamas, Iran Rekindling Hatred of Jews

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick used a U.S. Holocaust remembrance Thursday to warn of new efforts by Iran and the militant Palestinian group Hamas to incite hatred of Jews. At a national commemoration at the U.S. Capitol, Zoellick said, "In its response to the recent terrorist Passover bombing in Israel, Hamas continued to justify terrorism and feed hatred. Equally troubling, today the modern Jewish democracy that emerged from the Holocaust faces a new threat from an Iranian leader who denies the very existence of that Holocaust...who threatens to wipe Israel and its people off the map...and who seeks nuclear weapons." (AFP/Yahoo)

It Won't Last
by Danny Rubinstein

The increasing rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, the isolation of the Hamas government in the regional and international arenas and the serious financial crisis the government is facing: All these indicate that this government will not be able to hold on. The more difficult problem is that at the moment there is no sign that anyone will be able to replace it. (Ha'aretz)

Ben-Gurion and Bethlehem: Professors Bridge Mid-East Divide
by Martin Patience

Two university professors aim to change the way the conflict is taught, by exposing Palestinian students to Israeli history lessons and Israeli students to the Palestinian version of history. The project is the work of Dan Bar-On, a social psychology professor at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, a city in southern Israel, and Sami Adwan, an education professor at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. (BBC News)

UC Irvine: Israeli Minority Speaks
by Reut R. Cohen

"I am a proud Israeli citizen," said Ishmael Khaldi. "I am [also] part of the Arab world. Khaldi, an Israeli Bedouin who served as a political analyst for the Israeli Defense Forces and worked with the American Embassy, speaks to thousands of college students around the world concerning the unique relationship of Israeli Bedouins to the state of Israel. "We identify ourselves as Israeli, like every other Israeli." Unfortunately, for the majority of American college students, Khaldi's perspective is a unique one and often ridiculed because it is not the traditional view of the media. (New University Paper)

Brandeis Criticized for Honoring Kushner
by Gabrielle Birkner

Brandeis University is being criticized for its decision to award an honorary doctorate to playwright Tony Kushner, a critic of Israeli government policies. Mr. Kushner, who has called the founding of Israel a "mistake," and has accused the Jewish state of "behaving abominably towards the Palestinian people," is among seven people who are slated to receive honorary doctorates from the Waltham, Mass.-based university, which has Jewish roots but is nonsectarian. (New York Sun)
    See also ZOA Criticizes Brandeis Award Pick by Jonathan Krisch (The Hoot)

Cornell: Student Assembly Debates Iran Stance, Resolution Creates Turmoil

After nearly two hours of debate last week, the Student Assembly (SA) decided to table voting on Resolution 29: Resolution Condemning Iranian Nuclear Proliferation until their next meeting on Thursday, May 4. Resolution 29, which has provoked campus-wide petitions and discussions, is proposed by three students:  Tim Lim '06, president of the SA, Jamie Weinstein '06, president of Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee and Sun columnist, and Sarah Boxer '07, vice president of publicity for the SA "If the SA passes the resolution, more local officials will be urged to act," said Weinstein. "Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world, and this effects Cornell." (TMCNet)

Point-Counterpoint - What Is the State of Relations between Israel and American Jewry?

Deeper Than We Know
- Editorial

  • As the Jewish state prepares to celebrate the 58th anniversary of its independence next Wednesday, May 3, America and Israel are home to the two largest Jewish communities in the world - arguably the most vibrant and powerful Jewish communities the world has ever known. They are different beings, these two communities. One is a sovereign state of enormous vitality and strength. The other is a confident, influential minority within the world's greatest superpower.
  • For all that, the partnership between them is almost limitless in its potential. Never have cross-border understanding and cultural exchange been easier than in this age of instant communications.
  • In truth, we do not communicate much. Sometimes we talk, mostly past one another. Sometimes we use each other - American Jews as Israel's best ally, Israel as American Jewry's emotional symbol.
  • The underlying ties are stronger and more enduring than the surface would suggest. If few American Jews consider Israel central to their Jewish identities, the vast majority feel a kinship.
  • As we've learned from the experience of Birthright Israel, it doesn't take much a quick, 10-day tour of the Holy Land will do, it seems to awaken something unexpectedly powerful inside most Jews.
  • Our bonds run deeper than we know. The challenge for the next six decades is to nourish them, and let them nourish us. (Forward)

