When HBO's third season of "In Treatment" premiered this week, one story line was that it lost its main writer, the Israeli novelist Yael Hedaya. (To fans of the show, don't worry: Jhumpa Lahiri is her replacement.) The HBO version was really an adaptation, nearly verbatim, of the Israeli hit series Bi'Tipul, where Hedaya wrote some of the best shows. Now in her mid-40s and still living in Israel, Hedaya is releasing her third novel in English translation this month, "Eden.&
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States sees as legitimate Israel's demand that Palestinians and other Arab states recognize Israel's Jewish character, a State Department spokesman said.
P.J. Crowley was pressed in a briefing Tuesday about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to extend a partial settlement building freeze in exchange for the Palestinian leadership's recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush offered to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees if Israel and the Palestinians reached a peace deal, Ehud Olmert said.
The former Israeli prime minister, speaking to the Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv Sunday night, said that Israel had agreed to absorb a symbolic amount of Palestinian refugees, a number he said to be fewer than 20,000.
I've sometimes had issues with pro-Israel media “monitors” who have made a cottage industry of blasting every newspaper, TV outlet and Internet news site that doesn't cover the Middle East conflict to their satisfaction and provide extensive “context” to every story – which sometimes means slamming every story that doesn't agree with their own personal politics.
But I'm also driven totally crazy by media outlets that sometimes prove the monitors correct.
Update: Now we've heard from the Conservative movement. In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Assembly and eight other movement groups said this: "As leaders of the Conservative/Masorti movement, we deplore these recent comments of Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that, like many of his comments over the years, constitute irresponsible incitement to violence.
Update: in this blog, I asked what Jewish leader would be the first to condemn Rabbi Ovadia Yosef''s death wish for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people. Answer: Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This just in from Foxman:
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- On the eve of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party wished for the demise of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reportedly said during his weekly Saturday night sermon at a Jerusalem synagogue. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."
Yosef also called the Palestinians "evil, bitter enemies of Israel."
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has been writing quite a bit from Israel and the West Bank in recent weeks. We learn that Israel and her policies are “obtuse,” “self-defeating,” the government “lashes out with force,” is “hard-line,” has “shot itself in the foot,” and is “antagonizing its support base in the United States” (June 2), aside from being “unjust” and “malignant” (June 30).