Jewish Journal

Gil Sedan

  • Violent Crime Rises in Israeli Society

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "Suddenly, I receive a telephone call: My brother, Avinoam, is dead. 'Impossible,' I say to myself: 'Avinoam, my kid brother, murdered?'"

    It was a lovely April day when the young couple went down to the popular Nirvana beach in Haifa with their two dogs for a stroll and a cup of...

  • Conspiracy Theories on Arafat Death Rise

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    A year after Yasser Arafat's death, Palestinians are developing a new myth around their historic leader: Arafat did not die from natural causes but was murdered, most likely by Israel.

    Now an Israeli Arab politician has joined the conspiracy bandwagon.

    "I am confident that Arafat's...

  • Delegation: Improve Israeli Arabs’ Status

    October 20, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    A small group of American Jewish leaders that came to Israel recently is determined to put the issue of Israel's Arab minority higher on the American Jewish agenda.

    In an interview at a Haifa hotel, Rabbi Brian Lurie of San Francisco, the force behind the initiative, spoke calmly...

  • Evacuees Face Life of Uncertainties

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Shlomi Tabach was trying to pry the bronze mezuzah off his front doorpost with pliers, but it wouldn't budge.

    "Look at that. The mezuzah doesn't want to leave. It wants to stay in Gush Katif," said Tabach's mother-in-law, Yaffa Michaeli, referring to the main Jewish settlement bloc...

  • Hezbollah Faces Identity Crisis

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Hezbollah's most valuable asset in Lebanon's election campaign is none other than its historic foe, Israel.

    On the eve of elections, scheduled to begin May 29, Hezbollah is trying to retain its pose as the ultimate guardian of Lebanese interests vis-á-vis Israel, stoking a flare-up...

  • Israel Assesses Syrian Withdrawal

    May 5, 2005 | 8:00 pm

  • Hamas Adopts New Tactic: Political Role

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    Hamas, the Muslim fundamentalist movement and Palestinian terrorist organization, may soon become a decisive force not only in the struggle against Israel but in the Palestinian political establishment.

    For the first time in Palestinian political history, Hamas will participate...

  • Abbas Tries to Prove His Strength

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    Four months after he was elected president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas is fighting for his political life -- and possibly for the survival of the peace process.

    Last week, Abbas fought off militants' attempts to challenge the authority of the Palestinian...

  • Assad Faces Trouble on All Fronts

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    Syrian President Bashar Assad is confused and worried. The heat is on, and it's not clear he can take it.

    Israel points a menacing finger at Syria for hosting terrorists, accusing it of enabling last Friday's deadly terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which has been blamed on the...

  • Assad Faces Trouble on All Fronts

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    Syrian President Bashar Assad is confused and worried. The heat is on, and it's not clear he can take it.

    Israel points a menacing finger at Syria for hosting terrorists, accusing it of enabling last Friday's deadly terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which has been blamed on the...

  • Druse Riot Against Christian Neighbors

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    Never before had the small church in the Galilee village of Mughar held so many important visitors as it did recently. Even the Vatican's representative in Israel, Monsignor Pietro Sambi, was there.

    But it was not a celebration that brought them together Sunday; on the contrary,...

  • After 10 Years, a Separate Peace

    October 28, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Ten years ago this week, in the midst of a desert storm in the Arava Valley, the late King Hussein of Jordan and the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel signed a peace accord ushering in an era of hope that relations between the neighbors would become a model for a new Middle...

  • Bloody Cycle Marks 4th Year of Intifada

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Four years ago this week, all hell broke loose in Israel. Palestinians and Israelis, who for almost a decade seemed on the verge of historic reconciliation, turned in opposite directions -- killing each other, hating each other and losing hope.

    Who is winning this intifada? Who is...

  • Will Gaza Pullout Bring Civil Strife?

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel's national discourse was dominated by talk of potential civil war, but few of those talking dared define the possible dimensions of such a conflict.

    Would it mean confrontations between soldiers and civilians? Would it be limited to the...

  • Groundwork Laid to Evacuate Gaza

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Despite political hurdles, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is forging ahead with his Gaza disengagement plan, giving various government agencies the green light to prepare for the evacuation of settlers -- using both carrots and sticks.

    Even as Israeli police begin laying the...

  • Court Case Could Be Key to Trying Arafat

    May 27, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When Israeli authorities chose to put Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti on trial in a criminal court, rather than a military court, prosecutors may have set the stage for an even bigger prize: Yasser Arafat.

    That possibility was given a boost last week with Barghouti's conviction on...

  • Sheik Yassin and Me

    March 25, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    As a journalist, I met Sheik Ahmed Yassin twice during my visits to the Gaza Strip. The first time was when I attended a military court hearing in 1984, when Yassin was sentenced to 13 years in prison for anti-Israel activities.

    Only a year later Yassin was released in a...

  • Reactions Mixed to Gaza Pullout Plan

    February 12, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Ten years ago, if the Palestinians had been told that Ariel Sharon, father of the Israeli settlement movement, would be offering a near-complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, most probably would have rejoiced at the prospect.

    However, when the Israeli prime minister dropped that...

  • Is P.A. Taking Steps Against Terror?

    August 28, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Israel is skeptical about the Palestinian Authority's tentative measures against terrorism -- and is following up by conducting anti-terror operations of its own.

    Both Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Israel's army chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon, said this week that the...

  • Jerusalem Bombing Shatters Cease-Fire

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Yehuda Meshi-Zahav was checking the bodies lying on the pavement next to the bus destroyed in yet another suicide bombing, when he heard a baby crying.

    Meshi-Zahav, the head of ZAKA -- the ultra-Orthodox organization that collects victims' body parts after terrorist attacks -- found...

  • Suicide Bombings Threaten Cease-Fire

    August 14, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The suicide bombings that hit Israel this week shattered the relative calm that had taken hold in Israel and the West Bank this summer. How they will affect the cease-fire declared by Palestinian terrorist groups and implementation of the "road map" peace plan is anybody's guess.


  • No One Spared

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Last Friday on the way to work from Pisgat Ze'ev, my home neighborhood in Jerusalem, I noticed an armed guard standing by bus stop Number 6. At last, I said to myself, people can board a bus in Jerusalem with a sense of security. Two days later, a suicide bomber managed to board bus...

  • The Party Line

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Nearly 30 political parties are vying in Israel's Jan. 28 general elections.

    According to the latest polls, about 15 parties stand a chance of getting at least 1.5 percent of the vote, the threshold for getting at least one of the Knesset's 120 seats.

    Following is a guide to the...

  • Tel Aviv Bombing Lets Arafat Off Hook

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The bombs that ripped through crowds of Israelis and foreign workers in Tel Aviv this weekend may have saved Yasser Arafat from making some tough decisions.

    Internal and external pressures have been building on Arafat to allow comprehensive reforms of the Palestinian Authority --...

  • ‘Dreamers’ Still Hold Hope for Peace

    December 19, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Sometimes, they say, hope shines brightest in the darkest hours. Palestinians and Israelis have never been further apart in the past decade, with nearly 3,000 people killed in the two years of the Palestinian intifada.

    Yet "the dreamers," as some call them, are still busy preparing...

  • Scandal Erupts Over Secret Arafat Funds

    December 12, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Those inclined to look on the bright side might say that Israeli-Palestinian cooperation is alive and kicking: Israelis and Palestinians allegedly joined ranks to make big money, until one of them woke up with a bad conscience.

    The joint venture in question began in February 1997,...

  • The Turn to Civil War

    October 17, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Some 60 miles southwest of Yasser Arafat's besieged Ramallah headquarters, supporters of the Palestinian Authority president are engaged in another confrontation. The new front is not against Israel, but against their Palestinian brethren -- Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip, who...

  • Terrorists in Old City

    August 29, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Since the intifada began two years ago, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert had boasted that Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem had opted to stay out of the violence for fear of losing Israeli social service benefits.

    With the recent arrest of an East Jerusalem terrorist cell deemed...

  • The Hunger Question

    August 15, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "We will never go hungry," Ahmad Zughayer boasted as a truck from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) unloaded sacks of flour, sugar, oil, rice and milk powder in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus.

    "We will never go hungry, but not for the reason you think," he...

  • Palestinians Spin Speech

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat chose to view President George W. Bush's speech in the most positive light, rejecting the call for his ouster and focussing instead on the promise for a state.

    On Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority announced plans to hold presidential and...

  • Whispers of Dissent in the Air

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    With the monthlong Israeli siege over, life seems to be returning to normal in Ramallah -- but beneath the surface, Palestinians are questioning their regime in unprecedented ways.

    Dissent, which Palestinians usually keep to themselves because of threats to their livelihood or,...

  • Arafat’s Paper Trail

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    These battleground spoils cannot explode or kill, but Israel considers them important benefits of its military operation in the West Bank: Thousands of documents, pamphlets and posters that provide written evidence of the Palestinian Authority's massive involvement in terrorism. The...

  • Control Issues

    March 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Suppose for a second that Israel strikes a cease-fire deal with Yasser Arafat. Would the Palestinian Authority president be able to deliver? Arafat himself may not know for sure, as the extent of control he retains over the many military factions he has created or allowed to flourish...

  • Israeli Covenant Seeks Consensus

    January 24, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In Israel, there is nothing like an attempt at national unity to stir up a national controversy.

    The latest such controversy is a 10-article document called "The Kinneret Covenant," designed to find common denominators among different segments in Israeli society -- religious and...

  • Foul Wind From Iran

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Iran has again surfaced on Israeli radar screens as a strategic threat to the Jewish state.

