In the United States, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has caused Jewish leaders considerable grief but achieved few tangible results.
Ah, the good old days. Stealing corpses before they even got cold, right under the noses of the police and paramedics just about to take them for autopsy, bundling them in the van and driving them out to some secret place in a cemetery — still whole, uncut — for a proper Jewish burial.
The Jerusalem Post fired senior reporter Larry Derfner after he penned a controversial blog post justifying terrorist attacks against Israelis.
As someone who wants the world to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, who hopes the UN recognizes Palestine in September, and who roots for Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, I say their agreement Wednesday to form a unity government with Hamas was a blunder. It was a blunder even before Hamas leaders in Gaza denounced America’s killing of the “holy warrior” Osama Bin Laden.
The topic of the day-long conference was torture, and Palestinians were describing the horrific methods the Shin Bet used in prison to get information out of them. Photos and illustrations of these practices were shown on a screen. Human rights activists, Palestinian and Israeli, spoke at length and in detail about Israel’s routine use of torture against Palestinian prisoners.
There is no military option in Iran. If we didn't learn this from the Americans' ongoing experience in Iraq, we should have learned it from Israel's recent experience in Lebanon.
The only school in Acre that serves both Jewish and Arab pupils -- the el-Mahaba, took a direct hit from a rocket during the war.
When Israeli Arabs protest that talk of the "demographic threat" is racist, can Israeli Jews blame them? If non-Jewish professors and politicians anywhere on earth spoke of a Jewish demographic threat to their countries, what would Jews call it? What, for that matter, would decent non-Jews call it?
Raising the specter of the Arab demographic threat to Israel is, in fact, racist -- if you believe that Zionism is racism, that a Jewish state is a racist state.
I don't believe that (even while I know there is no shortage of Jews whose Zionism doesn't amount to anything more than racism). Although the Jewish state by definition "belongs" to the Jews more than it does to its non-Jewish citizens, I don't consider it a force for racism, but the opposite: Whatever racism exists in Israel, the Jewish state came into being as an answer to racism of a rather larger magnitude -- the habit of anti-Semitic oppression.
I, along with what the polls say is 60 percent of Israelis -- and maybe even Ariel Sharon, too -- trust Mahmoud Abbas' good intentions. More than that, I'm impressed by what he's done on the ground -- by prevailing on Hamas and the other terrorist groups to "cool down" the violence a week after he took office, and reading them the riot act after their rockets started flying again a day after the hopeful Sharm el-Sheik summit.
Progressives of the world, including those in Israel, have a thing about Marwan Barghouti and with good reason: He's so cool. He's the coolest
Palestinian since Yasser Arafat first turned up in a keffiyeh and Ray Bans.
Journalist Patrick Bishop put it just right recently in England's Daily Telegraph, writing Barghouti up as a celebrity revolutionary:
Like everyone else, I used to divide the prostitutes smuggled into Israel from the former Soviet republics into two categories -- the good ones who were tricked into it, and the bad ones who knew what they were getting into.
I think differently now. After meeting one of the "bad" ones for a story I'm doing, I see them all, both the knowing and unknowing, as victims, as innocents.
It would be hard to exaggerate how fateful, how historic is the drama about to begin at the settlement outposts. Here's where things stand:
Within a few months, we will pretty well know if Israel's 36-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza will be on its way out or here to stay.
Natan Koenig was blotting up blood from the floor of the cafeteria named for Frank Sinatra at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. Koenig worked for two hours on that 95-degree afternoon on July 31, arriving soon after a Hamas-made bomb exploded under a table, killing nine people, including two Americans, wounding some 90 others and shattering the lunchroom.
The "officers' letter" came out on Jan. 25 in Yediot Aharonot, Israel's largest newspaper -- 52 reserve army officers declared that they would not serve in the West Bank or Gaza for moral and political reasons.
More than any other Israeli politician, Yossi Beilin has a knack for saying things that many other people are thinking but will not say, and he has just done it again.
The contrast between the Palestinian and Israeli reaction couldn't have been more stark -- while crowds of Palestinians were celebrating in the streets of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel was observing an official national day of mourning, with flags flying at half-mast, and blood banks and solidarity Web sites opening up.
The settler movement is in serious denial over last week's killings of three Palestinians, including 3-month-old Dia Tmeizi. While all settlers publicly condemn the killings, even the most "mainstream" don't see any connection between the nighttime ambush near Hebron and the incessant cries for "revenge" by settlers at funerals, demonstrations and elsewhere.
Standing with the crowd in Netanya where, hours before, a Palestinian suicide bomber had killed three Israelis and himself, local carpenter Ya'acov Ohayon was asked if he thought the public -- the home front -- was ready for more of the same, or worse.
After Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, ruler of the Shas (Sephardi ultra-Orthodox) party, caused an uproar this week by pronouncing a kind of Jewish fatwa on liberal Education Minister Yossi Sarid, one of Yosef's minions tried to jump into the fray.
For all the recent hubbub over the worsening lot of Israel's poor, and the growing criticism of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's born-again Reaganite economic policies, it should be understood that in many key misery indices, Israel isn't doing too badly.
About 1,000 people crammed into Jerusalem's Kol Haneshama Reform synagogue for Yom Kippur services, while another 500 or so listened in the courtyard outside.
