abortion and the role of religion in
public life; supporters have claimed
that opponents are creating a religious
"litmus test" for judicial nominees.
Numerous Jewish groups are oppos-
ing the Pryor nomination or raising
strong concerns about his qualifica-
tions, including some groups that tra-
ditionally stay out of confirmation
fights such as B'nai B'rith and the
Opposing the Pryor nomination and
another nominee, Carolyn Kuhl, is "a
top priority" over the recess, said
National Council of Jewish Women
(NCJW) Washington co-director Ellen
NCJW and other Jewish groups are
also using the summer recess to lobby
for a stalled hate crimes measure that
would make it easier for federal
authorities to investigate and prosecute
hate crimes. It would also expand
existing hate crimes laws to cover
crimes based on the victim's gender,
disability or sexual orientation.
The last category is why conserva-
tive Christian groups have mounted
an all-out assault against the measure,
which is given little chance of passing
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In another recess action, a group of
pro-Israel lawmakers has taken up the
cause of Elchanan Tannenbaum, the
Israeli businessman kid-
napped in Europe
by Hezbollah in 2000.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-
N.J.,, Rep. Tom
Lantos, D-Calif., Rep.
Gary Ackerman, D-
N.Y., and Rep. Ileana
have sent a letter to
President Bush urging
him to get involved as "an urgent
humanitarian matter that is of great
concern to us and many other mem-
bers of Congress."
The lawmakers also responded to
recent statements by Hezbollah
leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah stat-
ing that the Israeli, who was in ill
health at the time of his capture, was
alive. But Nasrallah made "what
amounts to a new threat" against
"We consider it of the utmost
importance that you raise this matter
with the Syrian government,
Hezbollah's master, before this sad
situation becomes yet more tragic,"
the lawmakers wrote. 0
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