Iran has successfully enriched uranium at 60 percent, its highest level ever, Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said on Friday.
The comment by Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, quoted by state television, did not elaborate on the amount Iran planned to enrich. However, it is likely to raise tensions even as Iran negotiates with world powers in Vienna over a way to allow the U.S. back into the agreement and lift the crushing economic sanctions it faces.
The announcement also marks a significant escalation after the sabotage that damaged centrifuges, an attack this past weekend suspected of having been carried out by Israel. While Israel has yet to claim it, the country is widely suspected of having carried out the still-unexplained sabotage at Natanz, Iran's main enrichment site.
Israel has bolstered forces in preparations for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan in East Jerusalem and amid rising friction between the police and local Palestinians.
In a departure from previous years, Israel is only permitting 10,000 West Bank residents, all of whom must be vaccinated, to attend the prayers.
It remains unclear how many will be permitted to enter in the end, but it is set to be a far cry from tens of thousands that have been allowed to visit in the past. The police have organized a sizeable force around the Old City ahead of the prayer.
Israel does not have enough coronavirus vaccines to provide its population with a third dose, coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash said Friday, adding this has prompted concerns among the health establishment.
"We have enough doses to complete the first vaccine operation that is, two doses per citizen," Ash told Army Radio. "This is something that concerns us," he added.
However, Ash said he believes that deals will be struck with Moderna and Pfizer "soon."
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on April 13, and the Eid al-Fitr holiday that wraps up the month are a time that merchants, importers and the public prepare for during the entire year. In normal times, it's a month in which food consumption jumps, bank loans hit their upper limits, leisure sites and hotels are at maximum occupancy and the mosques are packed with hundreds of thousands of the faithful.
This year Saudi Arabia, where Islam's holiest sites are located has been preparing with major trepidation for Ramadan and Eid and the major pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj, that follows. Looming over the situation is the prospect of a fourth coronavirus wave.
To combat it, the Saudi government has decided to impose strict limits on movement, thinning out attendance at mosque prayer services, banning admission to holy sites without a special permit and imposing fines of over $2,500 for violations of the rules.
The Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony used to attract record viewer ratings on the three main television channels. It enjoyed a consensus of support across political factions. It was the nation's pride, the people's darling. No longer, not since the dispute between Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Sara Netanyahu and her husband, which ended in victory for the Netanyahus.
This ceremony that was once clean of politics became a spectacle of groveling to the supreme leader's glorification. To tell the truth, we've grown accustomed to it. Whoever enjoyed it, good for that person. Whoever was annoyed would do well to see the broadcast as a semi-satire, material for Eretz Nehederet.
The propaganda clip with the North Korean elements; announcing the entrance of the prime minister and his wife who agreed to grace¦, the royal hand waves; focusing the state camera dozens of times on the leader, the madam, and the adherent groveling minister Miri Regev, who is joined to them at the hip. If this were the only damage from Netanyahu's ongoing rule we'd say so be it, we'll survive.On Wednesday, another line was crossed. The greeting clip of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla reflected not only the worst of Israel's shtetl provincialism; this is how we treat billionaires who shower us with gifts.
The calculations published this week by Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute based on Health Ministry data are nothing short of amazing. Since the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel in mid-January, the daily number of patients diagnosed with the virus has declined by 98 percent and the number of serious COVID-19 patients has dropped by 93 percent. In addition, 87 percent fewer Israelis are dying of the disease, and 85 percent of those 16 or older have been vaccinated.
The rapid decline in rates of infection and mortality have exceeded most predictions. Some scientists are already openly saying that Israel has reached the level at which herd immunity is thought to be achieved. Another possible explanation could be that many more children three or four times more have been infected with the coronavirus over the past year than were actually diagnosed with the disease. That would considerably boost the number of Israelis who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID above the initial estimates.
These figures have calmed the more pessimistic health professionals and have enabled this week's Independence Day celebrations to take place almost as usual. More importantly, they buttress next week's anticipated change in policy that would no longer require masks to be worn outdoors, although they would still be required indoors. Even more importantly, thanks to these figures, the education system will resume full activity on Sunday without restrictions. On this score as well, it appears that the risk could have been taken earlier in light of the huge damage that has been inflicted on the country's children due to the cancellation of classes.
