Some fear fallout between blacks and Jews

Some Israeli officials were concerned the affair could harm attempts to have the Organization of African Unity rescind a resolution saying Zionism is racism.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), who received the Israeli government's Civil Rights Leadership Awards ceremony at the Israeli Embassy on Monday in Washington, D.C., tried to head off concerns about the crisis' impact.

"We must not allow the wonderful dream of religious reunification in any way to turn into a bitter nightmare of discrimination, either real or imagined," said Mfume.