Some 125 American visitors were sitting down to lunch in the Gaza settlement of Neve Dekalim Sunday when they heard the sounds of explosions. They later learned that a rocket attack had killed three workers at a nearby greenhouse in Ganei Tal. Five others, all non-Israelis, were wounded. Another attack, almost simultaneously, damaged a home in nearby Sderot, just outside Gaza, causing no injuries.
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.
Some 25 Jewish organizations have agreed to sign an open letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in support of his Gaza disengagement plan that will be published in Sunday's New York Times, according to Seymour Reich, who organized the coalition. The ad, which will coincide with Sharon's visit to the United States, calls the Gaza plan "courageous" and "possibly the most difficult of your political career," while recognizing the pain of those who will be removed from their homes.
If the supporters of the Likud Party have their way, the Golan Heights will be on the lips of every Jewish New Yorker next month.
"Have the Golan on your table for Rosh HaShanah," is the theme of a new campaign the American Friends of Likud is launching to encourage New Yorkers to drink wine from the vineyards of the Golan Heights on the Jewish New Year. It is to remind New Yorkers of Likud's position against Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in any peace treaty with Syria.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s future could lie in the hands of a millionaire Long Island rabbi and businessman who is reportedly set to testify as early as this week that he gave bribes to Olmert while Olmert served as Jerusalem’s mayor from 1999 to 2002.
Israelís peace movement, largely dormant since Ariel Sharon was first elected prime minister three years ago, resurfaced last weekend amid calls for a political framework for peace and withdrawal from a contentious settlement in Gaza.
An estimated 4,000 Israelis took to the street Saturday night to protest Sharon's policies in a demonstration outside his Jerusalem residence.
Naomi Chazan, a former Knesset member from the left-wing Meretz Party and one of the participants, said this was the first major demonstration against Sharon.
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came under fire at home this week for allegedly disregarding Palestinian civilians in its zeal to combat terrorists, and from the United Nations, which called upon Israel to remove its security barrier that Arabs call a land grab.
The controversy within Israel arose after the Israeli military launched one of the largest series of air strikes against terrorists in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Five air strikes were conducted against suspected Palestinian terrorists and a weapons factory in Gaza City.
For the first time, a son of Safed is prime minister. All right, so Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is the Palestinian prime minister, but Israelís fate is in his hands as much as anyoneís. When he insists that peace depends on Israel recognizing the Arab right of return, heís talking about himself and heís talking about Safed.
As the Labor Party reaffirmed its intention to stay out of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new government, the chairman of the secular Shinui Party spoke of joining: and for the first time softened his demand that government handouts end for fervently Orthodox men who don't work.
"You have to do it gradually," Shinui leader Tommy Lapid told The Jewish Week. "We don't want to cause unnecessary suffering to large families. But people who are able-bodied men should go and work.