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Jewish Journal

Leslie Susser

  • Will Bibi’s Speech Be Enough for U.S., Palestinians?

    June 17, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    After two months of intense American pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally uttered the magic words: two states for two peoples.

    “In my peace vision, there are two free peoples living together side by side in our small land, with good neighborly relations and...

  • Early Signs: Netanyahu Shakes Things Up

    April 9, 2009 | 1:36 am

    As the new Netanyahu government gets rolling, the early signs are that there will be significant changes in foreign policy. The Likud leader has strongly signaled that he intends to be more proactive in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and has withdrawn his predecessor’s...

  • Bibi Faces Moment of Truth

    March 4, 2009 | 3:15 am

    Pressed to take a firm stand on the two-state solution, Benjamin Netanyahu’s moment of truth may have come sooner than he wanted.

    Despite strong international and domestic pressure, Israel’s prime minister-designate is refusing to come out in support of the idea of two states...

  • Israeli Polls Point to Decisive Win for Right

    February 4, 2009 | 4:36 am

    If the polls are right, the outcome of next Tuesday’s Israeli election is a foregone conclusion. Not only does Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud seem bound to emerge as the largest single party, but the bloc of right-wing and religious parties that it leads seems certain to garner a...

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  • Netanyahu Holds Big Lead in Prime Minister Race Polls

    February 2, 2009 | 5:58 pm

    On the fourth day of the recent war in Gaza, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu hurried from one Jerusalem studio to another, doing more than a dozen TV interviews with networks from Hong Kong to New York within the space of 12 hours.

    In each case, Netanyahu asked the host from...

  • Did Israel Win the War?

    January 22, 2009 | 3:10 pm

    With a cease-fire in place, Israelis are asking whether the 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza achieved its aims.

    The government argues that the overwhelming victory in the field will advance what was Operation Cast Lead’s primary goal: bringing a long period of quiet to civilians...

  • Fighting Stirs Up Problems for Egypt, Benefits Iran

    January 14, 2009 | 1:59 pm

    With Israel’s war in Gaza in its third week, it’s clear the outcome could have far-reaching regional implications.

    If the operation against Hamas is successful, Israel will have struck a blow against the region’s radical anti-Western, Iran-led axis. But scores of angry...

  • Diplomats seek cease-fire as Gaza fighting rages [VIDEO]

    January 7, 2009 | 7:03 pm


    Military Editor of the Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Katz, discusses Israel's strategic perspectives

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- In the second week of the war in Gaza, with Israeli ground troops poised to intensify their actions against Hamas militants, weapons stores and rocket-launching sites,...
  • Analysis: Israel seeks to change rules of the game with Gaza assault

    December 29, 2008 | 7:17 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's retaliation against persistent Hamas mortar and rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel was far more ferocious than anyone, including Hamas, expected.

    The first three days of intensive Israel Air Force bombing in Gaza reduced hundreds of Hamas...

  • Analysis: New Hamas Gaza rocket attacks pose dilemma for Israel

    December 25, 2008 | 11:55 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The renewal of intense Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas has put Israelis in a somber mood during the usually festive week of Chanukah.

    The new fighting erupted Friday -- the day a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired and the Islamist...

  • Analysis: Unchecked settler violence sparks fears of new intifada

    December 11, 2008 | 12:31 am

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Concerned by settler violence against Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered Israeli security forces to apply a zero-tolerance policy toward extremist settlers.

    Olmert and the country's top security officials fear that unchecked...

  • Analysis: Mumbai attacks mean new challenges for Israel

    December 4, 2008 | 12:53 am

    ALTTEXTChabad men mourn near the bodies of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivkah, 28. Photo by Brian Hendler/JTA


    Israel may consider beefing up security at hundreds of Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world in the wake of the terrorist attack at the Chabad center in...

  • Israel facing grim threat assessment for 2009

    November 26, 2008 | 5:24 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Delivering a grim threat assessment for 2009, the Israeli National Security Council (NSC) said that Israel in 2009 may well find itself alone, facing Iran on the threshold of nuclear power, fighting rocket attacks on two fronts and without a Palestinian partner for...
  • ANALYSIS: Livni’s failure to build coalition could help or hurt in new elections

    October 27, 2008 | 5:38 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—With Israel now headed for new general elections probably some time early next year, supporters and opponents of Tzipi Livni are putting a very different gloss on her failure to form a governing coalition.

    Opponents say Livni’s inability shows she is not yet...

  • Israel eyes regional peace push, prepares for U.S. talks with Iran

    October 23, 2008 | 1:08 am

    With the governments in Washington and Jerusalem set to change, Israeli leaders are reassessing policy in two key areas: Middle East peacemaking and Iran.

    On peacemaking, both President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are coming out strongly in favor of a new regional...

  • Akko riots expose Israel’s Arab-Jewish tinderbox

    October 13, 2008 | 2:45 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—The rioting in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Akko, which erupted after an Arab man drove through a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, shows just how combustible Arab-Jewish relations in Israel are.

