As a retired administrative assistant, Joyce Hawtof doesn’t have a lot of money to invest.
But this week, she was considering paying into a fund with other pro-Israel activists to buy a $28,000 mobile home for a West Bank outpost.
“I think it’s the right thing to do to help our brothers and sisters,” said Hawtof Tuesday in a phone call from Shdema, one of the stops on a three-day tour of east Jerusalem and West Bank communities intended to draw American money.
Growing up in Beersheva, Ilan Ramon didn't dream, as little boys in America did in the 1950s and 1960s, of being an astronaut. After all, no Israeli had ever been launched into space. He dreamt of flying, though, and soon learned to soar over his tiny country as a much-decorated Air Force pilot.
Now Ramon, 48, will do what he dared not even dream: He will travel into space.
Monday, November 16th, 2009
Early this month the Orthodox Union applauded the introduction of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 2009, but I’m guessing its pragmatic man in Washington, Nathan Diament, isn’t buying tickets for the new embassy’s opening ceremony.
Speaking at Monday’s Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded very much like a man who didn’t want to antagonize the president he was about to meet under visibly strained circumstances.
Several hours later the White House distributed a meeting “readout” that may have set a new record for brevity. Amid an almost total clampdown on leaks, the statement said only that the two leaders “discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship” and that President Barack Obama “reaffirmed our strong commitment to Israel’s security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues.”
Two weeks before an Israeli government program to double the immigration rate of Falash Mura from Ethiopia is set to begin, a compound operated by a New York-based humanitarian organization in Addis Ababa remains closed following threats against leaders of the Falash Mura community earlier this year.
The fate of the fenced-in compound in northern Ethiopia that serves as the central feeding and education location for thousands of Falash Mura awaiting immigration to Israel is now likely in the hands of local Jewish federations.
This follows the recent decision of the United Jewish Communities to halt its financial support of the programs, which became effective last week.
The compound will have to curtail many of its activities to forestall closing the entire site, in Gondar, according to spokesmen for the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Israeli ambassador Michael Oren may have brushed off J Street, which invited the new envoy to speak at their first national conference this week, but a lower-level official found time to talk to a group that takes even more critical positions when it comes to Israeli policy.
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
Maneuvering in advance of next week's first-ever national conference by J Street – the pro-Israel, pro-peace process lobby and political action committee -is getting nastier by the day. And it seems to me the stakes are growing.