United States

Crime ‘kingpin’ faces extradition

By Yaakov Katz, August 28, 2008

Organised crime in Israel may have been dealt a blow this week with the arrest of alleged mobster Itzik Abergil following an extradition request by the United States.

Mr Abergil has featured on Israeli police's "most-wanted" lists for the past two decades and has repeatedly been investigated on a wide range of allegations including drug-dealing, money-laundering, illegal gambling and, most recently, murder, with the July botched mob hit on a Bat Yam beach that killed Marguerita Lautin, a 31-year-old mother-of-two.


Marry out — but lose your inheritance

By Miriam Shaviv, August 22, 2008

If you want to deter your relatives from marrying out, then one way is to disinherit them if they do.

But would it be legal? That is precisely the issue that is being thrashed out in the American courts.

When Chicago dentist Max Feinberg died in 1986, he left a clause in his will stating that any of his descendants - other than his two children -who married out should be considered "deceased" if they married a non-Jew, unless the spouse converted to Judaism "within one year of marriage".


Congressman defeats race slurs in US primary

By Nathan Guttman, August 15, 2008

A Jewish member of congress from Tennessee has emerged victorious from a fierce primary battle in which racial and religious accusations were thrown at him by his opponent.

Steve Cohen, a freshman Democratic member of congress from Tennessee's 9th district, won in a 60 per cent margin over his rival in the state's primary elections and is expected to keep his seat in the November elections.


McCain vice-president list gets Jewish flavour

By Nathan Guttman, August 8, 2008

A young Jewish congressman has officially been added to Republican candidate John McCain's shortlist for sharing the presidential ticket.

Eric Cantor would not comment on the issue, but press reports in Washington quoted officials in the McCain campaign confirming that Mr Cantor was asked to provide documents to the committee advising Mr McCain on choosing a vice-president, indicating that he is being seriously considered.


Israel asks US not to soften on Iran

By Nathan Guttman, August 1, 2008

Fearing a softening of America's stance towards Iran, Israel has sent its highest ranking defence officials to Washington to stress the need for leaving all options open when dealing with Tehran's nuclear threat.

Israel's defence minister, its chief of staff and two other ministers have held talks in Washington over the past fortnight to persuade the US not to abandon a twin approach toward Iran: increasing economic and diplomatic pressure while making clear that the use of military force will not be ruled out.


Racist who fled hate trial caught in America

By Leon Symons, July 18, 2008

A racist who fled the country after being convicted of five charges of publishing racially inflammatory material has been apprehended in America.

Stephen Whittle, 41, of Preston, Lancs, had written five offensive articles under the pen-name Luke O’Farrell, which were published on the internet.


Why it could be a record year for Jews in the US Congress

June 27, 2008


This year could bring a record number of Jews into the US Senate and House of Representatives — and some could come from surprising quarters.

Come November 2008, Alaska’s tiny Jewish community — estimates run from 3,000 to 5,000, with most living in the state’s largest city of Anchorage — might be sending its second-ever representative to Capitol Hill. A leading Democratic contender, Ethan Berkowitz is lagging not far behind the main Republican challenger.


US church text full of ‘bias’

June 20, 2008

More than a dozen US Jewish bodies have complained about a Presbyterian church statement on anti-Jewish bias and the Middle East conflict. The groups, including the American Jewish Committee, complained that the church statement was “infused” with prejudice.


JDC to cut aid and staff

June 20, 2008

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is to reduce its number of programmes and cut 60 jobs in offices in the US and abroad due to financial pressures. The weak dollar has left the aid organisation with a budget shortfall of some $60 million (£30m).


Democrats to benefit from US lobby’s cash

June 20, 2008

Two Congressmen and five Congressional hopefuls will be receiving campaign money from J Street, the new dovish Jewish-American lobby.

The lobby announced its first round of political endorsements on Monday and the recipients will be six Democrats and one Republican. J Street is an organisation aiming to support candidates who will push for more aggressive American engagement in the Israeli-Arab peace process, oppose the Iraq war, and encourage diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria.