Fifty-five years ago this week, a flat-bottom ship that had conveyed American troops during World War II pulled into the Mediterranean waters near Kfar Vitkin, 23 miles north of Tel Aviv, and became a black mark in Israeli history.
The Altalena is little known to young Israelis; the Hebrew anniversary of its arrival and eventual destruction went almost unnoticed last week.
Israeli analysts were divided this week on Israelís military response to Sunday's Hamas attacks that killed five Israeli soldiers, with some arguing that the reprisal assaults set back the peace process while others insisting it will help in the long run.
"Israel tried to weaken Hamas and to help Abu Mazen," said Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
The intifada took Irena Stanislavsky's only son. Now Israel, mired in a deep recession, is taking back its pledge to help her financially.
Stanislavsky, a Russian immigrant, is one of the forgotten victims of the grinding intifada, now approaching its third anniversary. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Israelis like her, ones whose scars are emotional, not physical, and will not disappear even if the peace process takes root.
by Joshua Mitnick |
Gaza City — Hours before narrowly escaping an assassination attempt by the Israeli military, Hamas leader Abdel Azziz Rantisi dismissed the U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace plan and claimed that most Palestinians opposed it as well.
“It’s a big mistake. You won’t find any Palestinian who will tell you otherwise,” said the Hamas hardliner in an interview with The Jewish Week Monday at his home here on the Gaza Strip.
Even as Wednesday's summit meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, kicked off the first steps down the road map to achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace, the government of Israel is continuing to erect an elaborate security barrier to separate Israel from Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University, called the multimillion-dollar barrier a costly "insurance policy."
In the three weeks prior to May 19, the Israel Defense Forces reported 299 terror attacks ó not just bombings but shootings, knifings, assaults and hit-and-run car attacks ó among other incidents and foiled threats.
The number of Israeli casualties since September 2000, the outbreak of the second intifada, has reached 6,177, with 778 killed and 5,399 injured.