untry steeped in memory, the Jewish state operates on a calendar of Jewish holidays that are implicitly or explicitly memorials, both religious and secular. But the fast pace of recent decades in Israel, one crisis or scandal or existential threat following closely on the heels of another, has left little time for communal remembrance of the latest events.
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,
by Benny Morris. (Yale University Press,
524 pages, $32.50.)
Of Israel’s first 60 years, its most important ones were arguably 1948 and 1967. Those were the seminal years that established the country’s existential viability, its collective attitude, its national borders, its dangerous demography and the problems that would shape it in the 21st Century.
Just after the attacks of 9-11, as the intifada simmered outside, Peter Cole, a poet and publisher living in Jerusalem, sat down at the breakfast table to read the morning e-mail from New York. One message contained a verse by the great scholar Gershom Scholem, and it represented one of the first translations of Scholem's poetry into any language.
International businessman Ronald Lauder told American Jewish leaders unequivocally last week that he had never given material support — directly or indirectly — to the political campaigns of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
The assurance, coming in the wake of a Jewish Week story that renewed questions about such ties, abruptly aborted a brewing movement to postpone voting Lauder in to lead organized Jewry’s most prominent umbrella group.
Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, a key architect of Israel’s breakthrough negotiations with the PLO in 1993 at Oslo, urged Palestinian leaders last week to stop insisting that Israel fully implement its most recent agreement with them, the Wye River Accord.
Nearly a half-million dollars raised in America for Israeli children by Likud fund-raisers cannot be properly accounted for, a joint investigation by The Jewish Week and the Israeli daily paper Haaretz has found.
The joint probe, which included scrutiny of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign financing, has found that some of the money in question — about $47,000 — was instead channeled directly to the Likud Party and other Israeli political causes.
Just outside of Ashkelon, on a huge expanse of land in Kiryat Gat, Intel, the U.S. computer chip giant, is building the single largest foreign investment in Israel’s history. Rising from the ground now at a quickening pace, Intel’s “Fab-18” plant will cost $1.6 billion to build. It will employ at least 1,500 people. And it is expected to generate about $1 billion per year in revenue once it opens, some time next year.
With the resignation of Foreign Minister David Levy from his government this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unsheathing his final, and perhaps strongest, weapon for staying in power: the opposition Labor Party.
Even as some among those remaining in his government threatened to bring it down if he ceded any more West Bank territory to Palestinian control, others vowed to do so if he did not.
A wave of protests and counter-protests across Iran this week has swept the fate of 13 Jews jailed there for espionage into a far corner of the country’s concern.
One of Iran’s more controversial international issues last week, the Jews’ fate shriveled in importance for Iranian leaders as their deep, longstanding internal conflicts flared into open battle between respective supporters in the streets of Tehran and other major cities.