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.
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.
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.
Jerusalem — Give up on Oslo and Arafat. That’s what political pundits are saying the Labor Party, the dominant left-of-center force in Israel since its founding in the late 1960s, must do to maintain its political viability after leaving Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition government.
Jerusalem — President George W. Bush’s three-day visit to Israel has spurred a rush of grass-roots activism by Israelis who want the American and Israeli governments to hear their message.
Unfortunately for the protesters, the government’s decision to hermetically seal much of Jerusalem from Wednesday through Friday, coupled with its reluctance to grant permits for anything requiring even a modest police presence — meant that most events had to be held prior to Bush’s arrival.
Jerusalem — The bus and highway billboards are, well, explosive.
In the first signs of life from the settler movement since the disengagement from Gaza two years ago, the notices — which signal the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements disgust at next month’s planned summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) — insist that “The Agreement between Olmert and ‘Abu Bluff’ Will Explode in Our Faces.”