January 30, 2003
British Cartoon Shows Sharon Eating Baby
The Israeli Embassy in London sent a letter of protest to The Independent after the newspaper ran a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon biting the flesh of a Palestinian baby. In the cartoon, which appeared as Britain marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday, Sharon says, "What's wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?" The embassy lambasted the newspaper for reviving the ancient blood libel against Jews.
Report: Israeli Civilians Suffer Worst
During the past year, 436 Israelis were killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, compared with 198 in 2001. Seventy-six percent of Israelis killed last year were civilians, according to the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot, citing data from the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Among Palestinians, 45 percent of those killed were civilians and 55 percent were fighters, helping to disprove allegations that Israeli soldiers fire indiscriminately, the report said. Fifteen percent of the Palestinians killed last year, 151 people, were killed by other Palestinians in suicide attacks or in work accidents, the report said.
Shoah Commemorations Held
Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations were held Monday in countries including Italy, Britain, Sweden, Germany, Estonia and Denmark. The commemorations took place on the 58th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops in 1945. Memorial ceremonies, vigils, performances, exhibitions and other public events took place in numerous towns and cities. Holocaust survivors recounted their experiences, and special educational programs were held for schoolchildren.
Population Results Expected
The controversial National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01 (NJPS), which was delayed last year when some data got lost, should be released within several months. A report to the United Jewish Communities (UJC) federation umbrella said Monday that the NJPS -- billed as the most comprehensive demographic portrait to date of U.S. Jewry -- should be made public in "not more than several months" after an internal probe found it was not necessary to "redo the research," UJC spokeswoman Gail Hyman said.
Where's the Soup?
A subway conductor won a matzah ball eating contest in New York. Eric Booker ate 21 matzah balls in five minutes and 25 seconds on Tuesday to win the sixth annual contest at Ben's Kosher Deli. "The matzah balls were a little fluffier than what I trained with,'" Booker said, adding that he felt great after winning the competition.
The event is a fundraiser for the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which operates soup kitchens and homeless shelters on Long Island and in New York City.
Germany Signs Historic Accord
Germany signed an accord giving the Central Council of Jews in Germany $3 million in governmental support each year. The signing of the agreement by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Paul Spiegel, the head of the Central Council, came on the 58th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
Fla. Rep to Head Panel
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) has been named the new head of the U.S. House of Representatives' Middle East subcommittee. Ros-Lehtinen replaces Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.), who retired from Congress last year. Ros-Lehtinen, who represents the city of Miami, is considered to be a strong supporter of the Jewish State.
UJC Funds Argentine Jewry
The North American federation system approved $39 million for Argentine aliyah and welfare in 2003. The sum, approved at a meeting Monday of the United Jewish Communities' (UJC) Board of Trustees in Miami, contains $25 million for aliyah and $14 million for welfare.
Of the $14 million, $4 million goes to the Jewish Agency for Israel for education, and $10 million to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for relief efforts. An estimated 6,000 Argentines are expected to move to Israel this year, and all of the new funds for Argentine aliyah will come from the UJC's Israel Emergency Campaign
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency