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  • U.S. Rabbi appeals to China to officially recognize Judaism

    WASHINGTON, March 22 (JTA) — When he met in Beijing with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Rabbi Arthur Schneier delivered both a gift and a pointed appeal. The gift: a Jewish encyclopedia written in Chinese and published in Shanghai. The appeal: that China recognize Judaism as an official religion. Schneier carried that message to Jiang and…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES AIPAC delegates look to future despite cloud over U.S.-Israel ties

    WASHINGTON, May 19 (JTA) — As pro-Israel activists gathered here this week for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee”s annual policy conference, this much was clear: There is no conflict or lack of clarity when it comes to backing Israel on its right to determine its own security requirements. Indeed, recent attempts by the United…

  • U.S. moves to create panel to examine assets

    WASHINGTON, April 1 (JTA) — Jewish groups welcomed a move this week by U.S. lawmakers to create a presidential commission to examine Holocaust victims’ assets in the United States. The proposed commission would be charged with examining the fate of dormant bank accounts, artworks, insurance policies, looted gold, and a range of other assets that…

  • U.S. Supreme Court questions merits of case involving AIPAC

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (JTA) — A 9-year-old legal battle involving the American Israel Public Affairs Committee neared its culmination with arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court last week that left its outcome as unpredictable as ever. In a closely watched case that could have broad implications for groups that lobby in Washington, the justices began…

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

    WASHINGTON, June 14 (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…

  • 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…