Category: Israel

Israel must withdraw from E.J'lem, Golan

Decisive majority in UN General Assembly approves six pro-Palestinian
resolutions, including calls for Israel to dismantle settlements,
withdraw from territory captured in '67, including E. J'lem, Golan
Heights despite heavy opposition by Israel, US
Associated PressThe General Assembly approved six pro-Palestinian
resolutions over United States and Israeli objections, culminating the
annual United Nations debate aimed at showing the world body's
solidarity with Palestinian demands for an independent homeland.  
At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body on
Friday reaffirmed the UN's responsibility regarding the Palestinian
question and stressed the Palestinian peoples' right to
self-determination and an independent state. More from the UN   
In Security Council report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presents
deficiencies in Lebanese government's oversight of its borders. Israel
criticized for violating for overflights into Lebanon, seen as
violation of ceasefire, for not cooperating on cluster bomb issue.
Kidnapped mentioned as 'top priority'
Full Story     
In the key resolution on the “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of
Palestine,” the General Assembly welcomed the Nov. 26 cease-fire in
Gaza and urged both sides to maintain the truce which it said could
pave the way for negotiations towards a solution to the conflict. …

Bush: I would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran

By Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent
The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear
facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military
strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told
European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met.
Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable
to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the
crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be
ineffective – that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear
capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets'
U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France
met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the
possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear
installations should not be ruled out.
Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would
understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice,
the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show
understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran.
Nonetheless, Rice did not discount the possibility that such an
operation may take place. …

Wannabe baseball players try out on Israeli field of dreams

Dozens of Jewish athletes flocked to a Baptist convention center in the
heart of Israel on Friday in hopes of realizing a deeply American
dream: becoming a professional baseball player.
Israel's fledgling pro baseball league held its first tryout for local
ballplayers in this Tel Aviv suburb, putting them through a grueling
battery of sprints, fielding drills and simulated games under an
unseasonably warm November sun.
With the pop of leather mitts and crack of wooden bats filling the air,
the scene resembled a typical ballgame in small-town America. But the
tryout had a decidedly Israeli feel.
Players included Orthodox seminary students, Israeli soldiers and
Mideast peace activists. They freely mixed Hebrew and English baseball
jargon — there apparently is no Hebrew word for “curve ball” — and
some people left early to get home in time for the Jewish sabbath at
Larry Baras, the American businessman spearheading the effort to launch
the league, was ecstatic over the turnout of roughly 70 prospects, far
exceeding initial expectations in the single digits.
“I was sitting back there, just taking it all in,” he said after
getting his first glimpse of the local talent. “It was no different
here than it …

The house that Olmert built

Prime minister's improper appointments come back to haunt him
What does the public have against the Olmert administration? Why do so
many people feel that this is “the worst cabinet Israel has had in
recent years”?  
It's not because of the war. The shortcomings revealed and those yet to
be revealed regarding the military's conduct in Lebanon are not
attributed to the prime minister and are not much different than the
failures prevalent in other military systems. The Olmert-Peretz cabinet
has had particularly low public ratings since its very inception, even
before a single shell was fired on the Lebanese border. It is doubtful
whether any government in the last 12 years has ever set out with such
limited public support, albeit its solid majority in the Knesset.  
The first week of fighting in Lebanon actually increased the Olmert
administration's popularity. The winds of war were beneficial, and in
polls conducted at the time, leading ministers received relatively high
marks. However, this was a short-lived peak. The public quickly resumed
its reservations. In the tests of credibility, suitability and
performance, the public awarded its ruling government particularly low
scores. Support for the coalition dropped after Avigdor Lieberman was

