Israel Expanding ‘Beautifully’ In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Even as Pope Benedict XVI tries his best during his current Holy Land visit to pay reverence to the attachment of all three monotheistic faiths to Jerusalem, on the ground a less lofty imprint is already furthering Israeli control over the Holy City in a way that could threaten the claims of all … Continue reading “Israel Expanding ‘Beautifully’ In Jerusalem”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

Pope Benedict XVI upset the schedule on his first day in Israel by leaving an interfaith meeting in Jerusalem early on Monday night after a leading Muslim cleric called on him to condemn the "slaughter" of women and children in the recent assault on Gaza. The pontiff walked out, a spokesman noted, because Sheikh Tayseer … Continue reading “Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics”

Obama Aide Puts Israel’s Nukes in the Diplomatic Mix

LONDON — Last month in Prague, President Barack Obama vowed that he would seek a world without nuclear weapons. On Tuesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller spelled out that this policy would apply to Israel, as well. Speaking at a conference on the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Gottemoeller said that "Universal adherence … Continue reading “Obama Aide Puts Israel’s Nukes in the Diplomatic Mix”

Palestinians Rebuild With Mud

RAFAH, Palestine – Jihad el-Shaar is pleased with his mud-brick house in the Moraj district of Gaza. The 80-square meter home is a basic one-story, two-bedroom design, with a small kitchen, bathroom and sitting room, made mostly with mud and straw. "My wife and our four daughters and I were living with family, but it … Continue reading “Palestinians Rebuild With Mud”

Israelis Nervous Over Possible ‘Showdown’ With US

JERUSALEM — Almost a full fortnight before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is received at the White House, and already political nerves here are all a-jangle. Is a showdown with Israel’s staunch ally about to materialize? The country’s mainstream media seem to have little doubt. "Collision course" has become the routine fear about how the … Continue reading “Israelis Nervous Over Possible ‘Showdown’ With US”

Hamas Gaining International Legitimacy

JERUSALEM — Delegations from the rival Fatah and Hamas organizations have again failed in Cairo to bridge their differences meant to usher in a Palestinian unity government, but this has in no way slowed inroads which the Islamist movement has been making to increase its international legitimacy — much to Israel’s concern. Since the conclusion … Continue reading “Hamas Gaining International Legitimacy”

More Mideast Doors Closing Than Opening

JERUSALEM — Israel is digging in its heels. Government officials said Wednesday that Israel does not intend to cooperate with the upcoming United Nations investigation into whether Israel and Hamas both committed war crimes during the recent Gaza war. The officials say they fear the investigation appointed by the UN Human Rights Council last month, … Continue reading “More Mideast Doors Closing Than Opening”

West Bank a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode

Tension between Israelis and Palestinians is rising sharply as reflected in a number of increasingly bloody and violent confrontations since Israel’s devastating war in Gaza at the beginning of the year. While Gaza, which the Islamic organization Hamas controls, has been a powder-keg for several years, recent attacks in the West Bank, which is under … Continue reading “West Bank a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode”