April 24, 2008
Briefs: Some West Bank settlers would agree to leave, Israel OKs Palestinian police stations
Some West Bank Settlers Would Leave If Offered Government Support, Poll Finds
(Page 2 - Previous Page)This means suits with ties for men, according to the newspaper. For military personnel, field fatigues will be replaced by dress uniforms.
Under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a career politician and former lawyer with a taste for Western mores, formal Israeli functions have been coming more into line with international standards of protocol.
Streisand Cancels Israel Appearance
Barbra Streisand canceled her appearance at Israel's 60th anniversary celebration. Streisand was scheduled to perform the Hebrew prayer, "Our Father Our King," at a star-studded convention hosted by President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on May 13. Peres' office reportedly said the singer gave no reason for her cancellation.
Seder Marks Failure to Free Three Kidnapped IDF Soldiers
Friends of three captive Israeli soldiers held a protest seder outside Ehud Olmert's residence. Around 40 friends of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev set up a table on the pavement near the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem Saturday night for a special Passover seder.
Instead of the standard haggadah, the assembled read out and sang from a specially composed text deploring the Israeli government's failure to recover the soldiers, who have been in Hezbollah or Hamas captivity since the summer of 2006.
Olmert has said intensive efforts are under way behind the scenes to repatriate the three, although he has balked at the ransom demands made by their captors.
Israeli Arab Wins Haggadah Art Contest
An Israeli Arab teenager won a national contest for her illustrations of the Passover haggadah. Malek Sharkiyeh, a Muslim ninth-grader from Acco, took the $300 prize in a competition by Israel's ORT school system for haggadah illustrations.
"The subject of the haggadah exhilarated me," Malek told Ma'ariv last week. "I like to draw, and that's why it was natural for me to take part in a drawing contest."
Mohammed Hajuj, principal at Malek's school, noted that the Exodus story appears in the Quran -- albeit with some differences.
"It's about what happened to Pharaoh in Egypt," he said. "It isn't a victory over the Arabs, so the students didn't find anything in it that was against them."
P.A. Scraps Plan to Honor Five Terrorists
The Palestinian Authority called off a plan last week to honor five terrorists jailed in Israel. Relatives of five Palestinians serving lengthy prison terms in Israel for terrorist outrages were to have received the Jerusalem Medal -- the highest honor that can be bestowed by Mahmoud Abbas' administration. Abbas, who was abroad, had no comment, but unnamed aides told Israeli media that awarding of the prize was a "humanitarian gesture."
The reports provoked outrage in Jerusalem. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's office said she raised the "grave and problematical issues arising from this" with visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Later, the Palestinian Authority announced that the ceremony had been postponed.
Among the planned recipients were Amana Muna, who lured an Israeli teenager to his death with the promise of sex in 2001, and Ahlam Tamimi, who helped a Hamas suicide bomber kill 15 people at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria that same year.
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