A New Dialogue with the Diaspora
by Avi Beker

  • The political changes to the Israeli party map created an enormous gap between the positions of a small group of activists in the Jewish community and the vast majority of the community, and it will take time until the change is fully comprehended there.
  • Sociologists claimed that Israel had become a kind of "civil religion" for Diaspora Jewry, especially in the U.S. where the activities on behalf of Israel were institutionalized in fund-raising and political lobbying.
  • Like in Israel, the 1990s were a period of adaptation and uncertainty for the Jews of the Diaspora. The Oslo accords created tension between the leaders of those organizations and the leadership in Israel that was trying to foment political change among American Jews.
  • The next government will have to prepare the groundwork with elements of the Jewish lobby. On more than one occasion, Israel's friends in Congress have complained that they find it difficult to spot a common denominator in the cacophony of messages they receive from Jewish organizations.
  • It is vitally important that the dialogue with world Jewry not focus on the "big bangs" of Israeli politics, but rather on the deeper content of contemporary Jewish identity. (Ha'aretz)

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Friday, April 28, 2006

JINSA Report #566 Misdirected Outrage

1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC 20036

202-667-0601 Fax

April 28, 2006

JINSA Report #566

Misdirected Outrage

Saudi Arabia has pledged $92 million to Hamas and Iran has pledged $50
million. Other Gulf States, worried that Iran will become the
Palestinians' main backer, are quietly investigating sending money to
the Hamas government; our friend Qatar has put up $20 million. For years
Saudi Arabia has been funding the export of radical Wahabi ideology to
Egypt, Pakistan and the U.S. (where they fund more than 80% of mosques
and Islamic schools). Iran is the world's leading sponsor of terror –
Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Shi'ite terror groups in
Iraq and close relations with Syria. AP reports that Iran has taken
possession – for cash, of course – of North Korean missiles that can
carry nuclear warheads and reach Europe.

Who's money are they spending? Yours.

The price of gas is high and consumers are angry. But when our elected
representatives stage press conferences near gas stations and call for
investigations of oil company collusion over prices they are pandering
and their outrage is deliberately misplaced and cynical. We don't like
gas prices and we're not crazy about oil company profits, but
$0.09/gallon in the hands of Exxon (or the $0.18/gallon in taxes US
government rakes in) doesn't foster international jihad or threaten the
world with nuclear annihilation. The real money is going to the bad guys.

The crucial fact about oil is that worldwide demand is up 33% over a
year ago and supplies have not increased. The first crucial fact about
the U.S. is that we spend billions of dollars and the precious blood of
our soldiers to defend the oil producers and lines of supply because we
need oil, but the rest of the world spends nothing to defend the oil it
needs. The asymmetry is political, economic and military. The second
crucial fact about the U.S. is that Congress and the Administration have
been abysmal in explaining this to the American public and promoting the
accelerated use of alternative forms of energy as a matter of national
security policy. Somewhere in our collective consciousness, though,
Americans know it. In a recent NBC-WSJ poll, Congress's approval rating
was a dismal 22% and the President was hovering around 36%.

Nuclear power, domestic exploration and drilling, clean coal, natural
gas, hydrogen, biofuels, wind, solar and hydropower are alternatives to
imported oil. With proper leadership and market incentives, the 7%
increase in Exxon-Mobil's profits over last year can be used to explore,
improve and exploit all of them. Taxing away "windfall" profits will put
more money in the government's hands, but the government isn't in the
business of finding and exploiting energy resources. Energy companies
are – and it is in our national security interest to have them do it and
make them do it.

In the same NBC-WSJ poll, 77% of respondents said they were worried
about oil prices and the economy. They would do better to worry about
oil prices as they affect our security and our way of life, because at
the moment, we are funding the people who hate us. Our government –
Executive and Legislative, Republican, Democratic and the lone Socialist
– is failing to take steps to stop it.

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JINSA Article Digest for April, 28th

Articles added to JINSA Online from April, 21st to April, 28th.

#565 Hiltons Response to Your Response

(2006-04-21) Your e-mails to the management of the Hilton Hotels Corporation
on behalf of Fran OBriens Stadium Steakhouse and the troops were so effective
that they closed the e-mail addresses we published. Hilton sent out replies
to all of you claiming that the inability to reach a new agreement with the
restaurant led to the lease termination. But this does not square with the
hotels ADA noncompliance and its apparent desire to not spend the money
required for compliance until 2007. Apparently, signing a new lease would
force Fran OBriens to operate for at least another year in an ADA
non-compliant space, needlessly burdening their disabled customers not the
least of whom are the dozens of wounded troops that come every Friday night.
Hilton still doesnt get it. Find out more including a new route to contact
them in JINSA Report #565.

