Israel seems to have little awareness that holiness counts for something in a media war for the Holy Land. Israelís ìsiegeî of the Church of the Nativity continues to be a front-page story around the world. Just a few blocks away from Nativity is Rachelís Tomb, under siege from Palestinian gunmen for 20 months, but never a front-page story. Up in Nobles, Josephís Tomb is still charred from Palestinian fire.
Throughout the on-again, mostly off-again peace process between Israel and the Palestinians for the last decade, Jerusalem has operated under certain basic assumptions.
Chief among them were:
* the primary goal of the Palestinian national movement was to establish an independent state, and to do so, it was willing to allow that state to be demilitarized;
* the establishment of the Palestinian state depended on Israel and its willingness to make compromises and concessions based on its security interests being met;
The Israeli media consistently points out characteristics of the Jewish state that few American newspapers, let alone Jewish leaders, dare say.
For instance, according to a Yediot Achronot editorial (Oct. 23), in Israel ìanarchy is triumphant, boorishness and discourtesy are jubilant, thuggishness is gaining strength, violence is surging, the economy is running into the ground, society is breakingî ó thatís aside from Jews being murdered with regularity.
This week President Bill Clinton indicated he plans to speed up delivery of the $300 million in extra foreign aid he promised to Jordan in October, when King Hussein — who died on Sunday — rose from his sickbed to boost the sagging Wye Rive
Jordan Aid On Fast Track
This week President Bill Clinton indicated he plans to speed up delivery of the $300 million in extra foreign aid he promised to Jordan in October, when King Hussein — who died on Sunday — rose from his sickbed to boost the sagging Wye River negotiations.
A year ago, a number of Jewish groups mobilized young people to help others rebuild homes and communities in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This week a new Jewish group announced plans to send some 500 young adults from the U.S.
Forgive me, but for the last several weeks I have had a deeply disturbing thought that I can’t shake, but have not shared — namely that there is no guarantee the State of Israel will survive forever.For someone who has grown up with the Jewish state, not knowing a time when there was no safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution and for Jewish souls seeking a spiritual core, the very thought of a world without Israel, God forbid, is too upsetting even to consider.
In the last six months, Israel has fought and failed to win two wars, one with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the other with Hamas in Gaza. The underlying danger, according to a still-little known but increasingly influential think tank in Tel Aviv, is that Israel’s government and military have failed to adjust to a profound change, and still operate under assumptions no longer relevant.
In the beginning there was birthright. Conceived by several American Jewish philanthropists a decade ago, birthright israel was launched in 2000 as an effort to give Jews around the world between the ages of 18 and 26 a free, 10-day trip to Israel as a means of sparking Jewish identity and countering the trends of assimilation and declining interest in the Jewish state.
Jerusalem — For the briefest of moments, just as the sun was setting here on Monday, the State of Israel was suspended between mourning and joy, between Yom Hazikaron, a solemn memorial day for its fallen soldiers, and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the joyous festivities marking the 59th anniversary of the first independent Jewish state in 2,000 years.As the flowing tears and the laying of wreaths at military cemeteries gave way to smiles and fireworks at public ceremonies, it occurred to me that perhaps this exquisite balance between memory and hope, between loss and faith, is not so fleetin