Jewish Journal

Dan Baron

  • Israeli Web site Debka.com at center of New York ‘dirty bomb’ tip

    August 16, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    An Israeli couple who blog about terrorism have achieved international fame -- and a bit of notoriety -- by setting off a "dirty bomb" scare in New York City.

    The brouhaha began last week with a report on DEBKAfile -- the 7-year-old Web site operated from the Jerusalem home of...

  • Katsav cops plea in sex charges

    June 28, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    His reputation in shambles from a sex scandal that broke a year ago and swelled in subsequent months, Israel's outgoing president, Moshe Katsav, put an end to the sordid chapter by agreeing to a plea bargain after months of insisting he was innocent.

    His reputation in shambles from...
  • Arab lawmaker quits Knesset as probe begins

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli Arab lawmaker Azmi Bishara has abruptly ended a parliamentary career built on denouncing the Jewish state from enemy capitals and then dodging charges of sedition at home.

    After weeks spent abroad on what he called routine travels, Bishara turned up at the Israeli Embassy in...
  • Arab’s nomination to Israel’s Cabinet stirs up simmering controversy

    January 18, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The naming of the first Arab minister to the Israeli Cabinet was billed as an event underscoring hope of securing racial harmony in the Jewish state, though it may long remain mired in regional conflict.

    But the nomination of Raleb Majadele instead has merely served to uncover...

  • Israel grows impatient with terror-filled Gaza

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Israel's patience with the growing menace from the Gaza Strip appears to be wearing thin.

    Government and military officials spoke openly Sunday of the need to move fast to stop Palestinian terrorists from turning the coastal territory into a "second Lebanon" threatening southern...

  • Olmert Sworn in as Israel’s New PM

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Exactly four months after assuming Israel's top office amid tragedy, Ehud Olmert has been confirmed as prime minister, and hopes to lead the Jewish state to security, if not peace.

    Olmert was sworn in last week, along with his Cabinet, after the Knesset approved the coalition...

  • Challenges Loom for New Olmert Regime

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Just in time for Israel's 58th Independence Day, Ehud Olmert has clinched his new coalition government.

    But while the prime minister promises to set the Jewish state's borders and to calm, if not end, the conflict with the Palestinians, domestic realities post serious challenges.

  • Will Europe Back Hamas Sans Conditions?

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Cracks are showing in the international demands on Hamas to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism before it takes over the Palestinian Authority.

    Ignoring the preconditions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to host leaders of the radical Islamic group in Moscow,...

  • Israeli Government Gets on With It

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Israel is resigning itself to politics without Ariel Sharon.

    Shock gripped the Jewish state last week when Sharon was hospitalized with a massive stroke, turning to fears for the worst when he underwent repeated surgery.

    Doctors said it could take time to ascertain whether Sharon...

  • Will Violence Again Flare Up in 2006?

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Will the Palestinians start the new year with a renewal of violence?

    That has been the question asked by many nervous Israelis in the final weeks of 2005, as the "truce" declared by Palestinian terrorist groups early last year came to an end.

    True, there was never a complete...

  • Bomber Hits Israeli Shopping Mall

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    An Islamic Jihad terrorist blew himself up Monday outside the Sharon Mall in Netanya, which has seen several such attacks due to its proximity to the West Bank. At least five people were killed and more than 50 wounded. The bomber was identified as a 21-year-old man from the West...

  • In Political Tsunami, Sharon Bolts Likud

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Israeli politics usually make for fine drama -- and 2006 is shaping up to be no exception to that rule.

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon quit the Likud Party this week to form a new centrist party to compete in early elections expected to take place in March.

    Sharon's new party, to be...

  • Sharon Feels Heat From Home, Abroad

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The diplomatic reprieve that followed Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip appears to be over, with Ariel Sharon feeling political pressure both at home and from abroad.

    The surprise ouster last week of the prime minister's coalition partner, Labor Party chief, Shimon Peres, has...

  • Iranian President’s Call Helps Israel

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Israel often comes under international criticism for its counterterrorist and settlement-building policies. But comments by Iran's president calling for Israel's destruction have elicited international sympathy for the Jewish state.

    In itself, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's televised late...

  • Israeli Wins Nobel for Game Theory

    October 20, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    An Israeli who has educated the world on conflict resolution was named last week as the co-winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in economics.

    Hebrew University professor Robert Aumann, 75, and American scientist Thomas Schelling "enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation...

  • Iranian Leader Nixes Israel Ties

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Few people in Israel expected a positive turnaround in Iran, but the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic republic has raised eyebrows among even the more pessimistic pundits.

    Even before giving his first media conference, the fundamentalist mayor...

  • First Lady Jostled in Jerusalem

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    She may have brought a message of American goodwill toward Muslims, but Laura Bush spent a potential high point of her Middle East tour fending off protests from Palestinians angered by U.S. policies -- and from Israelis, too.

    After arriving from Jordan, the first lady toured...

  • Ex-Israel President Weizman Dies at 80

    April 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    He was the ultimate Israeli high-flier, literally as well as metaphorically, shepherding and shaping the Jewish state through war and peace with a singular, sometimes mordant charm.
    And although Ezer Weizman, who died Sunday at 80, ended his public career tainted by scandal,...

  • High Court Recognizes ‘Leaping Converts’

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    After 22 years of living as an Israeli, Justina Hilaria Chipana can finally consider herself a full-fledged member of the Jewish state.

    The 50-year-old native of Peru was one of 17 petitioners who won High Court of Justice recognition of their non-Orthodox conversions to...

