March 25, 2004
State Ousted Clarke Because of Israel
The first Bush administration forced Richard Clarke out of the State Department in 1992 because it said he ignored Israeli arms transfers to China. Clarke, a White House counterterrorism expert at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, rattled the White House this week with allegations that the current President Bush ignored Clarke's warnings about Al Qaeda. Clarke moved to the White House in 1992 after leaving the State Department after its inspector general accused him of "looking the other way" when Israel transferred U.S. technology to China, The New York Times reported Wednesday. In 1999, Clarke argued that he had simply refused to go along with a plan to set up Israel in order to pressure it to make concessions in talks with the Palestinians.
Anti-Semitic Attacks Unchanged
More than 1,500 anti-Semitic incidents were reported nationwide in 2003. The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents tracked 1,557 reports of Jews or Jewish institutions being targeted, with 40 percent involving vandalism and the rest harassment or threats. New York led 43 states that suffered anti-Semitic acts -- 364 followed by California and Pennsylvania. The highest reports of anti-Semitic incidents typically correlate with the states with the most Jews. The frequency of anti-Semitic incidents was slightly higher than in 2001.
"There's good news that it stayed the same, and bad news that it stayed the same," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said. "The levels continue to be disturbing and unacceptable."
The full audit is available at www.adl.org .
Senators Propose Security Funding
Several U.S. senators want to create a fund to help nonprofits stay secure from terrorist attacks. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said Jewish institutions would benefit from the "high-risk nonprofit security enhancement act of 2004," which is to be introduced soon by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). The $100 million fund would address "the concern that there is extra vulnerability attached to being a Jewish institution in this war on terror," Clinton said Tuesday at a United Jewish Communities (UJC) young leadership gathering. The UJC delegates were to lobby Tuesday on Capitol Hill for just such funds.
"Many of the organizations you work with, they don't have the money, they don't have the technical knowledge [to deal with terrorist attacks]," Clinton told the crowd.
Animated Haggadah Online
An Israeli film company's animated haggadah is now available online. Web surfers can download the entire haggadah for free and find Passover recipes, games and music on Scopus Films' "Animated Haggadah" Web site. The Passover video in clay animation is one of several multimedia products available from the Jerusalem-based company, which also has developed CD-ROMs and DVDs for Shabbat and major Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Purim.
The Haggadah is online at www.scopusfilms.com/haggadah .
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.