The rampant factionalism and firecracker unpredictability that marks Israeli politics these days came visiting Los Angeles last weekend.
More than 300 people left their cozy Sunday morning behind to participate in the all-day conference, "Israel: 1999 and Beyond," sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' Jewish Community Relations Committee along with the Jewish Community Foundation. Although aimed at the twenty- and thirtysomething crowd, the conference attracted a wide range of people, from college students to senior citizens. Wider still was the range of topics and diverse viewpoints explored, from Orthodox hawks to Peace Now doves.
The event got off to a rousing start with a panel discussion that featured Judith Miller of The New York Times, Jonathan Rosenblum of the Jerusalem Post, Stuart Schoffman of the Jerusalem Report, Ha'aretz's David Makovsky, and Rabbi Yedidya Atlas, senior correspondent for Israel National Radio and former consultant on Diaspora affairs for the chief rabbinate of Israel.