Shorts: U.S.

Radio station blocks AJC ad

A New York Times-owned radio station rejected an advertisement by the American Jewish Committee this week.

AJC Executive Director David Harris said on his blog that WQXR-FM, a New York-based station, declined to accept a 60-second ad describing the plight of Israeli residents of Sderot.

Harris quoted a written statement by the station’s general manager, Tom Bartunek, as saying that “several elements of the spot are outside our bounds of acceptability.”

Bartunek, who is also the president of New York Times radio, said the rocket fire in Sderot, which the ad describes as arriving “day or night,” is also “subject to challenge as being misleading, at least to the degree that reasonable people might be troubled by the absence of any acknowledgement of reciprocal Israeli military actions.”

The spot was broadcast several times on the CBS radio network. — jta

Hagel: Israelis warned U.S. on Iraq

Israeli security officials warned Americans about the potential complications of an invasion of Iraq, according to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

Writing in his book released last week, “America: Our Next Chapter,” Hagel, who is leaving the Senate at the end of the year, excoriates the Bush administration for ignoring Middle East leaders who warned of a possible quagmire in Iraq before the 2003 invasion.

“Do you really understand what you are getting yourselves into?” he quotes Israeli officials as telling him. — jta

Pope to visit N.Y. synagogue

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced last week that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Park East Synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side later this month — the first time a pope has visited an American synagogue.

The pope will meet at the synagogue with its rabbi, Arthur Schneier, and a group of Jewish children.

The visit, part of the pope’s six-day visit to New York and Washington, comes during a tense period in Jewish-Catholic relations. His decision to allow the recitation of a prayer for the conversion of the Jews has sparked fears of a major interfaith setback. — jta