Read more @

Iran Flexes Diplomatic and Military Muscles: Tehran's Nuclear Program
Buttresses All-Out Bid for Regional Supremacy

(2006-04-24) While the international community focuses on Irans nuclear
ambitions, officials of the Islamic Republic have been busy exercising their
rapidly increasing influence - fueled by more than a decade of a lucrative
petroleum sales and accelerated by the removal of Iraq as a regional
counterweight - in the Persian Gulf and on the international stage.
Complicating matters is Irans control of the terrorist group Hezbollah in
Lebanon and increasing sway over the now ruling terrorist Hamas organization
in the West Bank and Gaza. The ability to frustrate Israeli-Palestinian peace
making coupled with increasing its political, economic and military
influence, means that Iran is well on its way toward dominating the wider

Read more @

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

ADL Headlines: A Bi-Weekly News Bulletin from the Anti-Defamation League

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April 27, 2006   

Headlines main image 4/27/06 
Special Edition: Highlights from ADL’s National Leadership Conference

Olmert: Israeli Elections Mandate for Disengagement
In an address to nearly 500 delegates gathered in Washington, D.C. for ADL’s Shana Amy Glass National Leadership Conference, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the strong show of support for his Kadima Party in the recent elections showed the consensus among Israelis for his proposal to disengage from parts of the West Bank. “I wanted the elections to be a referendum on the plan I presented,” he told ADL in a speech carried live via satellite from Jerusalem. Mr. Olmert struck a defiant tone on the threat of a nuclear Iran, telling ADL’s leaders, “We are capable of defending ourselves.” 
In the News:

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Anti-Semitism In The Arab World
Cartoon of the Week

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  • Intelligence Director: America Faces ‘Unprecedented’ Threat
    Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte discussed the U.S. government’s efforts to detect and deter terrorist threats. Ambassador Negroponte said America is engaged in “an unprecedented war on terror” and that the intelligence community was working to improve coordination of resources and information sharing.  

    In the News: The Washington Post

  • Extremists Declare 'Open Season' on Immigrants: Hispanics Target of Incitement and Violence
    Standing with Cecilia Muñoz, Vice President of the National Council of La Raza, a national Latino civil rights organization, ADL released a new report and Action Agenda on efforts by white supremacists and other extremists to exploit the immigration debate in America. As the public debate over immigration reform has taken center-stage, white supremacists and other racists have declared "open season" on immigrants and attempted to co-opt and exploit the issue by focusing their efforts -- and their anger -- on the minority group at the center of the controversy: Hispanics.   More >>

    In the News:
    NY Jewish Week editorial, “Playing to the Bigots"
    The Forward

  • Online Educational Initiative Harnesses Technology to Fight Hate
    A new groundbreaking online educational initiative to combat bias and promote respect was previewed during the Leadership Conference. The Online A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute will provide on-demand, Web-based training programs and services reaching into schools, homes, corporations, law enforcement agencies and other entities. 

  • Six Million Remembered on Holocaust Day
    Communities across the U.S. marked the observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, with candle-lightings and memorial and prayer services in memory of the six million. At the Leadership Conference in Washington, ADL’s Courage to Care Award was presented to Sir Nicholas Winton (in absentia) for his role in saving the lives of 669 Czech children. In New York, survivors, their relatives and friends, and members of the diplomatic corps gathered at ADL’s Holocaust Memorial Wall for a candle-lighting ceremony and remarks from Ambassador Arye Mekel, the Israeli Consul General in New York.

  • Poland Pulls Plug on “JC Superstar” at Former Nazi Camp
    Polish government officials, responding to ADL’s concerns, pulled the plug on plans by a local theater troupe to stage the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the site of the former Nazi concentration camp Majdanek, near Lublin.  More>>

  • Arizona: ‘Bearing Witness’ Program Honored
    On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Arizona Regional Office and the Dioceses of Tucson and Phoenix were honored by the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association with its Shofar Zachor Award for the “inspirational achievements” of ADL’s Bearing Witness Program. Bearing Witness, the nationally acclaimed Holocaust education program developed by ADL in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was locally adopted by the Diocese of Tucson in fall 2002, and expanded to include the Diocese of Phoenix in 2003. 