During the holiday the New York Times cited an Israeli defense source who said Israel wants to calm things down with Iran and does not plan to respond to the latest Iranian attack on a cargo-ship owned by Israeli businessman Rami Ungar.
The ship, sailing in the Arabian Sea, was slightly damaged at the beginning of the week.
The Iranian attack, the third in about six weeks, came in response to a number of attacks attributed to Israel on Iranian vessels and took place after the Israeli attacks had been made public for the first time.
Assaf Yaari is an expert on self-love and couple relationships, according to his website. He offers his services to serious singles who are searching and to loving couples who are having difficulties. Yaari describes himself as a guide to love in Tel Aviv.
But Yaari apparently has no formal training, and the nature of his professional expertise is unclear. On his website, Yaari also claims that he is a couples mentor on Facebook and that he heads an initiative called the Academy for Couple Relationships and Love.
It may be an interesting and worthy initiative, but the word academy is a protected concept in Israel. A person who didn't receive a permit from the Council for Higher Education to establish an educational institution may not use the word.
The main street of the West Bank village of Al-Jib, on the way to the adjacent village of Bir Naballah, north of Jerusalem. Monday, April 5, 2:45 A.M., the early morning watch. The Israel Defense Forces raided Al-Jib three times that night. The soldiers parked their heavy, armored vehicles on the narrow traffic island separating the two sides of the road.
Three weeks earlier, on March 13, they had wrested a young Palestinian named Ahmed Ghanayem from his bed at night and detained him. Now they were back again to search his house and his family's store, which is around the corner from Ahmed's house. Two soldiers stood next to some cars parked on the median strip across from the store. Suddenly an old Toyota approached from the east. A soldier signaled the driver with a flashlight to pull over. The driver at first didn't notice the flashlight, but his wife quickly shouted at him to brake. The car came to a stop about four meters from the troops. A short conversation and the car was sent on its way. But then a moment later, the soldiers began spraying it with dozens of rounds of bullets.
If a person falls from a plane in the middle of the night, / only God alone can lift him up, the poet Dahlia Ravikovitch wrote. If a person is traveling in a car in the middle of the night in the West Bank, only God can apparently save him. Osama Mansour was killed; his wife, Somaya, survived.
The economy is reopening, kids are going back to school. Everything is moving, everything is changing. But Herod remains Herod. He's not budging.
He knows everything better than everyone. He'll continue refusing to listen to any of the professionals in his office and continue handing out billions to the general public without no accounting and no conscience.
According to both the economic safety net law approved by the Knesset in July 2020 and economic common sense, Finance Minister Yisrael Katz should already be cutting the unemployment benefits paid to people on unpaid leave. The unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent in March, which is below the 10 percent cutoff stipulated in the law.
Try to imagine people who are trying on a daily basis to convince us that the government has to give the power and money to the wealthy, to deny workers the ability to exercise political influence and to deny the poor support in order to push them into the hands of employers. These mantras of hate are foreign to most of us, but in Israeli there is an active multi-armed octopus that is spreading them. The head of the octopus is the Kohelet Economic Forum.
The forum was established in 2012 by academics and political entrepreneurs from various fields. The main group bankrolling the organization is run by two Jewish billionaires from Pennsylvania, along with smaller donors, American Jewish businessmen, who want to promote a policy of support for the wealthy and of preventing Israeli citizens from participating in decisions on the distribution of resources.
At present the Kohelet Economic Forum is headed by Michael Sarel, who worked intermittently in the Finance Ministry as a researcher and chief economist from 2001 to 2014. Sarel and his friends specialize in formulating hate mantras for workers and the poor. In a 2016 report on workers' unions, Sarel, Amir Feder and Tzviya Zicherman wrote suggestions for sabotaging the right to strike while advancing lawsuits against employees.
The events preceding Independence Day have become symbols of Israel statehood. One can criticize the exclusion of certain populations or the poor taste, but the traditional torch-lighting ceremony, the Israel Prize awards ceremony, the International Bible Contest, the Memorial Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies are all supposed to be unifying moments. It's a shame that, with the cynicism characteristic of the waning days of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule, many of these events were used instead to glorify him.
In his Holocaust Remembrance Day speech, Netanyahu chose to attack the talks between the United States and Iran over the nuclear deal. Addressing U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, he said, Even to our best friends I say: Make no mistake; an agreement with Iran that will pave their way to a nuclear weapon a weapon that threatens to destroy us any such agreement will not bind us one iota. Only one thing binds us: preventing those who seek to destroy us from carrying out their plan.
His cult of personality reached its peak during the torch-lighting ceremony. At a time when his attorneys are arguing that the bribery charges against him in Case 4000 are ridiculous and claiming the case is about nothing more than pictures of Sara Netanyahu on a minor internet news site, he exploited this state ceremony for a similar purpose. The television channels were forced to broadcast pictures of Netanyahu and his wife to the nation over and over, as the two sat next to the person in charge of the ceremony, Minister Miri Regev. Netanyahu boasted about the vaccination campaign. Even Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, a company that has earned billions of dollars from developing the vaccine, was integrated into the ceremony to repay the prime minister.
Recently I succumbed to a mid-life crisis and purchased the Israeli equivalent of a middle-aged man's sportscar: a jeep. There's nowhere to drive very fast in this country anyway, and I'd feel ridiculous at the wheel of a little red convertible. But there's something very therapeutic about off-road driving, where the main objective is to use the accelerator sparingly, go slow and enjoy the scenery.
Whenever you change your regular mode of transport, say from private car to public transport, or taxis to a bicycle, you discover a new layer of your city you were barely aware of before. And you acquire new sensibilities and sympathies. That's doubly true when you leave the asphalt for rutted dirt-tracks.
Being a novice off-roader still, and a rather hopeless navigator, I'm sticking for now to the relatively easy trails prescribed on the website and in the books of Yoav Kaveh, once Haaretz's motoring correspondent and now Israel's leading 4X4 guru. But even Kaveh's meticulous research and detailed coordinates can't keep up with the changing landscape.
Michal Govrin didn't understand what drew her parents to Bnei Brak. She knew her mother had friends there, because her parents sometimes celebrated social occasions with them, but she couldn't figure out what the connection was between her secular parents, who lived in Tel Aviv, and their Haredi ultra-Orthodox friends in the neighboring city. For her, it was the most puzzling thing in the world. I was a snobby Tel Aviv kid, anti-religious by definition, she recalls, and that was a whole other world for me. Like they were traveling to another country. Her mother didn't really explain it. Indeed, there were a great many things her mother didn't explain.
The pieces began to come together after her mother died, in 1986, when a Haredi woman, Rachel Shantzer, from Bnei Brak, came to the shivah. From her, Govrin heard for the first time about the women of the Zehnnerschaft Yiddish for group of 10. She learned that her mother had been part of an extraordinary group of women who survived three concentration camps together and supported one another over a period of more than two years, even risking their lives to save each other. The women acted as a single unit, as a mutual aid group, and thanks to their connection, almost all of them survived the war. And as if that weren't enough, Govrin discovered that nine of the 10 women were ultra-Orthodox her mother was the only nonreligious one in the group.
A new method to extract the DNA of prehistoric hominins from the soil of caves they inhabited has revealed that Neanderthals may have bounced back from the brink of extinction at least twice before their final disappearance some 40,000 years ago.
In a study published Thursday in Science, an international team of researchers details how they recovered fragments of Neanderthal genetic material dated to between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago from cave sediments in Spain and Russia.
The data indicate there were two radical replacements of the Neanderthal population throughout Eurasia, once 135,000 years ago and again 100,000 years ago. This may be indicative of environmental pressures, possibly caused by cooling climate, that temporarily decimated local hominin groups, says Benjamin Vernot, a population geneticist from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
The Israel Prize ceremony for this year was broadcast on Thursday, amid controversy over Education Minister Yoav Gallant's successful request to withhold the Israel Prize for mathematics from its planned recipient over alleged support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
The ceremony was filmed on Sunday in Jerusalem, a few days after the High Court of Justice ruled that Gallant had 30 days to justify his decision to deny Prof. Oded Goldreich the prize because he allegedly supports the BDS movement which Goldreich denies.
The winner of the Israel Prize for cinema, Michal Bat-Adam, said upon receiving the prize that she was dismayed that there were only eight winners, "because one winner is missing."
WASHINGTON Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced a House bill specifying various actions Israel may not finance with U.S. taxpayer funding, while also calling for additional oversight of how aid is distributed.
The "Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act" introduced by Representative Betty McCollum and co-sponsored by Representatives Andre Carson, Danny Davis, Marie Newman, Ilhan Omar, Bobby Rush, Raul Grijalva, Mark Pocan, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and JesÃºs "Chuy" GarcÃa specifies the detention of Palestinian minors, destruction of Palestinian property, or support for unilateral annexation, according to a letter McCollum distributed to colleagues.
According to a draft of the bill obtained by Haaretz, it says these Israeli actions "undermine efforts by the United States to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians" while omitting reference to a two-state solution to the conflict relatively standard legislative language regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein instructed his ministry's CEO to sign an order lifting COVID restrictions that require wearing a mask outdoors, his office said in a statement on Thursday.
The restriction would be lifted on Sunday, said the statement, adding that the decision was made after accepting the opinion of ministry professionals that, in light of low COVID morbidity, masks in the open air can be dispensed with.
The statement stressed that Israelis would still be required to wear a mask indoors.
How do you win against your opponent in the ideological arena? Simple: take a reviled symbol and associate it with him. For example, characterize the left as a bunch of traitors or losers, and remind the public of Chamberlain. Politics is replete with distorted perceptions, symbols and images, and manipulating these images is a decisive part of ideological warfare. Mixing and confusing symbols has long been a tactic of propagandists of all persuasions.
The struggle against antisemitism used to be above the fray of crass politics, but during the last two decades, it has become politicized and subject to the same manipulations suffered by the ideological arena. In Israel, it has been harnessed by the government as part of a vast campaign intended to whitewash its policies. The whitewashing has given rise to blacklists of Israeli NGOs, academics, artists, journalists and ordinary citizens who have dissented with Israel's ongoing occupation of the territories and dispossession of Palestinians of their basic human rights.
Dissent is not silenced through formal censorship, but with the assistance of the scarlet letter A. Critiques of Israeli policies are easily dubbed as anti-Zionist, and anti-Zionism is in turn viewed as a subcategory of antisemitism. Ergo, a critique of Israel is antisemitic. Through this syllogism, a critique of Israeli politics (an opinion) is transmuted into an essence and an identity (that of the antisemite), from which no politician or public figure can ever hope to recover.
Ulrich Jacov Becker looks at the West Bank settlement enterprise around him and is appalled by what he sees. Major highways are being paved, tunnels are being excavated, more and more residential units are going up in hilltop communities whose numbers are continually expanding. He's certain that all of this is a historic mistake, a disaster with long-term implications.
Left-wingers can identify with Becker's distress, but they're on different wavelengths, because the problem he sees has nothing to do with the occupation or future political arrangements intended to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Those issues don't bother him. A German-born architect and town planner who moved to the settlement of Tekoa for ideological, and even spiritual, reasons, Becker is concerned about something radically different: The settlement project is dear to his heart, and he's fearful for its future. In his perception, howver, terrible mistakes are being made in planning and construction of the settlements (and the network of roads connecting them) that could undo the whole enterprise.
We think that in Judea and Samaria we are restoring the glory of the ancient Holy Land, but that's wrong, Becker says. There was an opportunity here to learn from the mistakes of the 1950s new-immigrant towns and to build settlements that would bind Jews to their land. But what's being built here are not towns and villages that will sustain the Jewish people in its land for another 500 years; it's a sequence of sick, rootless, American-style suburbs. You came to inherit the patrimony, but instead of truly building the land and being built by it, people just count how many residential units are being built on the next hilltop.
