World Briefs

Bush: Happy Rosh Hashanah

President Bush asked Jews to “pray for peace” in his annual Rosh Hashanah message. “May we build a future of promise and compassion for all, and may the coming year be filled with hope and happiness,” Bush said in the presidential message, released Tuesday. He also called on Jews to find inspiration from Abraham and Isaac’s “willingness to sacrifice everything to do right.”

Israelis Bodies Found

Two bodies found in California may be the remains of a pair of Israelis who disappeared last December. FBI agents on Sunday were led by suspects arrested last week to a shallow grave near Barstow, where Ben Wertzberger and Adar Neeman were believed to be buried, The Associated Press reported. Authorities say the two probably were killed after a drug-related dispute with the suspects.

Iraq Off-Limits to Israel

Israel will not be allowed to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq, Iraqi officials said. Speaking at the International Monetary Fund conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Iraq’s interim planning minister said Israeli entrance into the Iraqi market is “out of the question,” Agence France-Presse reported. A member of the U.S.-appointed transitional Governing Council, Adel Abdul Mahdi, added, “There is no intention to recognize Israel.”

Israeli officials are in Dubai this week for the IMF conference.

Al-Qaeda Planned Attack on El Al

Thai police reportedly foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to down an El Al airplane and attack Israeli passengers at Bangkok International Airport. A man arrested three months ago by police in Thailand was found to have detailed plans of a plot to attack passengers in the terminal and shoot down an El Al plane with a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. Al-Qaeda operatives are the prime suspects in an attack last November on an Israeli aircraft in the skies over Kenya. The plane managed to evade those missiles and land safely in Tel Aviv.

Bernard Manischewitz Dies at 89

Kosher food giant Bernard Manischewitz died Saturday in New Jersey at age 89.

Manischewitz was the last in his family’s line to run the kosher food giant B. Manischewitz Company, the Newark “Star-Ledger” reported. The food company was sold to private investors in 1991 after it had been in the Manischewitz family for three generations. Renowned for its sweet wine and matzah, the business was founded in Cincinnati in 1888 by Bernard’s grandfather, Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz. The company opened a second factory in Jersey City in 1932, eventually moving operations there. Born in Cincinnati, Bernard joined the company in the 1940s after graduating from New York University. The company expanded under his tenure but also weathered a scandal in the mid-1980s over price-fixing for matzah. Bernard Manischewitz was a Jewish philanthropist, serving as president of New York’s United Jewish Appeal and of New York’s Shearith Israel synagogue. Manischewitz is survived by his wife, son, daughters, six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Former Israeli Ambassador Dinitz

Simcha Dinitz, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and chairman of the Jewish Agency, has died. Dinitz, 74, died Tuesday of a heart attack in Jerusalem. Born in Tel Aviv, Dinitz joined the Haganah in pre-state Palestine and served in the Israel Defense Forces during the War of Independence. He spent 37 years in a variety of public posts, including the Knesset, the Foreign Ministry, Golda Meir’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency, which he headed from 1987 to 1994. Dinitz served as vice president of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was a diplomat in Rome and Washington for prime ministers Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin. Dinitz’s public career ended in 1996 when he was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust connected to misuse of Jewish Agency credit cards, though Israel’s highest court overturned the conviction a year later. Dinitz, whom Israeli President Moshe Katsav called “one of the leaders of the nation,” leaves behind his wife, three children and eight grandchildren.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency