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.
Like most members of his generation, who grew up in communist Eastern Europe during the last years of communism, Sorin Rosen had no Jewish education or upbringing. “Nothing at all,” he says.
Like many Jews from former Iron Curtain countries who belatedly discovered their Jewish roots, Rosen became interested as a teen in learning what he had not as a child. After visiting some distant relatives in Israel, he became active in several Jewish organizations in Bucharest, his Romanian hometown.
Like some, he drifted toward religious observance.
The conviction of Haim Ramon, former Israeli justice minister, on an indecency charge this week, may lead to a shakeup of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s coalition government and a re-examination of the country’s sexual harassment laws, Israeli politicians said.
Ramon, 56, a close ally of Olmert, was found guilty Wednesday by Tel Aviv’s Magistrate Court for forcibly kissing a 21-year-old soldier at a party six months ago. He faces three years in jail, and is expected to appeal the verdict.
Jerusalem — A visitor handed Teddy Kollek a book to autograph several years ago. Kollek, sitting behind his desk in the office of The Jerusalem Foundation, where he worked as international chairman after losing a race for re-election as the city’s mayor in 1993, looked at the cover — the book, distributed by the foundation, was a collection of writings and photographs from his career.
“Where did you get this?” Kollek asked.An assistant said she had given it to the visitor.
American organizations that advocate equal rights for Arab residents of Israel were critical of a bill passed by the Knesset in an early stage last week that would limit the sale of Jewish National Fund land sales to Jews. The bill, approved in its first reading by a 64-16 vote, would bypass a 2004 court ruling and in effect bar the Israel Lands Authority from selling JNF land to Israeli Arabs.
Forty years ago this week — on the Hebrew calendar — Jerusalem was nervous.
The fighting that came to be known as the Six-Day War was still underway, and the extent of Israel’s lightning victory on three fronts was not yet fully known.
Then Mordechai Gur uttered the words that still ring through the decades, “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” and with the capture of the holiest spot in the Old City, the celebrating began.
On Monday time stood still in Israel.
For two minutes the sirens sounded, traffic stopped, and heads were bowed in memory of the Six Million martyrs of the Holocaust. Every year Yom HaShoah is marked by public displays of mourning and private recollections of loved ones who perished in occupied Europe.
The theme of Yom HaShoah this year was “bearing witness,” a recognition of the diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors. About 250,000 of them live in Israel, and 10 percent of that group dies each year.
Binyamina, a town near Haifa, and its most famous native son, have both grown over the last six decades.
Binyamina’s most famous native son is now Israel’s prime minister.
Ehud Olmert returned to his childhood elementary school this week and gave a third-grade class a surprise 40-minute lesson on civics on Tu b’Shevat and the Knesset’s 59th anniversary.
In an effort to reach beyond the Jewish community to gain traction in the fight against Israel's Gaza disengagement, a major pullout opponent has signed up a group of Bible Belt Baptist ministers who see the plan as an affront to God's will to join some 100 American Jews on a sojourn to Israel next week.
The ministers hope to spend three days with the soon-to-be-vacated Jewish settlers in Gaza on a mission organized by Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind to depart on June 5.