The last remnants of Iraq’s once-vibrant, 2,500-year-old Jewish community left the country long ago. (Only five Jews remain, according to a recent New York Times op-ed.) But some Iraqi Jewish manuscripts, community records, and holy books may soon be sent back, much to the chagrin of Jewish Iraqi expatriates.
If Saddam Hussein's Iraq is anything to go by, destroying Syria's massive chemical weapons arsenal will mean checking dozens of far-flung sites in a war zone while the government employs delaying tactics to hide the banned munitions, an expert involved in past U.N. disarmament missions said.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday tests showed that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly August 21 chemical attack near Damascus as he sought to build the case to convince skeptical lawmakers to authorize a military strike against the Syrian government.
Syria, defeated by Israel in three wars and afraid its arch enemy had gained a nuclear arsenal, began in earnest to build a covert chemical weapons program three decades ago, aided by its neighbors, allies and European chemical wholesalers.
Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year conflict.
Pleasure-loving, wheeler-dealer Tel Aviv withstood Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles 20 years ago and Palestinian suicide bomb attacks a decade later.
Ten years ago this month a little- known Iranian dissident group — the National Council of Resistance of Iran — held a news conference in Washington, D.C. to present a finding that sent shock waves around the world: Iran had under construction two covert nuclear facilities — a large underground enrichment plant in Natanz and a heavy-water instillation in Arak — that, in time, could serve a nuclear weapons program.
The intensifying crisis of Iran's nuclear program is bringing into sharp relief the problems created for Israel by the radical foreign policy of the Bush administration.
The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants, which resumed in a fortified courtroom in Baghdad's Green Zone this week following a 40-day adjournment, has raised a few eyebrows. Among other criticisms, the Iraqi special court and the United States are being criticized for a hasty approach and weak preparation.
It's been nearly two and a half years since the president gave a triumphant speech about Iraq before a banner declaring, "Mission Accomplished."
I'm not sure, but Tom and I may be breaking up.
It's not over yet, and he doesn't know about this -- largely because he couldn't care less -- but from where I sit, Tom Friedman is looking less and less like the Sage of Bethesda and more and more like a tone-deaf Telemachus.
Israel has received scant attention in the run-up to the Nov. 2 presidential election. Iraq and the war against Al Qaeda have dominated the foreign policy discussions. And with neither candidate sketching out an approach to resuming the peace process, both sides prefer instead to simply affirm support for Israel's right to defend itself, a mutual stance that requires little dialogue.
The subject, however, has not been overlooked altogether. In the first presidential debate on Sept. 30, both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry said success was necessary in Iraq to ensure Israel's safety. And in last Friday's second debate, Bush used a question on how he planned to repair broken relations with other countries to reflect on unpopular decisions he has made, including rejecting P.A. Chairman Yasser Arafat as a negotiating partner.
Last week in Baghdad, 30 Iranians were captured fighting for the militant Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. A few days earlier, two trucks transporting weapons for Sadr's fighters were caught trying to drive into Iraq from Iran.
If you're looking for one of the world's newest centers for Judaism, then look no further than at a perverse example of garish excess seen in the past year: one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Comedian Al Franken lit Chanukah candles in the palace in an illuminative snub of the dictator, who proudly displayed large painting of Scud missiles hitting Israel and gold chairs bearing inscriptions that crow about "victory over the Zionist entity."
What does the capture of Saddam Hussein mean for Jewish voters in 2004? Will it shift the preferences of Jewish Democrats as they weigh the party's presidential contenders? Will it push Jewish voters closer to supporting President Bush for re-election?
What was the driving force behind Saddam Hussein's behavior? Was it his Arabness? His Islam? Or just generic cruelty?
Spewing anti-Israel vitriol was one of Saddam Hussein's specialties. Of all the leaders in the Arab world, Saddam seemed to have the most to say against Israel, and he seemed to say it the most often.
Now that he has been captured and faces possible trial, experts are asking whether the Jewish State will again be his target of choice.
