Nablus Palestinian man treated at Hadassah Hospital


A Palestinian wounded in a clash with Israeli soldiers and settlers near the Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus was taken for treatment to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

Hilmi Hasan, 27, was wounded by gunfire several days ago and taken to a hospital in Nablus for treatment. Doctors at the hospital realized that they could not treat Hasan and asked Hadassah Hospital to handle his case. On Monday, he was in the intensive care unit at Hadassah and in severe but stable condition.

According to reports, Hasan is the first patient from Nablus to be treated at Hadassah Hospital, which is 40 miles away.

Senior Hadassah anesthesiologist Micha Shamir traveled to Nablus and accompanied Hasan back to Hadassah. Some local residents protested Shamir’s arrival but did not otherwise threaten him.

“It was a bit unpleasant, but at no time were we under any real threat,” said Shamir, according to a news release. “We were guarded by so many policemen and security people.”

Seven killed on Israel’s Egypt and Gaza borders


Militants who crossed into Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Desert fired on Israelis building a barrier on the border on Monday, killing one worker, before soldiers shot dead two of the attackers, Israel’s military said.

Israel later launched air strikes killing four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including two militants from the Islamic Jihad group on a motorcycle. Two other militants were killed while trying to fire a rocket, Israel said.

The Sinai attack, launched soon after the Muslim Brotherhood declared victory in Egypt’s presidential election, raised Israeli concerns about lawlessness in the area since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak last year.

“We can see a disturbing deterioration in Egypt’s control of the Sinai’s security,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, commenting on the attack.

“We are waiting for the election results. Whoever wins, we expect him to take responsibility over all of Egypt’s international commitments, including the (1979) peace treaty with Israel and security arrangements in the Sinai, and to put an end to these attacks swiftly,” he told reporters.

Three gunmen crossed into Israel from the Sinai Desert, the Israeli military said.

“A terrorist squad opened fire and possibly also fired an anti-tank rocket at an area where (Israel) is constructing the border fence,” spokesman Yoav Mordechai said.

Soldiers who rushed to the scene killed two of the militants but could not find the third, who may have returned to Egypt, the military said.

A military source said the dead worker was an Arab citizen of Israel. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place about 30 km (18 miles) from the Gaza Strip.

Israel is building a fence along the frontier to curb an influx of African migrants and boost security, and hopes to complete it by the end of the year. It will run along most of the 266 km (165 miles) from Eilat, on the Red Sea, to the Gaza Strip.

In August last year, militants crossed over the Egyptian border and killed eight Israelis, in the most serious attack in the area since the Egyptian popular uprising.

On Saturday, at least two rockets were fired deep into southern Israel, causing no damage or casualties. It was not clear whether they had been launched from Sinai.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, have launched rockets at Israel from the coastal territory in the past. Israel says Palestinian militants have also crossed into Sinai to launch similar attacks.

Late on Sunday, Israeli aircraft carried out a series of strikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave. Medical sources in Gaza said seven people were wounded.

Additional reporting by Saleh Salem in Gaza; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Soldier, Palestinian die in Gaza border shootout


A Palestinian gunman and an Israeli soldier were killed in a shootout on the Gaza Strip-Israel border.

The Israeli army said the gunman breached the fence at about 5 a.m. on Friday.

A border patrol detected the breach and confronted the gunman.

He opened fire and killed a solider, and was himself killed in return fire.

The army said the gunman intended an attack on civilians.

Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the infiltration.

“The IDF will act against any entity that operates against the State of Israel,” said an Israeli army statement quoted by Haaretz. “The army views Hamas as responsible for all that occurs in the Gaza Strip.”

Air force planes later struck open fields in Gaza, the newspaper said.

Israeli teen, Palestinian man injured in Hebron clashes


A Palestinian man and an Israeli teen were injured in clashes in Hebron.

An Israeli girl and a friend were hit by stones thrown by Palestinians as they walked home Tuesday night in a Hebron neighborhood near the Cave of the Patriarchs. The girl’s hand was broken in the attack.

Later, Jewish settlers confronted the alleged stone throwers, injuring one Palestinian man. He reportedly was treated in a nearby hospital.

The clashes come several days after Israeli Border Police were accused by Hebron settlers of choking a 9-year-old Jewish boy who was playing near the contested Machpela House, evacuated of Jewish settlers earlier this month, which is surrounded by a closed military zone.

The boy reportedly entered the zone and was grabbed by police. Two settlers who tried to free the boy from the police were arrested for attacking an officer.

