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Ha'aretz
Time: Mon, 10.14.2019 01:10 PM Local file generated: Mon, 10.14.2019 12:13 PM
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Assad forces, now allied with Kurds, push into northeastern Syria as Turkey vows to press on

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:31:39

Syria's troops have entered northeastern towns and villages, Syrian state media said on Monday, after Washington announced it was abruptly pulling out its forces, and its former Kurdish allies reached a deal with Damascus to help resist a Turkish attack.

The abrupt U.S. withdrawal from the eight-year Syrian war, and the potential return of the Syrian army to the Kurdish-controlled northeast, are major victories for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran.

The U.S. announced on Sunday it would swiftly withdraw its remaining 1,000 troops from northeast Syria, just four days after Turkey launched its cross-border offensive with a green light from President Donald Trump.


 Assad forces, now allied with Kurds, push into northeastern Syria as Turkey vows to press on


Syrian Kurds shift alliance in deal with Assad government to resist Turkey

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:16:11

Syria's Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey's invasion ” a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos.

The shift could lead to clashes between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia.

Syria's state news agency said Monday morning government forces have entered the northern town of Tal Tamr that is close to Turkey's border. SANA said the Syrian army moved into the area to œconfront the Turkish aggression, without giving further details.


 Syrian Kurds shift alliance in deal with Assad government to resist Turkey


With Islamist, leftist support in final election round, ex-professor out to remake Tunisian politics

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:08:42

A retired law professor with an awkward public manner, little money, no political party and a commitment to an experimental form of direct democracy looks set to be Tunisia's new president.

Two exit polls projected that Kais Saied handily won Sunday's runoff election against media magnate Nabil Karoui, though formal results are only expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Saied won the support of both Islamists and leftists, though his radical but socially conservative politics do not neatly chime with either group. It has left both his critics and supporters scrambling to define him.


 With Islamist, leftist support in final election round, ex-professor out to remake Tunisian politics


WeWork opens dozens of new sites within months despite cash-burn concerns

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:33:32

WeWork has opened almost as many new locations in the last three and a half months as it did in the whole first half of this year, likely accelerating the speed with which the office-sharing company is burning through cash as increasingly hard-nosed investors scrutinize its prospects for going public.

According to a Reuters analysis of information on the company's website, WeWork had 622 sites open in 123 cities on October 10. That compares with its footprint of 528 locations in 111 cities on June 30 that was outlined in the prospectus for its abandoned IPO.

The website also identifies 89 sites as œcoming soon and 117 sites as œjust announced all new locations that are yet to open.


 WeWork opens dozens of new sites within months despite cash-burn concerns


The history of Sukkot, once the most important Jewish holiday of all

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:07:01

The seven-day festival of Sukkot starts on the 15th of Tishrei. From ancient times, the holiday has been associated with temporary dwellings called "sukkot" in Hebrew, and "tabernacles" in English (which is the origin of the word "tavern") which were not however part of the original festival at all.

Once upon a time, Sukkot was the most important holiday. The bible is replete with mentions of it, while barely mentioning other Jewish holidays at all. Not rarely it is merely called khag holiday, with no other qualifier, which in and of itself reinforces the impression that this was the biggest holiday in ancient times. In further testimony to its ancient importance, Sukkot involved the largest number of animal sacrifices, according to the Bible.

In other words, in biblical times Sukkot was The Holiday: if an ancient Israelite could only make it to Jerusalem for one of the three annual pilgrimages (the other two being Passover and Pentecost), Sukkot would be it.


 The history of Sukkot, once the most important Jewish holiday of all


Jewish corsets and coded letters: New exhibition reveals the secrets of the yekkes

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:04:09

At the beginning of the last century, the royal house of Vienna issued a special document to Heinrich Gunsberger Und Sohn, a local firm that manufactured undergarments. The letter, which came from the Office of His Majesty the Emperor and King of the House of Habsburg, confirmed that the minister of court affairs had granted the Jewish company the right to be the official supplier of brassieres and corsets to the royal house.

To market its products, the company printed a catalogue, which was also placed at the disposal of the royal women. Each type of garment was given a name: Dita, Hansie, Ida, Rika, Angela and Gertie.

One of the models who posed for the catalogue was the American actor Julian Eltinge, a drag queen who played women's roles in stage productions wearing a Gunsberger corset. œIf the man who is wearing our corsets has such an impressive feminine body, what will the women look like if they wear our corsets? Please beware of fakes of the company's products and always check to see that the corset carries our label, the ads stated.


 Jewish corsets and coded letters: New exhibition reveals the secrets of the yekkes


The Israeli Arab village where digital nomads come to connect

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:50:35

Looking down the unpaved road, you see the Mediterranean's turquoise water at the fishing village Jisr al-Zarqa. When I visited this month, a small boat lay in these shallow depths, with a man nearby trying to catch fish with a net. On the beach, not far behind, stands a structure that looks like an old warehouse, or maybe a broken-down beach restaurant.

When you get nearer, you notice the bustle. These are the new beach inhabitants, not fishermen but people bent over their laptops, coming from all over the country.

A sign in front of the structure reveals its identity it's Beachub, one of the world's œdigital nomad villages, a workspace on the beach. Beachub opened last month after the building was finally connected to the power grid.


 The Israeli Arab village where digital nomads come to connect


As options narrow on Syria, Trump prepares to drop sanctions hammer on Turkey

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:37:10

President Donald Trump's administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Ankara, potentially as early as this week, for its incursion into northern Syria, one of the few levers the United States still has over NATO-ally Turkey.

Using the U.S. military to stop the Turkish offensive on U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters was never an option, defense officials have said, and Trump asked the Pentagon on Sunday to begin a œdeliberate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from northern Syria.

After Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that Trump had authorized œvery powerful new sanctions targeting Turkey, the administration appeared ready to start making good on Trump's threat to obliterate Turkey's economy.


 As options narrow on Syria, Trump prepares to drop sanctions hammer on Turkey


The secret starvation study conducted by Jewish doctors at Warsaw Ghetto

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:14:39

When did you first hear about the œhunger disease study that was conducted in the Warsaw Ghetto?

I visited Poland as part of a delegation from Ichilov Hospital . Given the composition of the group, our guide, Yaki Gantz, included medical information in his tours. One day, when we were near the Warsaw Children's Hospital, he told us about the hunger that had existed in the ghetto during World War II. And then he mentioned, in passing, that because the hunger was so acute, a group of Jewish physicians there decided to carry out a study of its effects.

The situation in the Warsaw Ghetto was singular. There is testimony of a meeting of senior Gestapo personnel and Nazi physicians Eichmann was also in attendance at which it was decided to liquidate the ghetto by means of starvation. According to their calculations, low-calorie food rationing would wipe it out in nine months.


 The secret starvation study conducted by Jewish doctors at Warsaw Ghetto


Poland's ruling nationalist party declares victory in parliamentary election

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 01:28:52

Poland's conservative governing Law and Justice party won the most votes in Sunday's election in the deeply divided nation and appeared, according to an exit poll, to have secured a comfortable majority in parliament to govern for four more years.

The exit poll, conducted by the research firm Ipsos, projected that Law and Justice won 43.6% of the votes. That would translate into 239 seats, a majority in the 460-seat lower house of parliament.

The poll said a centrist pro-European Union umbrella group, Civic Coalition, would come in second with 27.4%. The biggest party in the coalition is Civic Platform, which governed Poland in 2007-2015.


 Poland's ruling nationalist party declares victory in parliamentary election


Independent conservative Kais Saied wins Tunisian presidential election

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:30:06

Independent law professor Kais Saied has overwhelmingly won Tunisia's presidential run-off that was held Sunday as the North African country grapples with economic and security challenges, according to a polling agency.

Saied has secured 72.53 per cent of the vote against 27.47 per cent for media mogul Nabil Karoui, the polling firm Emrhod Consulting added, citing exit polls.

It has been less than a decade since Tunisia, the origin of the 2010-11 Arab Spring revolts, toppled its long-time autocratic government in favour of democratic elections.


 Independent conservative Kais Saied wins Tunisian presidential election


The far right's murderous bible

Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:05:51

œHave you read ˜The Rise of the Colored Empires'? Tom Buchanan, Gatsby's rival, asks in œThe Great Gatsby. œThe idea, Buchanan explains, œis if we don't look out the white race will be will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved¦ It's up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of the 1925 masterpiece, knew well why he had his antagonist speak those words. The crux of the tension between Jay Gatsby and Buchanan is the question of truth and authenticity. On the one hand, the source of Gatsby's wealth is dubious: He's charming and charismatic, but his life is founded on a lie. On the other hand, Buchanan is a nasty piece of work, arrogant and boastful, but he's a faithful son of the American upper class of the tumultuous 1920s. For a large slice of American society, the racist calumnies he spews out were the unvarnished truth.

The title of the book Buchanan mentions is a distortion of a real work: œThe Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, published in 1920, which attracted interest in the United States. The author, Lothrop Stoddard, a prolific American thinker, writes of his concern that ineluctable demographic trends will transform the world's whites into an oppressed minority. As someone who espoused a detailed race theory, Stoddard maintained that the œNordic race is superior to all other races and that, for the common good, it should continue to rule the world.


 The far right's murderous bible


ISIS supporters escape Syria camp, U.S. troops pull out as Turkish forces advance

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:45:26

Turkish forces approached a key Kurdish-held town in northern Syria on Sunday, setting off clashes that allowed hundreds of Islamic State supporters to escape from a camp for displaced people near a U.S.-led coalition base, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered all U.S. troops in northern Syria to move south, but not leave the country.

Esper told CBS' "Face the Nation" that the conflict between Turkish forces and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters had become "untenable" for the U.S. military. Esper added that Turkey's invasion of Syria œappears to be a war crime.


 ISIS supporters escape Syria camp, U.S. troops pull out as Turkish forces advance


Atoning for our sins against animals

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:31:59

A while back I noticed a question to this newspaper's advice column. The readers, a couple who live in an apartment building, said that outside their door two cats would often scuffle until one started bleeding. The readers wondered what they could do to help their feline neighbors.

It's nice to encounter people who ask themselves how they can become better people, and it's especially encouraging when they ask themselves such questions regarding animals' distress. After all, animals don't ask us to help them, and they can't really thank us or return the favor.Those of us who choose to help them do so of our own goodwill. And it's good to live, I thought, in a place where people consult, offer advice and consider these altruistic issues, especially in such an esteemed public forum.

The good mood lasted until I got to the newspaper's restaurant-review section. The reviewer wasn't impressed by the establishment he visited; for example, he was disturbed that one of the dishes was called œShreds of Lamb Neck. (He asked if maybe there was a more appetizing way to present a dish.) He didn't think the veal tonsils or the entrecôte were particularly tasty either.


 Atoning for our sins against animals


Russian hacker jailed in Israel calls for swap deal with Israeli held in Russia for drug charges

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:02:44

Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov, who is under arrest in Israel, said in an interview conducted from prison that he has no ties to Russian intelligence and that Moscow is fighting for his release because "Russians never leave fellow Russians behind."

Israel had refused a prisoner swap deal suggested by Russia, according to which Burkov would be freed in exchange for the release of 25-year-old Naama Issachar, who was sentenced to 7.5 years behind bars in Russia after she was found carrying a small amount of hashish while she was traveling to Israel from India through the Moscow airport in April. 

Speaking to Israel's Channel 13 News in an interview aired Saturday evening, the Russian hacker said that "myself and Naama are being held in jail as a result of political games."


 Russian hacker jailed in Israel calls for swap deal with Israeli held in Russia for drug charges


In first, Saudi Arabia's national soccer team plays against Palestinians in West Bank

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:09:39

Saudi Arabia's national soccer team has arrived in the West Bank for its first match in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed team representatives on Sunday. He says Tuesday's World Cup qualifier illustrates deep bonds between the two peoples.

Abbas says: œWe are proud of this visit, and we feel it embodies the historical relationship between Saudi Arabia and Palestine.


 In first, Saudi Arabia's national soccer team plays against Palestinians in West Bank


Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protest police inaction in northern community, blocking roads

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 19:52:42

Hundreds of people demonstrated against violence in the Israeli Arab community on Sunday in the northern Israeli Arab village of Ara, located in the Wadi Ara area.

The demonstration came in the wake of the murder of a 21-year-old resident of the village on Saturday, and as part of a wider movement protesting the Israel Police's failure to curb violence and widespread illegal weapon possession in the Israeli Arab community. 

The slain local, Muhammad Adnan Hamdan, was laid to rest on Sunday and after the funeral mourners gathered on Wadi Ara road and blocked it to traffic.


 Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protest police inaction in northern community, blocking roads


10 things you probably don't know about Sukkot

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 19:20:20

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot arose from a Canaanite agricultural festival, developing over the years into the holiday we know today, tabernacles and all. Some of the traditions and customs of this holiday, such as sleeping under the stars for a whole week, may seem strange enough to the onlooker, but these 10 things you probably don't know will make it seem even stranger.

Sukkot isn't just a holiday. It is 'the holiday'

Today many Jews feel Yom Kippur is the most holy of days in the Jewish calendar. Passover is a solemn occasion and even Hanukkah, an extra-biblical holiday, has risen to prominence, possibly due to it coinciding with Christmas.


 10 things you probably don't know about Sukkot


With little to show, Gazans question mass border protests

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 18:44:03

Ahmed Abu Artima was one of the founders of the œGreat March of Return, the weekly protests along Gaza's frontier with Israel meant to draw attention to the plight of the territory's 2 million people. But these days, he mostly avoids the demonstrations.

He is among a growing number of Gazans who believe the protests have lost their way. With little to show from 18 months of demonstrations beyond the hundreds of people killed or wounded by Israeli fire, many Gazans are beginning to question and even criticize the Hamas-led protests, a rarity in a territory where dissent is barely tolerated by the ruling Islamic militant group.

For several months now, Abu Artima has organized his own alternative protest. On a recent Wednesday, dozens of Palestinians gathered near the separation fence between Israel and Gaza, performing traditional dances and ballads between poem recitals and speeches by local community leaders. Children gathered around two camels decorated with embroidered saddles.


 With little to show, Gazans question mass border protests


'Death to anti-Semitism': Thousands protest in Berlin in wake of Halle synagogue shooting

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 18:39:36

Several thousand protesters gathered in central Berlin on Sunday to show solidarity against anti-Semitism and right-wing violence after a terrorist attack left two dead in Halle last week.

Under the motto "Not even an inch: Death to anti-Semitism and racism," demonstrators met at the Bebelplatz public square in front of Humboldt University in the heart of the German capital.

Organizers from the Unteilbar (Indivisible) initiative, who called the large demonstration along with other groups, said 10,000 people had registered to take part. A spokesman for the group said the protest march from Bebelplatz would begin at 2 pm (1200 GMT).


 'Death to anti-Semitism': Thousands protest in Berlin in wake of Halle synagogue shooting


Turkish strike on convoy including civilians and journalists kills nine, reports say

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 18:04:14

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a Turkish air strike in the Syrian town of Ras al Ain killed nine people, including five civilians, on Sunday. Reports claim foreign journalists were also targeted.

Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said the strike had hit a gathering of civilians who had come to Ras al Ain from the city of Qamishli to show support as the town is targeted by Turkish forces attacking Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria.

An official in the Syrian Democratic Forces said a "civilian convoy" had been attacked. Rudaw's reporter in the region confirmed that journalists were aboard the convoy, which the Observatory also reported.


 Turkish strike on convoy including civilians and journalists kills nine, reports say


Poles vote in parliamentary election amid concerns over illiberal drive in government

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:18:24

Poles were voting Sunday in a parliamentary election that the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party was favored to win, buoyed by the popularity of its conservative agenda and generous social spending.

Concerns about democracy have made this one of the country's most momentous elections since the fall of communism 30 years ago. Critics fear Poland's illiberal turn could become irreversible if the party wins another four-year term.

More than 30 million voters were choosing lawmakers in the 460-seat lower house of parliament, the Sejm, and in the 100-seat Senate.


 Poles vote in parliamentary election amid concerns over illiberal drive in government


Pakistani PM wants to set up talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran as regional tensions rise

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:11:44

As tensions escalate between regional foes Iran and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will do its utmost to enable talks between the two countries, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday during a visit to Tehran. 

œPakistan does not want conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia...I am happy to facilitate talks between Tehran and Riyadh...I am very hopeful as I had constructive talks with the (Iranian) president, Khan told a joint news conference with President Hassan Rohani, broadcast live on state TV.

Khan's remarks follow a strike Friday on an Iranian-owned oil tanker in the Red Sea. Iranian state TV reported that the tanker was hit by missiles, but denied accounts that they came from Saudi Arabia.


 Pakistani PM wants to set up talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran as regional tensions rise


Why Russia is the big winner from Trump's Syria pullback and Ukraine turmoil

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:06:53

From Syria, where the U.S. pulled back in the face of a Turkish offensive, to Ukraine, where the newly elected president saw his image dented by a U.S. impeachment inquiry, new fault lines and tensions offer the Kremlin fresh opportunities to expand its clout and advance its interests.

In Syria, the U.S. military withdrawal leaves Russia as the ultimate power broker, allowing it to help negotiate a potential agreement between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Kurds who were abandoned by Washington.

And in Ukraine, where Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian turned president, has found himself drawn into the U.S. political battles, Russia may use the volatility to push for a deal that would secure its leverage over its western neighbor.


 Why Russia is the big winner from Trump's Syria pullback and Ukraine turmoil


A lesson from Weimar 1932: A third election could save Israel

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:36:59

Earlier this year, the BBC broadcast a television miniseries created and written by Tom Rob Smith, titled œMotherFatherSon. In it, Richard Gere plays Max Finch, the billionaire owner of a media empire, who wields influence on British politics and can make or break prime ministers. The series centers around the relations between Finch and his ex-wife and their son. It's a fraught relationship, rife with violence and intrigue, and the price is paid by the son, who buckles under the burden of his father's expectations and becomes entangled in criminal deeds while serving as editor of the concern's flagship newspaper.

The critics were not overly impressed with the series. They focused on the superficial development of some of the characters, the confusion surrounding the family's story and the stereotypical presentation of the connections between big capital, government and the media. But the reviewers missed the series' main message. Over and above the family saga, œMotherFatherSon is a horrifying dystopian tale about the rise of a rapacious politician who comes to power with the aid of Finch's media empire.

Angela Howard a British politician cast in the mold of Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson wins the election following a populist campaign dripping with hatred and marked by acts of violence against those who are œdifferent: Muslims, blacks and Jews. Appealing to the emotions of the country's beleaguered citizens, she promises economic stability, education for their children, sustainable housing and national pride. In return, they will be required to forgo the right, as Howard describes it, of spinning the roulette wheel every five years that is, of having to vote. Because, after all, elections are just an illusion. Just as the gambler doesn't get what he wishes for, in an election, too, the people don't get what they believe they will get.


 A lesson from Weimar 1932: A third election could save Israel


Trump rips into Tlaib over threat to detain White House officials who dodge impeachment inquiry

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:18:19

U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on Twitter on Sunday, calling her œA despicable human being! after the congresswoman was quoted saying that House Democrats discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify.

œThere have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like... if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee," Tlaib told the local Deadline Detroit Saturday. "This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress.

The Hill noted that Democratic Congresman John Garamendi œcalled for the House to do as much in a CNN interview earlier this week.


 Trump rips into Tlaib over threat to detain White House officials who dodge impeachment inquiry


Kurdish leader: Trump just stuck a knife in the back of America's brothers-in-arms

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:50:56

Turkish troops, supported by tens of thousands of Sunni Islamist militia members, have started their invasion of the Kurdish majority region of North Eastern Syria. Those troops will do everything they can to eliminate the Kurds, the focus of their sickening nationalist phobia, just as their Ottoman predecessors did in committing the Armenian genocide.

This is why Donald Trump's green light to Recep Tayyip Erdogan is both immoral and irresponsible.

The Turkish air force has flown over the Kurdish border towns of Gerê-spî, Serê-Kanî, Derbasiyê and Dêrik, a region stretching for over 450 km. Turkish aerial bombardments have already caused civilian deaths and forced many to leave their homes.


 Kurdish leader: Trump just stuck a knife in the back of America's brothers-in-arms


President Rivlin seeks pardon from Putin for Israeli held in Russia on drug charges

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:39:54

President Reuven Rivlin appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday to pardon an Israeli sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in Russia for hashish possession.  

"As a friend of the Jewish People and the State of Israel, I am writing to you concerning Naama Issachar," wrote Rivlin in a letter to Putin. "Naama made a grave mistake and has admitted her crime, but in the case of a young woman with no criminal record, the severe sentence handed down will have a deeply destructive impact on her life."

The letter continued, "Because of the particular and individual circumstances" of the case, "I am appealing to your mercy and compassion with a request for your personal intervention to grant her an extraordinary pardon.


 President Rivlin seeks pardon from Putin for Israeli held in Russia on drug charges


Trump's Syria withdrawal is a strategic disaster for Netanyahu

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:39:49

For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the developments in the Kurdish crisis are another woe in a series of events that is looking increasingly like a serious strategic crisis. From the moment that U.S. President Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016, Netanyahu confidently marketed an image by which the president, surrounded by Jewish family members and advisers, is a true friend of Israel. Netanyahu's close ties with Trump, compared to his palpable mutual loathing with Obama, would make it possible to enlist Trump for the benefit of Israel's needs.

Netanyahu's ambitions, which were communicated to the Americans regularly in his conversations with the president and in meetings between Israel's ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, and Trump's team, were quite far-reaching. Netanyahu sought to persuade Trump to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, which Obama signed in 2015, and to exert maximum pressure on Tehran; to provide a diplomatic-strategic umbrella for Israel's cozying up to the Gulf states; and eventually to secure a defense pact between the United States and Israel.

When Trump insisted also on presenting the œdeal of the century for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Netanyahu got the most out of the Americans. The administration's plan, which even after two-and-a-half years has no clear target date for its officially release, largely dovetails with Likud's positions on settlement. Moreover, Israeli right-wing leaders, and even Trump's people, hinted that the expected Palestinian rejection of the plan could become a prelude to the application of Israeli sovereignty in parts of the West Bank. Jerusalem would utilize the propitious moment, it was said, with Washington backing the move or looking the other way.


 Trump's Syria withdrawal is a strategic disaster for Netanyahu


Trump under fire for calling U.S. troops 'killing machines' in defense of Green Beret

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:27:48

U.S. President Donald Trump sparked controversy on Saturday when he weighed in on a former U.S. Army commando who will face a military trial in December on allegations that he murdered a bomb-maker years ago in Afghanistan.

Trump, who has pledged to order a review of the case before, tweeted, œThe case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill! Trump tagged Fox News host Pete Hegseth in the tweet which came after the case was discussed during a segment on "Fox & Friends Weekend." 

Prominent Trump critic Bill Kristol responded, œœWe train our boys to be killing machines. No we don't. And it's beyond disgusting that an American president would say this about our military. Shouldn't senior military leaders set the record straight?


 Trump under fire for calling U.S. troops 'killing machines' in defense of Green Beret


Putin: Trump's peace deal is 'pretty vague,' keeps Palestinians in the dark

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:11:58

Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan "pretty vague" and called for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Moscow in a conversation with Arab journalists on Sunday.

Putin answered questions from Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia and RT Arabic journalists in advance of his trip to Saudi Arabia on Russian-Saudi relations, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Libya and the attacks on Saudi Aramco that have been widely attributed to Iran, Russia's ally in Syria.

When asked by Sky News Arabia about Russia's more passive role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Trump administration's "deal of the century" peace plan, Putin said that his country's position on the conflict is that they "will support any deal that will bring peace," but must understand the contents of the plan.


 Putin: Trump's peace deal is 'pretty vague,' keeps Palestinians in the dark


Sanders, rebounding from heart attack, calls Warren a 'capitalist'

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:04:01

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says 2020 rival Elizabeth Warren is œa capitalist through her bones while adding: œI'm not.

Sanders made the comment in an interview for ABC's œThis Week, highlighting a difference with Warren, who has been rising steadily in the polls, and now shares the leading position with former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders has been falling well behind both.

œElizabeth, I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I'm not, he said in the interview airing Sunday.


 Sanders, rebounding from heart attack, calls Warren a 'capitalist'


In Hungary, Orban's ruling party rocked by orgy on a yacht scandal

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:53:00

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's dominant right-wing Fidesz party was facing a challenge Sunday from opposition parties who are backing joint candidates in many cities in the country's nationwide local election.

Fidesz has been easily winning local, national and European Parliament elections since 2010, but a more unified opposition and the release of a video showing one of the party's best-known mayors, former Olympic champion gymnast Zsolt Borkai, participating in an orgy on a yacht shook up the last days of the campaign.

The sex scandal has visibly flustered Orban's party, whose officials initially called it a private matter. The conservative Fidesz, which since 2015 has made its reputation on anti-migration policies, also casts itself as a defender of Christian and family values.


 In Hungary, Orban's ruling party rocked by orgy on a yacht scandal


Trump says he's an 'island of one' on Syria as he announces aid

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:42:35

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is an "island of one" for removing U.S. forces from northeastern Syria.

But he remained steadfast and defended a move that drew widespread bipartisan criticism that he has endangered stability in the Middle East and risked the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. bring down the Islamic State group in Syria.

Turkey, however, regards those Kurdish fighters as a terrorist threat and has launched a military operation against them.


 Trump says he's an 'island of one' on Syria as he announces aid


The Mideast Trump leaves behind: A resurgent ISIS, an Arab Spring comeback

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:36:20

There's something over the top, even artificial, about the moral outrage that has descended on politicians and journalists in the United States, in Europe and in Israel in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Kurds and remove the American troops from northeast Syria, thereby enabling a Turkish invasion.

To begin with, it's ridiculous to apply moral standards to Trump. He has never had any such considerations, and a cursory glance at his biography should have been enough to tell us that this is a person who will not hesitate to stab his allies in the back and then lie about it without batting an eye. And second, when it comes to the Middle East, Trump is following in the footsteps of his predecessor in office, Barack Obama, and shares the gut feeling of many American voters from both major parties. He wants to reduce U.S. involvement in the region and certainly to diminish the scope of its military commitment.

Some of Trump's recent comments are appallingly dumb, possibly even breaking his own records in that department. On Wednesday, he explained in response to condemnation of his decision to abandon the Kurds to their fate, that œThey didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy. But in terms of American politics, Trump is far from being dumb. With his eye on the 2020 election, now a little more than a year away, he has detected the strong isolationist sentiment among both Republicans and Democrats, and calculates that, beyond the fury in Washington, the move could well bring him more political gains than losses.


 The Mideast Trump leaves behind: A resurgent ISIS, an Arab Spring comeback


Kurdish politician among nine civilians executed by Turkish-backed fighters in Syria

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:33:50

Turkish forces and their Syrian allies seized large parts of the northern Syrian town of Suluk, a war monitor said on Sunday, as they pressed on with their offensive against Kurdish militia for a fifth day in the face of fierce international opposition.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Turkey-backed rebel fighters of executing a Kurdish politician in a road ambush on Saturday. The rebel force denied it, saying it had not advanced that far.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said "nine civilians were executed at different moments south of the town of Tel Abyad" by Turkey-backed groups, including Hevrin Khalaf, co-chair of the secular Future Syria Party.


 Kurdish politician among nine civilians executed by Turkish-backed fighters in Syria


Syrian Kurds: 785 ISIS-affiliated foreigners escaped after Turkish-backed assault

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:09:19

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreigners affiliated with Islamic State managed to escape a camp where they were being held following Turkish shelling on Sunday.

In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, the administration said in a statement that "mercenaries" had attacked the camp where "Daesh elements" - a reference to Islamic State - in turn attacked camp guards and opened the gates.

Turkey's official news agency says allied Syrian forces have captured the town Suluk in the fifth day of the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria.


 Syrian Kurds: 785 ISIS-affiliated foreigners escaped after Turkish-backed assault


No to occupation tourism

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:19:26

The Civil Administration and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority have invited the public to visit nature preserves and national parks beyond the Green Line during this week's Sukkot holiday. The agency in charge of the occupied territories urges Israelis to enjoy the springs and rich vegetation near the Dead Sea, the biblical landscape of Mount Gerizim and the thrilling stories of Sebastia, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Israel.

Any Israeli with a conscience and a basic awareness of the situation beyond the Green Line should refuse this invitation. The West Bank has fascinating landscapes with an extraordinary mix of nature and areas shaped by agriculture. According to international law, the role of the authorities representing the ruling military force is to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the area. There are a few important actions taken by these authorities, such as protecting wild animals from hunters, most of whom are Palestinian, or preventing mining and quarrying in protected areas. But the authorities have not stopped there. They have joined in a variety of ways the settlement and occupation enterprise, which co-opts nature for its own purposes.

While Israelis are invited to visit the nature spots of the occupied territories, Palestinians are excluded or removed from nature sites through a wide variety of tactics, as can be learned from reports by human rights organizations such as Kerem Navot, Ta'ayush and Engaged Dharma Israel. In the Umm Zuka Nature Reserve, in the northern Jordan Valley, Palestinians are being pushed out so as not to disturb the illegal outpost there, and their flocks are removed from other nature preserves in the area on the grounds of the territory being military zones. At Nahal Kane Nature Reserve, in the central West Bank, olive trees planted by Palestinians were uprooted while a road and structures were built within the preserve for the benefit of illegal outposts. The roads and the outposts are illegal, but the Civil Administration rarely moves to prevent this activity.


 No to occupation tourism


'Emergency' over gun violence in Israeli Arab community after shooting at family event

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:14:31

Five people were wounded on Saturday as masked men fired at a house where a family event was being held in the northern Arab town of Jisr al-Zarqa, amid a wave of nationwide protest by Israeli Arabs calling for authorities to quell gun violence.

Three women, aged about 60, 30 and 20, were in moderate condition, along with a 12-year-old girl and 40-year-old man who were lightly injured. Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting.

The chairman of the local residents council, Sami al-Ali, told Haaretz that masked men opened fire on a family event that was held after a local wedding. The family home, he said, is located on the town's main street, and the gunmen targeted the yard, where people were celebrating. The five victims were outside at the time of the shooting, the police said.


 'Emergency' over gun violence in Israeli Arab community after shooting at family event


Provoking Jerusalem's Palestinians 'for nothing': Cop's recording sheds light on 'screwed up' policy

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:31:21

Israeli police officers in the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Isawiyah were caught on camera complaining that there was no purpose to an ongoing police operation in the neighborhood, highly criticized by community leaders, other than deliberately provoking the residents.

The video footage, which was seen by an Israeli court during a hearing on charges pressed against a resident for throwing stones, shows one policeman telling his colleague: œIt's really provoking them for nothing. Why do this on purpose?

During the entire course of the summer, the Jerusalem District Police carried out daily wide-scale raids in Isawiyah, entering the East Jerusalem neighborhood in the afternoon on patrol, setting up roadblocks and stopping motorists and passersby for inspection and then going back in at night to arrest residents.


 Provoking Jerusalem's Palestinians 'for nothing': Cop's recording sheds light on 'screwed up' policy


This love letter to a Tel Aviv food market is getting a lot of love in America

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 10:59:54

Adeena Sussman is simmering a wine-braised pot roast when I walk into her Tel Aviv apartment at 9 A.M. In the past month, this is her first time cooking ” really cooking, that is ” aside from œdozens of pink tahini demos, she jokes. She's been busy crisscrossing the United States promoting her new cookbook.

œI felt this primal need to make a meal, Adeena, author of œSababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen, says as she stirs the vegetables stewing alongside the roast she'll serve friends for lunch the next day. œCooking anchors me to the place I'm in, and I wanted to sear things and smell things in my kitchen.

The morning I visit Adeena, who is an old friend, she is back home for a Tel Aviv minute. It's a break to come home to the seaside apartment near the Carmel Market she shares with her husband; she's between stops on her four-month book tour. œSababa is Hebrew slang adopted from Arabic that translates as œit's all good or œeverything is awesome.


 This love letter to a Tel Aviv food market is getting a lot of love in America


Media mogul or Islamist-backed law professor: Tunisians vote in final presidential election round

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 10:57:40

Tunisia's Mosaique FM radio cited an exit poll by the polling company Emrod as giving Kais Saied 72.53 per cent of votes in Sunday's presidential election runoff against Nabil Karoui. 

Tunisians are voting in an unusual contest pitting a populist tycoon who just got out of jail, Nabil Karoui, against a conservative professor backed by resurgent Islamists, Kais Saied, who seems to be prevailing.

The winner of Sunday's runoff vote will inherit a North African country struggling to overcome corruption, unemployment and sporadic extremist violence ” but proud of its still-budding, post-Arab Spring democracy.


 Media mogul or Islamist-backed law professor: Tunisians vote in final presidential election round


Welcome to Halle: Neo-Nazi hate speech and protests against the far right

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 10:55:15

HALLE, Germany ” It is Friday morning at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, and time to try to find the right words after a horrendous few days. Kathrin Kramer and her small group of undergrads are sitting in a circle in a seminar room, processing their thoughts. The 31-year-old pedagogy lecturer has been busy organizing an exchange program, with a new group of students and lecturers expected to arrive on Sunday. They will be coming from Israel.

œI just feel super-insecure about how we have to communicate about it. Maybe they do want to talk about it instantly, maybe they don't, Kramer tells her students. 

œIt is the terror attack that hit this Germany backwater on Wednesday, Yom Kippur, when a far-right extremist targeted the city's Humboldt Street synagogue, hoping to kill all of the worshippers inside. After failing to gain entry through the locked wooden door that saved the 80 people inside, he proceeded to shoot and kill a passerby and a customer in a nearby kebab shop. He was later apprehended by the police.


 Welcome to Halle: Neo-Nazi hate speech and protests against the far right


Gal Gadot to produce, star in film about Holocaust heroine who saved thousands of children

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:57:06

Israeli actress Gal Gadot has teamed up with her husband Yaron Varsano to star in and produce "Irena Sendler," a film that follows the story of a Polish woman's heroic effort to save thousands of children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.

The film will be the first project taken on by the couple's newly formed production company Pilot Wave, which was first reported by Deadline on Friday and later confirmed by Gadot.

The historical thriller will tell the story of the Sendler, who worked for the Polish underground at the height of World War II and helped smuggle 2,500 Jewish children through an elaborate network of volunteers.


 Gal Gadot to produce, star in film about Holocaust heroine who saved thousands of children


Israeli TV show that planted gun in Palestinian's home violated order, but watchdog failed to act

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:54:32

In making a miniseries whose episodes were pulled after Haaretz revealed that police officers planted guns and drugs in the homes of East Jerusalem Palestinians who appeared in them, the Israel Police also violated prohibitions against cooperating with the media.

Despite the lapses, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has taken no action against the police over the production of œJerusalem District.

In response to an inquiry from Haaretz, the attorney general's office said the directives remain in effect and added that questions about their implementation should be referred to the Israel Police.


 Israeli TV show that planted gun in Palestinian's home violated order, but watchdog failed to act


Way off the beaten path: These tours could change your way of thinking about Israel-Palestine

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:48:44

Raid Abu-Riyah, an executive at a large bank in Tel Aviv, lives in Jaljulya. Everyone there knows him and he knows everybody. Over the four hours that Abu-Riyah leads a group of 39 Jews through the town, many of the residents stop to greet him and us, the tourists. People wave and honk from their cars, and some of them shout things in Arabic that I don't understand. Some laugh we really stick out in the street. During the tour, which takes place on a very hot afternoon, several young people offer us cold water from their balconies. They come down to the street with bottles and cups and implore us to drink.

It's embarrassing: I've lived a 15-minute drive from Jaljulya all my life and have never been there. Abu-Riyah explains that the town, which is about 25 kilometers northeast of Tel Aviv, is one of the oldest and most interesting communities in Israel, with remnants dating back to the Bronze Age. In the past it was one of the largest and most important cities on the Via Maris ancient trading route, which connected Egypt and Turkey. Today it's a local council with about 10,000 residents. Abu-Riyah opens with these words as we stand next to the remnants of an old and impressive stone khan an inn for travelers. Later we roam the village's historic center and then drive to the other end, to the huge mosque, which opened recently. The imam blesses us and says he is happy we have come and that the future lies in peace between the nations.

The tour is organized by Shared Paths (œDrachim Shluvot in Hebrew), and everyone in the group paid 135 shekels to attend. The price includes a meal in Abu-Riyah's home, prepared by his wife and mother. His children serve the food on long tables set up in the back yard. It's tasty. After the meal we hold a discussion. Several people from the group thank Abu-Riyah for his tour and the hospitality, and then someone asks: œSo really, why don't you serve in the army?


 Way off the beaten path: These tours could change your way of thinking about Israel-Palestine


25 years since Israel-Jordan peace, security cooperation flourishes but people kept apart

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:38:41

Along Israel's border with Jordan, not far from Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, a desolate site is symbolic of the peace agreement that the two countries signed 25 years ago this month. The empty Jordan Gateway Bridge was due to serve a joint Israeli-Jordanian industrial zone, an idea that goes back to 1994, but the project has been stalled, just like relations between the two countries' populations.

The bridge was built and then dedicated this February under the direction of Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, but among the myriad problems that still need to be addressed is one minor one: an access road to the bridge itself. Israeli ministries have been at odds over which of them should fund the 60 million shekel ($17 million) highway a relative paltry sum for a country where billions of shekels in supplemental funds are approved for aerial defense, but it still requires cabinet approval.

But for nearly the past six months, since the first round of Knesset elections in April, Israel has been governed by a transitional government, and no cabinet resolution has been passed for the money. The way the case of the bridge has unfolded is an indication of a familiar problem. Attention and funding are generally forthcoming when it comes to wars and defense, but less so when it comes to peace.


 25 years since Israel-Jordan peace, security cooperation flourishes but people kept apart


Israeli killed after car explodes near Tel Aviv highway

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 07:29:57

A man in his 30s was killed early Sunday morning when the car he was driving exploded outside Tel Aviv.

The blast occurred on Route 412 near the Or Yehuda interchange. Police say forces arrived at the scene and found the vehicle up in flames. Magen David Adom medics pronnounced the man dead at the scene.  

Police say they have launched an investigation into the matter and suspect it to be of criminal nature.


 Israeli killed after car explodes near Tel Aviv highway


Trump didn't think he could ever lose the evangelical vote ” but then he abandoned the Kurds

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 05:09:31

Something unusual happened in American politics this week: President Donald Trump was criticized by leading figures in the evangelical community. One after another, prominent pastors and activists denounced his decision to remove U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and to stand aside as Turkey attacked Kurdish cities in the region. One pastor called the Turkish attack on the Kurds œa disgrace; another warned Trump he could be œlosing the mandate of heaven over the decision.

It was the first time since Trump entered the White House in 2017 that he had to endure such a strong level of criticism from evangelical leaders. They had stood by him throughout the worst scandals of his presidency: The Stormy Daniels affair; his racist attacks on black members of Congress; his attempts to recruit foreign governments to aid his 2020 reelection campaign. In fact, evangelical leaders were often criticized for failing to denounce Trump and for continuing to express blind support for him.

In the 2016 election, white evangelicals cast approximately a quarter of all ballots in the presidential race, with 80 percent of them voting for Trump ” which played a key role in his victory over Hillary Clinton.


 Trump didn't think he could ever lose the evangelical vote ” but then he abandoned the Kurds


Haaretz Cartoon

Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:01:39

 Haaretz Cartoon


Three detained as pro-Netanyahu and anti-corruption protesters face off in central Israel

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 23:14:30

Three protesters were detained Saturday evening, as demonstrators in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced off against counter-protesters in Goren Square in Petah Tikva.

The police said that they had attacked officers and disturbed the peace. The protesters said they were attempting to raise a large sign with the slogan "crime minister" when the police attempted to stop them, causing a commotion. Three were arrested and the sign was destroyed.

Some 500 people attended the third demonstration in support of the premiere under the slogan "saving democracy from the gatekeepers." In addition, some 100 protesters gathered to protest corruption in the square, which is near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, who will decide whether or not to indict Netanyahu in three corruption cases following the hearing that took place at the start of the month.


 Three detained as pro-Netanyahu and anti-corruption protesters face off in central Israel


How Israelis' self-deception left many of them confused about 'Our Boys'

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:29:11

As the outstanding miniseries œOur Boys began to air, a rather strange debate developed about the intentionally misleading name the creators chose for it. The critics argued that the name created the impression that it would be about our three boys who were abducted and murdered ” Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaer ” and not our three boys who abducted and murdered Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

This is a strange debate because the source of the deception is not in the name that Hagai Levi, Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu-Wael gave to their miniseries but rather in our self-image. After all, we are a nation that tends to appropriate to itself every Jewish victim, whoever it may be, and to cast out anyone who has been identified as a murderer. Gilad Shalit can be œeveryone's son, while Elor Azaria can never be.

It is this self-deception that led many to conclude that if the series deals with œour boys, that is, the events surrounding Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, then it necessarily deals with our victims, and not with our murderers. Because our murderers are always rogue elements, in other words not ours.


 How Israelis' self-deception left many of them confused about 'Our Boys'


Even after Halle attack, defenders of the extreme right won't relent

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:21:20

It was the Yom Kippur of all the pens for hire the ones specializing in shallow populism. Their two central conceptions collapsed that day.

Let's start with the unambiguous tweet by Donald Trump: œGoing into the Middle East is the worst decision ever made in the history of our country. This explained his decision to abandon the Kurds, leaving them vulnerable to ethnic cleansing. Trump, any reasonable person will understand, is the flimsy support on which Netanyahu, in his rare diplomatic sophistication, decided to base Israel's fate. Then along comes the president saying that there is no ally he wouldn't turn his back on if need be, and that our neighborhood, including us, costs him too much money while bringing in too little profit, which is why he's fed up with it.

In the disappointing light of the realization that the totally expected has come to pass, with only the blindness of the pens for hire preventing them from recognizing it, the entire past has been revealed in its nakedness: the demonstrative disdain for Barack Obama, the alienation from the Democrats and the disassociation from American Jewry.


 Even after Halle attack, defenders of the extreme right won't relent


Ra'anana clubs lead International Football League of Israel

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:18:07

Ra'anana is now well represented at the top of the International Football League of Israel table, with both Ra'anana FC and Ra'anana Olim sporting perfect records after four matches. Ra'anana has the advantage though, with a 13-point goal difference as opposed to nine for the Olim squad.

Ra'anana dominated Ukraine 7-1 on Saturday after racing to a 6-1 halftime lead. Michelle Orellano led all scorers with four goals, while Rani Lachman, Barak Maimoni and Dar Koren added a goal apiece. Koren also chipped in two assists, as did teammate Elihay Zabari. Ra'anana Olim won by a more modest 3-1 score over host ETZ Ashdod. In that game, Amit Corney, Yoav Lebens and Aviad Ben Meir all netted goals in the victory.

The most lopsided match of Saturday, however, was won 10-0 by visiting Atletico Niv over AJAF. Yaron Genatek dominated with four goals, while Aviv Zemer scored three ties. Eli Cohen earned a brace, while Bar Vahaba completed the scoring for Niv, which is alone in third place with three wins after four games and nine points total.


 Ra'anana clubs lead International Football League of Israel


As new Syrian exodus unfolds, some fear they will never go home

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:52:22

Kurdish doctor Farid Mustafa was one of the last to flee Ras al-Ain as Turkish bombs rained down on the Syrian border town. He fears he may never return home.

He escaped on Thursday night with his wife and two small children as warplanes flew in the sky above a line of cars trying to get away from the border. A few people stayed behind to defend their homes.

œWe were scared of the plane, not anything else, he told Reuters. œAlso my kids, I swear we're not even worried about ourselves, but the kids. They were crying.


 As new Syrian exodus unfolds, some fear they will never go home


Turkey's incursion in Syria may leave its own economy wounded

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 20:18:15

One casualty of Turkey's military incursion into Syria may be its own recovery from recession after U.S. congressional leaders threatened sanctions that could hit the lira and harden Turkish distrust of Western allies.

Turkey's currency which suffered a crisis a year ago due in part to U.S. sanctions and tariffs hit its weakest level in nearly four months after U.S. troops left northeast Syria and Ankara ordered attacks on Kurdish forces there.

In recent months the lira had steadied and inflation had fallen, suggesting Turkey's $766 billion economy, the largest in the Middle East, had left behind its worst slump in nearly two decades.


 Turkey's incursion in Syria may leave its own economy wounded


Bringing Israel's best-known playwright, Hanoch Levin, to a worldwide audience

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:18:14

œWho is this Fogra that everyone is talking about so much? You must agree that she is a young and beautiful woman; take note: young and beautiful, and just 24 years old, excelling as she writes her doctorate in physics, yes, physics, and engaged to a rich and successful man. She's full of life, loves to have fun. She milks enjoyment from each and every moment of her life. That, ladies and gentleman, is Fogra. That is Fogra. And now I'd like to see the person who would tell her that she isn't allowed to enter a nightclub while dressed in her tennis outfit, or whatever else she might like to wear. And anyone who feels that her firm, tanned thighs are mocking them, can go and bang their head against a wall.

From œHefetz (translated by Janice Weizman)

As the curtain went down to thunderous applause on the premiere of Hanoch Levin's comedy œHefetz at the Tzavta Theater in Tel Aviv in 1972, the director turned to Levin and asked him, œSo? What do you have to say? The writer's previous plays, hard-hitting political critiques such as œYou and Me and the Next War, and œQueen of the Bathtub, had so incensed critics, the government, the military and the general public that some of them had to be shut down mid-run.


 Bringing Israel's best-known playwright, Hanoch Levin, to a worldwide audience


Nothing new under the sun: As the world turns to solar energy, Israel falls behind

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:05:42

In a documentary about his family's immigration to Israel from Poland, director Igal Bursztyn recalls that his mother always said that Israel was good for drying laundry. Local sunshine bears another distinct advantage it's an excellent source for producing electricity but Israel still is far from meeting its goals when it comes to exploiting this energy source.

Israel has been seeking new ways to enlist the sun's power to swap out polluting fuel sources. The Environmental Protection Ministry is convinced the breakthrough will come when more residential buildings and businesses install solar panels not just on their roofs, but on their walls as well.

Under a cabinet resolution that was passed four years ago, alternative energy, primarily solar power, should constitute 17 percent of Israel's power production capacity by 2030. The interim goal for 2020 was 10 percent. According to the Electricity Authority, alternative energy sources currently only compromise 6 percent of Israel's power production capacity.


 Nothing new under the sun: As the world turns to solar energy, Israel falls behind


Germany to ban arms export to Turkey amid bombardment of northern Syria

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:03:53

Germany has banned arms exports to Turkey as a reaction to the country's assault on the Kurdish YPG militia in northeast Syria, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Saturday.

Turkey launched the military operation on Wednesday days after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, with air strikes and artillery hitting YPG militia positions near the border.

Turkey's actions have drawn widespread international criticism and warnings from the United States and European Union of possible sanctions.


 Germany to ban arms export to Turkey amid bombardment of northern Syria


Why Netanyahu has to stay silent about Trump's abandonment of the Kurds

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 18:54:49

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frequently been referred to as the œRepublican senator from the State of Israel. The nickname is only partly a joke.

There has never been another Israeli leader with as clear an affinity for one particular American political party. While he may pay lip service to pro-Israel Democrats, to placate American Jews committed to their mantra of promoting bipartisan support for Israel, he has done more to tie Israel's fortunes to one party than any of his predecessors.

At first, it was quietly: The ties linking Netanyahu to Republicans were clear mainly to those who took a close look at their donors. But there was no way to hide the events of March 2015, when Netanyahu strategized with then-House Speaker John Boehner so he could address Congress ” against the White House's express wishes ” in his unsuccessful campaign to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal.


 Why Netanyahu has to stay silent about Trump's abandonment of the Kurds


Failure foretold? Police plan to confiscate weapons in Arab locales

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 18:49:02

The police are set to confiscate illegal weapons in Arab communities next month despite warnings of an anticipated failure.

Experts and leaders in these communities say the operation is unlikely to succeed without a broader government scheme to prevent crime in Arab society and even the police acknowledge that without the cooperation of Arab leaders the operation is doomed to failure.

In 2017 the police offered Israeli Arabs who held weapons illegally to return them anonymously without being charged. The project, which cost about half a million shekels, turned out to be a dismal flop. By September only three firearms and 21 other weapons had been handed in.


 Failure foretold? Police plan to confiscate weapons in Arab locales


Israeli gymnast snags silver medal at world championship

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 18:44:54

Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won Saturday a silver medal in the men's floor exercise at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, cementing his position as one of the world's leading gymnasts.

Dolgopyat scored 15.200 points, only slightly behind Filipino athlete Carlos Yulo, who snagged a gold medal with score of 15.300.

This is Dolgopyat's second silver medal at the World Championship, after his previous win in 2017. This victory makes him the first Israeli to win two silver medals at the World Championship.


 Israeli gymnast snags silver medal at world championship


'I started mountain biking four years ago. Now I'm ranked 11th in the world'

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 16:38:09

Janika Loiv, 29, and Urmas Loiv, 36; live in Tallinn, Estonia; arriving from Budapest

Hello, can I ask what you'll be doing in Israel?

Janika: I'm here for a mountain bike competition in the Jezreel Valley. This is my first time competing in Israel. It's a race in stages, beginning on Wednesday and ending on Saturday. It's a race in couples. My partner for this competition is also from Estonia. We have to advance together and fix the bikes ourselves if something happens. I am collecting points for the Olympics, and in this competition they give out a lot of them.


 'I started mountain biking four years ago. Now I'm ranked 11th in the world'


In 36th incident this year, worker dies after Israeli construction site allegedly ignored safety order

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 16:36:06

A 31-year-old worker from Nazareth was killed on Thursday after falling from a construction site in the central Israeli city of Ra'anana, a week after a safety order was issued banning the use of the scaffolding at the location. The worker, Bilal Arkawi, is the 36th person to die this year in construction work related accidents.

The Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry had issued the order last week due to the fact that the scaffolding was not installed properly, which could lead to an accident. A preliminary investigation into the matter seems to indicate that the worker fell from the scaffolding.

The Labor Ministry said it has œserious suspicions that the contractor at the site, D. Hayek, owned by Doron Hayek, ignored the order, which was preceded by another safety order in June. In addition, the workers did not have a supervisor on the site, and many safety failures were found at scene. The police have opened an investigation and the head of the Labor Ministry's Safety Administration summoned all the managers of the construction site for a hearing.


 In 36th incident this year, worker dies after Israeli construction site allegedly ignored safety order


These right-wingers are taking their love of Bibi to the streets

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 16:12:39

Defiantly displaying accusatory banners denouncing the Israeli legal system and declaring that œNetanyahu = Dreyfus and State Prosecutor œShai Nitzan is fabricating cases, hundreds of faithful right-wing supporters of Israel's Prime Minister crowded Goren Square in Petah Tikva Saturday night, protesting what they ” echoing Netanyahu ” believe is a witch hunt against an elected leader.

The crowd, many of them carrying blue and white flags emblazoned with the logo of Netanyahu's Likud party, chanted œJustice! and cries of œBibi, you are not alone!

Petah Tikva's Kfar Ganim is no stranger to angry protests. What was once considered a sleepy Tel Aviv suburb has, over the past two years, become a political hot spot as opponents of Netanyahu targeted the residence of the country's attorney general, Avichai Mendelblit.


 These right-wingers are taking their love of Bibi to the streets


The novel that introduced Soviet Jews to their forgotten history

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 15:20:59

A year ago, I was asked to choose and write a few words about any book that had influenced me profoundly. As I browsed feverishly through my mental library among great works which I'd admired, I realized that what I was looking for did not lie in the pages of œWar and Peace or œThe Brothers Karamazov.

The book that is imprinted in my memory as a moral and political compass, and the book I would like my children to know, is a Soviet-era work for children and juveniles titled œThe Road Slips Away into the Distance. It's an autobiographical trilogy by the Jewish children's playwright and memoirist Aleksandra Brushtein, who is barely known outside the Russian-speaking world. The first volume of the work was translated into Hebrew in the 1980s, but Brushtein (1884-1968) remains unknown in Israel, too. In the Soviet Union, where it ran through many editions of tens of thousands of copies each, the trilogy achieved cult status.

œThe Road Slips Away into the Distance transcends genres. It's simultaneously a coming-of-age novel, a historical and political tale, and an adventure-filled memoir. With biting humor, abundant self-irony and a deep appreciation of her past, Brushtein tells the story of her childhood and adolescence in Vilna at the turn of the 20th century. Her story is credible, fascinating and moving, without straying for a moment from the socialist narrative, and it adheres rigorously to the rigid rules of censorship of the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the trilogy was published.


 The novel that introduced Soviet Jews to their forgotten history


Turkish forces capture center of key Syrian border town

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 14:22:35

Turkish forces captured a key Syrian border town under heavy bombardment Saturday, the Turkish military and a Syrian war monitor said, as Turkey's offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters pressed into its fourth day with little sign of relenting despite mounting international criticism.

Turkish troops entered central Ras al-Ayn according to Turkey's Defense Ministry, marking the most significant gain since the invasion began Wednesday. The ministry tweeted: "Ras al-Ayn's residential center has been taken under control through the successful operations in the east of Euphrates" river.

An Associated Press journalist across the border heard the sound of sporadic clashes as Turkish howitzers struck the town and Turkish jets screeched overhead.


 Turkish forces capture center of key Syrian border town


Not just bagels, lox and gefilte: What's considered Jewish food in 2019

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 09:26:10

Until fairly recently, the term œJewish food in the context of American culture was synonymous with East European Jewish food. Indeed, in North America in contrast to Israel, for example that was considered Jewish cuisine par excellence. If you said œJewish food you were talking about bagels, lox, gefilte fish, brisket, pickles and chicken soup with kreplach.

œGrowing up Ashkenazi in the New York area in New Jersey Jewish food referred to Ashkenazi holiday and deli foods, said Jeffrey Yoskowitz, a co-author of œThe Gefilte Manifesto (2016) who also teaches Jewish food anthropology, in a series of conversations with Haaretz.

Added Israeli-born Naama Shefi, founder of the New York-based Jewish Food Society, which works to preserve Jewish cuisine and culture, œThe term ˜Jewish food' is still identified in the American consciousness with Ashkenazi food.


 Not just bagels, lox and gefilte: What's considered Jewish food in 2019


In Israeli-Arab city, some pushback against religious and political fundamentalism

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:19:48

It was just over a year ago that firebombs were hurled at a music hall in the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm while a concert was underway. Performing inside was a mixed-gender Israeli-Arab band, known for its repertoire of Arab classics. Nobody was injured in the drive-by attack ” but that was never the intent of the perpetrators. They were out to make a point: That there would be zero tolerance in this northern Israeli city for performances in which men and women sang and sat together.

Tensions had flared in the weeks leading up to the concert. The local association of imams denounced the performance, warning that holding mixed-gender events violated the Islamic religious rules of sharia. Progressive forces in the city struck back, unleashing a vicious attack against the old guard on social media. 

Needless to say, the subsequent attack on the music hall hardly surprised anyone. After all, this was the same city that just a year earlier had issued a call to boycott the film œIn Between, which depicts three young women who defy the traditional norms of Arab society and move to Tel Aviv. And it was the same city that several months later bowed to pressure from religious authorities and banned what would have been a first-of-its-kind (for this city) mixed-gender marathon.


 In Israeli-Arab city, some pushback against religious and political fundamentalism


U.S. troops come under fire in northern Syria as Turkey pounds Kurds

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:00:25

Washington said its troops in northern Syria came under fire from NATO ally Turkey on Friday, as Ankara ramps up offensive against Syrian Kurds. 

An explosion was reported later Friday in northern Syria near an outpost where U.S. troops are located, but none of the Americans were hurt, according to a U.S. official and a Syria war monitor.

It was unclear whether it was from artillery or an airstrike, and it was the first time a coalition base was in the line of fire since Turkey's offensive began on Wednesday.


 U.S. troops come under fire in northern Syria as Turkey pounds Kurds


Trump says U.S., China reached substantial phase-1 trade deal

Sat, 12 Oct 2019 02:03:35

President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States and China had come to a substantial phase-1 trade deal, reaching agreement on intellectual property, financial services and big agricultural purchases.

The two sides are very close to ending their trade war and it will take up to five weeks to get the deal written, Trump said, speaking to reporters after talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

œThere was a lot of friction between the United States and China, and now it's a lovefest. That's a good thing, the U.S. president said.


 Trump says U.S., China reached substantial phase-1 trade deal


We may soon gestate babies in fluid-filled bags and it will save lives

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 23:14:16

In œBrave New World, Aldous Huxley writes about labs in which the traits of future infants are selected. Fetuses destined to become simple workers undergo manipulation to lower their IQs. Others are calibrated to develop frigophobia an unnatural fear of cold so that they can work at the equator. In some, the sense of balance is tampered with, enabling them to work more readily in outer space. The basic attributes of each individual are corrected and modified according to a predetermined future.

A fantasy some of us harbor is to engineer our own genius babies with light or dark hair, of basketball-player height to suit our personal taste. In short, designer babies. But at least some of what was once science fiction is today an integral part of artificial insemination.

Some inherited diseases are caused by a disorder in a single gene. Various syndromes are related to the sex of the embryo. Once an initial cell cluster forms, the genes of the embryo can be examined to ascertain its sex, and whether it is carrying a hereditary disease. Thus, only embryos not carrying the flawed gene will be returned to the uterus.


 We may soon gestate babies in fluid-filled bags and it will save lives


Israeli rabbi sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting three sisters

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 21:38:05

An influential rabbi, convicted of sexually assaulting three sisters, aged eight, 12 and 14, at his synagogue in southern Israel over the past several years, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison. The court ruled that he had œused his position to commit the acts.

The girls' family used to regularly see 70-year-old Rabbi Yehuda Ben David, a well-known religious and spiritual leader in the southern cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, for advice on religious, financial and medical matters. Be'er Sheva District Court Judge Yoel Eden said he had taken advantage of the family's œdependence on him.

Ben David has denied any wrongdoing and requested the court to order the verdict be put under gag order, but his request was denied. In addition to jail time, he was also given one year on probation and ordered to pay 150,000 shekels ($43,000) in damages to the three girls.


 Israeli rabbi sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting three sisters


U.S. to deploy 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia to bolster defense against Iran after oil attack

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 20:20:15

The United States announced on Friday a new, large deployment of forces to Saudi Arabia to help bolster the kingdom's defenses following the September 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran.

The announcement came hours after an Iranian-owned oil tanker said it was struck by two missiles near the Red Sea, off the Saudi port of Jeddah.

The planned deployment, which was first reported by Reuters, will include fighter squadrons, one air expeditionary wing and air defense personnel, the Pentagon said.


 U.S. to deploy 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia to bolster defense against Iran after oil attack


Turkish forces push deeper into Kurdish Syria as death toll rises

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 19:33:59

Turkish forces pushed deeper into northeastern Syria on Friday, the third day of Ankara's offensive against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters, as casualties mounted, international criticism of the campaign intensified and thousands of civilians fled the violence.

Turkey said it captured more Kurdish-held villages in the border region, while a camp for displaced residents about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the frontier was evacuated after artillery shells landed nearby amid intense clashes. Aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis, with nearly a half-million people at risk near the border.

U.S. President Donald Trump cleared the way for Turkey's air and ground assault after he pulled American troops from their positions near the border, drawing swift bipartisan criticism that he was endangering regional stability and abandoning Syrian Kurdish forces that brought down the Islamic State group in Syria.


 Turkish forces push deeper into Kurdish Syria as death toll rises


From Jewish settlers to West Bank Palestinians: The young women sharing language in Jerusalem

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 18:29:03

Manar Bader, a 26-year-old Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem, and Lior Urian, 32, a Jewish Israeli from Tel Aviv, met in the hall at Hebrew University of Jerusalem nine years ago and became friends. œWe lived in two separate spheres with deep ignorance and gaps in language, but we became friends quite quickly, says Urian.

œI was an out-of-touch resident of Tel Aviv, and via Manar's story, I understood the reality of the eastern part of the city, she said, referring to East Jerusalem, œthe people behind the facts. Years later we thought that our story was the story of the city, and we wanted to build a platform that would make it possible for other women to better understand the other side.

Two years ago the pair decided to try to expand their mutual circle of friends in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. They started a Facebook page where they proposed creating a women's group in which Arab women would teach their Jewish counterparts Arabic and the Jewish women would teach the Arab women Hebrew. 


 From Jewish settlers to West Bank Palestinians: The young women sharing language in Jerusalem


Halle gunman confesses to anti-Semitic motive in deadly synagogue shooting

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:51:28

The man accused of killing two in a gun attack near a synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, has confessed to the crime and to a far-right, anti-Semitic motivation, prosecutors said on Friday.

Prosecutors described how Stephan B., who published a racist and anti-Semitic manifesto and live-streamed the shooting on Wednesday, had shot two bystanders after failing to enter the synagogue.

Only his poor aim and the unreliability of his home-made firearms had saved nine other people he fired upon from injury during his half-hour rampage, federal prosecutors said at their headquarters in the city of Karlsruhe.


 Halle gunman confesses to anti-Semitic motive in deadly synagogue shooting


Five ways Trump's unnerving decision on Syria has seriously harmed Israel

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:41:08

It was probably inevitable. Even Donald Trump's most ardent admirers in Israel understood that it was always a package deal. 

Strong support for Israel's position on issues with political resonance in the United States - Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Iran deal - was bestowed by a president with a well-documented history, in his long business and entertainment career and his short political rise, of a Me First-America First ethos and a total disregard for the concerns of others, even those in his own camp.

But that foreknowledge does not lessen the sting.


 Five ways Trump's unnerving decision on Syria has seriously harmed Israel


'Disproportionate' sentence for Israeli-American after Russian request to release hacker denied

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:33:49

Israeli sources confirmed on Friday that Russia recently pressured Israel to release Aleksey Burkov, a Russian hacker who is to be extradited to the U.S., in exchange for the release of an Israeli-American woman, Naama Issachar, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on drug-related charges.

IT specialist Burkov was arrested in Israel in 2015 for extradition to the United States on charges related to widespread credit card fraud. But Issachar's fate seems to be the last chapter in a behind-the-scenes extradition battle between Moscow and Washington that points to something else than identity theft. 

Following media reports in Israel and Russia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed he discussed the matter with President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Sochi a month ago and in a phone call last week, where he argued Issachar is being treated unfairly by the Russian authorities and stressed that there is no legal way to stop Burkov's extradition.


 'Disproportionate' sentence for Israeli-American after Russian request to release hacker denied


Iran says missiles struck oil tanker near Saudi Red Sea port

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:48:39

An Iranian-owned oil tanker was struck by two missiles off the Saudi port of Jeddah on Friday, Iranian state television reported, quoting the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) which owns the vessel.

The tanker was set ablaze, destroying two storerooms causing an oil leak into the Red Sea, about 60 miles (96 km) from Jeddah, according to Iranian media. A leaking from its hull was reportedly brought under control later in the morning, according to press agency IRNA.

Iran's foreign ministry confirmed the ship had been hit twice in the Red Sea on Friday morning, state TV reported.


 Iran says missiles struck oil tanker near Saudi Red Sea port


Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize for 'decisive initiative' on conflict with Eritrea

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 12:50:57

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts with Eritrea.

Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime foes who fought a border war from 1998 to 2000, restored relations in July 2018 after years of hostility.

The 43-year-old also shocked observers by releasing tens of thousands of prisoners and welcoming home once-banned opposition groups.


 Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize for 'decisive initiative' on conflict with Eritrea


Swastikas sprayed on gravestones in British cemetery in northern Israel

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 11:34:17

A British cemetery in the northern Israeli town of Haifa was vandalized and swastikas were sprayed over its gravestones, Israel Police said on Friday. 

A local cemetery worker discovered during his morning rounds that about 35 headstones had been shattered, most of them in the Jewish section, a police statement said.

Police are investigating the incident and gathering forensic evidence. No further details were available on suspects or possible motives behind the act.


 Swastikas sprayed on gravestones in British cemetery in northern Israel


Trump's sanctions mania is going to end badly for America

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 10:07:54

"As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!"

This single tweet by Donald Trump should provide reams of material for study by psychologists (œmy great and unmatched wisdom) and grammarians (œI've done before), not to mention fact-checkers. As someone who deals in economics, I'll limit my comments to the promise to œtotally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey bit, by which he presumably means more sanctions.

Trump never destroyed or obliterated the Turkish economy with sanctions, but he made the problems created by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's irresponsible policies even worse by more than doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum in August 2018. The lira was already in trouble before the tariff move but Trump's tweet made things worse. By the end of 2018, the Turkish currency was down 30% for the year, forcing interest rates to punishing levels and sending the economy sliding into recession.


 Trump's sanctions mania is going to end badly for America


Netanyahu's party gives him the rubber stamp and underscores his weakness

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 09:02:02

The Likud Central Committee that convened Thursday as a limited forum and far from the eyes of the media lacked any point. It looked more like a cult with few followers conducting a personal-ritualistic ceremony than a party institution seeking any practical or significant result in the real world.

Some 300 people, only a tenth of the committee's membership, bothered to show up. But the person for whom they had gathered, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, didn't deign to honor them with his presence. He understood that a picture of him facing dozens of rows of empty seats would portray him as he is these days, battered and pitiful. They want to make a mockery of themselves? Fine, but without him.

The resolution submitted to the committee reinforced what already appears in the Likud constitution: That Netanyahu is party chairman and its candidate for building a government in the 22nd Knesset (which has less than seven weeks to go before it dissolves by law); and that Netanyahu remains head of the party if during this Knesset a government emerges which is either headed by or includes Likud.


 Netanyahu's party gives him the rubber stamp and underscores his weakness


Major Israel donor seeks to block ICL magnesium imports to U.S.

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 04:48:57

Israel Chemicals could be effectively shut out of the U.S. magnesium market later this year as American officials weigh an appeal to impose anti-dumping duties of 193% being sought by a company controlled by a major donor to Israel.

U.S. Magnesium, which is controlled by Ira Rennert through his Renco Group, accuses ICL of dumping its magnesium on the American market, and selling it below production costs. It also claims that the Israeli government subsidizes ICL's production costs.

As evidence of the dumping claims, the appeal cites the much higher prices ICL's Dead Sea Magnesium unit charges for its magnesium in Kazakhstan.


 Major Israel donor seeks to block ICL magnesium imports to U.S.


This plastic-fueled kibbutz is thriving, but can it stay that way?

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 04:30:02

A kibbutznik and a former kibbutznik went on vacation to a cabin in a remote part of Norway. When they got there they discovered that the pipe that carries water from the local spring to the cabin's faucet was disconnected and a fitting required replacement. They traveled many kilometers to a godforsaken town, entered a dusty shop and explained to the elderly storekeeper what they needed. To which the man replied in pure Norwegian: œYou're looking for a Plasson.

œI was amazed, recalled the kibbutznik, who doesn't live at Ma'agan Michael, the home of the factory that manufactures the famous pipe fittings. œThis is the dream of every marketer: The brand and the product are one name. If an elderly Norwegian uses the word ˜Plasson' in this tiny town in the mountains, apparently they know what they are doing in Ma'agan Michael.

CEO Gilad Agmon says has never heard that particular story, but has heard quite a few similar versions. The Israelis perhaps know Plasson best as the company that makes plastic toilet tanks, but around the world it is actually their pipe fittings and equipment for chicken coops that have made it into one of Israel's best-known industrial concerns.


 This plastic-fueled kibbutz is thriving, but can it stay that way?


Thousands flee, hundreds reported dead in Turkish attack on U.S.-allied Kurds in Syria

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 03:50:09

Turkey pounded Kurdish militia in northeast Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing at least dozens of people in a cross-border assault on U.S. allies that has turned the Washington establishment against U.S. President Donald Trump.

The offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurdish YPG militia, which began days after Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the way and following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, opens one of the biggest new fronts in years in an eight-year-old civil war that has drawn in global powers.

"We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!" Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday.


 Thousands flee, hundreds reported dead in Turkish attack on U.S.-allied Kurds in Syria


Netanyahu's Iran policy has collapsed

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 03:11:46

Two strategic surprises have toppled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign affairs and defense policy, showing it to be hollow and disastrous.

The first surprise was the successful attack, attributed to Iran, on the Saudi oil fields. The response was an American shrug. The second surprise was U.S. President Donald Trump's abandonment of the Kurds, thus enabling Turkey to set out to occupy a œsecurity zone in the Kurdish region in northern Syria.

Israel was surprised by the Iranians' operative capability against Saudi Arabia and Netanyahu hastily asked for additional state funds to strengthen air defenses. Israel was no less surprised by the American retreat from northern Syria. According to Amos Harel and Amir Tibon's report (Haaretz October 7), the last time Trump decided to take his forces out of Syria Israel had been notified 24 hours in advance. This time the White House made no effort to do even that.


