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Ha'aretz
Tid: Wed, 20.02-2019 18:09 Lokal fil generert: Wed, 20.02-2019 17:41
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After joining Labor, ex general says security for Israel means separating from the Palestinians

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:26:08

Tal Russo, a former general who was placed on the number two slot in the Labor Party's ticket on Tuesday ahead of the April 9 election, told reporters that real security for Israel means "separating from the Palestinians."

œOur vision and our interest is to part ways with the Palestinians, and the way there is a regional solution of neighboring countries as well as the two-state solution, he said at a press conference Wednesday. He added that œwe must not allow the Palestinians to lead us to a single state with an Arab majority. That would be going against our grandfathers and grandmothers who came to build a Jewish state.

Russo was placed second on the Labor Party ticket. His roles in the army included commander of the Southern Command, commander of the so-called Depth Corps (which coordinates long-range Israeli army activity deep in "enemy territory"), and head of the Operations Directorate.


 After joining Labor, ex general says security for Israel means separating from the Palestinians


Surge in hate crimes against Orthodox Jews in N.Y.C. has community gripped by fear

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:54:08

NEW YORK Mendel was on the phone outside his Crown Heights yeshiva dorm, talking to his family back in Australia, when he suddenly felt a blow to the head. It was so strong it knocked him to the floor and sent his glasses and yarmulke flying.

œI felt tremendous pain, the 22-year-old Melbourne native recalls. œMy dad heard me screaming on the phone. It was a terrifying moment.

Mendel, who asked that his last name not be published, says he got up and unsuccessfully chased one of his assailants, with the police arriving soon after. He hopped into a patrol vehicle in an attempt to track down the aggressors, who hadn't even tried to steal anything from him.


 Surge in hate crimes against Orthodox Jews in N.Y.C. has community gripped by fear


Egypt executes nine Muslim Brotherhood members over 2015 top prosecutor assassination

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:53:51

Egypt on Wednesday executed nine suspected Muslim Brotherhood members convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of the country's top prosecutor, security officials said.

The nine were found guilty of taking part in the bombing that killed Hisham Barakat, the first assassination of a senior official in Egypt in a quarter century. Barakat was also the most senior official killed since the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media, said the families of the men were told to pick up their bodies from a Cairo morgue.


 Egypt executes nine Muslim Brotherhood members over 2015 top prosecutor assassination


'Alita: Battle Angel': A tiny heroine proves size doesn't matter

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:47:29

James Cameron can be critiqued for any number of reasons, but impatience isn't one of them. The director of œThe Terminator and œTitanic sincerely wanted to make the film œAlita: Battle Angel himself, but wanting wasn't enough. For almost 20 years he planned for the Japanese comic book heroine to be the star of his next picture, but repeatedly set that aside œtemporarily in favor of another project that grabbed his attention. Finally, after committing to three simultaneous sequels to his 2009 epic œAvatar, he decided to give his baby to a different director, though without really letting go.

An aficionado of science fiction with women at the forefront, Cameron was quick to obtain the rights to œGunnm, a series of comics created by Yukito Kishiro 30 years ago. So enthusiastic was he about the project that back in 2000 he registered an internet domain name for it, and only then set about writing the screenplay, and then another screenplay, a rewrite and yet another rewrite. In fact, before making the final decision to have Robert Rodriguez direct, he auditioned him covertly. He handed Rodriguez, who directed œSin City and œDesperado, a script of twice the usual length, along with 600 pages of notes. Rodriguez came back with a new draft satisfactory to Cameron and got the nod as the film's director, complete with a $170 million budget and an emotionally involved supreme producer.

Cyberpunk style


 'Alita: Battle Angel': A tiny heroine proves size doesn't matter


Civilians evacuated from Syria as ISIS struggles to maintain last stronghold

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:47:12

A convoy of trucks carrying hundreds of civilians, including men, women and children, left the last enclave held by Islamic State militants in eastern Syria on Wednesday, signaling a possible end to a standoff that has lasted for more than a week.

An Associated Press team in Baghouz, a village near the Iraqi border where the Islamic State group is making its final stand, counted at least 17 trucks that emerged through a humanitarian corridor used in past weeks to evacuate people from the militants' last patch of territory along the Euphrates River.

Women, children and men, some with checkered headscarves, or keffiyehs, could be seen through a flap opening on the flatbed trucks. One man carried a crutch; the women were engulfed in conservative black garments covering their faces known as niqabs.


 Civilians evacuated from Syria as ISIS struggles to maintain last stronghold


Theresa May slams Corbyn over Labour 'institutional anti-Semitism' accusations

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:43:23

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she never thought she would see the opposition Labour party being accused by a former member of anti-Semitism.

"I never thought I would see the day when Jewish people ... were concerned about their future in this country," she said in parliament. "And I never thought I would see the day when a once-proud Labour party was accused of institutional anti-Semitism by a former member of that party."

>> Corbyn's Labour Will Never Stop Gaslighting Jews | Opinion


 Theresa May slams Corbyn over Labour 'institutional anti-Semitism' accusations


Top posts for merging with Kahanists: Netanyahu, far-right party reach deal

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 15:58:16

Israeli far-right party Habayit Hayehudi has accepted an offer from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join forces with Otzma Yehudit, a right-wing party led by followers of racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, in exchange for the education and housing ministries in addition to two seats in the security cabinet. Furthermore, the 28th slot on the Likud ticket will be given to the newly merged party according to the agreement.

Habayit Hayedhui will vote Wednesday evening to approve the agreement.

Otzma Yehudit is led by former lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari, together with Baruch Marzel, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Benzi Gopstein, all former disciples and political descendants of Meir Kahane  the infamous American-rabbi-turned-Knesset-member whose vitriolic racism against Arabs got his Kach party banned from running in the 1988 election. Two years later, he was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel.


 Top posts for merging with Kahanists: Netanyahu, far-right party reach deal


In Likud heartland, these Israelis are ready to turn their backs on Netanyahu

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 15:31:39

In the right-wing stronghold of Ashdod, there are still lots of folks who adore Benjamin Netanyahu.

Take Tina Shamenashvili, the owner of a small general store in one of the city's predominantly Russian-speaking neighborhoods.

œThere's nobody who can replace Bibi, she says, referring to the prime minister by his nickname. She has always voted for his Likud party and promises to do so again come Election Day on April 9.


 In Likud heartland, these Israelis are ready to turn their backs on Netanyahu


Corbyn's Labour will never stop gaslighting Jews

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:07:54

"I cannot remain in a political party that I have today come to the sickening conclusion is institutionally anti-Semitic¦The leadership has willfully and repeatedly failed to address hatred against Jewish people within its ranks, and it is for these reasons and many more that I have made this decision today. I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation."

On Monday, when seven MP's quit the UK Labour party and sent earthquake-grade tremors through British politics, Luciana Berger's comments made clear that, certainly for her, the resignation was not only political and professional, but also personal. 

A Jewish woman (and a heavily pregnant one at that), Berger has been on the receiving end of widely-reported anti-Semitic and misogynistic abuse, as well as deselection threats in her Liverpool constituency.


 Corbyn's Labour will never stop gaslighting Jews


Iran's Zarif slams U.S. 'hypocrisy' over Saudi nuclear plan

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:05:21

Iran's foreign minister has seized on a congressional report that the U.S. sought to share nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, accusing Washington of ignoring the kingdom's human rights violations.

Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Wednesday: "First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy."

>> Read more: Yemen's war is a mercenary heaven. Are Israelis reaping the profits?


 Iran's Zarif slams U.S. 'hypocrisy' over Saudi nuclear plan


Russia will target U.S. if nukes deployed in Europe, Putin warns

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:43:39

Russia will respond to any U.S. deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where they are stationed, but the United States itself, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. 

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington's decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty. 

But he said that Russia's reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that U.S. policy-makers, some of whom he said were obsessed with U.S. exceptionalism, should calculate the risks before taking any steps. 


 Russia will target U.S. if nukes deployed in Europe, Putin warns


Netanyahu cancels Putin meet as rivals make last-minute efforts to unite

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:53:04

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a trip to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday because of assessments that his main rival, Benny Gantz, will join forces with Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid ahead of the election, sources in Likud said Wednesday.

Netanyahu and Putin will speak on the phone on Thursday morning and a new date for a face-to-face meeting will be set, according to a diplomatic source. A Kremlin aide confirmed that Netanyahu canceled the meeting due to domestic political affairs, Russian media reported.

Thursday's meeting was meant to focus on regional affairs, the situation in Syria and the strengthening of the security coordination between Israel and Syria's armies. It would have been the first time the two leaders met in Moscow since the downing of the Russian spy plane in Syria in September 2018.


 Netanyahu cancels Putin meet as rivals make last-minute efforts to unite


A book from the point of view of a penis: Houellebecq is back

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:48:04

"Sérotonine" by Michel Houellebecq, Flammarion, 352 pages (French)

In early January, when œSérotonine, the new novel by Michel Houellebecq, was not even in the stores yet, frenetic debates erupted in the French media: Did the misanthropic and embittered writer predict (with genius! with genius!) the so-called Yellow Vest protest in France, or did he (once again) spread 350 pages with annoying, provocative-to-the-point-of-boring and occasionally entertaining thoughts as always suffused with descriptions of bizarre and misogynous sex that will (once again) make critics foam at the mouth with anger, self-righteousness and shock?

The short answer to the question of prophecy as well as to that of besmearing all those pages is no. Regarding the question of descriptions of sex, the answer is of course in the affirmative. They are gloriously revolting, but relatively limited compared to the arcane parts of the book that deal with descriptions of cheeses, cows and restaurant menus, and come from a less-than-usual politically correct world even for Houellebecq.


 A book from the point of view of a penis: Houellebecq is back


Police question commanders on suspicion of involvement in soldier's death

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:30:15

The Military Police have commenced a criminal investigation into the behavior of commanders during a navigation exercise in January during which a soldier drowned.

Sgt. Evyatar Yosefi, a member of the paratroopers' elite reconnaissance unit, fell into the Hilazon Stream and drowned while crossing it with the unit during stormy conditions on the night of January 7. So far, the Military Police have questioned the company commander, the squad commanders and the commander of the unit's training school on suspicion of involvement in Yosefi's death.

Sources involved in the investigation expect the police to also question the commander of the Paratroops Brigade, Yaki Dolef, under caution, meaning as a suspect in a crime.


 Police question commanders on suspicion of involvement in soldier's death


Israel should apologize to Poland for anti-Semitism remark, U.S. ambassador says

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:58:40

Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz should apologize to Poland for his remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said on Wednesday, commenting on the diplomatic row between two countries. 

"I just felt that two strong allies like Israel and Poland, of course they are strong allies of the United States, shouldn't be using that kind of rhetoric. We are too important to each other not to work these things out," Mosbacher told reporters. 

Right after being appointed acting foreign minister, Katz told Israel's i24 News on Monday: "I am the son of Holocaust survivors, we will never forgive and never forget, and there were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis."


 Israel should apologize to Poland for anti-Semitism remark, U.S. ambassador says


Kahanists in the Knesset? Talks advance for far-right merger

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:16:57

Far-right party Otzma Yehudit, led by a followers of racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, announced Wednesday they agreed to a merger with Habayit Hayehudi and the National Union, a day before the Thursday deadline to formally register party rosters for the April 9 election.

In a statement, Otzma Yehudit said the move would prevent "the establishment of a leftist government, God forbid."

>> Analysis: The Kahanists and the homophobes: The two parties no one wants but Netanyahu needs


 Kahanists in the Knesset? Talks advance for far-right merger


Going low like Netanyahu, Gantz delivers aggressive insults in hope to revive momentum

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:43:17

Benny Gantz took the stage at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds Tuesday night with a single goal in mind stopping his Hosen L'Yisrael party from sliding in the polls. And he didn't rely on the random collection of people sitting behind him, which looked more like a focus group testing a new kind of breakfast cereal.

His party has recently lost about four Knesset seats in the polls as voters returned to two more established parties in the center-left bloc, Labor and Yesh Atid. If those voters don't make another U-turn and come back, Hosen L'Yisrael is finished.

>> Gantz unveils party ticket: 'Sole ruler Netanyahu is afraid' -  There's no line Netanyahu won't cross on his way to a fifth term as prime minister


 Going low like Netanyahu, Gantz delivers aggressive insults in hope to revive momentum


Ilhan Omar apologizes to U.S. Jewish leaders for 'Benjamins' remark

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:43:13

WASHINGTON Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized to Jewish groups, mostly from the left, for her tweets stating that support for Israel in D.C., and specifically the work of pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, is œall about the Benjamins.

In an off-the-record conference call convened Tuesday overnight, Omar said she would like to start a process to mend ties with the American-Jewish community.

Omar's office invited multiple Jewish groups to participate in the call, both in Washington and New York. The invitees mostly belonged to groups that oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank and are generally affiliated with progressive, left-wing politics.


 Ilhan Omar apologizes to U.S. Jewish leaders for 'Benjamins' remark


Eighth lawmaker resigns from Labour over anti-Semitism within the party

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 06:58:08

Joan Ryan, a Labour member of parliament, has become the eighth lawmaker to resign from Britain's main opposition party.

Ryan, a lawmaker elected from Enfield North, wrote in a tweet late on Tuesday that she was resigning over concerns about anti-Semitism allegations within the party.

>>Read more: Anti-Semitism was symptom and catalyst of U.K. Labour Party split, not root cause | Analysis 


 Eighth lawmaker resigns from Labour over anti-Semitism within the party


Suckling hatred with mother's milk

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:58:53

Congratulations to Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz. He's the only one who dared to say what all the aficionados of political correctness and lovers of the rights of mothers would not dream of saying. Suckling mother's milk is dangerous. Mother's milk might have a lot of vitamins and bring mother and baby closer, and it's certainly cheaper than the industrial alternatives, but it might also contain monstrous ingredients.

For the Poles, as we know, mother's milk comes with a big dose of anti-Semitism, or at least an anti-Semitic heritage. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, the father of Polish genetic theory, knew it back in his day and passed on its main points to his student, Katz.

The anger of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a physicist, economist and historian by training, is incomprehensible. Such a learned man should know something about Polish mothers' milk. His two aunts married Jews and converted (one of them was even saved from the Holocaust) and so we'll forgive and forget the comparison he made between Jews who collaborated with Nazis to Poles who collaborated with them.


 Suckling hatred with mother's milk


Hamas heightens risk of war with violent nights on Gaza border

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:58:12

Violent nighttime incidents along the Gaza-Israel border are creating a new risk of a broader conflict with Hamas and are different in nature than the weekly protests that have been carried out on the border on Fridays for almost a year.

On Monday evening, another violent nighttime demonstration took place across the border from Kibbutz Nahal Oz. These protests are led by a Hamas special night forces unit and are aimed at harassing Israeli soldiers and residents of Israeli border communities near the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The nighttime unit is comprised of older, more experienced operatives, in contrast to the young men who are prominent at the Friday protests, and the level of violence is much higher at the nighttime demonstrations.

On Monday, dozens of Palestinians began arriving at the border fence shortly before dark, at around 5 P.M., equipped with tires to burn and other gear. As soon as darkness fell, they began burning the tires and tried to roll them as close as possible to the fence to make it harder for Israeli snipers to spot and to target key operatives on the Gaza side.


 Hamas heightens risk of war with violent nights on Gaza border


Which tycoon to vote for in the election?

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:12:17

On April 9, Israelis exercising their right to vote will find paper slips at the polls with familiar party names Likud, Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Labor, United Torah Judaism, Meretz and others such as newcomers Hosen L'Yisrael and Hayamin Hehadash.

But when it comes to economic and social policy, the names don't tell the real story. Israelis are going to vote for a tycoon. Every party has its own tycoon. In politics, the guy with the money is generally the guy whose opinion matters, and therefore the tycoons, more than Knesset members and party leaders, will be the ones setting their parties' economic platforms. Thus, in the name of transparency, perhaps the Central Voting Committee should be publicizing the names of the tycoons behind each party along with other party information that appears in the voting booths.

Gantz and Akirov


 Which tycoon to vote for in the election?


Bibi, who am I bothering?

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 03:24:45

The fact that Israel is deporting children of migrant workers who were born here, who have lived here all their lives and most of whom speak no language other than Hebrew is a blot on the country. Deporting children from where they were born and raised would disgrace any country, but that's particularly true for the state of the Jews, a nation of refugees.

All the legal explanations provided by the Population and Immigration Authority and all the bureaucratic, demographic and nationalist excuses provided by the Interior Ministry and other supporters of the deportations are nothing more than a drop in the bucket compared to the moral injustice being done to these children, whose only crime was being born to their parents.

On Monday, Haaretz reported that, over the past few months, the Immigration Authority has detained about 20 female foreign workers from the Philippines who are slated to be deported with their children in July and August. The authority denied that there had been any change in its policy or that a decision had been made in favor of mass deportations. But leaders of the Filipino community in Israel and social activists say there have been almost no deportations in the past few years.


 Bibi, who am I bothering?


Israel promised millions to rehabilitate south Tel Aviv, but the money is nowhere to be seen

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 03:23:28

Last summer the Israeli cabinet allocated 28 million shekels ($7.7 million) to rehabilitate neighborhoods with a high percentage of asylum seeking residents in cities across the country, but eight months later, the money has yet to arrive. Tel Aviv was to receive the largest allocation, and the funds were supposed to be budgeted over three years, with the first 10 million shekels arriving before the end of 2018.

The cabinet decision to allocate the money to rehabilitate the neighborhoods came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended a deal with the United Nations refugee agency to resettle African asylum seekers under pressure from the right wing.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Israel promised millions to rehabilitate south Tel Aviv, but the money is nowhere to be seen


Man charged with murder of ex-girlfriend strikes plea bargain

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:43:31

A man charged with the murder of his former girlfriend in 2016 was convicted of manslaughter on Tuesday in a plea agreement. In addition to killing Tehila Nagar with a rock, 29-year-old Ra'id Rushrush of Maghar was also convicted of assault and battery, obstruction of justice and aggravated obstruction of a police investigation.

The plea agreement did not include consent to a specific sentence. The prosecution is seeking a 20-year prison term, while the defense is seeking a lighter punishment. The Nazareth District Court will hear the sentencing arguments in two months.

The police made several serious errors during the investigation. For example, they left the stone that was used to crush Nagar's skull at the crime scene instead of taking it for forensic testing. In addition, even though there was a video camera running in the car in which police claimed the killing took place, they forgot to turn it off when they drove the car away. As a result, the camera continued filming in a loop and erased any footage of a homicide, replacing it with later video footage of the trip from the scene.


 Man charged with murder of ex-girlfriend strikes plea bargain


Teva CEO: Company would have gone bankrupt without layoffs

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:43:22

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' November 2017 restructuring plan was necessary to cut costs by $3 billion by the end of 2019 due to a dramatic drop in revenues, stated CEO Kare Schultz in a press conference on Tuesday. Otherwise, the company would have gone bankrupt, he said.

œThe fact is, we have a tough situation where revenues are going downhill, Schultz said on Tuesday. œPeople forgot that a little bit so we had to remind them.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Teva CEO: Company would have gone bankrupt without layoffs


Business in Brief: TASE expects IPO to go ahead this year

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:25:30

Securities investigators raid five companies on fraud, insider-trading suspicions

Israel Stock Exchange investigators raided the offices of four publicly-traded companies on Tuesday due to suspicions of insider trading, in a move that shocked the local exchange and investors. The companies are Summit Real Estate Holdings, Kadimastem, Clal Biotechnology and Allium Medical (down 8.9%). Investigators also launched an investigation into Nextcomm on suspicions of fraud. The investigations are the first significant move by new IEC Chairwoman Anat Guetta, who until now had come off as lenient. As part of the first investigation, Summit chairman Zohar Levy was arrested after returning to Israel from New York, on suspicions that he gave insider information to capital market player Menachem Weinberg. Weinberg's request to be released from custody, published on Monday night, indicates that he is suspected of receiving insider information regarding several publicly traded companies and taking in millions in transactions as a result between 2016 and 2018. The extent of the affair became known during the trading day on Tuesday, as Summit (down 4.5%), Kadimastem (down 12.8%) and Clal Biotechnology (down 4.8%) published identical reports to the stock exchange acknowledging that ISA investigators had raided their offices on insider trading suspicions on Monday. (Shelly Appelberg, Eran Azran and Gur Meggido)

TASE expects IPO to go ahead this year


 Business in Brief: TASE expects IPO to go ahead this year


Sanders' 2020 run assures Israel central spot in campaign

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:11:20

WASHINGTON Sen. Bernie Sanders' declaration that he will seek the presidency again in 2020 will be important for the ongoing debate about the Democratic Party's positions regarding Israel.

Sanders has emerged over the past two years, ever since Donald Trump entered the White House, as one of the strongest critics of Israeli policies within the Democratic Party. (Although he is an independent, he caucuses with the Democrats.) His nomination all but assures that questions about Israel, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington and its policies will at some point become central to the campaign.

>> Forget Tlaib and Omar, Democratic 2020 front-runners should worry Israel more -  Bernie 2.0: Five factors that will make or break Sanders' 2020 presidential bid


 Sanders' 2020 run assures Israel central spot in campaign


Netanyahu aide Eli Groner to manage Israeli subsidiary of Koch Industries

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:05:51

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former office director general Eli Groner is joining the Koch business empire. Groner will be the Israel-based managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries that is run by Charles Koch's son Chase, Jewish Insider reported.

The Koch brothers are well-known American political donors who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars backing conservative causes. While they generally tilt libertarian, they have in the past been accused of donating to anti-Israel idealogues. A 2016 conference hosted by the Charles Koch Institute was criticized in reporting by Tablet and by Eli Lake, a Bloomberg opinion columnist, for featuring Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, who coauthored œThe Israel Lobby. Lake noted that the book prompted the Anti-Defamation League to write a response entitled œThe Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control.

Chase Koch, 41, is less of a political partisan than his father and uncle, according to Politico, and is also known for making annual visits to Israel, Jewish Insider reported.


 Netanyahu aide Eli Groner to manage Israeli subsidiary of Koch Industries


Tzipi Livni only had one dish on the menu

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:29:19

Shortly after the beginning of the social protests during the summer of 2011, I was invited to a meeting with the leader of the opposition in the Knesset at the time, Tzipi Livni. She was trying to understand what was happening on the streets. It was a rare moment when everyone was trying to figure out what was going on with the tent encampments on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. How did issues such as social justice, the cost of living and the welfare state suddenly come back into our lives and dominate the conversation after years during which topics such as the diplomatic process, a regional Middle East summit and the 1967 borders were at the top of the agenda?

Livni admitted at the time, and has said time and again since, that she was in politics to advance negotiations with the Palestinians. That's her brand, that's her sphere of interest and everything else is less important to her. She didn't lie and she didn't sugarcoat things. To borrow a culinary metaphor, Livni's menu had just one dish. If it didn't suit diners, they could go somewhere else.

>>Read more: A champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line | Analysis 


 Tzipi Livni only had one dish on the menu


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:23:18

 Haaretz Cartoon


First balloon-arson fire since November hits forest near Gaza

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:12:02

A balloon-borne incendiary device sent from Gaza started a fire Tuesday in the Kissufim Forest near the Gaza border, the first such incident since November. The fire was fairly small and was put out quickly. The incendiary balloon comes a few days after Hamas approved a renewal of these attacks in light of stalled talks on lifting the closure of the Gaza Strip.

A senior Hamas political official told Haaretz that the organization did not want to go œall out against Israel, so as to allow Egyptian-mediated talks to continue. However, Hamas said that Israel has been trying to impose quiet on the Strip by means of Qatari money, and senior Hamas officials said recently that the organization would not stop the protests at the border fence in exchange for the money.

>> Qatari money calms Hamas, but doesn't guarantee long-term quiet in Gaza | Analysis


 First balloon-arson fire since November hits forest near Gaza


Michael Flynn pushed to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, report says

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:33:17

Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration.

Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the U.S. technology were transferred without proper safeguards.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Michael Flynn pushed to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, report says


Palestinians' lawsuit against Sheldon Adelson is revived in U.S. court

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:27:18

A U.S. appeals court has revived a $1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians seeking to hold billionaire Sheldon Adelson and more than 30 other pro-Israel defendants liable for alleged war crimes and support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

In a 3-0 decision on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said a federal district judge wrongly concluded in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs' claims raised political questions that could not be decided in American courts.

The plaintiffs, including 18 Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans as well as a Palestinian village council, alleged a conspiracy among many defendants to expel non-Jews from the disputed territories, and accused the defendants of committing or aiding in genocide and other war crimes.


 Palestinians' lawsuit against Sheldon Adelson is revived in U.S. court


Over a month after suspected murder, two relatives of slain Jerusalem couple arrested

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:11:25

Two relatives of a couple that was murdered in Jerusalem last month have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder. A gag order prevents the publication of their names or their relationship with Yehuda and Tamar Kaduri.

The Kaduris, aged 71 and 68, were found dead in their apartment in Jerusalem's Armon Hanetziv neighborhood after their children had been trying unsuccessfully to reach them by phone for a few days. The police found the door locked when they arrived, with no signs of a break-in, but the couple had stab wounds on their bodies.

>> Palestinian janitor held for weeks in Jerusalem murder case, shown no evidence


 Over a month after suspected murder, two relatives of slain Jerusalem couple arrested


Egypt expels former New York Times' Cairo bureau chief

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:23:22

The New York Times said on Tuesday that Egyptian authorities denied entry to one of its correspondents and sent him back to London after holding him for hours.

In latest move in the country's crackdown on free speech and the media, the newspaper said that former Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick was arrested late Monday after arriving at Cairo International Airport.

Hours later, Kirkpatrick's phone was confiscated and he was held without food or water for seven hours, it added.


 Egypt expels former New York Times' Cairo bureau chief


After cold shoulder from mayor, MK, former general takes top spot on Labor's ticket

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:16:57

Israel's Labor Party announced on Tuesday that Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo will be joining its ranks and be placed in the second spot on the roster for the upcoming election, a slot reserved for a candidate of party chairman Avi Gabbay's choosing.

Russo served as commander of the Israel Defense Forces Depth Corps, which oversees special, long range operations, and head of the IDF's Operations Directorate. He is expected to officially present his candidacy on Wednesday at a joint press conference with Gabbay.

>> The Kahanists and the homophobes: The two parties no one wants but Netanyahu needs -  A champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line | Analysis


 After cold shoulder from mayor, MK, former general takes top spot on Labor's ticket


Thousands in France rally against anti-Semitism after Macron visits vandalized cemetery

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:09:17

Rallies against anti-Semitism attracted crowds of thousands in Paris and other French cities Tuesday following a series of aggressive acts with Jewish targets, including a cemetery where about 80 gravestones were spray-painted with swastikas overnight.

In the French capital, former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy joined a rally led by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Republic Plaza.

Political parties from across the spectrum participated in the nationwide rallies with the theme "That's enough," although Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party held a separate event.


