Jerusalem's Zion Square, located in the city center, where rallies mobilize, concerts convene, street fairs assemble, and pedestrians abound, caught the attention of local media and became the topic weekend table talk when it was learned that 17-year old Jamal Julani, an Israeli Arab from east Jerusalem who went to meet a friend who was working at a local restaurant nearby, nearly died from a savage beating unleashed by a gang of Jewish "tough teens," who were out cruising the streets, apparently looking for a victim.
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An Israeli Arab woman sent an e-mail some weeks ago to Sheikh Farahat Al-Mongy, an Islamic scholar from Egypt, complaining that her Egyptian husband, who used to live with her in Israel, had decided to break up their marriage and leave Israel for good.
News of the broken marriage thrilled Al-Mongy. To him, this meant that his latest fatwa, or religious edict, about the "sinfulness" of Egyptians getting married to Israelis, which he issued a month and a half ago, was having an effect.
Ronit Heyd, joined by Ilana Litvak, who came to Israel from the former Soviet Union, and Nidal Abed El Gafer, a Palestinian lawyer, were in Los Angeles last week as three "connected" Israelis, working to empower their country's underprivileged and raise the level of civic involvement. Their presence at a roundtable was sponsored by the New Israel Fund (NIF), which has just raised its Los Angeles profile by reestablishing a local office, after a four-year hiatus.
This week, when freshman Member of Knesset Dr. Ahmed Tibi declared his first preference for committee assignments -- Defense and Foreign Affairs, which is briefed regularly by the Shin Bet and Mossad -- right-wing MKs laughed it off. This would be like inviting Saddam Hussein into the Israeli Security Cabinet, they said. No Israeli Arab has ever sat on this Knesset committee -- certainly no Arab with a resume such as Tibi's.