Shorts: U.S.

Editor: Israel ‘is a client state’

Mort Zuckerman, the editor of U.S. News & World Report, called Israel a “client state” of the United States.

“Israel has to understand — like it or not — it is not a great power. It is a client state. And therefore, it must be dependent upon a great power,” Zuckerman said during an interview on Shalom TV’s “World Jewish News” show last week.

Zuckerman, a recent past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he is pessimistic about the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but noted that Israel must make the effort because “it is the only way to maintain whatever political support it has, especially in the United States — but really, in the Western world.” — jta

Jewish veterans oppose arms sale

The Jewish War Veterans opposes a proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

The group objected particularly to the sale of 900 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, devices that substantially increase accuracy when attached to bombs.

“While the administration agreed to sell Saudi Arabia sophisticated arms as part of its efforts to contain the threat posed by Iran, and the guidance systems will supposedly be programmed not to include U.S. bases in Iraq and Israel as targets, it is important that such hi-tech equipment not fall into the hands of the government of Saudi Arabia, a sworn enemy of Israel and a nation which has called the Iraqi War illegal,” the group said in a statement issued last week. — jta

Prosecutor: Vandals not driven by hate

Four teens who vandalized a New Jersey Jewish cemetery did not have anti-Semitic motives.

The teens who knocked down at least 500 headstones last month at the Poile Zedek cemetery in New Brunswick did so because of alcohol and boredom, according to an investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It became apparent during the investigation that the juveniles did not know, understand or care about the religious symbols on the gates and headstones at Poile Zedek,” said the statement by Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan.

The four vandals, ages 15 to 17, live within walking distance of the cemetery. They spent about four hours overturning the headstones, some of which weighed more than a ton, the statement said. — jta

Birthright holding contest for parents

A Birthright Israel contest wants its alumni to give the best reason why their parents should visit Israel.

The winners’ parents will receive a free 10-day trip to Israel in July with Birthright, which has sent about 125,000 Jews ages 18 to 26 on free trips there.

Birthright is asking contestants to submit videos or skits explaining why their parents should receive the trip. Nine winners will be selected.

Contest details and a sample video are available at — jta

Post apologizes for Gandhi’s essay

The Washington Post ombudswoman said an offensive essay by Arun Gandhi on Jewish identity should not have been published.

In a Jan. 7 essay, published on’s section called On Faith, which is run in conjunction with Newsweek, Gandhi said Jewish identity is tied up with the Holocaust and that dwelling on it has begun to “repulse friends.” He also said, “The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak … We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”

In a piece published in the Washington Post on Feb. 3, ombudswoman Deborah Howell said apologies should have come sooner from Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and On Faith’s moderators, Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. — jta

Fla. hockey team serves kosher fare

A new snack option at Florida Panthers hockey home games will be kosher.

Rabbi Paul Plotkin, who came up with the idea, is a Panthers season ticket-holder.

The Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Mets, the Baltimore Orioles and the New Jersey Devils also sell kosher food at their arenas. — ap