Jerusalem — Harris Switzman, a 20-year-old college student from Toronto, said birthright israel — the five-year-old program that has sent more than 70,000 young diaspora Jews on free trips to Israel — is more than a gift.
As the Labor Party moved closer this week to joining Likud in a new coalition government to implement the Gaza disengagement plan, Israeli settlers stepped up their opposition by donning orange Stars of David and calling for civil disobedience against the withdrawal.
The orange Stars of David, reminiscent of the yellow stars the Jews of Europe were forced to wear by the Nazis, were to be distributed this weekend, but some settlers in Gaza began wearing them Tuesday and a picture of one of them with the star on her lapel ran on the front page of an Israeli newspaper.
There were advances and setbacks in the Middle East peace process this past week, punctuated by a new Egyptian-Israeli trade agreement, a terrorist attack that killed five Israeli soldiers, and a call for an end to violence by the frontrunner in the race for Palestinian president. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon continued efforts to assemble a new coalition government by the beginning of next week. That would enable him to pass the nation’s $60 billion budget by Dec.
Herzliya, Israel — When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came up with his disengagement plan for Gaza last year, he chose to announce it at the Herzliya Conference on Israeli National Strength and Security, a unique annual gathering of the country’s top political, security, economic and social leaders.Why not in the Knesset?“Because he wanted to speak to his peers, people he respects, and he wanted to get the most media attention,” explained a former official in the prime minister’s office.In its first five years, the Herzliya Conference has become that plat
by Joshua Mitnick |
Tel Aviv — His face half enshrouded in darkness, the Nigerian foreign worker stares out at the Dizengoff Street thoroughfare from a photograph in the window of the Rosenfeld Gallery as if to tempt passers-by into an obscured world for Israelis.
Beneath the photo, a few words of text explain the melancholy stare. To avoid deportation and free himself from an Israeli jail, “Kaster” became a police informant on smuggling operations on the border with Egypt.
by Joshua Mitnick |
Zikkim Beach, Israel — Itzik Levy rambles up a grassy sand dune just three miles down the coast from Ashkelon and surveys what he hopes one day could be the site of his new home.
Some 19 years ago, Levy had moved to the settlement of Eli Sinai on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip amid dunes with a similar view of the Mediterranean’s blue horizon. Now he’s lobbying the Israeli government to set aside areas like Zikkim Beach or the dunes of Nitzanim for Eli Sinai residents who want to rebuild their communities inside the Green Line.