 Thousands in France rally against anti-Semitism after Macron visits vandalized cemetery


Clashes erupt during eviction of Palestinian family from East Jerusalem home

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:20:18

Police and protesters clashed on Sunday for several hours as a Palestinian family was evicted from the home in Jerusalem's Old City where they had lived since the 1950s.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court had ordered the eviction, which was upheld on appeal, based on a finding that a Jewish charitable trust had rightful ownership of the property, owned by Jews before Israel's establishment in 1948.

A short time after the seven members of the Abu Assab family were removed, Jews entered the premises and flew an Israeli flag from the roof.


 Clashes erupt during eviction of Palestinian family from East Jerusalem home


Israel's emergency agencies' dispute puts public at risk, local governments warn PM

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:46:02

An ongoing dispute between Israel's two main emergency agencies is damaging the public's readiness for war, heads of local governments warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. In a letter, local leaders urged Netanyahu, who also serves as defense minister, to solve disagreements between the Israel Defense Forces' Home Front Command and the Defense Ministry's National Emergency Management Authority. 

The Federation of Regional Councils and the Federation of Local Authorities said the disagreements between the two defense institutions over division of responsibilities and the stalled implementation of a governmental report on their operations make it difficult for local governments to prepare for emergencies. 

>> In campaign against rival Gantz, Netanyahu sends worrying message to the army | Analysis


 Israel's emergency agencies' dispute puts public at risk, local governments warn PM


Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak officials announce diplomatic offices in Jerusalem

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:38:38

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted his Czech, Slovak and Hungarian counterparts Tuesday in a series of sit-downs that replaced a high-profile summit in Jerusalem that was cancelled over a rift with Poland.

The first gathering outside Europe of the Visegrad group was supposed to be a crowning achievement for Netanyahu in his outreach to central and eastern Europe. But it dramatically unraveled over a bitter exchange between Poland and Israel over how to characterize Polish behavior toward its Jewish community during and after World War II.

In place of the summit, Netanyahu held back-to-back meetings with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban before hosting all three for lunch at his official residence.


 Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak officials announce diplomatic offices in Jerusalem


Gantz unveils party ticket: 'Sole ruler Netanyahu is afraid'

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 20:08:12

Benny Gantz, former army chief and chairman of the Hosen L'Yisrael party, launched a harsh attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his second major campaign speech on Tuesday, while calling on Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid to meet with him "tonight" to discuss potentially joining forces ahead of the April general election.

Netanyahu is "anxious, afraid, sweating,"  Benny Gantz said as he unveiled his party's election slate.

"His court jesters are no longer laughing, and his party is terrified," Gantz said, describing Netanyahu as the "sole ruler" who has controlled Israel's ruling party for the past decade and saying that the prime minister ruled "through incitement, deception and fearmongering."


 Gantz unveils party ticket: 'Sole ruler Netanyahu is afraid'


Kiev mall features large swastika on staircase

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 19:14:48

A shopping mall in Ukraine that is located on a street named for a collaborator with the Nazis decorated a staircase with a large swastika.

Images and footage from inside the Horodok shopping mall on Kiev's Bandera Avenue surfaced Monday on Facebook.

>> Ukraine's far right is growing increasingly violent - why aren't local Jews concerned?


 Kiev mall features large swastika on staircase


I thought Bibi was amoral. He's not. He's evil. Thanks to him, Kahane lives

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 19:07:36

He's not Trump. You can't blame what Benjamin Netanyahu does on a serious, volatile, and likely untreatable personality disorder, or on profound, doesn't-know-what-he-doesn't-know ignorance. 

He's not Trump. Netanyahu is smart, knowledgeable, self-aware. He is not rash.

For decades now I've been watching Netanyahu, studying him, asking aides about him. I figured I knew him. I used to think I understood him, that his actions and words made it clear that for all his posturing, he was amoral, bereft of a sense of right and wrong, unconcerned about ethics, unhindered by conscience, devoid of a moral compass.


 I thought Bibi was amoral. He's not. He's evil. Thanks to him, Kahane lives


The Kahanists and the homophobes: The two parties no one wants but Netanyahu needs

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 18:27:28

As the clock ticks down to the Thursday deadline for finalizing the party rosters for Israel's April 9 election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a problem one that has nothing to do with criminal indictments.

The right-wing religious bloc, always crucial for Netanyahu in his efforts to construct a solid ruling coalition, is splintered into no fewer than six parties, some of which have dangled perilously close to the electoral threshold.

If one  or worse, two  of these parties fall below that threshold (which currently stands at 3.25 percent of the overall vote), it means that thousands of right-wing votes that should have been translated into Knesset seats in Netanyahu's governing coalition will go to waste.


 The Kahanists and the homophobes: The two parties no one wants but Netanyahu needs


Vandals desecrate Jewish cemetery in France, paint swastikas on graves

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 17:38:52

Vandals have daubed swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on around 90 graves in a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, local officials said on Tuesday, shortly before planned marches nationwide against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the cemetery on Tuesday in the village of Quatzenheim, near the city of Strasbourg, following the overnight desecration, walking through a gate daubed with a swastika as he entered the graveyard.

"It's important for me to be here with you today," a solemn looking Macron told local leaders and members of the Jewish community after paying respects at one of the desecrated graves.


 Vandals desecrate Jewish cemetery in France, paint swastikas on graves


Delicious meze, Lebanese Arak and an unbeatable view in Nazareth

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 17:37:05

The bright marble table starts to fill up with meze: falafel balls, made of 75 percent ful (fava beans), typical of the southern Levant, and 25 percent hummus (chickpeas); small, delicate dumplings known as shish barak, filled with meat and cooked in hot yogurt; a yogurt salad with cucumbers; wild chicory fried in olive oil and onion and served with radishes; hummus with whole chickpeas; fattoush salad; a salad of freekeh roasted, smoked green wheat, cauliflower, almonds and goat cheese; stuffed grape leaves; and cigars filled with chicken shawarma, served with garlic aioli and sumac.

We are served our first glass of Lebanese arak with water and ice. The liquid in the glass emulsifies; our thoughts grow lucid and disconnect from daily woes. A variety of pastries from the taboon: lahmajoun (a flat bread topped with chopped meat and baked), muhamar (slices of chicken, onion and sumac roasted on flat bread), arayes (pita bread stuffed with meat) and excellent fatayer (a small spinach turnover).

œThe Levantine custom of drinking arak and eating meze, says Luna Zreik, œstrengthened the Nazareth kitchen and made it rich and diversified. Nazareth cuisine is an integral element of the liberalism that characterized the city for years. This is a city that has a tradition of good food and takes great pride in that tradition. I don't think you'll visit any home here and encounter food that isn't tasty.


 Delicious meze, Lebanese Arak and an unbeatable view in Nazareth


Israeli cybersecurity startup acquired by global firm for $560 million

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 17:33:34

Global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, founded by Israeli Nir Zuk, announced on Tuesday it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Israeli startup Demistro for $560 million in cash and stocks. The acquisition is due to be completed in the third quarter of U.S.-based Palo Alto's fiscal year, which end in April.

Demisto, which has raised $69 million to date, is one of many companies founded in recent years with the aim of addressing a lack of cybersecurity analysts, who can react on warnings generated by classic cybersecurity software such as Palo Alto, Check Point and Symantec, in situation rooms of major organizations. Information security teams struggle to allocate enough time to in-depth investigation of all warnings, and are sometimes too slow to respond.

>> For Israel's golden intel boys, it starts with terror and ends with greed | Opinion -  Israel ranked 5th most innovative nation by Bloomberg


 Israeli cybersecurity startup acquired by global firm for $560 million


How could Rashida Tlaib get caught using Israeli technology?

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 17:26:24

Presumably it was embarrassing for Rashia Tlaib, the Palestinian-American newly elected to Congress and a supporter of the BDS campaign, that her official campaign website was found to be using website-building tools made and marketed by the Israeli company Wix. Or maybe not.

The Wix connection was exposed by the Israel Advocacy Movement, by the simple technique of pushing the œview page source option in Chrome (it's a pity investigative journalism isn't always so simple).

In any case, Tlaib, who rushed to defend herself against accusations of anti-Semitism last month, hasn't responded to the BDS faux pas.


 How could Rashida Tlaib get caught using Israeli technology?


Why Israel is experiencing a dire bacon crisis

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 17:04:54

Two months ago, chef Matan Abrahams decided to remove bacon from the menu of Hudson Restaurant in Tel Aviv. One dish that disappeared as a result was œLaw and Cheddar (a play on the Hebrew words for law and order): a beef hamburger topped with ground entrecote and bacon, grilled cheddar cheese and still more bacon. œThe more bacon, the merrier, Abrahams says. He's referring to salt-cured pork (generally the belly, breastbone and prime ribs), which lends a salty-umami-sweet (and sometimes smoked) taste to a range of foods. This flavor is hard to beat.

œLaw and Cheddar wasn't part of the regular menu, Abrahams says, œbut it became an iconic dish that was identified with the restaurant. A steady clientele came specifically for that dish, and even reserved it by phone. Other special dishes that have gone by the boards are spaghetti carbonara and the BLT (the classic American bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich).

The removal of bacon from the menu was not related to kashrut or any attempt to reach out to a broader public. Hudson, which in my opinion is the best meat restaurant in Israel, is also one of its most successful and popular. Bacon vanished from the menu because for the past year it's been difficult or impossible to obtain quality bacon in Israel.


 Why Israel is experiencing a dire bacon crisis


Was Stonehenge built of repurposed stones?

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 16:50:00

People love a good mystery, and Stonehenge is one of the gifts that keep on giving.

Every time we learn something new, it just gets more confusing. The latest intriguing, if unhelpful, knowledge is that archaeologists have verified the location of the precise quarries from which the slightly smaller Stonehenge megaliths were taken 5,000 years ago: the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, halfway across Britain.

Also, it seems that the bluestones at Stonehenge may have been repurposed from some other site of worship, or whatever the ancients did at Stonehenge. We don't actually know.


 Was Stonehenge built of repurposed stones?


Why Netflix needs to remake 'Holocaust'

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:58:48

Netflix, here's an idea for you: remake œHolocaust. I know this contradicts the whole œNever Again message about the Shoah, but it's now over 40 years since the NBC original was seen by 120 million Americans over four nights in April 1978 providing the ultimate œwater cooler moment before the term had even been invented.

More remarkably, the miniseries was viewed by a third of the population of West Germany when it premiered there the following year, introducing the word œHolocaust into the German lexicon. It also changed forever the way the country viewed its Nazi past well, at least until the Alternative for Germany party came along.

And it's even more extraordinary that the original œHolocaust series achieved all of this without actually being very good.


 Why Netflix needs to remake 'Holocaust'


'When I was in fifth grade they put us in jail': Deported Filipino children long to return to Israel, only home they knew

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:41:05

A month has passed since Edith and her son Lansen, 13, a special education student, were arrested in Israel and deported to the Philippines. Before they were expelled, the two sat in Yahalom detention facility for three days, during which officials at Lansen's school repeatedly tried to reach his mother to find out what had happened to him. By the time they realized that the mother and son were going to be deported, the two were already at the airport.

œThey arrested me and wouldn't let me talk to my son, Edith told Haaretz from the Philippines. œAfter the arrest they went to my house and brought Lansen to the jail. For three days my son didn't stop crying. They didn't let him say goodbye to his school or friends, they just flew us to the Philippines.

>> Read more: Israel set to deport dozens of Filipina migrant workers and their children -  Foreign workers in Israel have their money stolen - and cops are the suspects


 'When I was in fifth grade they put us in jail': Deported Filipino children long to return to Israel, only home they knew


Tel Aviv Eurovision ticket prices revealed: Over $300 for a seat in the final

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:31:58

Tickets for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv in May have not yet gone on sale but prices revealed on Tuesday are much higher than those for last year's event in Lisbon. 

The cheapest ticket for the international song competition is 350 shekels (slightly less than $100) for a hall seat for a semi-final rehearsal, and the most expensive one is 2,000 shekels ($552) for a seat and a "green room" pass for the grand final on May 18. Hall seats for the final will cost 1,150 shekels.

No date has been set yet for sales to the general public. 3,000 of the 7,300 seats in the hall are reserved for delegations and members of the European Broadcasting Union, which sponsors the Eurovision, and will not be put on sale.


 Tel Aviv Eurovision ticket prices revealed: Over $300 for a seat in the final


Between Erdogan and the ayatollahs, these women lead the Kurdish battle for freedom

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:04:38

IRAN-IRAQ BORDER ” It's been an hour since the road disappeared under our wheels, but we still manage to maneuver across mud tracks that the torrential rains of the last days left almost impassable. Both the driver and his companion are members of the Assembly of Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), a guerrilla group formed mainly by Iranian Kurds, which has waged an armed struggle against the Iranian government since 2004. Actually, their house is not far from this steep valley in Iraqi Kurdistan.

œThe border is right behind those peaks, notes the copilot, pointing at an imposing snow-capped massif. Ten minutes later, half a dozen fighters, both men and women, welcome us from a cluster of huts conveniently protected by the dense forest. The leadership of the Iranian Kurdish insurgency has agreed to meet us on the condition that we take neither pictures of the fighters nor of any spatial reference that can provide clues about their location.

>> Is Trump about to become the third U.S. leader to betray the Kurds? | Explained


 Between Erdogan and the ayatollahs, these women lead the Kurdish battle for freedom


Hurricanes to slam Mediterranean as global warming ramps up

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:39:16

When the 21st century winds down and the world warms, storms in the Mediterranean basin are going to become less frequent ” but also more violent and protracted, according to a new climate model published in Geophysical Research Letters. 

Based on a climate model called "global coupled," which factors in the interplay between ocean and land, when a team headed by Spanish researcher Juan Jesus Gonzalez-Aleman of the University of Castilla-la Mancha looks beyond 2080, future "Medicanes will be much more likely to reach the strength of robust Category 1 storms. Moreover, the storms will stick around longer, pouring down rain and exacerbating the risk of flooding.

Such concern over a Category 1 tempest, the least severe on the scale, would probably make Floridians giggle. But by Mediterranean standards, it would pose an almost unheard-of level of climatic violence, certainly in the sea's eastern basin. 


 Hurricanes to slam Mediterranean as global warming ramps up


Bernie Sanders announces he will run for president in 2020 election

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:24:38

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Tuesday that he intends to run for president in the 2020 election. 

Sanders, 77, announced his candidacy in a lengthy early morning email to supporters, pledging to build a vast grassroots movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics. 

"Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few," Sanders said in the email, asking for 1 million people to sign up to start the effort. 


 Bernie Sanders announces he will run for president in 2020 election


You, Jeremy Corbyn, have led Labour into authoritarianism, mob rule and institutionalized racism against Jews

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 13:53:01

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

I became a member of the Labour Party 13 years ago.

I joined as a student on the left of the party, a place in which I have remained since, including serving as an elected Councillor. I was completely assured of the shared values of the Labour Party and my own Jewish faith, community and heritage. Those values meant a complete and utter commitment to anti-racism, social justice and the eradication of economic injustice. The Labour Party no longer shares those values.


 You, Jeremy Corbyn, have led Labour into authoritarianism, mob rule and institutionalized racism against Jews


Police arrest eight suspects in drive-by shooting of Israeli Arab woman

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:54:15

The Israel Police announced on Tuesday the arrest of eight people suspected of involvement in the murder of Samar Khatib, an Israeli Arab woman from Jaffa, in May 2018.

The suspects, who knew Khatib before the murder, are also thought to have placed a bomb in her car a week before she was murdered. At the time, the explosive device was disarmed by a police sapper, and security cameras documented its planting. 

Khatib, 33-years-old at the time of her death and a mother of three, was in a car with her friend when the drive-by-shooting ocurred. Her 23-year-old friend was critically injured and Khatib was pronounced dead at the scene.


 Police arrest eight suspects in drive-by shooting of Israeli Arab woman


How was iron smelted in ancient Israel? Researchers build kilns to find out

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:27:06

The Iron Age was a turning point in the history of the Land of Israel. Iron tools began to appear around 3,000 years ago, gradually supplanting the softer copper and bronze tools. It was also a time of dramatic political change, as the Hebrew kingdoms, Judah and Israel began to take shape, which may or may not have to do with the advent of iron.

However, it has never been quite understood how the ancients actually produced their iron.

Regarding the copper that preceded iron, archaeologists know where it was mined and smelted, thanks in no small part to advanced chemical analysis. It has even been proved, for example, that Cyprus was a key source of copper for the northernmost corners of Europe thousands of years ago.


 How was iron smelted in ancient Israel? Researchers build kilns to find out


Netanyahu claims he thwarted Gantz's plot to withdraw from West Bank. Here are the facts

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:12:47

WASHINGTON Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party published a new campaign ad on Monday that contains a serious accusation against former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

It claims that Gantz, who is perceived as a major Netanyahu challenger in the upcoming April 9 election, secretly conspired with the Obama administration to promote a plan for a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders until Netanyahu found out about it and blocked it.

The video, and an article with a similar message that was posted on Mida (a website perceived as pro-Netanyahu), are based on two articles published in Haaretz in 2017 and last week. These articles were quoted by Mida in a distorted manner.


 Netanyahu claims he thwarted Gantz's plot to withdraw from West Bank. Here are the facts


Netanyahu's embrace of ethno-nationalists endangers Jews in Europe

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:10:00

This week the Israeli prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in place of the freshly-cancelled Visegrad summit.

These meetings, following the recent visits to Israel by Italian and Austrian ministers and prominent members of nationalist and conservative parties, prompts us, European Jews strongly committed to the defense of democracy, pluralism and minority rights, to take a strong stand against the Israeli government's clear support for right-wing parties and movements in Europe and elsewhere.

For Israel, those parties' friendly attitudes toward the Jewish state, and their hostility toward Islam, appear to be a seductive proposition. Even when, in those same right-wing parties, there are deeply entrenched anti-Semitic views.


