Forsiden          Newsfeed          Slang-ordbok          Søk i NIFS arkiv     














         
Ha'aretz
Tid: Thu, 22.08-2019 8:41 Lokal fil generert: Thu, 22.08-2019 8:18
Artikler hentet: 101 Fil: RSS Feed Ha'aretz
Feed rate: 45 minutter Feed er:


Israel strikes Hamas posts overnight after rockets launched from Gaza

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:20:58

The Israeli military said it carried airstrikes in several locations in Gaza on  Wednesday overnight, including a Hamas naval post in the northern Strip, in response to a rocket launched from the Strip.

Shortly after the air force strike, a second projectile was launched at Israel, and the Israeli military said it responded again with airstrikes against Hamas targets.

This is the third case of projectile fire from Gaza in less than a week; the tit-for-tat exchange has shattered weeks of a tense calm along the volatile Gaza-Israel border.


 Israel strikes Hamas posts overnight after rockets launched from Gaza


Amazon gives sellers terms for Israeli launch

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 06:31:01

Amazon took another step toward launching a sales presence in Israel Wednesday, when it sent a letter in Hebrew to its Israeli sellers inviting them to sell from Israel and reach millions of new customers.

The email, headed Amazon Service, stated, œCurrently there are 300 million active customers around the world. Sell from Israel and reach millions of new customers.

The email included instructions for sellers detailing pickup, packaging, shipment and customer service. Customers must receive packages within five days, the company stated, and they prefer that shipping be free, it added.


 Amazon gives sellers terms for Israeli launch


Jewish residents allege illegal construction by neighboring Arab town, in bid to keep it at a distance

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 06:20:42

Residents of the Jewish town of Katzir sent planning authorities information on what they claim is illegal construction in the neighboring Arab town of Arara, in an attempt to foil a development plan that would bring Arara closer to Katzir's borders.

Last week, the Wadi Ara region found out that the National Planning Authority was advancing a massive program to expand Arara by 4,000 housing units, and that the authority planned to expedite it.

The news was received happily in Arara, but with dismay in neighboring Katzir.


 Jewish residents allege illegal construction by neighboring Arab town, in bid to keep it at a distance


The forgotten occupation

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 06:10:38

This election looks as though someone finally gave up and decided to unveil the mechanism that activates elections in Israel, revealing them in their nakedness. We are preoccupied with who will split from whom, who signed a surplus votes agreement with whom and who will recommend whom, and after all the above there is no room left for policy.

About two week ago Dvir Sorek from the settlement of Ofra was murdered, and a brother and sister were seriously wounded in a hit-and-run attack in Gush Etzion, like reminders of the bombs beneath the surface. But even the loss of life failed to cause those who are asking for the public's trust to speak for a moment about life. Instead we got the usual clichés. There is no better proof that if it depends on the prime ministerial candidates, Sorek's murder won't be the last.

œWe will continue to put down roots and we will continue to fight, whenever that is necessary, and to my regret it is necessary, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If he had even a gram of honesty left, he would remind the family that he is the one who promised that we will live by the sword, and Dvir was only the latest victim of this promise. œDvir is the ˜silver platter' of the status quo, he would say to them. œOthers will follow.


 The forgotten occupation


Israeli company fined for paying Palestinian workers 9 shekels an hour

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:32:18

The Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court fined a manufacturer 507,000 shekels ($144,000) for paying its Palestinian workers as little as 9 shekels ($2.55) an hour, and for obstructing a labor inspector.

Minimum wage is currently 29 shekels an hour.

Yahalom Cleaning Materials Industries imports, exports and sells cleaning materials, and operates in the Karnei Shomron industrial zone, across the Green Line. The Labor and Social Affairs Ministry investigation found that the company employed 10 Palestinian workers at less than minimum wage. Some of the workers were getting only 9 shekels an hour for over a decade.


 Israeli company fined for paying Palestinian workers 9 shekels an hour


Israel hired Black Cube, allowing spy firm to operate out of military intel base

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:18:28

Corporate espionage company Black Cube was hired by Israel's Defense Ministry in order to work on intelligence projects, the IDF spokesman and the Defense Ministry spokesman have acknowledged.

The company, which has been at the center of several international scandals, spied on Israel's government on behalf of other private customers, according to various news reports.

The ministry worked with the company between 2012 and 2014, it acknowledged. During that period, Black Cube employees were placed full-time on an IDF intelligence base.


 Israel hired Black Cube, allowing spy firm to operate out of military intel base


Man freed after killing his rapist ordered back to jail for a year on parole violation

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 02:41:08

A parole board on Wednesday ordered Yonatan Heilo returned to prison for a year for violating the conditions of his parole. Heilo won early release last year after serving more than eight years in prison for killing a man he said had raped him. Heilo is expected to appeal the decision to the  district court.

œWe suggested to him that he use his time in prison to participate in appropriate treatment frameworks, Judge Shlomo Izacksohn, who serves on the parole board at Hasharon Prison, wrote in the decision.

The parole board was convened after the State Prosecutor's Office requested that Heilo be returned to prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence.


 Man freed after killing his rapist ordered back to jail for a year on parole violation


Extortion under the rabbinate's aegis

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 02:35:55

The president of Israel's rabbinical courts, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, issued an unprecedented order Tuesday: not to bury a woman because her son has for 15 years refused to give his wife a divorce. œWhen all other options were exhausted, we had to inform the burial society not to bury the mother until the son provides a kosher divorce, Lau explained.

The problem of agunas, literally œchained women ” who are unable to obtain a Jewish divorce and thereforce cannot remarry ” is serious, and an active, intensive effort must be made to solve it. Nevertheless, extortion cannot be one of the methods used to do so. Moreover, after the mother was buried, the son retracted his consent to the divorce in any case according to Lau's office.

Delaying burial as a means of extortion is a violation of the deceased's right to be buried, a right that derives from the right to human dignity. Even in Israel, where burials are usually conducted by religious organizations, the rabbinical court does not and must not have the right to use this as a means of extortion not even to free a woman from the intolerable situation of being unable to get a divorce.


 Extortion under the rabbinate's aegis


Fed up with Trump, fed up with Israel

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 02:34:34

Our tweeter-in-chief's call to another country to sanction his domestic political foes (and our duly elected representatives) is a business that we, as Americans, strongly and uniformly condemn as anti-American, against constitutional free speech, and a path down which we never want to tread.

Fact is, in Trump's world everything he touches creates an unstable whirlwind of bad decisions that are then amended or reversed after public anger and outcry. People can't keep living like this.

In an explicit act of crushing dissent, Trump urged that two law-abiding members of Congress, who are Muslim women of color and his outspoken critics, be barred from entering Israel. But the irony is that just a few days before, Trump bent over backwards to bully Sweden to release ASAP Rocky, a famous rapper who was rightfully arrested and in no danger, because Kim Kardashian and Kanye West asked him to intervene!


 Fed up with Trump, fed up with Israel


American Jewry's misplaced loyalty

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 01:55:34

Donald Trump is right: The Jews really are disloyal. Donald Trump is wrong: Most of them are loyal to the wrong values.

When the president of the United States describes most American Jews, who vote Democratic, as showing œeither a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, it is not clear if he means their loyalty to their country or people, to the United States or to Israel. One can assume he meant to say that those who vote for the party of congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are not loyal to Israel, the Jews and America.

But sadly, only a very few American Jews support the two congresswomen's positions. This is their lack of loyalty: Disloyalty to the principles of justice and morality, the traditional liberal spirit of the Jews in the United States, and also a lack of loyalty to the interests of their country, which are the opposite of what Trump intended. American Jews, in their support or in their silence, in blindness or ignorance, are more loyal to the Israeli occupation than any other value.


 American Jewry's misplaced loyalty


Israel agrees on trade deal with South Korea that excludes West Bank, East Jerusalem, Golan

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 01:54:13

Israel and South Korea announced on Wednesday that they have completed negotiations on a free trade agreement. The pact will remove duties on some of the items traded between the two countries, but will not apply to East Jeusalem, the West Bank or the Golan Heights, areas beyond the country's 1967 borders.

As part of the agreement, Israel will rescind the 7% import duty on cars from South Korea, as well as the 12% import duty on refrigerators, consoles and video games, and machines for industry.

The Economy Ministry stated that as it does with exports to Europe, the state would offset the cost of customs duties that affect exporters from locations beyond the 1967 lines.


 Israel agrees on trade deal with South Korea that excludes West Bank, East Jerusalem, Golan


Judaism hasn't learned anything

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 01:53:17

To paraphrase Benjamin Netanyahu's deathless slogan œThey've forgotten what it means to be Jewish, one might say, following the deportation of a family from the Philippines, that perhaps we should forget what it means to be Jewish. If this is Judaism, and if the Jewish state is acting according to Jewish values, then it follows that the Jews haven't learned anything not from refugeehood and persecution, and not from everything that humanity takes pride in when it compares itself to the other species with which it shares the planet.

I'll never give up on comparing the holocaust of animals to œour sacred Holocaust. I'll never get tired of trying to prove the degree to which the metaphor œlike sheep to the slaughter isn't a metaphor, but rather an expression of equivalency. Suffering and murder are the same for animals as they are for humans. But to my great regret, I have learned that getting others past the barrier of identifying with the suffering of creatures different from themselves (though only at first glance, when it comes to suffering and death) is a task crueler than death.

For most people, it's incomparably easier to identify with members of their own species. But here, in the state of the Jews, which was ostensibly founded on lofty human values rooted in the Torah and the prophets, that isn't self-evident. It turns out that in the Jewish state, identification with others is solely only the basis of race. The only persecuted people who count are persecuted Jews (where exactly?). The only refugees who count are Jewish refugees (again, where exactly?).


 Judaism hasn't learned anything


Israeli High Court slams Justice Minister Amir Ohana over bid to replace director general

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 01:44:20

The appointment of a new ministry director general by a transitional government contradicts both Supreme Court rulings and the attorney general's orders, Justice Menachem Mazuz said on Wednesday.

He was speaking during a High Court of Justice hearing on a petition against Justice Minister Amir Ohana's decision to fire his ministry's director general, Emi Palmor, and replace her with Ophir Cohen. On Sunday, the court froze Cohen's appointment until it issues a final ruling.

œOn the face of it, this appointment violates the attorney general's instructions, and it's a direct violation of Supreme Court rulings, Mazuz said.


 Israeli High Court slams Justice Minister Amir Ohana over bid to replace director general


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 23:42:28

 Haaretz Cartoon


'We can't do it alone': Arab slate launches campaign to win over Jewish votes

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 23:00:54

Virtually the entire leadership of Israel's Arab-majority parties' Joint List crowded into a packed space in Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood Tuesday evening. Several dozen sweaty guests and activists surrounded the dais. They had come to launch a new campaign to get Jews to vote for the Joint List.

The event was held under the slogan œA joint struggle, a joint future. In an unusual move, all the speakers were asked to speak in Hebrew. Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh was in an excellent mood. He wandered through the crowd, waving his arms, hugging everyone who crossed his path. 

He estimated that in April's election, when the four parties comprising the Joint List split up and ran on two separate tickets, they attracted some 8,000 Jewish voters combined. But in a recent poll, he claimed, the number of Jews who said they planned to vote for the Joint List jumped to at least one Knesset seat's worth the equivalent of 140,000 voters. Now, he is seeking to increase the party's Jewish support to two or three Knesset seats.


 'We can't do it alone': Arab slate launches campaign to win over Jewish votes


Scientists discover previously unknown species of horseshoe bats

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 22:32:07

The world might think that one was quite enough. But there are evidently more than 100 species of horseshoe bat, science announced on Wednesday, unveiling the previously unsuspected existence of another 12 species of the insectivorous aviating mammals in East Africa.

In other words, the bats in East Africa had been known, but the fact that they weren't the same bat was news to the world.

œWe found a lot more species than we thought were there, said Bruce Patterson, curator of mammals at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.


 Scientists discover previously unknown species of horseshoe bats


After Trump 'disloyalty' remark, Israeli president tells Pelosi Israel must not become partisan issue

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 21:59:00

WASHINGTON - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Wednesday to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, stressing to her the importance of keeping American support for Israel a nonpartisan issue.

The phone call took place against the backdrop of U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial remarks earlier this week, in which he called American Jews who vote for Democrats "disloyal." 

Trump later made it clear he meant such Jews are both disloyal to their people and "very disloyal to Israel."


 After Trump 'disloyalty' remark, Israeli president tells Pelosi Israel must not become partisan issue


Iran to unveil locally developed air defense missile system, State TV says

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:54:19

Iran's state TV is reporting that the country will unveil an Iran-made air-defense missile system.

The Wednesday report says the Bavar-373 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons. It was set to be unveiled Thursday.

The system could be a competitor to Russia's S-300 missile system.


 Iran to unveil locally developed air defense missile system, State TV says


Trump's vile 'disloyalty' smear reflects fury over broken promise of Jewish reward for backing Israel

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:19:41

The allegation that Jews are inherently œdisloyal is a basic building block of anti-Semitism. It has served Jew-baiters since the dawn of civilization, when Pharaoh worried in the Book of Exodus that his Hebrew slaves œmay join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground.

Incitement against disloyal Jews fueled the first pogrom in Alexandria in the first century C.E. It has remained a potent mainstay of Jew-haters throughout 2,000 years of Jewish exile and persecution, taking center stage in the Dreyfus affair, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the lethal Nazi battle cry against a Jewish œknife in the back.

When Jews are accused of œdisloyalty, their ancient genes, evolved over generations of suffering, send alarm bells ringing to warn of an impending calamity. When the disloyalty trope is voiced by the president of the United States, ostensibly the most powerful man alive, the shockwaves jolting American Jews are immeasurably stronger. Their anxiety reaches fever pitch, despite -- or possibly because -- it is the most vibrant and successful diaspora in Jewish history.


 Trump's vile 'disloyalty' smear reflects fury over broken promise of Jewish reward for backing Israel


Trump, 'King of Israel,' makes U.S. Jews not only traitors, but apostates, too

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:47:09

Ever since U.S. President Donald Trump made Tuesday his stunning charge that the about 80% of American Jews who vote Democrat are "disloyal," his assertion has been analyzed, discussed and parsed more thoroughly than any page of Talmud or portion of the Torah. 

Trump's precise and rather ungrammatical quote, speaking in the Oval Office during an official meeting with Romania's president, was: "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat it either shows total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Jewish organizations were quick to condemn the president's statement, which also inspired the trending hashtag on social media #DisloyaltytoTrump. It came at the end of a tirade against Trump's favorite nemeses of the moment, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, in which he delivered one of his favorite talking points, tying the whole of the Democratic Party to their position on Israel and the Jewish faith to support for the Israeli government.


 Trump, 'King of Israel,' makes U.S. Jews not only traitors, but apostates, too


'Like the King of Israel': Trump unleashes bizarre Twitter storm day after 'disloyal' Jews comment

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:25:06

UPDATE: Trump makes it clear he meant Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal to Israel' 

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a series of bizarre Wednesday morning tweets, quoted praise from a conservative radio host who referred to him as the "King of Israel" and renewed his attacks on Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

The Twitter storm follows Trump's latest controversy on Tuesday when he claimed that American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show œeither a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.


 'Like the King of Israel': Trump unleashes bizarre Twitter storm day after 'disloyal' Jews comment


Trump makes it clear he meant Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal to Israel'

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:18:29

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that by voting for a Democrat, "you're being disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel," elaborating on his controversial comments that any Jew who votes for the Democratic Party is either uninformed or disloyal.

This follows a series of morning tweets, in which Trump quoted praise from a conservative radio host who referred to him as the "King of Israel" and renewed his attacks on Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

The Twitter storm follows Trump's latest controversy on Tuesday when he claimed that American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show œeither a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.


 Trump makes it clear he meant Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal to Israel'


Trump, Maduro confirm secret talks as opposition stays mum

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:54:44

As President Donald Trump and Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolás Maduro confirmed secret talks between their governments, one key player appeared to be left on the sidelines: The opposition.

Comments by both the U.S. and Venezuelan presidents on Tuesday each revealed that high-level officials in their respective administrations have been meeting about ending the South American nation's deepening crisis.

But neither mentioned anything about opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who the United States and more than 50 other nations recognize as Venezuela's rightful president.


 Trump, Maduro confirm secret talks as opposition stays mum


U.S. acknowledges ISIS rebounding as troops reportedly shuttled in and out of Syria

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:36:23

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Tuesday that Islamic State militants are gaining strength in some areas but said the militant group's capacity to conduct attacks has been greatly diminished.

"It's complicated. There are certainly places where ISIS is more powerful today than they were three or four years ago," Pompeo said in an interview with CBS "This Morning." But he said the group's self-proclaimed caliphate is gone and its attack capability has been made much more difficult.

Pompeo was asked about a New York Times report that the Islamic militant group was gaining new strength in Iraq and Syria. The report detailed how the U.S. is shuttling troops in and out of the country to ensure the military doesn't exceed Trump's 1,000-troop cap he put on deployments to Syria.


 U.S. acknowledges ISIS rebounding as troops reportedly shuttled in and out of Syria


Trump has made it official: He is the greatest anti-Semite of our age

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:26:14

If you're a Jew, you know it the nanosecond you hear it. Anti-Semitism. The real deal.

You can't help it. You carry the sensors for Jew-hate around with you the alarm receptors are built into your every cell, coiled into your mitochondria, twist-tied into your DNA. Trip-wires to alert you to the Nazi-worshipper, the Grand Inquisitor, the Klansman, the Christ-avenger.

It all comes down to what you decide to do with the information.


 Trump has made it official: He is the greatest anti-Semite of our age


Iran-backed militias: Israeli drones operating as part of U.S. fleet in Iraq

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:05:55

Iran-backed militias in Iraq have said they hold the United States responsible for a series of attacks targeting militia bases across the country.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the deputy head of the militias known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, says the group has accurate information that shows the U.S. brought in four Israeli drones this year to work as part of the U.S. fleet in Iraq and target militia positions in Iraq.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis says the PMF will from now on use "all means at its disposal to deter and prevent such attacks on our positions."


 Iran-backed militias: Israeli drones operating as part of U.S. fleet in Iraq


Skyfall explosion: Doomsday weapon accident shows limits of Putin's dangerous ambitions

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:34:55

It took Vladimir Putin 11 days to utter any public statement about the disaster that occurred on August 8 off the White Sea coast, where an explosion during a missile test killed seven Russian nuclear scientists. The president's remarks came only when he had no way of avoiding questions from international media during his Monday meeting with France's President Emmanuel Macron.

"There's no threat there," Putin assured the reporters, "and no increase in the background" radiation. All that was happening, he said, were "preventative measures being taken so that there aren't any surprises." The casualties were carrying out the "most important national tasks" and would all receive medals, he promised. As always, military failures are covered up with medals.

Some media outlets have dubbed the mysterious explosion "Putin's Chernobyl," drawing comparisons to the 1986 nuclear disaster in a Soviet reactor, which the Kremlin had denied and tried to conceal while tens of thousands remained exposed to radiation. Clearly, the two incidents are in no way comparable in scale, but there certainly are some similarities the secrecy, the cover-up and the levels of safety and security which show that even today, nearly three decades after the Soviet Union's demise, Russia has yet to kick its old habits.


 Skyfall explosion: Doomsday weapon accident shows limits of Putin's dangerous ambitions


Miracle of the Multiplication mosaic found on ˜wrong' side of Sea of Galilee

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:31:39

A crowded mosaic on the floor of an early Christian church overlooking the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel apparently depicts the Miracle of the Multiplication, in which Jesus fed a multitude of 5,000 followers with just five loaves of bread and two fish.

Going by Byzantine standards, the floor art in the so-called Burnt Church in Hippos-Sussita is of mediocre workmanship with regard to both the mosaic tiles and the scenery depicted, acknowledge the archaeologists excavating the site. But standing amid the ruins on the windswept hilltop, there is a palpable sense of the early followers of Christ, who worshipped here with a view of almost all of Gennesaret, today called Lake Kinneret.

œLooking down, they must have thought of the miracles and works of Jesus around the lake just below, says Dr. Michael Eisenberg, co-director of the Hippos-Sussita excavation together with Arleta Kowalewska, both of the Zinman Institute Archaeology at Haifa University.


 Miracle of the Multiplication mosaic found on ˜wrong' side of Sea of Galilee


FACT CHECK: No, Pakistan is not holding an Israeli pilot and Haaretz did not ask for his return

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:27:03

A fake image of Haaretz's frontpage with the headline œPakistan should return our pilot is the latest in a series of doctored Israeli newspaper headlines pushing a fake news story alleging that an Israeli pilot was arrested in Pakistan.

In late February, Pakistan shot down an Indian fighter jet and released the pilot days later in March. However, conspiracy theories, fueled by mainstream media and politicians, falsely claimed an Israeli pilot was captured as well.

Read more: 'Israelis led India's airstrikes': In Pakistan, the Hindu-Zionist conspiracy theory takes a wild turn


 FACT CHECK: No, Pakistan is not holding an Israeli pilot and Haaretz did not ask for his return


Syrian activists: Airstrikes hit hospital in rebel village

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:20:13

Airstrikes hit a hospital in a rebel-held village in northwestern Syria, knocking it out of service early on Wednesday, opposition activists said as government forces pressed their offensive on the last major rebel stronghold in the war-torn country.

There was no immediate word on casualties from the airstrike on the Rahma hospital in Tel Mannas, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Thiqa news agency, an activist collective.

Read more: Tens of thousands flee Russian-led onslaught on Syria's Idlib | Syrian crisis: Russia, Turkey and Assad do battle in Idlib with millions of lives hanging in the balance


 Syrian activists: Airstrikes hit hospital in rebel village


Syrian crisis: Russia, Turkey and Assad do battle in Idlib with millions of lives hanging in the balance

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:02:42

In the long-running Syrian civil war, now in its ninth year, the northwestern region ” where Turkish, Russian, U.S. and Iranian interests are at stake ” has taken center stage in the conflict.

An all-out offensive by Syrian government forces to capture Idlib in northwestern Syria from insurgents could yet unleash an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, for the area is home to 3 million people.

Ten of thousands of people have fled to the Turkish border in the last few days as the Syrian army pushed a major advance further into the opposition's last major stronghold, residents, rights groups and opposition sources said on Wednesday.


 Syrian crisis: Russia, Turkey and Assad do battle in Idlib with millions of lives hanging in the balance


Tens of thousands flee Russian-led onslaught on Syria's Idlib

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:33:21

Ten of thousands of people have fled to the Turkish border in the last few days as the Syrian army pushed a major advance further into the opposition's last major stronghold, residents, rights groups and opposition sources said on Wednesday.

They left Maarat al-Numan, a main city in Idlib province that has been a sanctuary for families fleeing former rebel areas, as a Russian-led campaign has come close to capturing the strategic town of Khan Sheikhoun further to the south.

"The flow of cars and vehicles leaving is not stopping," said Abdullah Younis from the city. Rescuers there said around 60,000 people had fled in the last four days alone.


 Tens of thousands flee Russian-led onslaught on Syria's Idlib


Putin not putting 'Russia first'

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:27:00

Russia's political reality in the years following the 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula echoes in many ways the atmosphere that prevailed during the Cold War era, with tensions boiling to a point of no return behind closed doors. 

Dissent is gradually building in Moscow, even though it might appear to be a political monolith, unabashedly supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin's notions of realpolitik and the end of liberalism. 

Five years before U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed Russian operatives' coordinated attack on the American political system, the Kremlin's vision of relations with the West was different. Although Russia did not miss a chance to challenge the post-Cold War order and unleash diatribes, few there truly wanted to break up with the West.  


 Putin not putting 'Russia first'


Israeli Arab city disinvites rapper over 'unacceptable' messages of social equality

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:14:11

Renowned Arab rapper Tamer Nafar's planned concert in the northern Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm has been cancelled over what the municipality said Tuesday was inappropriate content in his songs, which are "not in keeping with what is acceptable from a religious, moral, educational and cultural perspective."

Nafar, who defines himself as a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the central city of Lod, is considered a controversial figure for his unwavering stance on the rights of Palestinians and gender equality. His songs, the Umm al-Fahm municipality's statement said, "contain expressions, concepts and ideas that are not in keeping with our cultural and social atmosphere."

>> Read more: Local rap star urges Arabs to vote in Israeli election 'or end up outside the homeland'


 Israeli Arab city disinvites rapper over 'unacceptable' messages of social equality


This queer Palestinian singer fights online homophobia and real life occupation

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:05:17

In March, about two months before the Eurovision Song Contest, members of the Icelandic band Hatari contacted Palestinian singer Bashar Murad. œThey wanted to meet Palestinian artists and see a different perspective, Murad says. œWe met on Skype, we started talking and then we decided to do a collaboration together. ¦ Then they came in April to film the ˜postcards' . The next day they met me in Jericho, in the desert. There they filmed the video for the song œKlefi / Samed.

The Icelandic industrial punk band, which entered the Eurovision stage screaming and wearing black outfits reminiscent of sadomasochist clubs, stirred up interest even before the contest, when its members invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an Icelandic fistfight   to the delight of the media, which was happy to disseminate the taunt. They threatened a pro-Palestinian protest onstage, in contradiction of the contest rules, which forbid promotion of political causes, but many viewers were still surprised when they raised Palestinian flags at the end of their last performace. Murad was not one of them.

œI knew they were going to do something, but I wasn't sure exactly, he says. œAnd my whole agreement to collaborate with them was if they did something. That's how I discovered them, I read articles about them saying that they were going to make a statement, and this is why I agreed to talk to them. ¦ Something needed to happen in the final broadcast.


 This queer Palestinian singer fights online homophobia and real life occupation


Sanders responds to Trump: I intend to vote for a Jewish Democrat to be the next president

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:47:12

U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's comment Tuesday that Jews who vote for Democrats are showing a "lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." 

œI am a proud Jewish person, and I have no concerns about voting Democratic, Sanders told a cheering crowd while campaigning in Sioux City, Iowa.

œAnd in fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States, he added.


 Sanders responds to Trump: I intend to vote for a Jewish Democrat to be the next president


'Arabs=Enemies' scrawled on wall in suspected West Bank hate crime

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:41:02

Hateful graffiti was scrawled and five vehicles were vandalized overnight Tuesday in the West Bank Palestinian town of Haris.

Graffiti reading "Arabs=Enemies," and "The solution to terror attacks is expulsion or death to Arabs," was spray-painted on walls of buildings in Haris. Vandals slashed the tires of five vehicles in the town.

The police launched an investigation into the incident.


 'Arabs=Enemies' scrawled on wall in suspected West Bank hate crime


Democrats take aim at Israel's U.S. ambassador for the Tlaib-Omar fiasco

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:37:53

Israel's ambassador to the U.S. is done in the House, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel may not be far behind.

Multiple Democrats told The Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Ron Dermer's role in the banning of two congresswoman from visiting Israel means he will never get a meeting in a Democratic office again.

Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, was never beloved among Democrats on the Hill. One reason: He was a Republican operative in the 1990s for a short period. A bigger reason was his role in organizing the speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress in 2015 blasting then-President Barack Obama's Iran policy.


 Democrats take aim at Israel's U.S. ambassador for the Tlaib-Omar fiasco


Iran-backed Houthis shot down U.S. drone over Yemen

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:24:17

A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen's Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday, the second such incident in recent months.

A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defenses had brought down a U.S. drone. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.

This is not the first time a U.S. drone has been shot down in Yemen. In June, the U.S. military said that Houthi rebels had shot down a U.S. government-operated drone with assistance from Iran. 


 Iran-backed Houthis shot down U.S. drone over Yemen


Netanyhau's Likud joins Kahanists' campaign against Arab party

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:54:31

Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party  filed a joint appeal on Tuesday with the Supreme Court against the Central Election Committee's decision to allow the Arab-majority Joint List to run in the September 17 election.

The appeal was joined by members of that very committee who belong to Likud.

Last week Otzma Yehudit petitioned the Central Election Committee against the Joint List, ostensibly presenting evidence that the Arab lawmakers support terrorism.


 Netanyhau's Likud joins Kahanists' campaign against Arab party


On Trump and Iran, the UAE shifts strategy ” and Israel should take heed

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:40:18

Israel has long hinted about its quiet ties with Arab Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as their common struggle to contain Iran and steadfast alliance with the United States have opened doors for cooperation on security issues. 

But recent fractures in both those alliances ” between the UAE and Saudi Arabia regarding Yemen, and the UAE and the United States facing the threat posed by Iran ” challenge the mutual interests on which their budding security relationship was founded. 

>> Read more: Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE -  Trump's Gulf standoff is chipping away at the Arab anti-Iran alliance 


 On Trump and Iran, the UAE shifts strategy ” and Israel should take heed


With new rules, Israeli police confirm they can't handle legitimate protest

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:19:58

The government ruling Israel at this time does not enjoy the confidence of the current Knesset (the one that committed suicide by voting to dissolve itself). It rules only because the country cannot exist without some sort of government. This means that it should only do what is absolutely necessary to maintain the current situation.

And yet, reactionary initiatives are popping up on all sides, in the spirit of the erosion of basic fundamental and liberal values from which we have been suffering in recent years.

The interior minister, whose moral authority is lacking, allows himself to Judaize the state by expelling a few hundred non-Jews Filipino children born in Israel, educated in our schools and Israelis for all intents and purposes, along with their mothers who faithfully served our elderly and sick. A hasty and strange process of replacing the director general took place in the Justice Ministry and the Civil Service Commission, lacking any germane justification (except catch as catch can). The attorney general hastily considered whether to allow gender separation over and above that which the government had already approved.


 With new rules, Israeli police confirm they can't handle legitimate protest


West Bank violence could erupt before Israeli election, security officials believe

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:44:00

Israel's debate about security on the eve of the election has focused on what's happening near the Gaza border. Repeated rocket launches from Gaza have led to criticism from both the right and the left about what they call the Netanyahu government's policy of appeasing Hamas.

When the rockets were recently joined by a series of cross-border infiltration attempts, the criticism intensified. And the prime minister's promise during a visit to Ukraine that his response to these events won't be influenced by electoral considerations isn't really convincing.

But Netanyahu's greatest security challenge in the near future may actually lie in the other Palestinian theater, the West Bank. And in this case, his policies have made a significant contribution to the mess.


 West Bank violence could erupt before Israeli election, security officials believe


Responding to U.S. threats, Greece refuses to aid Iranian tanker

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:29:35

Greece will not facilitate Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 sailing in the Mediterranean to deliver oil to Syria, the country's deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"We want to send a message that we are not willing to facilitate the course of this ship to Syria," Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told Greece's ANT1 television. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Tuesday that the United States would take every action it could to prevent the Iranian tanker from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of U.S. sanctions.


 Responding to U.S. threats, Greece refuses to aid Iranian tanker


Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:11:49

For the past few weeks an innocent-looking white executive jet has been taking off from the Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, cruising for hours in the airspace above the Persian Gulf. A much closer look is needed to notice the unique protrusions on its belly, tail and back. This is not an ordinary executive jet, but an advanced surveillance aircraft owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose purpose is to gather electronic intelligence and one of its targets is Iran.

The sight of the surveillance plane that recently began trial flights marks the last stages of a secret mega deal that began about a decade ago, and whose connection to Israel was unknown until now. A Haaretz investigation reveals that the person behind the supply of the planes is Israeli businessman and entrepreneur Matanya œMati Kochavi.

Documents obtained by Haaretz, some of them originating in the huge Paradise Papers leak by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2017, reveal that the deal involved total payments of about 3 billion shekels ($846 million according to the current exchange rate). The documents note that at least part of this sum was paid for in cash, and they name UAE leaders as being connected to one of the companies involved in the transaction.


 Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE


Israeli city subjects school registration of asylum seekers' children to home visits

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:04:12

An Israeli city is making the registration of asylum seekers' children in the municipal school system subject to home visits and documentation by inspectors, ostensibly to ensure that the families are indeed Petah Tikva residents.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Law and Educational Policy Legal Clinic at the University of Haifa wrote a letter to Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg on Tuesday, demanding that he order city workers to halt this practice.

According to the letter, the municipality demanded to visit the homes of dozens of asylum seekers and photograph their interiors.


 Israeli city subjects school registration of asylum seekers' children to home visits


Jewish groups rebuke Trump over claim that U.S. Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal'

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:52:33

WASHINGTON ” Prominent Jewish American organizations denounced President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his statement that Jews who don't vote for him and his party are showing œignorance and œgreat disloyalty.

Several large organizations ” including some that came out against Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib in the controversy surrounding their nixed visit to Israel and the West Bank ” condemned Trump's remarks.  

œEnough Mr. President. American Jews like all Americans have a range of political views. Your assessment of their knowledge or loyalty, based on their party preference, is divisive, disrespectful, and unwelcome. Please stop, the American Jewish Committee wrote in a direct plea to Trump.


 Jewish groups rebuke Trump over claim that U.S. Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal'


Sudan protesters, army announce new ruling body after signing power-sharing deal

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:28:00

Sudan's pro-democracy movement and the army announced a joint ruling body on Tuesday, formally disbanding the military council that took power after the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April.

The new, 11-member body ” called the Sovereign Council ” is to rule Sudan for a little over three years until elections can be held. An announcement about the council was delayed by two days because of last-minute, internal disputes over the opposition appointees.

The military and protest leaders signed the final power-sharing deal Saturday, following pressure from the United States and its Arab allies, amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a civil war.


 Sudan protesters, army announce new ruling body after signing power-sharing deal


Australia says it will join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 07:49:54

Australia will join the United States in a coalition of countries protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from threats posed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months after a series of Iranian attacks on international merchant vessels and the seizure of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway through which almost a fifth of the world's oil passes.

"This destabilizing behavior is a threat to Australia's interests in the region," Morrison told a news conference in Canberra.


 Australia says it will join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:52:30

 Haaretz Cartoon


Why should an Israeli Arab vote?

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:42:57

As a crude generalization, one could say that democracy rests on three things: government by the majority of the state's citizens via representatives elected for fixed terms in free elections; respect for the rights of minorities and their representatives; and complete equality before the law for all citizens, irrespective of religion, race or gender. All the rest derives from these three principles.

For any regime to crown itself with the title of a democracy, these three principles must exist simultaneously. Removing any one of them necessarily strips the regime of its œdemocratic title.

If you consider Israel's characteristic political behavior since its inception by these yardsticks, you'll reach the sorry conclusion that real democracy doesn't exist in this country. It's true that ever since its establishment, Israel has complied with the principle of free, democratic elections with secret balloting. Moreover, Israel's government can be replaced by voters expressing their will in the polling booth. But this principle remains isolated; the other two have never existed.


 Why should an Israeli Arab vote?


School costs for Israeli families soar, stinging the poor in particular

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:09:32

Free public education? Not really Israeli households spent 26.5 billion shekels ($7.5 billion at current exchange rates) in 2018 covering school-related costs, a 15% increase over 2017 and equal to nearly 24% of the government's spending on education.

The figure which was released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, less than two weeks before the next school year covers a wide range of expenses including school books and other supplies, after-school groups, private lessons and university tuition.

But it probably understates many of the expenses undertaken by households. The Education Ministry, for instance, estimates that parents spent 5 billion shekels in fees that schools are allowed to collect from them, but experts say the figure was probably higher because many schools demand more than the maximum authorized by the ministry.


 School costs for Israeli families soar, stinging the poor in particular


Israeli Finance Minister expresses little concern over strong shekel

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:51:33

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon expressed little concern about the strengthening shekel in an interview with Bloomberg news published on Tuesday.

Israeli exporters have expressed concern about the impact of a 6% appreciation of the shekel against the dollar since the start of the year and Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron has come under pressure to respond, possibly by intervening in the market.

Three weeks ago he vowed not to raise interest rates, as the central bank had previous signaled, in an effort to ease the pressure on the shekel.


 Israeli Finance Minister expresses little concern over strong shekel


Israel's Teva rallies on modest settlement in opioid case

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:37:54

Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals rallied on Tuesday after another drug maker facing a lawsuit over its alleged role in fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic agreed to pay a small $10 million settlement to avoid going to trial.

The settlement with Endo International raised hopes that Israel-based Teva, among the drug makers embroiled in the affair, might also be able to settle for a relatively small sum. That was fortified by a Wall Street Journal report that Allergan was negotiating a $5 million deal in the same suit.

The news sent Teva shares more than 7% higher in New York trading, but the gains eventually were trimmed back to about 4% in early after at $6.99 a share.


 Israel's Teva rallies on modest settlement in opioid case


Israel's Rivulus, world's No. 2 drip irrigation maker, is on the block for $500 million

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:17:57

The Israeli drip-irrigation company Rivulus is being put up for sale by the FIMI private equity fund and could fetch a price as high as $500 million.

FIMI has retained Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the company, the world's second-largest maker of drip-irrigation equipment after Israel's Netafim. The U.S. investment bank also managed the 2017 sale of an 80% stake in Netafim to Mexico's Mexichem for $1.5 billion.

Goldman sold Netafim for 14.8 times the company's net asset value. If it achieved the same valuation for Rivulus, the company could be sold for $550 million, but sources said it was unlikely to achieve that, if for no other reason than Rivulus isn't the world's market leader like Netafim.


 Israel's Rivulus, world's No. 2 drip irrigation maker, is on the block for $500 million


The Israeli startup that puts some zip into stodgy old email

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:57:40

Email is an old and many would say inefficient technology for communicating, certainly compared to instant messaging. But 50 years after it was invented, email remains as strong as ever, at least in the world of business.

Radicati, a research firm that studies messaging trends, estimates that there are 3.9 billion email boxes around the world, a 3% increase from 2018. Even if half the messages are spam, Radicati puts the number of emails sent and received every day at an astonishing 293 billion, up 5% from 2018.

œThe email is here to stay, said Dvir Ben-Aroya, the CEO of the Israeli startup Spike. œIn the digital world, we all have two identities our telephone number and our email. Even if you want to go into Facebook you need an email, so the numbers are always growing.


 The Israeli startup that puts some zip into stodgy old email


Netanyahu vs. Israel's gatekeepers and watchdogs

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:37:03

There's a tendency to play down the messages flying off the keyboards of Yair Netanyahu, the son of Benjamin Netanyahu, and right-wing journalist Shimon Riklin, one of the prime minister's biggest fans. After all, they're the most biased, deceptive and devoted in the campaign to keep Netanyahu in the prime minister's residence forever. It's their life's mission.

But brainwashing, certainly in this era of social media, sometimes works, and there's a risk that false and distorted messages will penetrate the public debate like the message that denigrates the gatekeepers.

Yair Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew: œThe term ˜gatekeepers' doesn't exist in any country and was invented here in Israel not long ago. There's a need to translate the term into Hebrew. Gatekeepers = small, miserable clerks who serve extreme left-wing agendas contrary to the will of the voter. They frame people and criminally leak distorted material to their friends in the leftist media. Riklin, meanwhile, tweeted: œGatekeepers is a concept invented in Israel and is valid for as long as the clerks do what the undemocratic left demands.


 Netanyahu vs. Israel's gatekeepers and watchdogs


Israel should keep its Filipinos and drop Birthright

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:21:48

Last week, Israel, sadly and disgustingly, deported Rose Perez, no doubt a devoted caregiver, and her 13-year-old Israeli-born son, Rohan, to the Philippines. Occurring during the summer, when buses of the Birthright program are often seen, this expulsion begs for comparison between these two types of œvisitors to Israel.

First, let's compare people who want to live in Israel to those who view the country as a theme park to stoke their Jewish œidentity (a rather ambiguous concept used to justify tens, if not hundreds, of well-endowed educational programs). Rose and her son were clearly dying to live in Israel. Birthright participants are happy to get a free touristic joy ride in Israel.

Rose worked with devotion, competence and naive innocence to provide services that most Israelis are happy to consume but not supply. (That the Population and Immigration Authority accused her of making last-minute sensational scenes to avoid deportation instead of obediently showing up for the proceedings shows who is dissembling naivete and innocence here.) Rose and her son will return to the Philippines and their reports on Israel will no doubt be colored by their last days here.


 Israel should keep its Filipinos and drop Birthright


Examine the claims against Shaked

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:55:05

On Monday Haaretz revealed that emissaries acting on behalf of Yamina chairwoman Ayelet Shaked made a proposal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that raises suspicions of a political bribery deal: In return for restoring her membership to the Likud party, Shaked would use her influence with Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to get him to support moves to give the premier immunity from the corruption charges pending against him, subject to a hearing.

According to the report, one of Shaked's representatives said, œShe's like this with Mendelblit, using his fingers to display a tight connection. œShe controls him, she knows how to influence him. She's close to him. If she doesn't control the Justice Ministry, it's clear that Bibi will go to jail.

Another emissary promised that œonly she can bring Bibi immunity. She knows how to explain to the media why immunity is warranted. She has credibility; she's not Miri Regev, a reference to the culture and sports minister.


 Examine the claims against Shaked


Israel Supreme Court rejects request to jail Shalit deal inmate for domestic assault

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:32:11

The Supreme Court has rejected the state's request to jail a former Palestinian security prisoner freed in the 2011 prisoner swap for kidnapped soldier Gilat Shalit, who was later rearrested for domestic violence.

Mohammed Ziada was convicted of assaulting his wife in 2016 and sentenced to a year in jail. After he finished serving this sentence, the state asked the parole board to revoke the pardon he received in 2011, so that he would have to serve the remaining 14 years of his original sentence for terrorism.

The parole board agreed, and a district court rejected Ziada's appeal. But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned that decision.


 Israel Supreme Court rejects request to jail Shalit deal inmate for domestic assault


Eight Israeli teens arrested on suspicion of repeatedly raping 11-year-old girl

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 00:16:24

Eight boys between 14 and 16 from northern Israel have been arrested on suspicion of raping an 11-year-old girl multiple times over a period of weeks beginning in April.

They were released to house arrest after two days. A gag order on the case was lifted Tuesday; the boys were arrested around two weeks ago. Seven other minors were detained for questioning.

The police say they have text messages of a sexual nature between the girl and the suspects, who deny the allegations and say the girl œbugged them, as they put it.


 Eight Israeli teens arrested on suspicion of repeatedly raping 11-year-old girl


Jews who vote Democrat are disloyal or ignorant, Trump says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:08:21

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat  I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Trump did not specify to whom these Jews were being supposedly disloyal - to the United States, to Israel or to him as president. 

Discussing U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, whose planned visit to Israel and the West Bank was cancelled over their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, Trump said: "Where is the Democratic party gone? Where have they gone over defending these two people over the State of Israel?"


 Jews who vote Democrat are disloyal or ignorant, Trump says


To please Trump, Netanyahu turned Omar, Tlaib and BDS into prime time news

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 22:12:48

WASHINGTON In the hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bowed down to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday and reversed his own decision to allow Democratic congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to enter Israel, something unprecedented happened.

One after the other, leading pro-Israel organizations, politicians and activists in the United States published statements against Netanyahu's decision.

The criticism came from both Democrats and Republicans, and even from the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, which usually adheres to a policy of never criticizing the Israeli government.


 To please Trump, Netanyahu turned Omar, Tlaib and BDS into prime time news


Blasts in Iraqi warehouse used by Iran-backed militia, casualties reported

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:35:23

Several blasts hit a position held by Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitaries next to Balad air base north of Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi military officials and a source in a paramilitary group said. 

Balad base hosts U.S. forces and contractors and is located about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad. An Iraqi Shi'ite militia group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which is backed by Iran, is stationed nearby. 

The military official said the intended target of the blasts was the militia's position near the base. The paramilitary source said his group's weapons depot was specifically targeted by an aerial bombardment. 


 Blasts in Iraqi warehouse used by Iran-backed militia, casualties reported


Major Israeli city defends 'voluntary gender separation' at male-only public event

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:28:26

Holding an event for men only is voluntary not coerced gender separation, said Haifa city hall on Tuesday, in response to a complaint about a concert scheduled for next week, advertised for œmen only.

The municipality added that the ultra-Orthodox community is excluded from a long list of public events and that it has therefore allocated a budget for gender-segregated cultural events catering to the city's ultra-Orthodox community.

The complaint was submitted to Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem by the Israel Women's Network. The organization claimed that separation in public events is illegal and that œthe assumption that there is an audience that prefers to hold the event without women is not reason to hold the event.


 Major Israeli city defends 'voluntary gender separation' at male-only public event


Fake Jewish profiles flood Twitter in anti-Semitic campaign to 'subvert Jews'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:58:36

In a coordinated campaign to sow dissent in the American Jewish community and inflame hatred against Jews, Twitter has been flooded with fake accounts of Jewish identities that endorse extreme views and anti-Semitic messaging. 

The vast majority of the accounts have been identified clearly as handles that were created as recently as August 19, although a few were established in the past and revived over the past few days. On Monday, journalist Yair Rosenberg traced the profiles to alt-right activists using the platform 4Chan. 

Rosenberg tweeted an excerpt from a detailed 4Chan post and a thread continued from several days earlier titled œOperation My Fellow Jew, calling for œa massive movement of fake Jewish profiles on social media that are œas authentic looking as possible, because œsince Jewish shapeshift into whites, anytime they want, we can do the same to them. By masquerading as a œJew, the post reasoned, œyou are able to subvert Jews themselves. 


 Fake Jewish profiles flood Twitter in anti-Semitic campaign to 'subvert Jews'


Intel launches artificial intelligence chip developed in Israel

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:24:12

Intel Corp on Tuesday launched its latest processor that will be its first using artificial intelligence (AI) and is designed for large computing centers.

The chip, developed at its development facility in Haifa, Israel, is known as Nervana NNP-I or Springhill and is based on a 10 nanometer Ice Lake processor that will allow it to cope with high workloads using minimal amounts of energy, Intel said.

Intel said its first AI product comes after it had invested more than $120 million in three AI startups in Israel.


 Intel launches artificial intelligence chip developed in Israel


Israel won't allow Palestine Cup soccer game, cites ˜security reasons'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:21:13

Israel has refused to allow the Gaza champion soccer team to leave the Strip for the final of the Palestine Cup match in the West Bank œfor security reasons.

The chairman of the Palestine Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, told Haaretz that the security reason was œone big lie, and has asked FIFA, the world soccer federation, to intervene. So far Israel has refused to reverse its decision, and a new date for the match has not been set.

The second match of the final between the Balata refugee camp's team and Khadamat Rafah from the Gaza Strip was to take place on July 3, but it was postponed after Israel denied exit permits to most of the players and team personnel.


 Israel won't allow Palestine Cup soccer game, cites ˜security reasons'


Saudi Arabia begins implementing end to travel restrictions for women

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:50:30

Saudi Arabia has begun allowing adult women to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday, following a flurry of royal decrees approving the changes.

Riyadh has long faced international criticism over the status of Saudi women. Rights groups say women are often treated as second-class citizens under rules requiring them to get the consent of a male guardian for important decisions throughout their entire lives, regardless of age.

>> Read more: In Saudi Arabia, women's rights are used to sweep murder under the rug | Analysis -  The real reason Saudi Arabia women's rights reforms may not bring new freedoms


 Saudi Arabia begins implementing end to travel restrictions for women


Earth's future is being written in fast-melting Greenland

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:25:03

This is where Earth's refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise.

New York University air and ocean scientist David Holland, who is tracking what's happening in Greenland from both above and below, calls it "the end of the planet." He is referring to geography more than the future. Yet in many ways this place is where the planet's warmer and watery future is being written.

It is so warm here, just inside the Arctic Circle, that on an August day, coats are left on the ground and Holland and colleagues work on the watery melting ice without gloves. In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 52 degrees Fahrenheit (10.7 degrees Celsius).


 Earth's future is being written in fast-melting Greenland


Far-right party surge in eastern German regions threatens Merkel's coalition

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:17:47

A surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party before regional elections next month in two former communist eastern states threatens to wreck Chancellor Angela Merkel's unwieldy right-left coalition government.

Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) jointly run the state of Saxony, mirroring their coalition at the national level in Berlin. In neighbouring Brandenburg, the SPD governs along with the radical Left Party.

Opinion polls suggest the anti-immigrant AfD could come first in both states in the Sept. 1 elections, in what would be a humiliating outcome for Merkel's party and the SPD, which have ruled Germany together for 10 of her past 14 years in power.


 Far-right party surge in eastern German regions threatens Merkel's coalition


When 'Good Boys' behave badly

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:12:03

In a short promo for œGood Boys, the producer, Seth Rogen, is seen sitting with the film's three young stars and explaining why they won't be able to watch the picture they're starring in. œEven though you can do it, you can't watch yourselves do it, Rogen says after rattling off a fair number of reasons for restricting the movie's viewing age. œWhat if we did a family-friendly version of ˜Good Boys'? one of the boys asks. œThat would be four seconds long, Rogen replies. The promo is staged, of course, but it conveys vividly the spirit of the film.

Twelve years after they wrote the script for œSuperbad, and eight after establishing a production company named for the Vancouver junior high where they met, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are a well-established Hollywood brand. In the past two years alone, the writers-directors produced five films and four television series, in which they didn't hesitate to give creative artists an opportunity to try out new roles. The latest to join the list is Gene Stupnitsky, who makes his directorial debut with œGood Boys. The screenplay was written by Stupnitsky with his regular writing partner Lee Eisenberg, with whom he worked on the American version of œThe Office and on the movie œBad Teacher.

The plot is launched with a scene that makes clear immediately which way the wind is blowing. Twelve-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay) creates a feminine character in a computer game and is caught by his father (Will Forte) while starting to masturbate. In contrast to similar scenes in many teen movies, the humiliation stems precisely from the father's pride in a son who is undergoing healthy sexual development.


 When 'Good Boys' behave badly


Stephen Miller tried to ban migrant children from public school, report says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:02:23

Stephen Miller, a senior aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, spent months pushing for legislation that would give states the power to block children of undocumented immigrants from enrolling in public schools, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

The efforts are part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, which have sparked outrage amongst Democrats and immigration activists who have called the efforts cruel. The revelation comes a week after the administration adopted a new rule that would deny permanent resident status to immigrants deemed "likely" to use public services.

According to Bloomberg, the proposal was part of a slew of ideas that would allow the White House to act on immigration without congressional approval.


 Stephen Miller tried to ban migrant children from public school, report says


Trump again attacks Tlaib: I don't buy her tears, I have watched her 'violence, craziness'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:53:15

A day after Democratic U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan held a news conference on travel restrictions to Israel and the West Bank, U.S. President Donald Trump slammed Tlaib on Twitter.

Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the two congresswomen on Twitter, wrote, "Sorry, I don't buy Rep. Tlaib's tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!"

Omar and Tlaib appeared at the news conference with Jewish leaders from their districts and called on all members of Congress to visit Israel and the West Bank.


 Trump again attacks Tlaib: I don't buy her tears, I have watched her 'violence, craziness'


A takeaway from global warming: It is OK to wear shorts to the office

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:50:32

In July, London sweated through one of the hottest months the British capital has seen in 20 years. During one week, the temperature hit a high not felt since August 2003, nearly 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). It disrupted railway service, caused overcrowding in public swimming pools and neighborhood pubs, and filled the streets with unpleasant smells.

The climate changes resulting from global warming has also affected the strict dress code enforced on London's gentlemen, who usually sport dark suits, white or pale blue dress shirts and black shoes. Some workplaces and exclusive gentlemen's clubs have allow entry sans jacket, while others simply suggest the application of common sense. Sandals, or any other toe-baring shoe, are still verboten for men.

Shorts are a particular point of contention. Normally reserved for more casual activities such as gardening, this summer they have appeared in offices and formal events. During the hottest week last month, British department store John Lewis reported that sales of its classic chino men's shorts spiked 87 percent from the previous week.


 A takeaway from global warming: It is OK to wear shorts to the office


California high school students make Nazi salute, sing marching song at ceremony

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:41:18

Students at a Southern California high school made a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi marching song at the start of an awards ceremony.

The school district will not say publicly if or how it disciplined the students.

The incident, which took place last year, involved 10 members of the boys water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, the Daily Beast reported. The video was posted to Instagram by one of the athletes, according to the Daily Beast, and widely circulated among students at the high school.


 California high school students make Nazi salute, sing marching song at ceremony


Gaza stripped: What normal life looks like in the least normal place on earth

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:20:31

The great tragedy of the Gaza Strip is that, while it is never far from the headlines, it is rarely in our thoughts.

The often baffling and always contentious complexity of the situation in the tiny coastal enclave discourage us from spending too much time contemplating the fate of the two million or so Palestinians who live there.

And while we focus on the geopolitical realities, the violent intra-Palestinian struggles, the rocket attacks and the retaliatory strikes from Israel, we tend to forget (or, rather, we make a conscious effort to sublimate) the people of Gaza.


 Gaza stripped: What normal life looks like in the least normal place on earth


With Gaza-Israel border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:07:34

A series of attempts by Palestinians to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past two weeks have trapped Hamas between its desire to preserve the calm with Israel and the public support, and in some cases internal Hamas support, for such attacks.

On Monday, Hamas called on Gazans to come out en masse for the Friday demonstration along the border fence with Israel, a call intended to enable Palestinians to let off some steam and also a clear message to Israel that without an improvement in the Strip's humanitarian conditions and a commitment to the ceasefire agreement reached in May, another blowup is imminent.

Indeed, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday that Palestinian factions in Gaza have informed Israel via intermediaries that if it does meet its commitments, including allowing Qatar to bring in more money into Gaza, they intend to initiate a violent escalation. They did not provide details of the nature of the escalation and how it would be carried out.


 With Gaza-Israel border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance


Gantz, Lieberman slammed for signing vote sharing deal ahead of Israeli election

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:33:45

Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu and Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan announced Tuesday that the two parties have signed a surplus vote agreement ahead of Israel's September 17 election. 

Kahol Lavan leaders hope that the deal will garner them another Knesset seat at the expense of right-wing voters voters, because according to the law, the biggest party among the two that sign such a deal has the best chance to gain the surplus votes. Yisrael Beiteinu, meanwhile, called the agreement a "mere technical matter" and stated that they "will not risk  losing a Knesset seat." 

>> Read more: The Israeli left has given up on this key demographic. Here's why that's a mistake -  Netanyahu's singular knack for turning friends into bitter enemies | Analysis


 Gantz, Lieberman slammed for signing vote sharing deal ahead of Israeli election


Gaza emigration ploy suggests Netanyahu hell-bent on torching Israel's image abroad

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:24:01

The last thing one can say about Benjamin Netanyahu is that he's stupid or ignorant about the ways of the world.

Netanyahu has written extensively about the basics of anti-Israeli propaganda. He understands Western public opinion better than most, and he knows what makes it tick.  He is well aware of the fact that - with the exception of Donald Trump, the Evangelicals, and right wing nationalists wherever they may be Israel's image in the world these days is somewhere between bad and awful.

