Marijuana is everywhere. Smokers come from every walk of life — from the college student to the cancer patient, from the wealthy older couple to the heroin addict who started out just smoking weed.
Steinitz Says Sharon Move 'Damaging'
Dr. Yuval Steinitz, one of the most influential Likud stalwarts in the Knesset, lashed out against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a just concluded visit to Southern California.
Edward Adams, a spokesman for the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., announced last week that Lawrence Franklin had scheduled a guilty plea for this week.
The family of an Israeli immigrant fatally wounded by Burbank police has filed a $51 million wrongful death suit against the cities of Burbank and Los Angeles. Assaf Deri, 25, died June 25, 2004, when Burbank undercover officers shot him in a North Hollywood alley.
Demonstrators rally in May against Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Gaza pullout plan in New York.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has again attacked the AgriProcessors Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa, over what it deems the cruel and inhumane method of ritual slaughter of cattle.
"The Godfather's" Michael Corleone has taken a crack at Shylock. Oscar-winner Al Pacino -- always a daring actor -- steps into the shoes of Shakespeare's notorious moneylender in the latest big-screen version of the Bard's classic, "The Merchant of Venice."
When the controversy over Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" first erupted, Jewish leaders like Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League angered Christians by coming out forcefully against the movie.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, took umbrage. "A lot of Catholics in this town are saying, 'Is that how Jews are looking at us,'" he told The Jewish Week, "'that you scratch a Catholic and out comes a latent anti-Semite?'"
Last week, Donohue provided the answer to his rhetorical question. And the answer is, in his case, yes.
At first blush it seemed an odd thing for an observant Jew to do: Slogging my way through morning rush-hour traffic to get downtown to demonstrate against the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' decision to remove a small cross from the county seal.
And yet, I felt compelled to be there. The supervisors had already capitulated, in a 3-2 vote, to a threat by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to sue the county over the cross. Surprised by the public outcry, the supervisors called for another vote to consider a so-called "compromise" with the ACLU in which the cross on the seal -- just one of a dozen various symbols of the region's history -- would be replaced by a mission. But as one clever observer noted, a mission without a cross just looks like a Taco Bell.
Two antagonists in a long-simmering dispute about the handling of life insurance claims stemming from the Holocaust era took off their gloves last week in a bitter exchange of letters.
Three families, whose children were shot by a white supremacist in an attack on the North Valley Jewish Community Center (NVJCC), can pursue their lawsuit against the makers of the weapons used in the shooting spree.
The May 28 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was greeted with relief by the three families and by the mother of postal carrier Joseph S. Ileto, who was slain by the same gunman in a separate attack.
The suit grew out of the Aug. 10, 1999 attack by Buford O. Furrow Jr., a self-avowed anti-Semite and white supremacist, on the Jewish center in Granada Hills, which left three children, one teenager and one adult wounded.
The Likud Party vote earlier this month against Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan may have been a defining moment in Israeli politics -- but not in the way the ostensible winners, Likud hawks and the Israeli settler movement, had hoped.
Paradoxically, the Likud's rejection of the Gaza Strip withdrawal seems to have sparked a huge backlash that could help the Israeli prime minister push his plan through.
Aside from the obvious religious issues involved, anti-wig forces in the ultra-Orthodox community are using the brouhaha to bolster a century-old argument against the use of wigs.
In the wake of the recent announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Israel soon could withdraw unilaterally from Jewish settlements from Gaza, the political landscape is shifting as well. Since Sharon made his remarks two weeks ago, right-wing ministers have been busy mobilizing Cabinet colleagues in an effort to stop the prime minister, while the left-leaning Labor Party has been preparing to embrace Sharon.
Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the hawkish National Union, has written to 10 right-wing ministers, urging them to come up with an alternative plan to Sharon's. The Likud's Uzi Landau is openly trying to drum up a majority against the prime minister in the Cabinet. In addition, the National Union and the National Religious Party are threatening to bolt the coalition, if Sharon goes ahead with his plan.
Talk about trading places. Last month, Gil Na'amati finished his three-year stint of compulsory military service after serving in Israel's artillery corps and spending time operating in the West Bank. Now the 22-year-old kibbutznik is the poster boy for Palestinian grievances against Israel.
During a demonstration last week by Palestinians and Israeli left-wingers against Israel's West Bank security barrier, Na'amati was shot by soldiers, who until recently might have stood shoulder to shoulder with him at a checkpoint. An American activist also was lightly hurt in the clash.
Spewing anti-Israel vitriol was one of Saddam Hussein's specialties. Of all the leaders in the Arab world, Saddam seemed to have the most to say against Israel, and he seemed to say it the most often.
Now that he has been captured and faces possible trial, experts are asking whether the Jewish State will again be his target of choice.
Tashbih Sayyed believes in democracy as a way of life. He can be counted among the few Muslims in America who believe that modernism, free-thinking and education are keys to rid Muslims from the morass of extremism.
"I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it," Richard Ingrams wrote in his July 13 column.
Rather than speaking out against slavery, local students are rocking out to show their support.
Campus activist groups -- led by Arabs in Students for Justice in Palestine and Jews for a Free Palestine -- had been gaining ground in their campaign for divestment from Israel, to the point where the UCLA Daily Bruin editorially endorsed divestment last July.
Like many Jewish leaders in the community, Rabbi Reuven Malekan, who works with various Persian Jewish organizations, is torn about the prospect of war.
An emaciated death camp survivor stares blankly alongside a gaunt steer.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice took a stand against the best interests of the most aged, infirm and vulnerable of Holocaust survivors.
Seemingly without shame, the federal government filed briefs arguing that significant court victories for long-forgotten survivors should be overturned.
As the weather warmed this week, the yard signs protesting NO WAR pushed up like crocuses through lawns from Santa Monica to Hollywood.
Not many, mind you -- but enough to signal that quite a few Americans are having second and third thoughts about a war against Saddam.
Nobody likes Saddam, but the Bush administration has failed to present incontrovertible evidence, or even very convincing arguments, as to why we must fight now.
The most enticing reason seems to be that by deposing Saddam, America will send a clear message that tyranny will not stand in the Middle East, and that regime change in Iraq will blow the winds of democracy through Iran, Syria, Libya -- maybe even Saudi Arabia.
During Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's mid-December visit to Washington, U.S. officials went out of their way to try to convince the Israeli delegation that the United States would do all it could to defend Israel, and that there would be no need for Israel to get involved in the war.
In fact, much of this week's aid talk may be political playacting intended to give a boost to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his reelection bid, not to produce real shekels in the Israeli treasury.
Expressions of anti-Semitism through Holocaust imagery were so harsh in the Greek media and political circles at the time that Hronika, the official magazine of the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities, spoke of a climate of "hysteria and anti-Semitism" that was masquerading as mere criticism of the State of Israel.
"It highlights the fact that the myth -- that all terror against Israel is because it occupies Palestinian territories -- is wrong," said Matthew Levitt, a terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Catholic groups say the film depicts the Roman Catholic Church in an unfair, negative light.