Tel Aviv — The iconic but crumbling Bauhaus building just off the Ayalon freeway in south Tel Aviv resembles the bridge of a ship, a tribute to the Jewish immigrants who reached pre-state Israel in boats.
In the last three months, an abandoned basement pub and a construction site at the same building have become a makeshift absorption center for dozens of illegal African migrants and an embodiment of Israel’s most sensitive immigration dilemmas as the state nears its 60th anniversary.
Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights — It started last spring when grazing sheep crossed to the Israeli side of the invisible Golan Heights disengagement border, bringing Syrian herdsman face to face with IDF soldiers on heightened alert after the Lebanon war.
Jerusalem — In the wake of this week’s agreement between the United Nations and Iraq, attention here turned to the threat posed by other countries in the Middle East with nonconventional weapons.
In addition to Iraq, “Iran, Syria, Egypt and Libya are all developing chemical and biological weapons at a rapid rate,” said Dr. Dany Shoham, a military expert at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Affairs.
Jerusalem — Yossi Oren says he isn’t worried that Iraq will attack Israel with conventional, biological or chemical weapons.
“The situation is a lot better now than it was seven years ago,” asserts the 43-year-old Jerusalemite, referring to the 1991 Gulf War. During that six-week battle, Iraq lobbed 39 Scud missiles at Israel.
“Today,” Oren continues, “Israel has more sophisticated tools to destroy missiles. And anyway, I don’t think any Scuds will fall.”
I recently experienced the Hollywood blockbuster "Spider-Man," and was delighted to see mild-mannered Queens high school student Peter Parker turn himself into a crime-fighting superhero. Jews invented the modern superhero 60 years ago, developing the concept of a well-intentioned but unempowered person transformed through accident into a powerhouse. Their creations (Superman, Spiderman and the like) are descendents of the golem, which was created to protect Jews from pogroms.
Another historical marker for the Middle East on the eve of Annapolis: Nov. 29 marks the 60th anniversary of the United Nations approval of a partition plan to divide the Jews and Arabs of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. How fitting, sadly enough, that this week also signals the umpteenth diplomatic attempt to resolve the same Arab-Israeli conflict.
It can be frustrating or awkward “to see people involved in a peace walk one week and the same people involved in an anti-Israel protest the next week,” said Rabbi Micah Kelber of the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, a small Conservative synagogue in the midst of one of the nation’s largest Arab communities.
Brooklyn rep backtracks on Gaza
after meetings with Jewish leaders.
Assistant Managing Editor
After voting with 36 other members of the House in November against a resolution that the Goldstone Report to the UN was unfair to Israel, Brooklyn’s Yvette Clarke reportedly told Jewish leaders in her district that she’d consult with them on Middle East issues in the future.
Global financial markets are anticipating a downturn, the word “recession” is being whispered on Wall Street and, as a result, holiday bonuses at the large banks and investment houses may be considerably lower this year. But those worries failed to dampen last week’s Wall Street Dinner, the annual event organized by the Wall Street and Financial Services Division of UJA-Federation of New York.
As the military government in Myanmar continued its crackdown on pro-democracy activists, a Burmese Jew now living in the United States expressed his sorrow over the killing of civilians — a number that could be as low as the 10 acknowledged by the government or as high as the hundreds claimed by human-rights advocates.
Sammy Samuels, a New York-based employee of American Jewish Congress, also said he witnessed one of the largest demonstrations preceding the crackdown while visiting his family in Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, for the High Holy Days.