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Early this week it appeared the end could well be in sight to the ordeal of Jacob Ostreicher, an Orthodox Jewish businessman from Brooklyn jailed in Bolivia without being charged for a year and a half on suspicion of money laundering.
According to reports, he was the victim of corrupt Bolivian officials who routinely targeted people known to have deep pockets for false imprisonment and then sought to extort large sums of money from them in order to be released. Those believed involved in the extortion ring, including a judge, several prosecutors and Interior Ministry officials, have already been arrested.
Mr. Ostreicher’s story is the stuff of cinematic intrigue and even has the added dimension of an intervention by movie star Sean Penn and his friend, the Bolivian president, who ordered an investigation. And of course the anguish suffered by Mr. Ostreicher and his family is a story in itself.
We were struck by the continuing public interest in the Ostreicher case, almost from the beginning. There were rallies, online petitions calling on the Obama administration to do what it could to free him, and a congressional hearing to look into what the State Department was doing to help.
So here was a seemingly faceless, solitary Jew buried in one of those notorious Latin American prisons one reads about or sees portrayed in movies. Yet he was not really alone and he was not just a number. He was someone whose individuality and personal fate were celebrated and not permitted to fall from the public’s radar screen.
We cannot help but contrast this with the fate of those millions of Jews who were rendered anonymous, unceremoniously rounded up and killed in the Holocaust. “Never Again” is not just a slogan. It is a rallying cry and requires hard work, but as in the case of Jacob Ostreicher, we dare not be timid.
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Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t
There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.
Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.
Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.
Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
Despite the president’s respectable anti-terrorism record, he doubtless has little interest in being identified with anything that might suggest, however tangentially, criticism of Muslims or Islam.
One wonders what connection that rejection has with turning to the ICC, which would allow the Palestinians to bring war-crime charges against individual Israelis and is certainly one more step away from seeking a negotiated settlement.
In the NPR interview, Mr. Obama said Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if it agreed to a long-term nuclear deal.
Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.
Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/public-pressure-and-the-ostreicher-case/2012/12/12/
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