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  • Rabbis join opposition to ‘partial-birth’ abortion

    WASHINGTON, March 23 (JTA) — In a departure from the prevailing Jewish stance on what is known as partial-birth abortion, a group of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis have joined the movement to eliminate the controversial procedure. While Catholics and Christian fundamentalists have traditionally led the battle against abortion in all forms, some 70 rabbis…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Report on Swiss-Nazi gold trade fuels demands for compensation

    WASHINGTON, May 26 (JTA) — A long-awaited report examining Switzerland’s hand in the Nazi gold trade is fueling Jewish demands for more Swiss compensation and accountability. The report, commissioned by the Swiss government and issued by an independent panel of historians, concludes that during the war, Swiss National Bank officials knew they were buying looted…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Shedding light, not heat, on questions about Jewish genes

    WASHINGTON, April 26 (JTA) — When researchers first discovered certain genetic mutations believed to predispose some Ashkenazi Jewish women to breast cancer, fear and confusion quickly spread through the Jewish world. While the discovery brought the promise of life-saving medical breakthroughs, it also led to a misperception that Jews are more prone to genetic defects…

  • U.S. Congress considers action on plundered artwork

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (JTA) — As the search for assets of Holocaust victims is broadening to include pillaged artworks and confiscated insurance policies, the U.S. Congress is taking a stand. The House Banking Committee was scheduled to hold hearings on Thursday to address the legal status of art objects seized by the Nazis and the…

  • U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear case involving AIPAC

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is putting on a confident face as the Supreme Court prepares to consider a case that observers say could have important implications for the pro-Israel lobby. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday in FEC vs. Akins, culminating a 9-year-old battle involving…

  • On eve of school prayer vote, religious right icon faces runoff

    WASHINGTON, June 3 (JTA) — As religious conservatives awaited their day on Capitol Hill, anticipating a long-sought vote on a constitutional amendment authorizing school prayer, voters dealt a setback this week to one of the movement’s torchbearers. In a closely watched election battle, Alabama Gov. Fob James Jr., a staunch conservative whose stand on religious…

  • China restores synagogue in advance of Clinton visit

    WASHINGTON, June 23 (JTA) — As President Clinton seeks a high profile for religious freedom issues during his trip to China, the anticipation of his arrival has already yielded one small, but meaningful achievement. Just weeks ago the Chinese government completed long-sought restoration work on a synagogue located in the heart of Shanghai. The synagogue,…

  • U.S. court orders Iran to pay $247.5 million to N.J. family

    WASHINGTON, March 11 (JTA) — As he stood in a federal courtroom here, listening to a judge issue a landmark ruling, Stephen Flatow’s thoughts turned to his daughter’s smiling face. “Alisa had this very big smile on her face all the time, and she’s smiling today,” Flatow said Wednesday, moments after U.S. District Court Judge…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Swiss bank bid to settle claims leaves thorny issues unresolved

    WASHINGTON, March 29 (JTA) — An agreement by Switzerland’s three biggest banks to negotiate a global settlement of Holocaust-era claims marks a partial breakthrough, but it leaves many thorny issues unresolved. The settlement, to be worked out in coming months, would involve a compensation fund for Holocaust survivors to cover all victims’ assets that ended…

  • U.S. asylum panel recognizes anti-Semitic threat in Ukraine

    WASHINGTON, May 27 (JTA) — In an important development for Jews fleeing persecution in the former Soviet Union, a U.S. immigration panel agreed to grant asylum to a Ukrainian Jewish father and son who were victimized by anti-Semitism. The decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals last week upheld an immigration’s judge’s earlier ruling that…