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Ha'aretz
Time: Sun, 11.28.2021 09:18 PM Local file generated: Sun, 11.28.2021 02:42 PM
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Haaretz reporters win journalism prize for exposé on ultra-Orthodox leader

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 21:35:33 +02:00

The Israel Press Institute announced Sunday that Haaretz reporters Aaron Rabinowitz and Shira Alek have been named winners of its annual award for excellence in journalism for their investigation of Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the disgraced former head of the ZAKA emergency forensics teams.

The investigation, published in March, included testimony from numerous people who said Meshi Zahav had assaulted and sexually exploited them as children, teenage boys and girls, and women.

Following the report Meshi Zahav's Israel Prize was revoked.


 Haaretz reporters win journalism prize for exposé on ultra-Orthodox leader


Who will be Lebanon's president the commander of the army or the son-in-law

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 20:49:34 +02:00

The government of Lebanon is merely a theoretical term. The country has a prime minister and ministers, but the government hasn't met even once for more than a month.

It's not that it doesn't have a great deal of work to get to.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati stated that 102 issues are on the government's agenda, the most important of which is the crash of the Lebanese currently to 25,000 pounds per U.S. dollar (as opposed to the official rate of 1,500 pounds per dollar).


 Who will be Lebanon's president the commander of the army or the son-in-law


Israel's Lapid departs for London, Paris ahead of Iran nuclear talks

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 20:06:16 +02:00

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will visit London and Paris for a round of diplomatic meetings ahead of the resumption of negotiations surrounding Iran's nuclear program in Vienna.

Due to the detection of a new COVID variant the British and French delegations have been reduced to a minimum, and only several meetings and events will take place.

Lapid, who departed on Sunday evening, will hold several meetings with British officials and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday after which he will leave to Paris, where he's scheduled to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron. Lapid's meeting with Macron will take place on Tuesday.


 Israel's Lapid departs for London, Paris ahead of Iran nuclear talks


Second confirmed case of COVID omicron patient found in Israel

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:33:04 +02:00

Israel confirmed a second case of the COVID omicron variant on Sunday after the country's first case was detected in a woman who had returned to Israel from Malawi.

Eleven additional Israelis are suspected to be omicron carriers but the cases have not yet been confirmed. The variant was first discovered in South Africa, and cases have mushroomed across the globe. 

Israel's chief of public health services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, warned earlier Sunday that the potential for infection with the COVID variant omicron is very high, but stressed that in cases where vaccinated people were infected they became only slightly ill.


 Second confirmed case of COVID omicron patient found in Israel


Shin Bet security agency proposes new civil body to digitally track omicron patients in Israel

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:20:24 +02:00

The Shin Bet security service told the coronavirus cabinet on Saturday that Israel should establish a civilian body to track coronavirus patients through their cellphones, rather than asking the agency to do it.

The cabinet was discussing reinstituting Shin Bet tracking for people infected with the new omicron variant, and ultimately decided to do so despite the agency's objections.

When the pandemic first erupted, the cabinet decided to have the Shin Bet track patients' cellphones in an effort to locate people that might have been infected. The agency also said at the time that it would be better to create a civilian agency to do this, as it feared that its involvement in a highly intrusive and purely civilian task would undermine public faith in it. The successive governments have not established such an agency despite the Shin Bet's request.


 Shin Bet security agency proposes new civil body to digitally track omicron patients in Israel


Cabinet appoints Amir Peretz as head of Israeli defense contractor despite lack of qualifications

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 18:51:14 +02:00

The government approved Sunday to approve the appointment of former lawmaker and minister Amir Peretz as chairman of the Israel Aerospace Industries following his disqualification by a senior appointments committee.

The Gilor Committee concluded that Peretz's lacked the necessary skills and that his do not outweigh his political associations with the ministers in charge of the IAI.

Those in favor of the appointment said it was absurd that a former defense and economy minister, who once also headed the Histadrut labor federation, was found unsuitable to head the board of directors of a government company.


 Cabinet appoints Amir Peretz as head of Israeli defense contractor despite lack of qualifications


Why Disney's Beatles doc Get Back' isn't just for die-hard fans

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 18:39:30 +02:00

It should come as no surprise to regular Peter Jackson followers that his new Disney+ documentary, Get Back, depicts the Beatles' final concert on the rooftop of their Apple Corps building in London by turning the screen into a triptych.

That's because the New Zealand filmmaker has a habit of splitting things into threes. First it was his Lord of the Rings trilogy, then his Hobbit trilogy, and now his Get Back documentary on the making of the last Beatles LP to be released.

Bizarrely, the only subject Jackson didn't deem worthy of trilogy treatment was the biggest subject of them all: his World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old (2018), when he took more than 100 audio interviews with British and Allied soldiers and set them to remarkable, (often) colorized footage of British troops fighting the Germans on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918.


 Why Disney's Beatles doc Get Back' isn't just for die-hard fans


'We came to comfort a bereaved family in Israel and were treated like criminals'

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 17:20:04 +02:00

Ilana Smith flew to Israel last weekend with the aim of comforting her friend, Devorah Kay, after her son Eli's death. Our families have been close friends for years, she said.

She purposely delayed her trip until the end of the shivah (Jewish mourning period), following the death of Eli, who was killed by a Palestinian gunman in Jerusalem's Old City last week.

I wanted to spend time with them afterward, because that can be a very hard time, Smith said. I did everything right: I filled out the forms, I got my entry permission and my Green Pass. And then Israel changed the rules when we were in the sky.


 'We came to comfort a bereaved family in Israel and were treated like criminals'


Emirates airline postpones inauguration of direct Tel Aviv flights

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 17:08:30 +02:00

Dubai-based airline Emirates on Sunday postponed the inauguration of direct flights to Tel Aviv, initially slated for December 6, following Israel's reintroduction of travel curbs barring the entry of non-residents for two weeks.

Israel's coronavirus cabinet voted on Saturday to reintroduce a slew of restrictions following the detection of the highly infectious omicron variant of the coronavirus in Israel, in a bid to control the virus' spread.

In addition to barring the entry of non-residents for two weeks, the government has tightened quarantine and testing requirements for Israelis regardless of vaccination status, and has also resumed tracking confirmed coronavirus carriers by the Shin Bet security service. 


 Emirates airline postpones inauguration of direct Tel Aviv flights


Palestinians decry Herzog's 'embrace of settlements' in Hebron Hanukkah event

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:30:35 +02:00

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Israeli President Isaac Herzog's visit to Hebron for a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on Sunday, in a statement calling for its cancellation.

"The Israeli government bears full and direct responsibility for this event," the statement read. The ceremony is "a defiant move aimed at embracing the settlement enterprise and a blatant violation of international law and the international effort to curb unilateral measures," it continued.

The candle-lighting, held in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, is an endorsement of the occupation by all levels of Israeli leadership, which might reignite tensions, the statement said.


 Palestinians decry Herzog's 'embrace of settlements' in Hebron Hanukkah event


Having trouble sleeping? Israeli researchers discover tiredness mechanism

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:24:19 +02:00

Tiredness, more than hunger, thirst, or pain, may just be the most difficult condition for a human to bear. In his classic short story Sleepy, Anton Chekhov describes the loss of humanity caused by deep fatigue: And Varka is sleepy. Her eyes are glued together, her head droops, her neck aches. She cannot move her eyelids or her lips, and she feels as though her face is dried and wooden, as though her head has become as small as the head of a pin (translation by Constance Garnett).

Sleep is a vital need that is common to all organisms with a nervous system, including flies, worms, and even jellyfish. But what is tiredness? A newly published study from Bar-Ilan University is the first to describe the underlying biological mechanism. The question is, why do we sleep? says sleep researcher Prof. Lior Appelbaum. It's a strange thing; you can die . It seems to defy evolution. If you're a fish in the ocean, sleeping can get you eaten by a shark. But for some reason, it's very important, since all animals sleep. He says that this is an evolutionary riddle that has not yet been completely solved science still does not know exactly how sleep helps the brain or individual cells.

The new study, by Appelbaum and his postdoctoral fellow David Zada, both of them from the Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University, brings science closer to solving the mystery. Their team of researchers has discovered a mechanism that leads to tiredness in the nervous system of the zebrafish, with supportive evidence for the existence of such a mechanism in mice. The study was published this week in the journal Molecular Cell.


 Having trouble sleeping? Israeli researchers discover tiredness mechanism


Israel to let thousands of Ethiopians into Israel within weeks'

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:09:05 +02:00

The government decided Sunday to let thousands of Ethiopians with first-degree relatives in Israel to make aliyah, amid concerns for their safety due to the ongoing civil war in the East African country.

According to the government's decision, based on a 2015 decision that was never fully implemented, officials will begin examining the eligibility of those waiting in transit camps in Ethiopia. A committee will also be established to accelerate the review process for other applicants waiting to be evacuated.

Most of them have been waiting to be allowed into Israel for years. The decision stipulates that the process be completed "within weeks."


 Israel to let thousands of Ethiopians into Israel within weeks'


Eric Zemmour's latest book: plenty of attacks against women, gays, Muslims and Jews

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:47:01 +02:00

If it wasn't frightening, it could have been funny. In his bestselling new book France Has Not Said Its Last Word Yet, published in France two months ago, French-Jewish journalist Éric Zemmour describes his daily strolls through the empty streets of Paris during the COVID-19 lockdown, claiming that the absence of the residents detaches Paris from the present and takes it back to its past. And it's as though all the protagonists of French history the heroes as well as the traitors, the rebel kings, ministers and authors, peasants and scientists, whores and nuns reprimand me: What have you done to our beloved capital?'

The first association that occurs to him is Hitler's visit to the occupied city in an open car, passing through the empty Champs-Élysées, around the deserted Place de la Concorde, reaching the Les Invalides compound to kneel before the grave of Napoleon Bonaparte. Zemmour too passes through the empty Concorde, imagining the guillotine at its center and the beheading of Louis XVI. Across from the Church of Saint Roch on Rue Saint-Honoré, he pictures Napoleon setting up the cannon meant to take out the royalist rebels. At the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville, he sees the poet Lamartine emotionally declaring the founding of the Second Republic.

