Shorts: u.s.

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Purim packages sent to soldiers

new york (jta) | Hundreds of shalach manot holiday food packages were sent to U.S. Jewish soldiers in Iraq for Purim.

The shalach manot, a Purim tradition, were assembled by the National Council of Young Israel and included hamantaschen, granola bars, noisemakers and copies of the Purim story. The packages also had lip balm, lotion and hand sanitizer, all useful for troops serving in the desert.

“This mishloach manot campaign has been a demonstration of our continuing commitment to our soldiers and our loyalty to our country,” Young Israel President Shlomo Mostofsky said.

The packages were sent in mid-February to ensure arrival by Purim, which begins Saturday evening, March 6. Several U.S. Jewish groups are organizing Purim food packages for Israeli soldiers, including BasketstoIsrael.com.

Swastikas found at Arlington memorial

washington (jta) | U.S. Park Police are seeking a fugitive connected to the anti-Semitic desecration of a World War II memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

A vandal painted swastikas and anti-Semitic obscenities over signs around the Netherlands Carillon, a bell tower thanking the United States for its role in liberating the Netherlands in World War II.

Police said they are seeking Ronald Bost, 44, a homeless man who has been charged in similar attacks, the Northern Virginia Journal reported Tuesday, March 2. Bost is classified as a fugitive because he is wanted on unrelated charges for escaping from police custody.

New bill would foster U.S.-Israeli cooperation

washington (jta) | A new bill would provide $25 million for joint U.S.-Israeli cooperation on homeland security.

The United States-Israel Homeland Security Foundation Act, introduced Tuesday by Reps. Jim Turner (D-Texas) and Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), would fund research and development of new homeland security products by U.S. and Israeli companies.

“If we expect to win the war on terrorism, we have to cooperate with our friends and allies and I can think of no better partner than Israel,” Weldon said.