  • Connecticut: Law Bars Insurance Discrimination
    Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed into law a bill prohibiting discrimination in life insurance based on a person’s travel history or future travel plans. ADL Regional Director David Waren, who strongly advocated for the legislation, said the bills’s passage was “an important milestone in ceasing discrimination” against people traveling to Israel or other countries where the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning. More>>

  • Illinois: Religious Freedom Bill Becomes Law
    A bill protecting the religious freedom of condominium owners was signed into law by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. ADL helped to draft the bill’s language after notifying state lawmakers of complaints that some Chicago condo associations had forced Jewish residents to remove their mezuzahs, the small case containing a verse from the Bible that Jews affix to their doorposts in accordance with Jewish tradition and law. The bill had unanimous support in both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate.  More>>

  • Media Watch
    Judt In NY Times: Wrong on Many Counts 4/19/06
    There is cause for concern when academics like Tony Judt, a constant critic of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, suggest that condemnation of biased pseudo-scholarship amounts to stifling legitimate policy debate.

    Bombing Shows True Colors of Hamas 4/18/06
    Its immediate approval of the deadly terrorist bombing in Tel Aviv speaks volumes about what Hamas is all about.

    Novak Ignores Realities About Israel’s Security 4/18/06
    The ink had barely dried on Robert Novak's latest one-sided attack on the Israeli security barrier when news of a suicide bombing demonstrated the need for this security measure.

    Editor's Note: The next edition of ADL Headlines will appear on May 11, 2006.

©2006 Anti-Defamation League. All rights reserved.

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Stop the Genocide in Darfur

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For over three years Sudan’s government-backed Janjaweed Arab-Muslim militia has had free reign to slaughter innocent civilians in Darfur. Thousands of villages and their inhabitants are being systematically wiped off the face of the Earth. Most of the victims are themselves Muslims and all of them are black Africans.


  • As many as 400,000 people have been killed
  • 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes
  • 3.5 million are starving

As Jews we have a sacred obligation to ensure that genocide is never ignored. For 60 years the rallying cry of our community has been, "Never again!" Now we have the opportunity to put our commitment into action.

Darfur needs your help! Join the Million Voices for Darfur and send an e-mail to President Bush calling on him to mobilize an effective multinational force to protect the civilians of Darfur. The lives of innocent people are well worth the minute of your time it takes to send Mr. Bush a message.

ADL has united with over 100 other organizations in the Save Darfur Coalition. This Sunday we will join the Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington, DC to urge an end to the violence.

We learned a long time ago that all it takes for evil to flourish if for good people not to act. Please add your voice to this important campaign and spread the word by sharing this message today.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AJC News Update

American Jewish Committee News Update

Update 204  |  April 26, 2006

Centennial Annual Meeting – Sold Out!

AJC’s Centennial Meeting is now officially at capacity, with 1,500 participants already registered. Watch AJC’s Web site as we will update daily from Washington with printed materials, photos and video. President George W. Bush, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres will address in person the gala dinner on May 4 celebrating our 100th anniversary.

Haaretz Dialogue with AJC Executive Director

In the run-up to the Annual Meeting, David Harris is the online guest of Shmuel Rosner, Washington correspondent for Haaretz. Visit to find the exchange with Harris under Rosner’s Domain. The first questions went live earlier this week, and the exchange will continue through the weekend.

AJC Study: Young Jewish Adults to Reshape U.S. Jewry

A pioneering AJC study offers an incisive portrait of how the Jewish community in the U.S. will look later this century. “Young Jewish Adults in the United States Today: Harbingers of the American Jewish Community of Tomorrow?” focuses on the 1.5 million Jews, currently 29 percent of the U.S. Jewish population, who are between the ages of 18 and 39. “Understanding the Jewish community of tomorrow is imperative if present-day Jewish organizations are to remain relevant,” said Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of AJC’s Centennial Committee. The study, conducted for AJC by Ukeles Associates, Inc., will be released tomorrow at a luncheon program in New York.

Special U.S. Envoy for UN Human Rights Council

AJC is urging the U.S. to appoint a Special Envoy to the new UN Human Rights Council. “The appointment of a Special Envoy would recognize the fact that a large number of very important decisions will be made by the new Council during its first year of operation,” AJC wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. AJC expressed in the letter to Rice support for the U.S. commitment to work cooperatively with other UN member states to make the Human Rights Council strong and effective. AJC also welcomed U.S. pledges to vote only for states with genuine commitment to human rights and expressed hope that "other states will make similar public pledges." Click for news release.

Hamas Government Responsible for Tel Aviv Terror Attack

While the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the April 17 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, AJC asserted that the Hamas-led Palestinian government bears the ultimate responsibility. “The political ascendancy of Hamas, which denies Israel’s very right to exist, fosters today’s culture of hate and violence that encourages terrorism, including firing rockets from Gaza into Israel and murderous suicide bombings,” said AJC. Click for statement.

