Shorts: Bay Area

Jews protest pro-Palestinian event

Pro-Israel groups are up in arms over a planned event titled “The Struggle for Palestine: 4th Anniversary of the Intifada” scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 2, at San Francisco’s Horace Mann Middle School.

Sponsors bill the conference at the public school as an educational opportunity to learn about the Palestinian people and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. A stated goal of the program is to “support the resistance in Palestine, and make links with others who are fighting against the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and against U.S. imperialism around the world.”

Yitzhak Santis, Middle East affairs director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said the school system was within its rights — and perhaps even obligated — to host the event, but labeled the conference as “hateful” and supportive of terror tactics.

Former Bay Area rabbi back in court

Former Bay Area resident Rabbi Arik Ascherman appeared in an Israeli court on Tuesday, Sept. 21, in connection with his charges of interfering with the police.

Ascherman, who was the spiritual leader of Richmond’s Temple Beth Hillel, and is currently the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, stood in front of a bulldozer trying to prevent Palestinian homes — which were built without permits — from being demolished in eastern Jerusalem.

Ascherman stated that during the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when Jews consider that their fate is in the hand of the Creator in the heavenly court, that it is in the court’s hands to ensure justice in the earthly court.

The next hearing will be in January.

Panel, screening on election and media

The S.F. Jewish Film Festival will co-sponsor a screening and panel discussion called “Doc the Vote: Can Independent Media Affect the Election?” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. This inaugurates the Alive@9th St. program series at the Ninth St. Independent Film Center, 145 Ninth St., 1st floor, S.F., of which the Jewish Film Festival is a part.

Screenings of recent media works that have impacted political outlook will precede a panel including Joe Trippi, campaign manager for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign. Tickets are $10 in advance. Information: (415) 552-5950.