Police quell Temple Mount riots


Police dispersed Muslim rioters on the Temple Mount who apparently had been spurred by reports that Jewish extremists planned to enter the site.

Reports said the rioters, among the Friday worshippers at the site’s mosques, hurled rocks at the Mughrabi Bridge entrance, prompting a rare incursion by police, who used stun grenades.

At least 11 police and 15 rioters were hurt and four Palestinians were arrested.

The rioters were spurred, police said, by a Jewish extremist website that promised a mass incursion into the enclave this Friday, Israel radio reported.

Police have arrested one man for alleged incitement, and further arrests are planned, the report said.

A plan by Jewish extremists to enter the site in 1990—one that also was thwarted by police—sparked some of the deadliest riots in the site’s history.

The 2000 visit by Ariel Sharon, then the opposition leader, to the site preceded riots that launched the Second Intifada.

The site of the ancient Jewish temple now houses two mosques Muslims believe to be the third holiest in Islam. Below it is the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.

Panetta urges Israel, Palestinians to negotiate


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday called for “bold action” from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to achieve peace after cautioning that Israel was becoming increasingly isolated in the Middle East.

Panetta, making his first trip to Israel since becoming Pentagon chief, met Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the start of his visit which includes separate talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I want to emphasize that there is a need, and an opportunity, for bold action on both sides to move toward a negotiated two-state solution. There is no alternative to negotiations,” Panetta said at a news conference with Barak.

U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed a year ago after Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited moratorium on construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Abbas has conditioned a return to negotiations on a settlement freeze and applied last month for full Palestinian membership of the United Nations, a move opposed by the United States and Israel which have urged him to resume talks.

Speaking to reporters on his flight to Israel, Panetta said he would reaffirm U.S. security commitments to Israel and try to help it improve its increasingly chilly relations with Turkey and Egypt.

“It’s pretty clear, at this dramatic time in the Middle East when there have been so many changes, that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that is what has happened,” Panetta said on the plane.

Speaking at the news conference with Panetta, Barak said: “It is clear that in the world as a whole there are many who would like to see Israel cornered into a sort of isolation and it is clear to us that we have a responsibility to try to moderate, to ease tensions.”

Panetta’s visit to the Middle East, which includes meetings with Egyptian leaders, comes at a time when Arab popular demand for political change has shaken the region, raising hopes, tensions and uncertainty.

Protests toppled governments in Tunisia and longtime U.S. ally Egypt earlier this year and touched off a civil war in Libya that led to the ouster of leader Muammar Gaddafi.

But the changes have sometimes been unsettling.

Egyptian protesters invaded the Israeli Embassy in Cairo a month ago in anger over a clash that killed five border guards. The military government’s handling of that incident and comments afterward raised concerns about Cairo’s future commitment to its long-standing peace deal with Israel.

“The timing (of Panetta’s visit) couldn’t be more apt given the events unfolding in the region and broad range of important issues on the agenda with the Israelis and the Egyptians,” a senior U.S. defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

On the flight to Israel, Panetta said he would make clear to Israel that the United States would protect its “qualitative military edge.”

“As they take risks for peace, we will be able to provide the security that they will need in order to ensure that they can have the room hopefully to negotiate,” he said.

Iran and its nuclear program also will be on Panetta’s agenda. He said with much of the world opposed to Iran developing its nuclear capabilities, it would be best to work together to try to curb Tehran’s ambitions rather than take unilateral action.

Additional reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Roger Atwood

Israeli, Lebanese troops exchange fire


Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire on Israel’s northern border; no Israeli soldiers were injured.

The gunfight is the first skirmish on the Israel-Lebanon border since May when Nakba Day protesters attempted to breach Israel’s border. Ten protesters died and more than 100 were injured in that incident.

On Monday morning, Lebanese soldiers opened fire at Israel Defense Forces paratroopers who were on patrol and Israeli forces returned fire, according to reports, some of which say that the paratroopers were taking part in a training exercise. Lebanon says that the Israeli soldiers had entered their territory.

Lebanese sources say one of its soldiers was hurt, but the UNIFIL peacekeeping force has reported that there were no injuries. UNIFIL is investigating the incident but reportedly said that Israeli troops had not crossed into Lebanese territory.

“Israel is not looking to inflame the border,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the clash, during a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He asserted that the soldiers acted appropriately, saying: “There was an incident, the soldiers in the area acted as necessary. They are determined to protect themselves and the border.”

