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  • Barak said to be ready to exclude Likud and Shas from his government

    JERUSALEM, June 6 (JTA) — Ehud Barak is edging closer to naming his new government, and aides to the Israeli prime minister-elect say it may wind up being a narrow one, rather than the broad-based coalition he originally intended. Barak had originally hoped to include either the Likud or Shas parties in his government, to…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS South Lebanon Army leaves town; Is it prelude to Israeli withdrawal?

    JERUSALEM, June 1 (JTA) — No Israeli soldier moved an inch, but this may have been the week that the Israel Defense Force’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon began. The first move came not from Israel, but from its ally in the region, the South Lebanon Army, a 2,500-member Christian militia that has been fighting Shi’ite…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Palestinians target settlements before Barak forms government

    NABLUS, May 24 (JTA) — To all appearances, this West Bank town is thriving. The streets are humming with traffic, a central street market offers a rich variety of fruits and vegetables and Israeli bargain-hunters can often be seen shopping in the narrow alleys of the casbah, or old town. The scene is a change…

  • ISRAELIS DECIDE THEIR FUTURE Israeli Arabs reluctantly voted for Barak, lose clout in Knesset

    NAZARETH, Israel, May 18 (JTA) — At times one could have mistaken Paulus Street, the main street of downtown Nazareth, for downtown Gaza City or Nablus. It was the national Palestinian flag of black, white, green and red on top of many cars that broke the monotony of election day. The flags were Palestinian, but…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Arab parties expected to play major role in election, coalition

    JERUSALEM, May 10 (JTA) — Israeli Arabs are determined to be a force in next week’s elections. With some 500,000 eligible voters, some 12 percent of the Israeli electorate, they hope to flex their political muscle — and in the process win greater rights for themselves. Traditional supporters of the Labor Party, Israeli Arabs for…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Arafat enjoys renewed standing in West and among his own people

    JERUSALEM, May 3 (JTA) — This was the week that had been prophesied as doomsday for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. For months, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat had been threatening to unilaterally declare statehood on May 4. During that same period, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just as persistently stated that Israel would respond to…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Political conflict over Jerusalem again has Orient House at center

    JERUSALEM, April 25 (JTA) — A stately 100-year-old mansion in eastern Jerusalem has repeatedly been the focal point of Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the city both sides claim as their capital. Now, with Israeli elections only a few weeks off, and with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat still mulling whether to declare statehood when the interim…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israeli officials caught in middle as controversy erupts in Nazareth

    JERUSALEM, April 18 (JTA) — Eight months before the start of a new Christian millennium, Israel finds itself squarely in the middle of a Christian- Muslim conflict centered on a town traditionally associated with Jesus. The conflict in Nazareth, if left unresolved, could have worldwide repercussions, not the least of which would be the cancellation…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israeli Arab candidate for premier gets little boost from his community

    JERUSALEM, April 12 (JTA) — The first Israeli Arab to run for prime minister of the Jewish state is getting little support from the nation’s Arabs. Azmi Beshara is making history by running in the May 17 elections. But his fellow Israeli Arab politicians are concerned that his campaign to become premier may help the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES History and politics influence Israeli debate over NATO action

    JERUSALEM, April 5 (JTA) — Israelis are divided over NATO’s military campaign against Serbia — and opinions and policy are being informed as much by history and the Holocaust as by current political realities. Israeli sympathy for the Serbs, who were fellow victims of the Nazis during World War II, is countered by the images…