So you have to ask yourself what might have compelled the prime minister, disguised as a œsenior diplomatic source, to tell reporters accompanying him on a trip to Ukraine that Israel was pursuing a policy of encouraging œvoluntary emigration of Palestinians from Gaza.


 Gaza emigration ploy suggests Netanyahu hell-bent on torching Israel's image abroad


Why you must watch HBO's brilliant new Israeli drama ˜Our Boys'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:13:43

What's the right length of time to wait before revisiting a traumatic incident from your country's past? I ask not because of the new œBeverly Hills, 90120 reboot but the Israeli series œOur Boys, which takes the horrific events that led up to the 50-day Gaza War in the summer of 2014 and creates a grueling but gripping 10-part drama series out of them.

You could be forgiven for not wanting to tune in, given the show's use of the tragic time when four teenage boys ” three Israeli yeshiva students and a Palestinian boy from East Jerusalem ” were murdered and a permanently simmering country finally boiled over. But œOur Boys is done in such a thoughtful and sensitive manner that it demands to be viewed by as large an audience as possible, both locally and globally.

œOur Boys ” a co-production of Keshet International's Keshet Studios and HBO, and produced by Movie Plus ” is the first entirely Hebrew/Arabic-language series to air on the U.S. cable giant. Buying the rights was a laudable move on HBO's part, because this is an unapologetically Israeli show that makes few concessions to its international audience.


 Why you must watch HBO's brilliant new Israeli drama ˜Our Boys'


Ignoring or downplaying price of West Bank annexation is playing with fire

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:07:46

In the 52 years that Israel has controlled the West Bank, it has significantly expanded its presence in the territory from building critical security and transportation infrastructure to authorizing Jewish communities across Area C. What it has not done is attempt to change the West Bank's status through annexation or extending Israeli sovereignty to settlements. Such actions would constitute a drastic departure from decades of Israeli policy, which is why it is incumbent upon proponents of annexation to be honest about their motivations and intentions as well as the potential consequences of their policy proposals.

For example, in advocating for Israel to apply sovereignty over its West Bank settlements, Yossi Kuperwasser was consistently misleading in the arguments he listed in his recent Haaretz op-ed in favor of annexation. Kuperwasser was deceiving in his characterization of the objections to such a momentous decision; he erroneously contends that the Commanders for Israel's Security (CIS) and the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) are calling to œaccept the Palestinian demands and unilaterally dismantle settlements. Aside from his failure to detail which precise Palestinian demands we want to accept, neither CIS nor IPF which are strategic partners have called to dismantle even one West Bank settlement. For Kuperwasser to dissemble so blatantly is a telling indication of either the paucity of his own arguments or intellectual laziness in not reading or understanding what we are actually advocating, or both.

>> Read more: There are no more excuses left. Just annex the West Bank | Opinion -  Two states, one and other solutions the Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Explained


 Ignoring or downplaying price of West Bank annexation is playing with fire


The ˜Jerusalem District' reality show and other ˜illustrations'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:50:01

About two weeks ago, Haaretz reporter Nir Hasson exposed the story of the police who planted a weapon in the home of Samer Sleiman in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah during the filming of the television reality series œJerusalem District. Since then two other incidents have been discovered of police officers planting weapons and drugs in the homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. One of the Palestinians recounted that following the filming, he was been beaten by unknown individuals.

Koda Communications, which produced œJerusalem District, explained that the planting of weaponry was done as œillustration, to simulate the work of the police. For purposes of illustration, armed police entered the homes of Palestinians who were made to appear like drug dealers or collaborators. Granted that Ram Landes, who owns Koda, apologized to his viewers and to œanyone who was harmed.

>> By planting gun for reality TV, Israeli police reveal truth about East Jerusalem | Analysis


 The ˜Jerusalem District' reality show and other ˜illustrations'


Solar energy and natural materials: Tel Aviv architecture on display at Berlin Bauhaus exhibit

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:45:44

Over the weekend an exhibition entitled œBeyond Bauhaus opened in Berlin. It was organized by the organization Deutschland Land der Ideen (Germany Land of Ideas). The exhibition, which runs through September 1 at the CLB Gallery in German capital, grew out of an international competition marking the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement of international style.

It focuses on the countries where that style of architecture has been prevalent China, United States, Brazil, Germany and Israel. Of the 1,500 entries in the competition, 20 were selected to be displayed at the gallery, including two from Israel.

Architect Hila Shemer, who coordinated the competition in Israel, explained that the exhibition seeks to depict Bauhaus not as a style but as a theme. The show is an effort to present œsolutions that architects and designers need today, as she described it, œwhether it relates from an ecology standpoint to air and water pollution or the future of the food industry and agriculture, and how we can find solutions for those with disabilities.


 Solar energy and natural materials: Tel Aviv architecture on display at Berlin Bauhaus exhibit


Israel's lousy schools, lousy students, lousy workers

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:40:55

Anyone familiar with the Israeli scene cannot help but marvel at the technological innovation generated by such a small country -- self-driving cars, drip irrigation, spectacular feats of cybersecurity and cyberhacking, and an atomic bomb (according to foreign sources). We're Startup Nation and we've won quite a few Nobel Prizes.

Yet try to get your vacuum fixed, much less your laptop, and you meet another Israel. To put it gently you encounter the Israel that's the polar opposite of Lake Wobegon, where the children are famously œabove average." We're a country where far too many of the adults are below average.

This isn't idle ranting by someone who recently encountered manifold obstacles in getting a vacuum repaired, including baseless claims by the repair center that the product was working perfectly well, and later returning it covered with mysterious goo.


 Israel's lousy schools, lousy students, lousy workers


U.S. warns all Mediterreanean ports: Assisting Iranian tanker would be seen as aiding terrorism

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:41:57

An Iranian tanker at the center of an angry confrontation between Iran and Washington sailed for Greece on Monday after it was freed from detention off Gibraltar, as Washington called the release unfortunate and warned Greece and Mediterranean ports against helping the vessel.

Tehran said any U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences". While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to downplay the possibility of military conflict with Washington in an interview on U.S. television, he also indicated on a visit to Finland that Washington was seeking "more escalation".

The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 P.M. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.


 U.S. warns all Mediterreanean ports: Assisting Iranian tanker would be seen as aiding terrorism


Palestinians threaten weekend violence if Gaza cash, electricity not resolved

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:00:04

Palestinian factions in Gaza have relayed an ultimatum to Israel warning of an escalation on the border if Israel does not fulfill its commitments, a Hamas source told Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday.

According to the report, the Palestinian demands include a Qatari cash infusion to the Strip and a resolution to the electricity shortage.

Though the source did not specify what the "escalation" would entail, Talal Abu-Zarifeh, a member of the March of Return organizing committee, said the factions have agreed in principle to return to airborne firebombs, nightly activity along the border fence and mass crowds approaching the border.


 Palestinians threaten weekend violence if Gaza cash, electricity not resolved


U.S. Jew refused to divorce wife, so Israel refused to bury his mother

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:46:28

Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau ordered on Tuesday not to bury a woman whose son had refused to grant his wife a get, or Jewish divorce, for the past 15 years.

Hours after the decision, the man said he will accede to a rabbinical court order to allow the religious divorce. Since the the two no longer live in the same country, an agreement was reached between the man's family and a representative of his wife that the former put up a bond pledging he will appear before a rabbinical court as soon as possible to grant the get.

A rabbinical court in the United States ordered the man - an American citizen - to grant his wife the divorce a decade ago, but he continued to refuse to do so, leaving his wife agunah, or "chained" and unable to remarry.


 U.S. Jew refused to divorce wife, so Israel refused to bury his mother


Russia says it has troops on the ground in Syria as Assad forces advance in Idlib

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:41:37

Russia has military servicemen stationed on the ground in Syria's region of Idlib and is following the situation there closely, Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.

Lavrov was quoted as saying that any attacks carried out by Islamist militant groups in the de-escalation zone in Idlib would be forcefully suppressed. Russian military forces have long been operating in the area.

Syrian government forces look set to recover a strategic town that has been in rebel hands since 2014 in a major Russian-backed offensive into the opposition's last major stronghold.


 Russia says it has troops on the ground in Syria as Assad forces advance in Idlib


Leader of Pakistan-held Kashmir welcomes Trump initiative

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:17:13

The president of Pakistani-administered Kashmir has welcomed efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to lower tensions between Pakistan and India over the disputed Himalayan region and warned of a humanitarian crisis and food shortages in the Indian-held portion.

Sardar Masood Khan made the comments at a news conference Tuesday after Trump contacted the leaders of Pakistan and India to discuss Kashmir.

According to a White House spokesman, Trump "reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint on both sides."


 Leader of Pakistan-held Kashmir welcomes Trump initiative


Russia decries U.S. missile test, warns of destabilization

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:36:06

A top Russian diplomat has lamented the U.S. test of a type of missile that was banned for decades before both Washington and Moscow quit the treaty earlier this year.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in comments to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday expressed concern that the United States is increasing "the destabilizing potential" of the issue.

Ryabkov also said that the test proved Russia's earlier suspicions that the U.S. was testing the banned missiles even before it withdrew from the treaty.


 Russia decries U.S. missile test, warns of destabilization


Syrian troops advance as militants partially leave rebel town

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:33:39

The main insurgent group in the Syrian province of Idlib says it partially pulled out its fighters from an opposition-controlled town as government forces advanced in the area.

