Tekoa, West Bank — For the people who live here, the Jewish settlement of Tekoa is something akin to paradise. Built atop a mountain in the starkly beautiful Judean Desert, its comfortable homes afford a breathtaking view of the camel-colored cliffs that extend in all directions. Here and there Arab villages, as well as the nearby settlement of El David, dot the parched mountainsides, adding a bit of color to the desert landscape.
Jerusalem — Lynda Prince, a Native American from British Columbia, Canada, received more than a few curious stares last week when she explored the Israeli capital in Indian authentic garb.
Prince, who was in Israel to attend an annual evangelical Christian conference called the Feast of Tabernacles, wore a 30-pound deer-skin wedding dress and brightly colored feathered headdress during much of her visit, despite the sizzling autumn heat.
Jericho, West Bank — It’s always been a gamble for Israeli Jews to travel into the West Bank. Now there may be a payoff. While many Israelis are making pilgrimages to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron this holiday season, many others are traveling the winding roads of the West Bank to visit the region’s newest casino.
Misgav, Galilee — It is the second week of first grade, and 6-year-old Faidi Mohammed looks as if he’d like to be anywhere but this classroom, listening to a teacher describe in Hebrew the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah.
Like most of the 32 children enrolled in Israel’s first fully accredited bilingual school, Faidi, a dark-haired boy with an engaging smile, is in the grips of culture shock.
Jerusalem — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel has no choice but to adhere to the Oslo peace accord, despite the fact that he considers it a “flawed deal.” Speaking to a group of journalists representing Jewish newspapers, Netanyahu said that Israel is committed to carrying out a second redeployment under the treaty’s interim stage. To do otherwise, he said, could jeopardize the country’s international treaties with other nations.
Jerusalem — Suddenly, it’s hip to be square in the Holy Land. Since the beginning of the year in Old Katamon, a historic, tree-lined neighborhood here, at least two dozen singles in their 30s and 40s have announced their engagements.
Although there is nothing unusual about Israelis getting hitched (by the age of 40 more than 90 percent have been married at least once), many, perhaps most of the above-mentioned brides and grooms met their soulmates through a professional or amateur matchmaker.
Jerusalem — Shimon, a student at the ultra-Orthodox Tiferet Israel yeshiva, says he is not prepared to serve in the military, even if a new bill calling on the draft of yeshiva students is passed in the Knesset.
“I won’t go into the army, even if there is a law,” says the army-age yeshiva bocher, who studies at the school from early in the morning until late at night.