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Ha'aretz
Tid: Sat, 15.12-2018 23:46 Lokal fil generert: Sat, 15.12-2018 13:51
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Three dead in two separate shootings in central Israel

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 23:50:54

Two men and a woman were shot dead on Saturday evening in Lod, south of Ben-Gurion International Airport, in a suspected string of criminal incidents. A third man was moderately wounded.

The woman and one of the men, her husband, were both in their 40s and members of a crime family known to police. The couple was driving near the headquarters of the police's anti-fraud unit, Lahav 443, when they were shot at close range from a passing vehicle.

They both sustained wounds to their upper bodies. After being shot, the man lost control of the car, drove over a traffic island and crashed into a pole. Medical teams pronounced them dead at the scene.


 Three dead in two separate shootings in central Israel


As Israel steps up West Bank response, Palestinian Authority takes a blow

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 23:33:03

The Palestinian Authority fears the rise in clashes with the Israel Defense Forces is further undermining its standing with Palestinians in the West Bank and increasing support for Hamas. That, at least, is the conclusion that can be drawn from protests in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah the PA forcibly dispersed Friday.

It wasn't the first time in the past decade that PA police officers have clashed with Palestinian protesters in the shadow of IDF attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but it came at a political low point for the PA, at home and abroad, and at a time of economic crisis for the PA and its Palestinian inhabitants.

No wonder the Palestinian National Initiative ” a relatively young political force with an important role in the intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts ” has warned against turning œheroic and brave confrontation with the occupation and its criminal settlers into fighting among Palestinians that only serves the Netanyahu government and its policies.


 As Israel steps up West Bank response, Palestinian Authority takes a blow


Palestinian who seriously wounded soldier in West Bank turns himself in

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 22:07:05

The Palestinian man who seriously wounded an Israeli soldier during a confrontation at a military post in the West Bank has turned himself in and is being interrogated by the Shin Bet, the Israeli army said on Saturday.

Palestinian sources named the man Mohammed al-Halabi, a 19-year-old Ramallah resident. He turned himself in following heavy pressure on his relatives and threats to his life should he not do so.

According to the army, a struggle ensued between the soldier and the Palestinian after the latter crossed the West Bank barrier, reached the outpost and attacked the soldier with a rock and a knife on Friday. 


 Palestinian who seriously wounded soldier in West Bank turns himself in


Rashida Tlaib to wear Palestinian gown while being sworn into Congress

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:14:39

Democratic Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib said she plans to wear a traditional Palestinian garment to her swearing-in ceremony next month.

"Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress. #PalestinianThobe #ForMyYama," Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, wrote in an Instagram post on Friday. A thobe, or thawb, is a traditional ankle-length garment worn throughout the Arab world and some countries in East and West Africa, while "yama" is Arabic for mother.

The embroidery on Palestinian dresses varies per city, village or region and is a way for the wearer to show pride in one's origins. Tlaib's mother is from Beit Ur al-Fauqa, outside Ramallah, and her father from Beit Hanina, an East Jerusalem neighborhood. 


 Rashida Tlaib to wear Palestinian gown while being sworn into Congress


Economic reforms offer scant relief in heart of Libya's capital

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 19:08:12

After a month strolling the gold market in Libya's capital, retired public servant Milud Farhat was unable to find any jewelry he could afford for his daughter's wedding.

The 60-year-old is typical of Libya's once well-to-do middle class, impoverished by high inflation and devaluation during years of conflict in what used to be one of the Arab world's wealthiest countries.

In contrast, armed groups whose commanders cruise Tripoli's potholed streets in luxury cars have become rich by forcing authorities to hire them and grant them cheap dollars they can change on the black market for a premium.


 Economic reforms offer scant relief in heart of Libya's capital


Iran engineers recovery for rial while defying U.S. sanctions

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 19:01:46

Iran is intervening in the foreign exchange market and threatening speculators to engineer a dramatic recovery of its rial currency, easing pressure on the oil-exporting economy as Tehran defies renewed U.S. sanctions.

The rial jumped to 105,500 against the U.S. dollar Wednesday, from 117,000 at the end of the previous week and 152,500 at the end of October, according to foreign exchange website Bonbast.com.

The Financial Tribune and some other Iranian media outlets reported Tuesday that the rial had risen beyond 100,000 to the dollar. The foreign exchange market, however, has no single, official set of prices and traders often quote slightly different levels.


 Iran engineers recovery for rial while defying U.S. sanctions


Chelsea condemns anti-Semitic chants by fans, vows 'strongest possible action'

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 18:29:20

The Chelsea soccer club said on Friday it condemns anti-Semitic chants sung by its fans during a Europa League match against Vidi in Budapest a day earlier.

A group of fans were heard singing chants demeaning the Tottenham soccer club, generally associated with the Jewish community in the United Kingdom. 

"Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans," a Chelsea spokesman said.


 Chelsea condemns anti-Semitic chants by fans, vows 'strongest possible action'


U.S. imposes sanctions on retired Israeli general over role in South Sudan's civil war

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 18:27:25

The United States says it has sanctioned three people over their roles in South Sudan's civil war, including a retired Israeli major general, Israel Ziv.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. Treasury said Ziv and South Sudanese businessman Obac William Olawo led entities whose efforts extended the conflict, while South Sudanese official Gregory Vasili took part in "actions that have undermined peace, stability and security." Ziv has denied any wrongdoing.

"Ziv used an agricultural company that was nominally present in South Sudan to carry out agricultural and housing projects for the government of South Sudan as a cover for the sale of approximately $150 million worth of weapons to the government, including rifles, grenade launchers and shoulder-fired rockets," the Treasury said.


 U.S. imposes sanctions on retired Israeli general over role in South Sudan's civil war


One-state solution gains ground in America and pro-Israel groups are worried

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:58:00

WASHINGTON Before a crowd of mostly right-wing Israelis and supporters of the Jewish state at the Israeli-American Council's annual conference last Sunday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) was asked her thoughts on the Trump administration's promise of presenting a peace plan for the Middle East. œOne of the principles we hope to see there is a two-state solution, she said.

Her words drew boos and cries of œNo way! from a number of people in the crowd, who wanted to express their opposition to this decades-old formula for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Pelosi responded to the hecklers by stating that their real source of concern shouldn't be the two-state solution, but an alternative idea that is gaining more and more support among left-wingers in America. œI understand there are disagreements, she said. œBut you need to understand, the extreme left wants a one-state solution.


 One-state solution gains ground in America and pro-Israel groups are worried


Australia: We recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:41:10

Australia has decided to formally recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but won't move its embassy until there is a peace settlement between Israel and Palestinians, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Saturday.

He said in a speech that Australia will recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital only after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution. The Australian Embassy won't be moved from Tel Aviv until such a time, he said.

Israel's Foreign Ministry congratulated Australia and called the move "a step in the right direction" in a statement.


 Australia: We recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital


Trump says Interior Minister Zinke to step down within weeks

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:26:39

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who faces federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will leave the administration at the end of the year.

Trump tweeted that Zinke œaccomplished much during his tenure and that a replacement would be announced next week. The Cabinet post requires Senate confirmation.

>> This excellent Watergate documentary is a guide to ousting a madman president


 Trump says Interior Minister Zinke to step down within weeks


'One of a kind' 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Egypt

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:12:23

Egypt unveiled a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb decorated with hieroglyphs and statues south of Cairo on Saturday, and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months. 

The tomb was found in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. It was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site. He described the find as "one of a kind in the last decades." 

The tomb dates from the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. 


 'One of a kind' 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Egypt


Why work should be abolished

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:44:38

œIt was astonishing to hear the baron reciting this eulogy of manual labor or rather not so astonishing, since the sacred character of manual labor is a specifically bourgeois invention.

Henri de Montherlant, œThe Bachelors

Progress, as everyone knows, is an excellent thing. And we, to our good fortune, live in a period of obvious progress. Rapid and dynamic, our progress extends its arms into diverse realms and gives them a good shaking up. The equipment surrounding us has greatly improved and become more efficient and convenient; impressive development has occurred in the realm of public mental life. Things are moving. The œMeToo campaign can perhaps serve as a timely, agreed-upon example of that.


 Why work should be abolished


Israel demolishes family home of Palestinian accused of killing soldier

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 13:33:51

Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops on Friday night and Saturday morning in the West Bank during the demolition of the family home of a Palestinian charged with killing an Israeli soldier.

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Palestinian witnesses said clashes erupted when dozens attempted to stop the demolition.


 Israel demolishes family home of Palestinian accused of killing soldier


Israeli defense officials reject claims of intelligence failures after West Bank attacks

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 12:06:08

Former officials have been criticizing what they call a lack of intelligence about Hamas activity in the Ramallah area, following two deadly attacks in the West Bank within days. Defense officials believe the attacks were committed by local cells possibly linked to Hamas.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz

Defense officials have rebuffed the criticism, and one senior official stated that there had been no intelligence failure but the two attacks may place pressure on the military and Shin Bet security services to reassess methods of interpreting intelligence information.


 Israeli defense officials reject claims of intelligence failures after West Bank attacks


˜They're not like neo-Nazis': Inside the Israeli movement fighting Jewish-Arab intermarriage

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 10:49:10

Dr. Ari Engelberg, from Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, why did you choose to study Lehava, whose name is a Hebrew acronym for œflame and stands for œPrevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land?

It started as a project at Tel Aviv University. I was invited to join a research group dealing with mixed marriages of all types including Filipinos, Arabs. At first I didn't actually know how I could integrate into the project, because I am, all in all, a conservative, traditional, even religious person.

What do you mean? Your worldview doesn't jibe with marriages that are sorry, but I can't bring myself to use the word œmixed, I find it appalling ...


 ˜They're not like neo-Nazis': Inside the Israeli movement fighting Jewish-Arab intermarriage


From Lebanon to Iraq: Iran's new, hybrid threat to Israel

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 07:24:09

Operation Northern Shield, to locate Hezbollah's tunnels under the Lebanese border, is entering its second week. So far the Israel Defense Forces has reported the discovery of three tunnels, and the excavations are continuing at several other sites along the border. This engineering effort is expected to take more than a month, and even then the army will probably have to make changes regarding preparedness at the border fence.

Benjamin Netanyahu, in his dual role as prime minister and defense minister (among his other ministries), arrived this week for a second visit to the area, where he threatened Hezbollah. (Like when he said in September that if Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah "confronts us, he'll get a crushing blow that he can't even imagine.")

But it was clear that the tour was also for domestic consumption. The prime minister is preparing for Israel's next general election due within a year, and his frequent meetings with officers and soldiers provide an ideal setting for his journey to the ballot box.


 From Lebanon to Iraq: Iran's new, hybrid threat to Israel


Marvelously delicate: Three ways to make fennel

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 05:30:12

Coming from a long line of farmers, for me, fruits and vegetables were always something picked straight from the tree or from the ground, at just the right moment, everything in its season, everything in its time. I would roam my grandfather's orchard with great anticipation, surrounded by the trees with their fragrant white blossoms, watching out for the first budding fruits and eyeing their progress as they grew rounder and thicker in fluorescent shades of orange and yellow.

The elongated Shamouti oranges were cut open into tart sections; the round Valencia oranges took longer to ripen and were squeezed for juice; grapefruits were split in half and given a little boost of sugar before being dug into with a spoon. When my grandfather planted row upon row of thin-peeled, sweet-fleshed Michal tangerines, I was tempted to believe that they were really named after me.

Hass and Ettinger avocados were picked from the trees in the grove, ripened gradually and were eaten with a spoon with a squeeze of juice from a lemon just picked from the orchard. Peanut plants were plucked from the field with their leaves and roots attached and the peanuts picked one by one. Cleaned of bits of mud, the pink-shelled nuts were so fresh and slightly sweet that no roasting was necessary.


 Marvelously delicate: Three ways to make fennel


Trump says budget director Mick Mulvaney to take over as acting chief of staff

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 02:35:44

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, would take over as White House chief of staff on a temporary basis after two prominent candidates for the job withdrew from consideration in the space of a week.

Mulvaney, a hard-charging conservative and former congressman who heads the White House Office of Management and Budget, will take over from John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, who will step down from the top job in the West Wing in early January.

He will be the third man in Trump's two years in office to take on what is seen as one of the most important jobs in Washington: the gatekeeper to the president charged with marshalling the resources of the office to carry out priorities.


 Trump says budget director Mick Mulvaney to take over as acting chief of staff


Trump Mideast envoy Greenblatt condemns settler violence in the West Bank

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 00:23:16

 The Trump administration's special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, denounced on Friday the violence used by Jewish extremists in the West Bank against Palestinian civilians. Greenblatt wrote in a tweet on his official account that while Palestinian terror attacks are œunconscionable, there is no justification for violence against Palestinian civilians in reply to those attacks.

œThe recent Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis are unconscionable. But throwing rocks at vehicles who have nothing to do with these attacks is NOT a legitimate response, Greenblatt wrote. œInnocent people could be killed.

Earlier this week, Greenblatt also denounced posters that were placed around key traffic junctions in the West Bank calling for the assassination of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The posters by far-right Israeli extremists were a response to recent terror attacks in settlements.


 Trump Mideast envoy Greenblatt condemns settler violence in the West Bank


Israeli settlers embrace new strategy in bid to achieve million-resident vision

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 22:44:29

In the 1980s, when the West Bank settlement enterprise took off, the leading slogan to attract home buyers was œfive minutes from Kfar Sava. The ads promised spacious single-family homes in a rural setting for a low price. In addition to towns such as Ariel, Betar Ilit, Efrat, Immanuel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Modi'in Ilit, small communities were established in which each buyer received a half-dunam (around 5,450 square feet) plot on which to build their dream home.

There's a new slogan now, œEast Gush Dan. The Yesha Council of Settlements has for some years been marketing the settlements of the West Bank as being near major roads and transportation arteries and job hubs ” 10 minutes from Route 6 and not too far from both Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv area. Now, large apartment complexes are being built to attract new residents across the Green Line.

One example of this trend can be seen in Kedem. Harei Zahav, a developer with projects in 20 West Bank settlements, is aggressively marketing a 900-unit project here. Ads for the project, aimed primarily at young religious families, describe Kedem as a new community. But Kedem is not really a separate community; it is a new densely-built neighborhood of Avnei Hefetz, a settlement of 500 families in private homes, 4 kilometers southeast of Tul Karm and 15 kilometers from Tzur Yitzhak. When the new neighborhood is fully occupied, it will change the character of the entire community.


 Israeli settlers embrace new strategy in bid to achieve million-resident vision


How not to treat asylum seekers

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 21:32:59

Israel has proved more than once that it's capable of taking a pragmatic, utilitarian approach to solving controversial problems. Examples include accepting reparations from Germany and withdrawing from Sinai in exchange for generous U.S. aid that has since reached tens of billions of dollars. Even prisoner exchanges meet the criteria for choosing pragmatism over principles.

But there are issues on which pragmatism, logic and morality give way to populism and ulterior motives. And not just populism, but the kind that causes economic and social harm and may even damage public health.

That is the case with Israel's treatment of asylum seekers. Since April, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, then withdrew from it less than 24 hours later, the government has had no plan for addressing this issue.


 How not to treat asylum seekers


No casualties after car bomb explodes outside home of prison intelligence officer

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 20:51:22

In the latest incident in a suspected string of attacks against Israel Prison Service officials, a bomb went off in a car parked outside the home of the intelligence officer of Rimonim Prison in Elad early Thursday morning.

No one was injured in the explosion, but the vehicle and a second one nearby were damaged. Police are investigating the incident.

The name of the intelligence officer, a chief superintendent in the Israel Prison Service, was not released. His duties include thwarting attempted criminal activities by members of criminal organizations held at Rimonim. The facility is one of Israel's largest maximum-security prisons.


 No casualties after car bomb explodes outside home of prison intelligence officer


Rate of asthma cases in Haifa's children more than double Israeli average

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 20:13:50

The rate of hospitalization of Haifa's children for asthma is 2.32 times higher than the national average, according to a new Ministry of Health report released on Thursday.

The report covered the number of hospital admissions for asthma, for children under 14 years of age, over a 20-year period. It points to œenvironmental factors as one reason for the higher number of admissions in the Haifa area. The report also shows that hospitalization for asthma is 4.13-fold higher than the national average in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) region, with the Golan Heights also showing a 2.12-fold higher rate of admissions. The lowest rate, according to the report, is in the Jerusalem area.

The report documented the number of hospitalizations for at least two nights, between 1996 and 2015, for three age groups. The rates in Haifa are the highest in the 1-4 and the 5-15 age groups, and second-highest for the 0-1 age group. The highest incidence of hospitalization of babies was registered in the northern part of the country.


 Rate of asthma cases in Haifa's children more than double Israeli average


Revealed: Secret ADL memo slammed anti-BDS laws as 'harmful' to Jews

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 19:21:54

The Anti-Defamation League has emerged as a supporter of controversial legislation targeting boycotts of Israel. But internal ADL documents obtained by the Forward show that the organization's own staff believed the laws could actually harm American Jews.

In the summer of 2016, ADL staff wrote an internal memo arguing that legislating against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was a really bad idea. œSimply put, ADL does not believe that anti-BDS legislation is a strategic way to combat the BDS movement or defend Israel and is ultimately harmful to the Jewish community, the memo reads. It calls anti-BDS laws œineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional, and bad for the Jewish community.

Yet in the two years since the memo was written, the ADL has vigorously supported anti-BDS legislation, including one bill currently moving through the U.S. Congress, and some of those that have passed in statehouses across the country.


 Revealed: Secret ADL memo slammed anti-BDS laws as 'harmful' to Jews


Mohammed bin Salman's woes might prove to be Yemen's savior

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 18:30:52

After a week of meetings with government and rebel officials in Rimbo, Sweden, the special UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, admits that his job is no walk in the park.

Houthis don't trust the distinguished 67-year-old diplomat, who was appointed in February. As a well-connected former British diplomat, he's viewed by the rebels as someone who sells weapons to the Saudis for slaughtering them. Yemen's government, meanwhile, suspects Griffiths of being too indulgent with the Houthis and of backing their impossible demands.

All the same, he has the sides negotiating after a two-year break, and he has just pulled off a prisoner-swap deal that might be implemented within days.


 Mohammed bin Salman's woes might prove to be Yemen's savior


Wild card at Poland's first Holocaust museum: the 'Polish narrative'

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 18:29:56

In ordinary times, the appointment of an Israeli historian to a top position abroad would be a source of pride in Israeli academia. But in recent weeks, Prof. Daniel Blatman of Hebrew University has had to deflect criticism for becoming the chief historian at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, which is being built in the Polish capital.

œSome of the critics are my colleagues who once were my friends and maybe no longer are, Blatman, a member of Hebrew University's Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry Department, said this week.

The Warsaw Ghetto Museum is due to open in 2023, 80 years after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It will be housed in a building that served as a Jewish children's hospital and operated inside the ghetto.


 Wild card at Poland's first Holocaust museum: the 'Polish narrative'


Palestinian said killed by Israeli forces during West Bank clashes

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 18:28:28

An 18-year-old Palestinian male was shot dead on Friday by Israeli military forces during clashes near Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Two others were wounded by live fire and taken to nearby hospitals, the ministry added.

Palestinian officials identified the fatality as Mahmoud Yusef Mahmoud, from the Jalazun refugee camp.

Meanwhile, 46 Palestinian protesters were reported wounded on Friday during clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border. Several Palestinians crossed the border into Israel, but Israeli forces forced their return to southern Gaza Strip shortly thereafter. 


 Palestinian said killed by Israeli forces during West Bank clashes


Yair Lapid, Israel's serial protest thief

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:47:01

A recent picture that Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid posted on Instagram could be sold as a kind of political aphrodisiac. The more you look at it, the more the political arousal in his opponents.

œNo, you mumble to yourself when you see it, and you instinctively look away. You look again in disbelief, to check if you really saw what you think you saw. Because it's impossible. He already stole one political protest, the 2011 social justice protest, but at least that one took place in Israel.

This is too much even for this political plagiarist. It can't be that he really had himself photographed in north Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv Gimel neighborhood that is, against the background of urban villas with an iPhone in his hand. He was wearing a yellow vest, a glowing Danny the Yellow.


 Yair Lapid, Israel's serial protest thief


Dozens of settlers build illegal structures in previously evacuated West Bank outpost

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:08:59

Dozens of settlers have illegally entered the area of former West Bank outpost Amona, which was evacuated nearly two years ago, and set up to two new structures.

The outpost, built on private Palestinian land and never authorized by the Israeli authorities, was ordered evacuated by the High Court of Justice in 2014, but dates for the eviction were pushed back until a final date was set for February 2017.

The group of settlers this week included right-wing MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), Mateh Binyamin Regional Council chief Israel Gantz and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.


 Dozens of settlers build illegal structures in previously evacuated West Bank outpost


Hundreds rally in Yellow Vest protest in Tel Aviv; 10 arrested

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:01:32

Hundreds of demonstrators wearing fluorescent safety vests came out in Tel Aviv on Friday to protest Israel's high cost of living, borrowing from the Yellow Vest movement that has shaken France.

In Tel Aviv, the demonstrators blocked the Azrieli intersection in the city center; 10 were arrested on allegations of disorderly conduct during clashes with the police.

"Next week there will be 10,000 people here," said one of the organizers, David Mizrahi, as he was arrested.


 Hundreds rally in Yellow Vest protest in Tel Aviv; 10 arrested


How Putin and the far right played the Paris Yellow Vests protests

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:47:13

It's no surprise foreign observers have a difficult time separating the truth about France's Gilets Jaunes protests from the tide of online misinformation and deliberate disinformation about them when the same is true for French citizens themselves. Four out of every five tweets I've seen myself are misleading or false.

I assume most people are passing on this nonsense unwittingly. But there is a significant contingent doing it on purpose. 

In France, militants from both the far right and far left are attempting to harness what started as an authentic protest movement to serve their own ends. Many of the online supporters of the Gilets Jaunes, the Yellow Vests demonstrators named after the reflective jackets worn as an identifying uniform - are either deliberately lying or genuinely unable to distinguish lies from the truth. 


 How Putin and the far right played the Paris Yellow Vests protests


Amid opposition pressure, Netanyahu's government backs new Druze town

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:24:36

The governing coalition and opposition have agreed that if in the next month the government does not approve the building of a new Druze town, the coalition will support a bill calling for such a community.

Legislation to that end has been introduced by a member of the opposition, MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union). Such a law would presumably put pressure on the ministries to move this project forward.

The compromise was an attempt to prevent a vote that would embarrass Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; coalition whip David Amsalem said the compromise would get things going.


 Amid opposition pressure, Netanyahu's government backs new Druze town


Hundreds attend funerals of soldiers killed in West Bank shooting

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:11:15

Hundreds of people attended Friday the funerals of the two soldiers killed in a deadly drive-by shooting in the West Bank on Thursday.

The eulogies for Sgt. Yossi Cohen took place in Jerusalem, where he will also be buried. Staff Sgt. Yuval Mor-Yosef was brought to rest in the military cemetery in Ashkelon. 

Cohen's stepfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Merav, who lost his son-in-law in a terrorist attack in the West Bank nine years ago, eulogized Cohen. œI never believed I would reach this moment. You were totally good, completely pure. Not even 20 years old. You are one of the martyrs. I raised you for a few years, you were all giving and soul. You reached the highest places. Dear Yosef, now you see the senseless hatred that is raging here .... Pray for us from above, said Merav.


 Hundreds attend funerals of soldiers killed in West Bank shooting


Netanyahu's two greatest fears have suddenly materialized

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:49:06

In the week just passed, two major evils reappeared  terror in the West Bank and the high cost of living. Two shooting incidents took the lives of three people the newborn Amiad Israel, who was delivered prematurely via an emergency operation on Sunday after his mother, Shira Ish-Ran, was seriously wounded; and two Israel Defense Forces soldiers who had been guarding a settler's hitchhiking stop north of Ramallah.

A series of hikes in the prices of such commodities as water, electricity, subsidized bread and other foods landed on Israelis, making it clear that 2019 will be a cruel year for their bank balances. At least they can commiserate with each other by means of conversations on their cellphones, whose rates remain relatively low.

A wave of terror and a wave of price hikes those are the very last things a prime minister would wish to see in headlines in advance of what is emerging as the death throes of the battle over the 20th Knesset. The deterioration of the security situation in the occupied territories does not present a real electoral threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. The public is mature enough to understand that to terror attacks like those we saw this week, there is no solution. Even in any future œdiplomatic solution, there will be no good tidings when it comes to organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.


 Netanyahu's two greatest fears have suddenly materialized


Israeli soldier seriously wounded in West Bank as manhunt for shooters continues

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:51:44

An Israeli soldier sustained serious wounds during a confrontation with a Palestinian on Friday in a military outpost near the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

According to the Israeli army, a struggle ensued between the soldier and the Palestinian after the latter crossed the West Bank barrier, reached the outpost and attacked the soldier with a rock and a knife.

After stabbing the soldier and hitting him with a rock, the Palestinian fled the scene and the soldier was evacuated to a hospital for medical care. He is currently sedated and intubated. Israeli security forces are canvassing the area for the assailant, who is also believed to have been wounded in the exchange.


 Israeli soldier seriously wounded in West Bank as manhunt for shooters continues


The monk who left his dazzling Israeli high-tech career

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 09:50:12

SAN DIEGO A small, high cabin with three large windows stands in a green grove. On the raised platform outside the entrance, an old but clean metal pitcher is perched on a portable gas burner. Flip-flops lie in a corner. I, too remove my shoes and enter the small, 9-square-meter room. Quite a few books and four photo albums are hidden behind curtains; on the floor, a thin mattress. Hanging on the wall are three pictures of Buddhist monks, anonymous to me, and another photograph whose subjects I know very well: my parents. The monk who lives in this modest cabin in Southern California is my brother.

I'll never forget the day when Yam announced that he was leaving. He'd begun to prepare us a year in advance, and all I could think of then was that I had a year to set things right, a year in which to understand what I had done wrong as a sister and what we had done wrong as a family. The difficulty the decision entailed was still written on his face. He felt responsible, perhaps even guilty, for having ostensibly disappointed us.

