With Secretary of State Madeleine Albright slated to arrive next week in a bid to arrange a crucial retreat-style summit meeting involving Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s attention was focused instead on the Shas party and its threat to bring down his broad-based coalition government.
A still-stunned Sharbel Barakat, former deputy commander of the South Lebanon Army, admitted here last week that he felt “betrayed” by the sudden withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon a month ago.
“We’re confused [about the retreat],” he said softly. “For 23 years we had an alliance with Israel. We had more families in Israel than in Lebanon.”
Dalia Itzik, who has served as Israel’s environmental minister for nearly one year, is also a member of the Knesset who has served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem and a member of the Labor Party’s central committee. She was first elected to the Knesset in 1992, where she has served on the Committees for Finance, Education and Culture, as well as the Status of Women. Itzik was interviewed during a recent visit to New York.
Jewish Week: I understand you want to hire special environmental police to enforce environmental laws in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s hope of placating rebellious coalition partners who last week voted for early elections was dealt a blow Tuesday when the spiritual leaders of Shas ordered the party to leave the government.
The broad-based coalition government handcrafted by Prime Minister Ehud Barak to win support for his peace initiatives began to unravel this week even as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were slated to resume talks Monday in Washington following a two-week hiatus caused by Palestinian street rioting.
James D. Besser |
Border Now Flashpoint As Talks Hang In Balance
Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon could be a land mine right in the middle of the potholed road to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and the spark that could ignite a new Syrian-Israeli military conflagration.
That’s the view of some Clinton administration officials, despite their strong support for Israel’s unilateral action ending its 18-year occupation of the security zone in Southern Lebanon.