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  • 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 —…

  • Back to court and Knesset? The pluralism battle plods on

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 10 (JTA) — Back to the courts and the Knesset? No one is sure where the battle over religious pluralism in Israel is headed now that efforts for resolving the conversion crisis through negotiations apparently have failed. The Reform and Conservative movements are vowing to head back to the Israeli courts to press…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israelis opposed to withdrawal mount public relations campaign

    JERUSALEM, June 8 (JTA) — Another week, another sigh of relief from the far right of the Israeli political spectrum. Despite a recent flurry of speculation, largely fueled by Israeli officials, the United States let it be known this week that a deal to revive the Israeli- Palestinian peace process is still not in sight….

  • 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…

  • 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…