Since the start of the Palestinian violence almost two years ago, Samech Zakout, a 19-year-old Israel Arab from Ramle, said he has lost all of the Jewish friends he once had.
"They think Iím a terrorist," he lamented.
But Zakout said he has made three new Jewish friends at Open House since joining this community center six years ago that fosters Israeli Arab-Jewish relations. And Zakout said he hopes to make other Jewish friends through his music.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon walked a tightrope this week, trying to downplay the significance of an Israeli troop withdrawal from Bethlehem to mollify the political right while at the same time giving the green light to proceed with pullbacks elsewhere.
"All that Israel has done is to pull a few jeeps and tank transporters out of the center of Bethlehem," Israel Radio quoted Sharon as telling his security cabinet Wednesday, even as concern increased about Iraq attacking Israel.
Israeli officials continued their crackdown on Palestinian militants this week, including charging a top Palestinian leader with murder, while early elections suddenly loomed as a possibility and Haifa's mayor announced his candidacy for the Labor Party leadership.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday in Tel Aviv District Court, Marwan Barghouti, 43, who once was touted as a successor to Palestinian President Yasir Arafat, was branded an "arch-terrorist whose hands are bloodied by dozens of terror actions."
When Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior was removed from a U.S. commercial plane last week by the pilot for posing a "security risk," it raised anew the enforcement of airline safety after Sept. 11.
The Aug. 8 incident marked the third time in recent months that a high-ranking Israeli delegation was barred from a flight because a pilot deemed them a security risk.
After another horrific week of Palestinian terrorism, punctuated by the killing Sunday of 13 Israelis that brought the Israeli death toll to more than 600 in 22 months, Israeli officials continued to seek new ways to deter future attacks.
There should have been birthday candles. Instead there were candles of mourning.
Janis Ruth Coulter would have been 37 last Monday. The petite blonde, who fell in love with Judaism while studying about the Holocaust in college, should have been celebrating with her friends and coworkers at the East Side offices of the Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she served as assistant director of the office of academic affairs.