Israel at 60

IDF chief at camp tribute

May 1, 2008

The March of the Living, an annual gathering of young Jews at Auschwitz, will be led by IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi this week in honour of Israel’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Some 10,000 participants will vow to fight all forms of genocide and discrimination at the ceremony, due to take place at the site of the former camp on Thursday.


Jackie Mason should not be at an Israel 60 event

By Jonathan Wittenberg, May 1, 2008

He may be funny, but his prejudices are far from the values we should be aspiring to

Comedian Jackie Mason is being presented as the champion of Anglo-Jewry’s “Israel 60” celebration, which will take place at Wembley Arena next week. I think he is a terrible choice.

His love of Israel is unquestionable. He abandoned his show to stand with the Jewish state while the Scuds descended in 1991. He will be funny and robust. He will draw the crowds and, with so much venom about Israel, solidarity matters. But solidarity with what?


'They want to kill me for making documentaries'

By Nick Johnstone, May 1, 2008

Filmmaker Raneen Geries receives death threats for showing the Palestinian view of the events of 1948.

When Raneen Geries, a Palestinian woman, arrived at Tel Aviv University to study for a degree in social work, most of the students on her course were Jewish. As conversations frequently touched on family history, she realised how little she knew of her own.


The Nakba narrative now dominates

By Alex Brummer, May 1, 2008

The Palestinian ‘disaster’ framed much of the UK media’s coverage of Israel’s 60th

Anyone tuning into Jeremy Bowen’s documentary Birth of Israel, reviewed below, would instantly recognise the progress the revisionists and the Palestinians have made in framing the history of the Jewish state. No longer is it sufficient to record how Ben-Gurion and his generals repelled five Arab armies in the aftermath of the United Nations vote in favour of the Jewish state.


Israeli ambassador speaks of hardships

April 24, 2008

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor told an audience of 200 people of the dangers that Israel faces. Speaking at the annual UJIA fundraising dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue Mr Prosor said: “Day in, day out, Israel is under fire.” UJIA regional director Howard Foreman said that the event was planned as a celebration of Israel’s 60th and to show how communities benefit from UJIA donors.


1948: The moment of independence and liberation by Elie Wiesel

By Elie Wiesel, April 17, 2008

1948: A new dawn 

The Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner recalls how it felt to experience the moment of independence

For the Jewish child in me, Israel represents an irresistible call to hope, and Jerusalem a powerful love song.

In my small Romanian town, nestled in the Carpathians, I often walked the streets imagining myself sitting on a bench somewhere in Judea, listening to a master explain the mystery of words, the strength of memories and the human thirst for miracles.


How Sadat came to talk to Begin

By Dan Patir, April 17, 2008

1977: Sadat in Jerusalem

On November 9 1977, following a secret meeting between Israeli and Egyptian officials in Morocco in September that year, Anwar Sadat told the Egyptian Parliament that he was willing to go as far as the Knesset in Jerusalem in order to obtain peace for his people.


An eyewitness account of the 2006 second Lebanon war

By Yaara Piron, April 17, 2008
At the end of our first week in Nahariya during the war in summer 2006, we discussed among ourselves whether we should all stay there for Shabbat or whether the volunteers should go back to their homes to rest. But when we found out that most of the volunteers had already left, a group of us decided to stay and visit all the bomb-shelters over Shabbat. In the evening, just as we were organising all our equipment in the room we were using in City Hall, an explosion rocked the building, as if the Katyusha rockets had scored a direct hit.


The era of ideology and austerity

By Ari Rath, April 17, 2008

A veteran journalist recalls when Israel’s PM lived in a hut, families got two eggs per week and Stalin was a good guy


1987-1993: The first intifada

By Michal Levertov, April 17, 2008

Michal Levertov talks to members of Combatants for Peace — a group bringing together former fighters on both sides — about their experiences as Palestinians and Israelis

Wael Salamah, 51, was born in Anata, near Jerusalem, where he now lives. Married with 10 children, he works as an insurance agent