A new group that includes some of Europe’s best-known pro-Israel intellectuals is calling for international pressure on Israel to foreswear Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.4
The age of great world’s fairs is supposed to be over, but no one told the Chinese. Ignoring the conventional wisdom that these grand global assemblages have been rendered obsolete in the era of the Internet and satellite communications, and that their six-month life spans make them an unconscionable financial waste, the Chinese have merely gone ahead and opened the biggest, most ambitious World Expo in history. It’s an extravaganza that costs more than the Beijing Olympics, and is expected to draw a minimum of 70 million people.
At Ruben, a new restaurant with a distinctly American Jewish flavor, there’s almost no need for a menu; the thick smell of pastrami is like a business card for the eatery’s unabashed focus on smoked meats. Patrons can choose among freshly sliced heaps of pastrami, turkey or a mix, placed between two thin slices of rye with sauerkraut and a schmear of mustard, horseradish or harrisa — a Tunisian hot sauce that is one of the few concessions made to suit the local palate.
Israelis have just taken their annual national ride on an emotional rollercoaster.
As per the yearly routine, on the morning of Memorial Day, or Yom HaZikaron, April 19, cemeteries across the country filled up for commemorative events, and the country ground to a halt for two minutes of silence to pay respect to fallen soldiers and terror victims. Then at nightfall, Independence Day began, and the country entered party mode.
When Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel published an open letter in April arguing against pressuring Israel on the issue of Jerusalem, it was seen as a sign of just how severe tensions had become between the Obama administration and Israel’s government and its allies in the American Jewish community.9
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