Now, almost two years later, I found a tranquil, sound man. He fits in well in the commando of monks in the Metta Forest Monastery north of San Diego. Like him, the other monks excelled in whatever they did previously, but elected to switch their Western ways for the life of a Buddhist monastic. My brother was a computer programmer at the age of 19 and did his army service in an elite technological unit of the Israel Defense Forces. After his release, companies in the civilian market fought for him, and at the age of 22 he was earning as much as senior high-tech people.


 The monk who left his dazzling Israeli high-tech career


Bus driver says two Israeli teens beat him after making sure he was Arab

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 09:23:17

An Israeli Arab bus driver said he was attacked by two youths on Thursday night. The man was lightly wounded and was evacuated to a hospital. Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

The driver told the Israel Police that while driving in Modi'in Ilit, his bus was blocked by a vehicle. Two young men got out of the car, recognized him as an Arab, beat him and then fled the scene.

A video which circulated on social media following the attack shows the driver sitting in his bus, bruised and bleeding from his eye as a small crowd gathers in the street.


 Bus driver says two Israeli teens beat him after making sure he was Arab


West Bank spirals into violence as Hamas ups efforts to orchestrate attacks

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:41:22

The senior officer from Central Command who spoke to reporters Thursday morning sounded more perturbed than usual. Although the security forces chalked up two successes Wednesday night in the hunt for the perpetrators of terror attacks in the West Bank, the officer was making an obvious effort to explain the sensitive nature of the situation on the ground.

For people who have known the officer for years, since his days as an outstanding battalion commander who had many encounters with the enemy during the second intifada, it wasn't hard to discern a note of concern in his voice.

At the end of the discussion, without the words being said outright even once, the bottom line was clear: The West Bank is facing another wave of violence. The ability to stop this trend in the coming days, before it spreads, depends mainly on the forces in the field on whether a wave of copy-cat attacks will translate into another success for terror.


 West Bank spirals into violence as Hamas ups efforts to orchestrate attacks


From Haifa to Jerusalem

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:32:59

The most important political struggle in Israel over the past decade centers on the Jewish majority's relations with the Arab community. With the support of his alternating coalition partners, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put most of his effort into suppressing the aspirations of Israel's Arab citizens' to social equality and political freedom of speech. That is the motivation behind a series of laws that have tainted Israeli democracy with racism and exclusion, starting with the so-called Nakba Law and reaching a peak with the so-called nation-state law.

It also drives the concerted effort of right-wing politicians and media outlets, supported by œcentrists like Yair Lapid, who portray the Arab community's leaders as enemies. All these were preceded by the abortive attempt to reduce the Arabs' political representation by raising the electoral threshold.

Netanyahu and his partners rely on the racism that is prevalent among Israeli Jews, but instead of tempering it and encouraging civil equality and a shared Israeli identity, they foster racism and exclusion in order to perpetuate their rule. This is because the Israeli œleft ” that is, the camp that supports dividing the land ” will have difficulty retaking power and carrying out its goals unless they collaborate with the Arabs' elected representatives. That was the political foundation for the Oslo Accords, and the Arab voice in the Knesset has only grown since then.


 From Haifa to Jerusalem


After deadly West Bank attack, Israel moves to boost Jewish settlements

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 07:18:13

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he would legalize thousands of Jewish homes in the West Bank, hours after two Israeli soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in a shooting attack.

After Netanyahu's statement, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit formally approved the so-called "market amendment," which is expected to lead to the legalization of some 2,000 housing units in the West Bank, at the pressure of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

The amendment is based on an order pertaining to government property in the West Bank, stipulating that "a transaction made in good faith between the custodian of the government property in the territories and another person, regarding a property the custodian believed at the time of the deal to be government property" is valid, even if in fact the land did not belong to the state.


 After deadly West Bank attack, Israel moves to boost Jewish settlements


Major Israeli construction firm refuses to sell to Arabs, lawsuit alleges

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:26:35

A recently filed lawsuit alleges that a major construction company deceived Arabs into believing there were no apartments available at its properties while marketing them to Jews. 

Samer and Christine Damouni live in a rented house in Shfaram. Since 2012 Samer has repeatedly tried to look into new apartments built by the Sharbiv construction company in the Givat Alonim neighborhood in Kiryat Ata, but to no avail. Sales people never return his calls and when he insists on straight talk it turns out that, miraculously, there are no available apartments and that the only option is to wait for a few years.

A lawsuit demanding compensation was filed recently by the Damounis and four other Arabs who received the same answers. Testimony by a Jewish buyer who received all the information denied the Damounis raises the suspicion that marketing efforts are intended for Jewish buyers only.


 Major Israeli construction firm refuses to sell to Arabs, lawsuit alleges


Haaretz cartoon

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:11:24

 Haaretz cartoon


Israel raids Palestinian Olympic Committee's offices, reports say

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 03:08:00

Israeli troops entered the Palestine Olympic Committee's offices near Ramallah as the military conducted a major search for the perpetrator of a deadly terror attack, according to Palestinian media outlets.

Soldiers arrived just before a meeting was set to take place, the reports said.

In a video published on a Palestinian sports channel's Facebook page, Israeli soldiers are seen separating those present into adjacent rooms amid shouting and arguing.


 Israel raids Palestinian Olympic Committee's offices, reports say


Israeli soldiers killed in West Bank shooting to be buried Friday

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 02:20:27

The two soldiers killed in a West Bank terror attack Thursday have been identified as 20-year-old Staff Sgt. Yuval Mor-Yosef and 19-year-old Sgt. Yossi Cohen, both of whom were serving in the same battalion.

The funerals will be held on Friday morning: Cohen's at the Shamgar funeral home in Jerusalem, and Mor-Yosef's at the Ashkelon cemetery.

The two served in the Netzach Yehuda battalion of the Kfir infantry brigade and were killed when a gunman opened fire.


 Israeli soldiers killed in West Bank shooting to be buried Friday


Netanyahu warns Hamas that Israel won't have Gaza truce alongside West Bank terror, senior official says

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:31:04

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas on Thursday that Israel won't have a Gaza cease-fire if terrorism in the West Bank continues, a senior official said.

Netanyahu's comments come as the Israeli military is conducting a widescale manhunt in the West Bank for the assailants responsible for Thursday's deadly attack that left two soldiers killed and two wounded and in which the perpetrator stole a soldiers' weapon before fleeing. The military has sealed off Ramallah and set up roadblocks throughout the area. Most of the activity was centered around Ayoush Square, near the entrance to Ramallah.

Israeli defense officials increasingly believe that the Hamas cell responsible for last week's attack near the West Bank settlement of Ofra is also behind today's attack. 


 Netanyahu warns Hamas that Israel won't have Gaza truce alongside West Bank terror, senior official says


Palestinian's relatives doubt he was trying to attack Israelis when he was killed

Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:16:05

Relatives of a Palestinian who was shot dead in the West Bank on Thursday have said they do not believe Israel's claim that he had been attempting to run over soldiers.

The dead man has been identified as 60-year-old Hamdan al-Arda, the owner of an aluminum factory in the Jenin area. Members of his family said he suffered from hearing loss that they thought he must have failed to hear soldiers' warnings. They added that he likely veered off course when he was surprised by the soldiers' presence. According to witness, troops fired dozens of bullets at al-Arda.

Hundreds of people participated in a Fatah-organized march on Thursday evening in Araba, the town where al-Arda lived, to protest the killing. Participants condemned Israel, accusing it of killing al-Arda for no reason.


 Palestinian's relatives doubt he was trying to attack Israelis when he was killed


U.S. Senate votes to withdraw support for Saudi-led war in Yemen, defying Trump

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:37:24

The U.S. Senate backed a resolution on Thursday to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led war in Yemen, defying President Donald Trump with a historic vote that underscored lawmakers' anger over the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The votes were largely symbolic because to become law the resolutions would have to pass the House of Representatives, whose Republican leaders have blocked any legislation intended to rebuke the Saudis.  In a historic move, Senators voted 56-41 to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led campaign in Yemen.

It was the first time either chamber of Congress had backed a move to withdraw U.S. forces from a foreign military engagement under the War Powers Act. 


 U.S. Senate votes to withdraw support for Saudi-led war in Yemen, defying Trump


Suspected Strasbourg gunmen killed by French police, officials say

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:36:15

The suspected gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg was shot dead on Thursday in a brief gun battle with police after being on the run for 48 hours, police sources said.

Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city shortly after a big police operation was launched around 2100 hrs (2000 GMT) on Thursday about 2 kilometers from where he launched his attack on Tuesday.

Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, one of the sources said.


 Suspected Strasbourg gunmen killed by French police, officials say


This excellent Watergate documentary is a guide to ousting a madman president

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:28:27

What is the craziest thing about the Watergate scandal, over 45 years on? Is it that, seeking dirt on his opponents, U.S. President Richard Nixon approved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972, even though he was already 19 points clear of his nearest rival?

Is it that for over two years between 1971 and 1973 Nixon made secret recordings of his White House conversations which turned out to be the petard upon which he was hoist and whose existence only came to light quite by chance at a Senate Watergate Committee hearing?

