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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Growing international pressure creates quandary for Netanyahu

    JERUSALEM, March 24 (JTA) — Amid growing international pressure for Israel to give the Palestinians more West Bank territory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting back. And the gloves are off. Last week, Netanyahu suddenly cut short a meeting with the visiting British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and canceled a planned state dinner after Cook…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israelis wary as tensions among Palestinians escalate

    JERUSALEM, April 13 (JTA) — Israelis are watching the escalating tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Islamic militants with apprehension and uncertainty, wondering how the rift will spill over. On one hand, Israeli citizens remain on heightened alert for terrorist attacks after the fundamentalist group Hamas issued threats last week against Israeli targets. At the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS U.S. standing in Arab world may influence peace process

    JERUSALEM, March 2 (JTA) — With the U.S.-Iraq confrontation off the front burner, Israel and the Palestinians are busily preparing for a new bout of American diplomacy. A new peacemaking initiative was widely anticipated in the aftermath of a showdown with Iraq. Pundits predicted that the United States, unpopular and resented in large parts of…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Showdown in Israel likely in wake of compromise plan

    JERUSALEM, March 25 (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears headed for a showdown with his coalition — yet again. The likelihood of a confrontation became apparent this week when Israeli officials confirmed a New York Times report that Israel had presented to the U.S. administration a compromise proposal regarding further Israeli withdrawals from the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Netanyahu strives to satisfy competing U.S., Israeli demands

    JERUSALEM, May 12 (JTA) — The space between a rock and a hard place would represent for Benjamin Netanyahu a veritable paradise compared to his current predicament — stuck between Madeleine Albright and Ariel Sharon. The Israeli prime minister, staring at the daunting prospect of a full-scale confrontation with the Clinton administration, must have been…

  • 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,…