Dallas — Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar had heard enough. Israel’s top representative to the United States was squirming in his seat at the Reform movement’s national convention as he listened to noted Jewish historian Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg refer to Israel’s chief rabbis as “bigots with computers” — referring to a confidential computer list they maintain of children of illegitimate unions known as “mamzerim.”
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres stressed the need for a Palestinian state, a national unity government in Israel, and reducing the power of religious parties, during a wide-ranging speech last week at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel.
As Pakistan’s prime minister in the mid-1990s, Benazir Bhutto sponsored the fundamentalist Taliban insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan — thereby bringing to power the force that would shelter and defend Osama bin Laden.
Bhutto also unstintingly backed Pakistan’s covert nuclear weapons program as a response to the program of arch-rival India, including her country’s decision, while she was opposition leader, to conduct Pakistan’s first nuclear bomb tests in 1998, bringing to fruition the world’s first "Islamic bomb."
The flag in the background with the sky-blue stripes and Magen David, now torn and battered and stained, once flew in Lower Manhattan.
The Israeli flag was among the banners of several nations that hung in the entrance of one of the World Trade Center buildings, representing countries that had commercial interests in the landmark skyscrapers.
AIPAC’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington next week, could face its toughest battle with an administration in more than a decade, depending on the proposals Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brings to Washington later in May.
Netanyahu speech could be dry run for meeting with Obama
In a speech that could be a dry run for his upcoming meetings with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his government is ready to “resume peace negotiations” with the Palestinians “without any delay, without any preconditions, the sooner the better” and called for a “triple-track” approach that includes political as well as economic and security negotiations.
More is at stake in D.C. meeting for Netanyahu than for Obama, observers say.
The smart money (is there such a thing when it comes to American presidents and Israeli prime ministers?) says, No friction.
The atmospherics (the Israeli prime minister won’t utter the words “two-state solution” and his foreign minister wants to ignore prior accords, while the American president wants an end to settlement building) say, Friction galore.
The State of Israel does not have a state photographer, but if it did, he would be an 83-year-old native of Vienna.
David Rubinger came to Israel in 1939 as part of the Youth Aliyah movement, received his first camera in 1945, started his photo-journalist career by shooting pictures of Jerusalemites celebrating the UN’s approval of the Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947, and never stopped shooting.
A group of French Jews who made aliyah last week to be part of Israeli life avoided one of the less-enjoyable parts of Israeli life — a nationwide strike, the third in eight months.
Histadrut, Israel’s major labor federation, exempted Ben-Gurion Airport from a general strike that paralyzed the country for 24 hours. Workers at the airport remained on the job to handle the arrival of more than 600 French citizens, the largest single-day aliyah from France since 1972.
Shimon Peres, Israel’s vice prime minister and its leader best known for optimism regarding the Mideast conflict, put up a good front this week during a visit to New York, but acknowledged that the war with Lebanon was not going well.
“To be intellectually honest,” he began in a session with members of the press here Monday morning, “the war is not over” and “I don’t see a solution.”