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Project October 21, 2015

The Handshake and the Fists


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As the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination approaches, Israel has never been further from the dream of a peaceful home in the ancient homeland. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will illuminate both the broad issues facing that polarized land, and its deep ties to this American city.

The first native-born Israeli prime minister, Rabin did the unthinkable in 1993 when he shook hands and signed a peace treaty with Yasser Arafat. That led to a tentative coming together of Arabs and Jews which brought hopes for peace.

Though his assassination occurred in 1995, its enduring impact wasn't yet obvious in 1998, at the country's 50th anniversary. That's when a team from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette traveled to Israel to profile immigrants from this city to the Holy Land, chronicling their hopes and challenges. They ranged from the dean of a Yeshiva and ultra-orthodox "haredim" to tourism entrepreneurs and a police spokesman.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will return to those profile subjects, and broaden its effort to bring in other voices, including those on all sides of the ever-deepening divides in Israeli society at the assassination's anniversary.

Through a combination of instant web-based, multi-media and social media reporting and deep print-and-web profiles, plus expert analysis, staffers Rich Lord and Larry Roberts address these key questions: What has come of the hopes of those from our city who made Aliyah, as well as those with Pittsburgh ties in Israel's Arab population? And what do their experiences and attitudes portend for one of the world's flash points?


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Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees
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Peace Initiatives

Peace Initiatives