Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert last week staunchly rejected Palestinian vows to make east Jerusalem their capital while declaring his commitment to equal rights for Palestinian city residents under Israel’s exclusive rule.
The throngs were still cheering the marching bands and flag-waving yeshiva children snaking up Fifth Avenue last Sunday at the Israel Day Parade. But at the ornate Essex Hotel on Central Park South, just blocks from the reviewing stand where he had hailed the crowd two hours earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed for just a moment uncharacteristically reticent.
The scheduled appearance in New York of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s controversial new deputy prime minister, is expected to bring many Jewish leaders with tough questions for him to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations next Wednesday. But this week, Americans for Peace Now, slammed the conference itself for sponsoring the appearance of the man who advocates stripping Israeli Arabs citizens of their citizenship.
On the eve of his first U.S. visit since becoming deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, has received a provisional pass from much of the Jewish establishment — and a stamp of approval from one leader who denounced him just last May.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week this week, “I don’t see anything extremist since he became part of the government.”
It was 22 years ago that Chava Katz and 12 other young Jewish women were permitted by the Syria government to leave their homeland and travel to the United States to find a Jewish husband. Now, with Israel and Syria talking peace, she has mixed emotions.
"I hope they do it," she said of the peace negotiations. "But I don't trust any Arab countries. Would I ever go back? Never! Even my husband asks me that. But I would never return because times there were very tough."