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said following the incident that Israel was “renewing its aggression” on the border.

The border remained quiet following the incident.

Report: Over 50 killed in bloody ‘day of rage’ clashes


At least 50 protesters were killed in in pro-democracy demonstrations throughout Syria on Friday, including 15 in the south Syrian town of Daraa, according to opposition members.

Casualties have been reported throughout the country in Homs, Latakia and Rastan, in Syria’s latest ‘day of rage’.

Earlier Friday, a hospital source reported that Syrian security forces killed 15 villagers at the entrance to the south-Syrian city of Daraa on Friday, saying they received the bodies of the villagers that were riddled with bullets.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Syria government resigns in effort to appease protesters


Syria’s Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago and is now threatening President Bashar Assad’s 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian and closed-off nations in the Middle East.

Assad, whose family has controlled Syria for four decades, is trying to calm the growing dissent with a string of concessions. He is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to lift emergency laws in place since 1963 and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms.

More than 60 people have died since March 18 as security forces cracked down on protesters, Human Rights Watch said.

State TV said Tuesday Assad accepted the resignation of the 32-member Cabinet headed by Naji al-Otari, who has been in place since September 23. The Cabinet will continue running the country’s affairs until the formation of a new government.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Israeli policemen injured in clash with Palestinians


Israeli security services clashed with Palestinians and activists outside of a prison near Ramallah.

Three border police officers were injured in Wednesday’s demonstration by about 200 protesters calling for the release of 10 Palestinians who were arrested Sunday in Bethlehem. Two protesters were arrested.

One of the prisoners held in the Ofer prison is ruling party Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki.

The demonstrators reportedly tried to break through the Bitunia crossing to reach the prison.

Hirsi Ali, critic of Islam, honored for courage


A tall African-born woman, raised a devout Muslim but now one of Islam’s sharpest critics, last week calmly dismantled some of the favorite shibboleths of American liberalism.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was in town to accept an inaugural award for her remarkable personal and civic courage from Community Advocates, Inc., in front of some 600 Angelenos of various political stripes.

In an interview, and in parts of her remarks at the downtown Japan America Theatre, she questioned the virtues of multiculturalism, the West’s understanding of Islam and its comprehension of the roots of terrorism.

Hirsi Ali, 38, was born in Somalia, was an ultra-devout Muslim during adolescence, but changed gradually, and then radically, when she found asylum in Holland in 1992.

She was elected to the lower house of the Dutch parliament in 2003 and became an international figure in 2004, after she wrote the screenplay for the short film “Submission,” a barbed indictment of Islam’s treatment of women.

That same year, the movie’s director, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated on an Amsterdam street by a young Muslim, who pinned a death threat against Hirsi Ali to Van Gogh’s chest.

She now lives under constant police protection in America and continues to write and speak out as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

In 2005, she made TIME’s list of “100 of the World’s Most Influential People.”

Her categorical denunciations of Islam have been questioned, but never her personal mettle. It was for the latter characteristic that she was honored with the inaugural Ziegler Prize For Courage of Conviction by Community Advocates, Inc. (CAI) chairman and former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, together with CAI President David Lehrer and Vice President Joe Hicks.

The accompanying citation reads: “In recognition of your indomitable courage and spirit, which teaches, offers hope and provides inspiration to humanity.”

In her acceptance response and during her interview with The Journal, Hirsi Ali also faulted the West for its choice of weapons in fighting threats from Iran and Islamic militants.

“The United States has the option of using military force against Iran, which it may still have to do, or diplomacy, which has not worked so far,” she said.

But the West has failed by not promoting its ideology in the “clash of ideas and values,” Hirsi Ali declared.

“When Saudi Arabia spends $2 billion abroad for hospitals, mosques and schools, it conditions the aid on the recipient’s acceptance of Saudi Arabia’s fundamentalist form of Islam,” she said. “But Western private and public philanthropy comes with no message, it’s value free.”

What the West must do, she urged, is to attach a clear message to its aid inculcating the values of individual responsibility, the equality of men and women and a scientific approach to counter tribal superstitions.

The West also fails to understand that there’s little basic difference between Islamic “moderates” and “extremists,” Hirsi Ali argued.

“When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, we may consider him crazy, but the concept that Jews are vermin is accepted throughout the Islamic world,” she said. “In none of the 57 nations that make up the Organization of Islamic Countries is the Holocaust taught.”

Hirsi Ali recalled, “I was raised in an educated family, and my father led the opposition to the Somali dictatorship, but I heard nothing about the Holocaust until I came to The Netherlands.”