    Israeli officials charged that 50 tons of weapons captured aboard a ship in the Red Sea last week were destined for the Palestinian Authority. The officials also made clear where they thought...

  • Cease-Fire Hangs by Thread

    October 4, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The flimsiest of cease-fires continued in name only last week, as Israelis absorbed two brutal terror attacks and struck back at the Palestinians Authority.

    Even when Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat met last week at the Gaza airport to...

  • Fear Spreads to Israel

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Israel has not been a prime target on Saudi billionaire Osama bin Laden's terrorist agenda, but Israeli officials worry that could soon change.

    Israeli terror experts such as Maj. Gen. Amos Malka, the chief of army intelligence, said recently that bin Laden is gearing up for action...

  • Israelis Debate Extent of Arafat’s Control

    August 2, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli officials once again are debating whether Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat is losing control over his own people.

    The debate harks back to seemingly distant days when the Oslo peace process appeared to be on track but was punctuated by periodic attacks on Israel...

  • Hezbollah Returns

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli security sources are warily considering the possibility that Hezbollah militants in Lebanon will expand their operations into Israel.

    Analysts believe the group is only awaiting a green light from Damascus to launch a new offensive against the Jewish State.


  • Increased Sympathies

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    At noon Tuesday, life among Israel's 1 million Arab citizens came to a standstill.

    For the first time in the history of the state, Arabs in Israel stood up for a moment of silence -- commemorating Al Nakba -- Arabic for "the catastrophe," which is what Palestinians call the 1948...

  • Intifada: No Let-up

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Israel doesn't understand the Palestinians, lamented a former official who has spent years trying to do so, and this is why Israel doesn't know how to deal with them.

    The speaker was Ami Ayalon, until recently the head of the Shin Bet security service, which fights an ongoing war...

  • Coordinating Terrorism

    April 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    As the United States and other Western powers try to reduce Israeli-Palestinian tensions, Iran moved this week to fan the flames.

    In a bid to become the hub for anti-Israel activities, Iran invited Arab terror groups -- including Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad -- to a two-day...

  • Estranged Bedfellows

    March 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Only in Israel would a government minister refrain from singing the national anthem.

    Saleh Tarif, the first Arab appointed to the Cabinet in Israel's history, refused to sing "Hatikvah" during an event at the Tel Aviv fairgrounds at the end of an intensive week of struggle within...

  • Increasing Tensions

    November 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    As the violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enters its second month, there is a growing fear that it will escalate and embroil the entire region.

    "It is absolutely mandatory that this conflict should not turn into an interreligious war," Avishai Braverman, president of Ben-Gurion...

  • Pushing the Limits

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In less than a week, whatever was left of the mutual trust between Israelis and Palestinians appeared to come tumbling down.

    Except for the loss of life, this loss of trust is among the greatest casualties of the past week of bloody rioting.

    And when a Palestinian police officer opened...

  • Assigning Blame

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The catalyst for a spate of violence here may have been an Israeli politician's visit to a Muslim and Jewish holy site, but Israeli officials are holding Palestinian leaders directly responsible for the bloodshed.At least 55 people were killed, mostly Palestinians, in rioting that...
  • Mourning Israel’s Poet

    September 28, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Yehuda Amichai, a world-renowned poet and one of Israel's most famous writers, has died of cancer at the age of 76.

    Amichai, who died last Friday, was known for blending modern ideas with ancient Jewish traditions, as well as his innovative use of Hebrew.

    "He was very Israeli, and at...

  • Getting Ready

    July 20, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    As their leaders are talking peace, many Israelis and Palestinians are preparing for war.They include not only militant Jewish settlers and members of the fundamentalist Palestinian Hamas movement, but also the Israeli army and the troops of Palestinian Authority President Yasser...

  • What’s Happened Since the Handshake?

    September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Six years after the historic Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn, the Palestinians can point to a mixed bag of results from the Oslo peace process.

    Of perhaps most importance to them, the Palestinian people are closer than ever to achieving their goal of statehood.


  • Relief Is in Sight

    September 2, 1999 | 7:59 pm

    A middle-aged man climbed up to the cabin of a crane and drew the operator's attention to a small suitcase on top of a pile of rubble left by last month's killer earthquake in Turkey.

    "Can you get it for me?" he pleaded. "Please, it's very important."

    The huge arm of the crane pulled...

  • Thankful Kosovar Refugees Leave Israel for Home

    July 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Never in his wildest dreams did Astrid Kuci believe that he would fall in love with Israel. In fact, he hardly knew anything about Israel.

    "I used to know that you are a country in the Middle East which is constantly in a state of war with its neighbors. I used to think of you in...

  • What To Do About Kosovo?

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Israelis are divided over NATO's military campaign against Serbia -- and opinions and policy are being informed as much by history and the Holocaust as by current political realities.

    Israeli sympathy for the Serbs, who were fellow victims of the Nazis during World War II, is...