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Ha'aretz
Time: Sun, 06.13.2021 10:50 AM Local file generated: Sun, 06.13.2021 09:28 AM
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Netanyahu will likely lose power today, but he's leaving as a winner

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 11:06:58 +03:00

The British politician Enoch Powell wrote that œall political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure. By this standard, it's hard to describe the way Benjamin Netanyahu's term in Israel's Prime Minister's Office is about to end as a defeat. He is incapable of leaving the stage voluntarily, and he is no different in this than the country's previous 11 premiers. None of them chose the circumstances in which they left office. That's the nature of the job. It doesn't end well.

Like his predecessors, Netanyahu is leaving against his will. But, assuming the new government is sworn in on Sunday afternoon, he's leaving as a winner.

The man who was written off so many times as a passing and inconsequential politician, even after his first term as prime minister in the 1990s, became Israel's longest-serving leader even longer than the founder, David Ben-Gurion. Someone who managed to hold onto power for 15 years didn't lose, even if he was forced out at the end.


 Netanyahu will likely lose power today, but he's leaving as a winner


The most successful artist to come out of Israel lives alone in a tiny 48-square-meter house

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 10:28:39 +03:00

Located in a place of immense honor in the Central Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale is the work of an artist, not an architect. She is Michal Rovner, arguably Israel's most successful contemporary artist, whose works have been displayed at leading museums around the world and sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The biennale opened on May 22 after a one-year delay, and Rovner's creation, which was chosen as a special participation and does not represent a specific country, blends in well with the atmosphere and with the events of the last year.

Entitled "Culture-C1, 2021," Rovner's work, an extension of her artistic approach, features dozens of red and white figures projected on a black background, moving in a sort of coordinated chaos; sometimes they overlap, sometimes they move together as in a military parade, while at other times they look like falling leaves or viruses under a microscope.

In 2003, Rovner represented Israel at the Venice Art Biennale, with an exhibition called "Data Zone": a series of works featuring Petri dishes on which tiny human figures were projected, moving in both orderly and haphazard ways. The text that accompanies her new installation in Venice raises the same questions posed about that earlier work: œWho are these people? Is it us or them? And those questions tie into the main theme of the current biennale: œHow will we live together? It was posed by Lebanese-American architect Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture.


 The most successful artist to come out of Israel lives alone in a tiny 48-square-meter house


Israel's new government set to be sworn in today, ending Netanyahu's 12-year rule

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:51:35 +03:00

 Israel's new government set to be sworn in today, ending Netanyahu's 12-year rule


Naftali Bennett, next Israeli PM: The man behind the slogans and stereotypes

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 08:20:46 +03:00

Naftali Bennett, who is on track to become Israel's 13th prime minister within days, is easily labeled religious hard-liner, ultranationalist and settler leader on the one hand, high-tech millionaire, special-forces operative and political wunderkind on the other. Most of these labels, on closer scrutiny, don't really apply. At least not fully.

Bennett at 49 is the man who has come closest to the holy grail of Israeli politics, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu, but he's not really a politician, certainly not a consistent one. In the last 14 years he has been in five different parties. He entered the Knesset for the first time just eight years ago, and just two years ago one of his parties even failed to cross the electoral threshold. Now he's about to become prime minister and his current party, Yamina, is falling apart with half its members having either defected or considering it.

In interviews he likes to present himself as not being like other politicians œwho never ran a business instead, he's a tech executive and a commando, œan expert in hunting down rocket launchers behind enemy lines. But the sum of his years in the military and business is even shorter than his stint in politics. Those who know him well predict that in a few years he'll be doing something else.


 Naftali Bennett, next Israeli PM: The man behind the slogans and stereotypes


Bennett-Lapid gov't is entirely Netanyahu's own doing

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 08:11:34 +03:00

A few days after the May 17, 1999 election won by Ehud Barak, the outgoing cabinet secretary, Gideon Sa'ar, went to the prime minister's residence. He found the soon-to-be-former occupant in the basement, pedaling furiously on an exercise bike. œHave to start working on my comeback, Benjamin Netanyahu said between breaths.

A decade later, he returned. A dozen years have passed since then, and on Sunday he will say goodbye (insert standard warning here: unless ¦) to the position and perhaps also to the dream. By the way, Sa'ar had a significant hand in Netanyahu's return to power in 2009, and an even greater one in ousting him from power in the last election.

Today Netanyahu is 72 years old, after four successive electoral and/or political defeats and in the thick of a criminal trial. The government that will be sworn in Sunday is entirely a product of his actions and failures, his haughtiness and his scamming. In no other situation could the head of a party with just six Knesset seats become prime minister, just as there could not be a coalition including the United Arab List and Meretz, Yamina and New Hope. œOnly Netanyahu, to paraphrase the old Likud slogan, could bring together such opposites for a goal that is much greater than his replacement: to return us to normalcy, restore our political stability and rescue us from the vicious cycle Israel has been trapped in for the past 30 months.


 Bennett-Lapid gov't is entirely Netanyahu's own doing


Israel censored questions about migrants on international test

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 06:04:01 +03:00

The Education Ministry deleted a number of questions on an international test to check students' œglobal competence, including attitudes toward migrants, respect for other cultures and commitment to international action.

However, the official report published by the ministry last year barely addressed the decision to censor so many questions.

It has now emerged that the questions were deleted because they dealt with œpolitical views, as ministry representatives informed Heela Goren, a Ph.D. candidate in education who is researching the subject. The only other country to censor questions like Israel did was the United Arab Emirates.


 Israel censored questions about migrants on international test


Netanyahu's legacy will haunt him, and Bennett will have to put his base on the back burner

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 06:03:35 +03:00

An unusual conjuncture will bring Naftali Bennett to be sworn in as prime minister Sunday, with few people in his orbit believing him to be the right person in the right place. He became anathema overnight to the right wing, who see him as a swindler who joined up with the right to topple their adored leader.

His own tiny party includes a few grumpy lawmakers who look like they are caught in a situation that is well beyond their pay grade. His new coalition partners, too, are convinced that he doesn't deserve the position; they see him chiefly as a contractor for the project to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It's hard to succeed under such conditions, which means Bennett has no choice but to succeed: He must not constantly look to some imagined base, he must resist the temptation to put spin on his actions and be always thinking about exit points and the next election. If he fails, the left and the right will tear him to pieces with equal pleasure. If the government makes it to the two-year mark and the handoff with Yair Lapid, it will be considered a great success, but it must also have something to show for it: in transportation, infrastructure, education, the labor market and a reduction of crime in Arab communities. There are enough issues to work on besides the eclectic and contradictory composition of the new government.


 Netanyahu's legacy will haunt him, and Bennett will have to put his base on the back burner


Netanyahu won't surrender so long as his trial moves forward

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 06:03:04 +03:00

Nobody is taking their eyes off the monitor during this risky birth. Until the new government is sworn in, nothing is final. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opponents fear an unexpected obstacle on the way to the historic moment for which they've hungered so many years, Netanyahu's departure from government. Among Likudniks there are still pockets of denial a desperate expectation that their magician will still manage to pull some Elkin out of a hat or perform some other trick to change reality.

But even there, the realization that it's over is beginning to dawn. After all the disinformation, protests, shouts, curses and threats, some Likud Central Committee members said Saturday that they were truly heartbroken. They explained that they felt their home had been stolen from them. That is, that their own flesh and blood had played a trick on them and stolen the government (that's quite a surprising notion, and particularly unfair, given that Bennett's voters few though they were compared to those of Likud chose of their own free will to vote for Yamina and not for Netanyahu).

Likud is looking at a few strategies to bring down this government in a year to a year and a half. In the coming weeks they will put forward bills of a clear right-wing nature, which Yamina lawmakers and their partners on the right had proposed in the past to embarrass the government. The purpose of these bills will be to show the public that this is truly a left-wing government held captive by Labor's Merav Michaeli and Ibtisam Mara'ana, United Arab List's Mansour Abbas and others. We got a taste of this in a bill put forward by Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar to restrict the right to petition the High Court of Justice an idea supported enthusiastically by most of the change bloc, who still voted against it.


 Netanyahu won't surrender so long as his trial moves forward


Israel's education minister an embarrassment until the very end

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 01:15:13 +03:00

Yoav Gallant's final chord as education minister is very symbolic of the rot and degeneration that spread during the years of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rule. On Friday, Gallant informed Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit that he had made his final decision not to grant the Israel Prize in computer science to Prof. Oded Goldreich of the Weizmann Institute.

œProf. Goldreich does not at this time meet the condition of a contribution to Israel, because his contribution through his research is offset by his energetic action to boycott Israeli research institutions actions carried out consistently and intentionally and that have caused real damage and continue to damage Israeli academia, Gallant wrote to Mendelblit, in the authoritative tone of someone on his first day in office, not his last, on his way to the opposition.

The words Gallant uses to describe Goldreich depict him as an enemy of the state. They withhold from him the prize for his contribution to mathematics and computer sciences, and the honor and the recognition that go with it. But more than the words that describe Goldreich, they fit the McCarthyist atmosphere of political persecution of opponents of the occupation that has prevailed in Israel in recent years under Netanyahu's reckless leadership.


 Israel's education minister an embarrassment until the very end


Haaretz cartoon

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 00:39:12 +03:00

 Haaretz cartoon


Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has nothing to lose

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 23:14:48 +03:00

The Haaretz archive doesn't lie, even if it occasionally surprises: I discovered that I am in favor of Naftali Bennett.

November 2014: œ ith Israel will no longer wear its lying, false, pretty face, which has allowed it to continue its policies. That's why I'm for him. August 2020: "We need to start thinking about it Naftali Bennett, the next prime minister of Israel. ¦ That's bad news, but there's worse a chain of events that's not imaginary: Netanyahu's Likud party slumps, Bennett's Yamina rises, the center-left lacks proper leadership and Bennett attracts the longed-for 'Anyone But Bibi' coalition. ¦ Far right would replace moderate right, religious would replace secular, ¦ the end of deception. With Bennett at the helm, Israel would be officially declared a capitalist, colonialist apartheid state. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

It starts Sunday. The former director general of the Yesha Council of settlements from Ra'anana will be sworn in as prime minister. Half the nation feels it is going from darkness to light, the other half feels it's doing the opposite, and in both cases it's not because of Bennett. He is still bad news, yet not the worst. But the truth is that, save for an extreme, imaginary, inconceivable scenario, Bennett as prime minister is not news. Deducting for all the reforms to public health and to transportation that will or will not be implemented, in the end the Pretoria of the Middle East chose a prime minister, and he will continue to do as the Pretorians do.


 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has nothing to lose


Afghans jailed in Greece over Moria migrant camp blaze

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 23:08:24 +03:00

Four Afghan asylum-seekers were sentenced to 10 years in prison in Greece on Saturday for their part in a fire that destroyed the Moria migrant camp last year, in a case that highlighted the chronic refugee problem on Europe's borders.

The men, charged with arson with risk to human life over the fire on the island of Lesbos last September, were found guilty after a court rejected a request by lawyers for three of them to be tried by a juvenile court because they were under 18 at the time.

Before the blaze, Moria was considered Europe's biggest migrant camp, a sprawling and overcrowded town of tents and improvised shelters notorious for its poor and often dangerous living conditions.


 Afghans jailed in Greece over Moria migrant camp blaze


Bennett calls on anti-Netanyahu activists to avoid 'provocations' on eve of new government

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 22:22:17 +03:00

Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett on Saturday urged anti-Netanyahu protesters to avoid "provocations," as some 1,500 of them took to the streets in Jerusalem and across the country for the 51st consecutive week.

"This is not the time for demonstrations and provocations," Bennett said in a statement, pleading activists to "treat Netanyahu and his family with respect."

With protesters' main goal unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closer than ever as the Bennett-Lapid government faces a Sunday confidence vote, which it is likely to pass, this should be the last major anti-Netanyahu demonstration.


 Bennett calls on anti-Netanyahu activists to avoid 'provocations' on eve of new government


'Unprecedented' is an understatement: How the Bennett-Lapid coalition can survive

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 21:46:18 +03:00

Our hearts are filled with excitement as 4 P.M. on Sunday approaches, when the Knesset is set to vote to end Benjamin Netanyahu's prolonged rule, but our brains insist on spoiling the party.

We still remember those TV images from 1990 of Sonia Peres in a rare public appearance in the Knesset visitors' gallery, waiting in vain for the swearing-in of her husband, Shimon, and his government at the height of the so-called œstinking maneuver to unseat the national unity government. We all remember that embarrassing episode, I said a few days ago at a meeting of the news editors, who gazed at me with surprise mixed with a look that said: œYou're showing your age.

But on the assumption that Netanyahu will not be able to tear up the complex weave of steps to replace him, and that from Sunday evening Galit Bennett will be called œthe prime minister's wife, Israel will enter a new political era. The cliché œunprecedented is small in comparison to the reality emerging from the corridors of power in Jerusalem.


 'Unprecedented' is an understatement: How the Bennett-Lapid coalition can survive


Algeria election gets low turnout amid opposition boycott

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 21:34:46 +03:00

Algerians vote Saturday for a new parliament in an election with a majority of novice independent candidates running under new rules meant to satisfy demands of pro-democracy protesters and open the way to a œnew Algeria.

Tension surrounded the voting in the gas-rich North African nation. Activists and opposition parties boycotted the election, and voter turnout was low midway through the day.

Authorities have tightened the screws on the Hirak protest movement in recent weeks, with police stopping weekly marches and arresting dozens, the latest a Hirak figure and two journalists. The three prominent opposition figures, including journalist Khaled Drareni, a press freedom advocate, were freed early Saturday, three days after their arrests, the National Committee for the Liberation of the Detained said.


 Algeria election gets low turnout amid opposition boycott


Final presidential debate shows Iran's political fissures

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:39:51 +03:00

Iran held a final presidential debate Saturday that showed the fissures within the Islamic Republic's politics, as hard-liners referred to those seeking ties to the West as œinfiltrators and the race's two other candidates brought up the unrest that surrounded Tehran's disputed 2009 election.

Analysts and state-linked polling put hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as the clear front-runner in Friday's upcoming vote, with the public now largely hostile to the relative moderate President Hassan Rohani after the collapse of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

But that didn't stop Rohani's former Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati from harshly criticizing Raisi, at one point getting up from his chair to hand him a list he described as naming individuals who haven't paid back huge loans from state banks. He again tried to link Raisi to former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Iran's nuclear deal has seen the country crushed by sanctions.


 Final presidential debate shows Iran's political fissures


Bennett-Lapid government set to assume power. But when is Netanyahu moving out?

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:23:18 +03:00

Despite concerns some expressed in jest, some very serious that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try to cling to authority after his ouster, the fact remains that an outgoing prime minister cannot remain in power after a new government has been sworn in.

Israel, unlike many countries, lacks a detailed protocol for the transfer of power, but the Basic Law on the Government explicitly states that œthe government shall be established once the Knesset has expressed confidence in it, and the ministers shall thereupon assume office.

In other words, as soon as a vote of confidence in the new government is passed in the legislature, the authority automatically passes to the new prime minister and cabinet members, without the need for any transition or for the ratification of the decision by any individual or authority.


 Bennett-Lapid government set to assume power. But when is Netanyahu moving out?


After calls for boycott amid Jewish-Arab violence, activists lead 'National Palestinian Economy Week'

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:22:44 +03:00

A social campaign in support of Arab-owned businessed in Israel and the West Bank drew large crowds to a series of events of the past week, meant to offset calls to boycott them following a spike in Jewish-Arab violence across the country last month.

The œNational Palestinian Economy Week campaign, which is set to end on Sunday, was conceived over social media mainly by young social activists from the Arab community.

œThe campaign aims to strengthen the Palestinian economy, much of which was exposed to calls for boycott due to the recent , Rabia ˜Eid, project head for the Haifa-based NGO Arab Culture, said.


 After calls for boycott amid Jewish-Arab violence, activists lead 'National Palestinian Economy Week'


'Intense' Iran nuclear talks resume as Germany calls for rapid progress

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:01:39 +03:00

Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed in Vienna on Saturday as the European Union said negotiations were "intense" and Germany called for rapid progress.

The sixth round of talks began as usual with a meeting of remaining parties to the deal Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union  in the basement of a luxury hotel.

The U.S. delegation to the talks, known as the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is based in a hotel across the street as Iran refuses face-to-face meetings.


 'Intense' Iran nuclear talks resume as Germany calls for rapid progress


Was this the mistake of Netanyahu's life?

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:39:52 +03:00

Arye Dery, the so-called guarantor of the rotation agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, said on the radio Thursday that Netanyahu made œa big mistake when he broke apart the last government. Nor did Dery absolve himself and Gantz of responsibility.

œIt was also my mistake that I didn't fight for this, said Dery, the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. œThis was a wonderful government. And though Gantz acted fairly, he also bears some blame in that he didn't act like a leader against Nissenkorn and his irregularities, Dery added, referring to former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, then also a legislator in Gantz's party.

When I heard Dery beating his breast, I recalled a quote from Paulo Coelho's novel œVeronika Decides to Die œWe're allowed to make a lot of mistakes in our lives, except the mistake that destroys us. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future, when biographers survey Netanyahu's political life and all the mistakes he made, they'll say the mistake that destroyed his political life was his preventing the state budget from passing in order to block the premiership from rotating to Gantz.


 Was this the mistake of Netanyahu's life?


Education minister announces final decision to withhold Israel Prize from left-wing professor

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 18:54:21 +03:00

Education Minister Yoav Gallant informed Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit on Friday that he had finalized his decision to withhold the Israel Prize in mathematics and computer science from Prof. Oded Goldreich, in what appears to be one of his final moves in office, as a new Israeli government is expected to be sworn in on Sunday.

Mendelblit will now have to decide whether to defend Gallant's position in a High Court of Justice petition against his decision by members of the Israel Prize committee.

œProf. Goldreich does not at this time meet the condition of a contribution to Israel, because his contribution through his research is offset by his energetic action to boycott Israeli research institutions actions carried out consistently and intentionally and that have caused real damage and continue to damage Israeli academia, Gallant wrote to Mendelblit.


 Education minister announces final decision to withhold Israel Prize from left-wing professor


Netanyahu was involved in Saudi-U.S. campaign to undermine Jordan's King Abdullah, report says

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 18:44:55 +03:00

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in a Saudi and U.S. pressure campaign on Jordan over the past three years, which among other things attempted to lower the standing of the country's King Abdullah II, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The account is based on columnist David Ignatius' discussions with current and former officials with knowledge of former U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East policy. He cites one U.S. source with close ties to Jordan's king, who said that Trump's "Deal of the Century" Middle East peace plan involved trying to undermine Abdullah's prized role as custodian of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the support of Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump's plan was led by his advisor, Jared Kushner, who had forged ties to Prince Mohammed. According to Ignatius, Kushner's dream that the plan would be championed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states may have been bolstered by an op-ed in Haaretz, written by London-based Saudi lawyer Malik Dahlan.  


 Netanyahu was involved in Saudi-U.S. campaign to undermine Jordan's King Abdullah, report says


Palestinian carrying a knife shot dead by guard at West Bank checkpoint, Israeli police say

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 17:56:44 +03:00

An Israeli security guard on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian  woman who police said was carrying a knife, claiming she planned to attack forces at the Qalandiyah checkpoint, near Jerusalem.

According to the police statement, the 28-year-old Palestinian from the Jericho area was running toward forces at the checkpoint with a knife in her hand.

A private security guard stationed at Qalandiyah called on her to stop and shot her after she kept racing toward the checkpoint, police said. Several amateur videos captured by Palestinians at the crossing showed the woman lying on the ground at the Israeli side of the crossing. 


 Palestinian carrying a knife shot dead by guard at West Bank checkpoint, Israeli police say


Torah ark desecrated inside Frankfurt Airport prayer room

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 17:03:37 +03:00

A leading Jewish group in Germany on Saturday condemned the antisemitic desecration of a Torah ark inside the Jewish prayer room at Frankfurt's international airport.

Frankfurt police said a swastika was painted on the cabinet inside the prayer room, which is located in the airport transit area.

The swastika was discovered several days ago, but it was not clear how long it had been there because the prayer room had been closed for some time because of the coronavirus pandemic, German news agency DPA reported.


 Torah ark desecrated inside Frankfurt Airport prayer room


Israeli officers were filmed beating Palestinian inmates. No one arrested, case closed

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 15:28:26 +03:00

The lights stayed on in Wing 3 of Ketziot Prison that night. One after another, about 55 Palestinian prisoners in restraints were thrown to the floor. Security cameras filmed prison officers gathering around them, beating them with batons and kicking the prisoners, who were bent over with their hands cuffed behind their backs. The prisoners were ordered not to move or speak, remaining there for hours.

Dozens of prison officers were in the wing for Hamas members that night, in what became one of the most violent events to ever take place in an Israeli jail, according to a senior Israel Prison Service official. At least 10 officers were filmed beating the prisoners, but only four were questioned by the Israel Police unit that investigates prison personnel before the investigation was closed. The official reason: œunknown offender.

The incident took place on March 24, 2019. Tensions peaked between the guards and the security prisoners in light of the authorities' decision to install a system designed to prevent prisoners from making calls using smuggled cellphones. Earlier that evening, a Hamas militant in the facility stabbed two officers, wounding one of them seriously. After they were taken to a hospital, other guards burst into the wing.


 Israeli officers were filmed beating Palestinian inmates. No one arrested, case closed


Archaeologists find unique 7,000-year-old stamped sealing in northern Israel

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 15:05:36 +03:00

A stamped seal impression around 7,000 years old, predating the invention of writing, has been found at Tel Tsaf, a prehistoric village in northern Israel that its excavators believe was an extraordinarily wealthy place, as Neolithic sites went.

The oldest discovery of its kind in Israel, the sealing attests to a primitive form of administration as early as the Middle Chalcolithic period, a team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reports in the journal Levant. It is also the earliest sign of administration to be identified in Israel.

To be clear, older seals have been found in Mesopotamia that date back to 8,500 years ago, but seal impressions from that time have not been found.


 Archaeologists find unique 7,000-year-old stamped sealing in northern Israel


Saudi Arabia says Hajj to be limited to 60,000 in kingdom due to COVID-19

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 13:47:17 +03:00

Saudi Arabia says this year's Hajj pilgrimage will be limited to no more than 60,000 people, all of them from within the kingdom, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The kingdom made the announcement Saturday on its state-run Saudi Press Agency.

It cited the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for making the decision.


 Saudi Arabia says Hajj to be limited to 60,000 in kingdom due to COVID-19


In India, the latest Israel-Hamas war became a battle on social media

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 10:17:11 +03:00

NEW DELHI As India continues to battle its deadly second wave of the coronavirus, social media has become the country's unofficial helpline. It has also been the home for unprecedented criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government over their handling of the pandemic.

But it isn't only COVID-19 that has Indians venting online. The world's second-most populous country was also at the forefront of the œonline information battlefield on Twitter and Facebook after the latest Israeli-Hamas flare-up erupted last month. In fact, First Draft News, a U.K.-based nonprofit that seeks to address misinformation, found that the top hashtags referencing the conflict invariably featured an Indian reference.

œ#IndiaStandsWithIsrael and #IndiaStandsWithPalestine were the top two hashtags used in over 300,000 tweets we analyzed as part of Israel and Palestine conversations on social media across the world, the nonprofit stated in its report. It added that an œanti-Muslim influence network in India hijacked recent conversations around Israel and Palestine.


 In India, the latest Israel-Hamas war became a battle on social media


'People said it would destroy my career': Interview with 'Couples Therapy' star Dr. Orna Guralnik

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 09:29:21 +03:00

Michal and Michael, a married couple in their 30s, enter the clinic of psychologist Orna Guralnik and within minutes a vitriolic quarrel erupts between them. œQuarrel is actually too grand a word for what's going on there. If we assume that two sides are required for a quarrel as spectacular as this, we're left with the term œmonologue and in the case of Michal, it's a monologue that's seething with anger as well as emasculating. In a voice that turns furious, rapid-fire and fraught, Michal relates that she feels that she doesn't have a partner. Their financial situation doesn't bother her husband. She would like to have more children and to focus on raising them, but Michael, whom she's known since the age of 21, refuses. In the one sentence he utters amid her torrent of insults, he explains that he prefers to enjoy life and not to devote himself, his energy and his time to a vague future.

Michal is enraged. The couples therapist, Dr. Orna Guralnik, is having a hard time managing the meeting. When a moment of calm presents itself, she puts a question to Michael. Where is he in all this emotion? What does the confrontation with his wife and children do to him? œI like it that she provokes me to do more and be better," he replies almost indifferently.

œAs a couples therapist with a systemic orientation, I look at a couple not as individuals but as a system that is a couple, Guralnik says, in a conversation with Haaretz. œIf she is behaving like this, I don't observe her and think ˜She's behaving horribly.' I think: ˜This couple... ' There's a system in which she is doing one thing and he is reacting to it that is, enjoying it. She is doing something, he is doing something that generates it. For me it's a detective puzzle: What is this music and what sustains it? What in the system creates this thing? Sometimes it's actually the quieter ones who come out with something unconscious, and then the other very often the woman verbalizes it.


 'People said it would destroy my career': Interview with 'Couples Therapy' star Dr. Orna Guralnik


Calling them ˜antisemitic images,' Krakow bans sale of Jewish figurines holding coins

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 23:17:23 +03:00

Figurines of Jews holding coins, which have been sold for decades in Poland, have been banned by the Krakow authorities as antisemitic and will no longer be sold at stands on the historical Market Square or on any land owned by the municipality.

œThese figures are antisemitic and it's time for us to realize that, Robert Piaskowski, the mayor's culture chief, told the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. œIn a city like Krakow, with such a difficult heritage and a painful past, they should not be sold.

Known as Zydzi (ZHYD-zhi), which simply means Jews, the figurines are sold all over Poland and can be found in homes and offices, where they are sometimes regarded as good luck charms.


 Calling them ˜antisemitic images,' Krakow bans sale of Jewish figurines holding coins


Over 50 progressive groups, leaders back Ilhan Omar against 'bad faith attacks'

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:40:11 +03:00

WASHINGTON - Over 50 progressive organizations and leaders on Friday backed Rep. Ilhan Omar after 12 Jewish House Democrats lawmakers urged her to clarify a statement that they claimed compared the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.

œRepresentative Ilhan Omar is facing a smear campaign for daring to name what few will: that all victims of war crimes deserve justice, regardless of who commits the crimes. As national progressive organizations and leaders devoted to upholding human rights everywhere and ensuring our democracy can flourish through freedom of speech, we support Rep. Omar and condemn these bad faith attacks," the statement reads.

œFor too long, the United States and its allies have acted with impunity for the atrocities that they commit across the globe. Those who dare to violate Washington taboos and name this simple fact should be commended for their bravery. Instead, they are censored," it continues. 


 Over 50 progressive groups, leaders back Ilhan Omar against 'bad faith attacks'


Iran regains General Assembly vote after U.S. enables UN payment

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:03:45 +03:00

Iran regained its vote in the UN General Assembly on Friday after the United States enabled Tehran to use funds frozen in South Korea to pay some $16 million it owed to the world body.

Iran lost its vote in the 193-member General Assembly in January because it was more than two years in arrears. It owed a total of more than $65 million, but paid the minimum amount needed to regain its vote.

"Iran has paid the minimum amount due," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Friday, confirming Iran could vote again.


 Iran regains General Assembly vote after U.S. enables UN payment


Israeli soldiers photographed helping build illegal West Bank outpost

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 21:49:00 +03:00

Israeli soldiers have taken part in the construction of an unauthorized settler outpost in the West Bank that Defense Minister Benny Gantz has ordered dismantled, photos obtained by Haaretz show.

The photos, thought to have been taken about two weeks ago, show troops carrying prefabricated, temporary homes in Evyatar. The soldiers, who have been guarding the outpost regularly over the past weeks, were identified.

The military said the soldiers had not received approval from a commander and that it would launch an investigation and take disciplinary steps against them if necessary.


 Israeli soldiers photographed helping build illegal West Bank outpost


These are the deals signed by the parties in the Bennett-Lapid coalition

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:56:57 +03:00

Naftali Bennett's Yamina signed its coalition agreement with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid on Friday, the last party to do so, capping weeks of negotiations. 

With the final agreement sealed, the new government will be sworn in on Sunday, ultimately unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in power. 

These are the main points in the agreements, including the basic guidelines the government will aim to follow. 


 These are the deals signed by the parties in the Bennett-Lapid coalition


IDF commander, soldier dismissed for firing at uninvolved Palestinians during Gaza op

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:42:13 +03:00

An Israeli army platoon commander and a soldier will be removed from their posts for firing at three Palestinian non-combatants during the latest round of fighting in Gaza, the military said Friday.

According to an Israeli military investigation, IDF field observers took note of a group of Palestinian farmers working their fields within the Gaza Strip, and that they posed no threat to the tank platoon guarding the other side of the border.   

Soldiers are required by the military guidelines to fire warning shots in the air if Palestinians approach the Gaza border fence. Acting against these guidelines, and for reasons that remain unclear, the platoon decided to fire on three Palestinians gathered there. 


 IDF commander, soldier dismissed for firing at uninvolved Palestinians during Gaza op


Turkey hits second senior PKK official in Iraq camp strike -Anadolu

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:31:17 +03:00

ISTANBUL, June 11 (Reuters) - Turkey struck a senior Kurdistan Workers Party official at a refugee camp in northern Iraq, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday, in the second such attack in less than a week.

It said Hasan Adir was "neutralised" in an operation by Turkey's intelligence agency near Makhmour refugee camp, which is located 180 km (100 miles) inside Iraq and has been a shelter for thousands of Turkish Kurds since the 1990s.

The strike came five days after President Tayyip Erdogan said a Turkish air strike had hit another PKK official at Makhmour, which he described as "an incubator for terrorism".


 Turkey hits second senior PKK official in Iraq camp strike -Anadolu


Palestinian teen killed by Israeli fire while protesting against new West Bank outpost

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:05:30 +03:00

A 15-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with the Israeli army near Nablus in the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Friday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the death of Muhammad Said Hamail, adding that six other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire and were taken to a Nablus hospital.   

