A surge in violence this week cost more than two dozen Israelis their lives -- and put Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's political life increasingly at peril.
The future of Yasser Arafat -- or of the Middle East without him -- is shaping up as the key agenda item when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets President George W. Bush in Washington next week.
This week, as Clinton visited Israel for the first time since leaving office, the vision of a "New Middle East" that developed under his watch appeared little more than a pipe dream.
Trick or treat? That slightly out-of-season challenge reflects Israeli reaction to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's dramatic call on his people for "a complete stop to all armed activities, especially the suicide attacks."
While the world is not yet writing off Arafat, Israelis on all points of the political spectrum seem to feel it is both legitimate and practical to debate the prospect of Arafat's possible -- and perhaps imminent -- removal from power.
Yasser Arafat faces what may be his final chance to draw back from the brink of all-out war.
Israel this week is weighing the interim results of the largest military operation it has mounted during the past 13 months of violence. The balance is complex, informed observers say, with both pros and cons. Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops and tanks pulled back from Bethlehem and neighboring Beit Jalla, just south of Jerusalem, overnight Sunday, after a day in which Palestinians desisted from shooting at the nearby Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
As the week began, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon resolved to confront his old friend Rechavam Ze'evi, minister of tourism and leader of the National Unity faction, who had been urging the premier to get much tougher with the Palestinians.
Sharon had just ordered the army out of Palestinian sections of the West Bank city of Hebron, occupied a week earlier to prevent gunmen from shooting at Jewish residents. In response, Ze'evi and his seven-member National Unity-Israel, Our Home bloc threatened to secede from the government.
It is too early to tell whether the long-awaited and controversial meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat will produce a true cease-fire and a resumption of peace negotiations between the two sides.
Israel's civilian and military authorities swung into full alert after the magnitude of the terror attacks against the United States became apparent.
As Israeli opposition leader Yossi Sarid noted this week, the slide into war often happens despite the fact that no one intends or wishes it.
As the Al-Aksa Intifada entered its 12th month this week with a new and ominous surge in the level of violence, Israelis are beginning to wonder if the "smell of war," as Sarid wrote, indeed is in the air.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policy of "no talks under fire" is increasingly coming under fire within Israel.
The analysts believe Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's immediate aim is to use the "religion card" to convene yet another Arab summit meeting.
After Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah Party took credit for murdering two Israelis this week in drive-by shootings, Sharon found himself under intense pressure from his right wing to stop complying with Israel's end of the cease-fire and to unleash a punishing -- perhaps even mortal -- blow to Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
Lurching wildly from disaster to miraculous salvation to more death and mayhem, emotionally drained Israelis watched with little optimism this week as a new American peace envoy tried to offer hope in the eight-months-old violence with the Palestinians.
For those worried about the credibility of Israeli deterrence, the Israel Defense Force this week delivered an unmistakable message to Syria that it is willing to fight.
Six months into the Palestinian uprising, Israeli doves and hawks are displaying a rare unity in the face of repeated Palestinian onslaughts.
Israel seemed to be holding its breath this week in the wake of three Palestinian attacks.
The public bloodletting that the Labor Party presented to the Israeli public this week has exposed the depth of disarray and confusion on the Israeli left following Prime Minister Ehud Barak's massive defeat at the polls.
A national unity government appears increasingly likely as envoys from the Likud and Labor parties work to overcome some snags in negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon may find that the worst thing about his landslide victory Tuesday over incumbent Ehud Barak was precisely his 25-point margin of victory.
Just 18 months after Benjamin Netanyahu was voted out of office, public opinion polls show that he would decimate Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a head-to-head contest -- if Netanyahu can only get around the legal obstacles to his candidacy.
If Prime Minister Ehud Barak achieves a deal with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, he may yet pull back from the brink of political defeat and win the election.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Ariel Sharon are trying to get their respective parties to join a national unity government before the Knesset begins its winter session Monday.
Humankind has proved itself almost infinitely resilient in its ability to, if not forgive, then at least put out of mind terrible atrocities and acts of cruelty perpetrated in wartime.
As leaders of the world community try to bring the Middle East back from the brink of war, Prime Minister Ehud Barak is facing a mounting political challenge to get tougher with the Arabs both inside and outside Israel.
On the very cusp of a historic peace agreement, the two nations seem to have flung themselves backward into the blood and strife of the past.
The two events that dominated the news in Israel during 5760 both divided the nation and brought it together: the peace process and the Lebanon withdrawal.
The battle lines between Orthodox and secular Israelis were drawn sharper than ever this week.
As Prime Minister Ehud Barak engages this week in Middle East summitry, there is one issue on which he can afford to make the fewest concessions: Jerusalem.
Hours before Albright arrived Tuesday, Arafat made it clear that he would make no new concessions in the talks aimed at reaching a final peace accord. The preceding day, he repeatedly said there is no point to holding the summit now.
Israel came close to witnessing the collapse of a government this week. The crisis came after months of fighting between two of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's coalition partners, the fervently Orthodox Shas Party and the secular Meretz Party.
The coincidence could hardly have been lost on Ehud Barak: As President Hafez Assad was laid to rest in Syria, Israel's Shas Party appeared to lay the premier's "peace coalition" to rest.The fervently Orthodox party's Council of Sages, headed by spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, sounded what could be the first notes of the prime minister's coalition's death knell Tuesday. The council ordered Shas ministers to hand in their resignations at Sunday's Cabinet meeting.
I never expected I'd write a first-hand account of my journey into interfaith marriage. As a child I attended the West Coast Talmudic Seminary (WCTS) and then Rambam Torah Institute for high school. As a teenager, my social life centered around my involvement in B'nai Akiva, an Orthodox Zionist youth organization. My parents, Holocaust survivors, never forced me to attend these yeshivas.
Surfacing this week, the Mordechai affair deals Barak's motley coalition another awkward blow.
Sheri Schrier got the idea to do Happy Hats for Kids in 1991 after losing her father, grandmother and younger brother to cancer.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has placed his latest bet in the strange and frustrating poker game between Israel and Syria.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his closest political allies have been scrambling to limit the damage to their government following a scathing report on the financing behind Barak's election campaign last year.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not waste any time bemoaning Syria's decision to postpone indefinitely the next round of peace talks.
The interviewer's question to Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Israeli television over the weekend was clearly one Barak would have preferred to do without.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak's cozy late-night dinner with Yasser Arafat and some of the Palestinian leaders' top aides at a private home near Tel Aviv came as a pleasant surprise to Middle East peace watchers.
Will 5759 be remembered as a year of radical change in the course and direction of Israel's history, or merely as a year when the government changed hands after an election and life went on much as it did before?
Joy pervaded the Knesset last week as news spread that a report of legislator Amnon Rubinstein's death was untrue.
The rejoicing provided testimony to the respect and affection felt for Rubinstein, who was very much alive in a hospital after suffering a minor stroke.
As the deadline draws ever closer for Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak to present his government for Knesset approval, his coalition negotiations are taking some surprising turns.
As the election dust settles and coalition-building tensions grow, religion is emerging as the single most dominant factor in Israel's current political cataclysm.
Pundits everywhere are calling Israel's election results a "political earthquake." In fact, though, two distinct tremors have overturned the rules and realities that have governed the Jewish state and its policy-making these past three years.
While Israel reformed its formerly British-based system to allow for the direct election of the prime minister for the first time in the 1996 elections, it has still retained much of the British doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty.