The Kaminer family of Kiryat Bialik, a Haifa suburb, needed a new place to live, temporarily, on short notice.
A Katyusha missile fired by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon exploded near their apartment two weeks ago. It was 20 yards away. “It was a miracle no one was injured,” says Chaim Kaminer, a 59-year-old businessman. His home wasn’t damaged, “thanks God,” but his family’s psyche was. “It’s driving you crazy to stay all day in the shelter.”
Full-scale wars, which Israel has fought many times in the past, and major army operations, which Israel has found itself in during recent weeks in Gaza and Lebanon, usually bring stories of troop maneuvers and military analysis, call-ups of the reserves, and civilian sacrifices. The human side of war is often hard to picture from a distance, particularly when the fighting involves Israel, a country that few Americans, even American Jews, have visited.
As far back as the Munich Olympics of 1972, Palestinian terrorists and their supporters have used kidnapping as a political tool, abducting Israeli civilians and soldiers to be used in potential prisoner swaps and to obtain other concessions from Israel. Following is a chronology of prominent Israeli kidnappings and MIA cases:
1972: Members of the Black September terrorist group sneak into the Olympic Village in Munich and take 11 members of the Israeli delegation hostage. All 11 are killed.
New York City’s mayor combined the personal and the political during his latest visit to Israel.
During two days there last week, he took part in the dedication of a refurbished emergency rescue service center in Jerusalem, and spent a morning in a Negev city that has been the target of repeated rocket attacks from Gaza.
New Haven, Conn. — For a long time Yale University was not a good place to be a Jewish student. The WASPy Ivy League school here maintained a Jewish quota from the 1920s until the ‘50s, limiting the number of Jews to 10 percent of the undergraduate class.
For a forthcoming television documentary and DVD about contemporary anti-Semitism, New York producer Andrew Goldberg interviewed academicians, theologians and journalists on four continents. Many of the experts were Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, because, as the documentary shows, that region is the source of most anti-Semitism today.
For another, less-intellectual, perspective, Goldberg also wanted a look at public opinion, the “Arab street.” So he went to an Arab street.
More is at stake in D.C. meeting for Netanyahu than for Obama, observers say.
The smart money (is there such a thing when it comes to American presidents and Israeli prime ministers?) says, No friction.
The atmospherics (the Israeli prime minister won’t utter the words “two-state solution” and his foreign minister wants to ignore prior accords, while the American president wants an end to settlement building) say, Friction galore.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip throughout the Middle East last week found him in Israel on Easter — he joined thousands of pilgrims at a service in Jerusalem — but his visit there was no holiday.
During his three days in Israel, Cheney met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, voiced the Bush administration’s continued support for the Jewish state, urged all sides in the Middle East peace process to make further concessions and criticized two belligerent governments in the region.
Several Israeli social service and humanitarian organizations that incurred additional expenses during the country’s month-long war in Lebanon this summer have recently started fundraising campaigns. Among them are:
American Friends of Magen David Adom. Israel’s emergency medical service (www.afmda.org) raised $12 million in its Code Red Emergency Campaign, which began following the kidnapping in July of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. During the war, Magen David Adom ambulances and teams responded to nearly 1,500 medical events involving civilians and military personnel.