A statement on Tuesday from the main al-Qaida-linked faction in Syria says it's "a redeployment" and that its fighters withdrew to the southern part of the town of Khan Sheikhoun from where they would continue to defend their territory.

The withdrawal is a significant loss for the opposition in its last major stronghold of Idlib, in northwestern Syria.


 Syrian troops advance as militants partially leave rebel town


Ultra-cheap cellular package sends shivers through an ailing Israeli industry

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:59:22

Even for Israeli smartphone users who have enjoyed low rates since the 2012 cellular reforms, Monday marked a milestone in the history of ever cheaper packages: Suny Communications announced a package of unlimited calls and SMSs, as well as 50 gigabytes of data, for just 14.90 shekels ($4.20) a month.

That was 20% less than the next cheapest deal on the market 19 shekels a month for just 10 gigabytes by Xfone, or we4g, which is committed to its low rate for two years. Suny won't say how long its bargain deal is locked in.

For consumers, the news is good; for the Israeli cellular market it was a dark day that aroused worries in the industry that Suny's parent company, Hot Telecom, was engaged in predatory pricing.


 Ultra-cheap cellular package sends shivers through an ailing Israeli industry


Reading Amos Oz in Mandarin: The Chinese who adore Hebrew literature

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:45:02

If Prof. Yang Yang had been born just one year earlier, it might never have been possible to read Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld in Chinese. In 1991, Yang enrolled in Peking University's Arabic studies program, but a few weeks before the academic year, he received a letter from the university: They were launching a Hebrew studies program.

The timing was no coincidence. In 1992, Israel and China would establish diplomatic relations, and airlines would now fly directly between Beijing and Tel Aviv.

Yang jumped at the university's offer. œI thought to myself that there are enough students studying Arabic and that there was nothing new in Arabic, he says. œAnd Hebrew seemed something a lot more intriguing, a language that very few people in China knew.


 Reading Amos Oz in Mandarin: The Chinese who adore Hebrew literature


After Haaretz report, Shaked claims she never bargained with Netanyahu's party

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:56:15

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked said she didn't hold any negotiations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party about joining its slate after an Haaretz report reveald she conveyed messages to the premier, offering him immunity from prosecution in his corruption cases in exchange for welcoming her back to the fold.

Speaking on Israel's public radio, Shaked said that "In the first weeks after the do-over election was announced, I had several options. There were people who thought that it would be good for Likud if I come onboard and that was it.

"My associates and those of the prime minister were in contact, but at any stage, those contacts didn't develop into negotiations. Nothing was offered to me nor did I offer something to anybody," Shaked said.


 After Haaretz report, Shaked claims she never bargained with Netanyahu's party


Israeli tycoons' holding groups have been cut down to size

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:54:30

A decade or more ago, they ruled Israel's economic roost. Nochi Dankner, Eliezer Fishman, Shaul Elovitch and other tycoons controlled big holding groups with a wide range of businesses and were household names even among people who never invested money in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

But pressed by massive debt and the 2013 Business Concentration Law, their day has mostly but not entirely passed, according to a study released last week by the Israel Securities Authority.

œBusiness groups are occupying less space , and they have become smaller, Liza Teper and Guy Sabah, two of the ISA economists who conducted the study, said in the report.


 Israeli tycoons' holding groups have been cut down to size


Kibbutz is due windfall in sale of drip irrigation stake

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:26:42

The 240 members of Kibbutz Metzer are on their way to making a tidy profit on the drip irrigation business they established nearly 50 years ago.

TheMarker has learned that the kibbutz is in talks with an unidentified foreign investment fund to sell a big stake in its Metzer Group in a deal that values the maker of drip irrigation systems and related products at 300 million shekels ($84.7 million).

The kibbutz wouldn't confirm the report but sources close to the deal told TheMarker that the fund would be buying no less than 25% of Metzer Group and possibly more than 40%. That would mean proceeds of 75 million to 150 million shekels, most of which will be going into the pockets of Kibbutz Metzer's members.


 Kibbutz is due windfall in sale of drip irrigation stake


Ohio man pleads not guilty to threatening Jewish center in online video

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 06:25:44

A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to threatening a Jewish community center in a video that authorities say showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle.

A judge near Youngstown set bond at $250,000 for James Reardon, ordered a mental health evaluation and told him to stay away from Jewish churches and organizations if he is released from jail.

>> Read more: Trump's 'rodent-infested' rhetoric shows how Germany and the world stayed silent | Analysis -  America's synagogues are burning: A turning point for U.S. Jews | Opinion  


 Ohio man pleads not guilty to threatening Jewish center in online video


Not just Rashida's grandmother

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 05:13:12

Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother is not the only one who made headlines in recent weeks (and also led to a wave of loving posts of œSitti my Palestinian grandmother on social media). Another œsitti who became famous all of a sudden is the late grandmother of Roni Sassover, number 9 on the Yamina Knesset roster. A tweet by her aspiring politician granddaughter lifted her out of anonymity and into the focus of some of the Israeli public over the past couple of days.

Some people are upset about the failure of secular Sassover to pass a right-wing-religious trivia quiz she was given by Channel 13's religious affairs and settlements reporter Akiva Novick. Others are more upset by her tweet from February 2018, when Sassover a lawyer according to Wikipedia was apparently too obscure to raise a storm with her racist Israeli off-the-cuff comment. Today she's better known, and the tweet is another window into what we can expect in the next Knesset. (The polls predict 11 Knesset seats for Yamina, so Sassover has a good chance of becoming a lawmaker and an official representative of the people.)

This is what she tweeted: œMy late grandmother, who came to Israel after the Holocaust and voted her whole life for the Labor Party, always said the following: 1. A good Arab is a ¦. Arab . 2. If you turn your back on an Arab he'll stick a knife in it. 3. Be a friend to whoever you want, marry only a Jew. And she ended her tweet with the words: œGranny is always right.


 Not just Rashida's grandmother


We miss you, Uri Avnery

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:54:28

Uri Avnery, the writer, Knesset member and peace activist, died a year ago, on August 20. What would he have said about the current situation, about Netanyahu, about the elections? One thing is certain. His comments would have been original and interesting, as was always the case with him.

In his will Avnery directed that his body be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. He once told me: œI've eaten fish my whole life and enjoyed it. When the time comes, it would also be fitting for the fish to enjoy me. Now the time has come to recount how his will was complied with.

>> Read more: How Uri Avnery laid the foundations for political dissent in Israel | Analysis -  Uri Avnery, 1923-2018: A great optimist who never stopped fighting for peace -  How a Mossad plot to kill Yasser Arafat nearly cost me my life | Uri Avnery -  Why peace activist Uri Avnery refused to give up- and six other must reads 


 We miss you, Uri Avnery






NO  US NO



Oppdatert for
10 år 80 dager 12 timer og 56 minutter siden:
4. juni 2009



Democratic Underground, eller DU for kort, er nettets heftigste sted om du er interessert i amerikansk liberalistisk politikk. Med mer enn hundre tusen registrerte brukere og over 30 millioner postinger er det et av de mest populære forum på det amerikanske kontinent, og debatten holder høy kvalitet ettersom snittalderen på medlemmene er over 35 år. DU Wiki

Informed Comment - Juan Cole
Juan Cole er professor i historie og leder for Global Americana Institute.
Han kommenterer hendelsene i Midt-Østen i sin blogg, som har blitt et vanningshull for newsjunkies over hele verden.

Alternet - Larisa Alexandrovna
Hun driver nyhetsstedet Raw Story og blogger på huffingtonpost.com, og har et eget blogsted på www.atlargely.com. Hun deltar også i debatten på Democratic Underground som lala_rawraw.
NYTT: at-Largely er nominert til Best Political Coverage i Blog Awards.


Bradblog - Brad Friedman
Brad Firedman blogger om valgfusk og overgrep mot borgerrettighetene i USA. En skarp og gravende blogger det er verdt å få med seg.


Eschaton (Atrios) - Duncan Bowen Black
Atrios er en av de mest kjente bloggerne 'over there', og har mer enn 100.000 daglige treff. Han er tidligere kommentator på Air America radio, og er tilknyttet Media Matters Institute siden 2005.

H2O Man - Patrick O'Waterman
H2O Man poster også på Democratic Underground.

Rigorous Intuition - Jeff Wells
Jeff Wells er av få som kan skrive intelligent om temaer som UFOs, HAARP og andre 'konspirasjonsteorier' uten å ha det konspiratoriske verdensbilde som utgangspunkt. Han graver uansett tema, og kommer med mange kloke betraktninger.
Han poster på DU under nick Minstrel Boy.

Wake Up Call
Krigsveteraner fra østkysten i USA driver denne bloggen, som inneholder tanker om krig og USAs rolle i verdenspolitikken. Flere av disse er med i den ambulerende fredskampanjen Eyes Wide Open.

Lukery
Lukery blogger mest om Sibel Edmonds, og er en person i kretsen rundt henne. Bloggen er vel verdt å ta en kikk på.

Organized Rage
Organized Rage er en EU-relatert anglo-irsk blogg som skriver om livet fra arbeiderklassens perspektiv.


(Alt stoff fra NIFS kan fritt siteres, men det er fint om du tar med en link til oss)