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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak hopes for final peace deal on all but Jerusalem by February

    JERUSALEM, Sept. 2 (JTA) — It sounds like a tall order, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak seriously intends to have the essential elements of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute wrapped up by February. After the practicalities of implementing the Wye accord are squared away, Israel and the Palestinians will be ready to embark on the final-status…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak hopes for final peace deal on all but Jerusalem by February

    JERUSALEM, Sept. 1 (JTA) — It sounds like a tall order, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak seriously intends to have the essential elements of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute wrapped up by February. With the practicalities of implementing the Wye accord squared away — a deal on when and how to implement the agreement was due…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Sabbath transport crisis highlights a fragile religious-secular marriage

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 31 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has emerged unscathed from a potential crisis with the Orthodox partners in his government. But no sooner had that crisis — prompted by plans for transporting parts of an electric power plant on the Sabbath — reached its end over the weekend, than Barak plunged…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel tries to fight youth violence, but cannot agree on school changes

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (JTA) — One of Zionism’s founding fathers offered this now-classical vision of the longed-for independent Jewish society: “Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes.” In other words, the panoply of life, complete with its seamier sides, was envisioned in a normal Jewish state. To judge from life here these days, Israel has achieved that…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Critics say Barak ignores advisers, which leads to diplomatic blunders

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 10 (JTA) — By the time U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrives in the region early next month for her peacemaking trip, the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations may perhaps have improved. But even if there is an end to the current round of daily disagreements regarding the land-for-security Wye accord, there is…

  • HIGH HOLIDAY FEATURE History may record 5759 as the year Israel made an historic turn to peace

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (JTA) — Will 5759 be remembered as a year of radical change in the course and direction of Israel’s history, or merely as a year when the government changed hands after an election and life went on much as it did before? The answer, as 5760 begins, is that the jury is…

  • HIGH HOLIDAY FEATURE History may record 5759 as the year Israel made an historic turn to peace

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (JTA) — Will 5759 be remembered as a year of radical change in the course and direction of Israel’s history, or merely as a year when the government changed hands after an election and life went on much as it did before? The answer, as 5760 begins, is that the jury is…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Knesset speaker may use podium as springboard to higher ambitions

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 3 (JTA) — Joy pervaded the Knesset last week as news spread that a report of legislator Amnon Rubinstein’s death was untrue. The rejoicing provided testimony to the respect and affection felt for Rubinstein, who was very much alive in a hospital after suffering a minor stroke. But there were those in the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Religious-secular strife awaits Barak when he comes back home

    JERUSALEM, July 20 (JTA) — While Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was busily engaged in high-profile diplomacy in the United States, religious-secular disputes brewing back home may force him to use his diplomatic skills on his own coalition partners. Barak said in New York last weekend that synagogue-and-state issues in Israel would be kept off…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Despite high hopes, don’t expect new Mideast treaties any time soon

    JERUSALEM, July 12 (JTA) — A new atmosphere of cordiality has descended on the Middle East since Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s victory in the Israeli elections in May. But atmospherics aside, there is likely to be some tough bargaining ahead before Israel concludes any new treaties with its Arab neighbors. Regional Arab leaders have given…