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.
When incoming Prime Minister Ehud Barak needs to talk things over with Gen. Shaul Mofaz, the military chief of staff, he won't have to go far: Mofaz lives 12 houses away from him in the town of Kochav Yair.
During the wild victory party in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Election Night, a chant went up in the crowd: "Just not Shas!" Ehud Barak heard the same chant when he spoke early this week to a gathering of campaign activists. A booth with a fax machine in Kikar Rabin has already sent more than 20,000 faxes to Barak from his supporters, who urge him not to invite the meteoric Sephardic fervently Orthodox party into his governing coalition. Thousands of e-mails have been sent to Barak with the same message.
The tens of thousands of happy secularists who danced Election Night away in Rabin Square may have thought they'd "taken back the country" from the right-wing and religious, but according to all the signs, incoming Prime Minister Ehud Barak has a surprise in store for them.
Until the last couple of weeks, the best thing one could say about Ehud Barak's campaign for prime minister was that it couldn't get any worse.
At the beginning of this week, dozens of Israeli university students entered the third week of their hunger strike. The country's 175,000 university students entered the second month of their strike from classes. Along the way students have been clubbed and even horsewhipped by police. They've blocked major intersections in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. At times some have even demonstrated in the nude.
It's remarkable: Palestinian terrorists set off three bomb attacks in as many weeks, yet Binyamin Netanyahu, of all people, goes ahead with his plans to relinquish 13 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians.
On Aug. 9, the "Tel Aviv Serial Rapist," who has the city's women looking over their shoulders in fear, evidently tried to commit his 10th rape in the last six months, but police say he let his pleading victim go, and ran off. On the same day, Police Minister Avigdor Kahalani advised Israelis to do two patrol shifts a month with the volunteer Civil Guard in their towns and cities.
When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that not only he, but all of Israel, was praying for Jordanian King Hussein's recovery from lymph cancer, Netanyahu might have been exaggerating for effect -- but not by much.
Just after dawn two years ago today, May 29, 1996, the all-night vote count finally tipped against Shimon Peres and for Binyamin Netanyahu, who would become the new prime minister. In the intervening two years, Peres was succeeded as head of the Labor Party by the slain Yitzhak Rabin's protegé, Ehud Barak. After a long stretch of running ahead of Netanyahu in the polls, Barak has now slipped behind.
Early Sunday morning, just before 1 a.m. Israelitime, a roar was heard coming out of living rooms across the country.Israel had just won the annual Eurovision Song Contest, held thisyear in Birmingham, England, and watched by as many as 100 million TVviewers in Europe and Asia. Wildest of all, Israel's representativeat the contest was singer Dana International, a tall, dark,thirtysomething transsexual who had grown up as a boy named YaronCohen.
When the editors of The Jewish Journal, along withpublisher Stanley Hirsh, started planning an issue to commemorateIsrael's 50th anniversary, we were committed to something other thana "coffee-table" paper. We wanted it to be highly readable andentertaining, definitely, but also filled with stories and newsarticles that were immediate and compelling and newsworthy -- notjust gloss or an endless series of superlatives.
Palestinians have an official term for whathappened to them when Israel gained its independence 50 years ago:"Nakba," or, in English, "Calamity." In the failed Arab attack on theJews in 1948, some 600,000 Arabs fled the land or, in tens ofthousands of cases, were expelled.
After being caught up in a wave of initial panic,the Israeli public seems to be calming down a bit over the possibility of an Iraqi missile attack.
There was such a crush of people at the gas-mask distribution center in Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station this week that a portable fence had to be set up at the doorway -- just to keep people from pushing their way in.
For the record, the Netanyahu administration is expecting business as usual from President Clinton, despite his troubles with the likes of Monica Lewinsky.
A key element in Labor Party leader Ehud Barak's strategy tobecome prime minister is to win support from Orthodox andultra-Orthodox (haredi) voters, who backed Binyamin Netanyahuoverwhelmingly in the last election. Now Barak is faced with adilemma: The price of wooing Orthodox votes is apparently his supportfor the Conversion Law, which is fast approaching decision time inthe Knesset.
Labor Party leader Ehud Barak said that unless the opposition waited a decent interval before attacking Netanyahu politically, "it could be interpreted as if we were defending Arafat, even though this is not true -- we are defending the State of Israel."
On Salah a-Din Street, the main street on the Arab side of the capital, the spirit was very different. People kept their heads down,aware that they were being watched, aware that the Jews weren't too fond of them these days. But if they were expected to feel remorseful about Mahane Yehuda, some did, while others felt roughly the opposite.
To the general Israeli public, the "Lerner Affair" reveals the frightening tentacles of the Russian mafia in Israel, and the danger it poses to this country's economic and political system. To many in the Russian immigrant community, however, the Lerner Affair is a case of harassment -- a high-profile attempt by the established Israeli "elite" to cast all Russian immigrants as criminals.
During the yearlong tenure of the Netanyahu government, Syria has become the forgotten front in the Israeli-Arab peace process. The two sides aren't negotiating, and Warren Christopher's frequent-flier shuttles between Jerusalem and Damascus are already a relic of Middle East diplomacy.