In his mind's eye, all the heroes of France's glorious history point at him, the reactionary provocateur Éric Zemmour, seeing him as France's sole representative, he who has not said the last word, tasking him with the responsibility: what have you done to us? He himself can wander freely despite the lockdown, armed with a journalist's card or Ausweis, as he calls it, using the German name of the letter of transit issued by the Nazis during the occupation to pass from occupied to free France. Occasionally, police officers stop him for a selfie.


 Eric Zemmour's latest book: plenty of attacks against women, gays, Muslims and Jews


Graves of rich, powerful women found in lost city of Herodotus

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:22:03 +02:00

Graves of rich, powerful women have been unearthed in the necropolis of Bilsk in Ukraine, the biggest of the fortified settlements of that period in Europe the 8th to 4th centuries B.C.E. The discoveries further strengthen the presumption that Bilsk may be indeed the historical town of Gelonus described by Herodotus.

The Budini are a great and populous nation; the eyes of them all are very bright, and they are ruddy. They have a city built of wood, called Gelonus. The wall of it is three and three quarters miles in length on each side of the city; this wall is high and all of wood; and their houses are wooden, and their temples; for there are temples of Greek gods among them, furnished in Greek style with images and altars and shrines of wood; and they honor Dionysus every two years with festivals and revelry - Herodotus, The Histories, Book 4, 109

In his accounts of Scythia, Herodotus writes about the Geloni, a group of tribes speaking a language half Greek and half Scythian. The Geloni were believed to be of Greek origin who settled among the indigenous Budini people, though the ancient Greeks considered the two to be one nation. The Geloni lived, Herodotus describes, in a major fortified city called Gelonus, adorned with wooden houses and temples.


 Graves of rich, powerful women found in lost city of Herodotus


Kenya uncovers plans by Iranian agent to attack Israeli targets, local media report

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:16:25 +02:00

An Iranian citizen has been linked to terror activities targeting local and Israeli interests in Kenya, local news website the Star reported Sunday, citing a recent report by Kenya's security agencies.

According to the report, Kenyan authorities suspect Mohammed Saeid Golabi worked for Iranian intelligence, and has been gathering information against both private and state-owned establishments, with the aim of planning attacks.

The reports states that Golabi has collaborated with a team of Kenyans, said to be linked to terrorist organizations. The report did not give their names or affiliation.


 Kenya uncovers plans by Iranian agent to attack Israeli targets, local media report


Where could I live like this in Israel?': The Israeli couple calling Panama home

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:56:09 +02:00

Life in Israel is expensive. And living by the beach can be really expensive. So what's an Israeli to do if they want to live the good life by the sea, commune with nature and escape the stresses of everyday life?

Well, one Israeli couple, Sara-Lee and Gilad Sivan, embarked on a life-changing adventure that saw them move nearly 12,000 kilometers (7,460 miles) and begin life anew in Central America. The good news is that the views are spectacular and the sea turtles are friendly. The bad news is that paradise doesn't come cheap, even in Panama.

Haaretz spoke with Sara-Lee Sivan to find out the pros and cons of their new life.


 Where could I live like this in Israel?': The Israeli couple calling Panama home


Germany's new foreign minister: The first woman in the job and a strong supporter of Israel

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:46:05 +02:00

Germany's incoming foreign minister, the Greens' Annalena Baerbock, comes from a party with no shortage of far-left voices, but the 40-year-old has made clear she supports Israel's right to self-defense while opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Baerbock, the co-chief of the Green Party, will be the Federal Republic's youngest foreign minister and the first woman in the job. Unsurprisingly, her campaign before the September 26 election focused on climate policy, with the Greens taking 14.8 percent of the vote and notching up their best result ever.

During Israel's fighting with Gaza in May, Baerbock condemned Hamas' rocket strikes against Israeli civilians, declaring: In these trying times, we stand with the Israelis. That month she also condemned attacks on synagogues in Germany and the burning of the Israeli flag.


 Germany's new foreign minister: The first woman in the job and a strong supporter of Israel


Israelis found a way to beat the high cost of living: The West Bank

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:28:53 +02:00

The small Palestinian town of Husan sits very near the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Betar Ilit south of Jerusalem. Culturally, religiously and demographically they're completely separate worlds, but on a Thursday afternoon in early November, a few ultra-Orthodox Jews were at the improvised market at the entrance to Husan, where fruits, vegetables, eggs, shoes and other products are sold at bargain prices.

A kilogram of tomatoes, for instance, costs 10 shekels ($3.16). It would be hard to match that price in Israel even at the height of the tomato season, when prices are at their lowest.

A little way into town you'll find garages, car washes, hardware stores and a spate of clinics. All have signs in Arabic, but also large signs in Hebrew.


 Israelis found a way to beat the high cost of living: The West Bank


No severe COVID cases among vaccinated patients infected with omicron, top Israeli expert says

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:11:36 +02:00

Israel's chief of public health services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, warned Sunday that the potential for infection with the COVID variant omicron is very high, but stressed that in cases where vaccinated people were infected they became only slightly ill.

Speaking at a Knesset meeting, she gave the example of a flight from South Africa to the Netherlands, where 62 out of 600 passengers were found to be infected. This is very, very fast," Alroy-Preis said.

According to the South Africa Medical Association, people infected with the omicron variant have shown only mild symptoms. Angelique Coetzee, SAMA's chairwoman, told the BBC that the cases identified so far are not severe. However, she noted that research on the omicron variant is still in its initial stages. As of Sunday, only 24 percent of the people in South Africa have been fully vaccinated, she added.


 No severe COVID cases among vaccinated patients infected with omicron, top Israeli expert says


Murder suspect's father shot dead, 115th victim in Israel's Arab community this year

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 12:16:02 +02:00

A 53-year-old man was shot dead on Sunday in the northern Druze town of Yarka, in the 115th violent death in Israel's Arab community this year.

Emergency services reported that Hayum Shehadeh the father of a defendant in another murder case was found dead at a locksmith's shop with bullet wounds across his body.

Police have launched a murder investigation. No suspects have been identified, and police said they are working to determine the motive behind the shooting.


 Murder suspect's father shot dead, 115th victim in Israel's Arab community this year


Israel is 'very worried' Iran sanctions will be removed without sufficient nuclear caps

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:18:33 +02:00

Israel is "very worried" that world powers will remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for insufficient caps on its nuclear program, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday ahead of the resumption of negotiations in Vienna.

"This is the message that we are relaying in every manner, whether to the Americans or to the other countries negotiating with Iran," he told his cabinet in televised remarks.

Monday's indirect talks between the United States and Iran, with the participation of major powers, resume after a five-month hiatus.


 Israel is 'very worried' Iran sanctions will be removed without sufficient nuclear caps


Israeli held in Belarus for possession of medical cannabis

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 09:48:30 +02:00

An Israeli lawyer has been detained in Belarus for three weeks for possession of 2.5 grams (0.09 oz) of medical cannabis, her lawyers said Saturday.

The attorneys representing the woman, Maya Reiten Stoll, said she carries a license to use medical cannabis due to health issues she suffers from.

The Foreign Ministry said the case was being investigated and that the Israeli ambassador to Belarus, Alex Goldman-Shayman, had visited Stoll.


 Israeli held in Belarus for possession of medical cannabis


What the COVID omicron variant really means, and what experts are worried about

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 09:21:57 +02:00

Various COVID-19 variants have been discovered around the world during the nearly two years of the pandemic the vast majority being expressions of random and insignificant changes in the virus's genome.

The reason the omicron variant  discovered in several South African countries and identified in Israel for the first time on Thursday  has attracted so much attention is that it includes a very large number of mutations in critical parts of its spike protein, some seen previously and others that are new. The number of mutations and their locations represent an ominous sign.

How do we identify new variants and determine which might pose a serious problem?


 What the COVID omicron variant really means, and what experts are worried about


Biden's got no leverage, Israel's impotent. Iran has nothing to fear from nuke talks

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 09:17:19 +02:00

When the negotiations over the nuclear deal resume next week, Iran can pat itself on the back because October was a very good month for its sanctions violations.

Tankers in its service delivered some 170,000 tons of crude oil without any disturbance. That translates to about 1.2 million barrels, whose price has soared in the past six months from $25 to $76 per barrel. Iran's gross income from the sale of oil last month totaled some $90 million. It earned similar sums in August and September, and the same will be true this month, bringing in a grand total of about $1 billion for 2021 which is equal to Hezbollah's annual budget. Not bad for the regime of ayatollahs amid its efforts to patch up a damaged economy.

Following U.S. pressure, a few months ago Israel stopped attacking Iranian tankers delivering oil to Syria, after almost three years. About 60 percent of Iran's oil goes to China, about a quarter is smuggled to unknown destinations, and the rest is sold mainly to Venezuela and Syria each of whom receives about 6 percent and Russia.


 Biden's got no leverage, Israel's impotent. Iran has nothing to fear from nuke talks


Gazan doctor seeking justice for his slain daughters won't find it in Israel

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 02:37:35 +02:00

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, too, tried the good way. For 13 years, since the massacre of his daughters in the Gaza Strip, he has traveled the world talking about hope, peace, forgiveness and coexistence. I've seen him at the European Parliament and in Tel Aviv. He said that he is not angry. His performances were nearly inhuman. It was hard to believe them. A man, three of whose daughters were killed by the Israel Defense Forces, speaks about error and forgiveness. Now his time for anger has come. Even the Supreme Court shamefully kicked him to the curb. Perhaps now he will realize that the path that he has chosen will not lead him anywhere.

Izzeldin, you're not the first Palestinian who has tried this good path, and it always ends in despair. Marwan Barghouti, for example, tried the path of hope and dialogue before turning to violent resistance. It ended badly for everyone. So stop, Dr. Abuelaish. Give it up. Stop talking about hope, justice and peace. There's no one to talk to about it. There's no partner.

Israel doesn't understand that language, which is foreign to the state. Israel only knows a different language, one to which you must resort if you want to accomplish even a small portion of your goals delayed justice for your dead daughters; a recognition of the injustice; restitution and the prevention of such acts in the future.


 Gazan doctor seeking justice for his slain daughters won't find it in Israel


It's time to get vaccinated

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 02:36:30 +02:00

After the delta variant, which was at the center of Israel's fourth COVID-19 wave, this weekend we learned a new, sinister name omicron.

This variant of the coronavirus was first identified in laboratories in South Africa and has since been detected in Israel and other Western countries. In response the government, as in other countries, moved to restrict air travel from South Africa and neighboring states in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Additional measures are being considered. The new variant contains dozens of mutations, so it is not yet clear how effective the leading vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are against it. The efficacy of the existing vaccines will become clear in a few weeks, and if needed the drug companies can upgrade existing vaccines.


 It's time to get vaccinated


Israel denies entry to German students who tried hiding plans to visit Palestinian university

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 01:50:27 +02:00

Israel has denied entry to two students from Germany, after the Immigration Authority said on Saturday that they hid their plans to visit a Palestinian university in the West Bank.

Sarah Roller, a doctoral student at the University of Siegen in Germany, told Haaretz that she had not initially told immigration officers at Ben-Gurion Airport about her intention to visit Birzeit University, where she studied before as an exchange student, because she knew it may delay her entry into the country. Instead, she only said she intended to meet acquaintances in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Roller and the second woman, graduate student also from Siegen, were held and questioned at the airport. They were repatriated on Sunday.


 Israel denies entry to German students who tried hiding plans to visit Palestinian university


Greek model who said she would boycott Miss Universe in Israel was never meant to participate

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:26:10 +02:00

A Greek model who announced she would boycott Miss Universe pageant in Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians, was never supposed to participate at all.

The body responsible for selecting the Greek representative for the international pageant said on Saturday that "Rafaela Plastira's statement that she will not participate in the Miss Universe pageant... is false."

According to a statement posted on Facebook by Giorgos Kouvaris, president of Star & Mr GS Hellas, Plastira "won the Star Hellas 2019 title, and this is the only title she has. She was never supposed to represent our country in the Miss Universe pageant."


 Greek model who said she would boycott Miss Universe in Israel was never meant to participate


What's a person's worth? In Israel, depends who that person is

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 21:35:56 +02:00

I watched the film Worth this week. It's a very interesting movie, following the process of setting the amount of compensation for the victims of the September 11th attacks. The central ethical dilemma at the film's core pertains to whether the compensation should be equal for all the victims. Or, to put it bluntly, is the life of a CEO who worked in one of the Twin Towers offices worth the same as the life of a janitor who cleaned them, or of a firefighter who was killed trying to save the people trapped in the buildings (anyone wants to guess the answer?).

When I came out of the movie, in the cinema foyer I passed a line of huge posters of actors on the wall. I assume my eyes wouldn't have stopped on any of them, had I not noticed the scribbling on one figure's face and the black holes made around the head and groin area.

The poster was of actor Moshe Ivgy, in the role of a character in one of his movies. Apparently, it was a to-be-continued scribble. Someone wrote something and others added and modified it, but maintained the same spirit. Now it reads: Delegitimization of rapists is necessary


 What's a person's worth? In Israel, depends who that person is


What would you do if your were attacked in your own home?

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 21:34:52 +02:00

The essays in Haaretz responding to the sentence given to Aryeh Schiff, who fatally shot a man who was trying to steal his car, are detached from reality. It's easy to write while sitting in Tel Aviv or the comfortable Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia. I'd like to see how the writers of these pieces would react to a daily reality in which armed, masked criminals do as they please in their neighborhoods.

Organized crime must be fought with the methods used to fight terrorism, including a reasoned, controlled use of the Shin Bet security service, since the only difference between terrorism and organized crime is their motives. Both hurt and intimidate civilians. In a democratic society there is obviously room for debating the human rights of a burglar or a robber, and even of a rapist or murderer. But this is not more important than citizens' rights to personal safety and the protection of their property.

Noa Landau wrote (Haaretz, Nov. 16) that Schiff's punishment was embarrassing. Why embarrassing? It's a reasonable and proportionate penalty, concordant with the justified plea bargain. In the United States Schiff would not even have been prosecuted. Not that we should, God forbid, learn everything from the Americans. But there's a limit to the opposite extreme as well.


 What would you do if your were attacked in your own home?


Israel can help its poorest citizens and the planet with green energy

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 21:34:26 +02:00

Last week Israel and Jordan signed a deal under which Jordan will sell Israel solar-generated electricity and Israel will sell Jordan desalinated water. Why does sun-drenched Israel need this agreement? Because, according to TheMarker, Israel hasn't met its renewable energy targets for 2020. ... One of the main reasons is the lack of open areas on which to build solar farms.

The claim is preposterous. The Negev has many areas that could be used to generate renewable energy and enable Israel to meet its targets. On average, the Negev has just 18 days a year without sun. Open areas, nature reserves and military firing zones, nearly all of them in the Negev, account for about 60 percent of Israel's land area. That land doesn't have to be thrown open wholesale to solar power: Agrivoltaic fields that can be used to grow crops below and generate electricity from solar panels above are being developed and tested.

About one-third of the Negev's residents are Bedouin Arab. The time has come for the government to allocate some of this land to them, so they can erect solar panels on it or, better yet, agrivoltaic farms. Doing so would not only bring Israel closer to its alternative-energy targets but enable it to improve its Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development metrics for eradicating poverty and providing equality of opportunity across socioeconomic divides.


 Israel can help its poorest citizens and the planet with green energy


'We were eating, and then they arrived': Israeli military probes claims soldiers attacked Palestinians

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 20:24:52 +02:00

Military police have launched an investigation into claims that Israeli soldiers attacked three people, a Bedouin citizen of Israel and two Palestinians, vandalizing the car of one of them, stealing his money, and leaving all three restrained.

Yousf Jilawi, a 44-year-old resident of Rahat, in southern Israel, testified to military police that he and his two Palestinian friends had to walk for about a kilometer (0.6 miles) until they met people who helped them get the cuffs off after the incident, on Monday last week.

He complained to Israeli police the following day, but was summoned to give a statement only after Haaretz asked the Israel Defense Forces for a comment eight days after the incident. According to a source familiar with the investigation, the police forwarded the complaint to the military police in a negligent manner that delayed the start of the investigation.


 'We were eating, and then they arrived': Israeli military probes claims soldiers attacked Palestinians


Israel imposes travel ban for foreigners, stricter quarantine over COVID omicron variant

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 18:24:37 +02:00

Israel decided to ban entry to non-residents and impose stricter quarantine rules for Israelis returning from abroad, in an effort to prevent an outbreak of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the country.

The ministerial committee leading Israel's COVID response met on Saturday to approve a series of new measures, after at least one case of omicron, which experts worldwide see as a variant of concern, was confirmed.

According to the cabinet's decision, all Israelis returning from abroad must quarantine for three days, regardless of vaccination status. In addition to a PCR test upon landing, as was required so far, they will need to undergo another one 72 hours later. If both tests return a negative result, they may be released from quarantine.


 Israel imposes travel ban for foreigners, stricter quarantine over COVID omicron variant


Tension at the core: Bennett goes head-to-head with U.S. over Iran

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 16:09:20 +02:00

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will light the second Hanukkah candle together with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street. They are old acquaintances, back from the time when Johnson was a member of Parliament and Lapid a media personality. On that same day, the nuclear talks between the world powers and Iran will resume in Vienna. Presumably, the meeting between Lapid and Johnson will range further than talk about Hanukkah customs.

The Israeli minister might not admit this but the aim of his visit is to persuade Johnson and on the following day, with another candle, French President Emmanuel Macron to pressure the Americans to maintain the sanctions that were toughened during Donald Trump's presidency, no matter what Iran promises them. In any case, Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett are convinced, Tehran will continue to deceive the world.

Don't get pulled along. Lead, Lapid will urge them. Say that you won't offer any relief from the sanctions as long as a genuine, airtight agreement hasn't been signed, with no loopholes.


 Tension at the core: Bennett goes head-to-head with U.S. over Iran


Three years late, Israelis finally hear the truth about Trump

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 16:06:00 +02:00

When Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Israel's then-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, turned the decision into a political celebration. Israeli media outlets received detailed briefings on how a daring Mossad operation to steal Iran's nuclear archive from a secure location in the Islamic Republic was the final straw that convinced Trump to break the international agreement.

That sense of pride was missing last week, when former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the man who commanded that operation, spoke at the Haaretz-UCLA conference on Israeli national security. Cohen was asked about the fact that ever since Trump got out of the deal, Iran has significantly increased its uranium enrichment. That's true, he replied.

Another speaker at the same conference was former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal at the time of its signing, when he was still in office. Yet in an interview with Haaretz analyst Anshel Pfeffer, Ya'alon said that as bad as that deal was, Trump's decision to withdraw from it with Netanyahu's encouragement was even worse. He called it the main mistake of the last decade in Iran policy.


 Three years late, Israelis finally hear the truth about Trump


Families of Israeli athletes murdered in Munich Olympics demand $125m from UN

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:10:47 +02:00

The families of the 11 Israeli athletes who were killed in an attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972 are demanding that the United Nations provide them with 110 million euros ($124.5 million) in compensation, amounting to 10 million for each family. 

The families are asking that the UN grant them compensation from the funds left over by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, which were confiscated by the organization after his death in 2011, according to a report by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The report said that Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, provided the United Nations with information that connected Gadhafi to the massacre, which was carried out by the Palestinian Black September organization. According to the families of the athletes, Gadhafi was involved in the attack in several ways: among others, some of the terrorists who carried out the massacre were trained in Libya, and one entered into Germany with a fake Libyan passport. 


 Families of Israeli athletes murdered in Munich Olympics demand $125m from UN


Legendary Jewish Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 01:13:34 +02:00

Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who helped American musical theater evolve beyond pure entertainment and reach new artistic heights with works such as "West Side Story," "Into the Woods" and "Sweeney Todd," died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, at the age of 91, the New York Times reported.

Sondheim, whose eight lifetime Tony Awards surpassed the total of any other composer, started early, learning the art of musical theater when he was just a teenager from "The Sound of Music" lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was mentored by Sondheim, has called him musical theater's greatest lyricist.


 Legendary Jewish Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies at 91


Water shortage protestors clash with Iranian security forces

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:28:49 +02:00

Iranian security forces used tear gas, batons and apparently birdshot on Friday during clashes with protesters demonstrating in the city of Isfahan in support of farmers angry over water shortages, according to Iranian news agencies and social media posts.

Videos posted on social media showed officers in the central Iranian city apparently opening fire with birdshot in the dried up riverbed of the Zayandeh Rud, the largest river in the drought-stricken region, and nearby streets.

The semi-official news agency Fars said demonstrators threw rocks and set fire to a police motorcycle and an ambulance. "They are in groups of 40-50 on streets around Khaju Bridge and are estimated at around 300," Fars said.


 Water shortage protestors clash with Iranian security forces


Egypt's monopoly on rebuilding Gaza serves both Israel and Hamas

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:09:52 +02:00

The huge billboards bearing a picture of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi decorate the coastal road up and down the Gaza Strip. A few weeks after Israel's fighting with Gaza in May and the talks between Hamas, Israel and Egypt, dozens of Egyptian bulldozers rolled in, accompanied by around 70 engineers and construction workers. The goal: Rebuild the Strip.

First they removed the ruins of the demolished buildings that remained after the Israeli airstrikes. Trucks filled with gravel and tar repaved two main streets. Later, the Egyptians are supposed to help build more roads as part of a pledged $500 million donation for rebuilding Gaza.

The main beneficiary of the reconstruction plan is the company Beni Sinai, owned by Bedouin businessman Ibrahim al-Arjani, who also heads the Tarabin Bedouin tribe and the association of the tribe's leaders in northern Sinai which are cooperating with Egyptian intelligence in its war against the terrorist groups in the Sinai Peninsula. Arjani, who owns some of the largest construction firms in Egypt, takes his orders from Egyptian intelligence and also a big cut of Egypt's aid to Gaza, and from the movement of goods from Egypt into Gaza, mostly those that pass through the Saladin checkpoint in Rafah.


 Egypt's monopoly on rebuilding Gaza serves both Israel and Hamas


U.K. parliament approves designation of Hamas as a terrorist group

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 23:56:10 +02:00

The U.K. parliament approved Friday the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, hailing it a significant step in the country's fight against antisemitism.

Last week, U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel said that she "took action" to designate Hamas as a terror organization, effectively outlawing the group. 

The proscription under the Terrorism Act will mean that anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying their flag, or holding a meeting for the organization could face up to 10 years in jail.


 U.K. parliament approves designation of Hamas as a terrorist group


'Normalization is Treason': Thousands of Jordanians protest against water-for-energy deal with Israel

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 20:08:32 +02:00

Several thousand Jordanians protested on Friday against a water-for-energy deal with Israel and the United Emirates, calling on their government to scrap its peace agreement with Israel and saying any normalization was a humiliating submission.

Police were deployed heavily around a downtown area of the capital Amman leading to the Husseini mosque where demonstrators marched after Friday prayers.

"No to the agreement of shame," protesters chanted, some carrying banners such as "Normalization is Treason" in a protest organized by a mix of opposition parties including Islamists and leftists as well as tribal groups and unions.


 'Normalization is Treason': Thousands of Jordanians protest against water-for-energy deal with Israel


Left-wing groups call to protest Herzog's Hanukkah candle lighting in Hebron

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 19:44:18 +02:00

Left-wing organizations are calling for a demonstration in Hebron on Sunday in protest of President Isaac Herzog's intention to light the first candle of Hanukkah at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

In addition to the organizers of the demonstration, the groups Peace Now, Breaking the Silence, Crime Minister, Mothers Against Violence and the Mechazkim NGO will also participate.

The event's Facebook page read: The visit of 'Citizen Number One' to a settlement in the center of Hebron legitimizes the apartheid regime and the incessant settler violence under which the city's Palestinian residents live. He spent the first months of his presidency flattering and bowing to the settlers and we are tired of it.


 Left-wing groups call to protest Herzog's Hanukkah candle lighting in Hebron


LISTEN: 'It never occurred to me to boycott Israel. Until Arkansas told me I couldn't'

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 18:48:30 +02:00

Host Simon Spungin is joined by Alan Leveritt, the publisher and owner of the Arkansas Times, who finds himself inadvertently on the frontlines of the battle against Israeli-sponsored legislation against the BDS movement.

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

How did a small monthly newspaper in Little Rock become a test case for legal action against states' efforts to silence the BDS movement? Who's behind the legislation and what role are evangelical Christians playing?


 LISTEN: 'It never occurred to me to boycott Israel. Until Arkansas told me I couldn't'


Herzog decided he wants to be the president of the settlements. It's not too late to change it

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 17:52:52 +02:00

President Isaac Herzog decided to kick off the celebration of Hanukkah by lighting the first candle in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Of all the places in Israel, the president chose Hebron, the ultimate symbol of the ugliness and brutality of the occupation and the violence and domineering of the settlers.

The visit by Israel's No. 1 citizen to that place most of whose Palestinian inhabitants have been forced to flee in fear of the settlers and abandon their homes and stores, turning the heart of Hebron into a ghost town  is tantamount to granting official legitimacy to the appalling injustices perpetrated there every day, both before and after Dr. Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Arab worshipers in the mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

In no other place in the West Bank is Israeli apartheid so horrifyingly flagrant: segregated streets on which Palestinians are prohibited from walking; vehicle entry barred to the Palestinians still living there; checkpoints at every turn   only for Palestinians, of course. Violence and humiliation are the daily fare of every Palestinian resident at the hands of the settlers and their children, as well as the army and Border Patrol personnel who are stationed on every corner.


 Herzog decided he wants to be the president of the settlements. It's not too late to change it


The Israeli who dared write a novel about Jews and African slave trade

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 17:50:12 +02:00

Last December, exhausted after working on his latest novel and anxious that the pandemic would delay its release, Israeli author Agur Schiff decided to embark on a journey.

Nothing about the trip or destination was left to chance: Ghana wasn't only a country Schiff had become slightly obsessed with; it was also a place of significant importance in the book he had toiled on, whose story unfolds in a nameless West African country.

Ghana did not let him down.


 The Israeli who dared write a novel about Jews and African slave trade


'Booster protection isn't waning': Top Israeli COVID expert answers your questions

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 17:41:55 +02:00

The approximately 1 million Israelis who have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine but have declined to get a booster shot feel protected but they are not, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel's top public health expert, warned during an exclusive Zoom briefing for Haaretz readers on Wednesday.

Speaking with Haaretz's Amir Tibon, Alroy-Preis said that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals, including children, are currently the primary vector for the spread of the virus. Three months into the country's booster campaign, they account for some 90 percent of new cases while there is no sign of waning immunity among recipients of the third shot.

It's not the booster waning, it's the fact we still have unimmunized individuals, she said. The public health expert explained that three-quarters of newly infected individuals have not been inoculated at all, while a further 15 percent are more than six months past their second dose and have yet to get a booster.


 'Booster protection isn't waning': Top Israeli COVID expert answers your questions


Iraq's water crisis is getting dire and its neighbors aren't helping

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 17:40:55 +02:00

Iraq's water resources minister, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani, was overflowing with optimism when he returned from a visit to Turkey in October. The Turks promised to increase the water quota that will flow into the Euphrates River to Iraq was his good news.

For a long time Iraq has been suffering a water deficit estimated at around 11 billion cubic meters a year, something only expected to worsen as the country's population grows. Farmers are reporting that large swaths of farmland are drying up because of the severe drought and climate change. Temperatures have topped 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in the summer, fruit has shriveled, seeds aren't sprouting and even water for drinking and bathing is lacking.

Research by the Iraqi government shows that the country is now about 40 percent desert, and the salinity of much of the land is too high for agriculture. Iraq receives most of its water from two rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris, whose sources are in Turkey. The rest it buys from Iran.


 Iraq's water crisis is getting dire and its neighbors aren't helping


'At these desperate places, there's no one to call for help': The Israeli documenting Africa's most remote villages

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 16:50:42 +02:00

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Lior Sperandeo, I'm a photographer, currently living in England. My focus is on people and communities in the developing world. My flagship project is called People Of, which is a kind of independent platform I've established in order to give voice to the weakened and silenced communities around the world.

Yet you didn't study photography.


 'At these desperate places, there's no one to call for help': The Israeli documenting Africa's most remote villages


Israeli soldiers snatched Palestinian kids at night, and left them out in the cold for hours

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 15:24:22 +02:00

Are you Yasser Arafat? As usual, the soldiers entered the house without knocking or asking permission, rousted Muatsam Shkeir from his sleep and asked him if he was Yasser Arafat. In fact, Yasser Arafat was in the shower. The soldiers opened the bathroom door. Yasser Arafat Shkeir had just finished showering. He dressed quickly. He was frightened by the soldiers who had invaded his home, he recalls. The Israeli soldiers took him and his older brother Muatsam with them, along with the neighbor's boy, Yazen Kados, who's a year younger than Yasser Arafat, and Yazen's father.

The four prisoners were taken to a police station and afterward to a military base, where they were forced to spend the night, first outside in the cold and later in a filthy trailer, without blankets or food, until they were released that afternoon without any explanation.

Yasser Arafat Shkeir is 12; his friend Yazen Kados 11. It was after 10 P.M. on October 24 when soldiers arrived in the village of a-Zawiya to arrest youths suspected of having thrown stones a little earlier on a nearby highway. Yasser Arafat comes from a large and impoverished family; Yazen's father is a carpenter who makes kitchen cabinets, sideboards and dining tables, which he sells in Israel. The kidnappings took place, of course, without any judicial warrant, as is customary when it comes to Palestinians in the territories, and the episode ended without any charges being filed. Yazen is below the age of criminal responsibility; Yasser Arafat has barely crossed it. All that can said to the Israel Defense Force's credit is that this time the kidnapped children were allowed to be escorted by adult relatives and were not detained alone, as has frequently been the case in the past.


 Israeli soldiers snatched Palestinian kids at night, and left them out in the cold for hours


Israeli arrested in Cyprus over Italy child abduction case

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 14:05:41 +02:00

Police in Cyprus have arrested an Israeli man wanted by Italy for having helped spirit the 6-year-old lone survivor of a cable car accident out of Italy and to Israel, authorities said on Friday.

Eitan Biran was the sole survivor of the May 23 cable car crash in northern Italy that killed 14 people, including his parents and younger brother. Ever since, he has been the focus of a custody battle between his maternal grandparents in Israel and his paternal relatives in Italy.

Earlier this month, an Italian judge issued an arrest warrant for Gabriel Abutbul Alon, who is accused of having driven the car on September 11 that spirited Eitan from his home near Pavia, Italy to Switzerland. Also named in the arrest warrant was Eitan's maternal grandfather, Shmulik Peleg, who was also in the car and then flew with Eitan to his home in Israel aboard a private jet.


