Clipping bunches of grapes from a vineyard situated at the foot of this Jewish settlement and nearby Palestinian villages, 44-year-old Lorri Schaefer could easily be mistaken for a Orthodox Jewish settler with her headscarf, ankle-length skirt and a T-shirt reading, “Youth for the Land of Israel.”
The first time Michael Datikash, native of the Soviet republic of Georgia, went to Israel in the late 1980s, he was a staff photographer for the TASS news agency. He spent a month in the Jewish state, and returned to the USSR with photos that reflected his visions of Israel. TASS ran his pictures, but his communist bosses were not pleased — they had anticipated photos more critical of Israel. Datikash, who immigrated to the United States in 1991 and has worked as staff photographer for The Jewish Week for 22 years, retuned to Israel earlier this month, for the seventh time.
James D. Besser
Special To The Jewish Week
Israel is — once again — a hot issue in presidential politics, at least in the narrow confines of the Jewish community, but U.S. policy in the region is unlikely to change dramatically no matter what the Nov. 6 outcome. And what changes do occur will be shaped by broader U.S. interests — foreign and domestic — and by an unprecedented environment of upheaval in the region, not by the pro-Israel rhetoric both parties now regard as politically mandatory on the campaign trail.
Ehud Olmert, who resigned in disgrace as prime minister in 2008 to face corruption charges, is now being seen by some in Israel as the “great white hope” of the center-left to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next year’s election.
After recently being cleared of the most serious of several bribery charges that compelled his resignation, Olmert is being quoted by several sources as seriously considering reentering the political arena.
Jerusalem — The Aroma Café in the Germany Colony was pretty full on Tuesday night at 8, but virtually no one appeared to be giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s televised announcement about early elections the slightest bit of attention.
Of those within earshot, one young woman was focused on her cell phone messages while another 20-something applied green highlighter to an academic paper.