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Ha'aretz
Time: Mon, 04.12.2021 09:38 PM Local file generated: Mon, 04.12.2021 09:32 PM
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Israeli justice in retirement speech urges resilience against 'unjustified assaults on the court'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 22:23:19 +03:00

Supreme Court Vice President Hanan Melcer said on Monday in his retirement speech that he hoped the judicial branch would continue to be strong, and called on judges to protect the court from unjustified attacks.

The court must continue to be the last refuge of citizens who have a quarrel with the government, he said in remarks at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

When I came, the prosecution and sometimes even the court treated the position of the government as if it were that of the state, while I reiterated that the state consists of three branches: the Knesset, the government and the judicial branch and no one, no authority, has the right to speak in the name of the government as such, Melcer said.


 Israeli justice in retirement speech urges resilience against 'unjustified assaults on the court'


Israel's newest tycoon has his work cut out for him

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 22:12:23 +03:00

Tzahi Nahmias was already very rich when he acquired Discount Investment Corp. a few months ago. But he doesn't play the role of tycoon: He doesn't work around the clock and his property company, Mega Or, occupies modest offices in Moshav Shilat with a discount supermarket on the ground level. He and his family live in the same moshav.

If you know how to make the right decisions and have a team you can rely on, you don't need to be working 24/7, he once told an associate.

But those who have done business with Nahmias say there's a difference between his public and private personas. At Mega Or, which is publicly traded, Nahmias conducts himself modestly and efficiently, but in his private life he lives well (for example, he owns several luxury cars). Even when he's taking time off, he spends a lot of time thinking about how to build his business. So far, he's been successful at it, says someone who asked not to be identified.


 Israel's newest tycoon has his work cut out for him


Inside Walla: What it was like being a journalist for 'Netanyahu's website'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 21:12:25 +03:00

Host Simon Spungin is joined by Haaretz's assignment editor, Amir Tibon, who talks about his experiences as diplomatic correspondent for the news website at the center of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial.

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

What kind of interference did journalists encounter? Why did the editor-in-chief refuse to run stories critical of Netanyahu? And who decided Amir's coverage of Trump would be "annoying"?


 Inside Walla: What it was like being a journalist for 'Netanyahu's website'


Netanyahu plays dangerous game with Iran and Biden. It could help him politically

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 20:55:56 +03:00

The prevailing conventional wisdom in Israel in the last few days is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is deliberately and dangerously escalating an ongoing low-intensity confrontation with Iran, with two interlocking objectives guiding him.

First, a political objective: For Netanyahu, who has failed for the fourth time to win a majority, and who is on trial for corruption and fraud, a national security crisis could change the adverse political environment he is facing while trying to form a government. In such a scenario, his decades-old narrative on how only he can deal with Iran would be conducive to the formation of the government that is eluding him.

Secondly, a diplomatic objective: to undermine, disrupt and complicate the already complex U.S.-Iran negotiations in Vienna. This almost inevitably entails friction and a possible rift with the Biden administration, something that in Netanyahu's perception of political reality is equally helpful with respect to his political objective. First you create a confrontation with the U.S., then market yourself as the only actor capable of defusing it. 


 Netanyahu plays dangerous game with Iran and Biden. It could help him politically


The Israeli left has failed, and Arabs aren't going to keep waiting for it

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 20:42:22 +03:00

A well-known police academy training exercise involves hinting to potential suspects under questioning in hopes of getting them to respond. Usually it's the main suspect who feels the pressure to respond reminiscent of the saying that a thief thinks every man steals. That's how Odeh Bisharat's op-ed "Arabs will not bend their principles to fit a twisted reality'", which criticized an analysis I wrote on the Arab vote should be understood.

I understand Bisharat's anger and that was felt by others outraged at the criticism of the left, including in Haaretz. I don't intend to quarrel with Bisharat in the newspaper, but it's important to refine a few points that Bisharat chose to ignore.

The left wing as reflected in parties and civil society organizations has been a decisive failure when it comes to setting a new diplomatic and civil agenda in Israel over the past two decades. There is no other way of explaining last month's election results or the racist legislation that has mushroomed in Israel, or the fact that the public agenda has been almost entirely controlled by the right wing to such an extent that the swearing-in at the Knesset of a right-wing racist party with fascist characteristics is accepted as a routine matter. We soon might even see its members sitting around the cabinet table.


 The Israeli left has failed, and Arabs aren't going to keep waiting for it


Hamas elects former chief Khaled Meshal to head Palestinian group's diaspora office

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 20:10:18 +03:00

Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshal was elected to be head of the Palestinian Islamist group's office in the diaspora, a spokesman said on Monday.

Meshal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, was head of the political bureau until 2017 when he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh, 59, who is based in Gaza.

Although Hamas's power base is in Gaza, which it has controlled since 2007, it also has many followers among refugees and others in the Middle East and elsewhere. In 2012 Meshal angered close Hamas ally Syria when he left Damascus because of Iranian-backed President Bashar Assad's war against rebels who were Sunni Muslims, like Hamas.


 Hamas elects former chief Khaled Meshal to head Palestinian group's diaspora office


White House: U.S. not involved in Natanz incident, nuclear talks to continue as planned

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 19:35:33 +03:00

WASHINGTON The United States was not involved in any attack on Iran's key Natanz nuclear site and has no comment on speculation about the cause of the incident, the White House said on Monday.

"The U.S. was not involved in any manner," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing. "We have nothing to add on speculations about the causes or impact."

Earlier on Monday, Iran accused Israel of sabotaging the Natanz site and vowed revenge for an attack that appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war.


 White House: U.S. not involved in Natanz incident, nuclear talks to continue as planned


Iranian intelligence used Instagram to try and lure Israelis to meetings abroad, Shin Bet and Mossad say

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 18:59:22 +03:00

Iranian intelligence services used fake Instagram accounts to try and lure Israelis to meetings overseas, with the goal of harming or kidnapping them, the Shin Bet security service and the Mossad spy agency said Monday.

The security services said the accounts impersonated women, some supposedly working in tourism, and approached Israelis who have business ties abroad and often travel to other countries for meetings.

After making contact, the accounts tried to convince their targets to schedule meetings overseas using all sorts of explanations, including business and romance, according to the security services.


 Iranian intelligence used Instagram to try and lure Israelis to meetings abroad, Shin Bet and Mossad say


Don't be scared of Biden's commitment to Palestinian refugees

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 18:34:40 +03:00

Last week, the Biden administration announced it would restore humanitarian aid to Palestinians, including the U.S.'s annual contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves Palestinian refugees in several areas  including education, health, and economic development.

For those observers accustomed to little change, or to political theater suppressing the need to offer policy changes of substance, this decision merely represented a repivot to the pre-Trump status quo. A pro-Israel administration returning to a wiser, more modest pro-Israel posture.

There is some truth in this interpretation, but I would counter that returning to the pre-Trump status quo is a more active, and thus daring, step than simply continuing an inherited policy, which would have been how a Hillary Clinton administration in 2017 would have played out.


 Don't be scared of Biden's commitment to Palestinian refugees


EU sanctions top Iranian commanders over 2019 uprising

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 18:01:55 +03:00

The European Union has imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders and police chiefs, including the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, over a deadly crackdown in November 2019, the bloc said in its Official Journal on Monday.

The travel bans and asset freezes are the first EU sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses since 2013 and their preparation was first reported by Reuters last month.

The bloc, which also hit three Iranian prisons with asset freezes, blacklisted Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed security force in the Islamic Republic.


 EU sanctions top Iranian commanders over 2019 uprising


Leftist Israeli lawmaker warns 'political murder is around the corner' after police assault

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 18:00:54 +03:00

Joint List Knesset member Ofer Cassif warned of an imminent "political murder" as he filed on Sunday a complaint against the police with the Justice Ministry's police misconduct unit over an assault by a policeman who was attempting to arrest him.

Cassif, the only Jewish lawmaker representing the Arab-majority political alliance, had been demonstrating in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Friday in support of Palestinian families in the neighborhood who face eviction due to efforts by right-wing groups that assert that their homes are on land that was owned by Jews before Israel's establishment. The neighborhood, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, was annexed to Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Cassif sustained injuries to his face in the confrontation. He required medical treatment and his glasses were broken and his shirt torn.


 Leftist Israeli lawmaker warns 'political murder is around the corner' after police assault


Netanyahu belatedly approves Jordan's request to transfer water, withheld amid diplomatic spat

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:51:11 +03:00

Israel has approved a Jordanian request for extra water rations from the Jordan River, almost a month after Amman made the request due to water shortages in the kingdom.

Earlier this month, Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had delayed the response amid a diplomatic crisis between the countries, but in recent days he accepted Energy Minister's Yuval Steinitz recommendation to agree to the Jordanian request.

According to the peace agreement the two countiries signed in 1994, Israel regularly transfers water it pumps out of the Jordan River to its eastern neighbor.


 Netanyahu belatedly approves Jordan's request to transfer water, withheld amid diplomatic spat


Gal Gadot-baiting Joss Whedon isn't the only problem in HBO's The Nevers'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:39:33 +03:00

You really know your kids have grown up when they stop asking you unanswerable questions. You know, queries like Where do Jews go when they die? (Don't know, but for many it involves going via Florida.) And Why does God let bad things like earthquakes and the Netanyahu family happen? (Nope, got me there.)

Those questions become far more prosaic as children mature, but not necessarily any more answerable. After all, what do you say to your teenage girls when they ask, What's the story with Woody Allen? other than Why, has he asked you to babysit?

My favorite questions these days tend to come when they ask me something while we're watching a film or television show, mainly because it's the only time I feel confident I might be able to answer them (You probably remember him from that episode of Friends' when Rachel).


 Gal Gadot-baiting Joss Whedon isn't the only problem in HBO's The Nevers'


Muslims navigate COVID restrictions in the second pandemic Ramadan

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:37:13 +03:00

For Ramadan this year, Magdy Hafez has been longing to reclaim a cherished ritual: performing the nighttime group prayers called taraweeh at the mosque once again.

Last year, the coronavirus upended the 68-year-old Egyptian's routine of going to the mosque to perform those prayers, traditional during Islam's holiest month. The pandemic had disrupted Islamic worship the world over, including in Egypt where mosques were closed to worshippers last Ramadan.

I have been going to the mosque for 40 years so it was definitely a very, very, difficult thing, he said. But our religion orders us to protect one another.


 Muslims navigate COVID restrictions in the second pandemic Ramadan


Lebanon extends area claimed in border dispute with Israel

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:05:32 +03:00

Lebanon's outgoing minister of public works said Monday that he has signed a decree that would increase the area claimed by the Mediterranean country in a maritime border dispute with Israel.

Public Works Minister Michel Najjar told reporters that he has signed an amendment of the decree that would formally extend Lebanon's claims by 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles). The unilateral move by Lebanon is likely to anger Israel and the U.S. who are not expected to recognize Beirut's extension of the disputed area.

Lebanon and Israel began indirect talks with U.S. mediation in October to reach a deal over the disputed area that is believed to be rich with oil and natural gas deposits. The meetings that stopped few weeks later were being held at a UN post along the border of the two nations that remain technically in a state of war.


 Lebanon extends area claimed in border dispute with Israel


Intimidation. Extortion. Eviction: This is the brutal reality for Palestinians in Silwan, Jerusalem

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 16:20:29 +03:00

"You're civilized," the Israeli interrogator said, in mocking Arabic. "Inta mathaqaf. You have connections. Do not think I am afraid of your connections. Go tell them what I said, and that I threatened you. Tell Al-Manar and Al-Jazeera." 

His name was Doron Zahavi, otherwise called "Captain George," and he was known for the brutal interrogation methods he had used against Lebanese prisoners. The purpose of this "conversation" to which I'd been summoned kept changing.

Read more: Israel's medieval, anti-woman party is more powerful than ever, and channeling Erdogan 


 Intimidation. Extortion. Eviction: This is the brutal reality for Palestinians in Silwan, Jerusalem


Lizards eaten by prehistoric people in today's Israel were unknown subspecies

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 16:00:59 +03:00

When one's favorite food becomes unavailable, one eats other things. Clearly when mega-fauna existed, we prehistoric humans ate them with gusto, but as the giant animals vanished from the landscape, we had to settle for smaller ones. This may explain the unexpected prevalence of reptile remains in late prehistoric archaeological contexts in Israel, which was reported last year  including a lizard that has only now been identified properly.

Yes, our predecessors during the Natufian period in Israel, from about 16,000 to about 12,000 years ago, ate many squamates, including snakes and lizards. Now a new paper published in Vertebrate Zoology by an international team of researchers reveals that one of these prehistoric suppertime squamates, a legless lizard, was not the same as its peers in Eurasia. It is a sister species endemic to the Levant Israel, Lebanon, and the coasts of Syria and southern Turkey, explain Daniel Jablonski of the Comenius University in Bratislava with an international team of colleagues.

The completley separate archaeological study by Ma'ayan Levi, Mina Weinstein Evron and Reuven Yeshurun published in Nature last year offered evidence that in the Natufian period, which is the late Stone Age culture in Israel during the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, people ate whip snakes and European glass lizards, among other things. The Vertebrate Zoology article is about that glass lizard.


 Lizards eaten by prehistoric people in today's Israel were unknown subspecies


Israel unprepared for drone threat, state watchdog warns

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 16:00:42 +03:00

Israel's State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman harshly criticized the slow pace in which the Israeli military deals with the threat of drones in a follow-up report released on Monday.

Englman laid out the reasons why Israel is unprepared in a manner that would enable adequate defense against the drone threat, including a lack of coordination between defense bodies and authorities as well as budgetary problems.

The report is an update of a report released in November 2017, in which then comptroller, retired judge Joseph Shapira, warned about the Israeli military's handling of drones, which can be purchased and operated easily.


 Israel unprepared for drone threat, state watchdog warns


Netanyahu tells Austin Iran remains greatest Mideast threat as Tehran vows revenge

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:43:04 +03:00

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran has never given up its aspirations to obtain nuclear weapons, and that Israel will continue to "defend itself" against Tehran's aggression.

Netanyahu was speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who landed in Israel earlier on Sunday, in a first official visit by a U.S. official since President Joe Biden took office in January.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed Israel for an explosion at the Natanz nuclear site on Sunday, saying that "the Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions ... they have publicly said that they will not allow this. But we will take our revenge from the Zionists," according to Iranian state TV.


 Netanyahu tells Austin Iran remains greatest Mideast threat as Tehran vows revenge


Zionist blockchain? These Israelis are leading the NFT revolution

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:33:08 +03:00

The world of digital art has a problem. While there is only one Mona Lisa, a digital artwork can be created, copied and even altered with unbearable ease. This all but ruins digital artists' ability to sell their works the way a painter or sculptor would. But that may change thanks to blockchain technology that undergirds digital currencies like Bitcoin.

Non-fungible tokens NFTs are supposed to enable digital objects to preserve their originality and be traded the way one would trade baseball cards, stamps or even art. Many people have heard of Bitcoin, but NFTs take things one step forward.

While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can be traded like any other currency and be broken down into smaller units, like a dollar into cents, NFTs can't be taken apart. In fact, what makes NFTs so relevant for the art world is that they are unique and inherently "non-fungible" they're a singular unit, much like a work of art.


 Zionist blockchain? These Israelis are leading the NFT revolution


'The Plague': Israel braces for cyber-doomsday

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:19:20 +03:00

A new report by Israel's National Cyber Directorate shows that most cyberattacks on Israeli targets in 2020 were in the fields of technology, energy and government agencies and lays out a plan for addressing a massive attack on the country. 

According to the Israel's National Cyber Directorate annual report, 2020 witnessed a significant rise in the number of cyber threats, mainly on the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic, which forced many organizations to rapidly and without sufficient preparation convert to remote working, a move they said led to compromised security. 

According to the report, this change significantly enhanced the interface vulnerable to cyberattacks, providing new opportunities for hackers, who rushed to exploit the new reality in order to carry out a variety of attacks.


 'The Plague': Israel braces for cyber-doomsday


'Reasonable grounds' to believe Syrian air force dropped chlorine bomb on civilians, watchdog says

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:55:32 +03:00

The global chemical weapons watchdog has "reasonable grounds to believe" that Syria's air force dropped a chlorine bomb on a residential neighborhood in the rebel-controlled Idlib region in February 2018, a report released on Monday said.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government. Syria and its military ally Russia have consistently denied using chemical weapons during President Bashar Assad's decade-old conflict with rebel forces, saying any such attacks were staged by opponents to make Damascus look like the culprit.

The new report by the OPCW chemical weapons watchdog's investigative arm said no one was killed when the cylinder of chlorine gas, delivered in a barrel bomb, hit the Al Talil neighbourhood in the city of Saraqib in February 2018.


 'Reasonable grounds' to believe Syrian air force dropped chlorine bomb on civilians, watchdog says


Bennett says ready to join right-wing government with Netanyahu's Likud

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:48:17 +03:00

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett said on Monday that he told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his Likud party can count on his faction's vote to form a right-wing government.

The two met at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem shortly after Bennett's statement. A joint statement said they agreed negotiation teams would continue talks.

"As you may already know, I could've already been a prime minister by now," Bennett said on the matter on Monday. "But, my main objective is to thwart a fifth election round," he added.


 Bennett says ready to join right-wing government with Netanyahu's Likud


At the heart of the Netanyahu trial is his desire for my own media'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:35:56 +03:00

There were many telling moments in the twelve hours of testimony by the first witness for the prosecution in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trial.

Ilan Yeshua, the former CEO of the news site Walla, gave his testimony over three days in the Jerusalem District Court last week, and is continuing this week. Walla is at the center of Case 4000, in which the prime minister and Walla's previous owners, Shaul and Iris Elovitch, have been charged with bribery; as then-communications minister, Netanyahu is accused of taking steps that benefited the Bezeq company, controlled by Elovitch, in return for favorable coverage in Walla.

Netanyahu trial: 'PM's wife thanked tycoon for helping husband during 2015 election'


 At the heart of the Netanyahu trial is his desire for my own media'


Israel's medieval, anti-woman party is more powerful than ever, and channeling Erdogan

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:30:42 +03:00

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, also known as the "Landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security," calling for women's equal participation and representation and protection from violence. Israel, a signatory, was the first country in the world in its wake to adopt related legislation.

In a year in which Israel has seen a sharp rise in an already disturbingly high level of violence against women, the protections that both international and domestic legislation offer are more relevant and essential than ever.

But a new entrant into Israel's parliament, and a potential coalition partner for a new government, is adamantly opposed. In fact, despite the clear evidence that more women than ever are under threat, the grotesquely homophobic and misogynistic Noam party wants a full regression back to an era where women's rights, even their right to life, are conditional.


 Israel's medieval, anti-woman party is more powerful than ever, and channeling Erdogan


Move over Israel, the world has a new contender for most vaccinated country

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:24:52 +03:00

When plotted on a graph, the curve of Bhutan's COVID-19 vaccination drive shoots upwards from the very first day, crossing Israel, United States, Bahrain and other countries known for vaccinating people rapidly.

Those countries took months to reach where they are, painstakingly strengthening their vaccination campaigns in the face of rising coronavirus cases. But the story of Bhutan's vaccination campaign is nearly finished just 16 days after it began.

The tiny Himalayan kingdom wedged between India and China has vaccinated nearly 93% of its adult population since March 27. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62% of its 800,000 people.


 Move over Israel, the world has a new contender for most vaccinated country


Iran's atomic sites targeted by diplomacy and sabotage

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:14:16 +03:00

Iran's nuclear program has been targeted by diplomatic efforts and sabotage attacks over the last decade, with the latest incident striking its underground Natanz facility.

The attack Sunday at Natanz comes as world powers try to negotiate a return by Iran and the U.S. to Tehran's atomic accord. The sabotage threatens to upend those negotiations and further heighten regional tensions across the Mideast.

From 'Atoms for Peace' to proliferation


 Iran's atomic sites targeted by diplomacy and sabotage


Israel is lagging on AI. It will now invest billions to bridge the gap

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:15:53 +03:00

Israel will invest billions of shekels in artificial intelligence and is seeking a national director for the field to help the Startup Nation shift to AI. Telem, the National Infrastructure Forum for Research and Development, has announced that it will begin searching for a director of a national program to accelerate the field of artificial intelligence and data science.

This forum is an umbrella organization for many agencies, including the Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Israel Innovation Authority and the finance, science and defense ministries.

The goal is to hire the new director within 150 days. The specified job qualifications indicate that the forum is seeking someone from industry. The director of this national program must be someone with knowledge of the field of AI, technological and managerial experience and familiarity with the public sector, they state.


 Israel is lagging on AI. It will now invest billions to bridge the gap


Don't worry, Israeli parents, our forces are well

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:07:45 +03:00

The Israel Defense Forces knew immediately that Osama Mansour, the Palestinian killed by soldiers early last Tuesday, didn't try to commit a car-ramming attack while his wife was sitting next to him. How do we know? Because if the commanders had even a shadow of a suspicion, they would have done the following:

* Confiscated his body and not allowed the family to bury it.

* Arrested his wife, who was wounded by bullet fragments, and interrogated her on suspicion of helping plan a car-ramming attack or a double suicide attack.


 Don't worry, Israeli parents, our forces are well


COVID Israel live: Cabinet to vote on fully reopening schools amid 9-month low in serious cases

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:54:34 +03:00

Months into its mass coronavirus vaccination campaign, Israel sees a drop in COVID infections and in the number of serious cases. Israel has reopened commerce and culture for vaccinated people, and lifted most restrictions on flights. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 6,304 Israelis have died of the virus.

Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have received 30,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by Israel, as well as shipments of over 160,000 vaccines via the COVAX scheme. A total of 2,447 people have died of COVID in the West Bank, while 677 have died in Gaza.

LIVE UPDATES


 COVID Israel live: Cabinet to vote on fully reopening schools amid 9-month low in serious cases


Against rules, Israel gap year program rejects applicant because of non-Jewish mother

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:51:55 +03:00

In a rare, if not unprecedented decision, a young South African woman was recently rejected from a program sponsored by Masa the umbrella organization that runs hundreds of educational, volunteer and internship programs in Israel on the grounds that her mother isn't Jewish.

Masa, which is funded by the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, is meant to be open to any individual eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which includes children of mixed marriages.

The program that rejected 18-year-old Demi Putziger, a graduate of King David High School in Victoria Park, Johannesburg, is affiliated with Ohr Somayach, the Orthodox outreach movement, Haaretz has learned. Ohr Somayach, which enjoys a strong presence in South Africa, runs various yeshiva programs for young men in Israel. This specific gap-year program, however, targeted non-Orthodox high school graduates from South Africa and Australia.


 Against rules, Israel gap year program rejects applicant because of non-Jewish mother


The sudden visit to COVID victims' families that sparked Jordan's royal rift

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:39:02 +03:00

When Prince Hamza visited the relatives of COVID-19 patients who died after a hospital ran out of oxygen, he triggered a rift in Jordan's monarchy that has shaken the country's reputation as a stable country in a volatile region.

The March 14 visit to the city of Salt was, in the words of a senior establishment figure, the "straw that broke the camel's back", coming as it did hours after King Abdullah had visited the hospital and publicly scolded management for the nine deaths.

Hamza made the trip to console the bereaved six days before Prince Hussein went to the city to do the same, a move that some officials said had upstaged his younger rival for the throne.


 The sudden visit to COVID victims' families that sparked Jordan's royal rift


'How can we not be tense?' Turkey's coronavirus infections soar

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:33:33 +03:00

The red letters scrolling across the front of Fikret Oluk's bus say: "Stay Home Turkey". But the Istanbul driver said passengers are ignoring rules and overcrowding, sometimes without masks, even as coronavirus infections rocket.

Turkey - which has the highest level of daily new COVID-19 cases in Europe and the Middle East - again tightened measures last week to contain the rapid spread after calls for action by doctors and opposition politicians.

Among the rules are a limit of 69 passengers on Oluk's busy urban bus route. When 89 are aboard, he says he draws the line.


 'How can we not be tense?' Turkey's coronavirus infections soar


What is Ramadan? Everything you need to know (but were afraid to ask)

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:19:47 +03:00

Millions of Muslims around the world will likely mark the start of Ramadan on Monday, a month of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts. Hilal (the crescent) coincides with the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon marks the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan, but georgraphical differences can change when Ramadan begins.

The Ramadan start date for 2021 is expected to begin on Monday 12th April, following the sighting of the moon over Mecca and will mark the second Ramadan taking place in the shadow of the coronavirus.

Here's a look at some questions and answers about Islam's holiest month: WHY DO MUSLIMS FAST?


 What is Ramadan? Everything you need to know (but were afraid to ask)


Iran blames Israel for Natanz blast, vows revenge; nuke program 'set back 9 months'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:08:17 +03:00

The explosion at Iran's Natanz nuclear site on Sunday dealt a severe blow to the country's ability to enrich uranium and could take at least nine months to restore, the New York Times reported Monday, citing American and Israeli intelligence officials.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said on Sunday that a problem with the electrical distribution grid of the Natanz nuclear facility was caused by a "terrorist" act.

Later on Monday, Iran said it identified the person who caused the power outage at the site. "Necessary measures are being taken to arrest this person who caused the electricity outage in one of the halls at the Natanz site," Iran's Nournews website quoted intelligence sources as saying, giving no details about the person.


 Iran blames Israel for Natanz blast, vows revenge; nuke program 'set back 9 months'


Yemen's Houthis say attacked Saudi Aramco refineries in Jeddah and Jubail; no Saudi confirmation

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:58:41 +03:00

Yemen's Houthi movement said on Monday it had fired 17 drones at Saudi targets, including 10 launched towards Saudi Aramco refineries in Jubeil and Jeddah, according to Al Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by the Iran-aligned group.

There was no immediate Saudi confirmation.

The Houthis, who ousted Yemen's internationally recognized government from the capital, Sanaa, and now hold most of north Yemen, have kept up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia after Riyadh presented a new peace initiative.


 Yemen's Houthis say attacked Saudi Aramco refineries in Jeddah and Jubail; no Saudi confirmation


My mom is Moroccan, my dad was Ashkenazi. It was clear which culture would prevail

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 10:40:53 +03:00

Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots.

Tupac Shakur

The newspaper on a bench at the entrance to the Lis Maternity and Women's Hospital, in Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, caught my eye. I picked it up and opened it to page 2. Look, I said to my mother. She blinked for a moment, not understanding. Ah, she cried out, surprised, and repeated my name apprehensively, as though its appearance in a newspaper rendered it foreign and she was trying not to mispronounce it. She looked pleased, but that didn't draw us any closer. On the contrary: The permanent distance we carried with us everywhere like a moveable abyss, forged by an abundance of biographical details, became more concrete.


 My mom is Moroccan, my dad was Ashkenazi. It was clear which culture would prevail


Netanyahu trial: 'PM's wife thanked tycoon for helping husband during 2015 election'

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:29:13 +03:00

The testimony of former Walla news website CEO Ilan Yeshua in the trial against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered its fourth day Monday with additional evidence that Yeshua was being pressured to slant the website's coverage in favor of the prime minister.

Walla was a subsidiary at the time of Bezeq telecommunications, and Bezeq was seeking government concessions from Netanyahu, who in addition to being prime minister was communications minister. 

In addition to Netanyahu, the defendants in the case include Bezeq's controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch and his wife Iris, amid allegations that the favorable coverage was being given in exchange for government regulatory concessions to Bezeq. As communications minister at the time, Netanyahu's consent was required for permission to merge Bezeq's operations with those of the Yes satellite television service provider.


 Netanyahu trial: 'PM's wife thanked tycoon for helping husband during 2015 election'


Israel High Court overrules Education Ministry decision against pluralistic Jewish NGOs

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 06:03:49 +03:00

The High Court of Justice overruled a decision by the Education Ministry to cancel the special funding received by pluralistic Jewish organizations for activities they provide in schools. In doing so, the justices rejected the ministry's arguments that all the activities in nonreligious state schools including those of religious groups such as Chabad is of a pluralistic nature.

Justice Daphne Barak-Erez said the changes in rules that led to ending support two years ago is not based on a factual foundation and adequate internal processes of consultation, and therefore is required to be reconsidered. Barak-Erez also said that teaching Judaism in state schools must be done according to pluralist principles, which are based on the report of the Shenhar Committee that examined the curriculum for this subject.

The ruling was handed down last week in a petition filed by the Reform movement and the Panim organization, an umbrella organization that represents groups involved in Jewish-Israeli education, against the changes in funding introduced during the tenure of former Education Minister Naftali Bennett. These included reducing the additional points awarded to pluralistic groups operating according to the recommendations of the Shenhar Committee from 30 percent to 5 percent. This meant these groups received tens of thousands of shekels less than before. Another change was the transfer of oversight on the organizations to the Jewish Culture division of the ministry, and which has since been transferred to the Higher Education Ministry.


 Israel High Court overrules Education Ministry decision against pluralistic Jewish NGOs


Israel indicts Palestinian, refuses to let him enter, then falsely arrests him

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 06:03:21 +03:00

A Palestinian who had been put on trial for entering Israel without a permit couldn't appear before the court because Israel has refused to issue him an entry pass.

Majed Karshan, a resident of the West Bank town of Anata, was indicted in 2019 for entering Israel without a permit, impersonation and interference with a police officer's duties.

His hearing in a Jerusalem court was scheduled for September of that year and Karshan requested an entry permit into Israel. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, however, denied his request because he filled it too late.


 Israel indicts Palestinian, refuses to let him enter, then falsely arrests him


Jewish National Fund pushes forward plan to legalize West Bank land purchases

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 05:59:48 +03:00

The management of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Jewish National Fund approved on Sunday a plan allowing it to buy land in the West Bank even for isolated settlements.

The decision of the organization, which is also known by its Hebrew name Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and which is separate from JNF-USA in the United States, still requires approval from the board of directors, which is set to convene April 22.

Two sources who attended the executive committee meeting said KKL-JNF World Chairman Avraham Duvdevani wants to vote next Sunday on a different proposal that would apply the new policy retroactively to several controversial land purchases that have already been made. These purchases were the focus of a report by attorney Yehoshua Lemberger about the way KKL-JNF bought West Bank lands behind the board's back.


 Jewish National Fund pushes forward plan to legalize West Bank land purchases


If economics ruled, the anti-Netanyahu bloc would be forming Israel's next government

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 00:10:32 +03:00

Now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received a mandate to form the government, we'll be seeing four weeks of meetings, leaks, rumors and pressure. The focus of all this activity will be Yamina's leader Naftali Bennett, who has yet to commit himself to either the Netanyahu or anti-Netanyahu bloc. Gideon Sa'ar and his New Hope party is also feeling the pressure to join a Netanyahu government.

Let's consider for a moment Bennett's dilemma, and perhaps that of Sa'ar, based on the support their parties according to income decile. What you will find is that they are more similar to those parties seeking to oust Netanyahu, namely Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan and the Labor Party than to those of the right.

Is that an indication of the kind of government that they want to see? In other words, that they are closer to the anti-Netanyahu bloc because economics is more powerful than politics?


 If economics ruled, the anti-Netanyahu bloc would be forming Israel's next government


New venture capital fund aims to become Israel's space-tech pioneer

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:54:15 +03:00

A new Israeli venture capital fund called Type5 is in the process of raising $110 million to invest in space-technology startups, a sector that VC investors in Israel have generally avoided as being too risky.

As a result, space technology is relatively undeveloped in Israel. Lior Herman, a founding partner of the fund, is determined to end that. Israel is already known as Startup Nation, but we need to become Space Nation, Herman said. Space is a new industrial-economic era, whose impact Israel cannot ignore if it is to remain innovative.

Herman says Type5 plans first to establish a $35-million microfund, completing it within a few months. In the next stage, $75 million would be raised for investing in startups that have advanced beyond the seed stage, that is, they have had at least one funding round and have a product ready to enter the market. Type5 will invest between $5 million and $30 million in each company.


 New venture capital fund aims to become Israel's space-tech pioneer


The Netanyahu era will one day end. But what will follow might be worse

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:51:21 +03:00

Before he died, the Jewish writer Primo Levi, a Holocaust survivor, was disturbed by Israeli society's turn to the right. When he said the oppressors of those days are human beings like us, and therefore the oppressed can become an oppressor he feared that of all places, in the homeland of the survivors this lesson would be forgotten.

I thought about this when, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I read the tweet by the Bezalel Smotrich addressed to Ahmad Tibi. While Smotrich addresses Tibi by his first name, he continues to define him in a generalized way as a true Muslim, and makes clear that Ahmad is a generic term for all Arabs who live here, like that guy from the song by Ehud Banai who mixed the plaster. It's nothing personal, Ahmad.

Smotrich knew how his words would be understood when he addressed Tibi publicly and wrote that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. He understood that he was actually threatening ethnic cleansing, with everything that means, and was aware of the historical echoes he brought up when he promised Tibi he would make sure that Arabs who don't recognize that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews will be expelled. And in fact, initially it sounds like brutal insolence, but immediately thereafter it turns out to be even more terrible than a momentary, unaware slide into the despicable thinking and language of fascism. This was done with complete equanimity, and for petty political reasons.


 The Netanyahu era will one day end. But what will follow might be worse


Israel, a country fleeing its past

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:46:59 +03:00

Last Tuesday's High Court of Justice ruling, which upheld the state's argument that declassifying historical Shin Bet security service documents could endanger national security, is a major blow to historical research and the principle of the public's right to know.

In its archives, far from the eyes of both the public and the state archivist, the Shin Bet stores a great many historical documents related to affairs of supreme public and national importance. Some of them remain controversial to this day. Others are still considered bleeding wounds in the heart of Israeli society.

Now, the agency can continue its policy of refusing to grant access to these documents even decades after they were written, basing itself on the words of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut. Hayut wrote that this is sensitive material whose exposure, even now, could cause harm to national security.


 Israel, a country fleeing its past


As Iran's election nears, the regime is trying to figure out what to do with social media

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:45:13 +03:00

The enemy exploits cyberspaces to reduce the number of those running in the elections using psychological methods. Cyberspace needs to be managed. There's no doubt that this channel must be used by civilians to bring them freedom. That's very good. But it means that it must not be made available to the enemy plotting against the state and the nation, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei said on March 21, in a speech marking the start of the Iranian New Year.

There is admittedly nothing new about Iranian cyberwarfare and control of the Internet, particularly social media. As early as 2005, a plan to develop a national internet that would replace the worldwide web, at least locally, was proposed to the government. In 2013, after Hassan Rohani was elected president, the plan became a reality when it received a budgetary allocation of $200 million. Iran's so-called "National Information Network is already up and running, mainly in e-commerce and government ministries, but is far from being an alternative to the World Wide Web or social media networks.

The urgency with which Iranian officials warn of enemies meddling in Iranian affairs is typical of an election campaign period.


 As Iran's election nears, the regime is trying to figure out what to do with social media


Why are 700,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine meant for Israel being held up?

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:37:00 +03:00

Last week, it was repeatedly reported that a shipment of Pfizer vaccines had been frozen at the last minute due to nonpayment by the Israeli government. The first official admission of this came from Health Ministry director general Chezy Levy. He didn't cite any numbers but said that Pfizer had halted a shipment to Israel until an agreement is signed.

On Friday, the television news magazine Ulpan Shishi reported that the company had halted a shipment of 700,000 doses of its coronavirus vaccine due to repeated disagreements within the government.

Is Israel facing a dangerous shortage of vaccines, or could this be a tactic meant to pressure Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his Kahol Lavan party to approve the needed funding while waiving their own reservations and conditions?


 Why are 700,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine meant for Israel being held up?


Witnesses refute Israeli army's claim Palestinian killed by soldiers tried to run them over

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:29:48 +03:00

Two eyewitnesses have denied the army's claim that a Palestinian driver who was killed by soldiers south of Ramallah Tuesday had accelerated toward the soldiers as if he were planning to run them over.

The driver's wife, who was in the car and was wounded by the gunfire, also refuted the soldiers' story. All three witnesses said there were no soldiers in the path of the car.

The Israel Defense Forces said Osama Mansour was trying to run over soldiers at a checkpoint, adding that their car accelerated toward the soldiers in a way that endangered their lives.


 Witnesses refute Israeli army's claim Palestinian killed by soldiers tried to run them over


Netanyahu prosecutor planned to resign and seek court appointment

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:25:15 +03:00

Judith Tirosh, the prosecutor in Case 4000, the Bezeq-Walla corruption case against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, planned to resign from her post after receiving the case so she could be appointed as a judge but later changed her mind.

