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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israel weighs ramifications of India’s defiant nuclear tests

    JERUSALEM, May 19 (JTA) — Israeli policymakers are treading warily around the potential pitfalls posed for the Jewish state by India’s nuclear tests. While Israel shares the world’s fears of a dangerous atomic arms race between Indian and Pakistan — fears heightened this week by reports of an imminent nuclear test by Pakistan — there…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Israelis debate wisdom of plan to hold redeployment referendum

    JERUSALEM, June 23 (JTA) — Referendum fever swept Israel this week as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blew hot, then cold, then hot again over the idea of holding a national plebiscite on the next Israeli redeployment from the West Bank. As legal experts debated precedents for the idea and technological wizards proposed state-of-the-art methods for…

  • 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 Moderate coalition partners not willing to challenge premier

    JERUSALEM, May 26 (JTA) — “Netanyahu and Mordechai trying to persuade Sharon,” proclaimed the headline of the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot. An outsider completely unfamiliar with the peace process players would naturally assume from the story that Ariel Sharon is the prime minister and that two of his more moderate Cabinet members, named Netanyahu and…

  • 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…