 Israeli arrested in Cyprus over Italy child abduction case


Israel's transportation minister opposes controversial Western Wall cable car plan

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 13:51:02 +02:00

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli announced on Friday her opposition to a cable car project to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, saying it would cause more harm than good.

The High Court of Justice is set to hold a final hearing on petitions against the controversial project on Sunday. Michaeli's objection could endanger the whole project, as its orchestrators in the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Development Authority, defined it as a transportation project and not a tourist attraction.

The cable car plan has drawn widespread opposition from architects, local Palestinian residents and environmentalists who criticized the expected damage to the historic landscape of the Old City. Furthermore, the Karaite community has rejected the Jerusalem Development Authority's request to build the cable's roof over the community's ancient cemetery in the Hinnom Valley.  


 Israel's transportation minister opposes controversial Western Wall cable car plan


Despite concerns by rights groups, Interpol appoints UAE official as president

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 12:41:14 +02:00

Global police agency Interpol elected Emirati Inspector General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi as its president on Thursday, despite accusations from rights groups that he failed to act on allegations of torture of detainees in the United Arab Emirates.

Although the presidency is a part-time role and does not oversee day-to-day operations of the agency, the president is a high profile figure who chairs meetings of Interpol's assembly and executive committee.

Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Center for Human Rights said in May that Raisi's department had not investigated credible allegations of torture by security forces, and electing Raisi would put Interpol's commitment to human rights in doubt.


 Despite concerns by rights groups, Interpol appoints UAE official as president


114 Israeli Arab murder victims call for community to self-reflect

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 11:16:30 +02:00

Thursday's murder of Rasha Sitawi in Maghar coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The timing of this terrible murder merely underscores the Arab community's ongoing descent into the abyss of crime.

Every murder is a loathsome crime and every victim has a life ahead of them. But Sitawi's murder on this particular day encapsulates everything that is wrong with the violence spreading through the community. A 32-year-old mother with three children, aged five, seven and 12, was murdered by gunfire in her parents' home, in broad daylight in a densely populated neighborhood, while helping her daughter do her homework.

The murderer, who has not yet been captured, evidently wasn't afraid; nothing made him think twice about committing this abomination, including the women who demonstrated against violence in Maghar and other Arab towns. Such demonstrations, mainly attended by feminist activists, have become a common sight.


 114 Israeli Arab murder victims call for community to self-reflect


Israeli soldiers killed their son. Then they discovered the messages he got from a Shin Bet officer

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 10:54:10 +02:00

Disgusting boy, little kid, you don't interest me, failed child. These are instant messages received by Amjad, a 14-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem. His father, Osama Abu Sultan, saw the messages several days after the teen was shot dead by the Israeli army. When he was shot, Amjad was holding a Molotov cocktail that he was about to ignite.

The father, a 47-year-old graduate of a military academy in Algiers who is now employed by the Palestinian security forces (the navy in Gaza and now national security in the West Bank), is convinced that there's a connection between the text messages sent on Facebook Messenger and his son's violent death.

The childish and even infantile messages wouldn't have outraged Osama Abu Sultan if it had not been for the heading showing who had sent them: Captain Wissam Abu Ayoub, Israeli intelligence agency, city of Bethlehem. Like many other Shin Bet officers, he too has a personal social media page to which others are invited to respond.


 Israeli soldiers killed their son. Then they discovered the messages he got from a Shin Bet officer


When Biden's 'human rights-based diplomacy' meets cold reality

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 09:35:15 +02:00

Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a memo to all State Department staff highlighting the Biden administration's commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Standing up for democracy and human rights everywhere is not in tension with America's national interests nor with our national security, he wrote.

It is squarely in America's national interests and strengthens our national security when democracy and human rights are protected and reinforced worldwide.

In that letter, Blinken also listed some top priorities for U.S. diplomacy under his watch: bolstering movements for democratic reform in strategically important countries and close U.S. partners, giving citizens the means to combat surveillance and intrusion while promoting their access to information, cracking down on corruption, and preventing abuses by security forces in countries that the United States helps arm.


 When Biden's 'human rights-based diplomacy' meets cold reality


COVID omicron variant found in Israel, entry from African states barred

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 09:17:08 +02:00

Israel has identified the first cases of a new COVID-19 variant, first found in South Africa and neighboring countries, prompting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday to announce a ban on arrivals from most African countries and warn that the country is on the brink of a state of emergency. 

The variant called Omicron  has a "very unusual constellation" of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible, according to experts. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Friday it appeared that there were four cases of the variant in Israel. 

>> EXPLAINED: What the COVID omicron variant really means, and what experts are worried about


 COVID omicron variant found in Israel, entry from African states barred


From sanctions to military action: Israeli Foreign Ministry director lays out plan against Iran

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 06:01:21 +02:00

The director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Alon Ushpiz, is concerned.

Next Monday, Iranian representatives will be arriving in Vienna to negotiate a revival of the international nuclear agreement that it signed with the major powers in 2015. Ushpiz believes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as it is known, is a bad agreement that legitimizes a military nuclear program that the Iranians have no intention of retreating from.

There should be no return to the JCPOA. I'm not certain it will even be relevant two months from now, the director general said, speaking after reports of Iran's recent progress in amassing nuclear know-how and technology. And it's coming at a time when Tehran has barred international inspection of its activities.


 From sanctions to military action: Israeli Foreign Ministry director lays out plan against Iran


'Israel will have to fortify its borders': Israeli military finally sees climate change as strategic threat

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 05:54:47 +02:00

Who says the Israeli military is out of step with the times? After years of hesitation and more than a few unnecessary delays, it appears as though the Israel Defense Forces is finally beginning to engage seriously with the global climate crisis and its manifold geostrategic implications: how extreme weather affects the military, on one hand, and on the other hand the military's own contribution to climate change.

Even though these issues are rarely taken together, as part of a comprehensive, worldwide development, separately they are very familiar to the IDF as well as to readers of Haaretz. Here are three simple examples: Syria's civil war, which began, a decade ago, with protests by farmers in the south of the country against the regime, which refused to compensate them for the loss of farmland as a result of accelerated desertification; Israel Air Force planes at the Hatzerim base that were submerged in water due to faulty deployment for winter rains; environmental damage as a result of training exercises and regular operations, from wildfires in the Golan Heights to fuel spills in the Negev.

In light of the experience and knowledge of other armed forces, the IDF has begun to prepare for more severe consequences of climate change, including within Israel. U.S. Air Force aircraft, for example, are struggling with takeoffs from bases in the Persian Gulf region, since temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) degrade the performance of cargo planes and helicopters. One proposed remedy is to build runways partly underground. The IDF is examining the potential effect of rising sea levels on naval bases on the shore. Further warming could also impair cooling systems in battle tanks and affect their capabilities.


 'Israel will have to fortify its borders': Israeli military finally sees climate change as strategic threat


Preoccupied with Iran and Gaza, Israel shouldn't ignore dramatic shift in West Bank

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 05:54:19 +02:00

Israel this week raised the pace and intensity of its messages to Iran, the United States and the international community ahead of the renewal of the nuclear talks in Vienna next week. In the light of Iran's objections, the United States will not be directly represented in the talks, whose participants will be China, Russia, Britain, Germany and France. But the U.S. Special Representative to Iran, Robert Malley, will be in Vienna to follow the talks. Israel, which is not a party to the agreement, as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett noted this week, is not invited.

In a speech at a conference of the Policy and Strategy Institute of Reichman University in Herzliya, Bennett added that disagreements could occur between friends and warned that the Iranian nuclear project is at a very advanced stage. Defense Minister Benny Gantz, for his part, preferred to thank our American friends for the sanctions they have already imposed on Iran, and warned about an improvement in the fleet of drones that Iran is developing. And Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman presented a pessimistic forecast: The most conservative assessment is that with a new nuclear agreement, Iran will be nuclear within five years. All the Israeli speakers expressed concern about the developments and emphasized Israel's right to self-defense.

But despite the declarations, the possibility that this right will be translated into an Israeli airstrike on nuclear facilities does not look high. The rationale Bennett is offering for this of late is the situation left him by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who in practice, according to Bennett, neglected to preserve the military option. But the main reason for this assessment is related to concern about damaging the relations with the United States. Netanyahu, too, who was on the verge of an attack at least twice at the start of the last decade, hesitated and finally refrained from an attack that was not coordinated with the Americans. A key reason was his fear of causing a rift with the United States, which was at odds with his militant public rhetoric.


 Preoccupied with Iran and Gaza, Israel shouldn't ignore dramatic shift in West Bank


The doctor from Gaza: A legal orphan'

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:54:23 +02:00

First off, the indisputable facts: Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish's three daughters and niece were innocent young girls who were killed by accident due to a faulty decision to fire two tank shells at the doctor's home in Jabaliya on January 16, 2009. The tank fire at the doctor's house was carried out on the basis of a mistaken impression by the battalion commander, who thought the passing figures in the window Abuelaish's daughters were lookouts aiding terrorist snipers.

>> 'Don't kill my daughters again': Gaza doctor looks for justice at Israel's top court

The doctor and his family were not involved in terrorist activity or combat. During the war, the doctor informed soldiers from one battalion that he was a doctor who was employed in Israel and that no one in his household was involved in the fighting, and as a result a tank that had been situated close to his house was moved. But the information about the identities of the people in the household was not conveyed to another battalion, which ultimately fired the fatal shells. The battalion commander's investigation following the incident did not get down to the level of the members of the tank crew, and the division commander's investigation did not include questioning of the tank commander, according to a 2018 district court ruling.


 The doctor from Gaza: A legal orphan'


Haaretz Cartoon

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:36:22 +02:00

 Haaretz Cartoon


'One day my daughter's imaginary friend disappeared. She said he broke his neck so she buried him'

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:12:48 +02:00

Shachar Shachar, 50; lives in Mevasseret Zion, flying to Los Angeles

Hi Shachar tell me about your name.

I was born Frieda. In our family, we're named after the grandfather or the grandmother. My grandmother was named Frieda and my grandfather, Yitzhak. So Itzik is great, Frieda is We have 10 Friedas in the family! Every time I would send a letter to Ma'ariv Lanoar , they would send me back a note: Say, are you an Arab? They thought it was Farida . I didn't connect with the name. In the army they called me by my surname, Shachar, and it stuck, so I decided I would change it on my ID card. That's how it played out; it stayed Shachar Shachar. That's also my business logo.


 'One day my daughter's imaginary friend disappeared. She said he broke his neck so she buried him'


And then my student said: 'Dealing with the Holocaust is white privilege'

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 01:30:58 +02:00

The interesting shift in the attitude of the American progressive left toward Israel lies in the imposition of a Black-white frame on the conflict. While in Israel people argue heatedly about Likud MK David Amsalem (who recently complained that Israel is being ruled by 30 percent of the Ashkenazim) and about Ashkenazi-Mizrahi relations in general, from the progressive-critical viewpoint across the Atlantic, all of us here are privileged whites, compared to the Palestinians.

So much so, that in one of the classes I taught at New York University about the place of the Holocaust in Israeli society a student said that the very idea of being preoccupied with the Holocaust is white privilege. Others in the class objected, but that student represents a growing trend. What she said, of course, is a superficial exaggeration, but it's hard to deny it completely when one looks at the instrumental use Israel makes of the Holocaust and antisemitism in justifying the continuation of the occupation. And the occupation, as noted, is now being examined in the U.S. through the prism of race relations.

The truth is that in cultural contexts, too, the depiction of the American Jews as a neurotic nebbish is losing its punch. When Sarah Silverman complained recently to Seth Meyers, on his show, about her plight as a Jew ahead of Christmas, it sounded stale and disconnected, and manifestly less funny than in the past. There are groups today that have bigger troubles, besides which the majority of the Jews have assimilated and belong to the more comfortable middle or upper classes.


 And then my student said: 'Dealing with the Holocaust is white privilege'


Post-Zionist historian Shlomo Sand: 'The global left is dying, and with it the myth of equality'

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 01:12:04 +02:00

The first time Shlomo Sand was disappointed by the working class was when he was 16. He had just been expelled from high school in Jaffa and had started to work in a factory. I was a working lad, the professor relates. I went to work and I was full of enthusiasm about the proletariat, in light of the values with which I'd been inculcated by my father, who was a communist. But I was really disappointed: the contempt the old-timers had for the young people, the way they exploited me and other working youths. Because I was younger, I had to serve them. I had to sweep the factory. I told my father, Just look at your proletariat.' I was disappointed.

A few years later, after seeing action in the 1967 Six-Day War, the young Sand joined Matzpen, a radical socialist, anti-Zionist organization. There the young man from Jaffa became acquainted with a group of intellectuals, most of them from well-off families. They were a group of nice bohemians with big souls. But the gap between utopia and reality was too large. There was tension between me and them: I was a manual worker, so I found their fantasies of a revolution to be improbable. I believed in a struggle, but not in a proletarian revolution. And that was actually on the basis of my acquaintance with workers. I left Matzpen without recriminations.

Sand, 75, is one of Israel's best-known left-wing intellectuals. Having gained fame primarily thanks to his controversial book The Invention of the Jewish People (published in Hebrew in 2008, and in English the following year), he is identified with scandalous theses that have been perceived as an assault on the foundations of Zionist ideology.


 Post-Zionist historian Shlomo Sand: 'The global left is dying, and with it the myth of equality'


Israel's chief rabbi should be disciplined for public rebuke of religious reforms, ombudsman says

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 23:42:48 +02:00

A judicial ombudsman recommended on Thursday dismissing Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef from his position on the Israel's Great Rabbinical Court over his public opposition to proposed kashrut Jewish conversion reforms.

If Rabbi Yosef is not removed from the rabbinical court, ombudsman Uri Shoham said, Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana should at least consider severely censuring Yosef.

Yosef, who serves as a rabbinical judge, was involved in organizing a conference for his fellow judges at which he and others spoke against the reforms being advanced by Kahana. After the conference, the rabbi issued a statement saying that he "utterly rejects the Religious Services Ministry's dangerous initiatives to destroy kashrut and Judaism in Israel.

After the statement was released, the Reform Movement's Israel Religious Action Center complained to the ombudsman, arguing the chief rabbi and other rabbinical judges all of whom are civil servants had spoken out on controversial political issues, in violation of the code of ethics of their position.


 Israel's chief rabbi should be disciplined for public rebuke of religious reforms, ombudsman says


Israel withheld $10 million from migrant workers' welfare funds

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 23:24:54 +02:00

Tens of millions of shekels from foreign workers' deposits from their wages, which were supposed to be used for their welfare, were not used, a treasury official told the Special Committee on Foreign Workers this week.

The official said the treasury found 33 million shekels ($10.4 million) in deposits and does not know what to do with the money. The matter is now being reviewed, she said.

The foreign workers' deposit 16 percent of their wages, which their employers deduct and are supposed to deposit for the employees' social services. The workers are supposed to receive the sums accumulated in their name at the end of their employment, on condition they leave the country.


 Israel withheld $10 million from migrant workers' welfare funds


Mother of three shot dead at northern Israel home

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 23:21:54 +02:00

A young woman and mother of three was shot and killed in her home in the Galilee city of Maghar on Thursday.

The case is being treated as a murder investigation. Police said Rasha Sitawi, 32, was at home with her 12-year-old daughter when the shooting occurred.

Neighbors said they heard the gunshots and called police, who began searching for suspects.


 Mother of three shot dead at northern Israel home


To soothe U.S. concerns, Israel says new Jerusalem neighborhood won't be approved for another year

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 22:16:56 +02:00

Israeli officials told the Biden administration that plans for a new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem will not be approved for another year, after U.S. officials expressed their concern over a municipal board decision to greenlight the construction in Atarot.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem Municipality's planning committee approved the construction of a new neighborhood beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders, which, if established, would be the first large Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem since Har Homa in the 1990s.

This area of the abandoned Atarot airport, located between Jerusalem and Ramallah, was originally intended to be transferred to the Palestinians as was agreed in previous peace talks, and rests on the grounds of a defunct regional airport in the northern part of Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in June 1967.


 To soothe U.S. concerns, Israel says new Jerusalem neighborhood won't be approved for another year


Israel bars travel to and from South Africa over new COVID strain

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 21:43:40 +02:00

Israel announced on Thursday it has added South Africa to the list of "red" countries, after the discovery of new COVID-19 variant there, essentially barring Israelis from traveling to and from these countries.

Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini were also added to the "red" list. Anyone coming from any of these countries and is not an Israeli citizen or resident will be barred entry.

Travelers returning from these countries will be ordered into a seven-day mandatory quarantine at a state-run facility, regardless of vaccination status, and will be released only after two negative PCR tests.


 Israel bars travel to and from South Africa over new COVID strain


After NSO scandal, Israel slashes list of countries that can buy cyber tech, report says

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 21:00:35 +02:00

Israel slashed its list of countries eligible to buy its cyber technologies following concern over possible abuses abroad of a hacking tool sold by Israeli firm NSO Group, Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, which did not disclose its sources, said Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among countries which would now be barred from importing Israeli cyber tech. The list of countries licensed to buy it had been cut to just 37 states, down from 102 at the beginning of the month.

This limits the sale of all cybertechnology, not just those developed for offensive purposes. The Calcalist report notes that the new list will make it very difficult for Israel's 500 or so cyber companies, and particularly cyberspying firms like NSO, to sell to countries with poor human rights records or totalitarian governments.


 After NSO scandal, Israel slashes list of countries that can buy cyber tech, report says


Militants prevent Gadhafi's son from appealling Libya presidential disqualification

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:44:43 +02:00

A lawyer for Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libya's late dictator, said armed men had prevented him from lodging an appeal on Thursday against his client's disqualification from next month's presidential election, adding to fears of turmoil around the vote.

Disputes about issues including the eligibility of candidates are threatening to derail the election, set for December 24, and with it a UN-backed peace process aimed at ending a decade of chaos since Muammar Gadhafi was toppled.

Interference by fighters from any faction will further undermine confidence in a vote that many Libyans want, but that has also triggered fears of new conflict.


 Militants prevent Gadhafi's son from appealling Libya presidential disqualification


We need to talk about dementia

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:40:01 +02:00

As I left the movie theater last weekend after watching The Father, I overheard a man ask his female companion, Was that what we needed for a night out on Friday? And then, in a slightly more empathetic tone: Is that what your mother has? We had been nearly alone in the tiny theater. Last month, too, after Supernova, the closing film of the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, it seemed that not everyone had been emotionally prepared for the movie's candid depiction of dementia.

These movies, along with others from recent years like Still Alice and Remember Me, indicate that cinema has become a key arena for a discussion that most of us seek to avoid about the unprecedented situation in human history, in which, due to increasing longevity, a large proportion of people experience significant cognitive decline in old age. According to Health Ministry figures, about 10 percent of us after age 65 and 30 percent after 85 will experience this incurable condition, most commonly in the form of Alzheimer's disease. The World Health Organization reports that about 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, with 10 million more joining each year.

The two recent movies present two very different angles. The Father aims to provide a glimpse into what is happening in the brain of someone who is already experiencing confusion and memory loss, and also depicts the heavy burden that falls on family members when their loved one is in a state of advanced dementia. Supernova is about the difficult and controversial decision of a man who knows his brain is going to steadily lose more and more of its abilities to end his life, because he doesn't want to lose who he is or become a burden on his loved ones.


 We need to talk about dementia


The Israeli government's politics are forgivable, but not its abuse of trust

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:39:22 +02:00

This text is, more than anything, a call of warning to the present government, which every day that passes uses up a bit more of the fumes of trust on which it exists. We are not talking about substance here, not the shaping of reality or ideology either. On these matters, as the Glasgow climate summit proved for the nth time, politics as it is in Israel and the rest of the world today, and the old order as it is today, do not have the true, far-reaching ability to shape reality in depth and for the long term.

This text is about aesthetics, appearances, what is required of this government so it can continue to be the tenants' committee in this arena at a time when the old story is disintegrating. Hardly a day goes by without this government, by its own actions, eroding a little bit more of the public trust it still enjoys. No matter if it's the appointment of a family relative, or budget shenanigans with the IDF, or coalition payoffs, or some real-estate developer crony who received gigantic favors. Or, as happened this week, the attempt to bypass the appointments committee that rejected Amir Peretz's candidacy for Israel Aerospace Industries chairman, but nonetheless to bring the appointment to the cabinet for approval, all because of an apparent political deal between Peretz and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Little things, every one by itself can be explained away, quibbled over, apologized for. But all of them together coalesce into a feeling that in all things concerning proper management, transparency, making the perceptions of Israel's citizens the central concern understanding the great importance of how things look to the public in all of this, the present government is not really any different from its predecessor.


 The Israeli government's politics are forgivable, but not its abuse of trust


Police probe case of 'pimping' young Israeli prison guards to Palestinian prisoner

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:33:02 +02:00

Police have reopened an investigation on Thursday into a case in which an intelligence officer at Gilboa Prison allegedly placed female prison guards with a Palestinian security prisoner at the latter's request, who sexually assaulted them.

Police are expected to call the prison's commander, Freddy en Shitrit, to testify, after he said on Wednesday that prison wardens "pimped out" female guards doing their mandatory military service in the jail. Ben Shitrit took his post only after the events occurred.

The unit tasked with investigating misconduct in prisons will likely ask Ben Shitrit what he knows about the sexual assaults of female guards, who have yet to testify.


 Police probe case of 'pimping' young Israeli prison guards to Palestinian prisoner


Palestinian beaten in central Jerusalem after speaking Arabic with a friend

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:28:13 +02:00

An 18-year-old Palestinian was beaten by five young men in Jerusalem on Tuesday night after they heard him speaking Arabic with his friend.

Bashar Masalha was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, where medical staff found that he suffered a number of fractures. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday morning, and has filed a police report.

The attack occurred while Masalha and his friend, Nathan Sara, were on their way home from Hadassah College in Jerusalem. According to Sara, when the two were in the Independence Park area, five young Jewish men heard them speaking Arabic and began to curse at them. "We didn't even manage to turn around and see who was cursing, all of a sudden one of them punched Bashar in the face with brass knuckles," he recounted.


 Palestinian beaten in central Jerusalem after speaking Arabic with a friend


How to quit your smartphone in five not-so-easy steps

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:02:58 +02:00

Everyone remembers their first cellphone. I bought mine ahead of being drafted. It was 2000, and I was afraid there would be long lines for the public phones in basic training camp an idea that turned out to be foolish because everyone already had their own phones. I paid 59 agurot (about 15 cents, at the time) per each minute of use, but the device oppressed me far beyond having to deal with its outrageous monthly bill. When it was stolen one day, I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to pre-cell life for another year.

My whole cellular history is composed of coitus interruptus of this sort: buying a phone which then gets run over, managing without for a while, followed by getting a dumb phone and then a smartphone, and so on and so forth. I tried to live between the shadows. Toward the end of 2018, I gave in, permanently. I think it was navigating the streets that broke me: It became impossible to cruise around and keep asking people how to get to places. That social skill has become extinct. In 2020 I installed WhatsApp in my smartphone. Since then I've suffered even more.

I hate my smartphone. Hate it the way a guy in mid-life can hate 183 grams worth of plastic, various metals and semiconductors. I feel as though this rectangular black hole is swallowing everything that could be beautiful and good in my life. I'm not a heavy user, but that damn device is constantly plaguing my mind like with someone who smokes just five cigarettes a day but never stops thinking about when and under what circumstances he'll smoke the next one.


 How to quit your smartphone in five not-so-easy steps


UAE oil deal is 'strategic, environmental threat' to Israel

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 19:35:13 +02:00

A deal to transport oil from the United Arab Emirates through Israel to Europe should be terminated because of the threat it poses to Israel's security, a paper published by Tel Aviv University's Institute of National Security Studies argued.

The paper, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, was sent on Thursday to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the National Security Council, and the defense and foreign ministries. It represents the official view of the institute's researchers.

The paper lists several reasons for freezing the deal, which calls for transporting the oil by pipeline from the Red Sea port of Eilat to the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon. The reasons include a fear of attacks from Iran or the Gaza Strip on the oil tankers that would be visiting the Red Sea frequently, with no security; the threat to coastal desalination plants that ensure Israel's supply of drinking water; the view that the government didn't go through the proper administrative process before approving the agreement; and that the deal may undermine Israel's relations with Egypt.


 UAE oil deal is 'strategic, environmental threat' to Israel


Germany's new coalition pledges to promote Jewish life

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 19:15:07 +02:00

Three political parties in Germany presented a coalition agreement which reiterated commitments to ensure Israel's security and fight antisemitism and, for the first time, also pledged to promote Jewish life.

The agreement, whose main focus is addressing climate change, was presented Wednesday by the coalition parties, which include the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Greens, in Berlin. The coalition agreement determines the division of ministerial positions and major policy themes and marks a milestone toward establishing a government after the departure from politics of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A center-left politician for the Christian Democrats who had served four terms since 2005, Merkel is to be replaced by Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats.


 Germany's new coalition pledges to promote Jewish life


Israeli man indicted for pushing partner off a balcony, then planning to kill her at hospital

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 19:12:15 +02:00

An Israeli man has confessed to attempting to kill his partner by pushing her off a balcony in 2018, according to an indictment filed against him on Thursday.

Thirty-two-year-old Shaul Karni had been suspected of the attempted murder shortly after the incident, but the case was closed at the time for lack of evidence.

Karni, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Etz Efraim, recently turned himself into the police and confessed to attempting to kill Charlotte Alvarado.  


 Israeli man indicted for pushing partner off a balcony, then planning to kill her at hospital


Gantz says Israel must work with U.S. on Iran, stresses need to 'influence our partners'

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 18:35:01 +02:00

RABAT Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Thursday that Israel must cooperate with the United States on Iran's nuclear program, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that Israel will not be bound by any future deal on the issue that the U.S. would be a partner to.

Speaking at the end of his visit to Morocco, Gantz said that Israel must make sure that it is "maintaining a dialogue with both sides of the aisle in the U.S., remains nonpartisan, and doesn't get caught up in American politics as was the case in the past."

Regarding Iran, Gantz added that "there is a need to recruit globally, and we are doing that. Our responsibility regarding Iran is to influence our partners and have a continuous dialogue." However, Gantz noted that Israel must also continue "to build and upgrade its military strength."


 Gantz says Israel must work with U.S. on Iran, stresses need to 'influence our partners'


'There isn't one boy who wasn't sexually abused' in Jerusalem's extreme Haredi neighborhoods

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 18:20:26 +02:00

Destruction. Mourning. There are no other words for what the ultra-Orthodox community has been going through since Haaretz published its investigative report on author and educator Chaim Walder last week. The allegations that he sexually abused three people a 13-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman who came to him for treatment were a silent earthquake.

The first days were like the quiet after a terror attack those moments between the boom and the wailing sirens when you feel like the sky has darkened, said one community member who requested anonymity.

For the first time, the ultra-Orthodox establishment has been forced to publicly address the issue of sexual assault, causing great confusion and embarrassment. But last weekend, the trend was clear.


 'There isn't one boy who wasn't sexually abused' in Jerusalem's extreme Haredi neighborhoods


Sudanese keep rallying to demand military rulers leave despite deal

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 17:23:50 +02:00

Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets on Thursday in the capital of Khartoum, renewing their demand for a fully civilian government and denouncing the country's military rulers who were behind the October coup.

The protests came just days after the military signed a new power-sharing deal with the prime minister, after releasing him from house arrest and reinstating him as head of government. The deal came almost a month after the generals orchestrated the takeover that deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and detained dozens of politicians and activists.

Hamdok's reinstatement was the biggest concession made by the military since its October 25 coup but leaves the country's transition to democracy mired in crisis. Sudan's key pro-democracy groups and political parties have dismissed the deal as falling short of their demands for a fully civilian rule.


 Sudanese keep rallying to demand military rulers leave despite deal


Israeli tourists conquer Palestine's only cable car

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 17:20:17 +02:00

From the plot of land he owns in the ancient part of the Palestinian city of Jericho, Marwan Sinokrot would observe the Christian pilgrims, day after day, huffing and puffing their way up the Mount of Temptation. Eventually, an idea occurred to him: Why not build them a cable car?

Many of these pilgrims were not that young or in the best of shape, and so it was difficult for them to make it up the mountain on foot, recounts the East Jerusalem businessman. I said to myself, If you can have a cable car going up to Masada, why not here too?' We also have spectacular views.

The multimillion-dollar project, opened to the public in 1999, would eventually enter the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest cable car-aerial tramway below sea level and draw as many as 3,000 visitors a week, most from overseas, to this mellow city of some 25,000 residents.


 Israeli tourists conquer Palestine's only cable car


Pope Francis to canonize Dutch priest murdered by Nazis during WWII

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 17:19:45 +02:00

Pope Francis will canonize Titus Brandsma, a Dutch priest, academic and journalist who was murdered in the Dachau concentration camp in 1942 for preaching against the Nazis, the Vatican said on Thursday.

Brandsma, who was a member of the Carmelite religious order and served as president of the Catholic university at Nijmegen, began speaking out against Nazi ideology even before World War Two and the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.

During the Nazi occupation, he spoke out against anti-Jewish laws. As adviser to the Netherlands' Catholic newspapers, he urged their editors not to print Nazi propaganda.


 Pope Francis to canonize Dutch priest murdered by Nazis during WWII


Drug offenses and sex tapes: New allegations against Jerusalem soccer club owner

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 15:35:08 +02:00

Israel extended the detention of the owner of one of the nation's top soccer teams by eight days on Wednesday following the signing of a state witness agreement after he was arrested last week on suspicion of fraud and sexual offenses.

According to an investigative report on Channel 13, Moshe Hogeg allegedly tried to force himself on a model in her hotel room in an incident that was subsequently covered up with the aid of modeling agent Omri Yaari, the owner of the ITM modeling agency.

The investigation led to suspicion that the Beitar Jerusalem owner, whose team has a fanbase notorious for its anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry, had committed multiple sexual offenses. A police source stated that it is believed that the publication of the suspicions against him may cause more victims to come forward. Hogeg detention was remanded by the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court.


 Drug offenses and sex tapes: New allegations against Jerusalem soccer club owner


EU drug regulator approves first COVID shot for younger children

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 14:48:56 +02:00

The EU's drug regulator approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11 on Thursday, paving the way for them to be given a first shot as Europe battles a surge in infections.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, which has been approved for European Union use in teenagers between 12 and 17 years old since May, will be given in two doses of 10 micrograms three weeks apart as an injection in the upper arm, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended.

The approval comes as Europe is again the epicenter of the pandemic again, accounting for about half of cases and deaths.


 EU drug regulator approves first COVID shot for younger children


Israeli startups thought the UAE was paved with gold. But there's a twist

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 14:32:12 +02:00

Just over a year ago, as the ink was still drying on the Abraham Accords, Israeli tech entrepreneurs were racing to the United Arab Emirates in the hope of partnering Israeli innovation with Emirati capital. Such unions have been slow in coming, but this week saw the announcement of the biggest one to date and it turns the model on its head.

OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based company that raises capital globally sourced from a cohort of some 160,000 small and institutional investors, became the first Israeli venture capital firm to get a license from the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate in the UAE.

The new venture, OurCrowd Arabia, will be taking on multiple roles. But a key one is to serve as a conduit for the company's 160,000-strong community to invest in Emirati startups.


 Israeli startups thought the UAE was paved with gold. But there's a twist


Israel to join major treaty on violence against women, but with caveats for foreign women

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 12:49:14 +02:00

Israel will ask to join a major international treaty on combating violence against women, but plans to reject the section requiring countries to grant residency status to those who lose legal status after becoming victims of violence.

The Istanbul Convention, officially known as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, is considered to be the most advanced of all international treaties on the fight against gender-based violence.

The Interior Ministry has reservations about the section of the convention concerning non-citizens whose residency status is granted through domestic partnerships for example, through a relationship to a citizen or permanent resident. The convention grants these individuals legal residency if their relationship ends because of domestic violence.


 Israel to join major treaty on violence against women, but with caveats for foreign women


Israel to give Gaza Christians entry permits for Christmas holiday

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 11:11:11 +02:00

Israeli authorities on Wednesday said they would permit 500 members of the Gaza Strip's tiny Christian community to enter Israel and the West Bank to celebrate Christmas.

Israel has in the past allowed Gazans to exit the blockaded territory for Christmas, though the practice was frozen last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Movement out of Gaza also has been restricted since an 11-day war last May between Israel and the territory's Hamas rulers. In recent months, however, Israel has begun to ease some of the restrictions, granting several thousand Gazans permits to work inside Israel as part of quiet, Egyptian attempts to broker a long-term ceasefire.


 Israel to give Gaza Christians entry permits for Christmas holiday


Christianity is vanishing from the Middle East. This reporter documents its decline

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 10:47:50 +02:00

Longtime war reporter Janine di Giovanni has covered conflicts for three decades and counting, from Bosnia to Rwanda. Yet when she visited northern Iraq after the fall of ISIS there, what stood out was a peaceful moment.

On her last day in Nineveh Governorate, she climbed uphill to enter the ancient Chaldean Christian monastery of Rabban Hormizd. She heard a voice singing in Aramaic the language of Jesus. She followed the sound through a labyrinth of stone passageways into a small room. Finally, she encountered its source: an Iraqi-Australian priest named Father Isaac Royel, who was reciting evensong at twilight with his wife.

It was one of the most moving times in my life, di Giovanni recalls.


 Christianity is vanishing from the Middle East. This reporter documents its decline


Winter rain floods Gaza homes damaged in Israel-Hamas May fighting

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 09:21:04 +02:00

The first rainstorm of winter sent water pouring into Ghalia al-Attar's house through cracks in the walls and tin roof, as the widow, her children and grandchildren spread buckets across the floor.

Their home was among tens of thousands that were damaged during the 11-day Gaza war in May between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the isolated and impoverished territory. Hundreds of homes were completely destroyed, and reconstruction efforts have yet to get off the ground.

Families like the al-Attar's have patched things up as best they can, but winter in the seaside territory brings chilly nights and periodic rainstorms.


 Winter rain floods Gaza homes damaged in Israel-Hamas May fighting


At least five killed as huge explosion, gunfire rocks Somali capital

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 08:52:59 +02:00

At least five people died and 23 others were injured after a huge explosion rocked Somalia's capital Mogadishu early on Thursday, triggering a plume of smoke which rose from the blast site amid gunfire, according to officials and a Reuters witness.

"So far we know five people died and 23 others (were) injured," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulance services, told Reuters.

Somalia Islamist group al-Shabaab carried out the attack which was targeting a passing United Nations convoy, Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations' spokesman told Reuters.


 At least five killed as huge explosion, gunfire rocks Somali capital


Libertarian Israeli think tank pushes 'conservative' judges for Supreme Court

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 03:16:59 +02:00

Deliberations on selecting Supreme Court judges have become an arena for political skirmishing between the left and right. In recent days, three right wing representatives in the Judicial Selection Committee have stumbled as they tried to appoint four conservative judges and, for the first time, deliver a Supreme Court majority to the conservative bloc.

In January 2019, toward the end of her term as justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, a right-wing politician, announced what she described as a promise kept to her voters to change the face of the Supreme Court.

Some four years ago I was elected in the name of an agenda to break the paradigm, and one of my goals was to raise the profile of the conservative alternative in Israel, Shaked said at the time.


 Libertarian Israeli think tank pushes 'conservative' judges for Supreme Court


Trafficking victim treated as suspected prostitute by immigration authorities

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 02:40:54 +02:00

A Ukrainian national in Israel, the victim of human trafficking, was treated as a suspected prostitute by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority in violation of the government policy to support and aid such victims during their rehabilitation process.

Because of the authority's actions, the Interior Ministry refused to renew the woman's residency permit even though she was recognized as a victim by the police's unit on trafficking and was receiving help from Israeli welfare authorities.

The population authority said they suspected the woman had returned to prostitution because of the large gap between the wages she reported earning and the rent she was paying. But in practice, the woman lived in an apartment with her partner, and they split the rent.


 Trafficking victim treated as suspected prostitute by immigration authorities


Israel plans six new marinas that will bite off chunks of its shoreline

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 01:44:41 +02:00

The Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry, along with other environmental groups, are vehemently opposing a plan, which will be brought up for government approval next week, to build six new marinas on local beaches, saying it would strike a severe blow to the shores.

For the past two years, architecture firm Lerman has been preparing a national master plan of marinas for the Transportation Ministry's Shipping and Ports Authority and the Planning Administration. As part of the plan, the existing supply of moorage spots for boats was examined along with ways to meet the demand for additional moorage spaces.

The plan will be presented to the National Planning and Building subcommittee.


 Israel plans six new marinas that will bite off chunks of its shoreline


Arm the Israeli left so it can protect Palestinians from settler violence

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 01:29:43 +02:00

Several facts cannot be disputed: The Palestinians in the territories, especially the rural folk, are a population at grave risk, with no defender. In recent months their condition has worsened. Settler attacks have become more violent, methodical and frequent, and their lives have become a nightmare. There isn't a Palestinian farmer who isn't afraid to go out to work his land, and many have had to give up their plots for fear of the settlers.

The IDF, which is responsible for their safety, doesn't even dream of standing up in their defense. Its soldiers stand by, almost always protecting the attackers, sometimes supplying them with guns. The high command encourages this conduct through its silence and inaction, even if recently a lip-service directive says otherwise. It is unlikely to be put into action. The Israel Police likewise does nothing, and the Palestinian Authority Police is not allowed to lift a finger to defend its people. Thus, the population is left more defenseless than it has ever been.

One can of course accept it with a shrug, as one does the entire apartheid reality, and do nothing. Haim Shadmi, a journalist and radical left-wing activist, thinks otherwise. He thinks just like the settlers: Where the IDF does not do enough to protect the residents, another force must enter the picture. This is how the settler militias whose legal arm is called the ravshatzim (a Hebrew acronym for ongoing military security coordinators) came to be, They are paid by the state, armed by the military and permitted to do almost anything in the name of protecting the settlements.


 Arm the Israeli left so it can protect Palestinians from settler violence


1,200 cops took part in anti-crime operation in the Negev, only 12 arrests were made

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 00:47:25 +02:00

The Israel Police launched a widespread operation to combat crime in Arab communities in the Negev, but arrested only 12 people on drugs and weapons charges, and confiscated just a handful of weapons.

Some 1,200 police officers and combat troops took part in the operation, which included the use of helicopters, and the presence of Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev. The forces confiscated two improvised rifles, weapons parts, ammo clips and ammunition.

A police source stated that one of the objectives of the operation was to restore deterrence in the Negev and strengthen the residents' sense of security. The irregular use of helicopters was personally ordered by the police commissioner


 1,200 cops took part in anti-crime operation in the Negev, only 12 arrests were made


Israel's strategy against Iran will hurt its alliance with the U.S.

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 00:01:49 +02:00

The diplomatic dialogue that endangers Israel isn't between the six powers and Iran on the nuclear agreement, but the one that is leading Israel and the United States down the path of conflict.

When Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned, If there's a return to the nuclear accord, Israel isn't a party to it and is not bound by it, he was sending a message directly to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and to the Western powers. The message is that Israel sees itself as being free to act as it sees fit against the Iranian threat and that in the prime minister's eye, diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program are of no value.

Washington has taken off its gloves, too, via The New York Times, which recently quoted senior U.S. administration officials warning Israel that repeated attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities may be tactically satisfying, but they are ultimately counterproductive. Words like these, which until now had only been exchanged behind closed doors, show that this isn't just a disagreement between the two countries over tactics but a signal to Israel about the limits of American tolerance.


 Israel's strategy against Iran will hurt its alliance with the U.S.


Netanyahu ordered to return $1 million given by benefactors

Wed, 24 Nov 2021 23:58:15 +02:00

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit told the High Court of Justice Wednesday that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must return all the funds he had received from associates to finance his legal team as he stands trial for suspected bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Netanyahu received $300,000 from his cousin Nathan Milikowsky, while American businessman Spencer Partrich gave the former prime minister $634,646 as a loan. 

Last July, the High Court of Justice ordered Mendelblit and the members of the permits' committee at the State's Comptroller's office to explain why they won't order Netanyahu to return these sums.


 Netanyahu ordered to return $1 million given by benefactors


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 24 Nov 2021 23:54:20 +02:00

 Haaretz Cartoon






US  US NO






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

tn_10-275.jpg

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