December 20, 2001
Bush Suspends Embassy Move
President Bush, on Monday, postponed moving the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem for an additional six months.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But presidents have been suspending the initiative for national security reasons every six months since the law was enacted.
Bush, who said as a presidential candidate that he would move the U.S. ambassador to Jerusalem as soon as he took office, has been strongly supportive of Israel in recent weeks. But few expected him to move the embassy -- which the Palestinians consider a provocative move -- in the midst of the current violence.
Warning of New Hamas Attacks
Hamas may begin targeting Israeli public figures. Israeli security officials also warned Tuesday that the terrorist group may also target large buildings in Israel.
The officials were pessimistic about Israel's ability to prevent attacks, likening the nation's anti-terror efforts to emptying the sea with a teaspoon.
U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution
The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution on Saturday dealing with the Israeli- Palestinian violence. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, said the Security Council resolution was aimed at isolating Israel.
The resolution, sponsored by Arab states, called for a "monitoring mechanism" to help end the violence. But it made no reference, Negroponte said, to Palestinian acts of terrorism or those responsible for them.
E.U. states were split on the resolution. Britain abstained in the Security Council vote, while France and Ireland backed the resolution.
Bush Gets Jewish Backing
Jews give President Bush nearly 80 percent approval ratings, according to a new survey released by the Republican Jewish Coalition.
And, the survey found, if elections were held today, more Jews would vote for Bush than for former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.
Jewish Vets May Be Honored
Congress has passed a bill that would require the Defense Department to review the records of Jewish American servicemen.
The review will be made to see if any Jewish veterans are eligible for the Medal of Honor.
The bill, which passed both houses last week as part of the Defense Authorization Bill, addresses criticism that some Jewish servicemen were denied the medal because of their religion.
If President Bush signs the bill into law, the leaders of the Army, Navy and Air Force would be required to review the records of Jewish recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross.
N.Y. Investigates Militants
U.S. authorities are investigating Brooklyn-based followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. News of the investigation into the Jewish militants, reported in The New York Times, came after two members of the Jewish Defense League in Los Angeles were charged last week with conspiring to bomb to blow up Arab and Muslim targets in Southern California.
The leader of the Brooklyn-based group, Michael Guzofsky, said U.S. agents are calling people on his Rolodex, and have called him in for fingerprinting. Guzofsky added that the U.S. government is conducting the investigation "to show evenhandedness and show they are not isolating Muslims" in the crackdown that has followed the Sept. 11 terror attacks. U.S. agents would not comment on the report.
Briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency