Connect to share and comment

Opinion: Netanyahu falls into character

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right back to his old self Monday. At a press conference after his first meeting with President Barack Obama in the White House, he dragged his feet just as he did in his first term as prime minister when President Bill Clinton was in office.

Pope's visit satisfies few

JERUSALEM — As the Pope’s special El Al flight departed Tel Aviv for Rome Friday at the end of his five-day visit to the Holy Land, he might have kicked off his red slippers, dropped his seat into recline, and wondered why he bothered to come.

In Hebron, Noam Arnon sits tight and worries

HEBRON, West Bank — He’s stayed in the largest town in the West Bank for 36 years, even though most of its 167,000 residents want him to leave. He’s just won a $50,000 prize for his “Zionist activities” there. His country’s new government is vilified around the world because it’s seen as supportive of people just like him. You’d think Noam Arnon would be feeling a lot more secure than he is.

Washington reconsiders the UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA — The Obama administration seems to be in the mood to start over with the U.N.’s Human Right Council after many years in which Washington viewed the forum as hopelessly  anti-American and anti-Israeli. Esther Brimmer, President Barack Obama’s new assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, said in a briefing for reporters here that the administration was placing heavy emphasis on the fact that the United States plans to try to regain its seat on the U.N.’s Human Rights Council.

'Popeophobia' hits Holy Land ahead of tour

JERUSALEM — If you happen to be in the Holy Land next week and you have a beef with the pope, get to the back of the line. In Nazareth, where Pope Benedict XVI will say Mass on May 14, the Islamic Movement accuses the pontiff of insulting Islam in a 2006 speech and leaflets have been distributed in the town calling for violence against the pontiff. In Gaza, the small Christian community there is upset that he won’t visit them as a show of solidarity after the violence in January.

Of borders and other divisions

Thirty years ago I was crossing the Jordon River from Israel to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon to interview King Hussein, the father of the present monarch. I passed over the Allenby Bridge from Israeli control, displaying blue and white Israeli flags, to the Jordanian side, where most pretended that Israel didn’t exist.

The Black Hebrews of Israel

DIMONA, Israel — As a young African-American man in late 1970s Chicago, Atur Yirmeyahu was contemplating the fairly standard dilemmas of whether to go to graduate school and ask his girlfriend of three years to marry him. Before the year was over, he had decided on a wholly unorthodox way forward. Scrapping the university plans and breaking up with his girlfriend, he left his hometown for a sleepy desert settlement in southern Israel.

Billions promised, but Gazans still waiting

RAMALLAH — Money, wrote the English philosopher Francis Bacon, is like manure: of very little use unless it is spread. Since an international aid conference in March promised $5.2 billion to rebuild Gaza, the stink of un-spread money has been strong in the nostrils. That’s particularly unpleasant for the people of Gaza, who also have to deal with a largely destroyed sewage system, thus giving them a double-helping of manure.

Two Israeli politicians to keep an eye on

JERUSALEM — So, there are two eastern European guys, one from Ukraine and the other from Moldova. One of them is on the short side and is a chess whiz who suffered through a Siberian labor camp for his uncompromising belief in democracy and freedom. Meet Natan Sharansky, who was picked this weekend by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Obama's first meeting with an Arab leader

AMMAN — King Abdullah II Ibn al-Hussein's meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the Arab-Israeli peace process marks the first time an Arab leader has had an audience with the new U.S. president. The meeting comes at a time when King Abdullah of Jordan and other Arab leaders are seeking to influence the Obama administration as it is still formulating its policies on the Middle East, and Abdullah came to Washington to represent a united Arab position to the new U.S. administration.
Syndicate content