The children on the television program seen climbing a slide in a playground look like any kids one might see on "Sesame Street" in the United States except for one thing: they speak in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic. Welcome to "Rechov Sumsum," Israel's version of "Sesame Street."
As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought to shore up his coalition government this week by adding right-wing lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman, media reports spoke of an imminent showdown between Fatah and Hamas, military tensions on the Syrian border, and threats of a Palestinian attack.
"This is the calm before the storm," Abu Abir, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, vowed at a press conference after Israeli troops reportedly killed seven Palestinians in clashes in the Gaza Strip Monday.
A bill permitting civil marriage in Israel, which the government of Ehud Olmert had promised to propose, is finally ready for submission to the Knesset. But its chief advocates are opposed, saying it is too narrowly drawn.
by Larry Cohler-Esses |
Editor At Large
The earliest of what promises to be a cascade of post-mortems on Israel's military performance in Lebanon last summer are starting to come in. And the picture they paint is far from pretty.
They depict military and political leaders sending soldiers to war against the Shiite guerrilla force Hezbollah with ill defined, constantly shifting goals. They speak of commanders who failed to lead their soldiers personally, in the time-honored Israeli fashion, instead staying behind the lines to monitor their units' progress on video screens.
by Stewart Ain And Joshua Mitnick |
Palestinian infighting is complicating efforts to win the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, captured by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from Gaza June 25, and Israeli officials are said to be considering their own raid to free him, according to Israeli analysts.
Israeli troops remained in southern Lebanon this week after their withdrawal was delayed by disagreements with United Nations commanders over how to handle armed Hezbollah terrorists and amid reports that Hezbollah was rearming and moving rockets closer to Israel's border.