The terrorist rampage this week that killed 12 Israelis in five suicide bombings within 48 hours is being seen by Israeli leaders as orchestrated by Palestinian President Yasir Arafat to undermine the leadership of his new prime minister. Israeli leaders were said to have few military options left to stop the terror attacks, which also scuttled nascent peace efforts.
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein has touched off a scramble among Jewish groups seeking compensation for Jewish refugees from Iraq as well as other Arab countries. In many cases the groups are competing against each other.
At stake potentially are billions of dollars from individual and communal claims.
The push for reparations comes at a time when Palestinians are demanding the right of return to their former homes in Israel.
For two decades Miriam and Yona Baumel have suffered while they held onto the belief that their son was alive. Zachary Baumel, a member of an Israeli tank crew, disappeared during a 1982 battle against the Syrian army in Lebanon.
Last week that belief was reinforced when the Baumels received information from a "top-notch" source that Zachary indeed was alive and transferred from Damascus to Lebanon.
"He said it was recent information," Yona Baumel said of the source, adding that the transfer was believed to have been made within the last three weeks.
With tourism to Israel and investments in industry there only a fraction of what they once were, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi is joining with other investors in giving the Israeli economy a boost through an infusion of $250 million.
When Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Israel this weekend to discuss the "road map" for peace, he will find Palestinian President Yasir Arafat still firmly in control of the Palestinian Authority and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refusing to even discuss the plan until the Palestinians give up their right-of-return to Israel.
"The big issue is that Arafat is still in control and there has been no regime change," said Gerald Steinberg, a professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University.
Saying there is "a serious problem" in the Orthodox community with "weekend alcoholics," the president of the Orthodox movement's Rabbinical Council of America plans to ask colleagues to consider restricting hard liquor in their synagogues for any and all occasions.
Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere, L.I., an 800-member congregation that instituted its own ban on hard liquor for the first time last weekend, said he planned to issue the call at the groupís annual national convention at the Rye Town Hilton at the end of this month.
The Tel Aviv beachfront bombing that killed three Israelis and injured 50 early Wednesday (just five hours after the Palestinian parliament confirmed Mahmoud Abbas as prime minister and approved his cabinet) reinforced the view of many Israeli analysts that little has changed despite earlier optimism.
"It's incredibly funny how people are capable of self-deception, how they can distort realities to suit political hopes and promises," said Uzi Arad, former director of intelligence in the Mossad, Israel's spy service.
A request for financial assistance from the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel has prompted the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism to develop a major initiative that would encourage Conservative Jews to contribute to the movement's programs worldwide.
Lemrick Nelson's surprising admission that he killed Yankel Rosenbaum in a drunken stupor was his only possible defense, according to the former Brooklyn U.S. attorney whose office successfully convicted Nelson in 1997.
Carole Solomon declined when asked if she and her husband would join a Jewish federation "leadership" trip to Israel during a cease-fire in the Yom Kippur War.
"I said no because I had two little kids," Solomon, a self-described "very assimilated" fifth-generation German Jew, recalled of the 1973 invitation. "But this person said this was an opportunity to witness history. If you go, he said, you will never forget it, and if you don't go, you won't remember what you stayed home for."