Shorts: U.S.

Lantos to link U.S., Arab aid

washington (jta) | Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo) will introduce legislation to make U.S. assistance to the Palestinians conditional on Arab aid to the Palestinians.

“The Gulf Arabs, not the American taxpayer, should be leading the way to help the Palestinians,” Lantos said at a meeting of the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, where he is the ranking member.

Lantos referred specifically to President Bush’s request this week to Congress to approve $350 million in assistance to the Palestinians.

No hope for the lovelorn?

washington (jta) | The most popular Jewish singles site on the Internet was down most of Valentine’s Day.

Visitors to JDate received a message saying the site was down and apologizing for the inconvenience.

Anti-Jewish plotter convicted of terror

new york (jta) | A jury has convicted a postal worker of urging the killing of Jews. Ahmed Abdel Sattar was convicted last week in New York, along with civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart and Arabic interpreter Mohamed Yousry, who were both found guilty of giving material support to terrorists.

The three carried messages between members of an Egyptian-based terrorist organization and Omar Abdel Rahman, a cleric imprisoned for life for crimes including attempting to destroy New York landmarks.

Gloves are off at Columbia University

new york (jta) | A Columbia University professor has challenged anti-Israel professors to a debate.

George Fletcher, a Columbia Law School professor who teaches a course on the jurisprudence of war, paid for a quarter-page advertisement in the Columbia Spectator challenging Middle East studies professors Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad and Hamid Dabashi to a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his assistant said.

Bar mitzvah at last

miami (jta) | A child survivor of the Holocaust now living in Florida finally will celebrate his bar mitzvah.

Ben Fainer was 9 when the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939. The only member of his family to survive, Fainer was interned in Nazi concentration camps, during World War II. He never had a bar mitzvah.

Now 74, Fainer has spent more than a year studying for his bar mitzvah, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 19, with Rabbi “Mendy” Muskal of the Chabad Jewish Center in Wellington, Fla. “I’m a Jew and I want to go that way,” Fainer said.