Letters to the Editor
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon conceived the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank as a unilateral step, but it's increasingly being coordinated by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
It's not every day that Israel's No. 1 soldier expresses doubts about the country's long-term survival. But that was part of a bleak message from Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon that has shaken the country's political establishment.
In a wide-reaching, early June interview in the daily newspaper, Ha'aretz, the retiring Israeli army chief of staff pulled no punches. He put key existential issues on the table, questioned the wisdom of Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, debunked the notion of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said it could lead to a "situation in which there will be no Israel here in the end."
He was the ultimate Israeli high-flier, literally as well as metaphorically, shepherding and shaping the Jewish state through war and peace with a singular, sometimes mordant charm.
And although Ezer Weizman, who died Sunday at 80, ended his public career tainted by scandal, to many Israelis he typified a national ideal.
For the settlers of the Gaza Strip, the left-leaning kibbutzim just over the border with Israel proper are, politically speaking, a world apart.
As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon powers ahead with plans for disengagement from the Gaza Strip, charges are flying between proponents and naysayers determined to gain monopolies on legitimacy, each side accusing the other of trampling democratic norms.
Under strong pressure from Washington to pull Syrian forces out of Lebanon and prevent cross-border terror against U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq, Syria's President Bashar Assad has again been talking about a readiness for peace with Israel.
It begins as 100,000 Jews amassed last Saturday evening in the streets of Jerusalem to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to pull 7,500 Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip and thousands more, eventually, from the West Bank. Protesters whose placards called Sharon a traitor were told to take them down -- but that didn't make the sentiment any less apparent. To be blunt, civil war is in the air.
One historic concession deserves another. Just four months after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- the father of the settlement movement -- stunned Israelis by pledging to evacuate some settlements, he got his payback from President Bush, who reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Israel's claim to parts of the West Bank.
It was compensation, with interest: Sharon had scored perhaps the most stunning diplomatic triumph in the U.S.-Israeli alliance in a generation.
After years of mutual distrust and periodic acrimony, there are signs of a thaw in relations between Israel and Europe.
Since the start of Israel's election campaign last October, the flamboyant leader of the secular-rights Shinui Party had been promising a secular revolution in Israel.
This week Yosef "Tommy" Lapid seemed to have a golden opportunity to fulfill his promises when Shinui -- which became Israel's third largest party after the Jan. 28 elections -- agreed to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new Likud-led government.
This week's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv has made terror even more of a central issue in Israel's upcoming election -- and highlighted the major parties' different prescriptions for ending the violence.
I'm feeling a little used this week. Not have-to-take-a-shower used, but more like three-card-monte used.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Los Angeles two weeks ago and, in the name of Jewish unity, urged and inspired L.A. Jews to support Israel in this time of crisis.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon touched off a brief war of words with the United States when he warned the West -- and particularly America -- not to forget the lessons of Munich 1939, when Europe's democracies appeased Hitler by sacrificing Czechoslovakia. But there's more than one "Munich" etched on the pages of history. And the one that occurred 33 years later may provide more apt guidance for our struggle against terrorism today.
A proposal for a massive solidarity conference in Israel, attended by Jews worldwide, has been warmly welcomed by Israeli officials and American Jews.