 Netanyahu's embrace of ethno-nationalists endangers Jews in Europe


Suicide bomber kills three policemen in central Cairo

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:20:14

Three policemen were killed and three wounded when an explosive device carried by a militant they were pursuing detonated in the heart of the Egyptian capital on Monday, an interior ministry statement said.

According to the ministry, security forces were pursuing the man in the search for the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol in western Cairo on Friday. 

After catching the suspect in Cairo's ancient Islamic district close to the Al Azhar mosque, "one of the explosive devices in his possession exploded, causing the death of the terrorist and the martyrdom of a police officer from national security and an officer from Cairo investigations (department)", the statement said. On Tuesday, another policeman died of wounds sustained in the explosion. 


 Suicide bomber kills three policemen in central Cairo


Jordan expands managing body of Temple Mount to stop Israel from changing status quo

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:12:00

Five Palestinians were arrested in clashes with police at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday morning.

The clashes took place around the Bab al-Rahma a large structure inside the Golden Gate that police closed off in 2003, saying that the Islamic heritage association that operated there had been associated with Hamas. 

The Waqf, the Islamic body that manages the Temple Mount compound, wants the area reopened, arguing that the heritage association has long since been disbanded, after its members were arrested. Police in Jerusalem oppose reopening the site.


 Jordan expands managing body of Temple Mount to stop Israel from changing status quo


Israel tampers with Palestinian Authority funds and could get Hamas rockets in response

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:37:30

The decision by the security cabinet on Sunday to freeze the transfer of 500 million shekels ($138 million) of Palestinian Authority taxes as a sanction for its support of security prisoners was the result of political constraints. The law allowing the funds to be frozen was passed in July, but no politician seemed in any hurry to implement it.

The murder of Ori Ansbacher in Jerusalem earlier this month led to renewed discussion of the assistance the PA gives to terrorists and their families; the overcrowding on the right side of the political spectrum did the rest. When Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman are circumventing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the right on the question of relations with the Palestinians, and the prime minister is busy branding himself as the strong right against Benny Gantz's weak left, Netanyahu saw no choice but to start implementing the law.

>> Read more: Israel looks ahead to new Hamas war, but doesn't look back at old lessons | Analysis -  Palestinians have no confidence in the Palestinian president | Opinion 


 Israel tampers with Palestinian Authority funds and could get Hamas rockets in response


Religious text studies and tours to Israeli military courts: The new education of American Rabbis

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:00:30

Young American rabbinical students are doing more than visiting holy sites, learning Hebrew and poring over religious texts during their year abroad in Israel.

In a stark departure from past programs focused on strengthening ties with Israel and Judaism, the new crop of rabbinical students is reaching out to the Palestinians. The change reflects a divide between Israeli and American Jews that appears to be widening.

On a recent winter morning, Tyler Dratch, a 26-year-old rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston, was among some two dozen Jewish students planting olive trees in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani in the southern West Bank. The only Jews that locals typically see are either Israeli soldiers or ultranationalist settlers.


 Religious text studies and tours to Israeli military courts: The new education of American Rabbis


'No to anti-Semitism': Political parties in France rally over uptick in attacks

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 09:00:09

Following a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in France, 14 political parties endorsed a protest rally that is being organized by local Jews against this form of hatred.

The parties include President Emmanuel Macron's œLa République En Marche! as well as the Socialist Party and the Republicans. Three Green parties also signed on as well as one far-left party. The parties and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities called on French citizens to rally Tuesday in Paris and in several other French cities in demonstrations under the banner œNo to anti-Semitism.

However, the appeal does not include the far-right National Front and the far-left œFrance Unbowed parties, which received 34 percent and 19 percent of the vote, respectively, in France's 2017 presidential elections. CRIF has deemed both parties as having institutional anti-Semitism.


 'No to anti-Semitism': Political parties in France rally over uptick in attacks


China is now Pakistan's partner in jihadist terror

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:49:31

On 14 February 2019, a 20-year-old suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmed Dhar, rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. It was one of the deadliest terror attacks in three decades, killing 44 and critically injuring many others.

A Pakistan-based jihadi terrorist group, Jaish-e-Muhammad ("Army of Muhammed"), claimed responsibility for the attack.

Founded in 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar a portly and bespectacled radical Islamist cleric at the behest of Pakistan's military establishment, Jaish-e-Muhammad has close financial and operational links with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba - and anti-Shia groups such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi/Sipah-e-Sahaba-e-Pakistan.


 China is now Pakistan's partner in jihadist terror


Neanderthals were alpha predators, study shows

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:36:41

Neanderthals subsisted mainly on meat, it has long been suspected, but not categorically proven. Now, a new study published Monday in PNAS provides molecular support for the theory of their carnivorous predilection.

It even postulates that Neanderthals were among the apex predators in their sphere, even after anatomically modern humans began to arrive among them.

The earliest ancestors of humans are believed to have subsisted on plants much like the greatest of apes today, the gorilla. However, the early vegetarians among the hominin set petered out and went extinct, while the meat-eaters carried on to this day. 


 Neanderthals were alpha predators, study shows


A champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 06:24:36

Tzipi Livni has been in national politics for 20 years. For the first decade, she was on the rise, sometimes meteorically. She served in highly senior positions and came within arm's length of the summit the Prime Minister's Office.

For the second decade, she was on the decline. She made a failed run for prime minister, took a time-out from politics, returned, served a pointless term in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, was fired, formed the Zionist Union joint ticket with Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog and then was humiliatingly ousted by his successor, Avi Gabbay.

Over the last four years, the public has turned its back on Livni's ideological hallmark diplomatic negotiations, seeking peace, a two-state solution as a guarantee of Israel's continued existence as a Jewish and democratic state. In other words, what is commonly termed the left. She discovered that there were no buyers for these wares.


 A champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line


Rod Rosenstein to step down from position as U.S. deputy attorney general

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 05:38:07

Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general who appointed a special counsel to investigate possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign, is expected to step down by mid March, a Justice Department official said on Monday. 

Rosenstein had been expected to depart shortly after new Attorney General William Barr assumed office. Barr was confirmed for the role by the U.S. Senate last week. 

The Justice official said Rosenstein's departure was not related to renewed allegations that he considered wearing a wire in meetings with Trump and using the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove the president from office. 


 Rod Rosenstein to step down from position as U.S. deputy attorney general


Israel launches cybersecurity hotline for suspected hacking

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 02:51:36

Israel has launched a cyber hotline, staffed mostly by veterans of military computing units, to enable businesses and private individuals to report suspected hacking and receive real-time solutions.

The 119 call-in number to the Computer Emergency Response Center is being billed by Israel and cybersecurity experts as a world first.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Israel launches cybersecurity hotline for suspected hacking


Judaizing the Galilee? Land reform marks an about-face

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 01:30:40

Benjamin Netanyahu won the 2015 election by appealing to racist voters with a warning on election day that œArabs are flocking to the polling places in droves. In 2019, the prime minister will find it difficult to employ the same kind of rhetoric and not because he has become less cynical. Rather, it's because his government in the intervening four years has done more than any other in Israel's history for the country's Arab citizens.

It began with the report of the 120-Days Committee, which dealt with the problems of planning and building in Arab towns and for the first time offered wide-ranging proposals to address it. They included granting ex-post facto legal recognition to illegal building and transferring state land for Arab construction to solve the sector's housing shortage.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Judaizing the Galilee? Land reform marks an about-face


Absentee news

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 01:18:03

Journalism, in its old-fashioned meaning, is supposed to be subversive, to educate, to provide oversight of the centers of power. It's not meant to entertain, kill time, flatter or amuse. Or at least that isn't the main thing it should be doing.

But when it comes to the Israeli power center, the Israeli media is a senior collaborator in blotting out our hostile foreign rule over the Palestinians. It collaborates by concealing the destructive, terrifying reality and adopting the discourse of terror as the main point of departure for talking about the Palestinians.

>> Read more: Israeli elections and the big, fat Palestinian elephant in the room | Analysis -  Hamas boots PA officials from Gaza crossing, accuses them of collaborating with Israel


 Absentee news


Report finds wide but varying pay gaps by gender, religion and background

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 01:12:00

It's common knowledge that Israeli minorities and women get paid less than Jewish males, but as a survey released by the commissioner for equal employment opportunities on Monday shows, the gaps vary considerably between different groups.

Examining employment practices across 20 different business sectors representing about 40% of the labor market, the study found that the widest gaps were for non-college-educated women over age 45: In 2018, they earned just 48% of what men in the same industries were earning.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Report finds wide but varying pay gaps by gender, religion and background


When anti-Semitism wears a yellow vest

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:47:43

The video that went viral Saturday night was shocking: An older man leaves a building on Boulevard du Montparnasse in Paris. The moment that some of the demonstrators, wearing yellow vests, notice him, they unleash a torrent of verbal abuse: œZionist piece of shit, œDirty race, œGo back to Tel Aviv. The leader of the cacophony was a protester who pointed at his scarf, which resembled a kaffiyeh, and said proudly, œFrance is ours. (He was later identified by the security services as a Salafist Muslim.)

The target of this anti-Semitic barrage ” the Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, 69, a member of the Academie Francaise ” left the area accompanied by a man with a yellow vest folded under his arm.

