November 6, 2003
Pressure Builds on Ford
The Ford Foundation came under new scrutiny in Washington for funding anti-Israel groups. Following a JTA investigative series, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told a foundation official Monday that the group should stop giving grants to Palestinian and other nongovernmental organizations that engage in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity. The foundation, which insists it opposes such activity, gave millions of dollars to Palestinian and other groups that oppose the Jewish State. Meanwhile, a State Department official said the agency is reviewing Ford's support for these groups for possible Justice Department action. The American Jewish Congress also is contemplating legal steps.
Jews Help Organize Anti-Israel Conference
Pro-Palestinian activists from around the country will flock to Ohio State University this weekend for the Third National Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement. And the man who helped bring them there is a Jew.
Joseph Levine, faculty adviser to the Committee for Justice in Palestine, the local group hosting the event, says he grew up steeped in Judaism as a yeshiva student in Los Angeles. Levine nearly immigrated to Israel in the early 1970s.
"We essentially expelled the people that lived there ... then we complain that they hate us," he said.
Levine's immediate goal is for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders, allow the Palestinians to establish a capital in eastern Jerusalem and dismantle all Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Poll: Europeans See Israel as Threat
More than half of Europeans think Israel is the greatest threat to world peace, according to a new poll. The results of the poll published Monday by the European Union show that 59 percent of about 7,500 Europeans polled named Israel as the gravest threat to world peace. Fifty-three percent of respondents said Iran, North Korea and the United States pose threats to world peace.
"Europeans seem blind to Israeli victims and suffering," said Haim Assaraf, spokesman at Israel's mission to the European Union. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom downplayed the poll's significance, saying it is important not to overreact to a single poll.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean at The Simon Wiesenthal Center, said, "These shocking poll results defy logic and demonstrate a racist flight of fancy that only proves that a systematic campaign vilifying Israel by European institutions, leaders and the media has embedded anti-Semitism more deeply within European society than in any other period since the end of World War II."
Russian-Israeli Oil Deal
Russian oil will flow through an Israeli pipeline. The deal was announced Wednesday as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned to Israel from a three-day visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The oil will flow through a line run by the Eilat-Ashkelon Oil Pipeline Company, the firm said. The oil will travel to Asia.
French Jewish Students Sue
France's Union of Jewish Students filed a lawsuit after two far-left student groups described the organization as racist. The student associations at Paris X University, the campus where the Paris 1968 student uprising began, distributed a tract on Tuesday accusing the Jewish student group of racism and of supporting "the colonization of Palestine and apartheid." The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, and the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between Peoples, issued statements defending the Jewish students.
Jews Back Out of Dialogue
A French Jewish group refused to participate in an interfaith dialogue event because of a Muslim speaker accused of anti-Semitism. The Jewish Community Council in Seine Saint-Denis, an area covering the northern and eastern suburbs of Paris, said Sunday it would not attend the event at the European Social Forum later this month because of the presence of Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan, a professor of Islam at Geneva University and one of the leading Muslim thinkers in Europe, recently wrote that French Jewish intellectuals adopted stances solely according to their ethnic origin.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency