As a prisoner swap for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was said to be closer than ever this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly poised to declare a 10-month settlement freeze.
“Netanyahu is set to announce in the coming days that he will accept a construction freeze in the West Bank settlements for 10 months but will exclude [Palestinian east] Jerusalem,” Yossi Beilin, a former leader of the left-wing Meretz party, was quoted as saying.
Adam Dickter |
Assistant Managing Editor
As a retired administrative assistant, Joyce Hawtof doesn’t have a lot of money to invest.
But this week, she was considering paying into a fund with other pro-Israel activists to buy a $28,000 mobile home for a West Bank outpost.
“I think it’s the right thing to do to help our brothers and sisters,” said Hawtof Tuesday in a phone call from Shdema, one of the stops on a three-day tour of east Jerusalem and West Bank communities intended to draw American money.
James Besser |
Speaking at Monday’s Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded very much like a man who didn’t want to antagonize the president he was about to meet under visibly strained circumstances.
Several hours later the White House distributed a meeting “readout” that may have set a new record for brevity. Amid an almost total clampdown on leaks, the statement said only that the two leaders “discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship” and that President Barack...
Joshua Mitnick |
Shvut Rachel, West Bank — When Yaakov Teitel first applied to join this West Bank settlement about a decade ago, the American Jewish immigrant passed the admissions committee with flying colors.
The bachelor computer technician impressed Shvut Rachel’s leaders as a “mensch” with a love of the Land of Israel who was looking to settle down and start a family, said committee member Rabbi Baruch Barron.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s endorsement of the Goldstone report claiming Israel committed war crimes in Gaza last winter may limit future Israeli territorial withdrawal from the West Bank.
Although that assessment came Tuesday from Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher, a senior Israeli official said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has privately voiced the same view.
Just days before the two countries were to participate in a NATO military exercise this week, Turkish officials informed Israel that it would not be allowed to participate. The U.S., the Netherlands and Italy then withdrew in protest and the exercise was canceled.
Turkey, one of the few Muslim nations to have diplomatic relations with Israel, has had a testy relationship with the Jewish state since January.