The clashes erupted as Palestinians were protesting the establishment of the new unauthorized outpost of Evyatar near Nablus.


 Palestinian teen killed by Israeli fire while protesting against new West Bank outpost


Biden-Erdogan summit: First test of how the new president handles autocrats

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:17:19 +03:00

U.S. President Joe Biden has made it quite clear that Recep Tayyip Erdogan isn't exactly his favorite world leader.

His first telephone call with the Turkish president occurred three months after Biden took office and mainly addressed the American's plan to declare the slaughter of Armenians a century ago genocide, which Biden indeed declared a few days later. Erdogan gritted his teeth, condemned the declaration as expected and warned that it would œimpose an additional burden on relations between the two countries.

Those who have heard the Turkish leader's over-the-top reactions to other countries that have recognized the Armenian genocide severing relations and in some cases imposing sanctions might have been left with the impression that this time Erdogan was turning the other cheek.


 Biden-Erdogan summit: First test of how the new president handles autocrats


Jerusalem Flag March to be held Tuesday after organizers reach deal with police

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 13:50:19 +03:00

The organizers of the Jerusalem Flag March reached an agreement with the Israel Police on Friday to allow for a march to take place on Tuesday.

The march that was planned for last Thursday was canceled after organizers and police failed to agree on a route over police fears that the march would reignite tensions and lead to riots in the city.

The march planned for Tuesday will proceed down Sultan Suleiman road before arriving at the Damascus Gate, a flashpoint of tensions between Palestinians and police in recent months. An Israeli flag dance will be held at the plaza in front of the Gate. The marchers, however, will not enter the Old City through the Damascus Gate and the gate will be closed off.


 Jerusalem Flag March to be held Tuesday after organizers reach deal with police


Haaretz Weekend: PM Bennett's no brainer, ancient race wars and a Begin blockbuster

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 13:36:48 +03:00

Host Simon Spungin is joined by Judy Maltz, Ruth Schuster, Ariel David and Adrian Hennigan for the inaugural episode of Haaretz Weekend.

Want to get an email every time a new episode is available? Click "Follow" on top of this article, or "Register" with one of the podcast providers and you'll never miss out.

Judy Maltz talks about impact the new government will have on matters of state and religion in Israel, as well as relations with Diaspora Jews


 Haaretz Weekend: PM Bennett's no brainer, ancient race wars and a Begin blockbuster


All parties in Bennett-Lapid government ink coalition deals

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 09:11:59 +03:00

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid announced last week that he had succeeded in forming a new government with Yamina's Naftali Bennett at the helm, ultimately unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in power.

Knesset lawmakers will cast a vote of confidence on the Bennett-Lapid government on Sunday, followed by a swearing-in ceremony for the new government. These proceedings will follow a vote for the speaker of the 24th Knesset.

With three days left until Sunday's swearing-in of the new government, Israeli politicians as well as the public are awaiting the publication of the final coalition deals signed between the eight parties making up the Bennett-Lapid coalition.


 All parties in Bennett-Lapid government ink coalition deals


Israel's political makeover is finally here, but Netanyahu is not letting go yet

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:22:01 +03:00

In Barack Obama's memoir œA Promised Land, the former U.S. president quotes something White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told him. œTrust me, the presidency is like a new car. It starts depreciating the minute you drive it off the lot. A lot can be said about Naftali Bennett's impending premiership, just not that it's like a new car. It looks closer to a near total loss scratched, with flat tires, a worn-out chassis and an oil leak.

Bennett is not taking the usual route to the Prime Minister's Office. Between his six Knesset seats, playing both sides and mostly zigzagging, the only thing going for him is that there'd be no government without him. Israel would have been dragged into a fifth election and Benjamin Netanyahu would have kept his job, continuing to go wild, fanning the fires, inciting and weakening the system around him.

Yair Lapid understood this and informed Bennett with barely any misgivings (he initially had a few) that he was prime minister as far as Lapid was concerned. The other players, from left to right, were responsible enough to also recognize the urgency of the reality, and pitched in. Avigdor Lieberman and Gideon Sa'ar are far from admirers of Bennett. They think they are both much more suited, but it is what it is. Merav Michaeli and Nitzan Horowitz never imagined such a scenario in their wildest dreams. Benny Gantz, who looked like he swallowed three cicadas, doesn't even bother hiding his feelings.


 Israel's political makeover is finally here, but Netanyahu is not letting go yet


The damage that one Israeli intel officer can cause

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:03:08 +03:00

The intelligence officer who was arrested secretly and died in prison last month, under circumstances that have not been clarified in full to the public, this week became almost a popular hero. Many remain uneasy about the episode. How did it happen that a brilliant, highly motivated young man who was serving in the heart of the Israel Defense Forces' technological system ended his life this way, with no one being called to account in the meantime?

The officer's name and photograph remain under a gag order. The blackout is presently at the family's request, as the army has withdrawn its opposition to the publication of these details. But a short cruise in the social media networks will reveal both items, together with additional details and a range of conspiracy theories, most of them groundless. Some people switched their photographs on the web with a photo of the late officer, as a mark of solidarity.

Many Israelis are convinced that this episode is more than a tragic set of events. They believe that a terrible injustice was done. Some go so far as to view the events as a planned scheme by the defense establishment to get rid of the officer as though we're talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who incarcerates his rivals and then has them poisoned.


 The damage that one Israeli intel officer can cause


When it comes to education, Israel's Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide is still growing

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 05:59:08 +03:00

The gaps in academic education between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim did not close in the third generation people born in Israel whose parents were also born in Israel. In fact, compared to the second generation, the differences actually grew a little.

So finds a new study that contradicts the prevailing notion that the differences between the two groups have lost their importance with the passing years. In terms of income from employment, the gaps between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim are also far from being closed, but at least in that area they pale in comparison to the pay differences for men and women. The data paint a picture of a clear hierarchy: Ashkenazi men or men of mixed background are at the top of the income ladder, followed by Mizrahi men, and far at the bottom of the ranking, by a large gap, are all the groups of women, with Mizrahi women last.

Unlike previous attempts to gauge the ethnic gaps, primarily by means of smaller sampling done by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the new study is based on administrative data from the National Insurance Institute, the Income Tax Authority and the population registry pertaining to all Jewish Israelis age 25-43 in 2018 (about 1.3 million people). Full information the continent of birth for the different generations, the number of years in an institution of higher education and data on work income was available for 1.1 million people. This is the most comprehensive study to date on higher education among the third generation.


 When it comes to education, Israel's Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide is still growing


Russia to provide Iran with satellite allowing it to track Mideast foes, the Post reports

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 05:58:59 +03:00

Russia is preparing to provide Iran with an advanced satellite that would enable it to track potential military targets across the Middle East, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The plan would deliver a Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite equipped with a high-resolution camera which could be launched from Russia within months, the Post said.

The report was published days before U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva and as Iran and the United States are engaged in indirect talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal designed to put curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions.


 Russia to provide Iran with satellite allowing it to track Mideast foes, the Post reports


U.S. court to reconsider nixed Arkansas law which penalizes Israel boycott

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 04:52:52 +03:00

A federal appeals court on Thursday said it will reconsider a panel's decision that Arkansas' law requiring state contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel is unconstitutional.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state's request that the full court rehear the case, months after a three-judge panel ruled against the law.

The panel in February reversed a federal judge's 2019 decision that dismissed the challenge to the law filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Arkansas Times. The newspaper had asked the judge to block the law, which requires contractors with the state to reduce their fees by 20 percent if they don't sign the pledge.


 U.S. court to reconsider nixed Arkansas law which penalizes Israel boycott


A chronicle of prison brutality in Israel

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 04:28:26 +03:00

The shocking video from Wing 3 of Ketziot Prison should have set off an earthquake in the Israel Prison Service, police and the State Prosecutor's Office: Scores of Arab security prisoners were forcibly thrown down onto a concrete floor, sometimes on top of each other, as guards passed between them for long minutes, beating them with batons and kicking them randomly, without any resistance from their victims (as Josh Breiner reported Thursday).

The unrestrained violence is believed to have been carried out in revenge for the stabbing of a guard shortly beforehand near the wing. The guards' act of revenge, which left 15 prisoners injured, was described by the Prison Service as œgaining control over a riot. But the evidence clearly shows there was no riot, just the abuse of prisoners. The evidence was an open secret in the Prison Service: Top officials had viewed the video and knew exactly what occurred but acted as if nothing happened. The Prison Service knew that Ketziot's officers turned a blind eye while at least 10 guards brutally beat the bound prisoners.

It wasn't only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433's National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn't enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.


 A chronicle of prison brutality in Israel


Ex-Mossad chief Cohen calls cash gift from Australian billionaire 'honest mistake'

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 02:23:00 +03:00

Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen said Thursday that he would return the gift of thousands of dollars that he received from Australian billionaire James Packer, describing the decision as an "honest mistake" in an interview with Israeli investigative TV show 'Uvda.' 

Cohen was asked about his relationship with Packer following a Haaretz investigation, which revealed he had received a $20,000 gift for his daughter's wedding, though the figure cited in 'Uvda' was lower.

The recently retired Mossad chief, who is a close confidant of outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also asserted that "everything was done in consultation and with the approval of the attorney general" and that Packer wanted to give "much more."


 Ex-Mossad chief Cohen calls cash gift from Australian billionaire 'honest mistake'


'We were a popular family band on the verge of signing with Disney. Then we became homeless'

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:27:05 +03:00

Kol Havaiia, 52; lives in Rosh Hanikra, flying to Kauai, Hawaii

Hi Kol, where are you flying to?

I'm flying to a huge and exciting family gathering on the island of Kauai. I have 27 hours of flying. My father, who is 80, will be coming, also my mother, my sister who's celebrating her 50th birthday, two of my sons who live there and whom I haven't seen for six years, my daughter from California and three more of my daughters, who are leaving tomorrow.


 'We were a popular family band on the verge of signing with Disney. Then we became homeless'


Haaretz Cartoon

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:19:57 +03:00

 Haaretz Cartoon


Israel's policies in East Jerusalem are outrageous, idiotic and unjust

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:03:02 +03:00

Israel's policy on Jerusalem is an outrage. It is anti-Zionist and anti-democratic. 

And it is turning the world against the Jewish state. Friendly states and allies are appalled by it. And, expertly exploited by Hamas, Iran, and Israel's extremist enemies, it is poisoning relations with those segments of the Muslim and Arab world that have recently begun to move in the direction of at least grudging acceptance of Israel.  

And I write these words as a "Jerusalem Jew." Every single one of my 70 or so trips to Israel has begun in Jerusalem. There is no place in the world that I love more or where I feel more at home. For me, Jerusalem is a city of unsurpassed beauty and palpable holiness. And I believe that the ties that bind the Jewish people to Jerusalem form the touchstone of Jewish civilization.


 Israel's policies in East Jerusalem are outrageous, idiotic and unjust


Israeli troops ambushed the protesters. They didn't stop firing even after shooting a teen in the head

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:51:34 +03:00

The marker in memory of Bassem Abu Rahma a metal plaque with text in English stands along the path that descends to the separation barrier, mute testimony to a local hero who was killed here in 2009 in the struggle for his village's lands and for his freedom. Bassem's sister, Jawahar, was also killed not far from here, in demonstrations mounted by this West Bank resistance village of Bil'in, choked off by Israel.

The way down the path is strewn with remains of burned tires; alongside are scorched fields and a grove of oaks, with a large, torn Palestinian flag flying at half mast. These lands in the western part of Bil'in were returned to the village a few years ago by order of Israel's High Court of Justice. The villagers turned the area into playgrounds and recreational spots, but the place looks more like a battlefield than a picnic area.

The houses of the huge ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modi'in Ilit, which was built on Bil'in's property, abut the concrete wall of separation. A white-shirted Haredi settler is standing on the other side of the wall here, casting suspicious glances at us. Three weeks ago, Israel Defense Forces soldiers, standing not far from there, killed 16-year-old Islam Burnat with a bullet to the head. The strains of Haredi music playing a distance away encroach on the awful silence here. A makeshift circle of stones marks the spot where Islam fell. Fading bloodstains are still visible in the center of the circle, next to an empty bag of Bamba snack food.


 Israeli troops ambushed the protesters. They didn't stop firing even after shooting a teen in the head


U.S. charges Israeli traders in health care insider trading scheme

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:31:03 +03:00

U.S. prosecutors on Thursday unveiled criminal charges in Manhattan accusing two Israeli traders of illegal trading in several biotechnology and health care companies in connection with a sprawling international insider trading scheme.

Tomer Feingold and Dov Malnik were accused in a 15-count indictment of securities fraud, wire fraud, tender offer fraud, concealment of a money laundering scheme, and conspiracy.

Authorities have said the defendants, who lived in Geneva, Switzerland, generated millions of dollars of profit by trading on nonpublic information concerning mergers and potential transactions involving such companies as Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc, Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc and InterMune Inc.


 U.S. charges Israeli traders in health care insider trading scheme


With election called off, Palestinian petition calls on Mahmoud Abbas to resign

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:28:20 +03:00

While the European Union, Egypt, the United States and the United Nations are all hoping to strengthen Mahmoud Abbas' rule by involving the Palestinian Authority (once again) in the reconstruction of Gaza, some 3,000 Palestinians have signed a petition calling for Abbas to resign from his triple position as head of the Fatah movement, head of the PLO and Palestinian Authority chairman.

If the number of signatories seems insignificant, it should be remembered that in every relevant poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in recent years, about 60 percent of respondents said Abbas should resign. This fact is buried in the Palestinian media, or doesn't appear at all.

But the petition, which has been widely circulated on social media, caused a big commotion last week. The uproar may have died down a bit, but the demand for Abbas' resignation or removal has become part of the public debate, as one of the signers told Haaretz.


 With election called off, Palestinian petition calls on Mahmoud Abbas to resign


Israel's ultra-Orthodox politicians, it's you who should take off your kippa

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:23:56 +03:00

A government of change is a nice name, as is a government of repair, healing, mending. It would seem, naturally, that these names refer to Benjamin Netanyahu, his rule and the political culture he instilled here, to the destruction he sowed. After all, this is the essence of the coalition that formed against him (Just Not Bibi).

But this week, we received a sharp reminder of what this government, to be sworn in next Sunday (Hashem and Allah willing) is about. It will be a government without the ultra-Orthodox. That is the real change, the repair and the healing, no less than a government without Netanyahu, as hard as this is to believe.

But the truth is, these two things go hand in hand. For a long time now it's been impossible to untether Netanyahu from the Haredim, which is why they're fated to sink together, hand in hand.


 Israel's ultra-Orthodox politicians, it's you who should take off your kippa


Who might defect back to Netanyahu? Watch this guy

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:23:21 +03:00

After the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid government is sworn in on Sunday, the question of its sustainability will hover over it. The assumption is that a collapse won't come from its left wing. After spending years in the opposition wilderness, there's no reason for the heads of the left-wing parties, who have finally gained access to budgets and influence, to go back in the woods.

Bennett will also be in no rush to disband the coalition because he knows that his electorate doesn't come from the right but actually from the center-left, which is why the moves he makes will have Benny Gantz and Lapid's voters in mind.

Therefore, it seems that at this juncture the threat facing the Bennett-Lapid government comes from one of the only politicians who can compete with Bennett in his flip-flopping. This is New Hope's Zeev Elkin, considered a cold politician, intelligent and devoid of sentiment, experienced in hopping from one party to another.


 Who might defect back to Netanyahu? Watch this guy


A government of extremists, but responsible ones

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:22:46 +03:00

If its swearing-in isn't thwarted at the last minute, the members of the next government won't be compromisers, as many people claim not in terms of their characters, and certainly not in terms of their beliefs (and these two things are apparently connected). Rather, the government will be composed of people from both ends of the political spectrum.

Nevertheless, the hope that these extremists can succeed at running the country isn't just a heartfelt wish. For these extremists, as we have gotten to know them over the years, have another quality that is lacking in most members of the ruling party, and especially its leader a feeling of responsibility toward all Israelis. Benjamin Netanyahu's successive governments were held hostage, especially with regard to the budget, by narrow sectors of society like the ultra-Orthodox, who cared solely for their own communities.

Netanyahu is a talented man, but also a weak one. His main weakness was his unbridled appetite for power.


 A government of extremists, but responsible ones


Abolish Israel's most impotent, patronizing and useless ministry

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:22:16 +03:00

Among the many arguments still ongoing between and within the eight parties which may, or may not, form a new Israeli government Sunday evening is one that not even the most avid followers of Israeli politics will have noticed.

One of the reasons for the dispute's obscurity is that it's happening inside the Labor party, hardly one of the major parties in the coalition. Another reason is that it's not jeopardizing the government's formation or stability.

The third and perhaps main reason is that the argument is over the Israeli government's most inconsequential and superfluous ministry: Diaspora Affairs. 


 Abolish Israel's most impotent, patronizing and useless ministry


The Israeli emissary in Morocco can't find anyone to rent him an office

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:08:20 +03:00

It's not fun to be the official emissary of Israel in Morocco. The veteran diplomat David Govrin, who is head of the mission, has been having a hard time finding an appropriate place for its offices. Six months after he was appointed to the job, the mission is still operating out of a hotel in the capital of Rabat.

Landlords have refused to rent it space in the kind of residential building Govrin is looking for. The government of Morocco has proposed a building far from the center of the city where Israel used to have an office, but Israel rejected the offer, saying it wanted the mission to be in the diplomatic quarter with other embassies, on the assumption that the mission will one day become a full-fledged embassy.

On Facebook and Twitter, there are accounts called œGet rid of the Israeli emissary. Pictures of the Temple Mount adorn Twitter accounts, one of which declares œnormalization is treason and an unforgivable crime. To our great misfortune, our country has chosen to normalize ties with murderers for personal reasons.


 The Israeli emissary in Morocco can't find anyone to rent him an office


What happened to the Holocaust survivors who fled for Palestine aboard an illegal ship

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:57:53 +03:00

œThe People on the Beach: Journeys to Freedom after the Holocaust by Rosie Whitehouse, Hurst Publishers, 416 pages, $25

Some historical stories don't require sensational revelations or even controversial theses only someone who knows how to listen and how to write proficiently. Rosie Whitehouse knows.

In Israel it's often enough to ask someone, œWhere are you from? in order to elicit fascinating life stories, which, when woven together, comprise the great historical saga of the state. But frequently we are indifferent to such stories and they go by unheeded: Biographical drama is here considered part of our regular routine. Many stories have also lost their vitality because they were processed into mythological kitsch.


 What happened to the Holocaust survivors who fled for Palestine aboard an illegal ship


Fleeing abuse and forced into prostitution, Gazan woman in Israel falls between the cracks

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:23:56 +03:00

The Social Affairs Ministry has refused to place a woman from the Gaza Strip into a shelter for survivors of prosecution because she has no legal status in Israel.

M., 27, fled her family in Gaza after they forced her into a series of temporary marriages with older men something that's legal under Islamic law but is effectively institutionalized prostitution.

During the year since she arrived in Israel, she was also forced into prostitution. She lived in the street for much of this time, but is now in temporary housing.


 Fleeing abuse and forced into prostitution, Gazan woman in Israel falls between the cracks


Israel seeks legislation allowing Shin Bet to hold citizens in West Bank facility

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:16:58 +03:00

The Justice Ministry has submitted legislation that would let the Shin Bet security service hold arrested Israelis at its facilities in the West Bank, in a move lawmakers say would apply to Arab suspects.

The bill passed the first of three required Knesset votes on Monday in a 15-8 vote and will now be referred to committee. The ministry is expected to continue trying to advance the bill after the new government is sworn in.

Construction of the Shin Bet's new interrogation facility in the West Bank is expected to be completed this year, the bill's explanatory notes said.


 Israel seeks legislation allowing Shin Bet to hold citizens in West Bank facility


His path as a Jew led him to Jesus

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:30:17 +03:00

In August 1945, the Hannover-born Jewish émigré Karl Jakob Hirsch returned to his native Germany in the uniform of the American occupying army. His 10-odd years in American exile had not been kind to Hirsch, whose life in New York was marked by poverty, isolation and chronic illness. With the hopes of turning over a new leaf and leaving the disappointments of his American escapade behind, 53-year-old Hirsch accepted a two-year posting as a military censor in Munich. He returned to occupied Germany harboring the hope of reestablishing the promising literary career he had been forced to abandon in 1933. In the years leading up to his immigration to the United States, Hirsch, who had already made a name for himself as an expressionist artist, stage-designer and journalist, found his true calling as a writer, publishing two best-selling novels that came out under the imprint of the prestigious S. Fischer Verlag publishing house.

Hirsch's dream seemed to come true one year after his return to Germany, when he published a memoir, entitled œHomecoming to God: Letters to My Son. Written as a series of 30 letters to his 14-year-old son, Ralph, the work recounted the main junctures in Hirsch's life, starting with his Orthodox-Jewish upbringing as the great-grandson of the renowned Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, and culminating with his 1945 conversion to Christianity, at New York's Second Presbyterian Church. The book became a success in the Western occupation zones, where it garnered widespread praise from the press and the German reading public. The enthusiastic reception of œHomecoming to God appeared to be a promising harbinger of the author's own literary homecoming. Yet when Hirsch died, six years later, in 1952, the memoir was still the only work he had managed to publish in postwar Germany.

The story of Hirsch's personal salvation begins with an account of his early life at the turn of the 19th century. Karl Jakob and his twin brother Gottfried were born in Hannover in 1892 to Dr. Salomon and Marie Hirsch. The twins were raised in an observant Jewish household, committed to preserving the path laid out by their famous great-grandfather, Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), the former chief rabbi of Frankfurt and founding father of modern Orthodoxy. Despite growing up in a pious household, young Karl broke with Orthodoxy at a young age, embittered by his experiences at Jewish Sunday school, which he described as a œcaricature of religiosity that œcould turn even the most pious boy into an atheist.


 His path as a Jew led him to Jesus


After CNN's 'election fraud' comparison to Trump, Netanyahu's party vows peaceful transfer of power

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:12:19 +03:00

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party on Thursday released an English-language statement in which it committed to a peaceful transfer of power in Israel, if indeed a new government not led by Netanyahu is sworn in next week.

This is the first time the party has publicly addressed the issue since Yair Lapid announced last week that he has succeeded to form a coalition. 

The statement, which wasn't published in Hebrew, came a day after CNN aired a segment comparing Netanyahu's reaction to the results of the last election, the fourth in two years, to former U.S. President Donald Trump's challenge of his election loss in 2020. The segment was titled œNetanyahu ripping a page from Trump's playbook.


 After CNN's 'election fraud' comparison to Trump, Netanyahu's party vows peaceful transfer of power


Try as it may, Israel's new government won't be able to skirt the Palestinian issue

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:02:21 +03:00

There is a consensus in Israel that the new government, expected and scheduled to be sworn in on Sunday, is replete with structural contradictions.

The conventional wisdom prevalent in the punditocracy is that this is an unnatural, motley amalgam of right-wing, centrist, left-wing, conservative and liberal parties, with the addition of a party, the United Arab List, that represents the southern branch of the Islamic Movement.

The only common denominator they share, according to the conventional wisdom, is a deep disdain toward, and heavy fatigue with, Benjamin Netanyahu, the toxic political culture he has installed over 12 years in power, and the clear and imminent threat to democracy and the rule of law that he posed. That, so the argument goes, is not enough to sustain a narrow governing coalition that will eventually start pulling in different directions.


 Try as it may, Israel's new government won't be able to skirt the Palestinian issue


With a new government in reach, Bennett's kippa becomes a bone of contention

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 20:43:01 +03:00

Interior Minister Arye Dery on Thursday distanced himself from recent remarks made by his fellow ultra-Orthodox politicians calling into question presumptive Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's religious observance and painting him as a danger to the Jewish character of the state of Israel.

œWe are all Jews, no matter what kind of kippa (we wear), and no one has the right to say who is not. That isn't my style, Dery, who leads the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas party, said during an interview with Army Radio on Thursday morning.

In recent days, ultra-Orthodox politicians belonging to the Ashkenazi United Torah Judaism party have used Bennett's kippa as a rhetorical device, symbolizing his alleged religious hypocrisy for joining a coalition in which they are not a part, but which does include the secularist Meretz and Yisrael Beiteinu factions.


 With a new government in reach, Bennett's kippa becomes a bone of contention


Hacking, encryption and threat of attack: What the dead Israeli intel officer did before he was drafted

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 20:42:27 +03:00

The mystery behind the jailing and death of the Israeli army intelligence officer has yet to be revealed. The Israel Defense Forces has yet to tell the public what offenses he committed and what led to his death in a prison cell. 

The media have reported that friends and colleagues regarded him as a œcomputer genius who completed his bachelor's degree in computer science while still in high school. But what areas of technology did he specialize in before he was drafted? What tasks was he actually performing? What interested him?

The military court has banned the media from publishing the officer's name, age or picture, but those questions can be partly answered by looking at his public activity on the GitHub programmer platform and other online forums. 


 Hacking, encryption and threat of attack: What the dead Israeli intel officer did before he was drafted


Lebanese hospitals warn of dangerous shortages in supplies

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 19:49:59 +03:00

Hospitals in Lebanon warned Thursday they may be forced to suspend kidney dialysis next week amid severe shortages in supplies, the latest in Lebanon's accelerating crises and collapsing health sector.

Lebanon is grappling with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that has seen the local currency collapse and banks clamp down on withdrawals and money transfers. As the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves dry up, the country has been witnessing shortages in medicines, fuel and other basic goods, with long lines forming outside petrol stations.

The once-thriving health care system has been among the hardest hit, with some hospitals halting elective surgeries, laboratories running out of test kits and doctors warning in recent days that they may even run out of anesthesia for operations.


 Lebanese hospitals warn of dangerous shortages in supplies


'You have a bomb on your hands': The food that destroys kids' bones

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 19:32:45 +03:00

Junk food, as the term suggests, is bad for our health. Recent studies have linked a high consumption of industrialized foods to obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer. But a study by Efrat Monsonego Ornan that looked at an aspect of the problem never before examined how ultra-processed food affects bone development has come up with such serious findings that parents cannot remain indifferent to them. Nor can the huge conglomerates that turn out junk food.

Monsonego Ornan, 56, a professor in the biochemistry department of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, in Rehovot, researches the effects of the food we eat on our bones. œFor years I studied growth from the hormonal aspect, she relates. œI examined how hormones that are related to the metabolic process affect our growth and how certain nutritional substances, such as omega 3 , vitamin D and so on influence growth.

Studies that focus on specific ingredients of food are known to be problematic: They do not simulate what happens in reality. After all, no one consumes single ingredients at a time, but rather a combination of substances that exist together in different foods. Accordingly, because Monsonego Ornan and her colleagues Dr. Janna Zaretsky, doctoral student Shelley Griess-Fishheimer and others were interested in the effects of nutrition on growth and development, they focused specifically on children's diets. And what's more popular among children than a hamburger, fries and a Coke?


 'You have a bomb on your hands': The food that destroys kids' bones


Bestselling writers cut references to Anne Frank, Israel after social media complaints

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:56:16 +03:00

Bestselling authors Elin Hilderbrand and Casey McQuiston removed references to Anne Frank and Israel from their novels this week following an outcry on social media from small subsets of readers.

The moves have ignited a storm of controversy in the literary world.

The campaigns against the books have been successful despite appearing to be relatively small, and originate from wildly different perspectives on Jews and Israel. One takes the authors to task for a joke perceived as antisemitic, while the other objects to the mere mention of Israel.


 Bestselling writers cut references to Anne Frank, Israel after social media complaints


Jerusalem police hurl flashbangs at Palestinians protesting far-right lawmaker's visit

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:42:23 +03:00

Israeli police on Thursday used stun grenades to disperse a crowd of several hundred Palestinians who gathered near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City to protest against far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The Kahanist lawmaker from Bezalel Smotrich's Religious Zionism party had arrived at the Old City to challenge a decision by Israeli authorities preventing him from marching through the Muslim Quarter and visiting the Temple Mount.

The protesters waved flags and chanted slogans against Ben-Gvir. After several protesters hoisted Palestinian flags, police threw stun grenades at them.


 Jerusalem police hurl flashbangs at Palestinians protesting far-right lawmaker's visit


Palestinian charged with murder of Jewish man in West Bank shooting attack

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:19:26 +03:00

A Palestinian who allegedly shot and killed a Jewish man in the West Bank last month was charged with murder on Thursday.

Muntassir Shalabi stands accused of shooting 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta at a bus top at Tapuah junction in the northern West Bank. Guetta died three days later.

Shalabi, a U.S. citizen, was also charged with the attempted murder of two of Guetta's friends who were with him one of whom was seriously wounded and of other Israelis waiting there. He was arrested a few days after the attack when he tried to turn himself in to the Palestinian Authority.


 Palestinian charged with murder of Jewish man in West Bank shooting attack


Life in Gaza was hell. They managed to escape. These are their stories

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:01:47 +03:00

Mohammed, 27, from Jabalya refugee camp

We were at sea for six long hours, dozens of people crammed into a small rubber dinghy. I could feel the arm of Sarah, the Syrian girl, stretching toward me while I daydreamed about freedom, which looked closer than ever. The dream shatters with a big wave that floods the dinghy. In my heart, I was afraid, but I felt safer on the open sea than in merciless Gaza.

When I was 8, I was diagnosed with a heart problem, and I had several operations over the years. One operation was in Ichilov , and I remember standing at the window and being thrilled by the sight of the city. I met a lot of Israelis who believe in peace, and suddenly I felt that I could breathe easy.


 Life in Gaza was hell. They managed to escape. These are their stories


Bennett-Lapid coalition deals set to be finalized Friday, ahead of Sunday's confidence vote

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 17:04:58 +03:00

 Bennett-Lapid coalition deals set to be finalized Friday, ahead of Sunday's confidence vote


Gantz rebuffs Netanyahu's demand to delay evacuation of illegal West Bank outpost

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 16:07:51 +03:00

Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a stern rebuke on Thursday of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that he delay the evacuation an unauthorized West Bank outpost, saying that he had no authority regarding evacuation orders.

In response to the prime minister's letter on Wednesday claiming that the order to evacuate the outpost of Evyatar was improper, Gantz's office issued a statement saying, œThere is no provision in the law stating that an evacuation order in the Judea and Samaria area requires the approval of the prime minister.

Gantz's statement said that " he very establishment of the outpost is illegal and that the decision was made to evacuate Evyatar only œafter consultation with all relevant security and legal bodies.


 Gantz rebuffs Netanyahu's demand to delay evacuation of illegal West Bank outpost


Where does Ari Shavit get the chutzpah to write such a book on Israel?

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:46:59 +03:00

What kind of personal, social, class-related, cultural, familial, community-oriented personality trait can produce a phenomenon so amazing in its lack of self-awareness as Ari Shavit? How can one person pretend to crack open the inner workings of 9 million people, collected in a œjourney he undertook, and publish it with solemnity and pathos and without a grain of humor or nuance as an elegy for a country falling apart?

And mainly, what kind of people surround him, encouraging and extolling him, allowing him to exist in his bubble without pricking it?

Shavit left 'Haaretz' a few years ago and has reappeared in recent months, first on a small scale at the religious-Zionist newspaper 'Makor Rishon', the daily 'Yedioth Ahronoth' and television's Channel 13, and now with a bigger bang: a new nonfiction Hebrew-language book, entitled œA New Israeli Republic.


 Where does Ari Shavit get the chutzpah to write such a book on Israel?


Goodbye to Israel's worst-ever finance minister, hello to Avigdor Lieberman

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:40:56 +03:00

We are living in strange times. Who could imagine the leader of left-wing Meretz sitting in a government led by hard-right politician Naftali Bennett? Or any Israeli government doing business with an Islamist party like the United Arab List?

In the same vein, it's hard to imagine Avigdor Lieberman as finance minister, let alone to contemplate that he might succeed at the job.

Whatever else you might think of him, Lieberman hasn't been associated with economic policy of any kind over this long career. He had other fish to fry, many of them noxious.


 Goodbye to Israel's worst-ever finance minister, hello to Avigdor Lieberman


'Islamophobic tropes are offensive': Ilhan Omar slams Jewish Democratic critics

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:31:36 +03:00

WASHINGTON Rep. Ilhan Omar sharply criticized the 12 Jewish House Democrats lawmakers who urged her to clarify a statement that they say places the United States and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.

"It's shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for 'clarification' and not just call," Omar tweeted. None of those who signed reached out to Omar over the course of the day, despite the Minnesota congresswoman's attempts to provide clarification.

"The Islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment and silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable," the Minnesota congresswoman continued. 


 'Islamophobic tropes are offensive': Ilhan Omar slams Jewish Democratic critics


Birth rites in Canaan: The enigma of the nude female figurines

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:26:14 +03:00

Steaming mad at Eve for succumbing to the wiles of the serpent, God reportedly decreed: œI will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children (Genesis 3:16).

The Lord did not lie. But beyond it being painful, we can't definitively say much about labor and birth in the ancient world, specifically in Bronze Age Canaan and Cyprus the subject of a chapter by the archaeologist Dr. Rona Avissar Lewis: œArchaeological Perspectives on Delivery Practices in Canaan and Cyprus, in the book œCyprus Within the Biblical World: Are Borders Barriers? edited by J. H. Charlesworth and J. G. R. Pruszinski, published in 2021.

Her chapter relates to the period from the Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age: from over 4,000 to about 3,000-2,500 years ago.


 Birth rites in Canaan: The enigma of the nude female figurines


Netanyahu had Adelson and Trump. Who are Bennett and Lapid's allies in D.C.?

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:22:10 +03:00

WASHINGTON As Americans watch what appear to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's final days in office, many are wondering how his expected successors, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, will prioritize restoring bipartisan U.S. support for Israel in D.C.

Their preexisting contacts and personal backgrounds, as well as a shared desire to improve and build upon ties, help provide insight into how the incoming Israeli government will approach the so-called œspecial relationship with its most important strategic ally.

The prospective prime ministers in the rotation agreement Bennett is due to serve first, with Lapid replacing him in August 2023 and serving as foreign minister in the meantime both have excellent English and a deep understanding of American culture. They have also built up relationships on both sides of the political aisle over the years.


 Netanyahu had Adelson and Trump. Who are Bennett and Lapid's allies in D.C.?


Germany disbands commando unit over members' participation in neo-Nazi chat

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:12:20 +03:00

Officials in the German state of Hesse disbanded a commando unit belonging to the Frankfurt Police on Thursday, following an investigation which found that its members had had glorified violence and made references to a former Nazi organization in online chats. 

œThe unacceptable misconduct of several employees as well as the turning away of immediate superiors in the SEK Frankfurt made its complete dissolution necessary, Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth said in a statement promising a œrestructuring of the Special Operations Command.

On Wednesday, German prosecutors dismissed 19 policemen and suspended another over the chats, which came to light in the course of a separate investigation of an officer in the commando unit who was suspected of sharing child pornography.


 Germany disbands commando unit over members' participation in neo-Nazi chat


French lawmakers to launch inquiry into murder of Jewish woman

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 13:45:04 +03:00

French lawmakers announced that they will launch a parliamentary probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of retired schoolteacher and physician Sarah Halimi, who was severely beaten and thrown from a window by her neighbor Kobili Traore in 2017.

Traore, who is Muslim, called Halimi, 65, a œdemon as he pummeled her for more than 30 minutes and shouted about Allah before defenestrating her, witnesses said.

The effort to establish the parliamentary commission was led by Jewish MP Meyer Habib ”whose 8th District constituency includes French expatriates in Israel and around the Mediterranean” and supported by 80 members of the National Assembly.


 French lawmakers to launch inquiry into murder of Jewish woman


Seven Jewish Israelis arrested on suspicion of attacking Arab civilian during Gaza fighting

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 13:25:41 +03:00

Seven Jewish Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of attacking and moderately injuring an Arab civilian near a mosque in a Tel Aviv suburb during Israel's latest flare-up in Gaza.  

The man, who is in his 60s, was stabbed with a sharp object and pepper-sprayed in Herzliya when hostilities with Gaza erupted. He was taken to the hospital to receive medical attention. Authorities believe the man was attacked because of his ethnicity.

All the suspects reside in Herzliya. One of the suspects was placed under house arrest.   


 Seven Jewish Israelis arrested on suspicion of attacking Arab civilian during Gaza fighting


The souls of Israel's Black folk

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 13:07:48 +03:00

Thirty years ago, in May 1991, thousands of Ethiopian Jews came to Israel over the course of two days, in an airlift called Operation Solomon. In general, commemorations of such symbolic moments in the immigration of Ethiopian Jewry are full of yearning, collective sentiment in the spirit of Zionism and the mythos of the ingathering of the exiles and salvation, while provoking nearly no questions.

The purpose of this essay is to shed light on questions that could create discomfort, to deflate the myth. Now is the time to attack the monopoly of the œIsraeli melting pot, on how we understand our lives and shape our Israeliness and how we seek to be present in Israel's social fabric.

Ever since the first immigrants from this community arrived most of them in the late 1980s and early 1990s (although the very first came in 1934) the generation that dreamed of Jerusalem has climbed up the road of Israeliness. This generation, the pioneer corps, worked tirelessly and almost without complaint to forge a path for itself and its children. It moved slowly and with difficulty, but persistently.


 The souls of Israel's Black folk


Modi's India has chosen Israel over Palestine

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 12:54:16 +03:00

The recent Israel-Hamas conflict thrust India's "strategic ambiguity" towards Israel and Palestine into sharp, uncomfortable relief and may have helped trigger its imminent demise.

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public embrace of the Jewish state, and the country's rapturous following in right-wing and grassroots Hindu nationalist circles, India's foreign policy apparatus, left-wing parties and even parts of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party are unwilling to nail India's colors to Israel's mast at the expense of Palestine, to whom New Delhi has a long-standing commitment, and risking relations with states hostile to Israel, not least Iran. 

But the conflict showed that India's uneasy dance is now increasingly unsustainable.


 Modi's India has chosen Israel over Palestine


A young woman refused to serve in the Israeli army. This is what happened to her

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 12:18:42 +03:00

23 year old Israeli Atalya Ben-Abba actually dreamed of becoming a combat soldier. When she was little, she loved to watch the TV show œXena: Warrior Princess, to see the fearless Amazon fighting the Greek gods and mythological creatures, and to fantasize about how one day, she herself would become a warrior princess: a courageous heroine who would rescue people and fight for justice.

At a certain point, when she got a little older and had to adapt the fantasy to reality, the closest she could get was the idea of being a combat soldier. But as her draft date drew nearer, the dream began to crumble. Ben-Abba realized that as a combat soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, she wouldn't really fight for justice, but would be required œto help a system that oppresses people, denies their rights and maintains a regime that is racist, discriminatory and belligerent, she explains. œAnd if I want to work for justice, apparently isn't my place.

Ben-Abba is the protagonist of the documentary œObjector, which was screened last week at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. It reveals how she arrived at her decision to refuse to serve, as an act of protest against the Israeli occupation in the territories and the violation of the Palestinians' human rights. The film records her doubts, her visits to the West Bank before forming her opinion, the friends she made there, and her conversations with her brother, who also refused to serve in the IDF for the same reasons.


 A young woman refused to serve in the Israeli army. This is what happened to her


Pompeo says sale of F-35 jets was 'critical' for Israel-UAE peace deal

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:53:35 +03:00

Despite numerous Israeli denials, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that the sale of advanced fighter aircraft to the United Arab Emirates played a œcritical role in convincing the Gulf state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

In an interview with the Yedioth Ahronoth daily to be published on Friday, the former Trump administration official described the sale as one of a series of actions that allowed the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE to move forward and eventually be signed.

The importance of the sale lies in the fact that it reassured Abu Dhabi that Washington considered it a trusted security partner, Pompeo explained, adding that it passed on a message that the United States, UAE and Israel all shared the same security concept.


