Tagged Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In new Israeli elections, security issues returning to fore

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrating an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, Nov. 18, 2014. Israeli elections in March are expected to have a much greater focus on security than they did two years ago. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — This government was supposed to be different. During the last election campaign in 2012, Israelis seemed to tire of the existential issues that have plagued the country for decades. Barely anyone talked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Long-simmering social tensions over the rising cost of living… Read more »

‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ fails to live up to the controversy

Protesters demonstrating against "The Death of Klinghoffer" outside the Metropolitan Opera House in New York city, Oct. 20, 2014. (Raffi Wineburg)

NEW YORK (JTA) — “See it. You Decide,” the Metropolitan Opera of New York exhorts in a promotional push capitalizing on the controversy over its new production of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Well, I saw it. And I’m not sure which was more of a letdown, the hubbub over… Read more »

For Obama at the U.N., what a difference a year makes

President Obama speaks before the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – A year ago, when President Barack Obama took the dais at the U.N. General Assembly, his speech focused on Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s chemical weapons and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He talked about Egypt’s messy transition to democracy and defended America’s actions in Libya. A year… Read more »

Op-Ed: No easy answers to Israel’s painful dilemma

In situations as complex as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which often seem insoluble, one sometimes envies the ancient Greeks, who invented deus ex machina — that artificial device that solved the entanglement of the dramatic plot. No wonder, then, that many in Israel cheered recently when Israel Army Radio announced… Read more »

Understanding Shmita, Israel’s agricultural Shabbat

A Thai worker picking decorative flower leaves on the Kibbutz Sde Nitzan flower farm, near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, July 20, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shmita, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel,… Read more »

In Ramle, a Holocaust survivor worries about her daughter and grandchildren living in Gaza

Palestinian man seen in front of a fire raging at Gaza's main power plant following an overnight Israeli airstrike, south of Gaza City, July 29, 2014. (Emad Nassar/Flash90)

RAMLE, Israel (JTA) — In her living room in the Israeli town of Ramle, Sarah says she wants a peaceful life. At 79, she deserves one. A Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, Sarah was sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Serbia as a child, arriving in Israel at age 17.… Read more »

At L.A. cultural center, Middle East translates to coexistence, not conflict

Jordan Elgrably is executive director of the Levantine Cultural Center in Los Angeles. (Anthony Weiss/JTA)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – It’s Friday night, and patrons are sitting and chatting over plates of tajine and hummus waiting for the evening’s main event, a stand-up comedy show. It could be any nightspot in this city. But a closer look reveals a bolder agenda than just good food… Read more »

Abbas invokes sovereign state at peace prayer with Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis plant a tree together at the Vatican Gardens during a joint peace prayer initiated and hosted by Pope Francis, in the Vatican, on June 8, 2014. (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for “freedom in our sovereign and independent state” during a prayer for peace with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis. Vatican officials had called the service on Sunday at the Vatican a “pause in politics” with no political intentions.… Read more »

Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ portrays Israelis in harsh light

The protagonist of the Oscar-nominated "Omar" is on the run from Israeli agents who are pursuing the Palestinian murderer of an Israeli soldier. (Adopt Films)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — For cinematic observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this is a banner year, with both sides choosing Oscar submissions that center on the Israeli occupation. Israel’s “Bethlehem,” which pits Shin Bet agents against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish state, was eliminated early… Read more »

Kerry will need a miracle to broker a peace deal

Last weekend, like other fellow Jerusalemites, I was confined to my home, besieged by the horrendous snowstorm that plagued our city. When power was cut off in our Beit HaKerem neighborhood for two agonizing days, I proudly lit my wood-burning stove. For years, I have been a victim of… Read more »

Watchdogs of Palestinian incitement failing to stir alarm

TEL AVIV (JTA) — In late July, the Palestinian Authority’s official television channel featured a girl reciting a poem with the words “our enemy is Satan, Zion with a tail.” Two days earlier, the Palestinian Authority minister of religious affairs had compared the recently restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to… Read more »

Husband of terror victim pens memoir of quest to meet bomber

David Harris-Gershon in his forthcoming memoir "What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?" shares his psychological journey following the 2002 Jerusalem terrorist attack that severely injured his wife. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

NEW YORK (JTA) — David Harris-Gershon, author of the forthcoming memoir “What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?,” is frank about the contradictions in his personality. An admitted “natural introvert,” Harris-Gershon describes himself as “surprisingly good” at public speaking. In 2013,… Read more »

Don’t dismiss Arab League’s desire to talk

The Arab League made some headlines this week, when its representative, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister, conveyed in Washington something that looks like a softening of the traditional Arab hard line towards the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of returning to the pre-1967 borders, he… Read more »

Living next to E1, Maale Adumim residents reflect Israeli consensus on settlements

The Israeli police station in E!, the only Israeli structure in the area. (Ben Sales)

MAALE ADUMIM, West Bank (JTA) — From the terrace of the mall in Maale Adumim, a West Bank settlement eight miles from Jerusalem that serves as a bedroom community for Israel’s capital city, customers get a panoramic view of the Judean Desert to the east. Arab and Jewish towns… Read more »

Op-Ed: Building of Muslim-Jewish ties brings hope for Mideast

NEW YORK (JTA) — The recent conflict in Gaza and Israel casts a vivid spotlight on the need to strengthen relations between Jews and Muslims in countries around the world. It is crucial if we are to avoid importing the violence that has rocked the Holy Land to our… Read more »

From his West Bank Italian villa, Palestinian billionaire Munib al-Masri calls for peace

Billionaire Munib al-Masri, the richest Palestinian in the West Bank, standing outside his mansion near Nablus, a replica of a 16th century Italian villa. (Ben Sales)

NABLUS, West Bank (JTA) — Dozens of photographs line the wall of a room on the first floor of Palestinian billionaire Munib al-Masri’s West Bank villa, depicting a man of global influence but also of divergent impulses. Al-Masri is seen posing with the likes of Pope John Paul II… Read more »

Oasis of peace in the desert brings hope to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

At first glance, Ein Prat, one of the many natural and historic sites hidden in the northern Judean Desert, looks like any other picnic site around the world. Large wooden tables and long benches are located strategically under shady trees on either side of a bubbling brook. Clusters of… Read more »

Jerusalem mall violence shines light on dark side of Israeli soccer

Fans of Beitar Jerusalem FC celebrate a win in the State Cup in Ramat Gan Stadium on May 13, 2008. (Kobi Gideon/FLASH90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Sports fans aren’t the only people lately paying attention to Israeli soccer. A string of ugly incidents has caused Israelis to focus on the problems of violence and racism within the sport. In mid-March, thousands of Hapoel Tel Aviv fans rioted on the field after their… Read more »

A transplant connecting Israelis and Palestinians

Geneva – Dr. Raz Somech is one of the main figures in the deeply moving documentary “Precious Life,” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 and serves as a powerful image of hope in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2008, a four month-old baby from Gaza, Mohammed Abu… Read more »