Five candidates are vying for the leadership in a Labor Party primary June 28 that some are viewing as crucial in positioning the party for major gains in the general election next year.
"It's clear that [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon's government is in trouble," said Yossi Alpher, a political analyst and former adviser to then-Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak. "It's not clear that [Sharon] will get his [Likud] party's nomination."
Alpher said it was unclear also how the Gaza disengagement slated to begin Aug. 15 would affect Sharon's nomination.
Wouldn't you know it: Deep Throat turns out to be a Jewish story. It so happens that Richard Nixon was so paranoid about a Jewish conspiracy out to get him that it even carried over to his search for Deep Throat.
A Conservative rabbi, a homosexual and an Israeli Arab were appointed to the Jerusalem City Council last week, but they cannot take office until Israel's fervently Orthodox interior minister approves. As of midweek, Eliyahu Yishai still had not acted.
"I've been told by my colleagues that there is a good chance we will have to go to court," said David Lazar, the Conservative rabbi.
By staving off early elections this week through a last-minute deal with the Labor Party, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given himself more time to try to negotiate peace deals with both the Palestinian Authority and Syria. But opposition leaders warn that any such deal would surely bring down the government.
Amid fears that Jerusalem was on the way to becoming an increasingly ultra-Orthodox-run city, secular businessman Nir Barkat won a decisive victory in Tuesday’s mayoral election, defeating an Orthodox rabbi and an Israeli-Russian billionaire and ending five years of haredi leadership.
In his victory speech, the 49-year-old venture capitalist and former computer entrepreneur claimed that he had “liberated” Jerusalem from fervently Orthodox rule and promised to be the mayor of all residents.
Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni was to meet with Labor Party leaders late this week in her coalition building efforts, but she made it clear she will drive a tougher bargain than Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in peace talks with Palestinians.
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted this week that Israel must give up East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to achieve peace, a view that may complicate efforts of his would-be successor to form a government.
Olmert’s comments, published Monday in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, were the most far reaching he has ever made publicly. And he revealed that Israel and the Palestinians were “very close to an agreement.”
Just hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni assured him that peace talks would continue while she assembles a new government, Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmed Qureia suggested that Palestinians may return to violence if the talks failed.
“Resistance in all forms is a legitimate right,” Qureia was quoted as saying.
Livni reportedly called Qureia to object to his remarks, saying that “violence and terror will never be legitimate” and would only be met by force.
Polls indicate Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will score a decisive victory in next Wednesday’s Kadima Party primary, setting the stage for her to become the first woman prime minister since Golda Meir more than 30 years ago.
But analysts caution that an upset is possible and believe she may have an even harder time putting together a coalition government to succeed that of Ehud Olmert, who has promised to resign after the election because of a corruption probe. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz is Livni’s chief rival for the Kadima top spot.
St. Paul, Minn. — Despite spin-control efforts by party leaders, the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate set off ripples of anxiety at this week’s Republican National Convention here, especially among Jewish delegates who worry that her views on foreign policy are a blank slate.
“There has been a lot of consternation all day,” admitted Fred Zeidman, a Houston businessman and co-chair of Jewish outreach for the McCain campaign, when asked about the impact of Palin’s selection on Jewish voters.