Is it that Nixon's discredited playbook waging war on the press, political rivals and the judiciary by any means necessary is now back in vogue?


 This excellent Watergate documentary is a guide to ousting a madman president


How Benjamin Netanyahu became a Holocaust revisionist

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:09:09

The Yad Vashem museum currently has in its temporary exhibitions pavilion a fascinating exhibition titled "Flashes of Memory Photography during the Holocaust." The idea behind the exhibition is to tell the story behind the footage of the Holocaust, who stood behind the cameras and what their motives were.

In our collective historical minds, the visual images we have of the Holocaust are blurred into one continuing narrative, but their sources are disparate.

>>Secretly photographing the Holocaust: A rare exhibition of photos taken by Jews in the ghetto


 How Benjamin Netanyahu became a Holocaust revisionist


One in five Israelis live in poverty, report finds

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:54:36

Some 20% of families in Israel live in poverty, according to the œalternative annual poverty report published by the food security NGO Latet Israel, released on Wednesday.

The organization publishes its poverty report as an alternative to the official report published by the National Insurance Institute.

Some 533,000 families in Israel live in poverty, which is 21% of all families in the country, reports Latet.


 One in five Israelis live in poverty, report finds


Ultra-Orthodox in New York threaten war after state demands more secular education in yeshivas

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:51:47

BROOKLYN New educational requirements issued by New York State's Education Department for nonpublic and religious schools have the local ultra-Orthodox community up in arms.

School leaders and prominent rabbis are promising resistance and war if the new rules dictating secular oversight of Haredi schools, known as yeshivas are not changed.

The new regulations, issued by the state's education department last month, require that students in religious schools be taught subjects such as math, science, English, social studies, art and music for a total of about 34 hours a week.


 Ultra-Orthodox in New York threaten war after state demands more secular education in yeshivas


Israeli pianist Tom Oren wins most prestigious U.S. jazz competition

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:35:32

Israeli jazz pianist Tom Oren last week won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in Washington, D.C., the most prestigious prize for emerging jazz talent in the world.

œI didn't really understand how big a thing this is until after winning, and just as well, says Oren, the first Israeli ever to win the prize. œIf I'd grasped it earlier I might have been stressed.

œA moment before I started playing, I heard somebody cough, says Oren. œI was supposed to start the piece alone, and this opening is critical it brings in the other players, it sets everything. And at that dramatic second suddenly someone coughed. I don't know if it was one of the musicians or someone in the audience. As far as I'm concerned it was a wonderful thing. Instinctively I played something like that cough. I sort of imitated it. It was funny. It was fun, and after that nothing mattered anymore. I just played.


 Israeli pianist Tom Oren wins most prestigious U.S. jazz competition


'I wanted to go to Israel to be with Jews. So I snuck aboard a ship'

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:17:02

Chajuta As-Gad, 68, lives in Moshav Gan Ner; and Moshe Ben Hur, 85, lives in Merkaz Hever; flying to Zanzibar

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

Moshe: Taking a family œroots trip.


 'I wanted to go to Israel to be with Jews. So I snuck aboard a ship'


Business in Brief: Teva Pharm to move headquarters to Tel Aviv

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:15:58

IAI says working on Tel Aviv share offering

State-run defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries said Thursday it was working with authorities to implement a government decision to issue a minority stake on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. IAI, which makes unmanned air systems, land and space systems and commercial aircraft, said in a statement there was no certainty an initial public offering will take place. Israeli media reported that the offering of a 25 percent stake would raise some 3 billion shekels ($800 million), valuing IAI at 12 billion shekels. An IAI spokeswoman declined to comment on the figures. In early 2017, IAI told Reuters it sought a share offering of 20 percent to help it finance acquisitions. At the time, IAI was valued at $3-$4 billion. (Reuters)

Teva Pharm to move headquarters to Tel Aviv


 Business in Brief: Teva Pharm to move headquarters to Tel Aviv


Why are Netanyahu, Erdogan, Trump and Orban so afraid of Soros?

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:11:47

Benjamin Netanyahu is holding talks with Hungarian leaders on the character of the soon-to-open Hungarian Holocaust (denial) museum. The prime minister of Israel is giving his blessing once again to the design of a nationalist narrative that makes a substantive alteration of the story of the Holocaust in general, and the story of the annihilation of Hungarian Jewry specifically.

Against this background, it is worth trying to gain a better understanding of the motives driving the protagonists. Every few years there arises a new generation of similar leaders, local and global, who reflect and echo one another. Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler; Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt; Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Yitzhak Rabin; Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Menachem Begin.

>>Will Israel abet Hungary's whitewash museum? | Opinion 


 Why are Netanyahu, Erdogan, Trump and Orban so afraid of Soros?


'We need to learn from the French': Yellow Vest protests make their way to Israel

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 20:53:52

Protests are planned for Friday in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against a wave of increases in the price of some food items and utilities, and the organizers of the demonstrations are calling on protesters to show up wearing yellow fluorescent traffic safety vests similar to what demonstrators in France have worn in recent weeks in their protests against the cost of living.

>>UPDATE: Hundreds rally in Yellow Vest protest in Tel Aviv; 10 arrested

œThe time has come to learn from the French. We're done being nice, the protest organizers said in a statement. Scheduled at noon at central locations near Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv and Paris Square in Jerusalem -- the organizers said: œThere's been a wild response on the part of young people and college students, by adults who are concerned about the future of the country, of families facing economic difficulties.


 'We need to learn from the French': Yellow Vest protests make their way to Israel


Benjamin Netanyahu, art critic

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 20:41:07

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be an art lover nobody knows but it's clear, for example, that he doesn't want Yael Bartana, a wonderful video artist, to participate in an exhibition on the subject of Jerusalem at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. As was recently reported on the German website TAZ, and has been denied since by Netanyahu, an official Israeli document was sent to the bureau of Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, with a demand that her government stop supporting the Jewish Museum in Berlin and 12 nonprofit organizations with ties to Israel.

By what right is Israel, and its head Netanyahu, making demands of the German government concerning an art museum on its territory? It's a distorted claim based on the ultra-right strategy of Netanyahu and his government to present artists, preferably Israelis, as disloyal to the nation.

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


 Benjamin Netanyahu, art critic


In controversial new exhibit '1948,' fusing Palestinian and Jewish narratives

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 20:32:52

The festive decorations adorning Ben-Gurion Boulevard outside the Haifa City Museum stand in contrast to the deep wound at the heart of the new art exhibition within. œ1948 is a display of works by 42 artists that deal with Israel's War of Independence and this mixed Arab-Jewish city. 

Every December the city's German Colony neighborhood decks itself out for the œHoliday of Holidays celebrations, and December 1, the opening night of the exhibition, the street was full of decorations, lights, Christmas trees, crosses alongside Hanukkah menorahs and Hebrew and Arabic intertwined.  

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


 In controversial new exhibit '1948,' fusing Palestinian and Jewish narratives


The myth of the brainy Israeli

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:21:43

Israelis are supposed to be smart. We've won more than our fair share of Nobel Prizes and are home to a disproportionate number of top-ranked universities. Startup Nation is all about smarts. 

Unfortunately, the only concrete evidence of Israeli mental skills that exists shows exactly the opposite namely that, compared to people in other developed countries, we lack basic literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills.

The issue of what constitutes intelligence is riddled with controversy, and even if you accept IQ as a reasonable measure, there are no international comparisons. 


 The myth of the brainy Israeli


Rank and File: Uniting Jerusalem's English-speaking theater companies

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:18:09

A STAGE COUP: Jerusalem has long been rich with English-theater companies but short on coordination between them. Enter C.B. Davies, an aspiring director from New Jersey who has built his own website, Jerusalem English Theater Community, to promote the local scene. Davies met with the various companies this year to bring them on board, so his site can include information on all shows. œI want to make something more sustainable and help build the community, said Davies, who returned to Israel in 2015 after studying theater abroad. œWe're not amateur but we're community, and we create some amazing work with professionals, trained actors and people who haven't been trained. Davies should know he met his wife, Dena Buckman Davies, through J-Town Playhouse. He has since added volunteer staff like actress Rivka Deray as content writer and technical adviser. Check out the website for show listings and more: https://jerusalemenglishtheater.wordpress.com/

FESTIVE RECITAL: The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing will host a festive evening at Uri Zvi Greenberg Legacy House in Jerusalem on December 23. The gathering will celebrate several of the program's most recent graduates, who are slated to read from their work. Alumni will include Joanie Elian and Nicky Blackburn, who both hail from the United Kingdom, as well as Elana Dorfman, who comes from New York. In addition, there will be a book launch for Harriet Levin Millan, the program's visiting poet, who will read from her new volume of poetry, œMy Oceanography. The program is open to the public and runs from 8-10 P.M. Levin, who is known for combining her writing with activism, wrote her debut novel based on the life of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, which was highlighted on National Public Radio in the United States. For more info, email: barilanwriting@gmail.com

GROWING ISRAELI CULTURE: The Israel Innovation Fund announced this week it has received a new grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to support its 2018-2019 operations. The Israel Innovation Fund's stated vision is œto reignite the Zionist spirit and meet the needs of Jewish civilization in the 21st century by connecting people around the world through the vibrancy and creativity of contemporary Israeli culture. Founded by serial entrepreneur Adam Scott Bellos, TIIF's current projects include raising awareness of Israeli wines, supporting young artists and promoting other cultural experiences in the country. œWe have managed to do amazing things in the past year doing it almost entirely on our own with a very limited budget, said Bellos, who grew up in Cincinnati. However, he noted, the new source of support will allow his organization to expand œcultural efforts according to a much bigger vision of sharing Israeli culture around the world.


 Rank and File: Uniting Jerusalem's English-speaking theater companies


Two Israeli soldiers killed, two seriously wounded in West Bank shooting

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:21:36

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and another soldier and a civilian woman were seriously wounded Thursday in a shooting in the West Bank, near the settlement of Ofra.

Israeli army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said a man disembarked from a vehicle on Route 60, opened fire and fled the scene.

Manelis added that soldiers are canvassing the area in search of several assailants as well as setting up checkpoints, and that the army has sealed off roads leading Ramallah.


 Two Israeli soldiers killed, two seriously wounded in West Bank shooting


German Nazi guard collapses during trial, proceedings canceled

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:48:03

The trial of a former Nazi concentration camp guard collapsed Thursday due to questions about the 94-year-old defendant's health.

Johann Rehbogen, a former SS guard at the Stutthof concentration camp, has been hospitalized for heart and kidney issues, causing several recent hearings at the Muenster state court to be canceled.

Due to German legal regulations preventing overly long gaps in trials, the court had no choice but to end the proceedings, said court spokesman Steffen Vahlhaus.


 German Nazi guard collapses during trial, proceedings canceled


The government's way: fear and hatred

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:28:04

Here's how the scare tactics work: Attack tunnels inside our territory are exposed. Great job, excellent work. Important news. We discovered them and we sealed them up. Very good. I'm not belittling the uncovering of the tunnels, not at all. The army did what an army should do. A worthy front page news item that ought to go down at the bottom next to the report on the National Insurance Institute's bankruptcy.

But that's not how the scare tactic works. The fear factor rises to the main headline, it leads off the news broadcasts, the prime minister freely employs his most authoritative baritone. Words like œdetermination and œheroism flutter about like butterflies in springtime. The television reporters don their combat Uniqlos, military correspondent Roni Daniel's thick eyebrows merge into a single forbidding line and everyone rejects the notion of any connection between the length of the tunnels and the depth of the investigations involving the prime minister.

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


 The government's way: fear and hatred


Nine killed, 47 injured in a train crash in Turkey capital

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:26:01

Nine people were killed and nearly 50 injured in Turkey when a high speed train collided with a locomotive and crashed into a station platform and overpass in an Ankara suburb early on Thursday, officials said. 

Rescuers worked to free people trapped under the mangled wreckage at Marsandiz train station, 8 km (5 miles) from central Ankara. It was not clear at which speed the train and locomotive were travelling when the collision occurred. There was light snow on the tracks. 

The train had been heading from Ankara to the central Turkish province of Konya and was not due to stop at Marsandiz. Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin said the locomotive, which lay battered 20 metres (22 yards) further ahead, carried out track inspections. 


 Nine killed, 47 injured in a train crash in Turkey capital


Yemen's warring sides agree to cease-fire in key port city Hodeida, UN chief says

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:18:31

The United Nations secretary general says Yemen's warring sides have agreed after week-long peace talks in Sweden to a province-wide cease-fire in Hodeida and a withdrawal of troops from the contested Red Sea port city.

Antonio Guterres thanked the Yemeni delegations for what he called "an important step" and "real progress toward future talks to end the conflict."

He spoke on Thursday at the closing ceremony for the talks in the Swedish town of Rimbo. A press conference is about to follow.


 Yemen's warring sides agree to cease-fire in key port city Hodeida, UN chief says


Revealed: Large-scale Iranian hacking attempt into personal emails of U.S. officials

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:14:55

As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials tasked with enforcing them, The Associated Press has found ” another sign of how deeply cyberespionage is embedded into the fabric of U.S.-Iranian relations.

The AP drew on data gathered by the London-based cybersecurity group Certfa to track how a hacking group often nicknamed Charming Kitten spent the past month trying to break into the private emails of more than a dozen U.S. Treasury officials. Also on the hackers' hit list: high-profile defenders, detractors and enforcers of the nuclear deal struck between Washington and Tehran, as well as Arab atomic scientists, Iranian civil society figures and D.C. think tank employees.

>> Trump's sanctions against Iran threaten to mar the world order | Analysis


 Revealed: Large-scale Iranian hacking attempt into personal emails of U.S. officials


Israel's Justice Ministry opposes adding women's murder to category of worst form of homicide

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:14:08

The Justice Ministry opposed a proposal on Wednesday to add the murder of women to a list of forms of aggravated murder, a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered to fast-track government legislation that would increase penalties against abusive men.

Courts would be mandated to sentence those convicted of aggravated murder to life sentence, according to the bill. Currently, all those convicted of murder receive life in jail, while the bill would create a new category, aggravated murder, which would be the only one to carry such a sentence. Femicide - the murder of women on account of their gender - is not considered aggravated murder under the proposed law, sponsored by the government.

On Wednesday, the bill was discussed in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in preparation for a second and third vote - out of three - by the full Knesset. In the discussion, several lawmakers pushed for adding femicide to the aggravated murder category, while both Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked opposed. The Justice Ministry maintains that the law must apply equally to all and that aggravated murder should be reserved for murders that cause harm to some greater value beyond the murder itself, such as killings by terrorist organizations.


 Israel's Justice Ministry opposes adding women's murder to category of worst form of homicide


Palestinian president, condemning West Bank attack, blames violence on Israeli policy

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:45:48

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the latest round of violence in the West Bank, criticizing both militant attacks and the tough Israeli response.

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and another soldier and a civilian woman were seriously wounded Thursday in a shooting in the West Bank, near the settlement of Ofra.

The deaths extend a violent week that began with a shooting outside a West Bank settlement on Sunday, resulting in the death of a baby who was delivered prematurely after the attack, and continued with the killing of two Palestinians wanted in that and another attack on Israelis in the West Bank.


 Palestinian president, condemning West Bank attack, blames violence on Israeli policy


Israeli journalist and Holocaust survivor Noah Klieger dies at 92

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:42:08

Noah Klieger, a journalist for the Yedioth Ahronoth daily and an Auschwitz survivor who wrote for decades about the Holocaust, died on Thursday at the age of 92.

Born in 1926 in the French city of Strasbourg, Klieger was active during World War II in the anti-Nazi underground and helped smuggle Jews from France to Switzerland. He was ultimately arrested by the Germans and between 1942 and 1945 was interned at a number of camps Mechelin, Dora-Mittelbau and Ravensbruck, in addition to Auschwitz.

At Auschwitz, as he faced the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, who decided who would be sent to the left, to their immediate deaths, and who would be allowed to live, at least somewhat longer, Klieger saved himself.


 Israeli journalist and Holocaust survivor Noah Klieger dies at 92


Natalie Portman: Israel's nation-state law is 'racist' and a 'mistake'

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:17:33

Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman said that Israel's nation-state law is "racist" and a "mistake" that she does not agree with it in an interview she gave to London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, published Thursday.

In the interview, which marked the release of her new film, "Vox Lux," Portman explained that the law is a political decision that impacts the lives of many people, adding that she hopes to be part of the change that can improve Israel's relationship with its neighbors. Portman also criticized U.S. President Donald Trump.

Israel's controversial nation-state law, which the Knesset passed in July, states that œIsrael is the nation-state of the Jewish people, which has exclusive right to self-determination in the country. It defines Hebrew as the country's sole official language, designating Arabic as a language with special status, although adding that Arabic's status would not be harmed in practice.


 Natalie Portman: Israel's nation-state law is 'racist' and a 'mistake'


After latest Russia spat, NATO to send Ukraine secure comms equipment

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:07:49

NATO will supply Ukraine's military with secure communication equipment this month, its head Jens Stoltenberg told President Petro Poroshenko at a meeting on Thursday called to discuss an escalation of Kiev's conflict with Moscow. 

Stoltenberg praised Ukraine's "calm and restraint" after Russia seized of three its naval vessels and their crew off Crimea last month. 

Part of a 40 million euros ($46 million) pledge by the Western military alliance to strengthen Ukraine's armed forces, Stoltenberg said the secure communications equipment would be delivered by the end of the year. 


 After latest Russia spat, NATO to send Ukraine secure comms equipment


Two police officers stabbed in suspected terror attack in Jerusalem

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:33:17

Two Israeli police officers are wounded after a Palestinian approached and stabbed them in a suspected terror attack in the Old City of Jerusalem early Thursday morning. 

