October 10, 2002
Princeton, MIT Professors Win Nobels
A professor with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship is sharing this year's Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences. Daniel Kahneman, 68, based at Princeton University, is sharing the roughly $1 million prize with professor Vernon Smith, 75, of George Mason University. They were given the award for their work using psychological research and laboratory experiments in economic analysis. On Monday, H. Robert Horvitz, a professor at MIT, was announced as one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine.
Israel Dismantles Three Settler Outposts
Israeli soldiers dismantled three uninhabited settler outposts in the West Bank. Wednesday's move came after Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer pledged to remove all illegal enclaves, including populated ones. The head of the army's Central Command on Wednesday presented settler leaders with a list of some 24 outposts due to be dismantled within a week, Israel Radio reported. Settlers asked to be allowed to appeal before steps are taken, according to the report. On Tuesday, settler leaders accused Ben-Eliezer of targeting the outposts for political reasons. His detractors allege that his stance on the outposts was taken in an effort to win votes from the dovish wing of the party as he fights for reelection as Labor Party leader in November.
Israel Transfers Funds to Palestinian Authority
Israel transferred nearly $15 million in tax money to the Palestinian Authority. The money was the third and final payment of Israel's promised transfer of some $42 million in tax revenues that Israel had refused to turn over to the Palestinian Authority since the outbreak of the intifada two years ago. The latest transfer was approved following U.S. pressure on Israel to ease the economic hardships of the Palestinians, Israel Radio reported.
Students Sue Mich. U
Two students sued the University of Michigan for hosting a Palestinian solidarity conference. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, is intended to force the university to cancel the conference, slated for this weekend, on the grounds that it "violates free speech by inciting hatred against Americans and Jews," according to Rick Dorfman. Plaintiffs Dorfman and Adi Neuman head the Michigan Student Zionists campus group, which is supported by Aish HaTorah, the Zionist Organization of America and Coalition for Jewish Concerns-Amcha.
Israel to Close Fuel Depot
Israel's central fuel depot, a feared target of mega-terror attacks, is to be closed by January. Infrastructure Minister Efraim Eitam decided in consultations Oct. 2 with the director general of the Pi Glilot facility that the fuel stored there would be moved to other installations around the country. Pi Glilot is located near densely populated areas north of Tel Aviv. An attempt earlier this year to carry out an attack at the site failed when a bomb planted beneath a tanker caused only a small fire.
Two Israeli Women on Fortune List
Two Israelis have been included in a list of the most powerful women in business. Bank Leumi President and CEO Galia Maor and Strauss-Elite Group chair Ofra Strauss-Lahat made Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business list, to appear in the Oct. 14 issue. Maor was ranked 34th, while Strauss-Lahat placed 46th on the list of 50 women.
Crown Heights Riots Retrial Likely
The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for a third trial stemming from the 1991 Crown Heights riots. The high court decided this week not to consider a defense request to throw out charges against Lemrick Nelson stemming from the riots in Brooklyn. During those riots, Yankel Rosenbaum, a Chasidic man, was fatally stabbed during violence that followed the death of Gavin Cato, an African American child hit by a car in a Chasidic motorcade. In January, after an appeals court overturned the convictions of Nelson and Charles Price for civil rights violations in the 1991 murder of Rosenbaum, citing technicalities, the Anti-Defamation League wrote the Justice Department to continue the case. The department's civil rights division subsequently affirmed the office's commitment to "continue to pursue meaningful and serious punishment" against Nelson. Price struck a plea bargain in April for 11 years and eight months in prison, but Nelson's case is still pending.
Y.U. Bequest Now Worth $36 Million
Yeshiva University plans to begin awarding scholarships from a multimillion dollar bequest to the school. The scholarship and loan fund was created after Anne Scheiber, a retired New York civil servant, left $22 million to the school when she died in 1995. The bequest was invested during extended probate hearings and is now worth $36 million. Beginning with the current academic year, students enrolled in Y.U.'s Stern College for Women and those attending the Albert Einstein College of Medicine who previously graduated from Stern will be eligible for the scholarship.
Report Slams Publisher's Wartime Past
German media giant Bertelsmann used Jewish slave labor and made large profits by selling millions of anti-Semitic books during the Nazi era, according to a commission set up by the firm. The commission also said in a report issued Monday that the longtime company contention that it was a victim of the Nazis was a lie. According to the commision, the Nazis closed the firm in 1944, but probably because the Nazis' own publishing house wanted to kill off competition, not because of any subversive texts published by Bertelsmann. When Bertelsmann became America's biggest book publisher by acquiring Random House in 1998, it had said it was prosecuted by the Nazis for its theological works. Accepting the report, the company immediately issued a statement expressing regret for its wartime activities and for subsequent inaccuracies in its corporate history.
Campus Anti-Semitism Blasted
Hundreds of college presidents blasted anti-Semitism on college campuses in a New York Times ad that appeared Monday. Spearheaded by the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) Task Force on Anti-Semitism, the statement was created in response to campus activism on the Middle East that in some cases has veered into overt anti-Semitism.
The letter was initiated by James Freedman, former president of Dartmouth College and chair of the AJC's Domestic Policy Commission. It follows a September speech by Harvard University's president in which he said that some activities of the campus anti-Israel movement are anti-Semitic.
Musicians on Solidarity Tour
Three American musicians arrived in Israel on a solidarity tour sponsored by the United Jewish Communities. The "Gift to Israel" tour was organized in response to reports that international artists were avoiding appearances in Israel because of the security situation. Andy Statman, Peter Himmelman and Steve Hancoff were due to team up with Israeli musicians in a series of performances around the country.
Lanner Plans to Appeal Conviction
Rabbi Baruch Lanner plans to appeal his conviction for sexually abusing two teenage girls. Lanner, 52, was sentenced last Friday to seven years in prison for fondling the two students between 1992 and 1996, when he was their principal at the Hillel High School in Ocean Township, N.J. The judge denied Lanner's request for a new trial and for bail pending appeal of the sentence, instead ordering him to prison.
Museum to Act on Artwork Claim
The British Museum said it may return four Old Masters drawings seized from a Jewish collector by the Nazis during World War II.
According to surviving family members, the 16th- and 18th-century drawings were part of the collection of Dr. Arthur Feldmann, a Czech citizen who died during the Holocaust.
Feldmann's family has spent years searching for his collection of more than 750 drawings, which was seized by the Gestapo.
On Oct. 2, The museum called the family's claim "detailed" and "compelling," according to Reuters. A spokeswoman for the museum said the works may be returned to the family, or they will be paid compensation.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.