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  • Kibbutz Camp Offers Hope to Survivors

    By Eric Silver

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In Kibbutz Negba, a dozen Israeli teenagers attending a summer camp in the guesthouses of this Negev kibbutz were asked to model small trees, and then decorate them with photographs of themselves.

    One sculpted a tree that had been struck by lightning and died. Another molded a...

  • by Eric Silver Jerusalem Correspondent

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    If there is one thing Israelis have learned -- from the two and a half years of the present intifada and from all the battles that preceded it over 54 years -- it is that there are no surgical wars.

    You can't wage war without killing and maiming people, soldiers and civilians,...

  • Statesman Abba Eban, Dies at 87

    By Eric Silver

    November 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The maverick Irish writer-politician Connor Cruise O'Brien once celebrated Abba Eban, who died in Tel-Aviv Sunday at the age of 87, as "the most brilliant diplomat of the second half of the 20th century."

    Never daunted by flattery, Eban quipped: "As my mother would have said, 'Who...

  • ‘It Was Chaos’

    By Eric Silver

    August 1, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    David Kosak, a 35-year-old rabbinical student from the University of Judaism, was lunching with classmates at Hebrew University's Frank Sinatra cafeteria on Wednesday when the bomber struck.

    "All of a sudden there was a big explosion, lots of smoke, flaming objects flying in the...

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  • Out of Arafat’s Hands

    By Eric Silver

    July 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    In the reoccupied West Bank town of Hebron, an activist in Yasser Arafat's Al Fatah, a graduate of Israeli prisons, lamented the other day: "I gave up my dream of the whole of Palestine for the sake of the Oslo accord. And what did I get? Corruption, no democracy, security services...

  • Israel Intercepts Arms Shipment

    By Eric Silver

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The capture of a massive Palestinian arms shipment 300 miles down the Red Sea from Eilat has revived Israel's spirit after 15 demoralizing months of intifada mayhem. "This is what we are trained for," exulted a senior security officer. Every-one invoked the 1976 Entebbe rescue of...

  • New Year; Old Problems

    By Eric Silver

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    For Israel and the Palestinians, 2001 was a year of failure, collapse and escalating violence. Failure of international diplomacy, collapse of mutual trust, violence that claimed 200 Israeli lives and 574 Palestinian.

    Miguel Angel Moratinos, the European Union's veteran Middle East...

  • Bombers and the Martyr Syndrome

    By Eric Silver

    December 6, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Palestinian suicide bombers killed a total of 28 bus passengers and young people in a four-day orgy of blood and vengeance that stretched from Haifa and Hadera in the North to Jerusalem in the South.

    The weekend's four human bombs brought to 30 the number of Palestinians who have...

  • Censorship of Dancing Streets

    By Eric Silver

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    After noon prayers in the mosque last Friday, hundreds of Palestinian Muslims marched in triumph through Gaza's Nuseirat refugee camp brandishing portraits of Osama bin Laden, some as big as 15 feet.

    Hamas' anti-American rally was not shown on the world's television screens....

  • Wagner Soap Opera

    By Eric Silver

    July 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    It was meant to be the "not Wagner" concert: Daniel Barenboim, the pride of Israeli music-lovers, conducting his Berlin orchestra, the Staatskapelle, on the last night of this year's Israel Festival. Little did we know.

    The festival had originally announced that the orchestra would...

  • The Violence Heats Up

    By Eric Silver

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The intifada took a fateful stride from popular uprising toward war this week with news that the Palestinians are stockpiling longer-range, more lethal weapons that could threaten Ashkelon and Tel Aviv, as well as paralyzing flights from Ben-Gurion International Airport.

    Israeli...

  • Palestinians Escalate Conflict

    By Eric Silver

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The Palestinian intifada, which began as a civil uprising against the Israeli occupation, is rapidly becoming a low-intensity war between armed forces. And the low intensity is getting higher and higher by the day.

    The conflict escalated on Monday night when Palestinian gunmen lobbed...

  • Changes in Attitude

    By Eric Silver

    April 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    There were more police than customers in Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market last Friday morning, when Jewish families would normally stock up for the weekend. Downtown, the strolling, shopping and coffee-bar crowds had deserted the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall for the fashionable German...

  • Acts of Vengeance

    By Eric Silver

    January 4, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Twenty thousand mourners, seething with anger, followed the bodies of Binyamin and Talia Kahane through downtown Jerusalem to the Givat Shaul cemetery last Sunday night. Most of them were Orthodox yeshiva students, admirers of Meir Kahane, the assassinated founder of the Jewish...

  • Leah’s Legacy

    By Eric Silver

    November 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    After Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated five years ago this month, his wife Leah cast herself as the unforgiving scourge of the Israeli right, which she blamed for fostering the atmosphere in which a Jewish radical, Yigal Amir, pulled the trigger.