    Yet after four successive nights of clashes, in which rampaging...

  • Anger greets Olmert’s concessions on Golan, West Bank, Iran

    October 6, 2008 | 7:32 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—A Rosh Hashanah-eve interview in which outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel should give up the Golan Heights for peace with Syria and nearly all of the West Bank for peace with the Palestinians has sparked a political storm in Israel.

    Prime...

  • Can Livni form a coalition or are elections next?

    September 25, 2008 | 12:37 am

    With her primary victory in hand, prime minister-designate Tzipi Livni now has six weeks to form a government and stave off new elections. Theoretically, if she cannot form a government, President Shimon Peres could give someone else a chance before calling an election.

    But there is...

  • Tzipi Livni wins Kadima contest—now the real work begins

    September 17, 2008 | 7:35 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA) - With her decisive win in the Kadima party primary on Wednesday, Tzipi Livni's next major task will be assembling a coalition government so she can become prime minister.

    Then all she'll have on her plate is figuring out how to arrest the threat to Israel from Iran,...

  • ANALYSIS: Livni leads in polls, but Israel’s political map is unclear

    September 8, 2008 | 8:22 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—With the Kadima leadership primary just days away, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni looks like a sure winner.

    The latest opinion poll shows her 20 percentage points ahead of her closest rival in the contest that could produce Israel’s next prime minister.

    The Sept. 17...

  • Political realities may doom Olmert’s peace push

    September 3, 2008 | 7:27 pm

    With his Kadima Party just weeks away from electing a new leader, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making a concerted last-ditch effort to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

    Olmert has drawn up a detailed peace offer and presented it to U.S. and Palestinian leaders. After...

  • Will new ‘Cold War’ play out in Middle East?

    August 27, 2008 | 5:12 pm

    When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert goes to Moscow next month, his first order of business will be to make sure the Russians don't sell sophisticated new weaponry to Syria that could alter the military status quo in the Middle East.

    Last week, Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Russia...

  • Israeli policy headed for radical changes in post-Olmert era

    August 5, 2008 | 4:46 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s decision to resign after a new Kadima Party leader is elected in September has opened up the possibility of radical new directions in Israeli policy.

    As of now Olmert has four potential successors, since Kadima’s new leader may not be...

  • Viewing the truce from many sides

    June 23, 2008 | 9:47 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israeli strategic thinkers are deeply divided over the implications of the truce between Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas fundamentalists. But whatever their perspective, most agree that it could have a profound impact on the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

    ...
  • Cease-fire with Hamas appears imminent

    June 17, 2008 | 3:51 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—A six-month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, due to go into effect Thursday, could help create conditions for wider peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians.

    But there are two huge potential stumbling blocks: Israeli generals doubt whether the “tahadiyeh,”...

  • Will ‘President Obama’ be good for Israel?

    June 8, 2008 | 1:01 am

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Although Israeli officialdom is not commenting on the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency, in private some officials in Jerusalem are expressing mixed feelings about the prospect.

    There are concerns in some government quarters that Obama (D-Ill.), the...

  • All signs point to Olmert’s ouster

    June 2, 2008 | 2:46 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—The media and the political establishment in Israel already have decided: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is through.

    The cover on Ma’ariv’s weekend political magazine shows a framed portrait of a sad-looking Olmert on the wall of a government office with the caption...

  • U.S., Iran are obstacles in new Israel-Syria talks

    May 28, 2008 | 10:54 pm

    In their sixth major peacemaking effort since the unsuccessful 1991 Madrid peace conference, Israeli and Syrian negotiators face even tougher challenges than their failed predecessors.

    All the old questions -- borders, security arrangements, the nature of the peace, water, the...

  • Bush’s Mideast trip fails to advance his promises

    May 22, 2008 | 11:00 am

    After major speeches in the Knesset and at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, President Bush left the Middle East Sunday with little to show for advancing America’s strategic goals in the region.

    Israeli and Arab pundits alike pointed to a large gap between America’s words...

  • Probe of Olmert could derail peace process

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The corruption investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which is threatening to bring down the Israeli government, potentially may have far-reaching consequences for Middle East peacemaking.

    The contours of the probe against Olmert are still unclear. After questioning Olmert and...

  • Livni asks Arab moderates for help with peace process

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni flew to the Qatari capital of Doha in the Persian Gulf this week with an ambitious goal: changing moderate Arab attitudes toward Israel.

    Livni hoped to convince the Persian Gulf states and other Arab moderates that they and Israel should be on the...

  • Rice presses, Israel eases up on Palestinians

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    For the first time since the Annapolis peace parley last November, the United States is leaning heavily on Israel to move ahead in peacemaking with the Palestinians.

    This week, on her second visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas in a month, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza...

  • Cheney talks Iran in Israel; U.S. strike seen as remote

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    With U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in Israel this week talking about Iran, the big question was whether President Bush would be willing to use military force in the waning days of his presidency to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.

