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  • ANALYSIS Missing from mass Israeli rallies: The three contenders for premier

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 16 (JTA) — On the face of it — a paradox. One of the largest outdoor mass gatherings in Israeli history, held at the height of an election campaign — and all three leading candidates for prime minister stayed away. Sunday’s two opposing rallies in Jerusalem — a vast Orthodox prayer demonstration against…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Labor set to take lead on ending IDF exemptions for yeshiva students

    JERUSALEM, April 7 (JTA) — Efforts to end military service exemptions for yeshiva students have received a new impetus — a legislative proposal from Israel”s most highly decorated soldier. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, a former Israel Defense Force chief of staff, announced this week that he would soon introduce legislation requiring compulsory military service…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Peace talks move to London but progress remains doubtful

    JERUSALEM, April 21 (JTA) — The Middle East peace talks could use a little luck of the Irish. Hoping to build on the success of the recent agreement to resolve the decades- long conflict in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister Tony Blair succeeded this week in getting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Netanyahu passes first test, but will his coalition survive?

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 5 (JTA) — The Israeli government may be down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists his coalition is far from out. “The coalition will hold,”” Netanyahu predicted defiantly on Sunday, just hours after Foreign Minister David Levy resigned. The prime minister brushed aside near-universal predictions among Israel”s political commentators that the departure of…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Swastika-kipah comment highlights Israeli tensions

    JERUSALEM, March 10 (JTA) — Those who believe that religious-secular tensions in Israel have never been worse received a stunning corroboration in recent days. In a March 5 speech, Shlomo Gazit, a reserve general in the Israel Defense Force and the longtime head of army intelligence, compared the knitted skullcap — which usually signifies a…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel awaits next U.S. move after Ross mission collapses

    JERUSALEM, March 31 (JTA) — Things are not as bad as they look, the Israeli government insisted after an American envoy”s latest round of shuttle diplomacy failed to move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. It is “a dramatization” to speak of a crisis or confrontation in the U.S.-Israel relationship, the prime minister”s aide, Uzi Arad,…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Calm before the storm: Will Clinton, Netanyahu collide?

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 13 (JTA) — An air of expectation pervaded Israel this week as both the government and opposition looked to the prime minister’s scheduled meeting with President Clinton in Washington on Jan. 20 as the key to future developments in both the domestic and international arenas. Not even a tie Knesset vote on a…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Could top talk on Lebanon lead to Israeli withdrawal?

    JERUSALEM, March 17 (JTA) — If the Israeli government’s current Lebanon initiative is a public relations gimmick — as its critics insist — it’s working. The international community and the international media is full of discussions of Israel’s desire to withdraw from southern Lebanon. For the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the focus on…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Dance troupe controversy spurs fears of cultural war

    JERUSALEM, May 5 (JTA) — Israel”s jubilee celebrations were held under the official slogan, “Together in Pride, Together in Hope,” but Israelis emerged from the festivities even less together than usual. All over the country, people are speaking of a “kulturkampf,” a cultural war — and even a civil war — in the wake of…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Divine act or coincidence? Israelis ponder sex scandal

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 26 (JTA) — If President Clinton’s problems were in the hands of Israeli public opinion, he wouldn’t have a problem at all. The outpouring of press coverage about Clinton’s alleged affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has reached the news-addicted shores of Israel, where it has provoked widespread sympathy for the…