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Articles written by Linda Gradstein


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  • Gaza reconstruction proceeding too slowly

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Aug 26, 2016

    Two years after the fighting between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, about 70,000 Palestinians have not returned to their homes that were damaged in the fighting. Just 200 homes have been completely rebuilt and the families have returned. “We ask the international community to increase their donations and the countries who pledged billions to respect their pledge,” Adnan Abu Husna, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, told The Media Line. “The people of Gaza should not get to the point...

  • Jerusalem tense after days of clashes in Jerusalem's Old City

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Sep 25, 2015

    For the past three years Shai, an ultra-Orthodox man wearing a black suit and black hat despite the oppressive heat, has lived in the Old City of Jerusalem, where his children study. Last month, he was walking on Shalshelet Street in the Muslim quarter, when he says his path was blocked by a group of teenagers, one of whom spat at him. “I just lost control and shoved him hard, and a fist fight started,” Shai, who asked not to give his last name told The Media Line. “The border police showed up, and they grabbed the teenager and really beat...

  • Israeli exhibition showcases new technologies

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Sep 18, 2015

    Switzerland this week voted to buy six Israeli surveillance drones made by Elbit in a deal worth $256 million. The deal went through despite a campaign by protestors not to buy Israeli-made products because of alleged human rights abused against Palestinians. The deal came the same week that an exhibition in Rishon Letzion showed off the latest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as drones. Israel has long been in the forefront of manufacturing drones. “This is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft which can fly for three times the t...

  • Israel continues fight against Iran deal

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Sep 11, 2015

    It is now clear that the Iranian nuclear deal will pass Congress. President Obama now has the 34 votes to override any Congressional objections, and is well on the way to being able to prevent any vote at all, if he can achieve the 41 votes needed for a filibuster. It would be logical that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would now give up his fight against the Iran deal. But at a toast at Israel’s Foreign Ministry for the upcoming Jewish New Year, Netanyahu said he intends to keep fighting against the Iran agreement. “Even in the fac...

  • Palestinians join International Criminal Court

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Apr 10, 2015

    In the latest move to press their case using the international community, the “state of Palestine” was officially accepted into the International Criminal Court (ICC) paving the way for the court to bring Israel up on war crimes charges. “Today is a historic day in the struggle for justice, freedom, and peace for our people and all those seeking justice worldwide,” Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement. We call upon the international community to support the inalienable rights of our people, including our right to self-determinat...

  • Israelis positive about Netanyahu's speech

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Mar 13, 2015

    Israeli media say that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress could give him an extra seat or two in Israel’s upcoming election. But with just under two weeks to the poll, any advantage he gained could fade away. “It could have at least a short-term effect on the electorate,” Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S.-Israeli relations at Bar Ilan University told The Media Line. “Netanyahu is hoping to bring back voters who have left him for the center parties. But it’s still more than a week and a half before the election, and in Isra...

  • Palestinian Christians call for peaceful solution to conflict

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jan 30, 2015

    Palestinian Christians warn that the current situation of no-war and no-peace with Israel is not sustainable in the long term, and say they want to see a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been frozen for more than a year. Most Palestinians say they support non-violent resistance to achieve an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem next to Israel. The Palestinian Authority has recently joined several United Nations organizations, most recently the International Criminal Court (ICC) which could...

  • Victims of French supermarket attack buried in Jerusalem

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jan 23, 2015

    The four bodies were wrapped in Jewish prayer shawls and laid out on stretchers. All of them should have lived for many years before they were buried. The victims of the synagogue attack were all killed in the kosher supermarket in France, and their bodies brought to Jerusalem for burial. Relatives of each of the dead lit a torch and said a few words. One of the victims, Francois-Michel Saada, a businessman, had already bought an apartment in Israel and was preparing to move here....

  • Palestinian activist calls to reform UNRWA

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Dec 26, 2014

    Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist, has launched a crusade against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), tasked with providing “assistance and protection” for five million Palestinian refugees around the world. In Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, UNRWA gives food, aid, and runs schools. Eid said a recent study by well-known Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki shows that 70 percent of Palestinian refugees are seeking financial compensation rather than the “right of re...

