Shorts: U.S.

Rights body condemns campus anti-Semitism

washington (jta) | Anti-Semitism on college campuses is a “serious problem” that merits a campaign to inform Jewish students of their rights, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said.

The commission announced its position this week after considering testimony last year from the American Jewish Congress, Zionist Organization of America and other groups.

The commission cited anti-Israel propaganda on campus that exploits stereotypes. It recommended that the Education Department inform Jewish students of their right to be free of harassment and that it collect data on anti-Semitic and other hate crimes at universities.

U.S. bans contact with Hamas

washington (jta) | U.S. officials are banned from contacting Palestinian Authority officials associated with Hamas.

Contacts with officials associated with the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are permitted, as are contacts with the PLO.

The PLO and Abbas are affiliated with the relatively moderate Fatah Party, and the allowance extends to PLO representatives in Washington.

Publisher defends report on lobbyists

boston (jta) | The editor who published a controversial article on the pro-Israel lobby in the United States defended her decision to publish the piece.

“I don’t want David Duke to endorse the article,” the London Review of Books’ Mary-Kay Wilmers, who is Jewish, told the London Observer last week. “It makes me very uncomfortable. But when I reread the piece, I did not see anything that I felt should not have been said.”

The report accuses pro-Israel groups of skewing U.S. policy.

Orthodox Jews protest arrest

new york (jta) | Hundreds of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn protested this week after an elderly member of the community was arrested.

The Tuesday night, April 4 protest in Borough Park took place after a 75-year-old man was pulled over for driving while talking on his cell phone.

Police said the man was arrested for being uncooperative. Those who know the man said he is deaf in one ear and may not have heard officers’ requests.

Protesters alleged that officers were violent with the man. They shouted “No justice, no peace” and set a police car on fire, the New York Times reported.