Israel News

Iranian Jewry’s Agent Of Influence

10/08/1999
Staff Writer
Just outside the city of Shiraz, in Iran’s stark and arid south, lies the gravesite of Cyrus the Great, founder of the first empire in human history to declare religious tolerance for all its peoples. Cyrus, acclaimed in the Bible for allowing the Jews exiled by Babylonia to return to their homeland and rebuild their Temple in 538 BCE, lies in an unadorned and simple stone tomb, a reflection, historians say, of the man’s humble character.

Pluralism? Fuhgedaboudit!

10/01/1999
Staff Writer
An initiative by Israel’s ruling One Israel party to rally American Jewish supporters of its peace policies blew up in acrimony last week over the issue of religious pluralism in the Jewish state. Haim Ramon, a senior cabinet minister and key adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, bluntly rejected concerns about religious and civil rights for non-Orthodox Jews raised at what was to be a private briefing on the peace process for centrist and dovish Jewish groups.

Spies Or Suspects?

09/24/1999
Staff Writer
Iran’s supreme leader publicly labeled 13 Iranian Jews accused of espionage for Israel and the United States as “spies” this week — even as a senior judicial official stressed the jailed suspects were innocent until proven guilty. The conflicting statements, both made during the visit of Austrian President Thomas Klestil to Iran this week, appeared to highlight the Jewish suspects’ role as pawns in an internal struggle between Islamic hard-liners and relative moderates in Iran.

Extracting Information Without Torture

09/10/1999
Staff Writer
The United States has long barred the types of “physical pressure” outlawed by Israel’s Supreme Count this week in an historic ruling. But that has not hamstrung law enforcement officials here in their counterterrorism efforts, say experts. This applies even to so-called “ticking time bomb” cases — where authorities are acting to prevent an imminent terrorist attack — of the sort that Israel claims pose a unique threat to its society, these sources say.

Beilin Does An About-Face On Wye Accord

08/20/1999
Staff Writer
Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, a key architect of Israel’s breakthrough negotiations with the PLO in 1993 at Oslo, urged Palestinian leaders last week to stop insisting that Israel fully implement its most recent agreement with them, the Wye River Accord.

Arafat Squeezed In Clash With Barak

08/06/1999
Staff Writer
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat ultimately will have little choice but to accept Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s request to delay Israel’s hand-over of West Bank territory, a prominent Palestinian analyst predicted this week. But, warned Ghassan Khatib, director of the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, “It will destroy the credibility, if any is left, of the Mideast peace process with the Palestinian public.”

Trial Seen Likely For Iranian Jews

06/25/1999
Staff Writer
At the urging of leaders in the Iranian Jewish community here, American Jewish leaders this week suspended their public campaign calling for the release of 13 Jews accused of espionage in Iran. Instead, they are beginning to implicitly acknowledge the inevitability of a trial for the 13 by shifting their demands to the legal arena.

Key Ministry Could Sway Culture War

06/11/1999
Staff Writer and Israel Correspondent
Jerusalem — For more years than he cares to remember, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and his movement, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, have been pressing Israel’s Interior Ministry to comply with the law. But that law, which requires the ministry to accept and register as Jews immigrants who have converted to Judaism abroad, repeatedly has faced a harsh political reality:

Can Barak Heal Israel?

Just one day after his landslide victory, aides to Israel’s newly elected prime minister put one of American Jewry’s key pro-Israel groups on notice.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, organized Jewry’s pro-I

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
Just one day after his landslide victory, aides to Israel’s newly elected prime minister put one of American Jewry’s key pro-Israel groups on notice. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, organized Jewry’s pro-Israel Washington lobby, “has been less than wise in several of their endeavors over the last few years,” Alon Pinkus, Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak’s spokesman, said Tuesday.

‘Left-Wing’ Election Flights May Be Illegal

05/07/1999
Staff Writer
Chai L’Yisrael, the cheaper of the two at $180 round trip from New York, is offering flights tied to the May 17 election for prime minister and parliament, the Knesset. The latter will decide the fate of the Orthodox religious parties. Kesher’s round-trip flights are for an expected June 1 runoff between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud Party and Ehud Barak of the left-leaning One Israel Party. Kesher’s fares are $449 from New York and $649 from Los Angeles.
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