Religious Ideas In Prison OK
Washington/JTA — The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled unanimously in favor of
laws that allow minority religious expres-
sion in state jails and prisons.
The high court reversed a decision in
Cutter v. Wilkinson and said religious
minorities have the right to religious
accommodations that don't conflict with
high government interest.
The ruling backs the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act,
which passed Congress in 2000 with the
support of American Jewish groups. The
act is expected to ease access to kosher
meals and other Jewish materials in fed-
White House Names Liaison
Weshingt, on/JTA— The White House was
expected to name Jeffrey Berkowitz as the
new liaison to the Jewish community.
Berkowitz, associate director of the
White House scheduling office, will take
over from Noam Neusner, who has been
relieved to concentrate on his position as
spokesman for the Office of Management
and Budget, sources told JTA.
Berkowitz has been working for sever-
al weeks as Neusner's deputy, meeting
with leaders of the Jewish community in
Washington. Berkowitz previously
worked for the Republican Jewish
Coalition and the Republican National
Committee, focusing on foreign policy
and defense issues.
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Canada Aid To Palestinians
Toronto/JTA — Canada's prime minister
said the country would give $9.5 million
to the Palestinian Authority.
Paul Martin made the announcement
after meeting with P.A. President
Mahmoud Abbas. The money supple-
ments Canada's annual aid package of
nearly $20 million to the Palestinians.
Canada has stipulated that the addition-
al funds must be used for housing in the
Gaza Strip and West Bank, reforms to
the legal system, scholarships for refugee
women, and to pay for 50 Canadian
monitors to Palestinian legislative elec-
tions scheduled for this summer.
Martin said the aid package was "just
a down payment" for future gifts, pro-
vided the P.A. continues to seek reform
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Palestinian Tunnels Revealed
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Jerusalem/JTA —The Palestinian
Authority uncovered a terrorist tunnel
intended for attacks on Israeli settlers in
the Gaza Strip.
The discovery of the 150-foot-long
secret passage running from the Pales-
tinian city of Khan Younis to the Gush
Katif settlement bloc was reported
Monday night to Israel, security sources
said. Terrorists have used tunnels in
Gaza to smuggle arms and plant explo-
sives under Israeli targets. The
Palestinian Authority has been under
heavy pressure to curb terrorism in Gala
before Israel withdraws from the territo-
ry in mid-August.
Egypt Lowers Expectations
Cairo/JTA — Egypt does not intend to
stop Palestinian attacks from the Gala
Strip after Israel withdraws from the ter-
ritory, an Egyptian official said.
"Don't expect Egypt to be your
policeman in Gaza," Egypt's ambassador
to Israel, Assef Ibrahim, told the
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "Egypt will
not play this role. This is basically an
Israeli problem and an Israeli question
you have to solve yourselves."
Egypt, which occupied Gaza before
Israel conquered the territory in the 1967
Six-Day War, has led efforts to prepare
the Palestinian Authority to take it over.
While it has ruled out more active
involvement in running Gaza after
Israeli soldiers and settlers withdraw
beginning in mid-August, Egypt has
vowed to crack down on arms smug-
gling to Gaza from the Sinai peninsula if
Israel allows Egypt to boost its troop
deployment on the border.
Goodbye To The Golan?
Jerusalem/JTA — Israel's top general said
the Golan Heights would not be neces-
sary for national security if there were
peace with Syria.
"Israel could defend itself from an
alternative deployment line. But this
would be on condition of peace, and of
a responsible leadership being in charge
in Syria," Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told
the London-based Arabic newspaper A-
Sharq Al-Awsat on his last day as Israel's
chief of military staff Israel has rebuffed
peace overtures from Syrian President
Bashar Assad as insincere.
Learning From Nuclear Strike
Teheran/JTA — Military strikes would
not stop Iran's quest for nuclear weapons
but could effectively delay it, a former
Israeli air force chief said.
"You cannot eliminate an idea, a
national will. But you can delay progress
on a nuclear program with the appropri-
ate military action," David Ivry, who
masterminded Israel's 1981 airstrike on
the Iraqi reactor at Osirak, told Reuters.