Another Western mistake lies in its admiration of multiculturalism and its exclusive focus on white racism, Hirsi Ali maintained.

“It is a fallacy that all cultures are equally valuable and must be preserved,” she said. “Some cultures are superior to others. Some value human rights, while others justify the subjugation of women.”

Along the same line, “While white racism is properly denounced, we’re too shy to address black racism or Islamic racism.”

CAI, headed by the white liberal Lerner and the black conservative Hicks, has made a name for itself by frequently challenging the accepted wisdom and strategies of mainstream civil rights and human relations groups.

In its writings and actions, CAI states, it seeks “to promote critical discourse about issues that transcend race, ethnicity, gender and religion.”

A clash of two birthdays


Last month, in my column titled, “Al-Jazeera and the Glorification of Barbarity“, I described Al-Jazeera’s royal celebration of the birthday of Samir

Kuntar, the unrepentant child-killer psychopath and called on the network to “publicly apologize to its viewers in the Arab world for attempting to turn their children into the likes of Kuntar; to the journalism community, for robbing the profession of its nobleness, and, most urgently, to us, citizens of this planet, for re-legitimizing barbarity in the public square.”

Those who expected Al-Jazeera to apologize should recall that apology in Al-Jazeera’s worldview is tantamount to humiliating surrender. Surprising, a letter signed by Al-Jazeera’s general director, Khanfar Wadah, was received by the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, a copy of which I have obtained, saying: “Elements of the programme violated Al-Jazeera’s code of ethics” (Ha’aretz, Aug. 6).

This letter prompted Ha’aretz editors to issue a cheerful headline: “Al-Jazeera apologizes for ‘unethical’ coverage of Kuntar release.” Two days after the letter was sent, however, Ahmad Jaballah, the station’s deputy editor-in-chief, denied that the channel had ever apologized or sent any letter to Israel.

On Aug. 8, in an interview with the Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar, Jaballah called the report on the letter “utter nonsense and totally groundless” (MEMRI translation). It is, indeed, utterly impossible for Al-Jazeera to apologize for echoing its viewers’ deepest passions.

The most frequent question I received from readers of my column was: “Did you get any response from Arab or Western readers?”

I will summarize these responses below, together with responses to another, totally different birthday commemoration, one that contrasts the surrealism of Kuntar’s carnival with the spirit of our local community and illuminates what many characterize as a “clash of civilizations.”

The responses to my August column fell into four major categories, as encapsulated in the following quotes:

  • “They apologized, didn’t they? So, why rub it in?”
  • “I am ashamed of being an Arab; Al-Jazeera does not speak for me.”
  • “What do you expect of those Arabs, they are fed this hatred with their mother’s milk.”
  • “What about the millions of Iraqi children killed by Americans and the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians?”

I expected these four types of responses, but what struck me as odd was that the fourth group came not only from anti-American fanatics and jihadi Web sites but also from well-meaning American intellectuals, among them respected journalists and political analysts. It seems that two very simple ideas, so obvious to ordinary folks, have not been able to penetrate the skulls of some of our intellectuals.

The first is that, irrespective of body counts and political agendas, those who take pride in targeting the innocent or who aim at maximizing civilian casualties are not on the same side of heaven as those who struggle to prevent such acts and minimize civilian casualties.

Most people are under the impression that U.N. diplomats, coerced by a certain block of terror-sympathetic countries, are the only thinking humanoids who are incapable of formulating a commonsensical definition of the evil of terror. This is no longer true; evidently, the body-count argument now blinds the best of us.

The second idea concerns the fundamental distinction between individual behavior and societal norms. When an American or Israeli soldier targets civilians, he/she is court-martialed, not glorified as a hero for youngsters to emulate.

Al-Jazeera’s celebration of Kuntar’s birthday party was unmistakably designed and choreographed to position child-killer Kuntar as a role model for Arab society, and it undoubtedly succeeded, given the admiration that Kuntar commands these days in the Middle East, including his recent meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. Some Western intellectuals are not willing to sit down and calculate the number of years it would take for human civilization to clean up the moral warpage that Al-Jazeera is spouting in the young minds of its 50 million viewers.

In sharp contrast to the birthday of Kuntar, next month will witness another birthday celebration closer to my heart: the birthday of our late son, Daniel Pearl, who would have turned 45 on Oct. 10. Unlike the former, this birthday will not be celebrated on satellite TV with butcher knives, Hezbollah fatigues and “Heil Hitler” salutes. Instead, it will be celebrated by grass-root communities, including Danny’s musician friends, to commemorate and perpetuate his passionate use of music to connect people of diverse background.