  • A different kind of refugee-Jews from Arab countries

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Dec 12, 2014

    It may have been 47 years ago but Yossef Carasso remembers every detail of the night that he was taken to an Egyptian police station from his home in the city of Tanta, near Cairo. It was the first night of the 1967 war. "We were the only Jewish family still left in Tanta and at 10 p.m. there was a knock on the door," Carasso told The Media Line. "The policeman told my father, 'We're looking for your son and son-in-law. They took us to a police station and left us there all night.'" Carasso,...

  • 2,000–year-old stone inscription unearthed in Jerusalem

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Oct 31, 2014

    Rina Avner knew she had found something special when she hit the large stone during an excavation outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. The stone, weighing one ton, had a well-preserved Latin inscription. Researchers say this is among the most important Latin inscriptions ever found in Jerusalem. “First I had a wave of adrenaline surge through me, and then I got all sweaty when I saw the inscription,” Avner told The Media Line as she stood near the giant stone on display in front of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem for the first time....

  • Israeli doctor makes house calls to Palestinians

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Oct 10, 2014

    Wadi Nis, West Bank – As Dr. Yitzchak Glick drives through the steep streets of this West Bank village of some 1000 residents, he is repeatedly stopped by Palestinians residents. Some just want to say hello and shake his hand. Others ask him to stop in and check on a family member. Many of the Palestinians live in large homes, faced with white Jerusalem limestone that is quarried here and sold abroad. But some of the residents like Hosam, a father of six who asked not to give his last name, are poor. In his home, two adults and six children l...

  • Israel employs 1500 Jordanians in hotel jobs

    Felice Friedson and Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jul 11, 2014

    Israel’s cabinet approved a proposal by Israel’s tourism minister to hire up to 1500 Jordanians to work in hotels in Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat. The approval comes amid a growing shortage of workers and as the high summer season begins. “I see this as an important step in Israel-Jordan relations,” Tourism Minister Uzi Landau told The Media Line. “My hope is the Jordanians will come, work and enjoy the people and the salary here.” The workers will all have to be vetted by Israel’s security services. They will enter Israel each morning vi...

  • Reuven Rivlin is new Israeli president

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jun 13, 2014

    Israel's 120-seat parliament today chose long-time Likud member Reuven Rivlin as the country's next president who will succeed the popular Shimon Peres, who retires next month at the age of 90. Rivlin, who served two terms as speaker of the Knesset, has been a member of parliament for almost 20 years. He won on the second round of voting after none of the original five candidates, including Nobel chemistry laureate Dan Schectman, failed to achieve an overall majority. Rivlin beat out rival...

  • Iranian Jews in Israel Skeptical About Rouhani

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Oct 11, 2013

    Salome Worch was born in Iran, grew up and spent most of her adult life there. The daughter of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father, she was registered as a Muslim in Iran’s records. Gradually, she grew more interested in her Jewish heritage, and in 2005 eventually immigrated to Israel, where she works in catering. “Don’t use my maiden name because my brother is still in Iran and I wouldn’t want to put him in any danger,” she warned The Media Line. Worch said she is deeply skeptical that the election of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani h...

  • Israel and Egypt showing strong security cooperation

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Aug 23, 2013

    Did an Israeli drone cross into Egyptian airspace last weekend and fire a rocket at gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula who were about to launch a strike on Israel? Probably. Will any Israeli or Egyptian official admit it, even off the record? Probably not. The official story coming out of Egypt is that it was the Egyptian military that attacked Jihadists in Sinai, killing five. The Egyptian army, which is presently controlling Egypt after Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi was forced from office, is wary of being seen as too close to Israel...

  • Australian comic satirizes the peace process

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Aug 9, 2013

    Suppose that Israeli President Shimon Peres and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat entered therapy together. “What keeps you up at night?” the American therapist asks the 90-year-old Israeli president in a soothing voice. “My prostate, heartburn, and Iran—to bomb or not to bomb?” Peres answers in his characteristic Polish accent. She then turned to Arafat. “You’re in a safe place here,” she promises. “He is trying to kill me—to poison me!” Arafat yells about Peres. Many Palestinians still believe that Israel poisoned Arafat, who...

