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  • NEWS ANALYSIS No matter what Arafat decides, Netanyahu will try to take credit

    JERUSALEM, April 27 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, battling for all he is worth to retain power in the upcoming elections, is trying to put a favorable spin on this week’s diplomatic maneuvering between the United States and the Palestinians. As President Clinton sent off a letter to Yasser Arafat urging both sides…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Deri’s conviction changes how Netanyahu, Barak go after votes

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — The four-year jail sentence imposed last week on Shas leader Aryeh Deri for taking bribes has forced Israel”s candidates for prime minister to re-examine their vote-getting tactics. Deri”s political power is undisputed: He was responsible for the evolution of the 15-year-old fervently Orthodox Shas Party into a political force that,…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Is the Israeli government flirting with Russia to gain potential votes?

    JERUSALEM, April 13 (JTA) — Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon is flirting with Russia, with the seeming acquiescence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — and to the mounting chagrin of the United States. Sharon”s visit to Moscow this week comes as the United States and its NATO allies are continuing their campaign against Russia”s traditional…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israeli election season promises jingles, gimmicks along with issues

    JERUSALEM, April 5 (JTA) — Boring it won’t be. With five candidates likely to run for prime minister and some 33 parties running for the Knesset, Israel’s upcoming elections will be a veritable jamboree of jingles, gimmicks and slick copy-writing. So certain is the outlook for lively color and top-flight entertainment as the campaign heats…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Mixing up politics and religion in wake of Shas leader conviction

    JERUSALEM, March 23 (JTA) — The combustible mix of politics and religion has once again exploded in Israel in the wake of last week’s conviction on bribery charges of one of Israel’s most powerful political leaders. Aryeh Deri was convicted, among other things, of pocketing some $155,000 during a period of five years in the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Confrontations with U.S., E.U. play into Netanyahu’s campaign

    JERUSALEM, March 16 (JTA) — Israel”s relations with the United States and the European Union have deteriorated in recent weeks, and political observers are already wondering how this will play out in Israel”s May 17 elections. Some pundits say they detect no desire on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to soft-pedal these differences…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel’s far right joins forces, boosting prospects for election

    JERUSALEM, March 10 (JTA) — The far right of Israel’s political spectrum appears on the verge of merging its various feuding factions into a solid electoral bloc that has a good chance of scoring well in the upcoming elections. Haunted by the memory of past failures to join forces at election time, leaders of the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel’s far right joins forces, boosting prospects for election

    JERUSALEM, March 9 (JTA) — The far right of Israel’s political spectrum has succeeded in merging its various feuding factions into a solid electoral bloc that has a good chance of scoring well in the upcoming elections. Haunted by the memory of past failures to join forces at election time, leaders of the Herut, Moledet…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Sephardi and Orthodox support turn Labor Party into ‘One Israel

    JERUSALEM, March 2 (JTA) — Perhaps it isn’t the broad rainbow coalition that Ehud Barak had hoped for. But “One Israel,” the Labor Party leader’s long-anticipated, meticulously constructed, larger-than-Labor election ticket came into being this week, boasting both authentic Sephardi and Orthodox components. The week’s sad events in Lebanon caused a postponement in the formal…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Debate rages among secularists: How to respond to Orthodox power

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 23 (JTA) — What should a secular Israeli do in the face of a recent Orthodox mass demonstration against the Supreme Court? Israel”s secular intellectuals are battling among themselves over this question — and in particular over whether joining the Conservative or Reform movement is an appropriate response to the Orthodox protesters” challenge….