Tirosh submitted her candidacy, passed the initial selection tests of the Judicial Appointments Committee and even informed Liat Ben Ari, chief prosecutor in the cases against Netanyahu. Last November, 10 months after the indictments were filed in the case and before it was publicized that she was an official candidate for a judgeship Tirosh decided to freeze her candidacy and continue on in her job as a prosecutor.

Tirosh declined to comment on the matter. A spokesman on behalf of Tirosh said she chose to freeze her candidacy for a judgeship at this stage because of her desire to continue her work as the head of the securities department of the State Prosecutor's Office.


 Netanyahu prosecutor planned to resign and seek court appointment


Haaretz Cartoon

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:23:28 +03:00

 Haaretz Cartoon


Police investigating assault of gay man in central Israel by more than a dozen assailants

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 23:22:46 +03:00

Police are investigating the assault of a gay man in Rishon Letzion in a suspected homophobic hate crime.

Itiel Sinai, 21, a resident of the city, said that he and a female friend went out to a bar when a group of young men who were standing outside the establishment began mocking him for his sexual orientation. Sinai suffered bruises in the attack, and his friend's car was damaged.

I'm used to getting shouted and cursed at when I go places, Sinai told Haaretz. I went out to the car, and about 15 people passed by us. They asked me if I'm gay, and from the moment I said yes, everything went black, he said. Seven of them ran at me and beat me, punching and kicking, they knocked me down.


 Police investigating assault of gay man in central Israel by more than a dozen assailants


Family of Palestinian teen who lost an eye blame Israeli sponge-tipped bullet

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 22:37:12 +03:00

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron lost his eye after being hit by a sponge-tipped bullet shot by an Israeli soldier Friday, Palestinian reports say. The teenager had been standing in a vegetable shop while soldiers and Palestinian youths clashed nearby.

A video shows the teenager, Izz al-Din Nadal Batasha, and his 13-year-old cousin inside the store on Friday afternoon, and while it shows him being hit, it is unclear what struck him.

The cousin, Abdul Karim al-Batash, told Haaretz that he and Izz al-Din were in the store in Hebron's Andalusia Market and saw five or six uniformed soldiers clashing with young men who were throwing stones. We didn't get involved, we were in the store and suddenly one of the soldiers shot at us. It was clear that he aimed at us and Izz al-Din was hit in the eye, he said.


 Family of Palestinian teen who lost an eye blame Israeli sponge-tipped bullet


Where the first Reform rabbi to serve in the Knesset, Gilad Kariv, draws the line

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 22:13:08 +03:00

Israel Eichler, a veteran parliamentarian for the Haredi party United Torah Judaism, wasn't going to waste any time. He chose the day the Knesset was sworn in last week to issue a frantic warning about the dangers posed by one of the legislature's newest members.

When asked in an interview with a Haredi news site if he would greet Gilad Kariv, the first Reform rabbi ever to serve in the Knesset, when they crossed paths in the building, Eichler responded: God forbid. You don't greet wicked people.

Reform Jews, Eichler went on to explain, falsify Judaism like Christians. In fact, he said, they are even worse than Christians because they lie and don't observe any of the mitzvahs.


 Where the first Reform rabbi to serve in the Knesset, Gilad Kariv, draws the line


How much can Netanyahu squeeze the lemon that is Pfizer CEO?

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 21:40:53 +03:00

It doesn't seem Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla can be exploited any more than he has been by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for many weeks now.

It started with the constant reports about conversations with Bourla, and continued with the idea of bringing him to Israel at the height of the election campaign, which was prevented only at the last moment. Then came the CEO's interview on Channel 12 News in which he said Netanyahu was obsessive and had called him 30 times a statement that became the high point of Likud and Netanyahu's election campaign.

Last Wednesday, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Bourla also starred in the strange speech by the prime minister, who told us how 80 years after the Holocaust, Fate is bringing together in a rescue mission the prime minister of the State of Israel, which arose from the dust, and the head of Pfizer, which has invented a cure for the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening all of humanity.


 How much can Netanyahu squeeze the lemon that is Pfizer CEO?


Egypt prosecutors find gross negligence behind deadly train crash

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:57:22 +03:00

Egyptian prosecutors said Sunday they found that gross negligence by railway employees was behind a deadly train crash that caused public outcry across the country. Drugs were allegedly also involved.

The March 26 crash of two passenger trains in the province of Sohag, about 440 kilometers (270 miles) south of Cairo, was the latest in a series of deadly railway accidents in the Arab most populous country. At least 18 people died and 200 others, including children, were injured.

Prosecutors last month ordered the detention of eight railway employees, including two train drivers, their assistants, the head of traffic control in neighboring Assiut province, and three traffic control guards.


 Egypt prosecutors find gross negligence behind deadly train crash


German far-right AfD bids to win back voters with anti-lockdown campaign

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:55:18 +03:00

Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) cast itself as the anti-lockdown party at a weekend conference in a bid to win back support before for a September election.

Almost 600 members of the party, which entered the national parliament for the first time after the 2017 election, met in the eastern city of Dresden despite coronavirus restrictions to agree an election manifesto, including a call to leave the European Union.

Dogged by internal divisions over how radical the party should be, it has dipped to around 11 percent in polls from nearly 13 percent in the 2017 election when it was the third biggest party and became the official parliamentary opposition.


 German far-right AfD bids to win back voters with anti-lockdown campaign


Before Helen Mirren plays Golda Meir, here are 7 other movies about Israeli prime ministers

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:49:27 +03:00

A mere 43 years after her death, Golda Meir is ready for her close-up.

Just a month after it was announced that the Israeli star Shira Haas would portray Meir in a TV series, The Hollywood Reporter revealed this week that Oscar winner Helen Mirren would portray Israel's only female prime minister in an upcoming biopic.

While Haas, who is best known for her star turn in the miniseries Unorthodox, is Jewish, Mirren is not. But she did win international acclaim (and the Academy Award) for her performance as another historic leading lady: England's Queen Elizabeth II in 2006's The Queen.


 Before Helen Mirren plays Golda Meir, here are 7 other movies about Israeli prime ministers


Archaeologists identify medieval Jewish homes in Oxford by what's not there

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:48:14 +03:00

Kashrut, the body of Jewish dietary laws, wasn't born like Venus, neither fully formed and perfect nor from a clamshell. The rules evolved gradually over more than two thousand years and only took the shape familiar to today's Jewry in early modern Europe. By the time of the medieval period in Europe, the practices were firm, leaving aside discrepancies in precise observances among the Jewish communities around the world such as whether chicken could be cooked in milk since they don't lactate anyway.

Now, archaeologists from Bristol University report identifying two Jewish households in early medieval Oxford, based in large part on the missing oink.

Absent dedicatory plaques or Jewish symbols, identifying Jewish communities in archaeology starts with what isn't there: a sign of the swine. In Israeli archaeological circles, ancient settlements are often categorized as Jewish or other: Canaanite, Philistine, etc. by the presence or absence of pig. It's hardly categorical but there it is.


 Archaeologists identify medieval Jewish homes in Oxford by what's not there


Netanyahu appoints ally to head key Knesset committee until new government is formed

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:41:23 +03:00

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed on Sunday his close ally and the head of his own party's caucus to chair the influential Knesset Arrangements Committee, which governs the legislature until a new government is formed.

Lawmaker Miki Zohar, Netanyahu's choice, has promised to work together with all of the representatives in order to loyally fulfill the choice of the voters, he said in a statement after the appointment was announced.

Zohar received the job in accordance with the law, which says that the committee will be chaired by a member of the party whose representative was tasked with forming the government.


 Netanyahu appoints ally to head key Knesset committee until new government is formed


With Democrats in control, J Street pushes new Mideast agenda in Washington

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:14:29 +03:00

WASHINGTON Next week marks J Street's 12th annual conference, though the left-wing, pro-Israel organization finds itself in unchartered waters. After establishing itself as a player during the Obama administration and becoming the voice of the opposition during the Trump administration, J Street now arguably represents the majority voice for the majority party in the United States.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami tells Haaretz that his organization is now afforded the ability to influence U.S. foreign policy particularly around how the United States can draw limits around what Israel does in the occupied territories.

We're going to be pushing the envelope and asking Congress and the administration to think about how to restrict the use of American dollars and equipment in those areas, and ensure that it isn't working counter to American interests and values and we would argue also Israel's interests, Ben-Ami says.


 With Democrats in control, J Street pushes new Mideast agenda in Washington


In GOP strongholds, a big push on culture war' legislation

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 19:45:20 +03:00

An ardent abortion foe who once opposed allowing gay couples to be foster parents, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is the unlikeliest figure to complain about bills on the culture wars reaching his desk.

But by vetoing a ban on gender confirming treatments for transgender youth, the Republican offered a rare rebuke to fellow conservatives who have been in overdrive this legislative session with bills expanding gun rights and restricting LGBTQ and abortion rights.

I was told this week that the nation is looking at Arkansas because I have on my desk another bill passed by the General Assembly that is a product of the cultural war in America, Hutchinson said as he announced his decision. I don't shy away from the battle when it is necessary and defensible, but the most recent action of the General Assembly, while well-intended, is off-course.


 In GOP strongholds, a big push on culture war' legislation


Iran's atomic energy agency says Natanz facility hit by 'nuclear terrorism'

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 18:18:07 +03:00

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said on Sunday that a problem with the electrical distribution grid of the Natanz nuclear facility was caused by a "terrorist" act.

According to state TV, the agency's chief Ali Akbar Salehi didn't say who Tehran blames for the alleged cyberattack, which some reports attribute to Israel.

The New York Times quoted an unnamed U.S. official who confirmed an Israeli role in the power outage, but said details were still very sketchy.


 Iran's atomic energy agency says Natanz facility hit by 'nuclear terrorism'


Iran reports 258 coronavirus deaths Sunday, in highest daily toll since December

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 17:58:11 +03:00

Iran reported 258 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, the highest daily toll since early December.

That brings the total number of fatalities from the coronavirus to 64,490 in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East.

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 21,063 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of identified cases since the pandemic began to 2,070,141.


 Iran reports 258 coronavirus deaths Sunday, in highest daily toll since December


Libya's new PM to hold talks with Erdogan in Turkey on Monday

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 17:56:46 +03:00

Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh and a delegation of ministers will make their first visit to Turkey on Monday since taking office last month, the Turkish presidency said on Sunday.

Libya's new unity government was sworn in on March 15 from two warring administrations that had ruled eastern and western regions, completing a smooth transition of power after a decade of violent chaos.

Turkey had backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which was supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.


 Libya's new PM to hold talks with Erdogan in Turkey on Monday


Anne Beatts remembered as courageous and witty by fellow SNL writer

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 17:00:29 +03:00

As Lorne Michaels was putting together a writing team for what became Saturday Night Live, Rosie Shuster was paired with a former National Lampoon staffer known for her dark humor, disciplined approach and gift for parody, notably a Volkswagen ad that mocked Sen. Ted Kennedy's notorious car ride on Chappaquiddick Island.

Anne Beatts.

She was witty, and she was good at editing. It was a good team, Shuster said of Beatts, who died Wednesday at age 74.


 Anne Beatts remembered as courageous and witty by fellow SNL writer


A prehistoric Saudi Arabian loved a dog 6,000 years ago

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 16:40:31 +03:00

Dogs were domesticated thousands upon thousands of years before any other animal, definitely over 15,000 years ago and possibly double that or more. Now archaeologists have found a dog in a monumental collective tomb in the northwest Arabian Peninsula dating to 6,000 to 6,200 years ago.

This wasn't just any dog. It seems to have been an old one with arthritis. One may surmise that to survive in that condition in that environment, the animal was cherished.

A description of discoveries by the Aerial Archaeology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia project, known as AAKSA, and its find of the earliest-known domestic dog in the peninsula appears in the Journal of Field Archaeology. It's far from the earliest dog in the Middle East or region, but it's the oldest such find in the culturally isolated prehistoric Arabian Peninsula by over a thousand years.


 A prehistoric Saudi Arabian loved a dog 6,000 years ago


Justice Department: 'Boogaloo' members tried to thwart probe into officer's killing

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 16:27:41 +03:00

Four members of a California militia group associated with the anti-government boogaloo movement were indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice in connection with a scheme to destroy records related to last year's killing in Oakland of a federal Protective Services officer and the wounding of his partner, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The men are accused of conspiring to destroy communications and other records about the May 29, 2020, killing of federal security officer David Patrick Underwood and attempted murder of his partner as they guarded the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland.

The officers were shot while a large demonstration over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was underway nearby. Prosecutors said Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, fatally shot Underwood and wounded his partner. They said Carrillo used the protest as cover for the crime and for his escape. Carrillo has pleaded not guilty.


 Justice Department: 'Boogaloo' members tried to thwart probe into officer's killing


Clear the Capitol,' Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:51:05 +03:00

From a secure room in the Capitol on Jan. 6, as rioters pummeled police and vandalized the building, Vice President Mike Pence tried to assert control. In an urgent phone call to the acting defense secretary, he issued a startling demand.

Clear the Capitol, Pence said.

Elsewhere in the building, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were making a similarly dire appeal to military leaders, asking the Army to deploy the National Guard.


 Clear the Capitol,' Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows


Senate filibuster's racist past fuels arguments for its end

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:39:46 +03:00

Once obscure, the Senate filibuster is coming under fresh scrutiny not only because of the enormous power it gives a single senator to halt President Joe Biden's agenda, but as a tool historically used for racism.

Senators and those advocating for changes to the practice say the procedure that allows endless debate is hardly what the founders intended, but rather a Jim Crow-relic whose time is up. Among the most vivid examples, they point to landmark filibusters including Strom Thurmond's 24-hour speech against a 1957 Civil Rights bill, as ways it has been used to stall changes.

The debate ahead is no longer just academic, but one that could make or break Biden's agenda in the split 50-50 Senate. Carrying echoes of that earlier Civil Rights era, the Senate is poised to consider a sweeping elections and voting rights bill that has been approved by House Democrats but is running into a Senate Republican filibuster.


 Senate filibuster's racist past fuels arguments for its end


ADL chief calls for Tucker Carlson's ouster after Fox News host endorses white supremacist conspiracy theory

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:35:23 +03:00

Tucker Carlson, a popular Fox News host, defended a white supremacist conspiracy theory on the cable network, spurring the head of the Anti-Defamation League to tweet Tucker Must Go and send a letter to Fox News saying he should be fired.

Appearing Thursday on Fox News Primetime, Carlson said Democrats are coordinating a replacement of current U.S. voters with immigrants from the Third World.

I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement,' if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World, Carlson said. But they become hysterical because that's what's happening actually. Let's just say it: That's true.


 ADL chief calls for Tucker Carlson's ouster after Fox News host endorses white supremacist conspiracy theory


Israeli cyberattack caused mysterious accident at Iran's Natanz, previous reports indicate

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:28:09 +03:00

The secret battle underway between Israel and Iran isn't so secret anymore. On Sunday morning, Iran reported that a mysterious accident in the Natanz nuclear facility's electrical distribution grid had occurred overnight. This is the same Iranian facility that suffered great damage from an explosion in July, and the latest malfunction has apparently also disrupted the plant's operations. On the basis of past media reports, one can infer that this was caused by an Israeli cyberattack.

This incident comes less than a week after reports of an explosion on an Iranian Revolutionary Guards command ship in the Red Sea, an incident also blamed on Israel. That blast is just the latest in a series of seaborne attacks against Iran, to which Tehran has chosen to respond with two attacks on Israeli-owned merchant vessels within less than two months.

The escalation, which isn't so gradual anymore, is taking place against the backdrop of renewed nuclear talks between Iran and world powers. Their aim is to get the United States to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned three years ago. The new U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, arrived in Israel on Sunday for his first working visit since he took office. Later this month, IDF chief Aviv Kochavi and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen are expected to visit Washington; the nuclear talks will top their agenda.


 Israeli cyberattack caused mysterious accident at Iran's Natanz, previous reports indicate


Trump rips 'dumb son of a bitch' McConnell while pledging to help the GOP in 2022

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:19:34 +03:00

Former President Donald Trump vowed to help Republicans win seats in Congress in 2022 elections but lashed out at two top party figures, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and former Vice President Mike Pence, at a donor retreat on Saturday.

At a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago Club for Republican National Committee donors in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump made clear he is still irked at his inability to hang on to the White House despite losing the Nov. 3 election to Democrat Joe Biden, who is now president.

McConnell drew Trump's ire in the aftermath of the election for stating the obvious - that Biden had won the presidency - and the two remain at odds. Parting from the prepared text of his speech, Trump called the senate leader a "dumb son of a bitch," an attendee told Reuters.


 Trump rips 'dumb son of a bitch' McConnell while pledging to help the GOP in 2022


Iranian terror: An immediate threat to Israeli interests in India

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:08:56 +03:00

When, on January 29th 2021, a small IED device went off outside the Israeli embassy in Delhi's high-security diplomatic zone, it brought back memories of the 2012 car bomb that injured Tal Yehoshua-Koren, wife of the Israeli defense attache to India. On March 26th, a missile targeted an Israeli ship en route to India, in the Arabian Sea.

The common denominator in all these attacks? Evidence implicating Iran.

In 2012, Indian security agencies unearthed phone records and money transfers indicating the role of three Iranians and an Indian journalist; the Indian police report later concluded that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps planned the attack. The ongoing investigation into the two recent attacks has hinted at Iran and the IRGC's role, without yet publicly confirming it.


 Iranian terror: An immediate threat to Israeli interests in India


Jordan's king Abdullah and estranged prince Hamza make first joint appearance since rift

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 15:03:32 +03:00

Jordan's King Abdullah and former crown prince and half-brother Prince Hamzah made their first joint appearance since a rift shook the country, attending a ceremony on Sunday marking 100 years of independence.

State media showed the monarch and other members of the royal family laying wreaths at the memorial to the unknown soldier and tombs of royalty in the Raghdan palace in Amman.

Despite the attempted show of unity on a major Jordanian holiday, it remained unclear whether the king and his popular half brother had put aside the differences that escalated last week into the most serious public rift in the ruling family in decades.


 Jordan's king Abdullah and estranged prince Hamza make first joint appearance since rift


The place where Netanyahu's efforts to form a coalition hit a wall of suspicion

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 14:06:59 +03:00

Last month's election saw two religious parties make significant inroads into the Knesset. One is the Religious Zionism alliance; headed by far-right religious-nationalist Bezalel Smotrich, it includes one member of the openly anti-Arab Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) faction, led by the Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir. The other is the United Arab List, the party of Israel's Islamic Movement, headed by MK Mansour Abbas, which broke off from the Arab-majority Joint List for a risky run by itself.