 Pompeo says sale of F-35 jets was 'critical' for Israel-UAE peace deal


Israel was in the market for two atomic clocks. Now it's not

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:02:48 +03:00

In February, the Defense Ministry published a competitive bidding tender for the purchase of two atomic clocks. These are extremely precise clocks that keep time based on measuring the transitions of electrons in the atoms of specific elements and are accurate to approximately one second per million years.

Atomic clocks are now used in most advanced technological systems and they ensure synchronization of the systems so for example, the Iron Dome system has atomic clocks, as do the stock market and every communications network. 

In this case, the Defense Ministry wanted the clocks for a project named œPelican an airborne server. We have no additional information on the project.


 Israel was in the market for two atomic clocks. Now it's not


Al Jazeera says it has foiled hacking attempts before airing documentary on Israel-Hamas talks

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:52:22 +03:00

Pan-Arab satellite network Al Jazeera said it was subjected to continual hacking attempts over recent days, but the cyberattack on Qatar's flagship broadcaster had been fended off.

Al Jazeera's websites and platforms experienced "continued electronic attacks aimed at accessing, disrupting and controlling some of the news platforms" from last Saturday to Tuesday, the network said in a statement.

"Al Jazeera's service provider was able to monitor and fend off all the hacking attacks and prevent them from achieving their goal," it said in the late Wednesday statement.


 Al Jazeera says it has foiled hacking attempts before airing documentary on Israel-Hamas talks


The butchers of Bosnia's Muslims are in jail, but there hasn't been justice

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:26:45 +03:00

"Welcome to Greater Serbia!"

A drunk Serb soldier was addressing a bus full of frightened women and children, his hand grenades dangling menacingly from his vest and his Kalashnikov slung carelessly over his shoulder.

"Thank you," the women answered in shaky, trembling voices.


 The butchers of Bosnia's Muslims are in jail, but there hasn't been justice


'The Israel-UAE normalization is an arms agreement': Talks with six Palestinian entrepreneurs

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:11:00 +03:00

RAMALLAH ” Despair at the relations with Israel, fear of a brain drain and reams of uncertainty: those were the main concerns of businesspeople in the Palestinian Authority, even before the hostilities with Hamas in mid-May. The latest round of bloodshed found Ramallah, the main city in the Palestinian Authority-controlled parts of the West Bank, still licking the wounds from the coronavirus pandemic but returning to almost full routine. On the street no one mentions the virus or the vaccination campaign, and even the announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the day of our visit, that he was canceling the parliamentary election, left the public indifferent.

œRamallah is an odd city. I came from a small city in Ohio that doesn't have as much economic activity as Ramallah, says American-Palestinian businessman Sam Bahour. œEvery week, even during corona, you have new restaurants and new cafes open. This is not the United States. Nobody is getting a check in the mail. There is no support from the government coming to businesses that are being affected by the pandemic. They have to adjust, and they adjusted.

At the same time, he notes, œeven though Ramallah has some specific characteristics, one has to keep in mind that it is under the same exact military occupation that Gaza is under. The difference is the flavor of occupation. The Israeli Authorities have had the luxury of time to develop a scheme for every Palestinian area so the Jordan Valley is one scheme, Ramallah is another. Gaza is the harshest scheme. We always call Ramallah ˜The 5 Stars Occupation' because out of all the different regions Ramallah is probably the least visible of having this effect of the occupation.


 'The Israel-UAE normalization is an arms agreement': Talks with six Palestinian entrepreneurs


Israeli archaeologists find whole 1,000-year-old egg and accidentally break it

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:10:41 +03:00

One day a thousand years ago, a chicken in Yavneh laid an egg. That egg was never to hatch, sadly for that chicken's posterity. For some reason, it wound up in a cesspit in the ancient city's industrial zone and there it sat.

Until archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority came along, conducting a salvage excavation in the ancient industrial zone of the central Israeli city ahead of construction, and found it. Seasoned in the extraction of extremely delicate matter, they managed to remove the egg from the cesspit, still perfect.

œWe were astonished to find it, IAA archaeologist Alla Nagorsky, head of this part of the salvage dig, told Haaretz. œFrom time to time we find fragments of eggshells, but a whole egg is extraordinary.


 Israeli archaeologists find whole 1,000-year-old egg and accidentally break it


Jewish Democrats call out Ilhan Omar for 'equating U.S. and Israel to Hamas and Taliban'

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 06:23:24 +03:00

WASHINGTON - Nearly half of the Jewish-Democratic lawmakers in the House on Wednesday urged Rep. Ilhan Omar to clarify a statement that they claim placed the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.

The statement from the 12 House Democrats comes after Omar - among the most vocal critics of Israel in Congress - shared a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday during a House committee hearing on what mechanism victims of alleged war crimes victims could access outside the International Criminal Court. 

œI haven't seen evidence in either that domestic courts both can and will prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, Omar originally said to Blinken. œWhere do we think victims are supposed to go for justice, and what justice mechanisms do you support? Her subsequent tweet, however, read that œwe must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity, continuing œwe have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.


 Jewish Democrats call out Ilhan Omar for 'equating U.S. and Israel to Hamas and Taliban'


Three Palestinians, including two officers, killed by Israeli fire in West Bank

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 04:52:22 +03:00

Two Palestinian intelligence officials were killed by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. 

Adham Aliwi, 23, and Taisir Aisa, 33, were shot by Israeli Border Police's special anti-terror unit, or Yamam in Hebrew. Both served in the Palestinian intelligence headquarters in Jenin, where the incident occurred. 

Israeli sources said the force didn't know intelligence officers were there.


 Three Palestinians, including two officers, killed by Israeli fire in West Bank


Netanyahu's prosecutors ordered to search key witness' cellphone

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:39:21 +03:00

Judges in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial accepted a request from his defense and ordered prosecutors to search the cellphone of Ilan Yeshua, former CEO of the Walla news website and central witness in the Bezeq-Walla bribery case.

Prosecutors were told Wednesday to locate all the relevant material concerning Yeshua's involvement in the coverage on the website. Prosecutors are to pass on all the relevant materials to Netanyahu's lawyers after the search. It is expected that the prosecution will find further material, and this will mean Yeshua's testimony will take even longer.

The court session ended early because of the fires that broke out around Jerusalem Wednesday.


 Netanyahu's prosecutors ordered to search key witness' cellphone


Israel's new government must pass food-labeling reforms

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:13:35 +03:00

The emergence of the new scandal associated with former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is good news not only for the war on corruption, but also for the food-labeling revolution. After a long period of reporting on what seemed to be a pressure campaign by the food industry on Israel's decision makers, including Knesset members and Health Ministry officials, to thwart the food-labeling reform, the truth has come to light.

Tnuva Group CEO Eyal Malis allegedly instructed company employees to donate to a number of charities affiliated with the Ger Hasidic sect and to Moti Babchik, a close aide to Litzman, in a bid to delay or soften the program requiring red warning labels on foods high in fat, sugar and/or sodium.

The labeling reform is important for public health. It helps reduce consumption of harmful foods via transparency about their potential harm and about changes in their contents. It is an important achievement in light of the troubling fact that Israel is getting fatter: 25 percent of adults and 14 percent of children are obese; 700,000 are considered œpre-diabetic and 500,000 have Type 2 diabetes.


 Israel's new government must pass food-labeling reforms


Bennett's religious Zionist regime is coming

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:09:18 +03:00

The anticipated investiture of Israel's first religious-Zionist prime minister could also usher in a new type of national conversation, one of condescending, religious-patriotic schmaltz, saccharine and pathetic. It is not exactly new: This brand of discourse has starred on the hills of the West Bank for half a century, with all the sanctimonious gazing heavenward. From there it spread to the army and the media and all the other junctions of power that the religious Zionists have conquered over the past several years. From now on, it will play a much more central role.

The Jewish state will become the Yiddishkeit state. In the role of the harbinger is MK Nir Orbach of Yamina. The post he wrote explaining his decision to support Naftali Bennett's government is an instructive document: a thousand sublime words about nothing. A personal political decision presented as if it had world-shaking importance. A political deal by someone who has switched parties a few times, packaged as a shift in the order of creation.

Choosing one of two possible right-wing governments, as if it were a matter of œprinciple. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he sounded less pompous. From now on, any amendment to the laws governing parking will be presented as if it was a divine order. We may as well start getting used to it.


 Bennett's religious Zionist regime is coming


Police: Three Jaffa Arabs sought to firebomb Jews' homes, accidentally wounding Arab boy

Wed, 9 Jun 2021 23:48:38 +03:00

The police are seeking to charge three suspects in the firebombing of a home in Jaffa last month with racially motivated attempted murder and arson.

Police say the suspects, who are Arab, mistakenly believed the inhabitants of the home, in the city's Ajami neighborhood, were Jews. Mohammad Gintazi, 12, suffered serious burn injuries as a result of the firebomb.

Some of these details were under a gag order, which was lifted by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Wednesday at the request of Haaretz and the Walla news website.


 Police: Three Jaffa Arabs sought to firebomb Jews' homes, accidentally wounding Arab boy


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 9 Jun 2021 23:18:35 +03:00

 Haaretz Cartoon


U.K. Jews protest tapping of controversial activist to organize antisemitism course

Wed, 9 Jun 2021 22:07:10 +03:00

A pro-Palestinian activist, who defaced the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto and expressed support for the murder of Israeli lawmakers, was revealed to be organizing courses on antisemitism for the U.K.'s largest teachers union on Tuesday, sparking an unusually harsh condemnation from the Jewish community's representative body.

According to the Jewish News, Ewa Jasiewicz was tapped by the National Education Union to help organize a series of lessons on œUnderstanding Antisemitism for union members, in which she promoted material which she said pushed back against the œcommon Eurocentric understanding of antisemitism.

On Wednesday, Marie Van Der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, wrote to the leaders of the NEU to œensure that this sort of activity is not repeated.


 U.K. Jews protest tapping of controversial activist to organize antisemitism course






US  US NO






Peace demonstrations in the US October 26-28 2007
29.10 - 2007

tn_10-275.jpg

Large number of US citizens demonstrated against the war in Iraq (and the possible war in Iran) during this October weekend. Massive turnout in Boston and San Fransisco, and also in Chicago, LA and DC people took to the streets.
The message was: NO more war in Iraq! NO to a war with Iran!