| By Ron Kampeas |
| Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00|
WASHINGTON (JTA) – It happens almost like clockwork: Something happens in the Middle East, and it reverberates across the Atlantic with new letters from the U.S. Congress.
With so many relatively new members looking to establish their pro-Israel credentials, the reaction in Congress to the recent violence in Israel was particularly swift.
“American pressure needs to be exerted on the Palestinians, not the Israelis, to make steps toward achieving peace,” said a March 18 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from the Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus of Republicans from the House of Representatives.
A close reading of the letters reveals the differences over what the authors believe constitutes being pro-Israel. Some place the burden exclusively on Palestinians to restart peace talks, and others call on the United States and Israel also to take steps to tamp down tensions.
| By JTA Staff |
| Friday, 18 March 2011 19:33|
The Fogel FamilyJERUSALEM (JTA) – Demonstrations in solidarity with settlers and a Cabinet committee’s approval for new housing in the West Bank are among the Israeli responses to the suspected terrorist attack that killed five members of a West Bank Jewish family.
An estimated 20,000 people attended Sunday afternoon’s funeral at a cemetery in Jerusalem to mourn the deaths of Udi Fogel, 36, and Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, 3 months.
Two sons – Roi, 8, and Yishai, 2 – were sleeping in a side bedroom and were spared in the Sabbath eve attack in Itamar on March 11. A daughter, Tamar, 12, returned home at midnight from a youth group program to discover the massacre.
The family had been evacuated from Gush Katif and lived in Ariel before building a home in the northern West Bank, near the Palestinian city of Nablus.
Following the funeral, protesters holding demonstrations across Israel in sympathy with residents of the West Bank blocked junctions, some holding signs reading “We are all settlers” and “Peace isn’t signed with blood.” One of the largest rallies took place in Tel Aviv near the army’s national headquarters.
| By Leslie Susser |
| Friday, 04 March 2011 04:04|
| Settler leaders are accusing the Israeli government of imposing a de facto freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank that will halt all new construction, like in Har Homa. /Source:Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA|
JERUSALEM (JTA) – Although the 10-month moratorium on building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank was lifted last September, settler leaders complain that no construction is being allowed in large urban areas and warn that a de facto freeze on all Jewish building in the West Bank is looming.
“It’s like a pipeline into which no new water is being pumped,” Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, the umbrella leadership of the settler movement, told JTA. “Water still comes out on the other side because there is still some inside. But it will soon dry up.”
According to Dayan, already there are no major building projects in large West Bank towns because the Netanyahu government has not published a single land tender for urban construction in the West Bank in the two years it has been in power.
“Nearly all the building going on now is by private contractors in small isolated settlements outside the blocs slated to remain in Israel in any future agreement with the Palestinians,” he said. “In the settlements on which there is a consensus, the freeze is still in force.”
| By Uriel Heilman |
| Friday, 04 March 2011 02:16|
Demonstrator with an anti-Gadhafi sign outside the Libya Embassy in Cairo shows his solidarity for Libyans protesting their leader, on Feb. 22. /Source: Sierragoddes via Creative CommonsWASHINGTON (JTA) – They were the devils they knew.
Though Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by countries whose leaders or people wish its destruction, over the years it had adjusted to the status quo, more or less figuring out how to get by while keeping an eye on gradual change.
But the sudden upheaval in the region that in a matter of weeks has toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and threatens autocrats in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere, is forcing Israel to grapple with how to recalibrate for dramatic change.
For the time being, as Israel sits and watches how things play out from Tripoli to Manama, Bahrain, it’s not clear exactly how the game will change.
“The best answer is we don’t know,” Ron Pundak, the director of the Peres Center for Peace in Herzliya said this week at the J Street conference in Washington.
“The biggest change since 1967 is this tsunami rolling across the region whose end results no one really can foresee,” said Samuel Lewis, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who attended the conference. “Something new is happening in the Arab world.”
| By Voice & Herald Staff |
| Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00|
Students dine in a Bedouin tent in Israel. /Source: Larry KatzPROVIDENCE – You can enjoy the best of Israeli music, food, films and travel opportunities galore – without packing your passport or spending a dollar to do so.
During the weekend of Saturday evening, Feb. 26 and the morning of Sunday, Feb. 27, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island (the “Alliance”) will be home to two programs highlighting the rich diversity of Israeli music and entertainment and opportunities to travel for short- or long-term programs in Israel. Both events are free and open to the entire community.
On Saturday evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., snack on Israeli food, taste Israeli wines and enjoy Mor Ben Yakir Group, an Israeli band that will play traditional, contemporary and jazz music, all from Israel.
Vendors will offer information about Israel’s travel and tour programs for adults, seniors and families. In addition, travel agents and representatives from the Israeli government will provide information and resource material to all who come to the free event.
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