Life-Saving Amid Bloodshed

Award-winning film about a Gaza boy and his Israeli doctor wins fans from all sides of the conflict.
Staff Writer

In 2008, Shlomi Eldar, a prominent Israeli television journalist, was asked to do a segment on a baby Palestinian boy suffering from a lethal blood disease, and an Israeli doctor’s attempt to save him. But Eldar was reluctant.

Raida, right, with her 4-month-old son Mohammad, middle, in a scene from “Precious Life,” which airs on HBO this month.

EU Covers Israel’s Suspended Tax Money to PA


(JTA) -- The European Union approved an extra $124 million in emergency aid to the Palestinians to supplement tax moneys frozen by Israel.

"It is important that access to essential public services remains uninterrupted and the right to social services is respected," Reuters on Friday quoted Catherine Ashton, the E.U. foreign policy chief, as saying.

Israel stopped payment this week on $105 million in owes the Palestinian Authority on customs duties and other taxes because of the unity agreement the P.A.'s Fatah Party signed with Hamas, a banned terrorist group.

A Unilateral Statehood Declaration is No Easy Fix


Since negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians have stalled, it’s becoming fashionable to discuss an “easy fix” of unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state. But the “easy fix” attempts an end run around a negotiated settlement, which is the only route through which a settlement could possibly be reached.

A Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) would bypass peace talks entirely.

Palestinians Search For A ‘New Star’

Arab spin on ‘American Idol’ gives performers a chance to show ‘we are not all Hamas.’
Special to the Jewish Week

Kfar al-Khadar, West Bank — It’s 20 minutes before show time and the young hopefuls sit together in clusters around cloth-covered tables. Some of the contestants are silent, internalizing their mood before the cameras start to roll, while others laugh and joke aloud to get their tensions out. With their hair and makeup already perfected and their carefully chosen outfits clean and pressed, there is little else to do except focus on the oversized television screen broadcasting the scene from the stage three floors below.

"New Star" contestant Hadil Rishmawi.

Hamas, Fatah Formally Sign Unity Pact


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas in a formal ceremony signed a unity agreement, repairing a four-year rift.

The ceremony Wednesday in Cairo was delayed for two hours after a question about whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and if he would speak at the event.

The signing of the unity deal turns "the black page of division," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, said following the signing at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters.

The old status quo just ain't what it used to be

What's most striking to me about recent events in the Middle East is how just about all the experts – the administration deep thinkers, their Republican critics, the academics and the foreign policy talking heads – failed to predict the seismic forces that are reshaping the region in ways we can't begin to fathom.

This isn't a matter of partisan politics. The Obama administration is clearly clueless about a region in turmoil, but I haven't heard anything resembling acumen from the Republicans, either.

Thinking About Gilad Shalit

Special to the Jewish Week

I'm thinking about Gilad Shalit...

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The UN Statehood Dead End


You don’t have to work for a Middle East think tank or have a doctorate in international relations to understand that a Palestinian state created through unilateral action can never be anything resembling a real state — even if it is endorsed by the United Nations.

Palestinian Group Slams Storing Rockets in Civilian Areas


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Palestinian human rights group in the Gaza Strip condemned the storage of rockets used against Israel in civilian populated areas.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in a statement posted on its website Tuesday called on the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza to investigate three incidents of homemade rockets exploding in densely populated civilian neighborhoods, causing heavy property damage and injuring six Palestinians, including a baby.

Facebook to Monitor Intifada Page, Won’t Remove It


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Facebook will monitor a page calling for a third Palestinian uprising against Israel but will not remove it.

"Third Palestinian Intifada," established on Facebook less than a month ago, calls for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15. The page, which as of March 27 had more than 330,000 friends, includes quotes and film clips calling for killing Jews and Israelis, and for "liberating" Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directs users to related content on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere.

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