20 January 2011 0 Comments

Ehud Barak’s ‘filthy’ move

When Ehud Barak announced his plan Monday to split from Israel’s Labor Party and form a new parliamentary faction built entirely around himself, the defense minister displayed his usual combination of keen strategic thinking and craven self-interest. Barak’s stated logic is this: He wants to stay in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist coalition because he […]

1 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel’s president is no angel

When the residents of Kiryat Malakhi, the southern Israeli town whose name means “City of Angels,” picked Moshe Katsav as the youngest-ever mayor in the country’s history in 1970, he was 24. For decades he was the town’s symbol, an immigrant born in Iran who made it to the top of the establishment and was […]

11 November 2010 4 Comments

Jerusalem: Just the facts

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Israel’s plans to add 1,000 housing units to Jerusalem neighborhoods in the area of the city conquered by Israel in 1967 this week. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that “Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel” and he intends to build wherever he likes. What kind of […]

16 August 2010 1 Comment

Israeli leaders pass buck

The present Israeli government seems to make a specialty of dropping the ball. The only thing the top ministers won’t drop is the buck. They’re very adept at passing that. Testimony last week revealed the lack of responsibility at the top of the Israeli government. Before a committee investigating a fouled up military operation, Prime […]

1 August 2010 1 Comment

With democracy like this, who needs dictators?

JERUSALEM — Israelis like to point out that theirs is the only democracy in a Middle East otherwise dominated by repressive regimes. Given the performance of legislators in the parliamentary session that just ended here, you might be forgiven for asking: with democracy like this, who needs dictators? The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, broke up last […]

23 July 2010 1 Comment

Israeli settlements: frozen, still cooking

JERUSALEM — Palestinian negotiators said again this week they’d refuse to re-enter direct peace talks with Israel unless the current partial freeze on construction in Israeli settlements is extended when its term runs out in September. But as a report released this week by the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem reveals, a real settlement freeze would […]

17 July 2010 1 Comment

Tragic friends on a search for peace

JERUSALEM—If you asked about a moment that encapsulates the tragedy of the Israelis and Palestinians, there’d be no shortage of incidents, fatal and wrathful, from which to choose. This week, however, I’d point out an occasion that was less shocking but just as poignant. In a banquet hall of the King David Hotel, an Israeli […]

9 July 2010 1 Comment

All talk, no two states

(I posted this today on Global Post.) At his White House press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, United States President Barack Obama enthused that the talks about talks will probably lead to talks, and his assessment was that the Israeli government is ready to take part in those talks. As the […]

11 May 2010 1 Comment

Hezbollah’s missiles cover all Israel

JERUSALEM — Hezbollah’s stockpile of weapons includes missiles that can strike at the entire area of Israel, the country’s Intelligence Minister revealed Monday. In a briefing to foreign journalists, Dan Meridor said the Lebanese Shiite militia, which fought a rocket war with Israel in 2006, has 42,000 rockets and missiles “aimed at Israel.” He added […]

11 April 2010 0 Comments

A who’s who of Israeli corruption

In a small country you can find all the important decision-makers sweating in one gym. (I posted this on Global Post.) JERUSALEM — The heads of all the crime families in New York used to get together every Wednesday night at the Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. If you were looking […]