Israelis have a long score to settle with Saddam Hussein: The former Iraqi dictator promised to destroy the Jewish State, fired 39 Scud missiles at Israeli cities during the Persian Gulf War and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Smoked out of his rat hole by the U.S. Army, there was the Iraqi dictator, not spewing propaganda but having his heavily bearded mouth probed by a latex-gloved medic. The doctor may not only have been extracting a DNA sample but searching for a cyanide capsule -- the type used by Nazi henchmen Heinrich Himmler and Herman Goering to escape final justice.
When Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson blew the shofar this past Rosh Hashanah, it reverberated throughout one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces. More than 100 Jewish members of the U.S. forces stationed in Iraq attended the High Holiday services at the former Iraqi dictator's Baghdad compound.
They seemed shocked and awed, not least by the echo.
Then under a late afternoon sun, the group performed the customary Tashlich ceremony outside the palace, casting pieces of bread representing sins into a private lake once owned by the Iraqi dictator's sons, Uday and Qusay.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's extended honeymoon with
the Bush administration may fast be approaching its end, pundits in Israel
warn. It could come down to the issue of settlements, which has long been a
bone of contention in the Israel-U.S. relationship.
The anti-war forces in America have blundered, and it's making them lose the war -- for our hearts and minds.
Is the United States going to fight for that New Babylon, a democratic, peace-loving, malice-free Iraq that will serve as a model for the whole Arab re-gion? The answer is probably "yes."
Plato described democracy as "a charming form of government." Well, perhaps in ancient Greece there wasn't much else to charm away the days.
I once had a history teacher who was ambivalent about dates. Before a test, an anxious student would invariably ask whether we'd need to remember what year an event happened.
On the Sept. 30 MSNBC show "Hardball," Chris Matthews hosted a debate between Pat Buchanan and Republican political analyst David Frum. Buchanan opposed a United States-led invasion of Iraq, while Frum supported President George W. Bush's plan for tough inspections first followed by -- if those inspections fail -- the forceful removal of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power.
What's it like to be a citizen of a country that preempts its enemies -- now that this is the official national security doctrine of the United States? Americans might look to the Israeli experience.
When the U.S. House and Senate voted last week to pass resolutions authorizing the use of military force against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the domestic political debate surrounding the war issue was brought to rest, at least for the time being. But for many people across the nation and around the world, Congress' political decision merely fueled the heated ethical debate surrounding the legitimacy of waging such a war.
Stop Saddam Hussein now, before it's too late. That is the message elected officials, ranging from local members of Congress to President George W. Bush, worked to get across to the Americans these past few weeks.
"We have to confront him sooner or later," Rep. Howard Berman (D-Mission Hills) told The Journal. "Even though it is risky and we are worried about all the things that could go wrong, it is less risky, less costly and less dangerous to do it now than it would be later, both for our military and for the Iraqi people."
With all the discussion, confusion and controversy about the Bush administration's planned actions against Saddam Hussein, it's ironic that President Bush, a born-again Bible reader, appears to have rejected the Christian position and adopted instead the Jewish stance on self-defense and responding to evil people.
So do you think America should go to war with Iraq?
With all the discussion, confusion and controversy about the Bush administration's planned actions against Saddam Hussein,it's ironic that President Bush, a born-again Bible reader, appears to have rejected the Christian position and adopted instead the Jewish stance on self-defense and responding to evil people.
A decade after he rained Scud missiles on Tel Aviv during the Persian Gulf War, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein again poses a threat to Israel, analysts say.
A group of female Jewish scholars recently danced joyously with a 200-year-old Iraqi tradition -- a Torah once held prisoner by Saddam Hussein.
As U.N. weapons inspectors returned to Iraq this week and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf stood down from high alert, the world breathed a sigh of relief after yet another race to the brink with Saddam Hussein.
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.
Anger over the stalled Mideast peace process has clearlycontributed to Arab states' reluctance to help the United Statesdeter Saddam Hussein. That is one reason the United States is nowpressing Israel for a serious and credible plan for withdrawing fromthe West Bank, it has been widely reported. Yet the Israeligovernment and some hard-line American supporters not only mistakenlydeny the connection between the peace process and the maintenance ofan effective anti-Saddam coalition, but they also neglect the factthat such a coalition is in Israel's vital interests.