• Egyptian Example: Gretchen Peters has crisscrossed the globe, reporting on aid and sustainable development projects in such places as Mexico, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. So she approached today's story about an Egyptian agricultural company that also does community development (page 1) with a healthy dose of skepticism. "I'm fairly cynical about aid projects. They tend not to work very efficiently nor be sustainable," says Gretchen.
But she found the exception to her experience in the desert community outside Cairo. "What Sekem is doing is very impressive," she says. "I was impressed by their holistic approach, and the importance placed on education, including teaching low-income Egyptians."
Still, Gretchen called nongovernmental organizations, government offices, and development experts trying to find some "balance" or problems with the Sekem project. "They had nothing but good to say about it," she says. "The only complaint I heard: Why aren't there more projects like this one?"
David Clark Scott
• Anti-Semitism in Europe: A poll on anti-Semitism in Europe Monday showed 46 percent of those asked said Jews in their nations were "different," and 35 percent said Jews should stop "playing the victim" for the Holocaust. Jewish leaders say the poll, released a day before many European countries mark a day of remembrance for Holocaust victims, is indicative of a worrying trend.
The poll suggested the attitude of Europeans toward Jews was linked to criticism of Israel over the Middle East conflict. More than 68 percent said they believed Israel had a right to exist but the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was "making the wrong choices." Tullia Zevi, Italy's best-known Jewish leader, told Reuters that she believed the results were linked to the rise in the number of Muslims in Italy, nearly all of them immigrants.
"The moral implications of anti-Semitism simply don't speak to a younger generation of Europeans," said British-born Rabbi David Rosen, international director of inter-religious affairs of the American Jewish Committee.