Thursday, January 21, 2021


Naomi Segal


Mothers’ March

A single mother\'s 120-mile hike to protest Israeli government cuts in social welfare benefits has captivated public and media attention and spawned similar pilgrimages in the country.

Bombing Shatters Lives, Peace Moves

The fragile peace efforts launched a week ago at the Middle East summit in Aqaba, Jordan, appeared to be unraveling at a dizzying pace this week, as Israel and the Palestinians were drawn back into a familiar and bloody pattern of violence and retaliation.

Palestinians Show Iraq Support With Bombing

Palestinian support for Iraq took on a new dimension this week with a suicide bombing in Israel that Islamic Jihad said was aimed at showing solidarity with Baghdad. Dozens of people were wounded, six seriously, when a suicide bomber blew himself up March 30 next to a crowded restaurant in the coastal city of Netanya. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and identified the bomber as a resident of Tulkarm. The group\'s secretary, Ramadan Shalakh, said the attack commemorated Land Day, which itself marks the deaths of six Israeli Arabs during protests in 1976 against state confiscation of Arab lands in the Galilee. Shalakh also said the bombing was a show of solidarity with the Iraqi people.

Bombing Follows Thwarted Attacks

With the United States stepping up military and diplomatic preparations for a possible strike against Iraq, much of Israel was focused this week on when a war might break out and whether it would affect Israel.

Israel Mourns

Even for Israelis hardened by years of dealing with Palestinian terrorism, the death of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon came as a difficult blow.

Sharon Vows More Targeted Killings

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is vowing to step up targeted killings of suspected Palestinian terrorists. Israel\'s practice of targeted killings is not new, but Sharon\'s statements again threw a spotlight on the controversial policy. He made the comment following a terror attack Dec. 27 at a West Bank yeshiva, in which four students were killed and 10 others wounded. Reflecting the odd vagaries of Middle East politics, his vow also came as Israeli and Palestinian officials began reviewing the latest draft of a U.S. \"road map\" for achieving peace in the region.

Mitzna Wins Labor

If Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna hopes to becomes Israel\'s next prime minister, he faces a daunting challenge: resuscitating a moribund Labor Party in a little more than two months.

Israel Weighs Response to Bombing

Israel generally reacts swiftly to Palestinian terror attacks, but that was not the case this week.

IDF Could Target Gaza Next

A new Israeli military operation has many wondering if the army now has the Gaza Strip in its sights.

Knesset to Get First Openly Gay Legislator

Activists in Israel\'s gay and lesbian community are hailing the upcoming swearing in of the Knesset\'s first openly gay member, calling it a breakthrough in their efforts for greater recognition.

Intifada at a Turning Point?

Could Israel and the Palestinians be reaching a turning point in their violent conflict?

Gaza/Bethlehem First — and Last?

Reports of the death of a gradual Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire plan may be premature. A lot of evidence surfaced this week that the initial skepticism that greeted the \"Gaza/Bethlehem First\" plan was justified. But there were also facts to buttress the optimistic view that the plan might reduce nearly two years of violence.

Was the Strike Wise?

Israelis are wondering whether the price for killing a top Hamas official this week in the Gaza Strip will be too high.

Careful With That Pizza!

Mushrooms, peppers and extra cheese, please -- but hold the explosives. Concerns about booby-trapped pizzas have led the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to impose restrictions on the use of a Web site that allows users to spice up the Israeli army service by sending pies to soldiers.

Israel to Build West Bank Fence

Israelis attending the meeting later were quoted as backing the plan -- as long as it is completed quickly.

Powell Visit Unsuccessful

By most any benchmark, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell\'s Middle East peacemaking mission was far from successful.

Israel Stands Firm on IDF Campaign

In the Byzantine politics of the Middle East, even a suicide bombing is subject to differing interpretations. After a suicide bomber detonated his explosives aboard a bus near Haifa on Wednesday, killing eight Israelis and wounding 14, Palestinian officials said the attack proved that Israel\'s military operation in the West Bank was ineffective in halting terror. The Bush administration said the attack reinforced the need for Israel to withdraw its forces. Yet, Israeli officials countered that the attack proved the necessity of continuing the operation until the entire network of Palestinian terror is eradicated.

A New Threat

Because Palestinian violence has been so devastating, Israel\'s retaliatory actions seem to be justified. Whether they are effective or not is almost secondary to the need to respond.

P.A. Under Siege?

Six Israeli defense officials are debating whether the government should take steps to prevent the collapse of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat\'s regime. The Israeli daily Ma\'ariv reported that officials are warning that the collapse of the Palestinian Authority could lead to chaos in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Up in Smoke

Far from giving any substance to the truce that was declared in mid-June, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have become mired in a pattern of attack and counterattack -- or, more bluntly, revenge and more revenge.

Wedding Hall Disaster

Israel has set up a state commission of inquiry into building safety after 23 people were killed and hundreds injured when a wedding hall collapsed last week.

Palestinian Snipers Slay Israeli Child

A 10-month-old Jewish girl has become the latest victim of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Looking Right and Left

Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon was expected to present his new government for Knesset approval on Wednesday, after the fervently Orthodox Shas Party signed a coalition agreement that gives Sharon a parliamentary majority.

Different Tactics

If U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made anything clear during his visit this week to Israel and the Palestinian-controlled city of Ramallah, it was that things have changed since President Clinton left office.

Salvaging Peace

President Clinton\'s 11th-hour efforts to salvage the peace process may be too little, too late for many Israelis.

Rethinking Restraint

A terror bombing against an Israeli school bus in the Gaza Strip this week is forcing Prime Minister Ehud Barak to reevaluate his response to Palestinian violence.

World Briefs

World Briefs

To Open a Window

Caution was the prevailing sentiment as U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attempted this week to nudge Israel and the Palestinians closer to a final peace agreement.

Leaving Lebanon

When Israeli soldiers locked the border gate behind them on Wednesday, it marked the fulfillment of Prime Minister Ehud Barak\'s campaign pledge to \"bring the boys home.\"

Barak Under Fire

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak travels to the United States for meetings May 21-23, he\'ll leave behind faltering peace talks, a government in jeopardy and violent flare-ups with the Palestinians.

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