>> Read more: France's Yellow Vest movement dogged by anti-Semitism and extremist conspiracy theories


 When anti-Semitism wears a yellow vest


Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange hires comedian to tout investing in shares

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:45:38

After year's wait, KLA-Tencor's acquisition of Orbotech to be completed Wednesday 

Nearly a year after it was first announced, the takeover by KLA-Tencor of Israel's Orbotech will finally be completed later this week as it won Chinese antitrust approval. œFollowing a series of cooperative discussions, the State Administration for Market Regulation of the People's Republic of China provided antitrust clearance for the proposed merger involving KLA and Orbotech, the two companies said Monday, adding they expected to complete the merger Wednesday. KLA-Tencor, a U.S. company and one of the world's biggest makers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, is paying $38.86 in cash and one-fourth of a share for each Orbotech share. The wait has cost Orbotech shareholders a combined $200 million because KLA-Tencor's share price fell to $65.91 as of Friday from $69 in March, when the deal was announced. The $3.2 billion the deal is now worth still makes it one of the biggest mergers in Israel announced in 2018. (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange hires comedian to tout investing in shares


 Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange hires comedian to tout investing in shares


Family members questioned in Jerusalem couple's murder

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:34:18

Relatives of a couple found stabbed to death in their Jerusalem apartment last month have been questioned in connection with the killing, but their identities and relationship to the couple are under a gag order. Police are expected to make arrests in the case soon. 

Yehuda Kaduri, who was 71, and his wife Tamar, 68, were found dead in their Armon Hanatziv home on January 13 by police who were called in by the couple's children, who in turn had been unable to reach them for several days. The door to the home was locked and there were no signs of forced entry, so police thought at first that it was a murder-suicide case, but it later became clear that the two were murdered by others. 

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Family members questioned in Jerusalem couple's murder


Nurse and aides arrested on suspicion of assaulting elderly patients

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:31:29

Five employees of a geriatric hospital in central Israel were arrested Monday morning on suspicion of abusing and assaulting the elderly patients. The five are a registered nurse and four nursing aides from Lod, Rishon Letzion and Ramle.

In one incident, the registered nurse punched an 85-year-old patient in the leg while the patient was getting intravenous therapy. The nurse continued hitting the man as he put on a disposable diaper and also moved the man's head violently. Later, the nurse punched the man in the shoulder and violently removed his hands from his face.

In other incidents, one nursing aide punched an 81-year-old patient and another slapped the same patient in the face.


 Nurse and aides arrested on suspicion of assaulting elderly patients


Tzipi Livni paid the price for peace

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:22:07

Tzipi Livni's retirement from political life is a loss for Israel's legislature in general and the peace camp in particular. Livni, who entered the Knesset in 1999 (representing Likud), went on to head the Kadima party and to serve, among other positions, as foreign minister, justice minister and chairwoman of the opposition. As she said with tears at the press conference she held Monday in Tel Aviv, œI did everything I could for my beloved country.

Ever since Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay dissolved the Zionist Union in early January, in effect ousting Livni, her Hatnuah party has barely been able to cross the electoral threshold in voter polls. Livni didn't leave without a fight. She tried to link up with Benny Gantz's new party, Hosen L'Yisrael, and to Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, but unfortunately both were wary of her leftist image.

>>Read more: A champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line | Analysis 


 Tzipi Livni paid the price for peace


State to withhold publication of school test scores amid labor dispute

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:13:08

The Education Ministry announced on Monday that it would not release the scores of last year's Meitzav achievement tests by school, and would be examining a new model for releasing the scores and conducting the national standardized examinations. Test scores by community will be published as usual.

The ministry's decision comes after the Teachers Union, representing some 100,000 elementary and junior high school teachers, declared a labor dispute over the ministry's insistence on conducting the tests in the same format and publishing the results. It also comes after a report in TheMarker that many school principals tried to skew the results to artificially boost the scores of their fifth-graders in English and in math.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 State to withhold publication of school test scores amid labor dispute


Haaretz Cartoon

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:01:52

 Haaretz Cartoon


Israeli slowdown looms as world economy cools

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:54:23

The global economy is headed for a slowdown and perhaps even a recession, and Israel will be swallowed up in it.

That was the talk at an investor conference this week in Tel Aviv, where some economists warned that the threat was magnified by the fact that neither the Bank of Israel nor the government has the means to cope with a downturn.

œThere's a consensus that we're near the end of a positive global economic cycle and the only question is whether it will end in a slowdown or a recession, Zvi Stepak, co-founder and chairman of the Meitav Dash investment house, told the conference Sunday.


 Israeli slowdown looms as world economy cools


Chilling report on Israeli soldier's death puts new army chief to the test

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:44:11

Yaniv Kubovich's investigative report in Tuesday's Haaretz about the accident in which a paratrooper drowned in the Galilee's Hilazon Stream includes chilling details that ought to keep every parent of an Israeli combat soldier awake at night.

No less worrying is the fact that some of the testimony published in the article was never presented to the military inquiry committee appointed to investigate the incident. Assuming that the Israel Defense Forces are interested in uncovering the whole truth, this requires the committee to recall all the witnesses to the incident so that it can obtain the full story.

On the day after the incident, which occurred on January 7, Kubovich reported that the meteorological forecast published on the Water Authority's website had warned of flooding in the area. His latest report shows that members of the army Medical Corps had warned both before and during the navigation exercise that conducting it in stormy weather could be dangerous, but they were yelled at and ultimately ignored.


 Chilling report on Israeli soldier's death puts new army chief to the test


Israeli soldier's death in military exercise was preventable, testimonies show

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:35:07

The latest crop of combat soldiers in the Paratroopers Reconnaissance Battalion finished their training course last Thursday and received their fighter's pin at a ceremony at the Kochav Hayarden National Park. Among the parents watching their sons get their pins were Daria and Pinhas Yosefi, parents of Sgt. Evyatar Yosefi, who was killed last month during a navigation exercise in which he drowned while crossing the Hilazon Stream. The Yosefis were called up to receive their son's pin, but neither they nor the soldiers could hide their frustration over what they are calling a tragic blunder.

Testimonies gathered by Haaretz from soldiers, their families, and other sources involved with the exercise indicate that Yosefi's death could have been prevented, and that there were those who had warned the commanders, who refused to listen. Many soldiers were disappointed at how the commanders behaved after Yosefi's death, and believe that there is a concerted attempt to whitewash the incident, which one of the parties said has led to a loss of confidence in the chain of command.

>> Analysis: Chilling report on Israeli soldier's death puts new army chief to the test


 Israeli soldier's death in military exercise was preventable, testimonies show


Southern Israeli council backtracks, says no rocket fired from Gaza

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 21:45:37

Authorities in southern Israel backtracked on Monday evening, saying that no rocket had, in fact, been fired from Gaza.

The Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council earlier said that a projectile had landed without any warning sirens sounding. 

The military also issued a statement, saying that it had not observed any rockets being fired from Gaza. 


 Southern Israeli council backtracks, says no rocket fired from Gaza


Israeli winner of Berlin festival dares culture minister to watch his film

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 21:30:17

Nadav Lapid, creator of the film œSynonyms, which won the Golden Bear prize on Saturday for best film at the Berlin International Film Festival, said at a press conference in Israel that Culture Minister Miri Regev called him recently to express her condolences over his mother's death.

œI really appreciated that, I assume she knew that my mother's opinions were opposed to hers, Lapid said on Sunday. But he didn't spare criticism of Regev's actions as culture minister. œThere's a lot of missed opportunity during her tenure. I'll be very happy if she watches the film from beginning to end and gives her opinion. It's no less interesting to show the films to people with opinions that differ from mine. I'm not afraid of a public uproar and I'm not interested in it.

Lapid's film is the first Israeli work to win the top prize awarded at one of the world's most prestigious film festivals. It was filmed last year in Paris, and tells the story of Yoav (played by Tom Mercier), an Israeli who lands in the French capital and hopes to be saved there from the Israeli craziness. The script is based on Lapid's experiences as an Israeli living in Paris, and he wrote it with his father, Haim Lapid. His late mother, Era Lapid, edited the film until shortly before her death from lung cancer last year. It will be released in Israel on February 28.


 Israeli winner of Berlin festival dares culture minister to watch his film


Days before party ticket deadline, Lapid says merger with Gantz still 'on the table'

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 21:23:59

Negotiations were ongoing Monday between Hosen L'Yisrael chairman Benny Gantz and Gesher head Orli Levi-Abekasis about a potential alliance in the April 9 election, while Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid said merging with Gantz's party was still "on the table."

In talks held just days ahead of Thursday's deadline for submitting party slates, Gantz said he would be willing to give Levi-Abekasis a senior socio-economic portfolio if he becomes part of the next government, whether as prime minister or as a coalition partner. 

Levi-Abekasis, a lawmaker who emphasizes a social-welfare agenda, previously requested the finance portfolio, but Gantz has not yet agreed to promise this.


