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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak may have ushered in era of bad feelings among supporters

    JERUSALEM, July 6 (JTA) — Broken promises are ultimately what cost Benjamin Netanyahu the prime ministership of Israel. Broken hearts may be the undoing of his successor, general-turned-politician Ehud Barak. While it is still too early to tell how Barak”s government appointments will affect the regional peace process, there were already rumblings that he was…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Jewish pluralism issues may stay unresolved under Barak’s coalition

    JERUSALEM, June 29 (JTA) — Religious pluralism issues are likely to remain unresolved under the new Israeli government, given the strength of the religious parties in the emerging Barak coalition. But with Natan Sharansky”s Yisrael Ba”Aliyah Party poised to take over the Interior Ministry from the fervently Orthodox Shas Party, it may be easier for…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak brings Likud back to table in an attempt at a broad coalition

    JERUSALEM, June 22 (JTA) — As the deadline draws ever closer for Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak to present his government for Knesset approval, his coalition negotiations are taking some surprising turns. In the latest twist, Barak has resumed talks with a potential partner that for several weeks now has appeared destined to be left out…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Sharon thought to be preparing the way for Netanyahu’s return

    JERUSALEM, June 15 (JTA) — Outgoing Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon has won the first round in the three-way battle for the leadership of the Likud Party. But some observers are saying that Sharon, far from preparing to run for the premiership when the nation’s next elections are held, is busy clearing a path for the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak is moving slowly toward accepting Shas into his coalition

    JERUSALEM, June 9 (JTA) — Don”t count the Shas Party out of the next Israeli government yet. Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak has now spent three, often frustrating, weeks attempting to form a government — a process filled as much with public posturing as with anything more substantive. In part as a result of this…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak is moving slowly toward accepting Shas into his coalition

    JERUSALEM, June 8 (JTA) — Don’t count the Shas Party out of the next Israeli government yet. Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak has now spent three, often frustrating, weeks attempting to form a government — a process filled as much with public posturing as with anything more substantive. In part as a result of this…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak’s toughest task is bridging the great secular-religious divide

    JERUSALEM, May 25 (JTA) — As the election dust settles and coalition-building tensions grow, religion is emerging as the single most dominant factor in Israel”s current political cataclysm. More than the peace process, more than the economy and unemployment, certainly more than the Sephardi-Ashkenazi divide, the religious-secular conflict proved a key element in the way…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS A new Israeli political landscape emerges from the election rubble

    JERUSALEM, May 18 (JTA) — Pundits everywhere are calling Israel”s election results a “political earthquake.” In fact, though, two distinct tremors have overturned the rules and realities that have governed the Jewish state and its policy-making these past three years. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak”s 56 percent to 44 percent victory over outgoing Prime Minister…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israeli voters face unprecedented choices in the upcoming elections

    JERUSALEM, May 10 (JTA) — Israel appears poised to embark on a two-week period unprecedented in its political history. As befits a political culture drawing at least part of its mode of discourse from the Talmud, hypotheses regarding what will happen during those two weeks run the gamut of speculation. When Israelis go to the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Centrists: Rumors of campaign’s demise are greatly exaggerated

    JERUSALEM, May 3 (JTA) — The four founders of the Center Party are making it clear they are determined to fight to the end, with Yitzhak Mordechai as their candidate for prime minister. The centrist leaders called a news conference last Sunday to defend their candidate vehemently despite poor showings in the polls and a…