AJC Radio Message: Terror in Tel Aviv

In his national radio commentary on the CBS radio network, Harris spoke about the Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad, which carried out the attack, and Hamas, which now heads the Palestinian government, “both seek Israel’s destruction,” says Harris. “They have both turned religion on its head. Instead of religion being a force for good, they’ve created a force for evil.” Click to listen.

AJC Sponsors Israel Seminar at Jewish High School

AJC is co-sponsoring a week-long seminar on Israel for graduating seniors at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in New York City. Students began the week with a crash course in Israeli history and advocacy based on portions of IKAR – Israel Knowledge Advocacy and Responsibility – AJC’s high school Israel studies curriculum. David Harris will address the students tomorrow, charging them with the challenge and responsibility of becoming Jewish leaders and effective Israel advocates today.

Changing Auschwitz Name

In a letter to UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura, AJC has endorsed a Polish government proposal for UNESCO to call Auschwitz the “Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.” The proposal to change the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation comes in the wake of increasing media references around the world to Auschwitz and other Nazi German camps in occupied Poland as “Polish concentration camps.” AJC also wrote separately to Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Meller. Click for news release.

Welcome Decision to Deport Sami al-Arian

AJC welcomed the agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and Sami al-Arian, in which the former University of South Florida professor admitted to aiding a terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad. He will be deported from the U.S. “Sami al-Arian’s admission of providing material support to a terrorist organization is vindication of the U.S. government’s vigorous efforts to bring him to justice,” said Yehudit Barsky, director of AJC’s Division on Middle East. “The Justice Department has sent a clear message that support from U.S. soil for acts of terror that take place abroad will not be tolerated.”

AJC Interreligious Director at State Department Interfaith Event

David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs, addressed an interfaith event, “Three Faiths, One God,” hosted by the U.S. State Department. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes spoke about the importance of interfaith dialogue. Rosen was joined by Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University; the Rev. Clark Lobenstine, executive director of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington; and Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, an American University professor and former Pakistani diplomat currently engaged in interfaith dialogues.

New Orleans Thank Yous

AJC this week received letters of appreciation from Rabbi Andrew Busch of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, Rabbi Donald M. Kunstadt of Congregation Sha’ari Shomayim in Mobile, Alabama, and William J. Johnston, Jr., of the First United Methodist Church in New Orleans. They thanked AJC for generous donations from AJC’s Katrina Relief Fund that will help the three houses of worship rebuild.

Honoring Polish President

David Harris delivered the keynote address at a luncheon in Washington honoring Aleksander Kwasniewski, president of Poland from 1995 to 2005, with the Jan Karski Award. The event was hosted by the Jan Karski Institute for Tolerance and Dialogue. Click for the text of Harris speech.

UN Watch Campaign to Block Jean Ziegler

AJC’s Geneva-based affiliate UN Watch has played a key role among non-governmental organizations in protesting the Swiss nomination of Jean Ziegler to a new UN post dealing with human rights. Ziegler, who had served for six years as the UN expert on hunger and was notoriously anti-Israel, was the subject of a thorough UN Watch report last year.

In the Media

The New York Times and International Herald Tribune published letters by AJC President E. Robert Goodkind on Hamas, responding to an editorial after the Tel Aviv suicide bombing. Read the New York Times letter and the International Herald Tribune letter.

Haaretz published a letter by David Harris about AJC history. Read letter.

The Dallas Morning News published a letter by Dallas Chapter Director Darrel Strelitz on the April 17 Palestinian bombing in Tel Aviv.

The San Francisco Chronicle published a letter by San Francisco Chapter Director Ernest Weiner and Board Member Arthur L. Roth on Darfur.

The Wall Street Journal quoted David Harris in an article about the trial of two former AIPAC employees.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Atlanta Chapter Director Sherry Frank in an article about a proposal to establish a sister cities relationship between Atlanta and Ramallah.

Religion News Service published a column by Rabbi James Rudin on the AJC’s 100th anniversary.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer published a letter from Seattle Chapter Director Rabbi Anson Laytner on the so-called Israel lobby.

The Forward’s Masha Leon devoted wrote in her weekly column about the New York Chapter’s Diplomatic Seder.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published an essay by Steven Bayme, “Intermarriage and Jewish Leadership in the United States.”

The Sun-Sentinel published a two-page feature with photos on AJC at 100, with a focus on the Palm Beach County Chapter and long-time director Bill Gralnick.

Please contact Kenneth Bandler, AJC's Director of Communications,
at with any questions or comments.

© 2006 American Jewish Committee

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