Global Briefs February 12

Global Briefs February 12

Slain journalists Foley, Sotloff honored in memory of Daniel Pearl

James Foley and Steven Sotloff, American journalists who were killed by ISIS, were honored with an award in memory of the murdered Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl.

The ADL Daniel Pearl Award was presented to the parents of Foley and Sotloff on Feb. 6 during the organization’s National Executive Committee meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

Foley, an Illinois native, was killed in Syria in August after being held hostage by the Islamist State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, for nearly two years. He was captured while reporting in Syria, near the Turkish border. He had worked in northern Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Sotloff, a Florida native who held dual U.S.-Israel  citizenship, was killed in early September after being kidnapped a month earlier by ISIS while working in Syria. He had worked for media outlets such as Time magazine and The Jerusalem Post, notably covering the Arab Spring. His friends and family made efforts to remove references on the Internet to the fact that he was Jewish, had dual citizenship and had studied in Israel.

Pearl was a Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted and killed in Pakistan in February 2002 while pursuing a story about international terrorism.

“In many ways, James and Steven followed in Danny’s footsteps,” Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said in presenting the awards. “It was their thirst for knowledge, their quest for answers, their interest in understanding more deeply that impelled them into journalism.”

Foxman added that rather than being interested in the “big stories” that would advance their careers, “They were more interested in the people behind the stories, in finding the humanity behind the headlines.”

Green Party’s Stein considering second presidential run

Dr. Jill Stein, a Boston-area Jewish internist, has launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential race in what would be her second run.

Stein, 64, of Lexington, Mass., announced the committee’s launch on Feb. 6 during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, the Boston Globe reported.

As the Green Party candidate in 2012, Stein appeared on ballots in 36 states and won 469,000 votes, or some 0.36 percent of the ballots cast.

Stein ran unsuccessfully for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010.

Rabbi Stav named co-chancellor of Riskin’s Ohr Torah Stone network

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin reportedly has named a potential successor for his Modern Orthodox educational network Ohr Torah Stone.

Riskin, 74, appointed Rabbi David Stav, founder of the Israel-based Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, as co-chancellor of the Ohr Torah Stone educational network, The New York Jewish Week reported.

Ohr Torah Stone serves about 3,000 students at 19 schools in 11 locations.

Riskin, who is also the chief rabbi of Efrat, told The Jewish Week that he has no plans to retire from his work at Ohr Torah Stone. He said that it is “mutually understood” that Stav, 55, is being considered his successor.

He said the partnership “will strengthen Modern Orthodoxy and religious Zionism.”

The organizations will not formally merge, Riskin told the newspaper, but said they will work together in issues of joint concern.

Stav also serves as chief rabbi of the city of Shoham and is the head of a hesder yeshiva in Petach Tikvah. He was a candidate last year for Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel.

Outgoing U.N. envoy: Months left to avoid a one-state reality

Robert Serry, the United Nations’ outgoing special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said Israel and the Palestinian territories have months to avoid a one-state reality.

Serry, a Dutch diplomat who has served in his post for seven years, made the statement during a farewell speech he delivered at the Netanya Academic College on Feb. 5.

“If we do not advance matters in the coming months, we will reach despair and a reality of one state,” Serry is quoted by the news site Ynet as saying while addressing a crowd of Israelis. “I believe you have a partner in Ramallah. You must formulate a strategy regarding the topic of Gaza.”

Also on Feb. 5, Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria was appointed to succeed Serry by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mladenov, currently the U.N. special representative to Iraq, has been Bulgaria’s foreign minister and minister of defense and has worked at the World Bank, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

In his speech, Serry also warned that settlement expansion may mean Israel will no longer be able to depend on security cooperation by Palestinian police in the West Bank.

“The Palestinian Authority is in a very fragile state,” he said. “If you do not restrain the growth of settlement building, the Oslo process will end and with it the security coordination.”