Members of an extreme ultra-Orthodox faction torched Israeli flags and wreaths placed on graves of soldiers in Jerusalem, the police said Thursday as Israel a celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, a day after the country's Memorial Day for soldiers and civilian victims of attacks.
The police opened an investigation into the incident after obtaining a video in which the flags and wreaths were seen burning. Police said they were employing overt and covert measures to apprehend the suspects.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the incident, saying it was "an atrocious act of desecrating the memory of those who made it possible for us to live here. I harshly condemn this barbaric incident and expect the authorized bodies to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible."
President Joe Biden's negotiators should use leverage gained against Iran by the previous U.S. administration to reach a better nuclear deal with Tehran in talks in Vienna, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to Washington said.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia had supported former President Donald Trump's decision in 2018 to quit the 2015 accord between Iran and world powers and reimpose harsh sanctions on their foe.
"You (U.S.) are essentially in the driver's seat to get to a point to where we can address what I believe were shortcomings in JCPOA," envoy Yousef Al Otaiba said in a virtual discussion with Stanford University's Hoover Institution on Wednesday, using an acronym for the deal.
Arnon Gafni is an unknown figure in the history of Jerusalem. No street or square is named after him, not even a viaduct. But Gafni has influenced the lives of many a Jerusalemite, and not necessarily because he was the governor of the Bank of Israel in the late 70s.
To a great extent, Gafni was responsible for laying down a principle that helped shape the capital. In 1972, as chief of the Finance Ministry's Budgets Department, Gafni headed an interministerial committee on Jerusalem's desired growth rate. The main issue: a Jewish majority.
In other words, how could the city's Jewish majority, then at 73.5 percent, be preserved and enlarged? The committee made one main recommendation to the government accelerate construction for Jews which Golda Meir's cabinet adopted as the planning policy for the capital.
Israel is celebrating Thursday its 73rd Independence Day with a traditional Israel Air Force flyby across the country.
This year Israelis are once again allowed to gather and watch the flyby after most coronavirus restrictions have been lifted due to Israel's successful vaccination rollout and drop in infection rates. Planes will fly over more towns and communities than usual between 10:30 A.M. and 1 P.M.
F-15, F-16, F-16I and F-35 fighter jets; the Lavi aircraft; C-130 and C-130J cargo planes; the Boeing refueling plane; Black Hawk, Sea Stallion, Panther and Apache helicopters will take part in the festive flyby.
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group used drones and missiles to attack targets in the southern Saudi city of Jazan, it said on Thursday, including one belonging to state oil giant Aramco which caused a fire.
There was no Saudi confirmation of a fire or of a hit on a Patriot anti-missile structure which the Houthi military spokesman said was also struck.
However the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said some debris from intercepting the four drones and five ballistic missiles fired overnight and in the early morning had landed within the grounds of Jazan University and started a limited fire that was brought under control.
The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said on Wednesday he and other lawmakers were concerned about the Biden administration's decision to go ahead with a weapons sale to the United Arab Emirates and would review the transactions.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Democratic president's administration had told Congress it was proceeding with more than $23 billion in weapons sales to the UAE, including advanced F-35 aircraft, armed drones and other equipment.
The sale was reached in the last weeks of former Republican President Donald Trump's administration and finalized only about an hour before Biden took office on January 20, and the Democrat's administration had "paused" it in order to conduct a review.
Archaeologists digging in the ancient Canaanite settlement of Lachish have unearthed a 3,500 year old pottery shard inscribed with what they believe is the oldest text found in Israel that was written using an alphabetic script. Earlier Canaanite texts are known, but they were written using hieroglyphs or cuneiform characters.
The discovery of the alphabetic writing fills a gap in the early history of a script that apparently was developed by Canaanite migrants in ancient Egypt. From the Levant, the writing system would eventually spread around the world, becoming the most commonly used writing system to this day.
