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  • Rabbi recounts woes amid new religious freedom effort

    WASHINGTON, March 2 (JTA) — Rabbi Chaim Rubin worries about what he is going to tell his congregants. Several years ago, when his parents and other aging members of his Orthodox community began finding it difficult to make the long walk to synagogue on Shabbat, Rubin relocated his congregation to a more easily accessible location…

  • Gingrich could spark fireworks when he arrives in Jewish state

    WASHINGTON, May 20 (JTA) — U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is promising to spark some fireworks when he heads to Israel this week. He said this week that he plans to visit the site of the future U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and declare that it is time to break ground. Gingrich and…

  • Ban on assault weapons terminates Israeli exports

    WASHINGTON, April 6 (JTA) — President Clinton’s executive order banning imports of 58 types of assault weapons slams the door on Israel’s attempts to sell thousands of military-style rifles in the United States. The move closes a loophole in a 1994 assault weapons ban through which thousands of foreign-made assault rifles have found their way…

  • Voucher bill passes House but unlikely to become law

    WASHINGTON, April 30 (JTA) — Congress’ approval of a long-sought school voucher plan for the District of Columbia drew a mixed response from the Jewish community. The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 214-206 in favor of the measure, which passed the Senate last year. The legislation stands little chance of becoming law, however, because…

  • Arafat delays indefinitely visit to Holocaust museum

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (JTA) — Perhaps owing to Monica Lewinsky, the limitations of a tight schedule, the aftertaste of being snubbed — or a combination of the three — Yasser Arafat’s much-ballyhooed visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum awaits another day. The Palestinian Authority chairman said he could not find time in his schedule…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Swiss banks face boycott threat as settlement talks reach impasse

    WASHINGTON, June 15 (JTA) — Swiss banks are on the verge of facing a renewed boycott threat as U.S. public finance officers prepare to meet early next month. New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi has asked state and local finance officers to reconvene July 1 amid reports that talks between the banks and Jewish representatives…

  • House poised to debate school prayer amendment

    WASHINGTON, March 3 (JTA) — A coalition of religious groups and church-state watchdogs are stepping up their opposition to a controversial school prayer amendment to the U.S. Constitution as the House of Representatives appears prepared to vote on the measure. The so-called Religious Freedom Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), would pave the way…

  • U.S. Supreme Court takes case involving El Al Airlines

    WASHINGTON, May 21 (JTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving El Al Israel Airlines that could affect the way the airline conducts security measures. The court will decide whether an international treaty bars a New York woman from suing for emotional trauma that she claims stemmed from a stringent…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 Israelis, Palestinians dispute details of bloody 1948 assault

    WASHINGTON, April 7 (JTA) — Fifty years after Israel became a state, the tragic story of an Arab village on the western outskirts of Jerusalem once again haunts the delicate relations between Jews and Arabs. In the early hours of April 9, 1948, Jewish underground fighters from two dissident groups stormed Deir Yassin, killing at…

  • U.S. Jewish groups press E.U. on Middle East policy

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (JTA) — American Jewish officials are urging the European Union to take a more balanced approach to the Middle East peace process. In a meeting with a senior European Union official organized by B’nai B’rith, Jewish officials criticized what they say has been a “tilt” by the European Union over the years…