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Ha'aretz
Tid: Tue, 23.10-2018 9:07 Lokal fil generert: Tue, 23.10-2018 7:09
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Palestinian Authority and Hamas systematically torture detainees, report finds

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:04:22

In the West Bank it's called a œcloset and in Gaza it's called a œbus. Both are euphemisms for means of incarceration and torture used by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on detainees, according to an inquiry released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

œ˜Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent': Arbitrary Arrest and Torture Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, is a 149-page report describing how the Palestinian authorities suppress dissent, using arbitrary arrest that contravenes basic Palestinian law itself, attacks on protesters, criminalization of criticism on social media, and torture to extract confessions and deter opposition.

To really understand the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz


 Palestinian Authority and Hamas systematically torture detainees, report finds


WATCH LIVE: Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog to address Jewish Federations GA

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 09:32:15

Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog is slated to address the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America on Tuesday, the second day of the annual three-day conference.

Herzog replaced Natan Sharansky as leader of the Jewish Agency in June after heading the opposition as Labor Party chief. 

The title of this year's GA, which is being held in Tel Aviv for the first time ever, is œWe Need to Talk. The program includes speakers from Israel and North America, who will focus on the relationship between the Diaspora and Israel.


 WATCH LIVE: Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog to address Jewish Federations GA


CIA director Gina Haspel travels to Turkey for Khashoggi probe, sources say

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 08:14:17

CIA Director Gina Haspel was traveling to Turkey on Monday to help investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two sources familiar with the matter said, as security agencies examined what role Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have played in the case.

Khashoggi, who was living in Washington, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was still not satisfied with what he had heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing.


 CIA director Gina Haspel travels to Turkey for Khashoggi probe, sources say


Fed up with critics, Netanyahu opens back channel to undermine U.S. Reform, Conservative leaders

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 08:14:14

In an effort to resolve the crisis with Reform and Conservative Jews in the United States, the Israeli government is bypassing the movements' leaders and reaching out directly to congregational rabbis viewed as less critical of its policies.

Last week, a delegation of 20 congregational rabbis most of them non-Orthodox met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss ways of mending relations, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent years.

The mission was organized with the help of Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, with the Foreign Ministry covering most of the costs. Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements were not invited or involved in its planning.


 Fed up with critics, Netanyahu opens back channel to undermine U.S. Reform, Conservative leaders


Explosive device found in mailbox of George Soros' New York home

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 07:25:54

An explosive device found in a mail box outside the New York residence of billionaire financier George Soros on Monday, police said, and according to the New York Times it was detonated by bomb squad technicians in a nearby wooded area. 

Soros is a target of a hostile media campaign by the nationalist government in his native Hungary and a hate figure for right-wing campaigners in eastern Europe and the United States. 

>> Rudy Giuliani backs calling George Soros the 'anti-Christ.' Is that anti-Semitic? | Opinion


 Explosive device found in mailbox of George Soros' New York home


Shelved Al Jazeera film shows how Israel coordinates ˜covert war' against BDS in the U.S.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 03:38:15

WASHINGTON Al Jazeera's censored documentary about the pro-Israel lobby in Washington reveals new information about the work of Israel's Ministry for Strategic Affairs against critics of Israel in the United States. The ministry's director general, Sima Vaknin-Gil, is shown in the documentary, which was obtained by Haaretz, discussing Israel's efforts against the BDS movement, which is growing on American college campuses.

œWe are a different government working on foreign soil and we have to be very, very cautious, Vaknin-Gil is shown saying at an off-the-record session of a pro-Israel conference. œWe have three different sub-campaigns which are very, very sensitive, she adds. œRegarding data gathering, information analysis, working on activist organization, money trail. This is something that only a country, with its resources, can do the best.

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


 Shelved Al Jazeera film shows how Israel coordinates ˜covert war' against BDS in the U.S.


Haaretz Cartoon

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 03:04:55

 Haaretz Cartoon


Business in Brief: Weak Wall Street opening erases most of TASE gains

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 02:02:06

3D bio printer Collplant shares surge on news of deal

Shares of tissue repair company Collplant Holdings shot up nearly 30% on Monday to a market cap of 95 million shekels ($26 million) after reporting a developing, licensing and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation. The two companies will develop artificial lungs based on 3D bio-prints for lung transplants. The collaboration is based on human collagen that Collplant develops through genetic engineering of the tobacco plant using patented technology developed by Prof. Oded Shoseyov. Collagen is the dominant protein in the human body. According to the agreement, Collplant will provide the biological printing for several years during the development process and will provide technical support when United Technologies builds a production plant in the United States. Collplant also granted United Therapeutics an option to expand use of Collagen to develop and market three additional organs. Shares of Collplant closed up 29.6% at 50 agorot, while United Therapeutics ended down 0.9% at 12.19. (Yoram Gabison)

Paz board avoids confrontation with Meitav Dash over permanent chairman


 Business in Brief: Weak Wall Street opening erases most of TASE gains


Jordan's warning message

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 01:36:45

The decision by Jordan's King Abdullah not to renew Israel's lease of two parcels of land in southern and northern Israel when it ends in October 2019 sends a clear message to the government. Amman, which could have permitted the lease to renew automatically, chose to demonstrate that nothing can be taken for granted in its relations with Jerusalem.

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

As part of the 1994 peace treaty signed between the two countries, as a direct continuation of the Oslo Accords, Jordan gave Israel ” without receiving anything in return ” the right to use these border areas for 25 years. The agreement states it will renew automatically as long as neither side announces otherwise. That is what Israel expected, in its complacent assumption that its strong relationship with the kingdom ” which includes military and economic cooperation ” would be sufficient to guarantee that the Israeli farmers who work the land could continue to do so indefinitely.


 Jordan's warning message


In Jerusalem election, candidates compete for a spot in the final round

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 00:51:03

One week before the polls open, the fog surrounding the local election in Jerusalem refuses to disperse. The large field of candidates and the question marks hanging over ultra-Orthodox voters make it harder than usual to predict the city's next mayor. Whatever happens, though, it's pretty clear that the decision will be made in a runoff election. The vote next Tuesday is for a spot in the finals.

Most candidates believe that Ofer Berkovitch, the only serious nonreligious contender and the youngest of the bunch, will make it to the expected second round. Maneuvering for the second spot are Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin, Deputy Mayor Yossi Daitch and City Council member Moshe Leon, with the latter considered the likeliest bet. How that might turn out is anyone's guess; for Jerusalem, a runoff election ” when polls open later and workers won't get a day off ” is something totally new.

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


 In Jerusalem election, candidates compete for a spot in the final round


'Bring me the head of the dog': How the top MBS aide behind Khashoggi's murder ran the killing via Skype

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 23:14:22

He ran social media for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. He masterminded the arrest of hundreds of his country's elite. He detained a Lebanese prime minister. And, according to two intelligence sources, he ran journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is one of the fall guys as Riyadh tries to stem international outrage at Khashoggi's death. On Saturday, Saudi state media said King Salman had sacked Qahtani and four other officials over the killing carried out by a 15-man hit team.

>> A timeline of Saudi Arabia's shifting narratives on Jamal Khashoggi's death


 'Bring me the head of the dog': How the top MBS aide behind Khashoggi's murder ran the killing via Skype


Jordanian FM: We will not negotiate sovereignty over annexes with Israel

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 23:04:34

Jordan will not negotiate its sovereignty over two annexes leased to Israel as part of the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday. Speaking to local reporters, Safadi added that Amman has not received any request or demand from Israel to discuss issue.

Should there be terms or demands, Safadi said, they would revolve around the expiration of the two annexes.

œWe are a country with international standing. We acted by the letter of the law and we have the tools to protect our interests, he said.


 Jordanian FM: We will not negotiate sovereignty over annexes with Israel


Two Israeli military policemen charged with groping, robbing Palestinian women at checkpoint

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 22:08:19

Two Israeli military policemen were charged Sunday in military court with robbing and groping Palestinian women at a West Bank checkpoint over a period of six months.

The two policemen, whose names were not disclosed, were also charged with attempted robbery and with abuse of authority. They will be court-martialed in the Jaffa Military Court.

According to the indictment, the defendants were motivated by anti-Arab racism.


 Two Israeli military policemen charged with groping, robbing Palestinian women at checkpoint


Netanyahu's current politics reopen 23-year-old wound of Rabin's assassination

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:39:24

Anniversaries of Yitzhak Rabin's assassinations traditionally create tension between left and right, but this year's commemoration was different. The ceremonies and speeches that mark the day an Israeli prime minister was murdered for political reasons showed that, despite the 23 years that have passed, the feelings of bitterness and resentment in both camps are, if anything, stronger than ever. Rather than healing with time, the wound is as gaping, festering and venomous today as it was in the days following November 4, 1995.

Rabin's grandchildren, Noa Rothman and Yonatan Ben Artzi, usually address the annual memorial ceremony, but their words have never been harsher. Leaders of the Labor opposition routinely allude to the right-wing incitement that preceded the assassination, but not in the blunt and damning terms used by Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni and former Labor chair Shelly Yechimovich in the Knesset on Sunday. 

Benjamin Netanyahu and other right wing politicians always rebuff the claim that they inflamed and incited and created the atmosphere that inspired Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir, but Culture Minister Miri Regev declared this year that right wing incitement simply never happened and her colleague, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, asserted that the left is just as dangerous.


 Netanyahu's current politics reopen 23-year-old wound of Rabin's assassination


Jordan's king nixes peace treaty annexes as payback against Trump, Netanyahu

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:21:19

Jordan's King Abdullah knew 10 months ago that he would have to make a tough decision that was likely to get him into trouble with Israel, the U.S. administration or the Jordanian public.

The question of whether to let the lease agreement for Naharayim in the Jordan Valley and for Zofar in the Arava renew itself automatically, which is one of the options in the peace treaty with Israel, was first debated with his senior advisers back in January. This came amid the large demonstrations in Jordan against the country's new tax law, when there were also calls to cancel the peace agreement with Israel, or at least not to extend the leases.

The king asked then-Prime Minister Hani Mulki to prepare a comprehensive survey on the status of the leased lands, and the conclusion was that Jordan could take the lands back, since it owns them and under the peace agreement either party can cancel the lease agreement after 25 years, with a year's notice.


 Jordan's king nixes peace treaty annexes as payback against Trump, Netanyahu


Israeli claim consultants effective only at highest disability levels, report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:57:04

A report compiled by the National Insurance Institute and submitted to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Monday showed that only people with the highest levels of disability benefit significantly from hiring a consulting company to help them with their claims.

The committee met to discuss the consequences of the so-called Livnat Poran law, named after a well-known Israeli disability claims consultancy . The law, passed in July 2015, caps the fees that a disability lawyer or consulting firm can charge for representing an individual submitting a disability claim with the National Insurance Institute.

The NII study found that the average claimant with a disability rating of 90% or above who used the services of a consulting firm received 200 to 250 shekels ($55 to $68) more a month than individuals who filed their own claims. For insureds with lower disability levels the differences were negligible, and sometimes individuals without representation received even more. These outside consultants notably charge substantial fees for their services.


 Israeli claim consultants effective only at highest disability levels, report says


Why speak of the Israeli occupation abroad? So that this disgrace will end

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:34:10

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked this week by the editor of the most-read propaganda paper in Israel an obsequious question at a conference for the Christian press. The concealed propaganda appeared in the question itself: The hint, not to say the explicit statement, that the activities of B'Tselem are œanti-Semitic. Netanyahu did not reject what had been placed before him, and added his own definition for B'Tselem: œa disgrace.

And so, let us add even more to it. Netanyahu, what is a disgrace?

A disgrace is when during protests over the past months, Israeli snipers killed three 11-year-old children in the Gaza Strip. Nassar Musbah, Yassar Abu Al-Haja and Majdi al-Sitri are three of the 31 minors the army killed. We killed paramedics and journalists, too, and injured with live fire over 5,300 people. Some will remain disabled for their entire lives.


 Why speak of the Israeli occupation abroad? So that this disgrace will end


Relax. Trump won't put all the Jews in camps. Only the Democrats

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:15:49

Relax. It won't happen for a while yet.

There's really nothing to worry about, at the moment.

When it starts to happen, it won't be a big deal. These things take preparation. Groundwork. They have to be done right.


 Relax. Trump won't put all the Jews in camps. Only the Democrats


Mismanagement brought Israel's water economy to edge of crisis, state watchdog report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:11:16

The State Comptroller's Office slammed the Water Authority and the Water Ministry Monday for what it called its poor management of Israel's water supply, at a cost of 1.1 billion shekels ($300 million) and counting.

œThe Water Authority walked on the edge time after time, loosening the reins immediately after one rainy year while ignoring the long-term effects in the region of climate change, the state watchdog's report on Israel's water economy said. œThe absence of sustainable planning and mismanagement by the authority have caused another water crisis."

The report covers mainly the term of former Water Authority Director Alex Kushnir, who was replaced in mid-2017 by Giora Shaham, and former Energy Minister Silvan Shalom. He was replaced by Yuval Steinetz in 2015.


 Mismanagement brought Israel's water economy to edge of crisis, state watchdog report says


Israel's big pension tender: Higher management fees set as agents return to game

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:56:55

The latest tender to select default pension funds announced last week returns insurance agents to the game. While the previous tender, which set low management fees that didn't leave the winning pension funds the ability to pay agent commissions, the new one set significantly higher management fees, enabling them to market themselves through agents.

The capital markets authority set minimal management fees of 1.5% of deposits and 0.05% of the principle in the tender, below which funds cannot offer even if the package is more attractive. The winners were Meitav Dash, which raised its fees for deposits and the principle from 1.31% and 0.01%, respectively, in the previous tender to 2.49% and 0.05%, respectively; Psagot (1.68% and 0.09%, respectively); and Althshuler Shaham and Hellman Aldubi (both 1.49% and 0.1%, respectively).

Notably, Meitav Dash focused on raising the management fee for deposits to be able to pay substantial commissions to insurance agents returning to the market. Insurance agents had given Meitav Dash the cold shoulder over the past two years, after it won the previous tender, because it wasn't paying them commissions. Consequently, Meitav Dash lost an estimated 6 billion shekels in business to its competitors during this period.


 Israel's big pension tender: Higher management fees set as agents return to game


Only specialist medical clinic for asylum seekers in Israel due to close over lack of funding

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:41:21

The only clinic in Israel that provides specialist medical testing and treatment for asylum seekers at a nominal fee will be shutting down within a month, as the Health Ministry declined to take over funding of it, Haaretz has learned.

The company that has been operating the clinic, Terem, said the project has been run with volunteer staff since it opened in 2010. A second Terem clinic, which provides emergency medical care in the same building near the Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv and which receives major Health Ministry funding, will remain open.

>> How to treat asylum seekers: A lesson to Israel from Canada


 Only specialist medical clinic for asylum seekers in Israel due to close over lack of funding


Israel-China ties are a very good thing

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:08:10

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is visiting Israel from Monday through Thursday. Wang, along with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will head the fourth meeting of the China-Israel Innovation Committee, a kind of intergovernmental meeting that includes 13 government ministries from each side, in which they will discuss increasing cooperation in varied areas of the economy and trade, science and technology, health, agriculture, environmental quality, education and academy.

Netanyahu and Chinese President Xi Jinping also agreed last year to upgrade the relationship between the countries to a Comprehensive Innovation Partnership. This means that the huge Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, and Chinese government ministries, are getting a loud and clear message from the leadership in Beijing: Go and do business and invest in the advanced and innovative Israeli economy.

>> How close to China is too close for Israel? | Analysis


 Israel-China ties are a very good thing


Kushner says he told Saudi Crown Prince MBS to be 'fully transparent' in Khashoggi probe

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:54:55

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, said on Monday the United States is still in a fact-finding phase on the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and has its "eyes wide open." 

Kushner, who has a close relationship with powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deflected questions in a CNN interview about whether he trusted the Saudis to investigate themselves. 

Saudi Arabia has given shifting explanations about what happened to Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and strong critic of the crown prince, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh confirmed on Saturday he was dead and said he was killed in a fight in the building. 


 Kushner says he told Saudi Crown Prince MBS to be 'fully transparent' in Khashoggi probe


One day, Palestinians will thank Trump for his years of hostility

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:45:08

There has been some shock and awe at how, within the space of two years, the Trump administration has turned accepted orthodoxy on Israeli-Palestinian peace on its head. The awe is understandable, given the depth and breadth of the policy shifts. The shock, however, makes less sense.

After all, the duo responsible, David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special advisor on international negotiations, are the same two who drafted Trump's campaign position paper which outlined exactly what the administration intended to achieve.

Their success thus far may not be all that they bargained for, if bipartisan support for Israel is a key priority. Regardless, they should be credited for being both transparent and consistent in an administration that is generally viewed as less than such.


 One day, Palestinians will thank Trump for his years of hostility


Khashoggi's murder at Saudi consulate 'monstrously planned,' Turkey's ruling party says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:35:14

Turkey's ruling party said on Monday Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a œmonstrously planned murder, dismissing Riyadh's assertion he died in a fight, as Western incredulity deepened over varying Saudi accounts of the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, disappeared three weeks ago after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for an upcoming marriage.

Riyadh's reaction since - it initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he was killed in a fight in the consulate - has left several Western governments deeply skeptical and strained ties with the world's largest oil exporter.


 Khashoggi's murder at Saudi consulate 'monstrously planned,' Turkey's ruling party says


Saudi investment conference website hacked, then taken down

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:13:16

The Future Investment Initiative, the Saudi conference which has grabbed headlines in the past two weeks as participants have pulled out, appears to have had its official website hacked on Monday.  

The website's main page was taken over with an image of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wielding a sword aimed at dead journalist Jamal Khashoggi's head in a scene reminiscent of Islamic State beheadings.

Siemens's chief executive said on Monday he would not attend the three-day conference in Saudi Arabia after the country admitted that journalist Khashoggi had been killed in its consulate in Istanbul.


 Saudi investment conference website hacked, then taken down


Israel uncovers Hezbollah post near Lebanon border, in violation of UN resolution

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:47:56

Israel says it has recently uncovered an observation post Hezbollah established near its border with Lebanon, in violation to a UN Security Council resolution.

This position, the sixth Israel says it has identified along the border, was erected under the guise of an activity by an environmental non-governmental organization.

In July Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, presented photos of five other such position. Israel has yet to act to remove those positions.


 Israel uncovers Hezbollah post near Lebanon border, in violation of UN resolution


How a Jewish historian helped Benigni fend off Holocaust denial charges in ˜Life is Beautiful'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:47:39

In October 1998, Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni's œLife is Beautiful was released in the United States. It was a runaway success at both the box office and end-of-year awards ceremonies, winning three Oscars including best actor for Benigni himself.

But 20 years on, the film's historical consultant, Jewish-Italian Marcello Pezzetti, tells Haaretz that Benigni originally wanted a different ending for the film, one that risked alienating the Jewish community and corroborating accusations of Holocaust denial.

The film begins in fascist Italy in 1939, and goes on to chronicle how an Italian-Jewish father, Guido (Benigni), convinces his young son, Giosué (Giorgio Cantarini), that their incarceration in a German concentration camp is all an elaborate game. This œgame sees the inmates competing to score points, with the first to 1,000 points winning the star prize of a tank.


 How a Jewish historian helped Benigni fend off Holocaust denial charges in ˜Life is Beautiful'


Israeli soldiers filmed standing by in West Bank as settlers throw rocks at Palestinians

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:36:27

Israeli soldiers were filmed on Saturday watching settlers in the West Bank throw rocks at Palestinians and doing nothing to stop them.

At 10:30 AM on Saturday, a group of Israelis coming from the settlement of Yitzhar threw rocks at Palestinians they saw on farmland between the Palestinian villages of Burin and Hawara.

After the incident the Israelis returned to Yitzhar and half an hour later, an even bigger group came out of the settlement and threw rocks at Palestinians who were building a fence at Burin, a village near Nablus, according to Palestinian reports via the Yesh Din organization.


 Israeli soldiers filmed standing by in West Bank as settlers throw rocks at Palestinians


Midterms 2018: Why the 2016 Trump Tower meeting still matters

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:24:14

 Adoptions of Russian children? Opposition research on Hillary Clinton?

President Donald Trump has for the first time acknowledged that a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower was the latter. But he and his team have offered shifting explanations on the confab. That's key to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A look at the details, the Trump team's shifting explanations of the meeting, and why it matters:


 Midterms 2018: Why the 2016 Trump Tower meeting still matters


GOP fight over leadership after November vote to be messy

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:19:23

Win or lose in the race for the majority, House Republicans are at risk of plunging into a messy leadership battle after the November election, with the party lacking a clear heir apparent to take the place of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

U.S. President Donald Trump has signaled he'd be happy with next-in-line Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader, a longtime ally whom the president calls œMy Kevin.

But Trump is also saying kind words about the No. 3 Republican, GOP Whip Steve Scalise, whom he calls the œlegend from Louisiana. Scalise survived life-threatening injuries after he was shot at a congressional baseball practice in 2017.


 GOP fight over leadership after November vote to be messy


After the midterms, could a threatened, volatile Trump flip on Israel?

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:15:17

November 6th is report card day for the U.S. government. The results of the hotly contested midterm elections will speak volumes to the Trump administration's prospects moving forward. Many millions of dollars are pouring into the coffers of both major parties for precisely that reason to either promote or obstruct the president's agenda for the remainder of his term.

Republicans and Democrats assert equally that their faithful were fired-up by Brett Kavanaugh's bitter confirmation process for the Supreme Court, but indications are that Donald Trump's GOP will take a hit. The party controlling the White House traditionally loses seats in the midterm ballot and, indeed, polls are forecasting a Democratic takeover of Congress; Republicans are expected to retain their hold on the Senate.

Among those watching closely to assess the fallout will be Israeli policy-makers. Prominent friends of the Jewish state are heavily invested in the campaign on both sides of the aisle and relations between Israel and its chief benefactor and ally stand to be impacted by the outcome.


 After the midterms, could a threatened, volatile Trump flip on Israel?


Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:58:23

Over the past two weeks, the nightly news on Al Jazeera has become a fount of reports on the Khashoggi affair. Evidently the Turkish authorities have chosen to use the Qatari network to dribble out new sensational bits of information daily.

Al Jazeera was the first to show pictures of the killers who dismembered Khashoggi's body; it knew how they arrived and what they did; it reported on the Saudi consul's actions in the room and that Khashoggi was injected with a drug to stop him from screaming in pain. It almost seems that the network's correspondent in Turkey was present at the scene when it all happened.

While the Turkish government maintains proper restraint, stating that it is cooperating with the Saudi authorities or announcing that an investigation has been launched, Al Jazeera is providing the color and the harsh analysis that is roiling the Saudi royals.


 Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media


Resistance fighter who thwarted Nazi nuclear ambitions dies at 99

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:44:04

Joachim Roenneberg, the leader of a daring World War II raid to thwart Nazi Germany's nuclear ambitions died Sunday in his home country of Norway at the age of 99, Norwegian government officials said.

Born in 1919 in the town of Aalesund, Roenneberg left Norway in 1940 following the Nazi invasion. He went to Brtain, where he joined a special commando unit operating under the British Special Operations Executive. 

Roenneberg, serving behind enemy lines in his native Norway during the German occupation in 1943, blew up a plant producing heavy water, or D2O, a hydrogen-rich substance that was key to the later development of atomic bombs.


 Resistance fighter who thwarted Nazi nuclear ambitions dies at 99


Israel and BDS Take Center Stage in Heated Florida Governor's Debate

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:27:38

Israel doesn't normally play a starring role in U.S. governor races.

But in Sunday night's gubernatorial campaign debate in Florida, Rep. Ron DeSantis repeatedly pivoted to Israel-related issues from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to President Donald Trump's Jerusalem embassy move in an effort to paint his opponent as being hostile to the Jewish state.

At the height of the debate, DeSantis, 40, tried to cast Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's positions as being appropriate if he was œrunning for mayor of the Gaza Strip.  


 Israel and BDS Take Center Stage in Heated Florida Governor's Debate


Revealed: Israeli taxpayers helped bankroll illegal West Bank outposts for decades

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:27:06

The World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division has provided dozens of loans over the past two decades to fund the establishment of unauthorized Jewish outposts and farms across the West Bank, an investigation by Haaretz has revealed. Documents obtained by Haaretz show a pattern in which settlers have established farms and unauthorized outposts over the past 20 years with loans from the Settlement Division ” financed entirely through taxpayers' money and frequently secured by liens on agricultural equipment or livestock. The World Zionist Organization refused to respond for this article.

By cross-referencing maps at the offices of the Israeli Civil Administration for the West Bank with the names of individuals who have obtained mortgages, along with their places of residence and the year in which the loan was granted, it becomes apparent that the division repeatedly gave loans to people who were establishing unauthorized outpost, and did so during the period when the outposts were being set up. In most cases, the collateral for the loans were assets associated with the land on which the outposts were built, such as a flock of sheep, a chicken coop or agricultural equipment.

The Haaretz investigation was based on dozens of documents relating to mortgages pertaining to 26 outposts across the West Bank. These included large outposts such as Amona, which has since been evacuated. Mortgage financing was also provided for illegal structures in authorized settlements such as Yitzhar; and for the Havat Har Sinai, Einot Kedem and Shkedim farms.


 Revealed: Israeli taxpayers helped bankroll illegal West Bank outposts for decades


Israel has reached 'a situation of no choice' with Hamas, defense chief says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:21:03

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he doesn't believe in reaching an agreement with Hamas. "It didn't work, it doesn't work and it will not work in the future," he told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"The State of Israel doesn't have the luxury to manage 'we have a choice'  wars and operations, but we have reached a situation of no choice. We have reached a point where decisions must be made," he added.

It was also reported Monday that a delegation of Egyptian intelligence officials arrived in the Gaza Strip to continue meeting with Hamas in order to attain a long-term calm in the region.


 Israel has reached 'a situation of no choice' with Hamas, defense chief says


Drought is killing off Israel's trees, says groundbreaking nationwide study

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:59:56

Israel's forests have been declining for years, and now a groundbreaking study has found a correlation between increasing tree mortality and the mounting incidence of drought.

During arid periods, the study pointed out, not only are forest fires more frequent: the trees are also more vulnerable to harmful insects.

The study, "A nationwide analysis of tree mortality under climate change" was published in the Elsevier journal Forest Ecology and Management. The research was conducted Dr. Tamir Klein of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, with members of the Jewish National Fund and Prof. Gabriel Schiller of the Volcani Institute for Agricultural Research.


 Drought is killing off Israel's trees, says groundbreaking nationwide study


Kremlin: we'll respond in kind if U.S. develops intermediate missiles

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:20:56

The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia would be forced to respond in kind if the United States began developing new missiles after quitting a landmark Cold War-era treaty.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Washington would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia was violating the pact, triggering a warning of retaliatory measures from Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the U.S. move would make the world a more dangerous place and said Russia would be forced to act to restore the balance of military power if Washington quit and started developing new missiles


 Kremlin: we'll respond in kind if U.S. develops intermediate missiles


Funding blacklists of U.S. citizens, playing D.C. against Iran: Israeli gov't implicated by shelved Al Jazeera investigation

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:05:33

The Strategic Affairs Ministry coordinated with a Washington D.C.-based think tank that lobbied against the nuclear deal with Iran, the ministry's director-general says in a shelved Al Jazeera documentary about the Israel lobby. The documentary was obtained and seen by Haaretz blogger in Hebrew John Brown.

Brown reports of a special screening of the documentary, which took place in Bethlehem, on the security wall Israel built, near Banksy's "Walled Off Hotel." Only a small number of people attended the screening of the first episode of the Al Jazeera investigative report into the Israel lobby in D.C.

The documentary, spanning four episodes of 50 minutes each, tracked an undercover Al Jazeera reported who infiltrated the lobby in late 2016. Brown reported that he has obtained all four episodes.


 Funding blacklists of U.S. citizens, playing D.C. against Iran: Israeli gov't implicated by shelved Al Jazeera investigation


Since spy-plane downing, Russia toughens stance against Israel in Syria skies

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:00:11

In recent weeks Russia has been taking a more forceful stance toward Israel concerning Israel Air Force activity in the north.

The Russians are demanding further clarifications from the Israel Defense Forces via the œhotline that is meant to prevent any aerial clashes between the two parties, and there have been several instances in which Russian air defense radars in Syria were activated in connection with Israel's air force activity in the north.

Russia's behavior is being interpreted in Israel as a response to the incident in which a Syrian anti-aircraft missile downed an Ilyushin Russian intelligence-gathering plane on September 17 at the end of an Israeli airstrike near Latakia in northwestern Syria.


 Since spy-plane downing, Russia toughens stance against Israel in Syria skies


Jordan revoking part of peace treaty with Israel an economic 'death sentence' for farmers

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:50:59

King Abdullah II's announcement on Sunday that Jordan would be terminating its lease to Israel of two small areas along the countries' shared border surprised farmers from Moshav Zofar in the southern Arava region.

On Sunday afternoon, after the announcement, children from the area were selling cold lemonade for two shekels (50 cents) outside the local library. One of their mothers suggested sarcastically that they raise their price, saying œthey're taking away our agriculture and we won't have money left.

Officials at the Central Arava Regional Council and the farmers who work in the enclave near the moshav say they had no idea that the move by Jordan was in the offing, though the treaty gives Jordan the right to exercise the option of terminating the lease of the land every 25 years.


 Jordan revoking part of peace treaty with Israel an economic 'death sentence' for farmers


How India's Modi chose Moscow's S-400 missiles, defied Trump and spurned Israel

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:42:58

Vladimir Putin knows how to pack a punch. The combatant Russian president, an avid judoka, applies the martial art's two principles to diplomacy. One: move rapidly. Two: use the weight and strength of the opponent to your advantage rather than combating them directly.

In a deft move, Putin closed a $5.4 billion arms deal with India, selling the Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile defense systems at the beginning of October.

India, bordered by Pakistan's 20 fighter squadrons, and China's 1,700 fighter planes, must "match the force level of our adversaries," the head of India's Air Force has declared. 


 How India's Modi chose Moscow's S-400 missiles, defied Trump and spurned Israel


Top U.S. general confirmed wounded after Afghanistan shooting

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:37:18

U.S. Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley, was confirmed as one of two Americans wounded in Thursday's attack that killed the police chief of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, a spokeswoman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said.

Smiley, commander of Resolute Support's training and advisory mission in southern Afghanistan, was shot when a member of the provincial governor's bodyguard opened fire on a group of officials leaving a meeting with the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller.

"I can confirm US. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was wounded during a recent insider attack in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province," a spokeswoman for the NATO-led force said in an emailed statement.


 Top U.S. general confirmed wounded after Afghanistan shooting


Saudi operative seen on camera in Khashoggi's clothes after he was killed, report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:15:32

CNN reported early Monday morning that one member of the 15-man team suspected in the death of Jamal Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras, according to a senior Turkish official.

The revelation came the same day as five Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul are giving statements as witnesses under an investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish broadcaster NTV said on Monday.

Read more: More Khashoggi-MBS Links Revealed as Suspected Killer Dies in 'Suspicious Car Accident'


 Saudi operative seen on camera in Khashoggi's clothes after he was killed, report says


Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia, urges Europe to follow

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:08:55

Germany wants other European Union member states to follow its example in stopping arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as uncertainty remains over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.

Riyadh has given multiple and conflicting accounts on what led to Khashoggi's death on Oct. 2 at its consulate in Istanbul. On Sunday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called the killing a "huge and grave mistake" but sought to shield Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that Germany would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as the uncertainty around Khashoggi's death persisted.


 Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia, urges Europe to follow


Top GOP and Democratic leaders accuse MBS of journalist's 'murder'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:54:05

A leading Republican U.S. senator said on Sunday he believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it," Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union."

Corker said he was waiting for investigations to be completed and hoped that Turkey would share any audio tapes of the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.


 Top GOP and Democratic leaders accuse MBS of journalist's 'murder'


Why are some pro-Israel voices speaking out against Jamal Khashoggi?

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:47:05

Two weeks after he disappeared, Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Washington Post columnist, is getting his reputation run through a wringer, and some pro-Israel voices are joining the pile-on.

Even as gruesome allegations emerge that he was tortured, murdered and dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, some Israel supporters have joined other figures on the right in describing Khashoggi as a terrorist sympathizer and fierce opponent of Israel. Their goal appears to be to counter a portrait of Khashoggi as a Saudi reformer and free speech activist, and perhaps derail pressure building on the White House to punish Saudi Arabia for his disappearance and presumed murder.

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel | Trump Changes Tune on Saudi Arabia, Accuses Key Ally of 'Lies'


 Why are some pro-Israel voices speaking out against Jamal Khashoggi?


Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:43:59

Six days after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, U.S. President Donald Trump tried to play down the crisis, saying "hopefully that will sort itself out".

It did not, and on Oct. 10, amid a growing outcry, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton pressed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in what one U.S. official described as a "stern" phone call, to identify who was responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance or death.

Kushner, who had cultivated a close personal relationship with the crown prince, commonly known as MBS, urged Trump to act with caution to avoid upsetting a critical strategic and economic relationship, a senior administration official told Reuters.


 Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability'


As the Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king takes back authority

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:57:00

>> Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability' | Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince | Opinion | Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media | Analysis

So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

On October 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.


 As the Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king takes back authority


Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:30:17

The Israel Defense Forces said a Palestinian stabbed soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday before being shot dead.

The army said in a statement: "A terrorist tried to stab a soldier near the Cave of the Patriarchs, lightly wounding him. The soldier and additional forces on the scene responded with gunfire and neutralized the terrorist."

The incident took place near the Cave of Patriarchs. The Palestinian was identified as Muamar Arif al-Atrash, a 42-year-old father of seven.


 Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron


In address to GA, Israeli president proposes establishing ˜Reverse Birthright'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:38:11

President Reuven Rivlin called for the creation of a œReverse Taglit-Birthright program on Monday to help young Israelis acquaint themselves with Jewish communities abroad.

œWe must increase Israeli exposure to your schools, camps and communities, Rivlin, addressing the opening session of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North American, told more than 2,000 delegates gathered at the Tel Aviv for the three-day program. œThey must realize they have a family.

The title of this year's GA, being held for the first time ever in Tel Aviv is œWe Need to Talk.


 In address to GA, Israeli president proposes establishing ˜Reverse Birthright'


Cars vandalized and hate graffiti sprayed in West Bank village, Palestinians say

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:31:49

Palestinians said 15 vehicles were vandalized Sunday night in the Palestinian West Bank village of Marda.

Cars and minibuses had their tires slashed, while other vehicles had been defaced by spray-painted Hebrew graffiti, according to Palestinians.

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 Cars vandalized and hate graffiti sprayed in West Bank village, Palestinians say


Saudi king, crown prince call slain journalist Khashoggi's son, 'express condolences'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 08:53:37

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal's entourage.

King Salman likewise called Khashoggi's son, Salah.

That's according to statements published early Monday by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The statements said both King Salman and Prince Mohammed "expressed his condolences."


 Saudi king, crown prince call slain journalist Khashoggi's son, 'express condolences'


The GA's 'We need to talk' slogan is a desperate plea to save Israel-U.S. Jewish ties

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 08:31:19

This year's General Assembly (GA) of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has already created more of a ruckus than any GA in recent memory before it even started. The phrase œWe need to talk, which adorns the invitation to the GA and its slogan, carries a loaded punch. In today's popular culture, as Urban Dictionary says, œWe need to talk is œThe preamble to the discussion that is generally followed by the ending of a relationship.

This was certainly not the intention of the JFNA copywriter who came up with the motto. But even if one interprets œWe need to talk in the most positive way possible, it still denotes serious disagreements that can no longer be ignored.

Jewish Federations GA 2018 in Tel Aviv - full coverage


 The GA's 'We need to talk' slogan is a desperate plea to save Israel-U.S. Jewish ties


How close to China is too close for Israel?

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 06:06:54

There's no denying that Monday's arrival in Israel of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, the man often dubbed œthe second-most powerful in China, is a coup for Benjamin Netanyahu. When Netanyahu returned to the Prime Minister's Office in 2009, the relationship with Beijing was still damaged by the Phalcon crisis of a decade ago (in which Israel, under U.S. pressure, canceled the sale of surveillance planes to China), and a subsequent clash with the Chinese over the sale and maintenance of military drones. In the last nine years, Netanyahu has achieved a turnaround in the ties, by opening Israel up to every sort of business with China, not just arms sales, and Qishan's arrival for a three-day œInnovation Summit is one of the crowning achievements.

A large trade delegation will be accompanying Qishan, reflecting the fact that Chinese companies invested $16 billion in the local economy last year, particularly in high-tech, and China is now Israel's second-largest trading partner, eclipsed only by the United States. But it's not just tech. Israel has issued 20,000 work visas for Chinese construction workers and they're not building only neighborhoods, as they are now around the world; Chinese companies are also bidding on, and winning, major infrastructure projects.

Chinese companies are building and will be operating the new ports at Haifa and Ashdod. If they win the planned tender to build the new rail line to Eilat, it will give China a stake in all three of Israel's main sea outlets. Not everyone in Israel is overjoyed about this development. Currently serving officials are careful not to go on record, but some of Israel's most senior former civil servants are speaking out.


 How close to China is too close for Israel?


Haaretz Cartoon

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 04:48:09

 Haaretz Cartoon


Former PM spokesman and state's witness looking to buy hotel in Florida

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 03:34:51

Benjamin Netanyahu's former spokesman Nir Hefetz, who turned state's witness in the prime minister's corruption investigations, is looking into the possibility of buying a hotel in Florida, the Friday Ulpan television news show reported.

But a statement from Hefetz on Saturday denied a claim by radio personality and friend JoJo Abutbul that Hefetz was actually moving to the United States.

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 Former PM spokesman and state's witness looking to buy hotel in Florida


U.S., Israel expected to announce talks on new bilateral tax deal

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 03:17:56

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon are expected to announce on Monday that they will be appointing a team to reexamine the Israeli-American bilateral taxation agreement. Mnuchin is launching a Middle East tour.

Much has changed since the agreement came into force in 1995. Israel went from being a developing nation to a developed one, and from importing capital to exporting capital.

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 U.S., Israel expected to announce talks on new bilateral tax deal


Neutralizing the legal advisers

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 02:55:39

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday will begin debating a bill that would give every minister control over the search committee tasked with finding a legal adviser for his or her ministry, through the ministry director-general, who is the minister's confidant. Under the bill, the search committee is to replace the tender committee that exists today. In other words, every minister will have control over determining the identity of the ministry's legal adviser.

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The power that this proposal entrusts to the ministers will undermine the independence and functioning of these legal advisers. The proposal, sponsored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, would allow the legal adviser of a government ministry to be not the person who's most professionally qualified, but the person the minister most wants to appoint. A legal adviser who owes his appointment to the minister will become a biased adviser. The veto given to the attorney general will not help because he will not be able to stand in the breach. In addition, one could envision a competition for œwho can suck up to the minister best among legal advisers seeking to advance.


 Neutralizing the legal advisers


Rabin's grandchild calls on Netanyahu to ˜stop the incitement'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 02:30:22

At a memorial service for Yitzhak Rabin held at Mount Herzl on Sunday, his granddaughter Noa Rothman appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was present at the ceremony, asking him to distance himself from an incendiary tweet by a journalist who used to work in his office.

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The tweet included a photo of Rabin shaking hands with Yasser Arafat, with a word referring to treason in the background. œNo one here wrote it but no one has expressed reservations either. Rothman appealed to other public figures to stop saying that Rabin was not a traitor, asking them instead to stop calling anyone a traitor and to refrain from delegitimizing others. œYou are responsible for the welfare of everyone, not just your voters. If you don't stop the incitement and attacks against anyone who disagrees with you, blood will be spilled here again.


 Rabin's grandchild calls on Netanyahu to ˜stop the incitement'


Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 01:48:07

Turkey, a human rights champion under Erdogan, is accusing Saudi Arabia, another human rights champion, of the abhorrent murder of a Saudi journalist who entered the lion's den in Istanbul and, as befits horror stories typical of places like Syria China, Iran, Russia and North Korea, disappeared from sight. Now we have recordings and videotapes, allegedly from the Saudi consulate, suggesting that his body was chopped into pieces.

The underlying reason for this gruesome act, that evokes something conjured up by the Coen brothers, is not completely clear. One shouldn't treat any death lightly, particularly not a murder committed by an evil government. However, because of the political ramifications involved, it's worth contemplating this episode a bit more.

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 Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince


Israeli committee approves bill denying visits to Hamas prisoners

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 01:31:09

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill on Sunday that would block Hamas prisoners from receiving visits from Red Cross representatives or family members. The terror group refuses to allow reciprocal visits by humanitarian organizations to the Israelis being held in Gaza.

The bill was sponsored by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), but such a bill had been submitted in the past by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. œThe bill would enable me to continue to prevent family visits to Hamas terrorists in our prisons so long as this terror group holds our soldiers' bodies and our civilians and doesn't allow anyone see them, and would raise my policy to the level of legislation, Erdan said at the time.

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 Israeli committee approves bill denying visits to Hamas prisoners


Trump attempting to define transgender out of existence, NY Times reports

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 01:13:51

The government of U.S. President Donald Trump is attempting to strip transgender people of official recognition by creating a narrow definition of gender as being only male or female and unchangeable once it is determined at birth, The New York Times reported on Sunday. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort across several government departments to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the Times said, citing a government memo that it obtained. 

That definition would be as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person is born with, the Times reported.  Such an interpretation would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under the previous administration of President Barack Obama. 


 Trump attempting to define transgender out of existence, NY Times reports


Netanyahu also admires and envies his errant son

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 00:52:57

The truth must be told: Fathers envy their sons. Their freedom, their youth, the fact that for them everything has just begun, and that everything could also change. In his selective memory the father sees in his son the person he once was, but also the person he could never have been; a kind of modern and updated version of the fresh and fearless person he must have been in the past.

It's logical, of course, that no parent would envy a son whose image is that of a person who frequents strip clubs at government expense, and routinely tends to curse anyone in his path, be it while he's walking the dog or, no less routinely, surfing on Facebook.

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 Netanyahu also admires and envies his errant son


What's the right punishment for Israeli journalist accused of sexual assault? Pity

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:27:39

After the disgust and the nausea, which don't fade even after 30 years, Dan Margalit will be punished with pity. Margalit, the epitome of mainstream respectability, has been peeled off to the bare flesh. After the disgust, the nausea and the pity, comes the empathy for the hidden pain of the women who were in relationships with him, and those who still are.

The eight women who have so far testified that he (allegedly) assaulted them demonstrate the degree to which the poison of the assault remains. His respectability and that of the standards he represented prevented them from outing him in real time from the pathetic closet in which he placed himself.

>> Eighth woman accuses Israeli journalist Dan Margalit of sexual harassment


 What's the right punishment for Israeli journalist accused of sexual assault? Pity


˜I will sue anyone offending Mussolini': Granddaughter of Italian fascist sparks online war

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:18:06

Alessandra Mussolini, an Italian politician and member of the European Parliament, threatened to take legal action against anyone offending her grandfather, Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, galvanizing Italian Jews and anti-fascism activists to take her to task on social media.

Mussolini, who is a staunch defender of the public image of her grandfather and until recently a member of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's right wing party Forza Italia, tweeted what she called a œwarning to netizens, writing last week that she would œmonitor and œbring to court anyone posting œimages and/or sentences disrespectful of the memory of her grandfather.

According to Italian law, heirs are entitled to file defamation complaints on behalf of their deceased relatives. Although Italy's 1952 œScelba law forbids œpublicly glorifying representatives¦ of fascism, the law is seldom enforced.


 ˜I will sue anyone offending Mussolini': Granddaughter of Italian fascist sparks online war


Dutch public broadcaster popular with Dutch Arabs slammed for airing Holocaust jokes

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:16:23

A public broadcaster in the Netherlands aired and then took offline an animation series featuring jokes about the Holocaust and suggestions that Jews persecute Palestinians.

The jokes appeared in a 10-minute animation clip parodying œSouth Park, the popular American series. œMocro Park was created for a publicly funded broadcaster popular with Dutch Arabs, and was meant to celebrate and satirize the country's Arab youth culture.

In the joke about the Holocaust, a Jewish character named Levy suggests to his friends, including a Moroccan character and a Turkish one, that smoking tobacco from a hookah may be unhealthy. The Moroccan character then has flatulence. œSorry, Levy, did I just gas you? the Moroccan character asks.


 Dutch public broadcaster popular with Dutch Arabs slammed for airing Holocaust jokes


Confirmed: Israeli Chief Rabbinate does keep a secret list of approved rabbis from abroad

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 21:55:47

Despite its repeated denials, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate maintains a list of approved rabbis from abroad, an internal document confirms. Citing this new evidence, a non-profit active in fighting the powerful Israeli religious institution issued it an ultimatum on Sunday: Either release the names with no further delay or brace yourselves for a lawsuit.

According to the internal document, the Rabbinate has kept this list of rabbis only Orthodox rabbis, since it does not recognize the Conservative or Reform movements for at least 25 and perhaps as long as 35 years.

Individuals from abroad who register to marry in Israel must provide proof that they are Jewish if their parents were not married under the auspices of the Rabbinate. Typically, such certification is provided by their congregational rabbis abroad. Congregational rabbis abroad also provide letters of certification for converts. For such individuals, knowing which rabbis appear on the approved list is, therefore, critical.


 Confirmed: Israeli Chief Rabbinate does keep a secret list of approved rabbis from abroad


'Freedom of expression is not a license for incitement': Israeli ministers advance 'loyalty-in-culture' bill

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 21:41:51

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday a law providing Israel's culture minister will the authority to slash funding from cultural institutions that œcontravene the principles of the state. 

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Previously, only the Finance Ministry had such authority, and it has never used it. But Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon supports giving the Culture and Sports Ministry this power as well.


 'Freedom of expression is not a license for incitement': Israeli ministers advance 'loyalty-in-culture' bill


Defense minister: AG behind request to freeze expulsion of Bedouin villagers

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:58:27

Israel's decision to suspend the evacuation of the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar came after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit asked the government to first exhaust all attempts at negotiating with residents, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday.

Lieberman said that Mendeblit had told him to make a final attempt at negotiations for residents to depart voluntarily because it was "legally important."

The decision came days after International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Benseda warned that forcible evacuation could constitute a war crime and suggested that legal action would be taken.


 Defense minister: AG behind request to freeze expulsion of Bedouin villagers


GA event promises tough talk on issues dividing Israel and U.S. Jews but can it deliver?

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:49:53

œWe need to talk.

The title chosen for this year's Jewish federation summit doesn't beat around the bush: There is trouble in the tribe, it suggests in rather blunt terms, and it's time to hold some tough conversations about the many issues dividing Israel and American Jewry.

>> Jewish Federations GA slogan 'We need to talk' is a desperate plea to save Israel-U.S. Jewish ties | Chemi Shalev


 GA event promises tough talk on issues dividing Israel and U.S. Jews but can it deliver?


Breaking the Silence meets school students for first time since passage of law seen as targeting its activities

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:23:15

Breaking the Silence director spoke Sunday morning with high school students in Tel Aviv for the first time since a law seen as targeting the organization passed in July, prohibiting lectures and activities organized by groups in favor of legal actions abroad against IDF soldiers.

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Avner Gvaryahu, the organization's executive director, spoke at Tichonet High School in Tel Aviv part of an event held by the school to mark the memorial day for assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Twenty organizations were invited to speak with the students, including Zochrot, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Crisis Center for Victims of Sexual Assault, the Committee Against Torture, as well as an activist for public housing and an activist from the Jewish Voice website that is associated with settlers from Yitzhar.


 Breaking the Silence meets school students for first time since passage of law seen as targeting its activities


Israel Police sat on appeal of Bedouin asking to reopen investigation into son's death for over a year

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 19:47:10

For over a year, Israeli police did not forward to the State Prosecutor's Office the appeal of a Bedouin man who requested to reopen the investigation into his son's death. The Justice Ministry's unit that investigates police misconduct closed the investigation into the 18-year-old's death but mishandled the case due to œhuman error, police said.

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Mazen Abu-Habak, 18, was shot to death in February 2016. The investigations unit closed the investigation in April 2017 and two months later attorney Hussein Abu Hussein filed an appeal on the decision. At the beginning of October, about 16 months after he filed the appeal, Abu Hussein contacted the State Prosecutor's Office to find out what progress had been made but was told that the investigations unit had not yet forwarded the case to them. When he subsequently checked with the unit, he learned the case had never been sent. Appeals of the investigations unit's decisions are generally discussed by high-ranking officials in the State Prosecutor's Office, and often the decision is made by the state prosecutor himself.


