Douglas's Feed
Feb 7, 2011

Palestinians ask U.N. recognition for Nativity church

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) – Unlike the Sydney Opera House or the Statue of Liberty, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, one of the holiest places in Christendom, is not on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.

It lies inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinians, with no state of their own, do not enjoy the full U.N. membership to secure United Nations recognition.

Jan 31, 2011

Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and U.S. President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Jan 23, 2011

Analysis: Israel sees threat from “delegitimisers”

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.

Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect.

Jan 23, 2011

Israel sees threat from “delegitimisers”

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.

Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect.

Jan 16, 2011

“Israel’s McCarthy”: On the rise or on the ropes?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Some leaders would have fired him months ago for insubordination. But Avigdor Lieberman, denounced by critics as the Jewish Joe McCarthy, just wraps himself tighter in the flag.

Capping a week in which he again clashed with his boss and coalition partner Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the abrasive scourge of “bleeding heart” peaceniks on Friday explained his lengthening enemies list.

Jan 5, 2011

Israeli strike foils rare Russian president visit

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Dmitry Medvedev has had to cancel a rare visit by a Russian president to Israel due to a strike at the Israeli foreign ministry, but working-level efforts to revive Middle East peace talks appear unaffected.

Israeli President Shimon Peres apologized to Medvedev in a telephone call, saying such trips were not routine and that “there is no doubt that you and your country can contribute greatly to the Mideast peace process.”

Dec 29, 2010

Palestinians seek more than a “Facebook state”: PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinians expect wider recognition of their statehood in the coming year and it will mean more than the mere “Facebook state” predicted by an Israeli minister, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday.

Fayyad said recognition by many countries would “enshrine” the Palestinians’ right to a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured along with East Jerusalem in a 1967 war.

Dec 22, 2010

U.N. condemns Gaza militants over rocket attacks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United Nations on Wednesday sharply condemned a rise in cross-border attacks by Palestinian militants in Gaza, a day after a rocket exploded close to an Israeli kindergarten.

The U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, said rocket strikes from Gaza at Israel, which had escalated in recent days, were “in clear violation of international humanitarian law” and endangered civilians.

Dec 21, 2010

Kindergarten near-miss highlights Gaza risks

KIBBUTZ ZIKIM, Israel (Reuters) – A rocket fired from Gaza exploded near an Israeli kindergarten on Tuesday as cross-border violence surged in the approach to the two-year anniversary of Israel’s war in the Hamas Islamist-run enclave.

No one was hurt at the preschool but a teenage girl in a nearby building was cut by flying glass in the shower.

Dec 17, 2010
via FaithWorld

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Christmas season Bethlehem

Photo

(Photo: A decorated Christmas tree next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, December 15, 2010/Ammar Awad)

The birthplace of Jesus is hardly an easy “weekend getaway” spot, but for a taste of how today’s Holy Land feels, this hospitable Palestinian town draped over the steep hilltops outside Jerusalem is an essential place to visit.

Most foreigners fly into Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, an hour away from Jerusalem, and enter via Israeli checkpoints into the occupied West Bank. Security remains tight but there is currently no tension to deter the hardy traveler.