July 5, 2001
Israeli to Sue Arafat
An Israeli wounded in a Palestinian terrorist massacre in 1974 plans to sue Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat in the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague. Haim Asulin plans to seek $1 billion in compensation for the families of the victims of the Ma'alot massacre.
Clinton to Rock Band: Play on
Bill Clinton reportedly called members of the music group Red Hot Chili Peppers and urged them not to cancel a scheduled summer performance in Israel because of the security situation, according to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv. The local producers of the concert were unaware of Clinton's behind-the-scenes involvement, first reported on MTV, but told the paper they were moved by Clinton's effort.
House Panel Backs Israel Aid
A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved $2.04 billion in military aid to Israel and $720 million in economic aid. The June 27 move marked the first time in nearly 10 years that a House panel earmarked the full amount requested by the White House.
The bill also calls for the president to assess whether the PLO has complied with commitments to renounce terrorism, or should face sanctions advocated by many U.S. Jewish leaders.
German Jews Fight Messianics
German Jewish groups launched an Internet campaign against intensified missionary activity by a "messianic Jewish" group.
The campaign by a German group called Jews for Judaism is aimed at the "hot summer" planned by the American-based Chosen People Ministries, which is targeting some of the Russian Jewish immigrants who have settled in Germany over the past decade.
Letter Slams Maccabiah Decision
Some 22 Maccabi USA Executive Committee members and coaches sent a letter to the organization's leadership criticizing the decision to send a U.S. delegation to the upcoming Maccabiah Games in Israel.
The dissenting group said it believes political and financial pressures to send a delegation outweighed safety and security concerns when the decision was made to send the U.S. team to the Games, which begin July 16.
Reconstructionist Leader Dies
Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, one of the founders of the Reconstructionist movement, died June 28 near Washington at the age of 94.
Eisenstein was a confidant of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism, and helped to create the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the movement's rabbinical seminary.
Robber Rabbi Arrested Again
A Chassidic rabbi in North Carolina was recently arrested on charges he exposed himself to a woman in his home, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Rabbi Pinchas Lew conducts services for students attending the University of North Carolina.
In 1991, Lew drove the getaway car in an Iowa armed robbery described in the book "Postville."
Report: Israeli Hostages Well
A Lebanese newspaper reported that the leader of Hezbollah told Japan's ambassador to Beirut that four Israelis held by the group since October are being treated well.
The father of one of the captives asked Israeli defense officials to verify the report.--Briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency.