JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin "must not be forgiven or forgotten," Israeli President Shimon Peres said at a candlelighting ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.
On Tuesday afternoon, on the eve of the Hebrew date of the anniversary of the prime minister's death, Peres spoke about the man with whom he was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. Rabin family members, public figures, youth movement members and students attended the ceremony.
Living in caravans in a small settlement town during my years learning in Israel, my dream was always to settle the land. As a religious Zionist, I feel that living in Israel is a tremendous and miraculous opportunity, and all Jews can and must consider making this life transition as we are all very familiar with the halakhic obligation of yishuv ha’aretz, the religious obligation to settle the Land of Israel. I would like to suggest, however, that in addition to this well-known imperative, there is also a crucial duty to reside in the Diaspora.
KIBBUTZ GALON, Israel (JTA) – In 1952, a 20-year-old with bright blue eyes who had never seen much of life outside of the Bronx, N.Y., mounted a kibbutz tractor armed with a rifle to plow wheat and sorghum fields bordering the Gaza Strip.
Saul Adelson would live in Israel for eight years before returning to the United States for good.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's presence in the Jordan Valley under a peace agreement would be "phased," Israel's U.S. ambassador told an audience of Muslim and Arab Americans.
Michael Oren at a dinner arranged by the Center for Middle East Peace said Wednesday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has "stated his commitment to continuing a phased Israeli army presence in the Jordan Valley."
"We understand that this may conflict with the search for dignity on the part of the Palestinians. That is why we stress the word phased," he said.
I'm not much for the Jimmy-Carter-is-an-anti-Semitic-Israel-hater line - I happen to believe Israel owes him a debt of gratitude for Camp David - but after reading today's news I have to ask: what is this guy thinking?
According to wire service reports, the ex-prez is embarking on a Middle East tour that will include Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank with a group called The Elders – and including former Irish President Mary Robinson. (As I write this, I'm thinking that "The Elders" probably wasn't a smart name choice for a group of older statesmen heading to Zion).
The goal, the group said in a statement, is to “encourage support across the region for the current final status negotiations with emphasis on the need to reach a just and secure peace."
Make no mistake, the wording advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would require non-Jewish immigrants to express loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state before receiving citizenship is more about internal political expediency than ideology. Same goes for the prime minister’s proposal to extend the building moratorium in the West Bank in exchange for a public declaration by the Palestinian Authority recognizing “Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.”
Controversial oath could end up testing
American Jews’ loyalty.
James D. Besser
Some pro-Israel groups insist it’s nothing more than an Israeli version of America’s “pledge of allegiance,” but to Israeli civil rights groups the move to amend a loyalty oath for non-Jews seeking citizenship is one more big step away from the state’s democratic ideal.
And some Jewish leaders here say the debate now raging in Israel could have a devastating impact — both on Israel’s international standing and on a population of younger American Jews who are already drifting away from pro-Israel commitment.
(JTA) — Israel is ahead of its record pace for tourism in a year. Some 2.5 million tourists have visited Israel since the beginning of 2010, according to figures kept by the nation's Central Bureau of Statistics. The figure is 9 percent more than in 2008, which was the record tourism year in Israel, and a 27 percent increase over the same period last year.
According to the bureau, 22,300 tourists visited Israel on cruise ships, double the number visiting in September 2009 and three times more than in 2008.