Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
In the beginning there was birthright. Conceived by several American Jewish philanthropists a decade ago, birthright israel was launched in 2000 as an effort to give Jews around the world between the ages of 18 and 26 a free, 10-day trip to Israel as a means of sparking Jewish identity and countering the trends of assimilation and declining interest in the Jewish state.
Even though nearly three years of secret, unofficial Israeli-Syrian talks have ended, the Israeli who conducted the negotiations has not given up and believes it would take only four to six months for both sides to reach an agreement. Alon Liel, a former director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said he and his Syrian-American counterpart, Ibrahim Suleiman, have been invited to discuss their talks at an April 12 meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
The Bush administration’s decision this week to join an international conference on Iraq that is expected to include Iran and Syria opens the door to Israeli talks with Syria, something the U.S. has reportedly been strictly against, according to several Israeli analysts.
by Michele Chabin |
JERUSALEM — Ariel Toaff may have backed off his explosive claim in a just-published book that European Jews killed Christians to use their blood — adding credence to the ancient blood libel canard — but this week Knesset members were smelling blood: Toaff’s.
In a dramatic development Monday, two historians who have read the book spoke to legislators at a Knesset Education Committee meeting organized to determine whether Toaff should be charged with a crime.
by Joshua Mitnick |
Kibbutz Ga’ash, Israel — Its paint peeling and windows boarded up, the original cafeteria on this kibbutz looks like an abandoned shack. Nearby, the first chicken coop has been converted into seedy artist studios.
by Michele Chabin |
KIRYAT SHEMONA, ISRAEL — “Mira,” a woman in her late 50s, hasn’t been able to stay home alone since the start of Hezbollah’s summertime war with Israel, when more than 1,000 rockets struck this hilly northern town on the Lebanese border.