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  • Great Expectations’ not being read by negotiators

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (JTA) — As peace talks resumed this week between Israel and Syria in Shepherdstown, W.Va., the United States was already playing down expectations that the new round of talks would lead to an agreement. “I think it’s fair to say that Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Great Expectations’ is not the novel that is…

  • Jewish law cited in death penalty case

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (JTA) — A man who will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court next year that his planned execution in Florida’s electric chair constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” can point to a 2000- year-old Jewish law when he pleads his case. A friend-of-the court brief filed last week in the Supreme Court week…

  • Key players in the Syrian-Israeli talks

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (JTA) — When Israeli and Syrian negotiators meet next week in Shepherdstown, W. Va., they will be secluded in a small town that sits just across the Potomac River from the Antietam battlefield of the Civil War. The Israeli and Syrian officials who will be seeking to reach a framework for a…

  • Israel-Syria talks: Does the past matter?

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (JTA) — When President Clinton announced the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria this month, he said the talks would be conducted “on the basis of all previous negotiations” and would be “resumed from the point where they left off.” The ambiguity of the president’s statements clearly seemed designed to allow…

  • Israel-Syria talks: Does the past matter?

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (JTA) — When President Clinton announced the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria this month, he said the talks would be conducted “on the basis of all previous negotiations” and would be “resumed from the point where they left off.” The ambiguity of the president’s statements clearly seemed designed to allow…

  • No ‘imminent’ resolution on Pollard case

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (JTA) — The case of Jonathan Pollard is not expected to be resolved “imminently,” according to the White House. The comments Monday came in the wake of a meeting between Israel’s new point man on the case of the convicted spy and the White House counsel who is overseeing a high-level review…

  • No ‘imminent’ resolution on Pollard case

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (JTA) — The case of Jonathan Pollard is not expected to be resolved “imminently,” according to the White House. The comments Monday came in the wake of a meeting between Israel’s new point man on the case of the convicted spy and the White House counsel who is overseeing a high-level review…

  • Congress drops hate crimes bill; Jewish groups vow to continue push

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (JTA) – Efforts to strengthen federal hate crimes legislation came to an abrupt halt this week, when Congress abandoned a bill that had strong backing from Jewish groups. The proposed legislation sought to give federal prosecutors new authority to prosecute hate crimes against women, the disabled, and gay and lesbian Americans and…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Admission that U.S. looted property may convince others to come clean

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (JTA) – A new account of how U.S. soldiers at the end of World War II looted a train filled with Hungarian Jews’ property may prompt other countries to search dark chapters of their own histories in an attempt to make restitution. That is the assessment of several members of the presidential…

  • Citing inactivity, U.S. erases Palestinian group from terror list

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (JTA) – At a time when its leader has expressed a more moderate view of the Middle East peace process, a Palestinian terrorist group known for killing 22 Israeli schoolchildren has been dropped from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. The State Department said the Democratic Front for the Liberation of…