Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

News Brief


A rabbi’s house in Russia’s Republic of Dagestan was vandalized in the second anti-Semitic incident there this week.

Vandals threw a rock through the bedroom window of the Derbent home of Rabbi Ovadiya Isakov early Thursday morning. The rabbi, his wife and children, including a 9-month-old baby, were in the bedroom at the time of the attack, the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia told the Russian Interfax news agency.

Derbent is a city in the Caucasus region with a Jewish community of more than 5,000.

On Tuesday, the windows in all three stories of the synagogue in Makhachkala, also in the Republic of Dagestan, were broken by unidentified vandals.

Egypt passed Israel a peacemaking message from Bashar Assad.

The Syrian president gave a message to his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, who delivered it to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during their meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday, Jerusalem sources said. But they had no details on the contents of the message.

Arab media reported that Assad, who has tried to revive peace talks with Israel on condition that Syria recovers the Golan Heights, proposed that the strategic territory be demilitarized and secured by American and other foreign troops for a decade after it is ceded by the Olmert government.

Israeli and Egyptian officials declined comment. Syria did not immediately respond to the reports.

Shimon Peres hinted that he supports Ehud Olmert’s refusal to resign over the Second Lebanon War.

The Israeli president was asked in an interview Thursday whether Olmert should step down as prime minister when the Winograd Commission of inquiry into the 2006 war hands in its final report.

“The prime minister is a symbol of stability, not of mood,” Peres told Israel Radio. “I believe the prime minister has learned his lessons.”

Peres said Israel was right to go to war after Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas abducted two soldiers in a July 12, 2006 border raid. But he faulted Olmert for publicly setting “unrealistic” goals for the campaign such as recovering the hostages and crushing Hezbollah.

Olmert’s approval ratings plummeted after the war but he has vowed to see out his term in office.

Recommended from JTA