Coming to Learn How the Desert Bloomed

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is this week hosting a major
international conference on combating desertification, with experts
coming to study Israel's successes in “making the desert bloom.”
The conference, entitled “Deserts and Desertification: Challenges and
Opportunities,” is sponsored by the Blaustein Institute of Desert
Research (BIDR), Ben-Gurion University, the United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the exception of several field tours into Israel's reclaimed and
existing desert areas, the daily lectures will be taking place on the
S'dei Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University. The conference is focusing
on how to confront and ameliorate factors leading to desertification,
with much emphasis on the Israeli experience and its lessons for other
The approximately 300 attendees hail from 20 countries spread over five
continents. Keynote speakers include: Amb. Hama Arba Diallo, Executive
Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification;
Dr. David A. Mouat, Chairman of the experts group of the UNCCD Desert
Research Institute in Reno, Nevada; Dr. Vandana Shiva, Founder of the
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in New Delhi,
India; Professor Wangarai Maathai, Deputy Minister of the Environment
of Kenya and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
The …

India's "lost" Jews set for long-awaited homecoming

By Sunil Kataria
2 hours, 51 minutes ago
Dalia Doliani Sela sits in her simple house poring over the Bible and
learning Hebrew, dreaming of a life of piety and a family reunion with
her children in the Promised Land.
Sela is an Indian by birth, part of a community in the country's remote
northeast who says they are one of the “lost tribes of Israel,” exiled
from their homeland 2,700 years ago.
“I want to be there when my last days come. Because Israel is the land
of Sarah. It's the first place where she will come,” she said,
referring to the wife of the biblical patriarch Abraham.
Sela, a 63-year-old mother of 10, is among the first group of India's
Bnei Menashe community to be allowed to settle in the Holy Land since
rabbinical leaders in Israel formally recognized the community as Jews
and carried out a mass conversion ceremony in India last year.
“It is the Promised Land of God and we can properly carry our religious
duties over there. Here it is difficult to practice Judaism properly,
so far away,” Sela told Reuters in the Mizo capital, Aizawl.
Sela is one of 218 Bnei Menashe, or …

Clashes ahead of court ruling on parade

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men riot in Jerusalem following attorney
general's decision to approve gay pride parade. Protestors set fire to
garbage bins, block roads and hurl stones at police officers; 20
detained. High Court to rule on issue Monday morning
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men rioted Sunday night in Jerusalem ahead
of the High Court of Justice's ruling on whether to approve the gay
pride parade, which is planned to take place in the capital Friday.  
The Jerusalem Police detained 20 rioters so far, and large forces were
dispatched to the area. Four police officers and a Haaretz photographer
were lightly injured.  
Attorney General's Decision  
Mazuz's solution: 'Modest' gay parade  / Efrat Weiss  
At end of meeting with attorney general, Jerusalem District Police
Commander Major General Ilan Franco says he will try and meet with Open
House representatives in bid to find ways 'to hold a modest pride
parade at a place and time which parties will agree upon'    
Jerusalem District Police Commander Ilan Franco is expected to meet
Monday with representatives of the Open House for Pride and Tolerance
in a bid to find a way to hold the parade, which will be accepted by

Shy boy whose fate could change history

 World News
The Times June 29, 2006

A family photograph of Gilad Shalit. He volunteered to be a combat
soldier (AP)


By Richard Beeston and Ian MacKinnon
UNTIL he was captured by Palestinian militants last Sunday there was
little to distinguish Gilad Shalit from the thousands of other
teenagers doing military service in the Israeli army.
He was raised, the middle of three siblings in a small community in the
rolling hills of northern Galilee, near Israel’s border with Lebanon.
His father, Noam, is a manager at the Iscar machine tools company; his
mother, Aviva, works at the Society for the Protection of Nature. His
brother is a college student and his sister is at high school.   
Friends describe Gilad as studious, good at physics and a little shy.
But they say he is quite determined in his own quiet way, and that when
he was called up a year ago he volunteered to join a combat unit. His
elder brother, Yoel, 21, is a student at a polytechnic in the northern
Israeli port of Haifa. He has a younger sister at high school.
Today the future of the Middle East could hang on …