Israel News

Aid For IDF’s ‘Lone Soldiers’

08/14/2009
Staff Writer
Givat Olga, Israel — On a recent steamy Mediterranean day, a few hundred young Israeli soldiers, outfitted in their khaki dress uniforms, sat down for dinner in an air-conditioned hall at a small military rest-and-recreation center here. While some spoke in Hebrew, many held their conversations in English or Russian or Spanish, the languages of their homelands.

Aid For IDF’s ‘Lone Soldiers’

08/14/2009
Staff Writer
Givat Olga, Israel — On a recent steamy Mediterranean day, a few hundred young Israeli soldiers, outfitted in their khaki dress uniforms, sat down for dinner in an air-conditioned hall at a small military rest-and-recreation center here. While some spoke in Hebrew, many held their conversations in English or Russian or Spanish, the languages of their homelands.

Kings Of The Court Again

05/13/2005
Staff Writer
How do you say "threepeat" in Hebrew? Israeli sports fans will have a year to find out.

Shavuot, Samaritan-style

06/18/2008
Staff Writer

They celebrated the Feast of Weeks in Nablus on Sunday — a week later than usual.
They are the Samaritans, a two-millennia-old faith with Jewish roots that follows the customs of the Torah, the written law, but not the Talmud, the oral law.

Which is why their observance of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks that marks the giving of the Torah, took place this week, a week later than mainstream Judaism marked the holiday. The Samaritans observe their holidays on different dates than Jews do; in Samaritan belief, Shavuot always comes on a Sunday.

An Ethiopian Success Story

11/29/2002
Staff Writer
Simcha Asrasy is a dreamer who's making her dreams come true. At 26, the former Israeli army officer is in college now and plans to start her own business. That's a long way from her childhood in Israel, when her family of Ethiopian immigrants lived in poverty and her parents divorced. "When I was a child, I didn't have a dream," Asrasy admits.

Civil War Or Civil Dialogue?

06/17/2003
Staff Writer
Fifty-five years ago this week, a flat-bottom ship that had conveyed American troops during World War II pulled into the Mediterranean waters near Kfar Vitkin, 23 miles north of Tel Aviv, and became a black mark in Israeli history. The Altalena is little known to young Israelis; the Hebrew anniversary of its arrival and eventual destruction went almost unnoticed last week.

Bidding For History

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
Jerusalem: Negist Mengesha's first venture in Israeli politics ended poorly. She ran in the 1994 Knesset elections on the slate of a small women's party, none of whose candidates were elected. Next week, Mengesha is a candidate again, No.15 on the slate of the Meretz party. If elected, she will become the first Ethiopian Jewish woman to serve in the Knesset. "I am not only a symbol" of one immigrant group's progress in Israeli society, she says. "My intention is to win."

Mideast Change You Can Believe In?

Hillary Clinton, testified in confirmation hearings Tuesday. She said the U.S. “must actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of

01/14/2009
Staff Writer

The fierce fighting in Gaza could push the incoming Barack Obama administration to accelerate its promised plunge into Middle East peacemaking and possibly expand back-channel contacts with Hamas. With the Obama administration set to hit the ground running after next week’s inauguration, a broad spectrum of observers predict a sharp increase in the intensity of U.S. diplomacy in the region — both a fulfillment of Obama’s campaign promise and a response to the ongoing Gaza crisis. But few expect radical changes in the content of that diplomacy.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Rise Could Strain Relations With U.S.

02/11/2009
Washington Correspondent

With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.

Mixed Bag On European Bias

05/14/2008
Staff Writer
In England, a prominent politician with a reputation as an anti-Semite is defeated in a re-election bid. In France, three policemen shout anti-Semitic slogans and make the Nazi salute in a bar. In the United States, a leading spokesman for European Jewry brings a cautionary message about the “current state of anti-Semitism” on the European continent.
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