In the meantime, President Reuven Rivlin has given Benjamin Netanyahu a month to try to assemble a governing coalition, an act that will require him to marshal most every Knesset member who is willing to be cajoled into supporting him. Abbas, who is from the Galilee town of Maghar, declared in the months leading up to March 23 that Israel's Arab citizens were tired of being in perennial opposition and would be willing to cooperate with any government that was ready to meet the United Arab List's demands.

The leaders of Religious Zionism have stated repeatedly, most recently last week, that they will not join a government that is dependent, even indirectly, on an Arab party. Netanyahu has assured them that he has no plans to invite Abbas into any cabinet he heads. But, for anyone to form a government, some laws of nature will have to be defied.


 The place where Netanyahu's efforts to form a coalition hit a wall of suspicion


UAE picks first Arab woman for astronaut training

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 13:45:30 +03:00

The United Arab Emirates has selected the first Arab woman to train as an astronaut, as the Gulf country rapidly expands into the space sector to diversify its economy.

Emirati national Nora al-Matrooshi, a 27-year-old mechanical engineering graduate currently working at Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction Company, will join NASA's 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class in the United States.

The UAE is using its space program to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.


 UAE picks first Arab woman for astronaut training


Prof.: Denying me the Israel Prize is delegitimization of left

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 11:40:22 +03:00

The researcher whose receipt of this year's Israel Prize in mathematics and computer science was countermanded by the education minister said Yoav Gallant's decision was another small step in the delegitimization of the left in Israel. Prof. Oded Goldreich said that Gallant's move to deny him the prize constituted political persecution. 

Goldreich made the comment after Thursday's High Court of Justice ruling giving Gallant 30 days to justify his decision. The professor will not receive the prize during this week's Independence Day ceremony. 

Gallant claims Goldreich supports the BDS movement, despite Goldreich's insistence that he does not.


 Prof.: Denying me the Israel Prize is delegitimization of left


Coronavirus Israel live: South African strain can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, study says

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 11:18:00 +03:00

Months into its mass coronavirus vaccination campaign, Israel sees a drop in COVID infections and in the number of serious cases. Israel has reopened commerce and culture for vaccinated people, and lifted most restrictions on flights. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 6,294 Israelis have died of the virus.

Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have received 30,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by Israel, as well as shipments of over 160,000 vaccines via the COVAX scheme. A total of 2,373 people have died of COVID in the West Bank, while 642 have died in Gaza.

LIVE UPDATES


 Coronavirus Israel live: South African strain can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, study says


South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 11:06:52 +03:00

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can "break through" Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel's largest healthcare provider, Clalit.


 South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says


Israeli bus pelted with stones, torched in East Jerusalem neighborhood

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 10:35:13 +03:00

A bus that entered the Palestinian neighborhood of Isawiyah in East Jerusalem was pelted with stones and fire bombs on Saturday evening.

The Egged bus entered the neighborhood after the driver finished his shift. Local residents began to gather around the vehicle, some of them throwing stones and fire bombs.

The driver and his family members, who were passengers on the bus, managed to flee unharmed and ran towards police officers in the area. After the incident, Isawiyah residents clashed with police. 


 Israeli bus pelted with stones, torched in East Jerusalem neighborhood


Israel will work closely with U.S. on any new Iran deal, Gantz tells counterpart Austin

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 09:08:22 +03:00

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Sunday his American counterpart Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that Israel views the United States as a full partner in all operational theaters, including Iran, and that the two countries will work closely to ensure that any new deal with Iran prevents an arms race in the region. 

Austin landed in Israel earlier on Sunday, in a first official visit by a U.S. official since President Joe Biden took office in January.

Speaking In a joint statement, Gantz pledged to cooperate with the United States on Iran, voicing hope that Israeli security would be safeguarded under any renewed Iranian nuclear deal that Washington reaches.


 Israel will work closely with U.S. on any new Iran deal, Gantz tells counterpart Austin


Israel tells ICC it has no jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 08:57:34 +03:00

Israel told the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Friday that it has no jurisdiction to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. 

On March 3, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced it would investigate Israel and Hamas for possible war crimes committed in the territories since June 2014. Formal notices were sent out March 9, giving Israel and the Palestinian Authority until April 9 to apply for a deferral by proving they are carrying out their own investigations into the alleged offenses.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi held a meeting on the matter Wednesday and continued deliberations Thursday. National Security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and other senior officials also attended the meeting. 


 Israel tells ICC it has no jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes


Accident hit Natanz nuke site. Top Iranian official blames 'sabotage'

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 08:20:23 +03:00

UPDATE: Iran FM blames Israel for Natanz blast; Nuke program 'set back 9 months'

A spokesman for Iran's civilian nuclear program said Sunday an accident has struck the electrical distribution grid of the country's Natanz nuclear facility, without elaborating.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the comment Sunday, saying there were no injuries or pollution caused by the incident.


 Accident hit Natanz nuke site. Top Iranian official blames 'sabotage'


Israel police's attack on parliamentary immunity

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:16:40 +03:00

The assault by police on MK Ofer Cassif during a demonstration in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Friday should shock the entire political world. The fact that Cassif had been participating in a non-violent demonstration and found himself in a hospital emergency room with broken glasses and a torn shirt following an assault by riot-control police, infringes not only on his immunity as an elected official, but also on freedom of protest.

This is not the first time that police have infringed on the immunity of lawmakers. Over the past year alone the police injured MK Yorai Lahav-Hertzanu during the removal of a protest tent near the prime minister's official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem, and injured MK Bezalel Smotrich, who wanted to reach the scene of the incident in which 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak was killed when, it is claimed, a police car intentionally crashed into the car in which Sandak was riding. Time after time the police ignore the immunity of Knesset members and act violently toward them.

The police violence toward Cassif is another sign of the police disregard for the right to protest. The best evidence of this is the police claim that the officer did not know that Cassif is an MK. That is, the officer thought he was just an ordinary citizen in a left-wing protest, and therefore it was permissible to strike him.


 Israel police's attack on parliamentary immunity


Yoav Gallant does not deserve to be Israel's education minister

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:09:37 +03:00

The Mexican general Castañetas was a very important man, very great. The Israeli general Yoav Gallant is also a very important man, very great. He also straps on pistoletas when he goes to work at the office, and wears medals across his chest. But as opposed to Gen. Castañetas the hero of a song by Haim Hefer the Israeli General Gallant actually took part in wars and battles; it can be said of most of them that it would have been better had they not taken place. They were needless and criminal. The unfortunate Castañetas exploded after eating 20 pheasants and cutlets; the minister of education might explode from his inflated self-importance. Last week he struck again.

The opposition and the media leave Gallant alone. They don't mock him as they do Miri Regev and Osnat Mark, nor do they revile him as they do Amir Ohana, Miki Zohar and David Amsalem, although the damage he does exceeds theirs. Gallant is an Ashkenazi Jew, a general and one of us, so they barely touch him. But the damage he causes is mounting, together with the ridicule raised by his pathetic attempts to be the state's chief education officer. Now he's celebrating a shabby victory: the unbelievable High Court of Justice ruling permitting him to temporarily withhold the Israel Prize from Prof. Oded Goldreich over his political opinions. Gallant is now reexamining the sincerity of Goldreich's objection to the boycott movement against Israel. Examine how? Is there a sincerity gauge? Will he summon Goldreich to the regime's thought-crimes investigation branch for interrogation? Today anything is possible.

The ceremony is over. With his own hands, Gallant destroyed one of the last untouched areas in Israel's disintegrating reality the Israel Prize. Its laureates are not laureates unless they immediately forgo the prize in solidarity with their repudiated colleague. The prize's judges will no longer be judges, since from now on they will take care not to choose a candidate who does not have the regime's approval. One can no longer be a respected scientist in Israel without the regime's support. Whom shall we thank? The education minister, who is also behind the government's resounding failure in handling the coronavirus pandemic.


 Yoav Gallant does not deserve to be Israel's education minister


How Russian and Arab Israelis castled'

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 23:56:00 +03:00

The political imbroglio of the past two years is the result of Benjamin Netanyahu's political divorce from Avigdor Lieberman. The reason for divorces no one ever knows. What's clear is that the right-wing family has never recovered. The children freaked out a bit, Gideon Sa'ar and Zeev Elkin left home, and Naftali Bennett felt he was old enough to be prime minister.

Even if Netanyahu is to blame for the rift, without Lieberman there wouldn't be a political mess. Netanyahu realized right away, even before Lieberman, that Lieberman is now part of the left, as he announced in May 2019 minutes after the Knesset was dissolved. It sounded so wacky. Lieberman part of the left. Come on. Here's more proof that Netanyahu has lost it.

But Netanyahu was right. Little by little, Lieberman found himself in a new sociopolitical milieu, joining Yair Lapid (in his reincarnation as head of the left-wing camp), Labor (in its radical feminist reincarnation) and Meretz, and open to a relationship with the Arab parties.


 How Russian and Arab Israelis castled'


Netanyahu pressures far-right ally, prepares for yet another Israeli election

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 23:54:47 +03:00

Since President Reuven Rivlin tasked him Tuesday with forming the next government, Benjamin Netanyahu has not been able to put together a coalition of parties to form a government.

