Joshua Mitnick

An Israeli Image Goes Up In Smoke

12/05/2007
Tel Aviv

Michal Ben Shlomo looked around at the empty bar at Café Bialik, then over to the “No Smoking” sign scrawled in blue crayon written, and cracked a sad smile.

“This is supposed to be happy hour and look what happened,” she said. “This is a bar of smokers. Only a couple of times families didn’t come in here because of the smoke.”

Promises, Promises: Settlements Revisited

11/28/2007
Israel Correspondent

Ariel, West Bank — On a sprawling hill top in this West Bank town Tuesday, a commitment made by Israel’s leader in distant Annapolis this week seemed likely to take one of two possible paths, with the outlines of each already apparent.

“Look up there. My son lives in that container,” gestured Arik Yeffet. “There are leaks in the winter, and the heating is insufficient. He deserves to have a spot of his own. Did we commit a crime?”

What Summit?

11/28/2007
Staff Writer

Tel Aviv — “A new beginning.”

The post-Annapolis proclamation ran as the banner headline on Israel’s largest selling daily, Yediot Ahronot.

But on the sun-bathed morning after the Rothschild Coffee Spot — the café kiosk hub of Tel Aviv’s most lively boulevard — few chose to let the first renewal of peace talks in seven years distract them from their morning java.

Policing The Police

11/07/2007
Israel Correspondent

Jericho, West Bank — Dressed in freshly pressed uniforms, officers stroll through the new school toting briefcases stuffed with course packs for classes in information technology and Hebrew.

Wake-up is at 5 a.m., and the daily schedule includes lineups, weight training and lectures. It is a place of order, discipline and timetables — concepts not usually associated with the Palestinian security forces.

Power Cuts To Gaza Fuel Fresh Debate

10/31/2007
Israel Correspondent

Netiv Ha’asara, Israel — Israel’s dilemma over using fuel and gas supplies to punish Gazans for rocket fire came into sharp focus this week when a salvo of five mortar shells slammed down on this farming cooperative near the Gaza border.

Despite a government decision to impose the controversial sanctions to deter Palestinian militants from similar attacks in the future, experts and locals doubted whether cutting electricity in Gaza would contain the cross-border strikes.

A Different Exodus From Egypt

10/31/2007
Israel Correspondent

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.

Anxious At The Syrian Border

10/11/2007
Israel Correspondent

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.

Getting Down To Business

08/17/2007
Israel Correspondent

Ramallah, West Bank — Is there room on the Palestinian political spectrum alongside Hamas and Fatah? A group of West Bank businessmen believes they’ve identified a potential niche.

‘A Biography Of The Israeli Dream’

06/22/2007
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — The summer of 1967 in Israel is recalled universally as a time of euphoria and romance for a country in the afterglow of a stunning military victory.

But for Yossi Klein Halevi, at the time a 14-year-old Orthodox kid from New York visiting his relatives for the first time, the war also inspired him and a cousin to mark the Ninth of Av fast by eating a falafel.

Goodbye To All That

03/08/2007
Israel Correspondent

Kibbutz Ga’ash, Israel — Its paint peeling and windows boarded up, the original cafeteria on this kibbutz looks like an abandoned shack. Nearby, the first chicken coop has been converted into seedy artist studios.

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