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  • Israel’s Top Rabbinate Rejects Orthodox Conversions As Well

    Earlier this month, an Orthodox couple flew from the United States to Israel to be married in the Jewish state. When they arrived, they discovered they had a problem on their hands. The woman had converted to Judaism, and despite the fact that the converting rabbi in the United States was himself Orthodox, he didn’t… More ▸

  • After Dot-com Bust, Entrepreneurs from Israel Turn to Health-care Fields

    At a recent conference on Israeli start-up companies, a group of young investors stood in the hallway chatting animatedly about Israeli businesses and venture capital opportunities. They were particularly surprised by the growing number of health care-related firms that had come from Israel to the conference — held at the Newark offices of telecom giant… More ▸

  • Israel’s Eye Still on Settlements As Parties Attempt to Exploit Tensions

    Had Ariel Sharon been able to continue as Israeli prime minister, his main strategic goal would have been establishing a new long-term border between Israel and the West Bank. That remains the primary aim of his Kadima Party, but last week’s violent clashes between settlers and police at the tiny West Bank outpost of Amona… More ▸

  • With Sharon Ailing, Elections in Israel Suddenly Up for Grabs

    Ariel Sharon’s massive brain hemorrhage has thrown Israel’s upcoming election wide open. What looked like a foregone conclusion — with the prime minister’s Kadima Party headed toward a landslide victory — could now become a close three-way race among Kadima, Labor and Likud. “From this morning we have an entirely different political situation: Three parties… More ▸

  • A Short Political History of Israel

    Since Israel was founded in 1948, 11 people have served as prime minister. Power has shifted back and forth between the Labor and Likud parties, traditionally the country’s largest, on seven different occasions. After his announcement Monday that he is bolting Likud to form a new faction, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is hoping power… More ▸

  • Safe in Israel, French Jews Fear for Family Members They Left Behind

    “Everyone in the family was worried about our security when we moved to Israel last year,” says Lionel Levi, who made aliyah from the suburbs of Paris, “and now here in Netanya we’re all worried about the family we left behind in France.” “I call my son every night in the 19th district of Paris,”… More ▸

  • With Discovery of Ancient Church, Israel Banks on Christian Tourism

    It may not qualify as a miracle, but an exceptional archaeological find in the Megiddo Prison in norther Israel could prove to be a tourism bonanza for Israel. “This finding may attract millions of Christian pilgrims to Israel,” Tourism Minister Avraham Hirschson told JTA. Through September, some 1.4 million tourists have visited Israel this year…. More ▸

  • As Pressure Mounts on Syria, Israel Weighs Risks and Benefits

    As international pressure mounts on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, decision-makers in Jerusalem are considering what a Syrian accommodation with the West could mean for Israel. Assad has been under a cloud of suspicion since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February. Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan’s “suicide” last week, ahead… More ▸

  • After Five Years of Intifada, Israel Considers Benefits of Acting Alone

    Five years after the intifada began, a debate is raging in Israel over how to build on the current lull: re-engage the Palestinians in peace talks or make further unilateral moves like the recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. For now, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rules out further unilateral steps. But… More ▸