February 7, 2002
Bush, Sharon Meet
A year to the day since his election, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon flew to Washington to meet with President George W. Bush on Wednesday night. Sharon pressed his agenda of the freezing-out of Yasser Arafat. Sharon -- who has indicated regret that didn't order the killing of the wily Palestinian leader when, as defense minister, he cornered Arafat in Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon invasion -- has been buoyed of late by unprecedented U.S. understanding of his efforts to keep Arafat "imprisoned" in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Terrorists Kill 3+
At least three Israelis were killed and at least four injured Wednesday when Palestinian terrorists infiltrated a West Bank settlement. The gunmen held residents hostage in a house before Israeli commandos stormed the building. At least one terrorist was believed killed in an ensuing gun battle with Israeli forces in the settlement of Hamra. The settlement had received warning of a possible infiltration 10 minutes before the firstshots were fired, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.
ADL National Director Abraham Foxman gave his first direct response to the firing of West Coast ADL head David Lehrer in December.
In a letter to the group's national leaders last month, Foxman addressed the controversy surrounding the departure of Lehrer, who had been with the organization for 27 years. The letter said that Lehrer's work in Los Angeles had not produced the results ADL national staff and national lay leadership were seeking.
V.P. to Visit Israel
Vice President Dick CheneyVice President Dick Cheney plans to travel to Israel next week. Cheney will also visit eight other Middle East countries, but not the Palestinian territories, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. CIA Director George Tenet will also be visiting the region next week, but not for a peacemaking effort, administration officials say.
Three Palestinians Lynched in Jenin
A Palestinian mob stormed a West Bank courthouse and killed three defendants charged with a vigilante killing. The slaying Tuesday in Nablus, where two dozen gunmen led a crowd of hundreds of angry protesters, appeared to be part of a clan feud. Citing an unnamed Palestinian official, The Associated Press reported that the three were killed in the court's bathroom, where police hid them after the mob charged into the building. The gunmen pushed their way into the bathroom, pumped dozens of bullets into the three and dragged their bodies into the streets, shooting in the air in triumph, the official said. The three had been dressed in Palestinian police uniforms, apparently because court officials, expecting trouble, had tried to disguise their identities.
School Offers Tuition Breaks
A new Jewish high school is offering half-price tuition to its first group of students. A donor is funding the "vouchers" at Kehillah Jewish High School in San Jose as an experiment to see what role financial concerns play when families decide whether or not to choose a day school, according to the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.
Faith-Based Leader Named
The White House named a new head for its faith-based initiative. Jim Towey, who worked with Mother Teresa and for both political parties, was named director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
All briefs courtesy of JTA.