A policewoman, 19, is in moderate condition and has been taken to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem while the other policeman, 21, sustained minor wounds to his face and has been taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. According to reports, the assailant was shot dead at the scene by security forices.

Palestinian reports identify the attacker as Majd Matir, 26, a resident of the Qalandiyah refugee camp near Jerusalem.


 Two police officers stabbed in suspected terror attack in Jerusalem


Austrian right stalls granting citizenship to Holocaust victims' descendants

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:27:09

Right-wing members of Austria's governing coalition are stalling a government plan to offer Austrian citizenship to the descendants of Austrian Holocaust victims, saying it would set a precedent for other foreigners. The opposition plans to introduce a similar bill on Thursday to force the government to address the delay.

The citizenship move was announced early last month by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. It is unprecedented because it would allow these children and grandchildren of Holocaust victims to hold dual citizenship, although Austrian law doesn't currently permit this. This could be significant news for Israelis of Austrian origin.

>>The Austrian embrace: How Kurz's far-right government is wooing Israel to end boycott of Freedom Party


 Austrian right stalls granting citizenship to Holocaust victims' descendants


Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected of involvement in West Bank terror attack

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:47:10

Israeli troops shot a Palestinian man near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday as part of an ongoing manhunt for the assailants beind Sunday's drive-by shooting near an Israeli settlement. The man later died of his wounds at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The development came hours after the death of the baby who was delivered Sunday after his mother was seriously wounded in the attack. The baby's mother, Shira Ish-Ran, who was seven months pregnant when she was shot and seriously wounded, is in stable condition and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at the Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Her husband, Amichai, who was also wounded in the attack, is in stable condition.

Troops from Yamam, a police counter-terrorism unit, set out for the Palestinian village of Surda on Wednesday evening. Acting on intelligence leads, troops pulled their vehicle next to a parked cab where the suspect was sitting. According to police, the suspect was hiding in a mourners' tent, and was assisted by the people in it. The troops were attacked upon entering the tent, and responded with flash grenades and live gunfire. The suspect was critically wounded during the exchange.


 Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected of involvement in West Bank terror attack


Israeli army kills Palestinian who carried out West Bank terror attack two months ago

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:43:25

Israeli security forces on Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian who was behind an attack that killed two Israelis, Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond and Ziv Hajbi, in an at the Barkan industrial area in the West Bank on October 7.

The Palestinian, 23-year-old Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, was killed in a joint operation between the military, the Shin Bet security service and the police after a two-month manhunt, a statement said. The Shin Bet said that Na'alwa was armed when forces arrived to the scene. 

According to the Shin Bet, he was found as part of a large-scale intelligence operation. The arrest and interrogation of several suspects had helped locate Na'alwa and also revealed that he had planned to carry out another attack.


 Israeli army kills Palestinian who carried out West Bank terror attack two months ago


No Israelis left to work in tech?

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:32:40

Are there almost no Israelis left with the necessary skills to ease the shortage of high-tech workers? Or did researchers who reached that conclusion make assumptions about the capabilities of minorities?

The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies released a report this week that makes the case that there aren't very many Israelis with the high levels of skills required by the tech industry who aren't already working in it.

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


 No Israelis left to work in tech?


Haaretz Cartoon

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:11:07

 Haaretz Cartoon


Israeli income inequality lowest in 20 years

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:10:30

Income inequality in Israel is at its lowest level in 20 years, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Nevertheless, inequality here remains among the worst in the developed world.

The CBS said that Israel's Gini coefficient, a widely used measure of income inequality, had fallen to 0.351 in 2017 from 0.359 the year before. The index measures inequality on a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 being the most unequal.

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 Israeli income inequality lowest in 20 years


Israelis face big hikes in electricity and water bills

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:02:55

Israelis face big jumps in their electricity and water bills starting next month. In the case of electricity, it turns out that the bill could be even higher that the Electricity Authority has said it will be.

At the start of the month, the agency said energy rates would be rising a sharp 6% in January, subject to public hearings. That set off a firestorm of protests. But research by Nadav Olgan, a partner at the Tel Aviv law firm of Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co., showed that the authority's figure was far too modest.

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 Israelis face big hikes in electricity and water bills


Increasing number of Americans prefer one-state solution to Israel-Palestinian conflict, U.S. study finds

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:52:58

WASHINGTON There is a growing level of support among Americans for a œone-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as long as such a solution ensures equal rights and full citizenship to Palestinians, a new poll released on Tuesday suggests.

In the context of what a one-state solution would look like, a vast majority of the poll's respondents said if they had to choose between Israel remaining a Jewish state or a democratic one, they would rather see it remain democratic.

The poll, conducted by the University of Maryland, included interviews with over 2,300 Americans, who were asked about different issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Besides showing increased support for giving Palestinians full and equal rights, even if that means the end of Israel's Jewish character, it also showed a similar trend to many previous polls when it comes to how young Americans view Israel. Younger respondents were overwhelmingly less supportive of Israel than those over 35.


 Increasing number of Americans prefer one-state solution to Israel-Palestinian conflict, U.S. study finds


TechNation: PayPal Israel employees to get six Sundays off every year

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:48:40

OrCam launches Kickstarter campaign for camera that tells you who your friends are

OrCam, a Jerusalem startup whose wearable cameras help the visually impaired, launched a crowdfunding drive Wednesday for its newest product. Called MyMe, the wearable camera uses artificial intelligence to identify people the user encounters. œIt's a companion, a second brain, a third eye, notifying you of the names of the people you're supposed to know. Make sure you're spending the right amounts of time with each of your circles, set goals for yourself, the company explained to potential contributors on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. People who pledge $199 (half the suggested retail price for the device) will get delivery of the camera in March. Unlike most startup crowdfunding campaigns, OrCam isn't seeking to raise the capital to manufacture the device, but to create a community of early adopters. Founded by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, who also started the automotive technology company Mobileye, which was sold to Intel for $15 billion, OrCam has raised $130 million. (Irad Atzmon Schmayer)

BiomX collaborating with J&J unit on inflammatory bowel disease therapies


 TechNation: PayPal Israel employees to get six Sundays off every year


Business in Brief: Ben-Moshe seeking another delay in completing Africa Israel deal

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:38:22

Israel Electric near NIS 400m settlement with European  firms over cartel allegations

Israel Electric Corporation is expected to receive 400 million shekels ($107 million) in a settlement arising from a lawsuit filed by the state-owned utility against Siemens, Alstom and ABB. The payment, which is subject to the approval of all the parties, would end IEC's claim that the three European companies operated a cartel that coordinated prices and prevented competitive bidding in Europe and Israel. The allegations were based on a 2007 European Commission finding that resulted in a 750.7 million euro ($803 million) fine. Israel's Antitrust Authority concluded that the cartel operated in Israel as well but IEC had trouble proving that claim and its claim that the cartel caused 3 billion shekels in damages, as the suit argued. The three companies rejected the allegations and said any damage the cartel caused were minor. In the past IEC has said that any damages it collects will be passed on to customers. (Ora Coren)

Ben-Moshe seeking another delay in completing Africa Israel deal


 Business in Brief: Ben-Moshe seeking another delay in completing Africa Israel deal


The execution of a helpless, mentally ill Palestinian

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:03:04

Last week Israeli soldiers killed Mohammed Khabali, a 22-year-old mentally disabled resident of the Tul Karm refugee camp in the West Bank. They shot him from about 80 meters away while their victim, on the advice of friends, turned around and was about to leave the street in Tul Karm where the soldiers were standing. Khabali didn't flee. He was walking slowly, as were the three soldiers, one of whom shot him.

Footage released by B'Tselem shows a quiet street when the soldiers opened fire, and calm and slow conduct by Palestinians there. From as far away as he was standing, Khabali could not have endangered them anyway.

>>The disabled Palestinian slowly walked away. Then, Israeli troops shot him in the back of the head


 The execution of a helpless, mentally ill Palestinian


Israeli army was just caught lying, twice

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:46:05

In the past two weeks, the Spokesperson's Unit of the Israel Defense Forces was caught in two lies. Neither led any news broadcasts. Perhaps we don't expect more from the IDF spokesperson, perhaps the lies touch on the lives and dignity of Palestinians. I'm not sure which is worse.

This week, Mohammed Husam Khabali was shot to death in Tul Karm. The IDF spokesperson said soldiers used riot-control methods and live fire to disperse a public disturbance. But security camera footage found by B'Tselem shows that Habali was shot in the head from behind, on a quiet street where there was no disturbance. Habali, 23, had physical and cognitive disabilities.

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 Israeli army was just caught lying, twice


Two shootings in Israel and Palestine, equally criminal

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:28:24

Mohammed Khabali was killed by IDF soldiers who shot him in the back of his head. Shira Ish-Ran was seriously wounded when she was shot in the abdomen from a passing car. Khabali was a young, mentally ill man whom soldiers shot for no apparent reason from 80 meters away on his city's main street. Ish-Ran was seven months pregnant when she was shot at the entrance to the settlement of Ofra.