Back in Lachish, the tiny shard is the remnant of a clay pot that had been imported from Cyprus and written on using ink in Canaan. Measuring just 4 by 3.5 centimeters, the fragment contains a handful of characters spread over two lines. It was discovered in 2018 by an Austrian expedition digging at Lachish and was published Thursday in the journal Antiquity.
On Memorial Day last year in Israel, at the height of the first coronavirus lockdown, when even immediate family members were not allowed to visit their loved ones' graves, the IDF sent an honor guard to every military burial ground. As a result, for the first time in over a century, since fallen Jewish soldiers serving in the British army were buried in Palestine during the First World War, they were honored by an army that hadn't even existed in their lifetimes.
As the sirens sounded over Jerusalem, two IDF lieutenant-colonels saluted the graves of 24 Jewish soldiers buried in the British War Cemetery on Mount Scopus. The cemetery is run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is funded by the British government in partnership with the governments of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa, whose soldiers fought alongside Britain in the war, and is responsible for 23,000 burial sites around the world. The official Memorial Day in these cemeteries is the one observed every year by Britain and the Commonwealth on the second Sunday of November. For Jewish soldiers buried in British cemeteries in Israel, there are two memorial days.
This year, with the reopening of Israel's military cemeteries on Memorial Day, there was no IDF honor guard on Mount Scopus. In their stead, a small group of civilians gathered by the graves of the Jewish soldiers. They were volunteers from the Amana department of the settler Yesha Council who started visiting these graves voluntarily eight years ago. I heard that there were graves that no one visits on Memorial Day, says Moshe Yogev, who first came up with the idea. I tried to get one of the Hesder yeshivas or the military rabbinate to send soldiers here but that didn't happen so we started to do it ourselves. Sometimes we get a minyan so we can say Kaddish. Last year, despite the lockdown, I came here on my own, so there would be someone to say El Male Rachamim.
In 1942, all traces of Bianca Schwartz disappeared. An orphan who arrived in Palestine as part of the Youth Aliyah effort to save Jewish refugees from war-torn Europe, she had lived on Kibbutz Afikim in the north before moving to Jerusalem. A lengthy search eventually revealed that Schwartz had converted to Islam, married an Arab man, changed her name to Leila Natshe Ali and was living in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, which in 1948 had come under Jordanian control. The couple had five children. After her husband died, in 1971, she wanted to return to the fold of Judaism. According to one account, Hanania Dery, the chief rabbi of Jaffa, was walking in the Old City when he happened to notice a woman who was dressed in Arab attire but whose facial features struck him as Jewish. Dery asked her to tell him about herself, and thanks to his efforts she returned to her Jewish roots and was recognized as a new immigrant.
Schwartz's story is apparently not unusual. Dozens of Jewish women who fled in 1948 with their Arab husbands into the territory of Transjordan are now in Amman, the newspaper Maariv reported two years after the War of Independence. After some years of life together in a hostile environment, some of the women decided to return.
Thanks to the same Rabbi Dery, these women returned to the headlines in a big way in 1967, following Israel's conquest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This time Dery deliberately went into refugee camps in the newly occupied territories to look for Jewish women who had married Arab men and converted to Islam, had lived for years under a foreign regime and were now once more under Israeli rule.
Israelis ushered in Independence Day on Wednesday evening free of most of the coronavirus health restrictions that put a damper on last year's festivities.
The main official ceremonies marking 73 years of Israeli independence were held Wednesday evening on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, featuring a torch-lighting ceremony honoring health care professionals who have been on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic over the past year.
The 14 torch lighters also included teachers, Israelis who have lost loved ones in terror attacks and a prominent victim of domestic violence.
Inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog visited Iran's uranium enrichment site at Natanz on Wednesday, the agency said, without commenting on the extent of the damage caused by what Iran says was an act of sabotage.
"IAEA inspectors are continuing their verification and monitoring activities in Iran, and today have been at the Natanz enrichment site," the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement.
