Lieberman Blasts Saudis
Saudi Arabia must reduce its support for terror or suffer the consequences, Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman said. Speaking Sunday in New York, the Connecticut senator said he told the Saudis during his recent trip through the Middle East that if they don't change their backing for terror, "our relationship with them will not go on as before." More than 1,000 people attended the program in which Lieberman and his wife were interviewed by Rabbi David Woznica from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles at the 92nd St. Y. Others watched by video hookup in cities across North America.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reportedly recommended that Secretary of State Colin Powell name Saudi Arabia a "country of particular concern." The move by the government agency opens the possibility of diplomatic or economic sanctions against the Saudis, according to The Washington Post.
Jewish P.M. in Holland?
Amsterdam's mayor is trying to become Holland's first Jewish prime minister. Job Cohen could assume the nation's highest post if his Labor Party wins Wednesday's elections. Labor is running neck and neck in opinion polls with the ruling Christian Democrats. Cohen was nominated as Labor's candidate for the premiership on Sunday.
Conservative Movement to Open Yeshiva Program
The Conservative movement is launching a one-year yeshiva program in Jerusalem this fall. The Conservative Yeshiva's program is designed for high school graduates who want a year of Jewish study before beginning college. The program was slated to begin last fall, but the opening was postponed "to allow for more intensive recruitment efforts," according to a statement from the Conservative movement.
Rabbi Sentenced to Life
A New Jersey rabbi was sentence to life in prison for hiring two men to kill his wife. Capping a nine-year drama, the sentence was handed down Jan. 16 after Fred Neulander was convicted last November of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of his wife, Carol. Wearing a waist shackle, handcuffs and bright orange prison overalls, Neulander sat silently as Carol Neulander's three siblings took turns describing him as a cold, narcissistic, selfish killer of a loving and caring person, according to Court TV.
Two of Neulander's adult children, in letters read aloud in the packed courtroom, said they wanted nothing to do with the man they described as "evil" and "maniacal."
Iranian Student Wins Asylum
A Yeshiva University student who fled Iran because of anti-Semitism has won asylum in the United States. The 20-year-old student, whose identity is being kept private for fear that relatives still in Iran would face persecution, recently won political asylum, according to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). The student arrived in the United States as a tourist with his family in 1998, but remained when they returned home.
His parents faced increasing anti-Semitism at a time when 13 Iranian Jews were accused of spying for Israel, and HIAS helped the other family members flee to Vienna.
Pro-Israel Ad Features MLK
A new pro-Israel TV ad features the words of slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The ad, sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, features King saying, "Israel must exist." It ends with a voiceover: "Martin Luther King understood courage. Stand with Israel."
Al Hirschfeld Dies at 99
Al Hirschfeld, who drew caricatures of Broadway personalities for more than 75 years, died Monday in New York at 99. He was known for his drawings of personalities ranging from the Marx Brothers to Carol Channing to Sammy Davis Jr., many of which appeared in The New York Times. "My contribution is to take the character -- created by the playwright and acted out by the author -- and reinvent it for the reader," he said. Among Hirschfeld's drawings is one of the late Chabad-Lubavitch rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.