Mordecai Specktor, American Jewish World editor and publisher, won the 2009 Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing. The editorial, “Manufacturing crimes,” which appeared in the May 29, 2009, edition of the paper, was awarded first place in the category, for newspapers under 15,000 circulation.
The Rockowers are awarded annually at the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) conference. The awards ceremony took place Wednesday evening at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona. The featured speaker at the June 16 event was Rabbi David Wolpe, renowned author, lecturer and spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.
The award-winning editorial from about a year ago concerned the celebrated arrest of four alleged terrorists, who authorities say were going to plant bombs at synagogues in the New York City area and shoot down an airliner with a surface-to-air missile. An FBI informant apparently played a key role in furthering the alleged acts of terrorism, and the editorial questioned whether the FBI stepped over the line and entrapped the defendants.
That concern is still a factor in the prosecution of the four men from Newburgh, N.Y. On Monday, a federal judge indefinitely postponed the case, according to a report in the New York Times. The story, “Newburgh Terrorism Case May Establish a Line for Entrapment,” noted that U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon’s “highly unusual” decision on Monday “threw much of the case into chaos, [as] it helped clarify a central question: Did a shadowy informant encourage the men to plot mass murder, or did he go too far and manufacture a plan for mayhem?”