Israeli officials and analysts expressed surprise and confusion over Bush administration statements this week critical of Israel, with some speculating that the remarks may have been triggered by domestic politics.
On Monday, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” about the thousands of Palestinians left stranded by Israel’s decision to close the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The Reuters news agency called it “an apparent rare rebuke of the Jewish state.”
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
Suddenly, it seems, the increasing numbers of Jewish singles are gaining attention, from demographers warning of our shrinking numbers, to entrepreneurs pushing JDate and a host of other dating Web sites and matchmaking services, to psychologists worrying that today’s young people are being unrealistically demanding in choosing a mate.
by Joshua Mitnick |
Tel Aviv — Boaz Levy couldn’t recall the last time he had been to a peace rally.
As demonstrators filed past the street bench where he rested after a 120,000-strong demonstration Saturday night supporting a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Levy explained that the dejection from three and a half years of daily violence stifled any motivation to speak out.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, vowing that the targeted killings of Hamas’ top leaders in recent weeks was “not the end of it,” stepped up military attacks in northern Gaza this week on Palestinians firing rockets at Jewish settlements.
At least nine Palestinians were killed in gunfights with Israeli troops in the area. The rocket attacks increased following Israel’s missile attack on Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
When Ariel Sharon returns to Israel at the end of this week, he will face what could be his most challenging two weeks as prime minister as he attempts to persuade his Likud Party to adopt his disengagement plan in a May 2 referendum.
Sharon hopes to use the commitments he won this week from President George W. Bush as leverage to garner support for the plan. But Shaul Goldstein, mayor of the regional council of the Gush Etzion bloc just south of Jerusalem, said that may backfire.
The national debate in Israel over the propriety of defending isolated settlements is expected to intensify after the Passover holiday as more than 200,000 Likud Party members are asked to approve Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip.