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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

DeLay gets pro-Israel plaudits

A pro-Israel group of Christians and Jews gave Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) a standing ovation hours after he stepped aside from his Republican leadership position because of a criminal indictment.

DeLay, who stepped aside Wednesday as House of Representatives majority leader, made a scheduled appearance at a dinner in Washington for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization that partners pro-Israel Evangelicals with Jews.

DeLay has been a staunch backer of Israel, especially pro-settler groups and has expressed skepticism of Israel’s recent decision to pull out of the Gaza Strip.

DeLay, heeding House rules, stepped aside as leader as soon as a Texas grand jury indicted him on conspiracy charges related to allegations that DeLay had illegally used corporate money to fund elections. Republicans say the prosecutor, a Democrat, is on a political crusade.

“Thank you for allowing me to come under the present circumstances,” DeLay said to thunderous applause and cries of “We love you!” “I fear no evil, the truth is on my side, and make no mistake, justice will be served,” DeLay said.

Congressman presses Egypt on Sukkot exports

A New York congressman wants Egypt to resume exporting palm branches used as lulavs on Sukkot.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Middle East subcommittee, on Wednesday asked the U.S. ambassador to Egypt to raise the issue with Egyptian officials. Egypt is the source of virtually all the lulavs in Israel and the United States, Ackerman said. In 2004, 500,000 were exported to the United States and 300,000 to Israel. Egyptian officials want to stop the practice, which they say damages palm trees.

“The lack of lulavs will interfere with Sukkot services and prevent many thousands of Jews from fully observing the holiday,” Ackerman said. “It is my hope that, working together with the Egyptian government, some kind of solution can be reached in time.”

He wants a minimum of 25,000 lulavs so that every U.S. synagogue gets one.

posted by Somebody @ 11:01 PM Permanent Link


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