Israeli authorities will release copies of a book by a U.S. author after they were confiscated as “incitement.” Philip Winslow, the author of “Victory For Us is to See you Suffer: In the West Bank With the Palestinians and the Israelis,” was to have launched the book in Jerusalem at the end of September. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly praised the book, published by Beacon Press in Boston, saying that “Winslow balances the Palestinian struggle to maneuver through an ever-growing web of walls, checkpoints and Israeli military operations in the West Bank with close attention to Israel’s legitimate defense needs and the fear created by Palestinian terrorism.” Winslow is a former reporter and a former official with UNRWA, the U.N. agency administering relief to Palestinian refugees. Beacon Press sent 70 copies of the book to Jerusalem in time for the launch through UPS. The delivery service said Israeli Customs officials confiscated the book, labeling it “incitement.” Israeli foreign ministry officials checked into the matter and succeeded this week in getting Customs to release the book. “I asked them to look into it again,” a foreign ministry official told JTA. “The first investigation was very, very superficial.” The Jerusalem bookstore slated to receive the book has yet to receive it, apparently because of technical issues to be sorted out between UPS and Customs.
Breslov Chasidim could lose control of the land surrounding their founder’s grave in Ukraine.
At issue is a debt owed to a local businessman in Uman who is a member of the Ukranian parliament. Members of the Breslov community have threatened to protest and disrupt next week’s visit to Israel by President Victor Yuschenko if the issue is not resolved..
Four years ago, a Breslov foundation that oversees community facilities in Uman hired a company to reconstruct and expand the synagogue near the grave of the dynasty’s founder, Reb Nachman. A contract dispute broke out between the company, owned by Pyotr Kuzmenko, who sued the foundation and had a lien issued on the synagogue and grave site.
The synagogue will be sold to cover the lien.
Some 150,000 Jews visit Reb Nachman’s grave annually. Nearly 30,000 pilgrims from around the world visited at Rosh Hashanah this year.
Breslov leaders said they want to stop the lawsuit and reconstruct the synagogue to satisfy the growing number of pilgrims.
“We are ready to complete the reconstruction of the synagogue,” said Rabbi Nasan Maimon, president of the Rabbi Nachman International Charitable Foundation. “The Ukrainian government should make a positive step to correct the situation.”
A senior adviser to Yuschenko told JTA that the administration will investigate the matter.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.