The prime minister met Thursday with Yamina Chairman Naftali Bennett to discuss the possibility of future cooperation. Despite the animus between the two, the meeting was held in good spirits. Bennett expressed that in principle, he is willing to join a right-wing government in partnership with Netanyahu, although at the moment the prime minister does not have the majority he needs to make this possible.

This week, Likud will continue to pressure Bezalel Smotrich of the far-right Religious Zionism party, as well as rabbis and other members of his inner circle, over his refusal to join a coalition that would be supported by the United Arab List.


 Netanyahu pressures far-right ally, prepares for yet another Israeli election


Colonialism in the Israel State archives

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 23:54:14 +03:00

In a report he published last week (Why are these documents top secret and hidden in Israel's archives, April 4), Ofer Aderet raises an important topic: the way the government conceals documents in the Israel State Archives for decades by classifying them as confidential or top-secret. He cited the efforts of scholars and organizations to gain access to decades-old primary sources about episodes in Israeli history, some or even most of which are still under censorship.

In some cases, such as documents about Israeli military ties with Haiti's murderous dictatorship in the 1960s, the Yom Kippur War and the Eli Cohen espionage affair, the material remains classified under the guise of protecting national security.

Security agencies also keep documentation of civilian operations concealed: the use of surveillance and deterrent activity to suppress protest by new immigrants in the transit camps and so-called development towns in the 1950s; the Shin Bet's suppression of protest by Moroccan immigrants in the 1950s and the riots in Haifa's Wadi Salib in 1959, sparked by the police killing of a Moroccan immigrant; and the alleged disappearance of thousands of infants and young children born to immigrants from Yemen. The campaign to liberate this information from the clutches of the establishment seeks to democratize the archives in order to broaden academic research and open up knowledge to new analysis or interpretation.


 Colonialism in the Israel State archives


Haaretz Cartoon

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 23:21:07 +03:00

 Haaretz Cartoon


In about-face, Israeli university heads decide to admit settlement university to joint body

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 22:33:50 +03:00

After almost a decade's struggle and a petition to the High Court of Justice, Israel's Association of University Heads decided to admit Ariel University to its ranks.

One of the main reasons for the move was the university heads' fear of heavy pressure by the next education minister, who will most likely come from the right. Should they wait until then, the move would be seen as a surrender on their part, they said.

We are one High Court petition away from being forced to accept Ariel, one university president said. We had to decide whether to disperse or let it in. We preferred to take the initiative rather than wait for the next minister or wait for a court verdict.


 In about-face, Israeli university heads decide to admit settlement university to joint body


Famed Egyptian archaeologist reveals details of 3,000-year-old lost city

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 20:46:57 +03:00

Egypt's best-known archaeologist revealed on Saturday further details on a Pharaonic city recently found in the southern province of Luxor.

Zahi Hawass said that archaeologists found brick houses, artifacts, and tools from pharaonic times at the site of the 3,000-year-old lost city. It dates back to Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty, whose reign is considered a golden era for ancient Egypt.

This is really a large city that was lost... The inscription that found inside here says that this city was called: The dazzling Aten', Hawass told reporters at the site.


 Famed Egyptian archaeologist reveals details of 3,000-year-old lost city


Israelis resume anti-Netanyahu protests after PM tasked with forming government

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 19:59:35 +03:00

Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed on Saturday for the first time since last month's election after he was tasked with forming a government.

Demonstrators returned to Paris Square outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem and traffic junctions around the country, three weeks after the last protest before the election which was the 39th consecutive week of protests against the prime minister, who is on trial for corruption, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. 

Several hundred protesters also marched to President Reuven Rivlin's official residence and demonstrated at the gate.


 Israelis resume anti-Netanyahu protests after PM tasked with forming government


Myanmar security forces kill over 80 anti-coup protesters, monitor says

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 17:54:48 +03:00

Myanmar security forces fired rifle grenades at protesters in a town near Yangon on Friday, killing more than 80 people, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group and a domestic news outlet said.

Details of the death toll in the town of Bago, 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of Yangon, were not initially available because security forces piled up bodies in the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound and cordoned off the area, according to witnesses and domestic media outlets.

The AAPP and Myanmar Now news outlet said on Saturday that 82 people were killed during the protest against the February 1 military coup in the country. Firing started before dawn on Friday and continued into the afternoon, Myanmar Now said.


 Myanmar security forces kill over 80 anti-coup protesters, monitor says


Iran has begun enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges at Natanz, Rohani says

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 14:15:42 +03:00

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Saturday that Iran had begun feeding uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas feedstock into about 30 uranium-enriching centrifuges installed at its underground nuclear plant at Natanz.

Rohani said that Iran has started the second stage of producing heavy water a component of making nuclear weapons and nuclear energy that is not radioactive at Arak Nuclear Plant. This is yet another breach by Iran of the nuclear accord it signed with world powers in 2015.

The deal was abandoned in 2018 by former President Donald Trump, who restored sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.


 Iran has begun enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges at Natanz, Rohani says


Iran showed some seriousness in Vienna talks, but not enough, U.S. official says

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 10:48:44 +03:00

The United States has seen some signs of Iranian seriousness of purpose this week during indirect talks in Vienna over the nuclear deal that the U.S. withdrew from, but not enough and the main question mark is over Tehran's repeated demand that Washington lift all sanctions imposed since 2017, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

"If Iran sticks to the position that every sanction that has been imposed since 2017 has to be lifted or there will be no deal, then we are heading towards an impasse," the senior State Department official told reporters in a telephonic briefing.

Earlier, the UN atomic watchdog flagged a new breach by Iran of its nuclear deal with major powers on the day those powers met to revive the agreement, a report by the agency seen by Reuters showed, likely raising tensions with Western powers.


 Iran showed some seriousness in Vienna talks, but not enough, U.S. official says


Amid nuclear talks, UN watchdog reports new Iranian breach of deal

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 01:46:48 +03:00

The UN atomic watchdog on Friday flagged a new breach by Iran of its nuclear deal with major powers on the day those powers met to revive the agreement, a report by the agency seen by Reuters showed, likely raising tensions with Western powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency avoids saying Iran has breached the deal. At the same time, it generally only issues such ad hoc reports to member states in the event of a breach. Two diplomats told Reuters what the report described amounted to a fresh breach.

The breach has to do with what counts officially towards Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium, a highly sensitive issue since that stockpile could be enriched further to weapons-grade material suitable for nuclear bombs if Iran chose to do so. It denies seeking such weapons and says its aims are entirely peaceful.


 Amid nuclear talks, UN watchdog reports new Iranian breach of deal


Biden calls for funding to probe white supremacist beliefs at immigration agencies

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 01:24:42 +03:00

President Joe Biden called for funding to investigate complaints of white supremacist beliefs at U.S. immigration enforcement agencies in his first budget request to Congress on Friday, but officials offered no explanation for what prompted his request.

The Biden administration is asking Congress to increase the funding level for workforce oversight offices within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to $470 million, a 22 percent increase over the current level, for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The additional funding would ensure that workforce complaints "including those related to white supremacy or ideological and non-ideological beliefs" are investigated quickly, according to a summary of Biden's budget proposal.


 Biden calls for funding to probe white supremacist beliefs at immigration agencies


Two killed in suspected family feud shooting in Israeli Arab town

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 00:46:57 +03:00

Two men were killed and two youths were injured in a shooting Friday in the Israeli Arab town of Dir al-Asad in what appears to be the result of a feud between families.

Ahmad Sanallah, 29, and Hafez Senallah, 23, sustained gun injuries to their abdomen and upper and lower body. They were taken in critical condition to Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya and were later pronounced dead. The two men were relatives.

 A 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy were moderately and lightly wounded in the incident respectively. The older boy who sustained a gunshot wound underwent surgery and is now treated in the intensive care unit, Western Galilee Hospital said.  He is in moderate but stable condition.


 Two killed in suspected family feud shooting in Israeli Arab town


'How can we not be tense?' Turkey's coronavirus infections soar

Sat, 10 Apr 2021 00:18:09 +03:00

The red letters scrolling across the front of Fikret Oluk's bus say: "Stay Home Turkey". But the Istanbul driver said passengers are ignoring rules and overcrowding, sometimes without masks, even as coronavirus infections rocket.

Turkey  which has the highest level of daily new COVID-19 cases in Europe and the Middle East again tightened measures last week to contain the rapid spread after calls for action by doctors and opposition politicians.

Among the rules are a limit of 69 passengers on Oluk's busy urban bus route. When 89 are aboard, he says he draws the line.


 'How can we not be tense?' Turkey's coronavirus infections soar


Pfizer requests FDA approval for COVID vaccine for teens after successful trials

Fri, 9 Apr 2021 21:28:49 +03:00

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its german partner BioNtech said on Friday they requested U.S. regulatory agencies to expand the emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15.

In March, the drugmakers said the vaccine was found to be safe, effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year olds in a clinical trial.

Whether COVID-19 vaccines work and are safe to use on children is one of the big questions drugmakers are trying to answer. Inoculating children and young people is considered a critical step toward reaching herd immunity and taming the pandemic, according to experts.


 Pfizer requests FDA approval for COVID vaccine for teens after successful trials






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!