Ramallah, West Bank — Walking through the sunny, well-kept streets of Deir Debwan, a half-hour outside Jerusalem, it is easy to see why this tony Arab enclave has been dubbed the Beverly Hills of the West Bank.
Thanks to the success of its far-flung sons and daughters, multi-level homes abound. Some have indoor swimming pools. And at one time or another, nearly half the town’s 8,000 residents have lived in the United States.
Jerusalem — While British Prime Minister Tony Blair practically did cartwheels to avoid courting controversy during his visit to Israel this week, New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, also on a whirlwind tour, took no such precautions.
Jerusalem — For the first time in her life, Efrat, a 19-year-old yeshiva student, will be voting in Israel’s national elections. Seated around a table with girlfriends in the food court of a downtown shopping mall, the soft-spoken teenager lists the issues most important to her.
“There needs to be more unity among all the people. Right now, there’s a distance between us. We need to be one nation, one people,” she says.
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.
The AP reported today that the Obama administration is unhappy about Israel's designation of the Cave of the Patriarchs and the tomb of Rachel as “national heritage sites,” which comes amid a “flurry” of U.S. diplomatic activity in the region.
Right-wing Im Tirtzu accuses New Israel Fund —and its president — of bearing responsibility for Goldstone; NIF decries campaign to repress ‘dissent and honesty.’
Charges that the New Israel Fund supports Israeli civil rights groups that played a key role in providing information highly critical of Israel’s role in the Gaza war last year have sparked a spirited, and nasty, debate over the proper role for civil and human rights groups in a democratic state.
Economy on strong footing as recovery gains steam.
Tel Aviv — A year ago if you were a star lawyer looking for a position with an Israeli firm, chances are it would have been a waste of time. As the U.S. economy swayed in financial crisis, companies stopped hiring.
Israeli military ethics expert says country’s tack on war probe ‘inadequate.’
Israel’s reported refusal to conduct an independent, thorough probe of its military’s handling of last winter’s 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza as demanded by the United Nations is a “missed opportunity,” according to Moshe Halbertal, co-author of the Israeli military’s code of ethics.
So let’s see: J Street is “anti-Israel,” according to the many emails I continue to receive and blogs I read (if Google News Alerts are any measure, J Street must be the single most active topic in the entire known universe). And Americans for Peace Now (APN) is, by almost any objective standard, further to the left than the upstart J Street.