February 28, 2002
Violence Continues, Despite Plan
Despite the Saudi peace initiative being bandied about, violence continued in Israel. On Wednesday, a Palestinian murdered his Israeli employer at a factory in Atarot, north of Jerusalem. Also Wednesday, two Israeli police officers were wounded when a female Palestinian suicide bomber blew up her car. The incident took place when police stopped the car at a West Bank checkpoint near the border with Israel. Police said two other people in the car with the bomber were critically wounded.
Anti-Israel Move Expected at U.N.
Israel is bracing for an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Security Council. A draft of the resolution initiated by the Palestinians calls for a Security Council mission to the region, an international monitoring mechanism and for Israel to abide by rules regarding the protection of civilians in times of war.
Israel is meeting with representatives of other countries to express its opposition to international mediation, which they say would reward Palestinian terror. An American official said the United States is likely to veto "whatever resolution is put forward" and has told Council members that only direct engagement with the parties on the ground, not resolutions, will help solve the conflict.
13 Americans Killed in Intifada
At least 13 American Jews have been killed in the 17-month-old Palestinian intifada, a new report says.
The report, released by the Zionist Organization of America, says an additional 38 Americans have been wounded in Palestinian terrorist attacks.
The Zionist Organization of America says 25 Americans have been killed by Palestinians and 63 wounded since the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993.
El Al President Resigns
After 15 months on the job, David Hermesh, the president of El Al airlines, resigned Feb. 20, citing "substantial professional differences" with the airline's chairman, Michael Levy. Among the points of dispute between the two was a strategy for rehabilitating the airline, which has suffered substantial losses because of sagging tourism to Israel.
Vandals Hit Two Paris Stores
Anti-Semitic vandals painted large yellow Stars of David on the windows of a Jewish-owned toy store and a kosher butcher shop in Paris. The stars, which appeared last Friday in an affluent Paris neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower, resembled those used by the Nazis in the 1930s to designate Jewish- owned businesses.
A B'nai Brith spokesperson called the vandalism at the toy store the more "worrisome" of the two incidents, because, unlike the one at the kosher butcher's, there was "no indication that it was owned by a member of the Jewish community." This was the third such incident in France in February.
3 Lebanese Accused of Spying
Lebanon claimed to have uncovered an Israeli spy ring. The Lebanese Army said in a statement that three Lebanese men had been arrested on suspicion of passing information to Israel regarding the locations of Lebanese and Syrian army positions in Lebanon as well as information about Hezbollah operations.
ADL Settles Suit
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) settled a 9-year-old civil lawsuit against the organization. The ADL agreed last week to pay three remaining plaintiffs $178,000 in a suit dating to 1993.
Originally filed by 19 plaintiffs, the suit had accused the ADL of illegally obtaining and disseminating the private records of the 19 people in order to blacklist them. The ADL continues to deny any wrongdoing.
London Calling Ends
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has postponed his sabbatical to become the acting head of the cash-strapped London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) after the dramatic resignation this week of its principal, Rabbi Abner Weiss.
The recently divorced Weiss, 63, also tendered his resignation less than one-third of the way into his five-year contract as rabbi of Western Marble Arch Synagogue. The South African-born rabbi, who arrived in England in September 2000 after serving for many years as the spiritual leader of Beth Jacob Congregation in Los Angeles, cited stress as the reason for wanting to return to the United States to pursue "a vocation in counseling and academia." Sacks, who will take on the role of acting principal of LSJS -- Britain's only centrist Orthodox rabbinic training and higher-education institute -- pledged to "set in motion a series of measures aimed at turning the school into a financially viable educational centre for the community it serves." -- Staff Report
Above briefs courtesy of the JTA.