Although it is too early to call it a breakthrough, the upbeat assessment of Wednesday’s summit in the Gaza Strip between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat sets the stage for talks next week in Washington between the two leaders and President Bill Clinton.
by Michele Chabin |
Jericho, West Bank — It’s always been a gamble for Israeli Jews to travel into the West Bank. Now there may be a payoff. While many Israelis are making pilgrimages to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron this holiday season, many others are traveling the winding roads of the West Bank to visit the region’s newest casino.
Lawrence Cohler-Esses and James D. Besser |
Like Lucy holding out her football for Charlie Brown to kick again, President Clinton, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat once more raised the world’s expectations Monday for a breakthrough on their long-stalled peace agreement.
But when the three faced an expectant White House press corps after their meeting, Clinton again voiced the phrases heard so often before.
by Michele Chabin |
Misgav, Galilee — It is the second week of first grade, and 6-year-old Faidi Mohammed looks as if he’d like to be anywhere but this classroom, listening to a teacher describe in Hebrew the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah.
Like most of the 32 children enrolled in Israel’s first fully accredited bilingual school, Faidi, a dark-haired boy with an engaging smile, is in the grips of culture shock.
There were a number of signals early this week that a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat may take place while both men are here to address the United Nations General Assembly. It would be their first in 11 months.
Jerusalem — Nine students are sitting around a table in a sunny classroom near the Old City, studying verses from the Midrash. Their bearded teacher, a knit kipa on his head, leads them in a discussion of the passage’s biblical roots and some possible interpretations.
Sounds like a typical yeshiva scene.
But most of the students are wearing blue jeans. The class includes bareheaded men — and several women.
Not a typical yeshiva scene.