Senate Bill 160, which calls for targeted divestment from companies that profit off of human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, passed this last week in the University of California, Berkeley, student senate.
Thirteen years ago, right at the beginning of the so-called second Palestinian Intifada, on Sept. 30, 2000, a reporter of a French TV station aired some 60 seconds of footage of the killing of a Palestinian boy.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he hoped peace talks with Israel would restart this year although the chances of a resumption seemed slim.
If you think the West Bank settlements have been an albatross around Israel’s neck up until now, brace yourself. With the new governing coalition announced this week, and the settlers enjoying even more power, all bets are off.
These are tough times for people hoping for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As any news junkie will tell you, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, didn’t do very well at his Senate confirmation hearings last week. Our own political editor, Shmuel Rosner, not known for hyperbole, called his performance “terrible.”
Get ready for The Barack and Bibi Show, Part Two. With crunch-time looming in the Iranian nuclear standoff and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still smoldering, the fractious relationship between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be tested in coming months like never before, as both leaders move into new terms in office.
There are three subjects that Jews in my social circle never tire of: food, movies and the two-state solution.
A draft of a European Union resolution said the EU was "deeply dismayed" by Israeli plans for new construction in settlements but did not mention sanctions.
From the terrace of the mall in Maale Adumim, a West Bank settlement eight miles from Jerusalem that serves as a bedroom community for Israel’s capital city, customers get a panoramic view of the Judean Desert to the east.
The United States on Monday reiterated its opposition to new Israeli settlement activity on West Bank land including in the site known as "E1", which it said could be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Last week'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 Israeli-Palestinian conflict has stymied generations of statesmen and commentators, so why not try a witty song-and-dance musical? Such was the thought of playwright Oren Safdie and composer-lyricist Ronnie Cohen, and the result of their collaboration is "West Bank, UK," which opens March 21 at the Malibu Stage Company.
If there's one question I've heard a thousand times from Jews all over, it is this: Why is Israel so bad at PR? I know that when Jews ask me that question, they're also saying, "Suissa, you're in the business, can't you do something?"
Let me tell you why you should feel for these yeshiva students: Because while you don't identify with them, they identified with you. I'm sure they might have reserved their own, passionate critique of your secular Tel Aviv lifestyle, but they sat in that yeshiva not merely because it gave them joy and a spiritual high, but because they wanted you to be safe.
Demonstrations and counter demonstrations in Los Angeles following the terrorist attack on Mercaz Harav yeshiva.
Practically overnight, life in this quiet coastal city has changed dramatically. Thirteen rockets landed in Ashkelon over the course of four days, and with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) having launched a ground invasion into Gaza over the weekend, shaken residents here suddenly find themselves in a war zone.
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 agenda linking Hassan Nasrallah, the Shiite leader of Lebanese Hezbollah; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Shiite Iranian president; and Ismail Heniyeh, the Sunni leader of Hamas and the de facto prime minister of the Gaza Strip is simple: remove the "cancerous cell" called the State of Israel from the Middle East. Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah have reiterated this message out loud; Heniyeh's Hamas Constitution explicitly calls for this objective. The goal is self-evident. As for the means, anything is legitimate.
If Israel relaunches its invasion of Gaza, no one should blame it. A country must do everything it can to protect its citizens from constant attack. I know it's been said, but it bears repeating: No other country in the world would countenance even a single missile crossing its borders and landing on its citizens. Much less 7,000 missiles.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Young Israel of Century City are holding a memorial rally on Sunday, March 9 at 4 p.m., in honor of the eight yeshiva students killed in a terror attack at Mercaz Harav in Jerusalem. StandWithUs and others will demonstrate in support of Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate at noon on Friday in response to a protest scheduled at the same time by the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union.
While Israel's eyes were focused on the security threat from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, terrorism struck in the heart of the Jewish state. A gunman stormed into the Yeshivat Mercaz Harav complex in west Jerusalem late Thursday, mowing down students who had gathered in the dining room for the traditionally intensive pre-Shabbat classes. Medical officials put the death toll at eight, with at dozens wounded, several critically.
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 of "the two-state solution" is diminishing. And the worry in Jerusalem is that this growing lack of confidence could undermine the fragile negotiating process so carefully put in place at the regional peace conference in Annapolis, Md., last November.
One of the bonuses of living in exile is that you can see Israeli society more clearly, one lunch, party, speech or cappuccino at a time. When I'm in the Holy Land, I lose myself in a noisy, beautiful, hectic, joyful and soulful blur.It's as if I'm inside a boat in a stormy sea. Here in the Diaspora, Israel comes at you in neat little waves. Over the past month, I've had encounters with four passionate Israelis, and each, in their own way, has helped me make sense of the craziness of what it is to live the Zionist dream.
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.
StandWithUs has grown from a small group of volunteers meeting at the Rothsteins' home to an international organization with offices in Los Angeles, New York and three other U.S. locales as well as Europe and Israel. With a staff of about 40, a budget of $3 million and a number of printed materials -- including a 43-page glossy guide, "Israel 101," and flyers comparing Walt and Mearsheimer's book "The Israel Lobby" with "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" -- StandWithUs acts, as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said, as an "intellectual Delta Force."
What exactly is the state of the pro-Israel peace movement in America? Does the Jewish institutional establishment represent the position of the American Jewish community? And if not, why are alternate voices not being heard?