Danny’s birthday represents the soul of a different society, one whose role models are truth-seeking journalists and bridge-building musicians not child killers; a society that celebrates life not death; one that commemorates birthdays with music and interfaith gatherings not butcher knives, assassination threats and vows to “meet the enemy very soon.”

As some readers probably know, every year since 2002, the Daniel Pearl World Music Days have taken place worldwide during the month of October. Music Days involve hundreds of musical happenings and concerts that include dedications to the ideals for which Danny stood, as well as declarations against the culture of terror and hate that took his life. In 2007, more than 500 concerts were dedicated in 42 countries, uniting and empowering many thousands of people in a stand for a more humane world.

Here in Los Angeles, this year’s World Music Days will prelude in Royce Hall on Sept. 21 with the American Youth Symphony dedication of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, joining the Angeles Chorale with “Alle Menchen Verden Bruder” (All men will be brothers). This will be followed by the Yuval Ron Ensemble on Sept. 25; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oct. 4-5; the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Oct. 12; Kadima String Quartet, Oct. 22; the Victory Orchestra, Oct. 26; and many more concerts, festivals and performances dedicated to the ideal of a hate-free world.

The Los Angeles Jewish community has played a special role in World Music Days in the past seven years. Synagogues, Jewish schools and community centers have turned their October gatherings into a powerful opportunity to inspire members with unity and purpose, as well as reach out to neighboring, non-Jewish communities and catalyze lasting alliances through the shared values that World Music Days symbolize.

The Weizmann Day School in Pasadena, for example, has for the past seven years invited the children of both a Muslim school and an Episcopalian school to come to their campus and sing songs of peace in tribute to Daniel’s memory. These concerts have developed into lasting relationships and joint programming throughout the year.

Major synagogues, such as Valley Beth Shalom, Sinai Temple, Temple Israel of Hollywood and University Synagogue in Irvine have dedicated musical portions of the High Holy Days or Kabbalat Shabbat services to Daniel’s last words — “I am Jewish” — and thus transformed routine liturgical texts into a powerful poetry of pride and resilience, cogently relevant to our troubled century.

Two clashing birthdays, two cultures and two outlooks for the 21st century.

Our rabbis, cantors, school principals and community leaders understand that a birthday celebration is a profound statement of identity, not a propaganda gimmick. It is a mirror of society, its principles, norms and aspirations, not an impulsive vent of one’s hatred.

They understand that those who celebrate Kuntar’s birthday with butcher knives and Hezbollah’s fatigues are committing their children to another century of helplessness, while those who celebrate the birthday of a friendship-building journalist-musician-humanist elevate their children to a balcony of hope.

The former are nourishing a generation of Kuntars, the latter rear a generation that reveres life and can look itself in the mirror without shame.

For a full and growing list of World Music Days events visit ” target=”_blank”>www.danielpearl.org) named after his son. With his wife, Ruth, he co-edited the anthology, “I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl” (Jewish Light, 2004).



Shooting Stars
(To Daniel Pearl)

It seems unfair, a waste,
To journey like a shooting star,
One thousand cosmic years through space.
To smile one time, just once,
Emit your brightest ever light and swing
In daring curvature to nowhere,
Like that actor on the stage
Who ends the play to no applause,
And bows to empty seats, yet glows.

Unfair! a waste!

But a child may chance to stare
And see that daring curvature, remember?
Which may bewitch this child to motion,
Remind him of those cosmic years, of freedom,
Jolt his mind to point up north
Yond the curtain of prediction,
Dare to shed the bonds of earth
And bend the course of expectation.

Unfair? A waste?

My eyes to shooting stars, to motion.
My heart to one that just passed by,
Softly traveled, bright, secured,
Like a wandering minstrel,
Measuring the path of your world, oh God,
With kisses.



A Rough-and-Tumble Return


Actress Jessica Lundy was mostly working TV guest starring roles when she landed the part of Roberta in John Patrick Shanley’s "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" last month. The searing play spotlights two survivors who meet, clash, have sex, reveal secrets and begin to heal one another. Lundy’s character, an incest victim, cajoles and physically tussles with Danny (Matthew Klein).

