As she plans to cap her first year in office with a trip to Israel, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton believes she’s vanquished a “stereotype” about her support for the Jewish state.
“People who stood with me are glad they did,” Clinton told The Jewish Week in a telephone interview Tuesday. “A lot of people have come to me in the last year and told me they support me. It’s part of the process of standing on my own and being judged in reality, as opposed to some stereotype.”
Israeli officials in the United States for talks with the Bush administration have stressed that they will continue to hold discussions with “realistic” Palestinian leaders even as they confine Palestinian President Yasir Arafat to his headquarters in Ramallah and counter Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian efforts to help the Palestinian terror campaign.
As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon flew to Washington for talks Thursday with President George W. Bush at the White House, saber rattling picked up between Israel and Iran.
Olive groves, long a symbol of peace, have become the unlikely focus of a debate about morality in a time of war that has intensified in recent days in Israel.
It’s a clash that pits the little-known Rabbis for Human Rights — founded in 1988 to speak out for social justice, equality and humanity — against a dissident group of rabbis who argue that morality must be compromised in wartime.
Residents of Jerusalem, still reeling from two Palestinian terrorist attacks in six days that killed three Israelis and injured dozens, were anxiously awaiting implementation of a plan proposed this week to increase security in Israel’s capital city.
“The Zionist enterprise cannot survive if Israel becomes the most dangerous place for Jews [to live],” Housing Minister Natan Sharansky ominously told Jewish American leaders here Tuesday.
Jerusalem — Diana Normatov, a Queens College junior, signed up last summer for her first visit to Israel this month. Then she had second thoughts about taking part in the program sponsored by birthright israel. The intifada raged, in Israel and on CNN. Scenes of Palestinian carnage throughout the country scared her and other prospective tourists.
“I was almost not going,” she admits.
Her mother had an opinion. “My mother said ‘no.’ ”
But Diana’s father had the last word; he told her to go.
Israel has embarked on a new strategy in its effort to convince Palestinian President Yasir Arafat to end the violence and return to the negotiating table — seize or destroy Palestinian property. It also positioned tanks to forcibly end regular Palestinian shooting at the residents of Gilo in southeastern Jerusalem.
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