Where do I, an Orthodox teen, fall in this heated debate? Simply, if we put Jerusalem on the negotiating table it will be clear that the Jewish people have a right to the land. Sometimes I ask myself if we actually occupy Jerusalem as it is -- when the entire world refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- do we ideally occupy it? Are we actually secure in our possession of Jerusalem when our only diplomatic claim to it is our emotional connection? The time is now to start talking about a divided Jerusalem so that Israel can logically claim ownership. The time is now to establish Jerusalem on both ethically and rationally sound grounds, obliterating our long-standing emotional futility.
Being in the region -- I was in Cairo at the beginning of November, and I'm writing this from Tel Aviv -- it's easy to see why Annapolis produced nothing new: Both Arab and Israeli politics have failed to produce anything new for years now.
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.
Before year's end, a U.S.-sponsored conference involving Israel and the Palestinian Authority will convene in Annapolis, Md., to frame yet another plan to end the Arab-Israeli war and create a Palestinian state. Sadly, this conference has as much chance of succeeding as did Oslo, because the same mistakes that ensured failure then are being made now.
The call for American Jewish organizations to support the current peace efforts came from an unexpected direction: Israel's Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger.
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.
It's not that I would want to see Jerusalem divided. It's rather that the time has come for honesty. Their call to handcuff the government of Israel in this way, their call to deprive it of this negotiating option, reveals that these organizations are not being honest about the situation that we are in, and how it came about. And I cannot support them in this.
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.
With just more than a month to go before the Israeli-Palestinian peace conference is scheduled to take place, Jerusalem is shaping up to become the key issue.
In the run-up to the regional peace parley in November, Israeli decision makers are facing an increasingly acute dilemma: How to deal with the Hamas terrorists who control Gaza.
Does the American Jewish community take a "myopic" view of Israel? A local Jewish leader, known for his progressive views, believes that it does.
Questions about how Jews, Israel, the pro-Israel lobby and the U.S. government interact are critically important and beg for a little light. But "The Israel Lobby" is not the place to start. All Walt and Mearsheimer have achieved with their massive diversion based on unfounded accusations of overly broad Jewish influence is to help those who want to shut down that discussion.
Five years ago, before the start of the Iraq War, I wrote an editorial titled "The Jewish War." If the Iraq War is a disaster, I wrote, mainstream voices will start blaming the Jews.
George W. Bush has one last chance to leave behind a great legacy in the Middle East, and I want to help him. He has a year and a half left to support and encourage agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and to midwife and recognize the state of Palestine.
Rudolph Giuliani's foreign policy is neither a blueprint nor a prescription, his top adviser on the matter says. It is an outline of how the former can-do New York City mayor does business.
A conference organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem last month dealt with anti-Israel attacks in the United States that constitute, according to organizers, a "long-term threat" to Israel's standing.
The crux of the debate is what Israel's Arabs make of the very idea of a Jewish state in the ancestral land of the Jews. And our conclusion since the fall of 2000 has been -- as the famously dovish TV journalist Amnon Abramowitz put it at the time -- that while we pro-Oslo Israelis were devising two states for two peoples, our Arab counterparts, on both sides of the Green Line, were contemplating two states for one people: the Palestinians.
Targeting journalists has long been a common practice in the Arab Middle East.
The problem is simple: With Hamas in control in Gaza and the rival Fatah ruling the West Bank, how can a unified Palestinian state be established in the West Bank and Gaza?
The emergence of "Hamastan" in Gaza sent leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere scrambling for an answer: Whose fault is it? Is it reversible? Will the same thing happen in the West Bank? What should and could be done now?
With a new government emerging in the West Bank, one without Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes that Israel and the Palestinians can resume peace talks from where they left off when Hamas swept to power in national elections 18 months ago.
It is called the Six-Day War because it was over in six days. Yeah, right. The war is not over. The truth is, not even the battlefields are silent.
Was the Six-Day War a blessing or a curse for Israel's place in the Middle East and its long-term survival? Forty years on, the jury is still out.
Great wars in history eventually become great wars about history. Only a few years after the last soldier leaves the battlefield, accepted truths about the nature of a military conflict and the motivations for it invariably come under assault by revisionists and counter-revisionists, whose vehemence can rival that of the original combatants. This again becomes the case with the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War.
When Pew asked respondents whether "suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies," 78 percent of all U.S. Muslims flatly condemned such attacks; 9 percent declined to answer or said they didn't know. But 8 percent of all Muslims -- and 15 percent of younger Muslims -- said attacks on civilians were justified "often" or "sometimes."
A Jewish group is calling for a boycott of the Hilton Hotel group, which this week is hosting an Orange County conference sponsored by Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC).
As part of UCLA's Palestine Solidarity Week, on Sunday, May 20, the Southern California Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid (CEIA) staged a forum titled, "Israel, Zionism and Apartheid: The Case for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions."
"Impossible!" That's what Itamar Azulay, a 32-year-old Israeli general contractor, had to say about "PeaceMaker," a computer game for both Mac and PC that challenges players to do what many have tried and failed to do: bring peace to the Middle East. "There's no way to do it," he said, visibly frustrated with the game. Azulay has been living in the San Fernando Valley since he was 14, but hasn't lost his Israeli edge. He's also an avid gamer and a fan of Xbox's "Gears of War."