TThe agreement in Mecca reached between Hamas and Fatah last week halted internecine warfare between the two groups but it failed to finalize the platform or makeup of their new coalition government, thereby casting doubt on the success of Monday’s Israeli-Palestinian summit in JerusalemSome Israeli officials reportedly sought to postpone the meeting, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who convened the summit, was said to have insisted that it proceed. Few expect anything positive.
The Bush administration is likely to rebuff a reported push by Russia to lift the international boycott of Hamas as part of the Quartet’s efforts to “re-energize” the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to a former State Department official.
The meeting, scheduled for Friday in Washington, comes as a British parliamentary study warned that the West’s isolation of Hamas is only pushing it closer to Iran.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav suspended himself this week to fight sex charges, including rape, that the state’s senior law officer planned to file. But some government officials and the media said that wasn’t good enough and called for the president’s immediate resignation or ouster.
“In the present situation it is impossible to educate students to respect the presidential institution and ask them to hang pictures in every school of a president charged with grave offenses,” Education Minister Yuli Tamir was quoted as saying.
The children on the television program seen climbing a slide in a playground look like any kids one might see on "Sesame Street" in the United States except for one thing: they speak in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic. Welcome to "Rechov Sumsum," Israel's version of "Sesame Street."
For months, officials in Washington had feared a diplomatic earthquake on May 4, when Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, terming it a “sacred date,” threatened to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state.
Instead, next week’s long-feared deadline may pass with barely a rumble, thanks to intensive U.S.-Palestinian diplomacy and a new initiative from Washington that promises to revive U.S. mediation efforts after the upcoming Israeli elections.
Striding across the opulent lobby of Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel last Sunday morning, Michael Sonnenfeldt, chair of the pro-peace Israel Policy Forum, spotted Malcolm Hoenlein, the top executive of the nation’s leading Jewish umbrella group — the 50-year-old Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
“It seems like I’m always following you around,” joked Sonnenfeldt, a private investor with a linebacker’s build, extending his hand.
In the next 24 hours, pro-Israel Tweeters are expected to come out in thousands for the Tweet4Shalit campaign, showing their support for kidnapped Israeli Defense Force Cpl. Gilad Shalit, in honor of his upcoming 23rd birthday.
Israel never suffered from a lack of attention, but in 2002 the Jewish state attracted a surge of public interest surpassing anything in the past decade.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center for the Public and the Press, released at yearís end, Israelís civil war was ìone of the most closely followed international stories in Pewís 16-year history of measuring news attentiveness.î
On election night Israel was no longer the 51st state, but it was New York that became an Israeli district all its own.
American Friends of Likud welcomed Ariel Sharonís re-election with balloons, campaign posters and a victory address from the prime minister, even if the party was on the East Side of Manhattan. Well into Tuesday night, several hundred American Likudniks heard from commentators and politicians long distance via phone and television hookups, as a steady stream of Likud leaders, from Sharon to Benjamin Netanyahu to Ehud Olmert said hello to New York.
CNN’s refusal to run two pro-Israel ads has Jewish officials steaming. “It’s outrageous,” said Ken Bandler, a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee, whose 30-second spot, part of a $500,000 advertising campaign, emphasizes Israel’s shared democratic values with the U.S.
“Shame on them,” said Larry Weinberg, executive vice president of israel21c, of the cable news network.
His California-based group’s ad is “educational, not political,” he said.