 Days before party ticket deadline, Lapid says merger with Gantz still 'on the table'


Anti-Semitism was symptom and catalyst of U.K. Labour Party split, not root cause

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 20:05:34

In recent weeks and months, a list has been circulating of five or six angry Labour lawmakers who were planning to leave the party in protest at party leader Jeremy Corbyn's policies. One name was not usually mentioned among them: That of Jewish MP Luciana Berger, who was the target of years of racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic abuse and physical threats much of it from Corbyn loyalists. For various reasons, Berger was not expected to be in the first wave of defections.

But on Monday morning, when the seven members of Parliament who took the plunge gathered for a press conference in London, it was the heavily pregnant Berger opening the event, putting the issue of anti-Semitism front and center.

It was an unprecedented moment in politics. A major party one of the oldest and most influential in the Western world has now split, with anti-Semitism being cited as a main reason. This will have huge implications not just for British Jews but for Jews in left-wing parties everywhere.


 Anti-Semitism was symptom and catalyst of U.K. Labour Party split, not root cause


Israeli conman impersonated an oligarch's son, defrauded women and disappeared

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 19:46:16

The modest apartment in one of the side streets of Bnei Brak, where Shimon Hayut grew up, is light-years away from the private jets, racing cars and luxury hotels in which he has been spending his time in recent years. Hayut, 28, lived the hedonistic life of a millionaire. Not any old millionaire, but supposedly the wayward son of Russian-born diamond mogul Lev Leviev.

To anyone who falls into his web and is tricked by his sharp tongue, Hayut says that he left religion, and that his family showers him with money so he'll stay away from them. That's what he said, for example, to a contractor from Nahariya whom he met at the Etnachta club in Tel Aviv, while he was surrounded by women and ordering drinks for everyone.

Hayut even formally changed his last name to Leviev, so that his driver's license and passport would prove his credibility, says the contractor. Like him, most of those around Hayut are unaware until it's too late that the charming guy is a con man who has now fled to avoid trial in Israel, was formerly imprisoned in Finland and is wanted for fraud in several countries, including Norway and the United Kingdom.


 Israeli conman impersonated an oligarch's son, defrauded women and disappeared


Rashida Tlaib and Benjamin Netanyahu's anti-Zionist alliance

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 18:22:22

I am not that worried about Ilhan Omar and the threat that she may or may not pose to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. In my view, in fact, Omar has gotten more attention than she deserves.

I am far more worried about Rashida Tlaib and Benjamin Netanyahu and the anti-Zionist alliance that the two of them are cooking up.

Does this sound extreme, bizarre, over-the-top? Hear me out. 


 Rashida Tlaib and Benjamin Netanyahu's anti-Zionist alliance


Polish Jewish leaders slam Israeli minister's anti-Semitism remark

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:59:27

Jewish leaders in Poland said Monday that they were offended Israel's acting foreign minister said Poles "suckled anti-Semitism with their mothers' milk."

The leaders issued a statement Monday saying that accusing all Poles of anti-Semitism slighted thousands of Poles honored by Israel's Holocaust memorial center, Yad Vashem, for helping Jews during the Holocaust.

The comment on Sunday by the Israeli minister, Yisrael Katz, led to the scuttling of a meeting of central European leaders in Israel this week.


 Polish Jewish leaders slam Israeli minister's anti-Semitism remark


'I'm 33 years old and I've never been on a plane': The Palestinian photographer at the Gaza border

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:08:08

"I'm 33 years old and I've never been on a plane," says Abdel Zagout, a Palestinian photographer from Gaza. Abdel received a master's degree in media from Al-Aqsa University in 2008 and has since worked as a freelance photojournalist and photography teacher.

It took him five years to complete the project that won him the Red Cross 2018 photography competition. The project, which was photographed for the most part at the Rafah Crossing on Egypt's border with Gaza, presents the lives of young people like him, for whom leaving the Strip is an unattainable dream.

For Abdel, the photos are a way of expressing a psychological situation of desperate isolation, a situation that is a painful reality for him and his friends.


 'I'm 33 years old and I've never been on a plane': The Palestinian photographer at the Gaza border


Why I, an Egyptian woman and author, decided to meet Israel's ambassador

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:18:03

Like all Egyptians, I was raised to hate Israel and Israelis. Egyptians are taught that Israel is an occupying, usurping and colonial state that kills Palestinians and confiscates their lands. For many years, during the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, the headlines of Egyptian newspapers were regularly dedicated to updates about the Palestinian cause. Perhaps the regime was intent on distracting the Egyptian œstreet, engaging the people with issues other than Egypt's growing internal problems.

The result was that Egyptians like myself adopted the Palestinian cause as our own, as if our own personal destiny depended upon it. The overlap between politics and religion made matters even more complicated. Thus, the word œIsraelisœ was replaced with œJewish.

When I was 3, I spent a year in a small Cairo synagogue that had been nationalized during the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser and turned into a nursery for children. But I did not know any Jew, Egyptian or non-Egyptian. I knew that Jews existed in Egypt like singer Laila Mourad, actresses Najwa Salem and Najma Ibrahim, among others but to me they were Egyptian. I heard about the Jewish neighborhood located in the heart of Cairo, Harat al-Yahud, and I saw its big synagogues from afar. I didn't know how Jews looked or how they speak.


 Why I, an Egyptian woman and author, decided to meet Israel's ambassador


Tzipi Livni quits politics as polls show plummeting support

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:17:00

Lawmaker Tzipi Livni announced Monday she is retiring from politics and that her party, Hatnuah, won't run in the April 9 election in order to prevent the center-left bloc from losing votes.

"Recent years have been particularly difficult for me," Livni said in a press conference Monday, adding she has operated her entire political career according to a belief that "separating from the Palestinians is crucial in order to preserve the State of Israel."

Livni said that recently, the word peace has become a vulgarity in Israel and that she has had to pay a price for her beliefs.


 Tzipi Livni quits politics as polls show plummeting support


Yemen's warring sides agree to mutual pullout in key port city of Hodeida

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:40:09

Yemen's warring parties have agreed on the first stage of a mutual pullout of forces from the key port city of Hodeida, a humanitarian aid lifeline that had been blocked by fighting, the United Nations said.

A UN statement late Sunday said the agreement by a committee ” which includes members of Yemen's internationally recognized government and their adversaries, the Shiite Houthi rebels ” came after two days of meeting behind the Hodeida front line.

The warring sides agreed in Sweden in December to confidence-building measures, including a cease-fire in Hodeida and the exchange of thousands of prisoners. But the implementation of those deals has been slow and marred by violence.


 Yemen's warring sides agree to mutual pullout in key port city of Hodeida


Iran arrests militants linked to suicide bombing near Pakistan border

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:27:40

Revolutionary Guards have broken up a group of militants in southeast Iran who were linked to a suicide bombing that killed 27 guards near the border with Pakistan last week, the Corps said on Monday.

"Last night, a terrorist cell was identified and destroyed in an operation," the Corps said in a statement carried by the semi-official Tasnim news agency. 

Three militants were arrested and explosive material was seized from houses in the cities of Saravan and Khash, it said.


 Iran arrests militants linked to suicide bombing near Pakistan border


The Arab world just trashed Trump's Mideast 'peace' plan

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:05:38

U.S. officials have been trying to portray the Warsaw Conference as a success for their plans; the concrete results are far from that. Just as with other aspects of foreign policy under the Trump administration, its emissaries have exaggerated its results. One of their goals was to marginalize Palestine from the Arab discourse - and that became their biggest failure.

We cannot separate the Warsaw Conference from the so-called "deal of the century." While embracing the Israeli narrative and policies, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps that under no criteria correspond to those of a mediator, facilitator or a broker.

Violating UN resolutions in order to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, defunding UNRWA, normalizing the presence of Israeli settlements, punishing Palestinian hospitals and students as well as regularly attacking Palestinians, are only contributing to maintaining Israel's colonization of Palestine - and not to peace. This is what the Trump "initiative" is all about.


 The Arab world just trashed Trump's Mideast 'peace' plan


Seven Labour Party lawmakers quit over 'institutional anti-Semitism'

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:52:41

Seven British lawmakers say they are quitting the main opposition Labour Party over its approach to issues including Brexit and anti-Semitism.

Many Labour lawmakers are unhappy with the party's direction under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who took charge in 2015 with strong grass-roots backing.

They accuse him of mounting a weak opposition to the Conservative government's plans for leaving the European Union, and of failing to stamp out a vein of anti-Jewish prejudice in the party.


 Seven Labour Party lawmakers quit over 'institutional anti-Semitism'


Visegrad summit in Israel canceled after Poland pulls out over Holocaust row

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:46:07

The Visegrad summit in Israel has been canceled after Poland pulled out over Israeli remarks regarding Polish complicity in the Holocaust, with Hungarian, Czech and Slovak leaders arriving in Israel for bilateral meetings instead.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters that Israel's interim Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz's remarks were "racist and unacceptable" and that "this is not something that can be left without a response."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Katz as interim foreign minister on Sunday. The same day, in an interview to Israel's i24 News Katz said: "I am the son of Holocaust survivors, we will never forgive and never forget, and there were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis."


 Visegrad summit in Israel canceled after Poland pulls out over Holocaust row






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Informed Comment - Juan Cole
Juan Cole er professor i historie og leder for Global Americana Institute.
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