Shorts: U.S.

Jews for Jesus targeting D.C.

washington (jta) | Jews for Jesus will bring 600 volunteers to the Washington area to win converts.

The 220,000-member local Jewish community recoiled at the timing and intent of the “Behold Your God” campaign, which begins Saturday, Aug. 21, and will not end until after Rosh Hashanah.

Jewish leaders have held meetings to warn of the missionaries, who will work at area subway stops. Since 2001, Jews for Jesus’ campaign has targeted 38 other metropolitan areas worldwide with Jewish populations larger than 25,000.

Some Presbyterians standing with Israel

washington (jta) | A Presbyterian group is distancing itself from recent decisions by the Presbyterian Church on Israel and proselytizing Jews.

A group called Presbyterians Concerned for Jewish Christian Relations issued a statement Wednesday, Aug. 11, saying it was distressed that the church’s General Assembly adopted a statement calling for proselytizing Jews and divesting from Israel.

“It is easy to understand the public outcry and sense of betrayal within the Jewish community,” the statement said. It noted that the church’s actions “lacked balance and failed to condemn the terrorism to which the people of Israel have been subjected.”

Signed by Revs. Donald Shriver and William Harter, the statement noted that Presbyterians, like Jews, do not speak with a monolithic voice.

Bush: Iraq will inspire Palestinians

los angeles (jta) | A free Iraq will prove to Palestinians that coexistence with Israel is possible, President Bush said.

Speaking Thursday, Aug. 12, at a California fund-raiser, Bush outlined how he believes a free Iraq will inspire others in the region toward democracy.

“When Iraq is free, it will say to the Palestinians, who have been subjected to leadership that has not led in their interest, that it’s possible to live at peace with our close friend, Israel,” Bush said.

“Freedom will change the habits of people so that peace prevails in this world.”

Ed Koch blasts Reform leaders

new york (jta) | Ed Koch blasted Reform movement leaders for suggesting pro-Israel resolutions in Congress should express concern about Palestinian humanitarian issues.

In a letter to David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the former New York City mayor said Jews are their own worst enemies.

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Palestinian supporters would send a letter with criticism of the support by the president for the state of Israel,” Koch, a Democratic supporter of President Bush, said. “But when Jews do it, they are in fact injuring the State of Israel.”