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August 31, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - Australian technology investor Kevin Bermeister has had some hits and misses in his career. He founded the popular file-sharing network Kazaa, built Australia's largest video game distributor and was an early investor in Skype. Less successful ventures included the now-defunct Sega World theme park in Sydney and an offshoot of troubled PC-maker Packard Bell. Now he has set his investment sights on Jerusalem. After buying a 185-room hotel and bidding on a troubled Jewish development in East Jerusalem that was about to be sold to a Palestinian billionaire, he has proposed his most ambitious - some say far-fetched - plan: Jerusalem 5800, a 30-year, $30-billion redevelopment blueprint to transform the ancient holy city into a sprawling international tourist hub. The businessman, who is Jewish, envisions 50,000 new hotel rooms, a new international airport in the West Bank and an underground metro line running through the city's archaeologically rich terrain.
August 15, 2012 | By Rebecca Vilkomerson
Dan Schnur misses some crucial points about the Jewish community in his Op-Ed article Sunday on  Republican efforts to woo Jewish voters. First, the idea that President Obama's policies toward Israel are substantially different than Mitt Romney's would be -- or than President George W. Bush's were -- is incorrect.  Rhetorically, Obama made some effort in 2010 to rein in Israel's settlement building, but in practice Israel has been able to...
February 7, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
With a fire extinguisher in his hand and a cellphone pressed to his ear, principal Sameeh abu Rameelh battled an electrical fire in his Jerusalem high school's computer lab while pleading with the fire department to come to his aid. But when the emergency dispatcher heard that the school was in Kafr Aqab, separated from the rest of Jerusalem by a 36-foot-high concrete wall, he told Abu Rameelh that firetrucks wouldn't cross Israel's separation barrier...
January 11, 2012 | By Maher Abukhater, Los Angeles Times
Palestinian leaders voiced outrage Tuesday over a new report that Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank rose 20% last year. The report released by the Peace Now group also says that building on East Jerusalem land seized during the 1967 Middle East War was at the highest level in a decade. The study by the Israeli group, which is opposed to settlement construction, found that Israel began construction on more than 1,850 West Bank units in 2011, up from 1,550 in 2010. During much of 2010, Israel observed a partial moratorium on new West Bank construction, which reduced building starts that year.
October 25, 2011
Last week we wrote about California's decision to require teachers and textbooks to include positive messages about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in their lessons. We opposed that law — not because we think schools shouldn't teach about the contributions of people of all sexual orientations (they should!), but because we're concerned about the continuing politicization of California's classrooms. Is it really necessary to point out that politicians aren't the best arbiters of what should be taught to schoolchildren?
October 24, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
When East Jerusalem teachers ask students to open their history books these days, pupils are wondering: Which one? Two sets of textbooks are vying for the formative minds of thousands of Palestinian students in Arabic-language schools in East Jerusalem. One was written by the Palestinian Authority, and the other is a revised version reprinted by Israeli authorities. It's a textbook war that underscores the long-running battle of narratives in the Mideast conflict, where the fight over the future is often rooted in understanding of the past, and schoolbooks can play a critical role.
October 15, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
Israel is moving forward with another large housing project on territory it seized during the 1967 Mideast war, unveiling plans to build 2,610 units in what critics say would be the first entirely new development on disputed Jerusalem land in 14 years. The planned project, to be called Givat Hamatos, would expand the footprint of Jewish housing development into new areas, nearly cutting off Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem from West Bank communities. If built, the project would make it harder to create a Palestinian state with contiguous borders and a capital in East Jerusalem, opponents say. "This one is really bad," said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, the Israeli anti-settlement group.
October 5, 2011
Uan Rasey Trumpet player in 'Chinatown' and other films Uan Rasey, 90, a first-call trumpet player for MGM and other studio orchestras best known for his evocative solo in Roman Polanski's 1974 film "Chinatown," died Sept. 26 at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center, said his grandson Tristan Verstraeten. The Studio City resident hadheart problems. Besides soloing in composerJerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for "Chinatown," Rasey played trumpet for many other film soundtracks, including "An American in Paris," "Ben-Hur," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Cleopatra," "Gigi," "How the West Was Won," "My Fair Lady," "Singin' in the Rain," "Spartacus" and "West Side Story.
October 2, 2011
Russia's strongman Re "Putin's back, unfortunately," Editorial, Sept. 28 Vladimir Putin's right to run for a third term as president of Russia is highly questionable. Such an idea would have never visited Bill Clinton, since the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: "No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice. " When a group of legal scholars was preparing a draft of the Russian Constitution adopted in 1993, they were looking at the 22nd Amendment as an example.
September 27, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
Israel gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the construction of about 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem, brushing aside pleas from U.S. and European diplomats to delay the controversial project as they attempt to restart peace talks. The Interior Ministry's green light will clear the way for a significant expansion of the Jewish development of Gilo, on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East War. Critics said the move is a setback for the Mideast "quartet" —the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia — which last week issued a call for Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct talks within the next month.
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