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  • 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…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Exasperated Albright hints at shift in U.S. peace policy

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 3 (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright”s decision to go public with her frustration over the Middle East peace process represented a change in U.S. policy — at least on the tactical level. But does it presage a policy review on a more substantive level? After meeting last weekend with Israeli…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Move to change election law blow to heads of Likud, Labor

    JERUSALEM, June 3 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Ehud Barak, at odds about so much, now find themselves perched on the same shaky limb in the wake of a Knesset move to change the system of electing a prime minister. Last week’s vote to revoke the direct election law —…

  • THE ROAD TO ISRAEL’S ELECTIONS Mordechai makes clear appeal to Orthodox voters in campaign

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 1 (JTA) — “Let us walk the path of Maimonides,” Yitzhak Mordechai urged a throng of cheering followers. “Let us walk the center path.” The leader of the new, as-yet unnamed centrist party has wasted little time getting into the thick of campaigning — and in the process he has already begun clothing…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Netanyahu faces new hurdles with opposition from Mordechai

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 25 (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come out swinging against his former defense minister, but behind the premier’s confident veneer lurks a fear that Yitzhak Mordechai will be a formidable opponent in the race for prime minister. Netanyahu knows there were two voting blocs that led to his victory in the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Latest political scandal fuels divisiveness in Israeli society

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 18 (JTA) — An obscure drug trial that took place 17 years ago has become the focus of a public storm that is sweeping Israel with a peculiar ferocity. Two weeks ago, few Israelis had heard of Yechiem Ohana, a Tiberias businessman who was jailed for 30 months in the early 1980s for…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel grapples with free speech after death threat mars campaign

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (JTA) — As Israel plunges into an election campaign, the country is struggling to find the right balance between being a boisterous democracy and a society still traumatized by the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Within days after campaigning began, a debate welled up over the acceptable limits of public discourse as…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Large parties will be losers in Israel’s two-ballot election

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 5 (JTA) — In the wake of the Knesset’s final approval this week of a bill to dissolve itself and call for new elections in May, many political observers here are predicting a chaotic and fragmented new legislature reminiscent of Italy in its worst postwar instability. Some observers are warning, too, that the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Netanyahu faces uphill fight, with adversaries on left, right

    JERUSALEM, Dec. 29 (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, forced to accede to early elections, embarked this week on a daunting struggle to recapture the popular and political appeal that catapulted him to the national leadership less than three years ago. The struggle will be long: Netanyahu and the Labor Party leader, Ehud Barak, agreed…