During past presidential transitions, when pardons were in the air, many Orthodox Jewish activists set their sights on securing a pardon for Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned since 1987 on charges of spying for Israel. This year, though, members of the Orthodox community had another jailed cause célèbre to focus on: Sholom Rubashkin.
Just after 5 p.m. on January 16, Israeli Channel 10 News correspondent Shlomi Eldar answered his cell phone during a live broadcast — a phone ringing so incessantly, he suspected the call was urgent.
For two weekends in a row, as Israel’s operation in Gaza raged, the flags of Hezbollah and Hamas flew in street demonstrations in Paris and other French cities.
At first glance, the scene in central Tel Aviv the morning after Israel announced it was halting its military drive against Hamas in Gaza looked like one of celebration.
The 2009 Jewish Community Inaugural Reception wasn’t a black-tie event. There was no dancing, and only a few traditional boldfaced names were spotted in the crowd. On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, Jewish communal professionals and politicians celebrated the historic transfer of power by talking politics.