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  • Conservative Jews are pelted with bottles at the Western Wall

    JERUSALEM, May 23 (JTA) — Police held back fervently Orthodox Jews who tried to disrupt 200 members of the Israeli Conservative movement who held mixed-gender Shavuot services at the Western Wall Plaza last Friday. In the wake of the demonstrations, Israel’s two chief rabbis met with Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak Sunday to discuss religious tensions….

  • Barak issues policy statement as coalition discussions begin

    JERUSALEM, May 24 (JTA) — With Israel’s elections over, coalition talks are now beginning. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak presented potential coalition partners with a 10-point plan outlining his policy goals. The plan, which is a summary of a 39-page document that more fully spells out his goals, includes the following points: *…

  • In aftermath of election victory, Barak keeps mum about coalition

    JERUSALEM, May 23 (JTA) — With Israel’s elections over, coalition talks are now set to begin. Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak plans to begin coalition negotiations this week by inviting representatives from all parties in the Knesset to describe their vision of what the goals and composition of the next government should be, the head…

  • Israeli film shown at Cannes, but fails to take home any prizes

    JERUSALEM, May 23 (JTA) — A love story set in a fervently Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem was among the films shown at the 52nd Cannes Festival this week. The movie, directed by Amos Gitai, was the first Israeli film in 25 years to be screened as part of the main competition at the prestigious festival…

  • Begin resigns from Knesset after 11 years as lawmaker

    JERUSALEM, May 20 (JTA) — Hawkish Israeli legislator Ze’ev “Benny” Begin has announced he is resigning from politics. Begin, who withdrew from the race for prime minister one day before Israelis went to the polls this week, said Wednesday he had decided on the move because his National Unity Party won only three Knesset seats…

  • Begin resigns from Knesset after 11 years as lawmaker

    JERUSALEM, May 19 (JTA) — Hawkish Israeli legislator Ze’ev “Benny” Begin has announced he is resigning from politics. Begin, who withdrew from the race for prime minister one day before Israelis went to the polls this week, said Wednesday he had decided on the move because his National Unity Party won only three Knesset seats…

  • PROFILE Barak’s ‘lightning’ victory follows path of his mentor, Yitzhak Rabin

    JERUSALEM, May 18 (JTA) — Ehud Barak swept to a lightning victory in Israel’s elections this week, as befits a man whose Hebrew name means just that. Barak’s stunning victory over Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu — he received 56 percent of the vote to Netanyahu’s 44 percent, with more than 97 percent of the vote counted…

  • Katyushas rain on Israel as Barak celebrates victory

    JERUSALEM, May 18 (JTA) — Within hours after the polls closed, Israel’s newly elected premier got a taste of one of the challenges that will be confronting him. Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak was celebrating his election victory late Monday night when Hezbollah gunmen in Lebanon fired Katyusha rockets at northern Israel. Barak told his backers…

  • 11th-hour drama reshapes race, leaves two contenders for premier

    JERUSALEM, May 16 (JTA) — Israel is poised for a change in leadership, according to a poll released Sunday. Labor Party candidate Ehud Barak will receive 55 percent of Monday’s vote, to 44.5 percent for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the poll, published in the Israeli newspaper Globes. The poll, which asked 1,000 Israelis which…

  • THE ROAD TO ISRAEL’S ELECTIONS Ignoring negative opinion polls, Netanyahu promises he will w

    JERUSALEM, May 13 (JTA) — Days before Israel’s national elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dismissing opinion polls and declaring he will emerge the winner in Monday’s vote. Addressing supporters Thursday, Netanyahu lashed out at the media, which he accused of rallying behind Labor Party leader Ehud Barak. “They are afraid. And what are they…