    The answer from most Israeli intelligence...

  • Israel faces grim intelligence estimate

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Last week�(tm)s terrorist attack at a Jerusalem yeshiva and the new Israeli national intelligence assessment presented to the Cabinet on Sunday underscore the acute security problems Israel faces this year and beyond.

    The terrorist shooting spree in the Mercaz Harav yeshiva,...

  • Israel weighs novel ideas to counter Hamas rockets

    March 8, 2008 | 5:00 pm


    Video from Israel reports on February rocket attacks


    With Israel still facing Hamas rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip following the end of the army's limited ground operation there, the Israeli government is considering stronger follow-up measures.

    The Hamas rocket problem became...

  • Arab League could back off ‘two-state’ solution

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Irked by the slow rate of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, major Arab players are threatening to withdraw their offer to normalize ties with Israel once a Palestinian state is established.

    Underlying the Arab reassessment is a deeper problem: Arab belief in the viability...

  • Threats from Hezbollah lead to new war fears

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm


    Independent TV report reviews reactions to the assassination


    In the wake of last week's assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, there are fears in the region that a massive attack by Hezbollah against Israeli interests could spark a new Middle East war.

    Although Israel denies...

  • As Gaza strikes Sderot again and again, Israel weighs attack options

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm


    Raw video footage just in from Sderot


    After a Qassam rocket attack seriously injured two brothers in the Israeli border town of Sderot, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert again came under intense pressure to launch a major military strike against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    Israeli media,...

  • Barak stays after Winograd Report, Olmert survives

    February 7, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    After the long-awaited final report of the Winograd Commission of inquiry into the Second Lebanon War was published last week, all eyes turned toward Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    Barak, the Labor Party leader, was the one man whose withdrawal of his party from the governing...

  • Israeli strategists weigh Gaza options

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    The collapse of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has done much more than break Israel's siege of the Hamas-run strip. It also has opened up new, far-reaching strategic options for Israel while exposing it to grave new dangers.

    Some strategists say Israel should use...

  • Bush’s Arab world tour significant for Israel

    January 17, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    With its focus on strengthening the moderate Arab coalition against Iran, President Bush's tour of the Persian Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and Egypt could prove extremely significant for Israel.

    From an Israeli perspective, the three key elements were isolating Iran, coaxing...

  • U.S. report on Iran forces Israel to alter strategy

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    After the shock of last week's U.S. intelligence estimate that found that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Israel is reshaping its Iran strategy.

    Israel essentially is arguing that the U.S. assessment is dangerously misleading and that Tehran is as determined as ever...

  • Annapolis is over—now it’s bargaining time

    December 6, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    After the pomp and circumstance of Annapolis, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are gearing up for tough bargaining over the minutiae of a two-state settlement.

    Not only will they have to agree on core issues like borders between Israel and a Palestinian state, but they'll also...

  • Will Annapolis momentum spur a regional thaw?

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas may have bridged the necessary gaps to issue a joint commitment to pursue peace, but their words in Annapolis revealed the substantial distance they have yet to travel.

    President Bush announced the hoped-for agreement early in the day on Tuesday, saying...

  • Prospects for results from Annapolis seem dim

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Days away from the Annapolis peace parley, the glaring weaknesses of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are raising significant questions about the long-term viability of the renewed peace process and the consequences of failure.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who may have...

  • With Pakistan in turmoil, Israel keeps eye on nukes

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    With the pro-U.S. regime of Pervez Musharraf in crisis following the Pakistani president's move to suspend his country's constitution and scuttle planned parliamentary elections, Israel is watching the developments with great concern.

    The turmoil in Pakistan presents Israel with...

  • Can Olmert and Abbas deliver at high-stakes Annapolis summit?

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    In the final run-up to the Annapolis peace parley, leaders on all sides are emphasizing the burning need for success and the potentially huge price of failure. Although the focus is on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all the main players see it as only a small part of a much bigger...
  • Israel cuts power and fuel to Gaza in bid to stop rocket attacks

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Critics may be describing Israel's controversial policy of cutting fuel supplies to Gaza to deter Palestinian rocket attacks as collective punishment, but government leaders in Jerusalem see it as something else: humane.

    In the face of unceasing rocket attacks on Israeli towns,...

  • Israel pushes world-wide diplomatic offensive to stop Iran

    October 25, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In a major policy change, Israel has launched a high-profile diplomatic initiative to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions following President Bush's warning that a nuclear Iran could produce World War III.

    Over the last several days, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert embarked on whirlwind...

  • Israel’s Arab neighbors may hold key to summit’s success

    October 18, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    As the Annapolis peace parley rapidly approaches, some of the Arab and Muslim players expected to play a key role in creating conditions for a favorable outcome are proving to be more of an obstacle than an asset.

    Egypt, Syria and Turkey have been complicating efforts to hold what...