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News Brief

October 16, 2002
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An Israeli official criticized a call by rabbis from the West Bank and Gaza Strip urging soldiers to refuse orders to dismantle illegal settlement outposts. Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior said he objects to attempts to bring Jewish religious law into political debate, Israel Radio reported.

The creation of two new umbrella groups of Russian Jewry this week underscored the divisions in the community. The new organizations were announced as an attempt to overcome the two-year-old feud between the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and the Russian Jewish Congress. But the Conference of Leaders of Jewish Organizations of Russia, set up by the RJC, and the Association of Public Jewish Organizations of Russia, created by the FJC, most likely will cater to their respective parent groups.

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