  • Jewish Groups Join Quake Relief Efforts

    December 30, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    For thousands of young Israelis, the sun-drenched archipelagos of Southeast Asia were the perfect destination to forget the rigors of military service.

    But this week, that post-Zionist nirvana became a nightmare. The tsunami that swept India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the...

  • Abbas Gaining in Bid to Succeed Arafat

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    With a patient realpolitik, not to mention the tacit approval of Israel and the United States, Mahmoud Abbas is inching toward the Palestinian leadership.

    A poll of West Bank and Gaza Strip residents released Sunday found that a plurality of Palestinians, 41 percent, support Abbas'...

  • Where Are Arafat’s Millions?

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    With Yasser Arafat's burial, he took with him one of the enduring secrets of the Palestinian regime -- the whereabouts of a missing fortune in ill-gotten public funds.

    Ranked sixth on Forbes magazine's 2003 list of "the richest kings, queens and despots," with an estimated private...

  • Idea of Israeli-Syrian Tie in Killing Grows

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The notion of an Israeli-Syrian alliance against terror may strike some as ludicrous, but after the killing of a Hamas mastermind this week in Damascus, that idea is gaining traction.

    Hamas called Sunday's killing of Izzadin Sheik Khalil a "despicable crime" and blamed it on the...

  • Some Gaza Settlers Weigh Kibbutz Move

    September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    For the settlers of the Gaza Strip, the left-leaning kibbutzim just over the border with Israel proper are, politically speaking, a world apart.

    But as Knesset ratification of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip looms, some Gaza settlers are exploring the...

  • Israel, Russia Sign Memo on Terrorism

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Israel has a new, if somewhat reluctant, partner in the war on terror: Russia. Reeling from the loss of at least 335 of its citizens, roughly half of them children, at the hands of Chechen terrorists, Moscow signed a security cooperation memorandum with Jerusalem on Monday, despite a...

  • Windsurfer Wins Israel’s First Gold Medal

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Television and radio stations in Israel cut away from their mid-day programming. News Web sites were updated faster than even the nimblest of fingers could press "refresh."

    It wasn't another terrorist attack in Israel, but some good news for a change: On Wednesday, the Jewish state...

  • Bombing Adds Insult to Ruling on Fence

    July 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The International Court of Justice may have ruled it illegal, but Israel's West Bank security barrier has at least one new supporter.

    For Sammy Masrawa, it was more baptism by fire than conversion, after Masrawa witnessed a bombing that killed an Israeli woman and wounded at least...

  • Naomi Shemer, Israeli Folk Musician, Dies at 74

    July 1, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It was a sign of folk singer Naomi Shemer's importance to Israel's national psyche that her death relegated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the inside pages of the nation's newspapers.

    Saturday's death of Shemer, at the age of 74 from cancer, spurred Israeli Prime Minister Ariel...

  • Is Gaza Becoming the Next Lebanon?

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It was a loss that brought back the darkest days of Israel's war on Palestinian terrorism and the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon -- and the next day it got even worse.

    Six elite soldiers of the Givati Brigade, on their way home from a mission to destroy arms factories in...

  • Vanunu: Hero or Traitor?

    April 22, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    With his face turned away, the white-bearded vendor shuffles haplessly around his Beersheba market stall. Then something in him snaps and, cursing, he shoves the cameraman, who backs off.

    The shot that opens the Israeli documentary, "Who Are You, Mordechai Vanunu?" shows the...

  • Israel Swaps With Hezbollah

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Free at last, but at what price? That was the question on some Israelis' minds over the weekend after a German mediator helped seal the deal on a long-awaited prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia group.

    Barring last-minute delays, an Israeli businessman...

  • Hamas Returns to Terror in Gaza

    January 15, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    In dying, Reem al-Reyashi dealt a double blow: to Israelis who hoped Hamas had decided to show restraint and to fellow Palestinians quietly earning a living in one of the few places where Israeli-Palestinian cooperation still thrives.

    Reyashi, a 22-year-old mother of two and the...

  • Controversy Erupts in Shooting at Fence

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Talk about trading places. Last month, Gil Na'amati finished his three-year stint of compulsory military service after serving in Israel's artillery corps and spending time operating in the West Bank. Now the 22-year-old kibbutznik is the poster boy for Palestinian grievances against...

  • Capture Stirs Mixed Mideast Reactions

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    After surviving the Holocaust and five Middle East wars, Ze'ev is a hard man to impress. But news of Saddam Hussein's capture Sunday managed to move the Israeli retiree to tears.

    "It is good to see Israel a little bit safer," Ze'ev said in his hometown of Ramat Gan, as footage of...

  • Israeli Airstrikes Up Ante in Gaza

    October 23, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A picture may be worth a thousand words -- but not, it seems, when it comes to settling rival accounts of Middle East bloodshed.

    The Israel Air Force's (IAF) decision Tuesday, Sept. 21, to release classified footage of a series of anti-terrorist airstrikes in the Gaza Strip did...

  • Gaza Terrorists Target Americans

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Any doubts about the close link between the war on terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have gone the way of a U.S. jeep loaded with diplomats on a dusty Gaza highway.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's roadside bombing, which killed three...

  • Attack Forces Israel to Strike at Syria

    October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    This week's Israeli airstrike on an Islamic Jihad training camp near Damascus, which followed the group's deadly suicide bombing in Haifa on Saturday, was a sign to the Arab world that Israel will not be constrained by borders when it comes to the war on terrorism.

    The attack came...

  • Bombings Damage Peace Plan Further

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Israel had feared an outbreak of terror attacks this week after its failed airstrike against the founder of Hamas and the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

    The fears soon came true.

    Two suicide bombings struck the Jewish State Tuesday, killing at...