Jewish Journal


January 25, 2001



City Must Be Shared

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Israeli and Palestinian negotiators must find a way to share administration of Jerusalem's Old City and its holy sites "so there won't be a split and divided city and there will be free access to all." Speaking Tuesday before an audience of high school students, Barak said he would ensure that Jerusalem sites that are holy to Jews "will be under our sovereignty."

Sharon Mum on 1982 War

Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon refused to answer questions from students about his role in the 1982 war in Lebanon when he visited a high school Tuesday. The previous day, Sharon was taken by surprise when a student blamed him for the shell shock her father suffered after the war. The student is active in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's campaign, which prompted Likud officials to charge that the Barak campaign is planting questions with students to embarrass Sharon. Barak's camp denied the accusation.

Sharon Details Peace Plan

Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state, but on less land than the Palestinians want, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz. On Jan. 18, the newspaper published details of a plan drawn up by Sharon, the front-runner to become Israel's next prime minister in the Feb. 6 elections. Under the plan, he would seek to keep all Jewish settlements in place. Under the plan, Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty. Palestinian officials immediately rejected every aspect of the plan.

One Wounded in Explosion

An Israeli soldier was wounded in a roadside explosion in the Gaza Strip. Hamas claimed responsibility for Monday's blast near the settlement of Netzarim.

In another development, Israeli security forces neutralized two bombs discovered near the tunnel road linking Jerusalem to the Etzion bloc of settlements in the West Bank.

Peres Backers Back Out

Leaders of a movement to replace Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak with Cabinet minister Shimon Peres as the Labor Party's candidate for prime minister announced they are stopping their campaign, Israel Radio reported. Clinton Was Biased

Palestinian negotiators accused President Clinton of siding with Israel during his term in the White House and called on the Bush administration to take a new tack.

In a new memorandum summing up the Clinton administration's actions in brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the negotiators said Monday, "Over the last seven years in particular, the U.S. has become increasingly identified with Israeli ideological assumptions."

The Bush administration will be able to play a role in brokering a peace deal, "but only if it can learn from the mistakes and failures of the last seven years," they said.

Clinton Says Shalom

President Clinton sent farewell messages that were published in Israeli and Palestinian newspapers a day before he left the White House.

Clinton told the Palestinians not to seek revenge but to pursue peace through negotiations and told Israelis not to give up on the peace process despite the ongoing violence.

Israel Ends Ties to Panel

Israel froze cooperation with a U.S.-led committee probing the outbreak of violence in the territories. The move came after a team working for the Mitchell Committee visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem without prior coordination with Israel, contrary to agreement.

The team was escorted by the Waqf, or Muslim religious trust, appointed by the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinians Killed TV Head

A Palestinian group claimed respon-sibility for killing the head of Palestinian television. The Brigade of Al Aksa Martyrs said Jan. 18 it killed Hisham Miki the previous day because Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat refused to remove him from his post despite allegations of corruption. Palestinian officials initially had blamed Israel for the slaying.

OU Official Resigns

The Orthodox Union's executive vice president resigned in the wake of a report that confirmed abusive behavior toward children by a senior rabbi in the movement's youth organization.

Rabbi Raphael Butler, a former head of the National Council of Synagogue Youth, was accused of knowing of the alleged abuse by Rabbi Baruch Lanner but not acting on the information.

Butler said the commission's recommendation must be implemented.

He added that his resignation is an attempt to prevent divisiveness within the OU.

Groups Blast Decision

Some pro-choice Jewish groups denounced President Bush's decision to bar federal funds to international family planning groups that offer abortion services and counseling. The National Council of Jewish Women and American Jewish Congress said the move would harm women's health programs.


Yeshiva Schemers Get Pardon

President Clinton pardoned a group of New York men who were convicted of fraud and embezzlement in a scheme to use federal money to finance a fictitious yeshiva. Clinton also pardoned Marc Rich, who fled the United States to evade alleged racketeering and tax evasion charges. Rich holds Israeli citizenship and has been a major benefactor to Israeli museums.

Doctors Identify Gene Mutation

A group of doctors in the United States identified the genetic mutation that causes familial dysautonomia, a neurological disease that affects Ashkenazi Jews in disproportionate numbers.

One in 3,600 Ashkenazi Jews is affected by the disease, which leads to problems with heart rate and blood pressure. In a related development, the Dysautonomia Foundation announced screening tests for people at risk for the disease at NYU Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, and at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel.

Clinton Fails to Pardon Pollard

The wave of pardons issued before President Clinton left office on Saturday did not include Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. jail for spying for Israel.

Clinton also failed to pardon Michael Milken, formerly jailed for securities fraud, who is a supporter of Jewish day schools, education, prostate research and other in the Los Angeles area.

Group Donates to Quake Victims

The American Jewish Committee donated $25,000 to the victims of the recent earthquake in El Salvador. More than 700 people were killed in the Jan. 13 quake.

France Plans Brunner Trial

An accused Nazi criminal will be tried in absentia in a Paris court for allegedly deporting hundreds of Jewish children to Auschwitz. The trial of Alois Brunner will begin March 2, judicial officials said Thursday. Brunner is believed to have lived for years in Syria, but his current whereabouts are unknown, and it is unclear whether he is even still alive.

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