  • Israeli Cabinet votes to release prisoners

    Linda Gradstein|Aug 2, 2013

    Mika Bromberg stood outside the Israeli Prime Minister’s office holding a black-and-white poster of Avraham Bromberg, her brother-in-law and an Israeli soldier who was killed while hitchhiking in 1981. The attackers shot him, stole his gun, and pushed him out of the car. He was found on the side of a highway, and died of his wounds two days later. Maher and Kareem Younis, two Arab citizens of Israel, were tried and found guilty of the murder, and received a sentence of life imprisonment, later reduced to 40 years. In an ironic twist, one of the...

  • Watermelon and music breaking down barriers

    Linda Gradstein|Aug 2, 2013

    MUSRARA, Jerusalem – It is virtually impossible to eat a watermelon by yourself. The juicy red fruit begs to be shared, and in a large vacant lot just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, all kinds of people are sharing plates of watermelon and salty cheese. The event is called “The Meeting Point” and it harkens back to the 1970s when this area, which was a no-man’s land between Israel and Jordan from 1948 to 1967—was home to watermelon stands that brought Jerusalemites together. Today, the organizers have built a large wooden “bar...

  • Israel allows Egypt to beef up forces

    Linda Gradstein|Jul 26, 2013

    Gunmen in Sinai have stepped up attacks on Egypt’s police there, killing three policemen in separate attacks July 18. Earlier last week three cement workers were killed in a similar incident. Now Egyptian police are massing for an offensive in Sinai, with Israel’s tacit support. Israel has already allowed two infantry battalions to be deployed near the towns of Al-Arish and Rafah. Over the past few years, the Sinai has become increasingly lawless with Bedouins, Palestinians and other groups using Sinai for smuggling weapons and drugs into bot...

  • FoodTrip in Jerusalem offers kosher-hallal delicacies

    Linda Gradstein|Jul 26, 2013

    JERUSALEM—Several dozen Israelis – families, singles, religious, secular—sit on small rattan stools on Prophet’s Street in Jerusalem scooping up gado-gado with chopsticks. Gado-gado, for the uninitiated, is a vegetable-noodle dish with a curry-and-coconut milk sauce. So what does an Indonesian dish have to do with summer nights and culture in the capital? The delicacy is being offered by Foodtrip, served out of a food truck as part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture – a month-long festival of art, music and food in the city. The answer ca...

  • Israel launches information war against Hezbollah

    Linda Gradstein|Jul 19, 2013

    If you click on the Israeli army’s new Hezbollah website, you will see a red and black logo that reads, “Hezbollah, Army of Terror.” The site is a combination of graphics, text and videos, all focusing on the Lebanese-based, Iran-proxy terrorist organization and its leader, Sheikh Hassan Na’srallah. One link refers back to what Israelis call the Second Lebanon War of 2006, and in fact, the site was launched on the seventh anniversary of that 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel that was triggered by a cross-border raid by Hezbollah fighter...

  • Ultra-Orthodox women in Israel join workforce

    Linda Gradstein|Jul 12, 2013

    It’s the first day of school for Chani Dickman, an ultra-Orthodox woman in her 40s. She is one of 20 ultra-Orthodox women participating in a training course for medical coding—reading patients charts and diagnoses and assigning the proper codes that are used for insurance reimbursement. If she passes her exams, she is guaranteed a full-time job with HRS, a Baltimore-based company that does medical coding. She’ll start out above minimum wage and her compensation will increase every year. Dickman will be coming to the Jerusalem Techn...

  • New Spirit group trying to keep students in Jerusalem

    Linda Gradstein|Jul 12, 2013

    Tal Shavit, 26, is studying political science at Hebrew University and was looking for a job in Jerusalem for after graduation. She hooked up with New Spirit, a nonprofit trying to encourage students to stay in the holy city after they graduate and they arranged an internship with Policy, a large lobbying organization. Even before her four-month internship ended, Policy offered her a job, and Shavit now plans to stay in Jerusalem. “I wanted to find a way to stay in Jerusalem because I don’t really feel at home anywhere else,” Shavit told The M...

  • No Happy Meal for you

    Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jul 5, 2013
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    When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, everything, even a hamburger, is political. Israelis who live in areas that Israel acquired in 1967 are up in arms over McDonald’s decision not to open a branch in the mall that will be built in Ariel over the next year. In Israel, the McDonald’s franchise is private and is owned by Omri Padan, one of the founders of the dovish group Peace Now, which opposes Israeli building in post-1967 areas. There are 170 McDonald’s restaurants in Israel, about 40 of which are kosher. The company’s website...

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