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  • Pope Blasted For Silence

    By Michael J. Jordan

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When the Western-educated Bashar Assad succeeded his father, Hafez Assad, as president of Syria last summer, Israeli officials hoped the changing of the guard from the Lion of Damascus to the Optometrist of Damascus would usher in a gentler approach toward Israel.

    Young Assad has...

  • Yom Kippur II

    By Eric Silver

    October 12, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    I first met Maurice Singer on the far bank of the Suez Canal during the second week of the Yom Kippur War, soon after Israel had counter-attacked across the waterway. The British-born, 28-year-old machine-gunner was grimy and sweating on his clanking, dust-encrusted half-track, the...

  • After Assad

    By Eric Silver

    June 15, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Avraham Hamra met both Hafez Assad and his son, Bashar. As chief rabbi of the Jewish community of Syria until 1994, he had four audiences with the late president between 1972 and 1992. He was received by the heir when he led a delegation of Syrian Jewish leaders paying a condolence...

  • Crumbling Coalition

    By David Landau

    June 15, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The coincidence could hardly have been lost on Ehud Barak: As President Hafez Assad was laid to rest in Syria, Israel's Shas Party appeared to lay the premier's "peace coalition" to rest.The fervently Orthodox party's Council of Sages, headed by spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,...

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  • Surprised by Assad

    By Gene Lichtenstein

    June 15, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The first report on Assad's death caught me by surprise. It was from Eric Silver, our Jerusalem correspondent (see page 20), and it recounted his interview with the former chief rabbi of Syria, Avraham Hamra, who now lives in Israel.

    Apparently in 1992 Assad had "opened the gates for...

  • Rally for the ‘Iran 13’

    By Tom Tugend

    April 20, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Passover theme of liberation took on new meaning when more than 1,000 people rallied Sunday to demand freedom for the 13 Iranian Jews, imprisoned in Shiraz a year ago and facing trial for alleged espionage.

    The vigil in the outdoor memorial court of the Museum of Tolerance...

  • Border Bravado

    By Naomi Segal

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Israel is downplaying threats that it will suffer cross-border attacks once it withdraws its troops from southern Lebanon.

    Ever since the Cabinet approved the withdrawal a month ago, there has been speculation that Hezbollah gunmen would attack communities in northern Israel.

    This...

  • Dealing With Syria

    By Eric Silver

    March 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    This weekend's Swiss summit between Bill Clinton and Hafez al-Assad is a make-or-break moment in the quest for peace between Syria and Israel. The American president will soon be a lame duck. The septuagenarian Syrian president is sick and eager to hand over the reins to his son,...
  • Upping the Ante

    By David Landau

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has placed his latest bet in the strange and frustrating poker game between Israel and Syria.

    Now it is up to the Syrians to either see the bet and resume the stalled peace negotiations -- or fold and walk away from the game, perhaps for many years...

  • Hezbollah: Israel fight continues with or without Syria peace deal

    By Douglas Davis

    February 24, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Hezbollah will turn its attention to resisting normal relations with Israel if Syria and Lebanon reach a peace settlement with the Jewish state, according to the Shi'ite group's leader.

    "We will continue to consider it an illegitimate, alien and cancerous entity which we cannot...

  • Community Groups Weigh in on Golan

    By Tom Tugend

    February 3, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Bennett Zimmerman, a buttoned-down investment fund manager by day, stood up at the end of an evening's conversation and removed his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with bold Hebrew letters spelling out Ha'am im HaGolan -- The People are with the Golan.

    Although negotiations between Israel...

  • Is Barak Playing Syrians, Palestinians Off One Another?

    By David Landau

    January 20, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not waste any time bemoaning Syria's decision to postpone indefinitely the next round of peace talks.

    Instead, within hours of formally acknowledging the postponement, Barak and Foreign Minister David Levy met Monday with Palestinian Authority...

  • Barak’s Battles

    By Eric Silver

    January 13, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Ehud Barak is going to have a hard time persuading the Israeli voters to endorse any deal with Syria that entails a withdrawal from most or all of the Golan Heights. The public is drifting away from the prime minister. So far.

    On Monday night, more than 100,000 demonstrators gathered...

  • Barak: Don’t Write Off American Jews

    By James D

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The revived Syrian-Israeli talks, which began this week in Washington, could be yet another false start on the twisting road to peace. Or the two countries could move with blinding speed to conclude an agreement that will transfer the Golan Heights back to Syrian control.

    Israeli...

  • But Can Barak Convince the Israelis?

    By Larry Derfner

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    At first blush it seemed like a done deal. If Syria and Israel were returning to the negotiating table, and President Bill Clinton was leading them, then it was surely just a matter of time until the two sides reached agreement and declared peace. American, Syrian and Israeli...
  • The Settlers of Golan

    By Avi Machlis

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Emotions ranging from hope to uncertainty to anger fill the 16,000 Golan Heights residents as their fate is again the topic of Israeli-Syrian peace talks.

    Negotiations resumed Wednesday in Washington, and residents here know that the price for peace with Syria is likely to be the...

  • Talks to Be Held

    By Michael Shapiro

    December 9, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Middle East shuttle mission has paid off with the announcement that Israeli-Syrian negotiations will resume next week.

    President Clinton made the announcement Wednesday after Albright held separate talks with the leaders of Israel and...

  • Jordanian-Israeli Relations

    November 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    At the height of the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was rushing all available combat troops to the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, an Israeli official was asked who was defending the eastern border. "King Hussein," he replied, "as usual."

    The ailing monarch has not always been the truest of...

  • The Temperature’s Rising

    By Naomi Segal

    July 1, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The latest eruption of violence along Israel's northern border has spawned varying assessments of what exactly sparked the escalation -- and whether it will affect fledgling peace overtures between Israel and Syria.

    In a spiraling cycle of violence, nine Lebanese were killed when...

  • A Royal Concern

    By Eric Silver

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    At the height of the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was rushing all available combat troops to the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, an Israeli official was asked who was defending the eastern border. "King Hussein," he replied, "as usual."

    The ailing monarch has not always been the truest of...

  • The Signature Dish of Chanukah, Potato Latkes, Hits the Big Time

    By Linda Morel

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Potato latkes are Chanukah's signature dish, not because of the potato -- but because of the oil. Potatoes did not exist in the Holy Land when the ancient Israelites triumphed over the Syrians.

    During what may have been the region's first oil crisis, a 24-hour supply of oil lasted...

  • The Prospect of War

    By Larry Derfner

    June 19, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    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...
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