Should the Palestinian leadership be judged by its words or its actions? That long-standing dilemma, and source of frustration for Israel, was underscored this week when Yasir Arafat, appearing before the Palestinian Legislative Council for the first time in 18 months, decried terror attacks against Israeli civilians even as Israel reported Palestinian plots to blow up a Tel Aviv skyscraper, bomb a hospital and poison food at a Jerusalem eatery.
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
Growing up in Beersheva, Ilan Ramon didn't dream, as little boys in America did in the 1950s and 1960s, of being an astronaut. After all, no Israeli had ever been launched into space. He dreamt of flying, though, and soon learned to soar over his tiny country as a much-decorated Air Force pilot.
Now Ramon, 48, will do what he dared not even dream: He will travel into space.
James D. Besser |
Israel’s new ambassador in Washington says he is an optimistic man, and by one measure Danny Ayalon is indisputably right.
Many of his Israeli government colleagues bristle with warnings to the Palestinians or grim assessments of the state of what used to be called the “peace process.” Ayalon, a professional diplomat who also has served as political adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, looks for opportunities to make the point that peace with the Palestinians is possible.
And not necessarily in the distant future.
Even as Israeli forces continued their unrelenting efforts to kill Palestinian terrorists and to arrest their political leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon planned to meet with a high-ranking Palestinian leader to renew peace talks.
In an interview published Wednesday by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Sharon said the meeting with an unnamed official would take place in the next few days: a sign, he said, that the Palestinian war machine is breaking down.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
It’s no secret that Israel has a number of pressing internal problems, from the declining economy and religious-secular tensions to bureaucratic bloat and political cynicism. But many Israelis, engaged for two full years now in a war imposed by the Palestinians and suffering from reports of fatal casualties on an almost daily basis, believe the social and political troubles must take a back seat to the military effort. Defeat the terrorists and get the peace process back on track, they say, and then we’ll attend to our own issues.
The specter of a fifth column, Israeli Arabs, conspiring from within Israel to help Palestinian terrorists emerged anew this week with the arrests of seven Israeli Arabs from one family in the Galilee. Members of the Bakri family were charged with helping the suicide bomber who blew up an Israeli bus Aug. 4 that killed nine Israelis and injured dozens of others.