Israel News

Likud Ready To Join Coalition

06/18/1999
Staff Writer
The Israeli political landscape was rocked again this week with the surprise announcement from Ariel Sharon that he had reached a tentative agreement to bring the Likud Party of defeated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the new coalition government. Just last week, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri, stunned the nation by giving up his post at the insistence of Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak. Barak had demanded that Deri, who was convicted in April of corruption, step aside before Shas could discuss joining his coalition.

Deri Departure Paves Way For New Govt.

06/18/1999
Staff Writer
The surprise resignation of Shas Party leader Aryeh Deri Tuesday evening came as Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak was on the verge of assembling a minority government after hitting a stone wall in his attempt to form a broad based coalition.

Syria Fighting Adds To Barak’s Woes

06/04/1999
Staff Writer
After two weeks of preliminary talks, Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak was to begin serious negotiations with political parties late this week to form the broad coalition government he promised. But before the talks began, Barak met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the latest fighting in southern Lebanon.

Shas Demands Trip Up Barak’s Bid For Unity

05/28/1999
Staff Writer
Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak’s efforts to assemble his “dream team” — a broad-based, unprecedented 96-member coalition government — got off to a rocky start this week when the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox Shas party rejected his demand for the resignation of its leader, Aryeh Deri. “We won’t go crawling to any government,” said outgoing Interior Minister and Shas negotiator Eli Suissa. “Whoever wants us will get us as we are. We won’t be performing any cosmetic surgery in order to get into a coalition.”

Room For Religion At The Table

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
As he works to cobble together a coalition government, Ehud Barak signaled the role he believes religion should play in the Jewish state when he included in his One Israel bloc a Modern Orthodox party, Meimad. “We believe there is no contradiction between a religious state and a democracy in Israel,” said Rabbi Yehuda Gilad, a dean of Yeshiva Ma’ale Gilboa and a member of Meimad.

‘Proud Of What We Accomplished’

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu, a handsome, charismatic figure who spent nearly two decades on the Israeli political stage, quietly and with dignity announced his intention to step aside from political life Monday after being trounced in his bid for re-election.

Deri’s resignation could pave way for broad coalition.

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
By winning a landslide victory this week, Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak has been given a mandate greater than any of his recent predecessors to forge a lasting peace in the Middle East and to heal the divisive rifts that have polarized Israeli society.

Bibi On Ropes In Fateful Vote

05/14/1999
Staff Writer
Benjamin Netanyahu, dubbed by the Israeli press as “the most vilified prime minister ever,” is battling for his political life in Monday’s election and his opponents — and even some supporters — smell blood. Limor Livnat, the cabinet minister directing Netanyahu’s media campaign, reportedly was preparing to challenge Netanyahu for leadership of the Likud Party should he lose. And Netanyahu was said to be ready to fire Livnat if he does not receive more than 50 percent of the vote and is forced into a June 1 runoff election.

Culture War Bursts Into Campaign

05/07/1999
Staff Writer
The divisive tensions in Israeli society became political fodder this week as the main political parties pitted Ashkenazi against Sephardi, the “elite” vs. “the street.” Ehud Barak of the One Israel Party said he would not allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party to draw the country into a civil war just two weeks before the May 17 election, which some are calling Israel’s most crucial.

Civil Campaign

03/19/1999
Staff Writer
The ad is striking, showing two trains converging onto the same track with the headline: “Are secular and religious Israelis on a collision course?” Beneath the picture are the words: “Not if we can help it.” The ad, which appears in this week’s Jewish Week, launches a yearlong campaign in the U.S. and Israel by Bar-Ilan University designed to promote tolerance and stop the culture war. One line reads: “Isn’t it time for the rest of the Jewish people to stop pointing fingers and to start joining hands?”
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