As he visits Israel this week for the second time in four months, President George W. Bush has scaled down his expectations for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Instead of the optimism he displayed late last year when he spoke of the creation of a Palestinian state before he left office, Bush told Israeli journalists Monday that he was hoping the two sides could “get a state defined by the end of my presidency.”
Israelís peace movement, largely dormant since Ariel Sharon was first elected prime minister three years ago, resurfaced last weekend amid calls for a political framework for peace and withdrawal from a contentious settlement in Gaza.
An estimated 4,000 Israelis took to the street Saturday night to protest Sharon's policies in a demonstration outside his Jerusalem residence.
Naomi Chazan, a former Knesset member from the left-wing Meretz Party and one of the participants, said this was the first major demonstration against Sharon.
El Al Airlines added an additional flight from New York to Tel Aviv Thursday to help passengers left stranded Monday night when Tower Air unexpectedly halted all scheduled flights. The shutdown triggered an angry reaction among passengers flying from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv who were left standing in the rain at Kennedy Airport.
Irate Israeli passengers called the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan for help at 10 p.m. when they found the Tower Air terminal closed. The financially strapped airline had filed for bankruptcy protection just two months ago.
When Clifford Goldstein was 7, his father took him to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for a stockholders meeting of the Israeli company Ampal.
"I had five shares, so I went with him and I liked the feel of it," he recalled. "People were there as investors, but my father was there more because he wanted to invest in Israel."
A major Dutch insurance company said this week it was willing to join an international commission seeking to resolve Holocaust-era insurance claims: but only if it can use its existing claims process.
That condition was rejected by Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress. He said that unless the company, Aegon, agrees to an audit and other procedures in compliance with international guidelines established for claims processing, his organization's executive board would meet Jan. 25 to call for a boycott of the firm.
In a move that promises to speed fare collection on its 240 trains nationwide, Amtrak has contracted with Motorola to automate the system using equipment developed and manufactured in Israel.
Amtrak, announcing the $24 million contract, said the new system would be introduced on its new Acela Express high-speed rail service linking Boston, New York and Washington. That service had been expected to begin this year, but wheel problems have delayed it until next spring, according to a spokesman for Amtrak, John Wolf.
In a last-ditch effort to block Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from being able to form a new government after the Jan. 28 election, Labor Party leaders pledged this week not to rejoin him in another unity government.
Surrender is usually less about treason than about exhaustion, and the Jews are an exhausted people. After centuries of being killed, there are Jews suggesting we die not with a bang but a whimper. Better to live in Canaan than in Zion; better intermarriage than to be thought intolerant; better oblivion than being eaten alive.
ëSee here how everything leads up to this day. And itís just like any other day thatís ever been,î go the lyrics to a Grateful Dead song framed in the Manhattan office of Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.
It was like any other day, explains the rabbi. He was walking in Jerusalem with his wife, Becky, and their two small daughters. The older girl, Avigail, 7, was hungry. They turned onto King George and Jaffa streets midway through afternoon. The kids let him know, again, they were hungry.
ìWhat would you like, honey?î he asked.
As Israelis buried their dead following back-to-back Palestinian suicide bombings Sunday in Tel Aviv that killed 22 bystanders (seven of them foreign workers) political campaign commercials began running on Israel TV Tuesday night and analysts wondered how the terror attack and new political scandals would impact the Jan. 28 national election.