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Venezuelan Jewish Community Facing Increased Threats

By JTA and Marcy Oster

Even before an attack on a Caracas synagogue in which Torah scrolls were thrown to the floor and “death to the Jews” was painted on synagogue walls, the Jews of Venezuela were feeling threatened. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s rhetoric linking the country’s Jewish community to Israel’s military operation in Gaza caused the Jewish community to step up security a few weeks ago, according to reports.Read More


Barak: Build Tunnel Linking West Bank and Gaza

By Reuters and Haaretz Service

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday proposed the construction of a 30-mile tunnel that would connect the northern Gaza Strip with the southern West Bank, thus enabling freedom of movement between the two disjointed Palestinian territories.Read More


Shortened Israeli Election Season in High Gear

By Marcy Oster, JTA

In an election season compressed into just three weeks due to the military operation in Gaza, during which campaigning ground to a virtual halt, Israel’s political parties have begun to roll out their campaigns ahead of the national elections Feb. 10.Read More


President Obama Prioritizes Middle East Peace

By News Agencies and Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent

President Barack Obama pledged on Monday that his new Middle East envoy George Mitchell would engage “vigorously and consistently” in the quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace and would seek concrete results.Read More


Obama's Selection of Mitchell Hailed by Israel, Doves

By Eric Fingerhut, JTA

Barack Obama’s selection for Middle East envoy drew praise from Israel, as well as dovish groups and at least one centrist Jewish organization. George Mitchell was introduced as the new special envoy for Middle East peace at a State Department news conference Thursday afternoon.Read More


Rabbis To Participate in Post-Inauguration Prayer Service

By JTA

The program is out for the Jan. 21 post-inauguration prayer service, and rabbis from the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements will all be participating.Read More


Israel’s Welcome Messages for President Obama

By Haaretz Service

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama upon his inauguration, saying he expects Israeli-American relations to become even stronger.Read More


Who Won the War?

By Leslie Susser, JTA

Now that there is a cease-fire in place, Israelis are asking whether the 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza achieved its aims.The government argues that overwhelming victory in the field will advance what was Operation Cast Lead’s primary goal: bringing a long period of quiet to civilians in southern Israel, freeing them from the tyranny of cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza. But critics on the right say the government did not go far enough.Read More


Israel Begins Gaza Withdrawal

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Staff and Agencies

The Israel Defense Forces began a partial withdrawal of ground troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, hours after ending a three-week offensive on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory. The move also came shortly after Gaza’s Hamas rulers announced a one-week cease-fire, despite continuing rocket fire on southern Israel.Read More


Israel Votes for Unilateral Cease-Fire

By News Agencies and Haaretz Staff

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday night announced that Israel’s security cabinet has voted in favor of a unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, which will come into effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday.Read More


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