 Netanyahu's Iran policy has collapsed


A man named Goebbels

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 02:49:56

The red BMW slid into the quiet street at the appointed hour; Luxembourgers are punctual. This was this Sunday in a suburb of Luxembourg City. He got out of the car. We embraced. It was 40 years since we'd seen each other and it showed in our appearance. In the late 1970s, we were up-and-coming young men at least so they thought in the U.S. State Department, which invited each one of us to take a month-long private tour of America, to plan as we wished. Yossi Sarid, who took part in the program before me, helped me plan the trip. I was too embarrassed to ask for Las Vegas and instead, like Sarid, I flew to a United States Strategic Command Airbase in Omaha, Nebraska, where I heard an American fighter pilot call my name from the skies.

Somewhere in the southern U.S., our paths crossed, and we spent a few days touring together. I recall sailing with him on the deck of steamship on the Mississippi River, and he claimed this week that I tried to flirt with a waitress in New Orleans. Of course, I remembered his name Goebbels. Robert Goebbels. And how he had told me that sometimes people called him Goering by mistake.

At the time, he was the secretary-general of Luxembourg's Socialist Party, I was a journalist with Army Radio. Goebbels met all the Americans' expectations and justified the investment in him.


 A man named Goebbels


Haaretz cartoon

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 02:28:50

 Haaretz cartoon


Turkey's war on the Kurds: Quick conquest or quagmire?

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 01:02:45

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's declaration of the launch of a campaign against the Kurdish districts in northern Syria was accompanied by airstrikes on the city of Tal Abyad east of the Euphrates. The tactical plan of the war is still unclear, but starting it at Tal Abyad shows that the strategic intent is to take over the regions east of the Euphrates and from there continue west to link up with the Turkish forces that took control of the city of Afrin in March 2018.

Thus Turkey crossed the Americans' red line, which so far has meant an attack-free zone as determined by agreements between Turkey and the United States.

Turkey is wasting no time, and with the departure of the American forces and President Donald Trump's backtrack on his commitment to the Kurds, the Kurdish zone has become a hunting ground. Thousands of Kurds are fleeing their homes and the Kurdish political and military leaders have declared an emergency and a general call-up.


 Turkey's war on the Kurds: Quick conquest or quagmire?


Israeli Arab lawmakers meet security minister, demand plan to curb violence in community

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:38:11

Arab Israeli lawmakers met with Public Security Gilad Erdan and police officials on Thursday to discuss what they said was law enforcement's failure to tackle violent crime in their community, the subject of ongoing protests.

In the meeting, the leaders of the Joint List alliance of four Arab-majority parties lawmakers Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, Mansour Abbas and Mtanes Shehadeh  called for the formulation of a government plan to tackle crime in Arab communities. According to Tibi, Erdan agreed to the idea in principle but said such a plan needs to be approved in the national budget, and said he would bring up the matter with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mudar Yunis, chairman of the Forum of the Heads of Arab Local Authorities, and Majdal Krum Mayor Salim Salibi also took part in the meeting, which came after a convoy of hundreds of vehicles traveled to the Prime Minister's Office to protest.


 Israeli Arab lawmakers meet security minister, demand plan to curb violence in community


A right winger's moment of glory

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 23:32:23

A right-wing activist was forced to pause while tapping out a hate comment against Arabs following the Halle gun attack in Germany. He had already written more than a line about the piles of garbage Angela Merkel had stupidly let into her country, and suddenly what a bummer a jolt of reality struck when it turned out the perpetrator was a different kind of murderer a member of the majority in the state, a nationalist, racist minority-hater. Does that sound familiar from somewhere?

The activist supporter had been in a state of confusion these past days, anyway. What will he do with the sukkah he had planned to build in the thriving settlement of Trump Heights in the Golan Heights? After all, Donald Trump, the hero of Israel, who had pledged in his speech in Israel that in the œDonald J. Trump era Israeli children won't run to shelters, is fleeing from the Middle East while handing north Syria to anti-Semitic despot Recep Tayyip Erdogan and serving him the Kurds on a golden platter.

In his arguments, which always manage to sink lower than ever, Trump complained that the Kurds hadn't helped the United States in the invasion of Normandy. As a result, instead of the sukkah in the Golan, the activist sees a new image: the Kurd fleeing from their homes with terrified eyes, barely carrying their meager belongings and poor children in their arms. Where will they go? How will they survive? God only knows.


 A right winger's moment of glory


Russia seeking to jail Israeli woman for up to 8 years after she was found carrying hashish

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 22:29:17

Russian prosecutors are seeking to jail an Israeli woman for up to eight years after 9.6 grams of hashish were found to be in her possession while she traveled through the Moscow airport in April. 

The arguments in the trial of Naama Issachar, 25, ended on Wednesday and according to her lawyer the verdict will be announced over the weekend. She was charged last month with drug smuggling, a crime that in Russia is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She is being detained in Khimki, outside Moscow.

According to the indictment, Issachar was traveling from India to Israel and had stopped en route in Moscow, where a police dog indicated that there were drugs in her checked knapsack on the baggage carousel. 


 Russia seeking to jail Israeli woman for up to 8 years after she was found carrying hashish


These arrested Giuliani associates, linked to Trump's Ukraine scandal, have ties to Israel's right

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 21:59:50

WASHINGTON  Two businessmen linked to the Trump-Ukraine scandal and who were arrested by federal authorities in Virginia on Thursday visited Israel last year as part of a group that met U.S. Ambassador David Friedman.

A photo from that visit, which was originally published by an American publication, shows Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son, Yair, at the home of billionaire Simon Falic, one of the Israeli premier's most important donors.

Falic is also known to have donated funds to various right-wing causes in Israel. The picture in question was taken during a party at Falic's home in Jerusalem. Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's former communications director, was also part of the delegation and appears in the group photo.


 These arrested Giuliani associates, linked to Trump's Ukraine scandal, have ties to Israel's right


Prehistoric Downton Abbey: Bronze Age Germans had earliest known household staff

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 21:00:45

Debunking yet another misconception about the development of civilization, archaeologists have found evidence that equality within the home did not exist in Bronze Age Germany.

Science knew perfectly well that prehistoric Europe had social stratification, with rich and poor, kings and queens and peasants. Clearly, some households in prehistoric central Europe were wealthier than others. But the outcome of a multidisciplinary analysis indicating that inequality had existed within the households themselves of the Lech Valley was a total surprise, lead researcher Prof. Philipp Stockhammer tells Haaretz.

Complex intra-family social structures of that sort multiple social levels within a household had clearly developed by the time of classical Greece and ancient Rome. Blood-related families would routinely share the household with their slaves. But these relationships existed in southern Germany at least 1,500 years earlier, Stockhammer says.


 Prehistoric Downton Abbey: Bronze Age Germans had earliest known household staff


Kurds say ISIS fighters could break free as forces concentrate on Turkey offensive

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:59:51

A senior Kurdish official warned on Thursday that Islamic State jihadists could break out of prisons in northeast Syria as fighting intensifies between Kurdish-led forces and Turkey.

Badran Jia Kurd told Reuters the number of security forces guarding the militants will dwindle as Turkish forces step up an offensive they launched at the border on Wednesday. U.S. officials have worried Islamic State detainees would sieze on such an opportunity for a prison break.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold thousands of the militants in prisons and tens of thousands of their relatives in camps, many of them foreigners. With the Kurdish YPG militia at its forefront, the SDF defeated jihadists across much of north and east Syria with U.S. air and ground support.


 Kurds say ISIS fighters could break free as forces concentrate on Turkey offensive


On the road to a revolution: Tel Aviv to fund buses on Shabbat

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:49:36

In the coming weeks, the Tel Aviv municipality will issue a tender to select a concessionaire to operate a city bus service on Shabbat and holidays. The service will comprise five bus lines that will operate from 8 P.M. Friday until 2 A.M. Saturday and again from 9 A.M. Saturday until the end of Shabbat.

The network of routes will enable riders to travel throughout Tel Aviv with no more than two transfers, as on weekdays. By a conservative estimate, the service will ensure that 80 percent of Tel Aviv residents have access to a bus stop no more than 600 meters from their home and their destination. The network will also connect riders to the boarding and alighting points of the inter-city service taxis that operate on Shabbat.

Buses on each of the new lines will depart every 20 to 30 minutes. On segments where the lines overlap, in the center of the city and on main roads in the northern and southern neighborhoods, the frequency will increase to 10 to 15 minutes, so travel time can be shortened by transferring between lines.


 On the road to a revolution: Tel Aviv to fund buses on Shabbat


In photos: Jewish community mourns in wake of Halle synagogue shooting

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:37:39

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday over the telephone in the wake of a shooting near a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle which claimed the lives of two people.

As the Jewish community in Germany reels from the incident, Netanyahu thanked the German leader for expressing a firm stance against anti-Semitism. He told Merkel that it was important that Germany increase its efforts to curb anti-Semitism in the country. Merkel, on her part, told the Israeli premier that she intends to implement measures to safeguard Germany's Jewish community.

Earlier Thursday, top German officials headed to the scene of an attack, seeking to reassure an unsettled Jewish community after members saw a man trying to break into their house of worship on Judaism's holiest day.


 In photos: Jewish community mourns in wake of Halle synagogue shooting


Israeli Arab lawmakers meet with minister as dozens protest police handling of violent crime

Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:32:10

Israeli Arabs' protests against the Israel Police's failure to curb spiraling violence in the Arab community reached a new peak Thursday when two convoys, composed of hundreds of vehicles, drove toward the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. 

The cars, which carried black flags, headed toward the Israeli capital from the north and south. Dozens protested near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office after the convoys arrived.

The leaders of the Joint List alliance of four Arab-majority parties, who accompanied the convoys, later attended a meeting with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who is responsible for the police. Erdan and the party leaders discussed rampant crime in the Arab community. 


 Israeli Arab lawmakers meet with minister as dozens protest police handling of violent crime






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!