The jailhouse suicide of an Australian immigrant who may have betrayed Israel's Mossad has focused attention on the agency's recruitment of foreign-born Jews who could spy under cover of their native passports.
Although many — perhaps most — members of the Hadassah contingent that flew from Southern California to Israel last week had visited the country before, all called it “the trip of a lifetime.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will address the AIPAC policy conference as speculation grows about how the United States and Israel will tackle Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.
Should Israel Care?
The four pieces addressing the cover story have missed one aspect of the debate ("Why Should Israel Care What We Think About Jerusalem?" Jan. 25). The government of Israel, in making decisions on the fate of Jerusalem, is not operating in a vacuum. It is subject to enormous pressures by the international community that is acting in its own interest.
Almost every Arab country attended the Annapolis conference last November to influence and voice their interest in the ultimate outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and on the issue of Jerusalem. Thus, decisions on the fate of Jerusalem are influenced by a large group of players whose considerations are not always aligned with Israel's.
Jonathan Koch was trying to decide between two pairs of shoes when he happened to notice that one pair was made in Israel. That sealed the deal for him.
Maybe something positive will come out of the current crisis in Israel after all. Perhaps the arrival of many groups from communities all over the world will help further the understanding between Israelis and Diaspora Jews and lead to greater cooperation.
About two weeks ago, I attended a three-day conference in Jerusalem along with more than 3,400 Americans and Canadians and 2,000 Israelis. We North Americans had all made the journey despite State Department warnings that travel in the area was unsafe, in part because of an expected confrontation with Iraq. But when we looked to see how Jerusalemites were reacting to our presence, we discovered that, in general, the Israeli world outside our convention center all but ignored us.
Binyamin Netanyahu's crises never come singly. One, of prime interest to American Jewry, was put on hold this week. Another, which hogged the headlines for Israelis, ended with blood on the saddle.