 Israel Police sat on appeal of Bedouin asking to reopen investigation into son's death for over a year


Citing Alqasem, Israel asks court for more time in case of Human Rights Watch worker facing deportation over BDS

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 18:52:54

Israel has requested that the Jerusalem District Court allow it to postpone its response to the court in the case of an American human rights worker facing deportation from Israel due to alleged involvement in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The state says it needs time to understand the legal consequences following the successful appeal by Lara Alqasem, the American student barred from entering Israel for supposed support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Israel ordered in May the deportation of Omar Shakir, a senior Human Rights Watch official, citing his alleged anti-Israel activities and involvement in the BDS movement. Shakir rejects the accusations.


 Citing Alqasem, Israel asks court for more time in case of Human Rights Watch worker facing deportation over BDS


Jordan canceling annexes of peace treaty with Israel, King Abdullah says

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 15:38:48

Jordan's King Abdullah informed Israel on Sunday he will not renew two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan concerning territory leased to Israel. In a meeting with senior Jordanian officials in his Amman palace, the king said that the Jordanian government relayed an official message to Israel on the matter.

The territories in question are known in Arabic as al-Baqura and al-Ghamr, and Naharayim and Zofar in Hebrew. 

œBaqoura and Ghumar were at the top of our priorities, King Abdullah tweeted. œOur decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians."


 Jordan canceling annexes of peace treaty with Israel, King Abdullah says


CNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump allies smearing dead Saudi journalist

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 15:38:43

CNN host Anderson Cooper sees a growing effort from some U.S. conservatives to smear dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to help U.S. President Donald Trump.

Cooper's œAnderson Cooper 360 official Twitter account tweeted out a clip of his Saturday interview with GOP Virginia senate candidate Corey Stewart with the caption, œsome conservatives have been peddling smears against the journalist in an effort to cushion Pres. Trump from blowback over his handling of the situation.

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel | Trump Changes Tune on Saudi Arabia, Accuses Key Ally of 'Lies'


 CNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump allies smearing dead Saudi journalist


Israeli Diaspora minister will be conspicuously absent from this week's big Diaspora event in Israel

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:40:17

The big annual event of the Jewish Federations of North America, being held this week in Tel Aviv, is to focus on the crisis threatening Israel-Diaspora relations. But guess who won't be attending?

Scheduling conflicts, it turns out, will prevent the Israeli government minister with the most relevant portfolio from participating. And not only won't Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett be there, but neither is anyone representing him or his office scheduled to address the annual General Assembly.

A spokeswoman for the JFNA said that Bennett was invited but that œhis schedule didn't allow him to participate. The General Assembly takes place over the course of three full days from Monday through Wednesday and at last count, was expected to draw close to 2,500 participants. Only once every five years, though, does the event take place in Israel, and this is the first time in history that Tel Aviv will be the venue.  


 Israeli Diaspora minister will be conspicuously absent from this week's big Diaspora event in Israel


Khashoggi backlash: Can MBS' Saudi reforms survive international isolation

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:02:36

The disappearance of a Saudi journalist last seen entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul has shaken confidence in the country as a place to do business, with potential consequences for billions of dollars in investments going into and out of the country.

It's a blow, analysts say, to efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to convince the world that the country is a reputable place to strike the deals needed to power a wide-ranging transformation of the economy.

As allegations emerge that Jamal Khashoggi was gruesomely murdered, political pressure to isolate Saudi Arabia is increasing.


 Khashoggi backlash: Can MBS' Saudi reforms survive international isolation


Trump sanctions on Saudi Arabia? U.S.'s Mnuchin says too early to comment

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:29:25

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.

Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was "a good first step but not enough" as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel | Trump Changes Tune on Saudi Arabia, Accuses Key Ally of 'Lies'


 Trump sanctions on Saudi Arabia? U.S.'s Mnuchin says too early to comment


Trump changes tune on Saudi Arabia, accuses key ally of 'lies'

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:10:55

U.S. President Donald Trump joined European leaders on Saturday in pushing Saudi Arabia for more answers about Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh changed its story and acknowledged that the journalist died more than two weeks ago at its consulate in Istanbul. Trump's statement marks a stark change in his tone towards the Saudis - a close ally Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have hinged much of their foreign policy goals on.

Saudi Arabia said early on Saturday that Khashoggi, a critic of the country's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had died in a fight inside the building.

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel


 Trump changes tune on Saudi Arabia, accuses key ally of 'lies'


Dramatic rise in British Jews applying for German citizenship amid Brexit concerns

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:09:51

British Jews are applying for German citizenship in dramatic numbers, seeking a second European Union passport under a law designed to repatriate Jews whose families lost their German citizenship under the Nazis.

The number of Britons seeking German citizenship rose from 43 in 2015 to 1,667 last year.

The applications, which increased following the 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, use a German legal provision that aims to make amends for Nazi-era persecutions, known as article 116-2.


 Dramatic rise in British Jews applying for German citizenship amid Brexit concerns


More Khashoggi-MBS links revealed as suspected killer dies in 'suspicious car accident'

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:09:16

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel

 A man who previously traveled with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage to the United States entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just before writer Jamal Khashoggi vanished there, according to images published last Thursday by a pro-government Turkish newspaper.

The Sabah newspaper's report showed the man also later outside the Saudi consul general's home, checking out of a Turkish hotel as a large suitcase stood by his side, and leaving Turkey on October 2.


 More Khashoggi-MBS links revealed as suspected killer dies in 'suspicious car accident'


Jamal Khashoggi was a victim of Saudi terror. He was also a keen supporter of Palestinian terrorism

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:02:59

The entirely legitimate shock and outrage over the disappearance and likely murder of the prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi have so far largely prevented an examination of his views.

Perhaps inevitably, this has led to right-wing conspiracy theories retweeted by Donald Trump Jr - about a nefarious media plot covering up that Khashoggi was really a veteran Al-Qaeda sympathizer who just pretended to be a "democrat reformer journalist."

So it may be necessary to point out the obvious: when a journalist is assassinated by the government he criticized, it doesn't really matter what views he held. Opinions quite simply never justify murder.  


 Jamal Khashoggi was a victim of Saudi terror. He was also a keen supporter of Palestinian terrorism


The surprising letter Tolstoy wrote to Israeli author Amos Oz

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:55:47

Not long ago, the writer Amos Oz found a rather surprising letter in his mailbox. œDear Mr. Oz, It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have won the award, wrote someone who signed himself œMr. Tolstoy. Oz was a bit taken aback: It's not every day you receive a letter from a literary great who died 108 years ago.

œI thought it was a prank, says Oz. œI thought I was being played with, until I read the letter.

It's like taking part in a séance.


 The surprising letter Tolstoy wrote to Israeli author Amos Oz


Teachers at Israeli public colleges to strike this week

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:42:22

Academic staff at Israeli public colleges have declared a strike for Sunday. Senior staff will stop working indefinitely whereas junior staff will go on strike for one week.

Classes will not be held at Sapir College, Ashkelon College, Kinneret College, Ruppin Academy Center and the Holon Institute of Technology.

Senior staff only will not work at the Academic College of Tel Aviv, Afeka College of Engineering, Hadassah College of Technology, the Azrieli College of Engineering and the Heart Institute.


 Teachers at Israeli public colleges to strike this week


Why the Khashoggi murder is a disaster for Israel

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:41:19

>> Analysis: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test

The shocking brutality of Jamal Khashoggi's abduction and murder by Saudi security forces cannot be papered over, no matter how implausibly it is dressed up as an interrogation gone wrong or the work of rogue actors.

But its implications go deeper than the tragedy visited upon Khashoggi's family and fiancee. It raises fundamental questions for the United States and Israel about their whole strategic concept in the Middle East.


 Why the Khashoggi murder is a disaster for Israel


Saudi Arabia's latest version: Khashoggi killed in chokehold while resisting

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:31:56

As Saudi Arabia faced intensifying international scepticism over its story about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior government official laid out a new version of the death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that in key respects contradicts previous explanations.

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on October 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted. A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi's clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate.

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated.


 Saudi Arabia's latest version: Khashoggi killed in chokehold while resisting


It's not Lara Alqasem or BDS that Israelis need to fear

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:01:05

The Supreme Court's decision to overturn the decision to deport Lara Alqasem and let her enter the country was an expected one. Any court not held captive to the paradigm of justifying an executive decision would have reached the same conclusion.

But we have to admit that some courts are captives of this paradigm, as reflected by the lower-court verdicts on the subject. This is why even this anticipated ruling could not be taken for granted. It's of interest that even veteran Justice Neal Hendel, who went out of his way to justify the so-called boycott law and praise it, was a key supporter of the decision.

>>Israel's Ministry of Silly Affairs | Opinion -  When Israeli patriotism exceeds rationalism and the good of the state | Analysis -  Dare to know Lara Alqasem | Opinion 


 It's not Lara Alqasem or BDS that Israelis need to fear


Hundredth protest against Netanyahu government corruption held near AG's house

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:57:13

œI never believed we'd reach one hundred but we'll reach two hundred if necessary said a demonstrator over a megaphone at the one hundredth demonstration Saturday against alleged corruption by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. The protest took place opposite Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit's house at Goren Square in Petah Tikva.

Hardcore demonstrators, made up of a group of 20 people in their 50s and 60s, have been coming to the square every single week for 100 times.

>> Bibi bombshells explained: Your guide to all the Netanyahu cases


 Hundredth protest against Netanyahu government corruption held near AG's house


American Jews are funding the far-right dream of Greater Israel. We have to end this - now

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:54:15

This week, the Jewish Federations of North America is hosting its annual General Assembly in Israel, and this year's theme is "We need to talk."

The conference program is packed with high-profile speakers, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to incoming Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog, to business, NGO, and communal leaders. The "need to talk" is a recurring theme across the Jewish community today; if we could just have more civil discourse with one another, all of our problems would go away.

>> I'm Not the 'Right Kind of Jew' for Israel's Current Government and I'm Proud of It


 American Jews are funding the far-right dream of Greater Israel. We have to end this - now


A timeline of Saudi Arabia's shifting narratives on Jamal Khashoggi's death

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:34:50

The official Saudi statements on the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have changed several times since he mysteriously disappeared after entering his country's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Saturday's announcement, declaring that Khashoggi had died in a œfistfight with officials that came to see him there, increased criticism over Saudi's handling of the case and concern over the kingdom's possible complicity in the killing of the prominent Washington Post columnist.

Here is a look at the Saudi narrative regarding Khashoggi, as it developed.


 A timeline of Saudi Arabia's shifting narratives on Jamal Khashoggi's death


Jamal Khashoggi viewed Turkey as a base for a new Middle East

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:01:13

Friends say Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a proud Arab who wanted to set up a base in his ancestral homeland of Turkey, contributing to the growing community of exiled Arabs who have taken refuge there.

For Khashoggi, a history lover, the growing Arabic community and Turkey's power in the region echoed aspects of the Ottoman empire, when Istanbul was at the center of a rich and multicultural Middle East.

With millions of Arab exiles who fled their homes because of wars or oppression, Turkey has become a fertile ground for talent and ideas, a place where Khashoggi might be able to pursue his own projects, including a pro-democracy group, a media watch group, a forum to translate economic studies and launching online magazines.


 Jamal Khashoggi viewed Turkey as a base for a new Middle East


Cabinet OKs Netanyahu's proposal to postpone Khan al-Ahmar evacuation until negotiations exhausted

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 09:57:04

Israel's security cabinet approved on Sunday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to postpone the evacuation of the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents. 

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said that the cabinet will be setting the timetable for negotiations. "Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated, it's a court ruling, that's our policy and it will be done," Netanyahu said, following massive pressure from his ministers Sunday. 

"The period of time to try to evacuate with agreement will be determined by the cabinet," he added. "I will convene it today, we will set a date. It will be short, and I believe it will be with consent."


 Cabinet OKs Netanyahu's proposal to postpone Khan al-Ahmar evacuation until negotiations exhausted


Israeli defense chief orders Gaza border crossings reopened following weekend on quelled protests

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 09:40:28

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday ordered the reopening of the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, as well as the resumption of fuel transfers.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz

According to Lieberman, the decision came following a security assessment with representatives of the Israeli army, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Shin Bet security service following "Hamas' efforts to contain violent incidents at the end of last week."


 Israeli defense chief orders Gaza border crossings reopened following weekend on quelled protests


Truth or trap? Saudi explanation for Khashoggi's murder puts Trump to the test

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 06:05:43

Has the formula been found for the lie that absolves Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of responsibility for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

Is the kingdom's latest version, according to which the Saudi journalist died in a fistfight with a number of Saudis who were arrested last week, enough to salvage Donald Trump's precious $110 billion arms deal? The U.S. president rushed to declare the Saudi explanation œcredible. It's possible that someone who dispenses lies on a daily basis knows the difference between credible and incredible lies. But anyone who chooses to believe the Saudi version must ask a few nagging questions.

>> Khashoggi and the myth of the 'liberal' Middle East crown princes | Analysis -  Will the Khashoggi 'murder' bring down Saudi's crown prince? | Explained -  Why the Khashoggi murder is a disaster for Israel | Opinion


 Truth or trap? Saudi explanation for Khashoggi's murder puts Trump to the test


Shin Bet arrests two Palestinians amid threats after Old City house sold to Jewish settlers

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 05:49:07

The Shin Bet security service arrested two high-profile Palestinians on Saturday amid concerns that real estate dealers would be harmed after the revelation this month that Jews had taken over a Palestinian house in Jerusalem's Old City.

œPeople are afraid that they will be killed in order to intimidate others, one Palestinian source said. The revelation this month has sparked theories in the Palestinian media about who sold the house that abuts the Temple Mount in the Old City's Muslim Quarter. The house is thought to have been acquired by an Israeli right-wing nonprofit group, Ateret Cohanim.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz


 Shin Bet arrests two Palestinians amid threats after Old City house sold to Jewish settlers


NY Times report: Saudi Arabia deployed online army to harass dissident journalist Khashoggi

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 04:01:22

Saudi Arabia deployed an online army to harass dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and other critics of the kingdom on Twitter, the New York Times reported on Saturday. 

The efforts to attack Khashoggi and other influential Saudis, and sway public opinion against them on the social media service, included a so-called troll farm based in Riyadh and a suspected spy within Twitter that the kingdom utilized to monitor user accounts, the New York Times reported. 

Twitter declined to comment. A representative from the Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. 


 NY Times report: Saudi Arabia deployed online army to harass dissident journalist Khashoggi


The Israeli architect who planned the entire country

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 02:04:56

In the soccer world, some may still wonder whether the œhand of God played a part in Diego Maradona's legendary goal in the 1986 World Cup, or whether the midfielder's human hand achieved the miracle. But in the Israeli world of architecture and planning, it's indisputable that the hand of Arieh Sharon (1900-1984) planned the country without divine intervention.

Any lingering doubts on that score are definitively refuted by a photograph of the architect in the exhibition œArieh Sharon: Architect of the State at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (curator: Eran Neuman). The image shows Sharon at Haifa's Technion technology institute, against the backdrop of the university's Forum complex, which he designed. His chest taut, his gaze direct and penetrating, Sharon's right arm, fist clenched, is raised high triumphantly. He's projecting determination, power and unshakable confidence in the bold new world he fashioned with his own hands.

>>Urban art: Tel Aviv's must-see galleries


 The Israeli architect who planned the entire country


In Israel, it's ˜loyalty' or culture

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 01:56:28

On Sunday the Ministerial Committee for Legislation is due to discuss the so-called loyalty-in-culture bill proposed by Culture Minister Miri Regev, who seeks to grant herself power to censor Israeli culture. Under the proposal, Regev will be granted the authority to withhold budgets from cultural institutions on several grounds, some of them criminal offenses such as support for terror, incitement to racism and the desecration of state symbols.

But Regev wants to make herself investigator, judge and executor while deciding on her own (after receiving opinions from advisers) when a work or cultural institution œsupports terror, œincites to racism or œdesecrates state symbols. The other grounds for withholding funding are legal actions such as artistic statements about the Nakba the Palestinians' term for the events of the 1947-49 war and œrejecting the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state such a vague definition that any culture minister could take advantage of it to censor institutions.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz


 In Israel, it's ˜loyalty' or culture






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