"Initially, I thought, ‘My God, I don’t know if I can do this; I’m really scared," said the Jewish actress, who played Gloria on the hit sitcom "Hope & Gloria." "I’m not known for theater and the role is much darker than anything I’ve ever done."

Klein, however, thinks Lundy "brings a wonderful, unpredictable quality to the role. She can switch in an instant from one emotional extreme to another."

If the fictional Roberta is a scrappy survivor, so is Lundy. With her Catholic mother and Jewish father, she grew up in a "preppy, WASPy" Avon, Conn., where Jews weren’t allowed to play golf at the country club. Nevertheless, she said, she "always strongly identified with being Jewish…. Jewish survival despite centuries of persecution is inspirational because there’s been no surrender or sense of defeat."

Lundy had an easier journey as a young actress. By 21, she was playing Jackie Mason’s daughter in "Caddyshack II"; in 1991, she landed her first sitcom, "Over My Dead Body."

When the film and TV jobs began dwindling several years ago — partly because of the dearth of roles for women over 30 — she began looking for theater work.

Her career angst helped her to identify with the desperate character of Roberta: "I’ve had moments of despair when I’ve felt ‘This is the end of the road for me,’" she said.

Rehearsing the play has proved intense.

"Every day I’d come home exhausted and dirty because we were crawling on the floor and sweating and battered from the raw, ugly emotions," she said, hoarse from shouting her lines. "Sometimes I find myself thinking like the character offstage: Everything feels more sensitive and irritating and I can’t hold back my anger, frustration or disgust quite as well…. But while this kind of role can strip you bare, it’s also thrilling. When I said I wanted to be an actress as a child, this is what I meant."

The play runs Oct. 7-28 at Stage 52, 5299 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 229-5295.

Pushing the Limits


In less than a week, whatever was left of the mutual trust between Israelis and Palestinians appeared to come tumbling down.

Except for the loss of life, this loss of trust is among the greatest casualties of the past week of bloody rioting.

And when a Palestinian police officer opened fire on his Israeli colleagues in a joint border patrol last week, one of the most important symbols of that trust was also shattered.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that last Friday morning, a few hours before the deadly riots began, a Palestinian Authority police officer shot and killed Israeli border guard Yossi Tabjeh, 27.

As a result, the joint Palestinian-Israeli patrols, long seen as a symbol of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, no longer function.

And when senior Israeli and Palestinian commanders met in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to try to work out a cease-fire agreement, they had reached a certain understanding but continued to regard each other with suspicion.

Only a few hours after the two sides shook hands, the Palestinians accused the Israelis of not keeping their word and retracted their promises to end the trouble.

In Israel proper, Arab policemen serving in northern Israeli police units surprised their Jewish partners, saying they could not confront Arab demonstrators and preferred to stay at their bases while the violence was going on.

“We had contingency plans for a situation in which local residents would close off major traffic arteries in the Galilee,” said one senior police officer. “But we did not take into account that Arab policemen would not dare face violent Arab demonstrations.”

“Fifty years of trust went down the drain in two days of violence,” said Erez Kreisler, the mayor of the council of the Misgav region, which borders a number of Arab villages in northern Israel.

Although hundreds of Arab youths took to the streets in the worst violence since 1948, hundreds of thousands remained at home, waiting for the trouble to end.

Most Israeli Arabs, although supportive of the Palestinian cause, had no interest in severing ties to the Jewish state, which they have made their home.

As for the Palestinian Authority and its police forces, this was not the first time the trust was shattered.It began with disturbances at an archaeological tunnel in Jerusalem in 1996, when Palestinian police officers opened fire on Israeli officers, and it has deteriorated ever since.

But the incident with the joint patrols is sure to do serious damage, raising serious questions whether Israelis and Palestinians can share security arrangements in the future.

“They don’t like the joint patrols,” Lt. Roi Nahmias said of the Palestinians.

That was evident in this week’s riots.

They were instigated, to a large extent, by the Tanzim, a local body of Fatah, which is the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Tanzim represent the younger guard of the Fatah. Its members aspire to operate independently but in practice would not dare to act contrary to the specific instructions of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Thus, the Israelis found themselves in a situation more complex than in the past: They were facing Arafat, whom they did not trust, and they were facing the Tanzim, whom Arafat could not trust completely.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak complained Tuesday that on one hand Arafat was sending the Tanzim to confront the Israelis in the streets, but on the other hand he was sending the head of his West Bank security service to try and work out a deal with Israel.

It was hoped that following the meeting, spirits might cool down. But there is little doubt that the breach of trust will take a long time to repair.

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