Snow, a rarity in the Middle East, hits Israel, West Bank.
Jerusalem to a halt Feb. 25.
Roads to the capital were
closed, schools and banks
shut, and police urged residents to stay
home. At the Knesset, committee
meetings were canceled. More than a
foot of snow was reported.
The city was transformed into a
vision of white parks, snowballs, snow-
people and kids thrilled that schools
"It snows almost every year in
Jerusalem," said Rami Levi, tourism
ambassador of Israel to North and
South America, 'but this snowfall is
one of the biggest in years and visitors
to the city are loving the novelty of it."
Snow accumulated to some 18 inch-
es in the Golan Heights.
Heavy snow also fell in the West
Bank, with road closings reported
around Bethlehem, Hebron and
Ramallah. Snow also was reported in
Lebanon and Jordan.
Elsewhere, heavy rains caused a wall
to collapse in Nazareth, but there were
no injuries. Flooding was reported in
several areas. The storm was expected
to taper off, with warmer temperatures
returning on the weekend. ❑
A group of American Jewish women take time off from their seminary studies to play in the snow Feb. 25 at the Western Wall.
— JTA contributed to this report A rare snowstorm left Jerusalem and surrounding hills covered and largely paralyzed the thy.
JOIN SHARON from page 22
"Only once a specific phase has been implement-
ed," Sharon said then, "will progress to the next phase
But what happens if there is genuine progress?
Would the NRP stay in the coalition or pull out,
forcing Sharon to form a new government, possibly
The same uncertainty surrounds the durability of
Sharon's pact with National Union, which is consid-
ered far more hawkish than the NRP. National Union
leader Avigdor Lieberman had refused to accept any
mention of a Palestinian state in the government
But he agreed with Likud negotiators Tuesday that
the issue of Palestinian statehood would be brought
before the Cabinet "if and when it becomes relevant."
In his coalition talks with Labor, Sharon said he
was convinced that after an anticipated U.S.-led war
against Iraq, the international community would turn
its attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When
that happened, he told Labor leaders, he would be
ready to make far-reaching compromises.
That statement kept Labor interested, but the talks
broke down when Sharon refused to commit himself
The big question pundits are asking is whether the
phased style Sharon favors in peacemaking applies to
his coalition building as well.
First he strikes deals with Shinui, NRP and
National Union, dealing mainly with economic and
social issues; then, pundits say, when Sharon wants to
move on the Palestinian track, Labor will again be
invited to join the government on the basis of an
agreed peace program.
Then again, this narrow coalition, with all its
limitations, could be all Sharon really wants. Even
with Labor consigned to the opposition, Sharon
knows it would support any peace efforts he
chooses to make — just the way Labor supported
former Prime Minister Menachem Begin's_peace-
making with Egypt from the opposition. IU
While anti-Israel activities by Arab countries mul-
tiply, such as re-starting an economic boycott,
isolating Israel in international forums and cur-
tailed diplomatic relations, an Israeli professor
said recently that some of these countries have
crossed the line into anti-Semitism.
BEHIND TEE ISSUE
Professor Menachem Milson of Hebrew University
said recently that anti-Semitism appearing in gov-
ernment-sponsored newspapers in Arab countries
has embraced primitive forms, including the blood
libel, the Protocols of the Elders ofZion, Holocaust
denial and deicide. This issue affects Jewish securi-
ty worldwide as well as that of Israel.
— Allan Gale, Jewish Community
Council of lletropolitan Detroit