Much to the chagrin of the Israel's Foreign Ministry, an Israeli group is planning to display at a Jewish expo here in December the skeletal remains of Egged bus No. 32, blown apart by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem a year ago killing 19 and wounding more than 70.
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jonathan Peled, said Zaka, the Orthodox organization of volunteers who retrieve body parts after terrorist attacks, "approached us and asked us our opinion" about such a display at the biannual Jewish Expo Dec. 20-22 at the Javits Center.
Even as the Israeli cabinet decided Wednesday to approve construction of a security barrier in the heart of the West Bank, it opted to delay voting to connect the barrier to the main security fence for fear of jeopardizing American aid.
The 18-4 vote was widely expected because the compromise allows the government breathing room to work out American objections and yet sends a message to the settlers that they are not being abandoned. The fence is to be east of the large Jewish settlements of Ariel and Kedumim, but will not be continuous in early stages.
by Joshua Mitnick and Stewart Ain |
Israel Correspondent and Staff Writer
Tel Aviv: An expected Israeli prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group that sits along Lebanon's southern border with Israel, is raising eyebrows in the Middle East because the swap reportedly includes Israel's release of some Palestinian terrorists.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
A year ago, I wrote in this space on the eve of Rosh HaShanah that “5762 was one of the worst years for the Jewish people since the Holocaust era.” What, then, can I say about the year just ending — a year that saw hundreds more Israelis killed by Palestinian violence; that saw anti-Semitism increase, particularly in Europe; that brought a war on Iraq that ousted its despotic leader but left Americans wondering if had become entangled in a new Vietnam; and that ends with the Mideast road map leading, it seems, to another dead end of hopelessness?
The leader of a major West Bank settlement bloc threatened to lead a move to oust the Sharon government if it bows to American pressure not to place Ariel and other large Jewish settlements within the security barrier now under construction.
Shaul Goldstein, mayor of the Regional Council of Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements just south of Jerusalem with a strong historical and emotional tie to Israelis, said that if the Sharon government runs the barrier along the Green Line, Israel's pre-1967 border, "it will become a political fence, not a security fence."
Israelis were filled with anger, frustration and pessimism this week following two suicide bombings five hours apart Tuesday, one in the heart of Jerusalem and the other near Tel Aviv, that killed at least 15 and wounded dozens. And few were optimistic that the new Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, would do any more to stop the violence than his predecessor, who quit in despair last weekend.
“Clearly, there is a sense of futility among many,” said Uzi Arad, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy and former director of intelligence for the Mossad.