The looming war with Iraq has long ago taken on the language of a religious crusade, in Arab capitals as well as the White House. But the Jewish messianic excitement that grew out of the first Gulf War back in 1991 is more muted now, humbled after a decade of the crash and burn of the peace process, controversy over the Lubavitch messianic aspirations, and Israelís Palestinian war that has shown little evidence of anyoneís grand plan, let alone Godís.
In a move that promises to drive down the price of airfares to Israel, the Israeli government has approved Israir's application to operate as a regularly scheduled designated airline between the United States and Israel, pitting it in direct competition with El Al Airlines.
Israir, which until now has operated as a charter service, said that beginning in June it would operate one flight a day to Israel, except on Shabbat. It is currently operating three flights a week.
Former President Jimmy Carter was labeled a "bigot" Thursday by Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, who told reporters here that Carter has "bloodied hands after shaking the hand of [Hamas leader] Khaled Meshal."
"I have very sad feelings following the unfortunate visit of President Carter to the region [last week]," said the ambassador, Dan Gillerman, at a meeting sponsored by The Israel Project. "It's a shame to see this man who was a decent former president turn into what I consider a bigot."
A proposed settlement of Holocaust-era claims against the giant Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali has resulted in the payment of more than $25 million and the reopening of the claims process until next March 31, according to Robert Swift, an attorney who handled the settlement.
But an economist who served as a consultant to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Sidney Zabludoff, criticized the settlement for "adding nothing and making the claimants' plight more difficult."
About a half-dozen elderly Jews come to the East Concourse Luncheon Club every day by city bus. ìThis is the Waldorf of senior center soup kitchens,î says Ida G., one of the diners. ìThere are places closer to me, but this is excellent, home-cooked, like a mother would cook,î though itís been a long time since anyone has seen their mom.
Only a week after Hamas' stunning landslide victory in the Palestinian legislative election, cracks began to emerge in the international community's initial threat to halt nearly $1 billion in Palestinian aid unless Hamas stopped its use of violence and recognized Israel's right to exist.
The aid is critical because the Palestinian Authority ran out of money last month to pay its 137,000 civil servants.
You could see the backlash coming.
A yarmulke-wearing rabbi from Yeshiva University goes to the Vatican and finds secret insults to the pope and Jewish mystical codes embedded in Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel.
The rabbi, Benjamin Blech, teams up with Roy Doliner, a docent and guide at the Vatican, and their findings are published last week in the book, “The Sistine Secrets,” which claims that Michelangelo was influenced so greatly by Judaism that 95 percent of his painting depicts scenes from the Old Testament.
Even before Israel has the chance next month to celebrate the remarkable achievement of creating a state and surviving for 60 years in a hostile environment, and of having forged a proud, democratic, modern society in the Mideast, there is growing discussion of how long it can last.