Shorts: U.S.

Orthodox boy on life support dies

A 12-year-old New York boy with brain cancer has died after his family battled a hospital to keep him on a ventilator.

The lawyer for the Orthodox Jewish family says Motl Brody’s bodily functions ceased Nov. 15. A machine had continued to work his lungs after he was pronounced dead Nov. 4 at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The boy had already been declared brain dead, but some adherents of Jewish religious law say death occurs only when the heart and lungs stop functioning.

The family had asked a judge to prevent further tests for brain activity. The hospital argued that its “scarce resources” were being used “for the preservation of a deceased body.” — ap

Publisher apologizes for Zionism entry

Gale publishing, whose Macmillan Reference USA imprint is the publisher of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, apologized on its Web site this month to groups that believe it failed to adhere to standards of fairness and balance in its entry on Zionism. The entry asserts that because Zionism defines Jew by descent, it is “an ideology of race.”

The Zionist Organization of American and the American Jewish Committee both complained about the article to Gale, which also publishes an updated edition of Encyclopaedia Judaica. In its message, Gale directs readers to the Web sites of both those organizations while promising to supplement the online version of the encyclopedia with articles describing alternative perspectives on Zionism.

“We appreciate Gale/Macmillan’s apology to those who, like us, are appalled by the falsehoods in the existing chapter equating Zionism with racism and its undertones of anti-Semitic bigotry that help to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist,” ZOA said in response. “But there is only one way for Gale/Macmillan to rectify the wrong, and that is to withdraw the chapter from the online and print editions of the encyclopedia.” — jta

Survey: Religious values ‘under attack’

A majority of Americans believe religious values are “under attack,” according to a survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League. The national poll of 1,000 Americans also found that those who believe Jews control Hollywood has decreased.

“American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood,” which was conducted in October 2008, found that 61 percent of Americans believe that “religious values are under attack in this country,” while 36 percent disagree with the statement. The survey showed that 63 percent disagreed with the notion that “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” while only 22 percent agreed.

In the ADL’s first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes in 1964, nearly half of those Americans polled believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.

In the new poll, 43 percent of Americans believed that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.” In addition, 49 percent believed that the United States is becoming “too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles,” while 47 percent disagreed.

The poll was released Nov. 14 during the organization’s national conference in Los Angeles. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. — jta

Poll: U.S. must stop Iran, stand with Israel

The United States must work hard to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and stand with Israel, a poll of American voters found.

Some 72 percent of those who voted Nov. 4 agreed that “even with all the problems that America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” according to the Election Day survey of 800 commissioned by the Israel Project.

In addition, 66 percent said America should be a supporter of Israel, with just 6 percent saying America should be a supporter of the Palestinians. Some 80 percent of those who called themselves Republicans and 59 percent of Demo-crats said America should support Israel.

Asked about the top two foreign policy priorities of the next president, “ending the war in Iraq” garnered 56 percent; “restoring global economic growth” garnered 41 percent; and “defeating al Qaida and the Taliban” received 35 percent.

The poll, which was released Nov. 16, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent. — jta