A mentally ill man and a pregnant woman, both helpless. Both shootings were equally criminal, there is almost no moral difference between them. The only difference is that the gunmen at Ofra had a clear motive their violent struggle against the occupation and the settlements. The soldiers' motive for killing Khabali is not clear, and it's doubtful they even had one. They were in no danger from the young man with a broomstick in his hand who was walking away from them at a time when some stone-throwing that had been going on had already stopped.

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 Two shootings in Israel and Palestine, equally criminal


Women's leaders call for second public strike for 25 minutes

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:21:12

The women's protest will continue Thursday, with its initiators calling on the public to strike at 10 A.M. for 25 minutes in honor of the 25 women murdered in Israel this year until the government approves the budget for a plan to fight domestic violence. Demonstrations are planned for Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva and Rishon Letzion.

Dozens of unions, schools, and businesses all over the country have announced they will participate in the protest. œEvery day that passes without the budgets passing is another day in which a woman could be murdered, the protest leaders said in a statement. œThis is a state of emergency and we won't stop until our demands are fulfilled.

>> After the national protest against femicide, women in Israel can dream | Opinion -  Arab voices raised as local Israeli authorities join nation-wide women's strike to protest violence -  Arab feminists in Israel refuse to let the struggle fade


 Women's leaders call for second public strike for 25 minutes


Israeli army should thank its watchdog for forcing it to do some housecleaning

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:02:27

After months of clashes between the Israel Defense Forces Ombudsman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brik, and senior officers, the Knesset has finally begun discussing Brik's allegations. And thanks to the live broadcast of Wednesday's session, online and on the Knesset Channel, the public could also weigh the arguments of both sides.

The one who finally picked up the gauntlet wasn't the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, with which Brik has maintained an intensive correspondence recently, but the chairwoman of the State Control Committee, MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union).

>> Israeli army watchdog paints gloomy picture of readiness for war | Analysis


 Israeli army should thank its watchdog for forcing it to do some housecleaning


State ordered to pay Palestinian activist in damages for false arrest

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:26:55

The state was ordered by a Jerusalem Court Wednesday to pay several thousand shekels in compensation for false arrest to Issa Amro, a well-known Palestinian activist in the West Bank town of Hebron. He had sued the state after being detained in Hebron in 2015 while conducting a tour of the city.

Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Registrar Samih Saber Masarwa ruled that Amro's arrest had been unlawful and awarded him 5,500 shekels ($1,470) in damages. Amro had demanded 40,000 shekels in compensation.

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


 State ordered to pay Palestinian activist in damages for false arrest


Bill expanding residential screening law in Israel passes preliminary vote

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:14:18

The Knesset on Sunday voted preliminary approval of a bill to extend the controversial Acceptance Committees Law to communities of up to 700 families, up from the current 400.

The bill, sponsored by MK Bezalel Smotrich, would expand the number of communities that can screen and reject potential residents who do not suit œthe social fabric of the community. The bill passed by a vote of 54 to 31.

>>Expanding nonacceptance of Israel's Arabs and others | Editorial 


 Bill expanding residential screening law in Israel passes preliminary vote


The disabled Palestinian slowly walked away. Then, Israeli troops shot him in the back of the head

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:07:37

Here's the stick. The bereaved brother removes the black plastic that's wrapped around it reverently, as if it's a holy relic. It's a broomstick, stained with his brother's blood. It's the stick he was carrying under his arm as he tried to move away from Israel Defense Forces soldiers approaching him on Jaffa Road in downtown Tul Karm, a street of restaurants and cafés. He was shot from a distance of about 80 meters; the bullet slammed into his head from behind.

How can it be claimed that he endangered anyone from that far away?

The street was relatively quiet. A small number of young people winding up the night at the coffee houses and about 30 soldiers opposite them. The security camera at one of the restaurants shows 2:24 A.M. From the video provided by that camera and three others along the street, whose footage was obtained by B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, we see no stone throwing, no large groups milling around. What is seen are three soldiers moving forward, ahead of the rest of their unit. One shot is heard from a distance, and another; two soldiers apparently fired simultaneously. The person seen carrying a stick and walking on the other side of the street, away from the approaching soldiers, falls to the ground, face down. For a second he tries to lift his head before dying. Another young man is hit in the leg. The soldiers leave in a hurry.


 The disabled Palestinian slowly walked away. Then, Israeli troops shot him in the back of the head


Top Israeli court rules both parents of LGBT adoptions be listed on birth certificate

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:59:29

The names of both same-sex parents must be registered on the birth certificates of babies they have adopted, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The court was ruling on a petition by a homosexual couple that claimed they were being discriminated against compared to heterosexual couples. When a heterosexual couple adopts a baby, the Interior Ministry gives them a birth certificate bearing the name of both adoptive parents. But it doesn't do that for homosexual couples, arguing that only one father and one mother should be listed for each baby.

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


 Top Israeli court rules both parents of LGBT adoptions be listed on birth certificate


The mysterious fate of an ancient Apollo statue pulled from Gaza's sea

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:37:24

In August 2013, Jawdat Abu Ghurab, a young fisherman from the Gaza Strip, put out to sea. On his way home, about 100 meters from the shore, he saw the figure of a man lying under the water.

Abu Ghurab dived down to him, but the moment he touched the figure, he realized it was a statue. With the help of family and friends, he managed to drag the 300-kilogram statue to shore.

The statue of Apollo, the Greek god of the sun and beauty, arrived on the Gaza coast in between the Hamas-Israel wars of 2009 and 2014. It was sculpted during the Hellenistic period, more than 2,000 years ago.


 The mysterious fate of an ancient Apollo statue pulled from Gaza's sea


Theresa May wins U.K. conservative party's vote of confidence

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:28:49

British Prime Minister Theresa May won a confidence vote from her party on Wednesday but 117 of her lawmakers said she was no longer the right leader to implement Britain's exit from the European Union. 

May had needed 159 votes for the simple majority to win the vote. 

The vote was triggered by conservative lawmakers over May's handling of Brexit. Less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to leave on March 29, Brexit is plunged into chaos with options ranging from a potentially disorderly no-deal departure to another referendum that could reverse it. 


 Theresa May wins U.K. conservative party's vote of confidence


Baby, delivered after mother shot in West Bank attack, laid to rest

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:18:24

>> UPDATE: Israeli forces fire at Palestinian suspected of involvement in West Bank terror attack

The baby who was delivered Sunday after his mother was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting attack near a West Bank settlement was pronounced dead on Wednesday.

The baby, who was named Amiad Israel, was laid to rest in the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem later that evening.


 Baby, delivered after mother shot in West Bank attack, laid to rest


Saudi Arabia announces plans to form security entity with Red Sea countries

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:56:38

Saudi Arabia is seeking an alliance with six countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, a strategic area vital to global shipping and increasingly an arena of contention with regional rivals like Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

Representatives from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan gathered in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the initiative without reaching a final agreement. A team of experts is expected to meet "soon" in Cairo for technical talks.

Eritrea, with Red Sea islands and a mainland coastline of 1,150-kilometres (715 miles), was not present. Nor was Ethiopia, which has no access to the sea but the largest population in the Horn of Africa.


 Saudi Arabia announces plans to form security entity with Red Sea countries


Netanyahu on Khashoggi murder: Destabilizing Saudi Arabia would destabilize the world

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:25:04

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that while the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is "horrific," it does not outweigh the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia.

"What happened in Istanbul is nothing short of horrific. But it's balanced by the importance of Saudi Arabia and the role it plays in the Middle East," Netanyahu told foreign reporters at an event in Jerusalem. "Because if Saudi Arabia would be destabilized, the world, not the Middle East, will be destabilized," Netanyahu said. 

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a columnist for the Washington Post, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage documents.


 Netanyahu on Khashoggi murder: Destabilizing Saudi Arabia would destabilize the world


Israel has a bobsled team, and it wants to compete in the Olympics

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:38:09

In the span of just a couple days, Chaim Raice went from never having been on a bobsled to being a contender to represent Israel in the 2022 Winter Olympics. And it all started with a Facebook post.

Raice, a house builder from Pomona, New York, was browsing the social media site in November when he saw a post saying that the Israeli bobsled team was in need of another athlete to compete in the North American Cup beginning that month.

He thought it was a joke, but still reached out. Though Raice, 46, had little knowledge of bobsled, he had participated in several other sports as an amateur, and his Israeli citizenship meant he qualified to compete for the country.


 Israel has a bobsled team, and it wants to compete in the Olympics


Israeli minors arrested on suspicion of vandalizing cars in Arab village

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:19:22

The Israel Police arrested on Wednesday four minors, aged 15 to 17, on suspicion that they spray painted hateful graffiti against Palestinians and punctured car tires in the northern Israeli Arab village of Yafia in October.

The suspects were released to a house arrest under limiting conditions following their interrogation.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz


 Israeli minors arrested on suspicion of vandalizing cars in Arab village






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