Archive: Jan 2003

Discussions of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's options for forming his next governing coalition began immediately after the polls closed on Tuesday night. Will he form a coalition with the Right or a coalition with the Left? Will he bring in the religious parties or will he form a secular government with Shinui? Then again, perhaps he will decide to mix it up a bit and have many disparate small parties represented around the cabinet table.  But building a coalition is not as simple as cou…
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The faces of the audience in a packed school auditorium near Moshav She'ar Yishuv on Wednesday afternoon were the hollow faces of bereavement. There, hundreds of parents, brothers, sisters, and friends of the 73 soldiers who died in the collision of two IAF helicopters en route to southern Lebanon were joined by army brass, President Moshe Katsav, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz in honoring the dead on the sixth anniversary of the tragedy. The images of the victims' faces were projected…
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If anyone doubts the power of the media to transform the policies of democratic governments, one need only to look to The New York Times' columnist Thomas Friedman for proof. It was Friedman, after all, who a year ago invented the so-called Saudi plan for peace in the Middle East.  Last February, reacting to the precipitous drop in American public support for the kingdom in the wake of mounting evidence of Saudi sponsorship of al-Qaida and hatred for the US generally, the House of Saud…
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 A few days after Ehud Barak defeated Binyamin Netanyahu in the 1999 elections, my mentor, David Bar-Illan, wrote in a column in this paper, "There is not a great deal of difference between Barak's vision of the final-status agreement with the Palestinians and that of Netanyahu's. Both are committed to an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, both consider the Jordan Valley Israel's strategic border, both oppose withdrawing to the 1967 armistice lines, and both have…
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 This past week, the right of Israel's representative bodies to exercise independent judgment was moved to the top of the national agenda. One month shy of the general elections, the media and the activist legal community launched an unrelenting attack against the members of the Central Elections Committee, indirectly indicting the institutional legitimacy of the Knesset.  The controversy surrounded the fact that the committee's decisions this week to allow the candidacy of Bar…
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