US Jews remembered top televangelist and leader of the pro-Israel Moral Majority organization, Rev. Jerry Falwell, with "mixed feelings," the New York Jewish Week reported this week.
"Statements from Jewish leaders about his death were duly respectful of a man who loved Israel, but were qualified also by his embrace of values that alienated most American Jews," said the report.
It added that "Rev. Falwell was among the first Evangelical leaders to make clear that presidential candidates must show deference to the US-Israel alliance if they wanted his constituency's support," and quoted Falwell from a CBS 2002 interview, in which he said, "It is my belief that the Bible Belt in America is Israel's only safety belt right now."
Despite his close relationship with former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and pledges of support for the State of Israel, Falwell also once notoriously "speculated that the antichrist — the satanic figure whose presence would presage the return of Jesus — was alive and Jewish," the Jewish News recounted.
"'When he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he'll be Jewish,'" the paper quoted Falwell as saying before followers in 1999. The comments spurred charges of anti-Semitism from Jewish leaders.
Wiesenthal Center condemns Palestinian legislator
The California-based Wiesenthal Center has condemned a Palestinian legislator for calling for genocide against the Jewish people, the LA Jewish Observer said.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, of the Center, was quoted by the Observer as saying, "Rather than going to the Sudan to deliver a sermon on stopping the genocide in Darfur and ending the suffering of his fellow Muslims, Sheik Bahr used the pulpit to call for the annihilation of Jews and Americans.
"Can there be a more compelling reason why the international community should continue to withhold funds from the Hamas government when the acting speaker of its Parliament wants to complete the work of Adolf Hitler? Is this what Saudi Arabia would have us believe is a legitimate partner for peace?
"The Wiesenthal Center is therefore calling upon Angela Merkel in her dual capacity as Chancellor of Germany and the current President of the EU to formally urge the United Nations Human Rights Council to immediately take action against Sheik Bahr for incitement to genocide."
Israeli academics take on UK boycott threat
"Growing concerns that various unions will try to impose an academic boycott of Israel have prompted a team of Israeli academics to try and persuade British colleagues that such a policy is counterproductive," the Jewish Telegraph, of northern England, reported this week.
"Leading the delegation was Professor Zvi HaCohen who chairs Israel's Faculty Association," the Telegraph said. It quoted HaCohen as saying that the campaigners for an academic boycott will not be swayed,"'You can not confuse them with facts.'"
The report added that "another of the delegation, Prof Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan who teaches English at Haifa University, says that at her university especially Palestinian students and academics are highly involved and that alone gave lie to the stories of discrimination against Arabs in Israeli university life."