Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon has been Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s harshest critic during Barak’s 17 months in office, claiming the prime minister was making too many concessions in his quest for peace. Now, three months of Palestinian rioting may have set the stage of Sharon to unseat Barak in elections Feb. 6.
In the battle of the former generals, polls put Sharon as many as 18 points ahead of Barak, 58, who if defeated would be Israel’s shortest-serving prime minister.
Supporters of embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak are hoping he can pull off the Israeli equivalent of a November surprise — a peace agreement with the Palestinians that would turn his bid for re-election into a referendum for peace.
Yehudit Moch of Park Slope walked into St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village last week sporting a T-shirt embroidered with a large Star of David.
"You'd better close your jacket," said the receptionist, who was half-Jewish. "It's not safe to be wearing that on the streets of New York."
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
"Will the Arabics throw rocks or bombs at us while we're having recess?" my 6-year-old son asked. His class party in the school sukkah had been canceled, and he wanted to know why.
Aryeh's school, located near the heart of Brooklyn's downtown Arab community and in an area where Jews have been targeted by stone-throwers several times in recent weeks, was sufficiently concerned about nighttime security to cancel the party.
Where's Joe? That's the question some American Jews are asking about Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman as the crisis in Israel sinks to its worst levels in decades. Some are concerned that the Connecticut senator (the first Jew in history to run on a major presidential ticket) has not been more out front in defending Israel in the face of increasing criticism from the United Nations and Arab countries over the violence. More than a hundred Palestinians and eight Jews have been killed since the conflict broke out this month.
As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat raced from Paris to Egypt this week seeking to negotiate an end to a week of violence that claimed at least 60 lives — including five Jews — pessimism grew that any eventual peace treaty they hammer out would be acceptable to Israeli Jews.
Naomi Blumenthal, chairman of World Likud, said the rioting signaled that the Palestinian people “don’t want peace. We know it now, and most Israelis are very disappointed.”