Israel Turns 60, for Better or Worse
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Israel turns 60 today, celebrating the past but looking forward to an uncertain future. With a growing population of Arabs, can Israel be democratic and remain Jewish at the same time? Also, Hezbollah and renewed violence in Lebanon, and General Ricardo Sanchez, former commander of coalition forces in Iraq, accuses the Bush Administration of "gross incompetence and dereliction of duty."
Banner image: A woman places roses on a memorial wall inscribed with names of fallen soldiers at the Israeli army's Armoured Corps' Memorial near Jerusalem. Israel remembers its 22,437 fallen troops during today's annual Yom Hazikaron; Memorial Day commemorations, which falls the day before Israel's annual Independence Day celebrations. Photo: Brian Hendler/Getty Images
Hezbollah Says Lebanon's Government Has 'Declared War' ()
Fierce gun battles erupted today in Beirut, Lebanon, after the western-backed government shut down the telecommunications network run by Hezbollah. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, called that a "declaration of war…for the benefit of America and Israel." Nicholas Blanford is based in Beirut for the Christian Science Monitor.
- Nicholas Blanford: Beirut Correspondent, Christian Science Monitor
Israel at 60: A Confident Past, an Uncertain Future ()
George Bush, Tony Blair and Mikhail Gorbechev are among the international dignitaries who will be in Jerusalem next week to mark Israel's 60th anniversary. The landmark event has produced both a joyous celebration of extraordinary progress and somber reflection on what's to come. A tiny country has become a haven for Jews, a world capital of culture and technology and a nuclear power. But it's surrounded by hostile neighbors, internationally criticized for treatment of the Palestinians and beset by uncertainty about its future identity. With an Arab population that's growing fast, can Israel be both democratic and Jewish? What are the prospects for a "two-state solution?"
- Akiva Eldar: Political Columnist, Ha'aretz
- Bret Stephens: Foreign Affairs Columnist, Wall Street Journal
- Bernard Avishai: blogger, BernardAvishai.com
- Ghada Karmi: Fellow, Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Looking Back on Mission Accomplished ()
He grew up in one of America’s poorest counties. He retired as the highest ranking Hispanic officer in the US Army. Ricardo Sanchez took over as commander of coalition forces in June, 2003, a month after President Bush had declared, "Mission Accomplished." Now, the three-star general has published Wiser in Battle, in which he accuses the highest officials in the Bush Administration of "gross incompetence and dereliction of duty." The book's dust jacket reports high praise from retired Generals Wesley Clark and Barry McCaffrey.
- Ricardo Sanchez: former Commander, Coalition Forces in Iraq
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