by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Members of the Chabad chasidic sect danced in the streets Monday when one of its local activists emerged from an Israeli prison, where he had been imprisoned on suspicion of plotting an attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But in Brooklyn Monday, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chabad’s international director, was striving to put as much distance as possible between the organization and the activities of its Israeli members.
“I don’t know who he is,” said Rabbi Krinsky, “I’ve never heard of him.”
Jerusalem — American and Israeli Jews seemed to have switched traditional roles during the General Assembly of the UJA Federations of North America, held here this week.
Not only was the conference held in Israel for the first time in its 67-year history, but a surprisingly large number of Israelis were participating, seeking to connect with American Jewry. And Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged to provide millions of dollars to educate diaspora youth.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Two weeks after Israel and the Palestinians signed their most recent recommitment to the Mideast peace process, a dovish Jewish group’s finding that Israel is failing to meet many of its obligations has set off storm of criticism from some other Jewish groups.
Jerusalem — Agnes Hirschi said she felt “quite ashamed” at the standing ovations she recently received in Israel at every stop at which she was introduced. “It’s not for me,” she said of the applause, “it’s for my father. I wish he could be here. I hope he can look [down] from heaven and see it somehow.”
The Israeli cabinet met again Wednesday to finally ratify the Wye peace accords. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attached conditions that could delay full implementation of the land-for-peace agreement hammered out with American help.
One of the conditions is an understanding that the entire peace process could be ended should Palestinian President Yasir Arafat unilaterally declare a Palestinian state next May, as he has promised to do.
by Avi Machlis and Lawrence Cohler-Esses
JTA Reporter and Staff Writer
Al-Burg, West Bank — From her hilltop village of Al-Burj, located southwest of Hebron, Majida Talahmeh closely followed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators last month as they put the finishing touches on the Wye River Memorandum in the United States.
Like many Palestinians, Talahmeh, 27, worried about how a new agreement on security cooperation would affect the Palestinian people. Her family feels that it has already paid a heavy price for Israeli security demands.