    She constantly chastised the West Bank...

  • Mr. Oslo

    By Eric Silver

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Uri Savir may not have won a Nobel Peace Prize, but far more than the three national leaders who did, he is Mr. Oslo. For three long months in 1993, the then director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry sat secretly in the Norwegian capital and hammered out an agreement with the...

  • Yom Kippur II

    By Eric Silver

    October 12, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    I first met Maurice Singer on the far bank of the Suez Canal during the second week of the Yom Kippur War, soon after Israel had counter-attacked across the waterway. The British-born, 28-year-old machine-gunner was grimy and sweating on his clanking, dust-encrusted half-track, the...

  • Two Insults Too Many

    By Eric Silver

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Ovadia Yosef, the Shas spiritual mentor and former Sephardichief rabbi of Israel, is a gold medalist among insulters. The mediahere monitor his Saturday night sermons, broadcast live on Shas's pirateradio station, for his latest news-making tirades.

    Last week the 80-year-old rabbi...

  • After the Summit

    By Eric Silver

    July 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Camp David is dead, long live Camp David. That was the slogan as the despondent, disappointed Israelis left the morning after the Middle East peace summit collapsed in the Maryland presidential retreat."The process is not over," said strategic analyst Yossi Alpher, a former special...

  • Barak’s Gamble

    By Eric Silver

    July 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Camp David summit looks like the boldest gamble by an Israeli leader since the founding father, David Ben-Gurion, declared the Jewish state in May 1948, to the rumble of invading Arab guns and the chattering teeth of his own querulous associates. Ehud Barak flew to the United...

  • Surprised by Assad

    By Gene Lichtenstein

    June 15, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The first report on Assad's death caught me by surprise. It was from Eric Silver, our Jerusalem correspondent (see page 20), and it recounted his interview with the former chief rabbi of Syria, Avraham Hamra, who now lives in Israel.

    Apparently in 1992 Assad had "opened the gates for...

  • Selling AWACS to China

    By Eric Silver

    April 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Chinese President Jiang Zemin donned his black kippah and followed in Pope John Paul II's footsteps to the Western Wall last week, confident that the world's biggest atheistic state would soon receive a $250 million airborne surveillance system from Israel Aircraft Industries on...
  • Dealing With Syria

    By Eric Silver

    March 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    This weekend's Swiss summit between Bill Clinton and Hafez al-Assad is a make-or-break moment in the quest for peace between Syria and Israel. The American president will soon be a lame duck. The septuagenarian Syrian president is sick and eager to hand over the reins to his son,...
  • Remembering Ofra Haza

    By Eric Silver

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    It is hard to write dispassionately about Ofra Haza, the Israeli pop icon who died last week at 41. She sang her fusion of Yemenite folk and '80s beat with intense, unabashed emotion. And she generated emotion in others.

    With her striking, Middle Eastern beauty, she was the sister...

  • The Honeymoon is Over

    By Eric Silver

    February 24, 2000 | 6:59 pm

    Nine months after Ehud Barak took office as "everybody's prime minister," the honeymoon is over -- with his voters, coalition allies and Arab partners in the quest for peace. It is too early to write him off, but the Labor leader can no longer rely on loyalty or goodwill to see him...
  • A Barak Diary

    By Eric Silver

    November 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Ehud Barak stomps down the aisle of the old, white Boeing 707 that doubles as Israel's Air Force One. He has come to shmooze with the traveling press corps. Close up, he is shorter than expected. He clenches his shoulders like a muscle-bound wrestler. His pudgy face looks as if it...
  • Nation/World Briefs

    By Eric Silver

    October 21, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have again introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, hoping a new set of supporters will help push it into law.

    The bill, introduced Tuesday, is aimed at preventing workplace religious discrimination by forcing employers to...

  • Mideast Briefs

    By Eric Silver

    October 21, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish relief agencies and the government of Israel are mobilizing to send rescue missions and humanitarian aid to Turkey, in the wake of a devastating earthquake that, at press time, may have claimed more than 4,000 lives.

    The Israel Defense Force sent a 200-member rescue team to...

  • The Two Sides of the Street

    By Eric Silver

    September 9, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The only thing Jerusalem's Jewish and Arab shopping malls had in common when news broke last Friday of the Wye II deal was that no one was dancing in the streets. There was relief that something at last was about to move on the Israeli-Palestinian front, but it takes more than...
  • A Conversion Solution

    By Eric Silver

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Softly, softly, Israel has launched a joint Orthodox-Conservative-Reform program to solve the problem of quarter of a million Russian immigrants who are Jewish according to the Law of Return (at least one Jewish grandparent), but not according to Halachah (a Jewish mother).

    They feel...

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