Jewish Groups Weary of Agriprocessors Ruling

Workers leave the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville after their shifts on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008. There has been no beef kill at Agriprocessors this week, but employees should be returning Thursday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

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By Daren Sukhram

IOWA CITY (AP) - Groups representing more than 3 million American Jews say an argument used by prosecutors in the case of a former Agriprocessors manager is unfair and could set a dangerous
precedent.

The groups say prosecutors mentioned Israel's Law of Return when
they urged a federal judge to deny Sholom Rubashkin bail. The Law
of Return allows any Jew to emigrate to Israel.

Rabbi David Zweibel of the New York group Agudath of Israel says using the law to deny Rubashkin bail makes Jews second-class citizens in the U.S., and could prejudice future bail hearings for Jews in America. He and others who represent Jews throughout the
nation held a protest Monday in Dubuque, where Rubashkin is being
held.

Rubashkin faces federal bank fraud and immigration-related charges. Prosecutors say they fear he would flee to Israel and say mentioning a suspect's foreign ties is routine.

Protesters and the Anti-Defamation League have asked U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to ban U.S. Attorneys from mentioning the law unless there's evidence someone plans to flee to Israel.

Agriprocessors was the site of May immigration raid, when Rubashkin was still chief executive officer.

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