"The IAEA will continue to report on relevant developments regarding Iran's nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors," it added, referring to its 35-nation decision-making body.
Israel's current political chaos often seems so extreme and incurable that about the only thing you can do is cut yourself off from the news and go commune with nature. Just as sunlight is the best disinfectant, a little fresh air and green spaces are a magical remedy that brings relief from the troubles of the hour. But in Israel, not only is the personal political, many other things like a forest are frequently political too. When we drove up to a forest that overlooks the Jordan Valley, attempting to find a little quiet away from all the endless and inconclusive commentary, we discovered some refreshing political wisdom alongside a stunning view, marvelous cows and, of course, thoughts about escape.
The Eshkol Forest was originally the Menahemia Forest, which first began to be planted in the 1930s. But it wasn't until the 60s that the Jewish National Fund began planting more abundantly throughout this forest, and a few years later the name was changed to the Eshkol Forest (though both names appear on websites and maps). It was named for Israel's third prime minister, Levi Eshkol, who succeeded David Ben-Gurion after the latter had served for 13 years and 127 days (with a break of a year and a half in the middle).
During his tenure, Eshkol was considered drab and lacking in charisma, not the kind of person who could easily fill the Old Man's big shoes.
Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, died early Wednesday in a federal prison, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, Madoff's lawyers filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied.
In 1989, two prominent Hebrew University sociologists, Dan Horowitz and Moshe Lissak, published a very important book: Trouble In Utopia: The Overburdened Polity of Israel.
Horowitz who was also a political scientist and Lissak analyze a dysfunctional Israeli political system, the decline in effectiveness of the government and the spread of cultural malaise. They place these phenomena in Israel's short historical context, claiming that a society that had laid the foundations for a cohesive Jewish nation-state became increasingly vulnerable to centrifugal forces.
The title of their book is even more apropos today. Had the two, since deceased, witnessed the last several years in Israel, particularly the last two years in Israeli politics, they surely would have provided at least two or three voluminous and dreary sequels. The trouble has exponentially increased, the envisaged utopia has significantly shrunk, and the overburdened is pushing the Israeli polity to the brink of near collapse, aided by sociopolitical contradictions, gross mismanagement and abysmal dysfunction.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that never has there been more strain on the U.S. Capitol Police as he honored Officer William Billy Evans, the second officer on the force to die in the line of duty this year.
Evans, who laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, was killed earlier this month when a driver struck him and another officer at a barricade outside the Senate. His death compounded the anguish of a police force already mourning the loss of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after his encounter with rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide in the days after the Capitol attack.
Biden's speech took a very emotional tone and received praise from across the political spectrum, garnering praise even on Fox News. Fox News' Harris Faulkner was so moved by the address, she even called it an "iconic" moment, saying, "He is iconic at it" ... "So present and so kind.
The Israel Prize, the country's highest cultural and academic honor, which is awarded in a festive ceremony broadcast on Independence Day, is meant to celebrate the country's greatest achievements and most respected minds. But this year and not for the first time the festivities have been overshadowed by controversy, highlighting a less attractive side of the country: its deep and persistent political divisions.
At this year's ceremony, which was prerecorded on Sunday, no mention was made of Prof. Oded Goldreich, who had been selected by the Israel Prize selection committee to receive the 2021 award in mathematics and computer science. The reason: Education Minister Yoav Gallant's contention that Goldreich is a supporter of the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement against Israel, which led the Likud party cabinet member to refuse to approve the prize going to Goldreich.
Calling the prize the most prestigious honor Israel can bestow, Gallant said that anyone who does not hold the State of Israel and its laws close to their heart does not deserve the Israel Prize. While Goldreich may be a brilliant scientist, Gallant claimed that, by supporting the BDS movement, he spits in the face of the State of Israel and Israeli academia, and may even be breaking the law.
That's likely what you'd hear everyone saying on the way out of the multiplex if we were all still going to the multiplex after Promising Young Woman. In an audacious and provocative film (nominated for five Oscars), there's no part more audacious and provocative than the final act, in which former medical student Cassie (Carey Mulligan) exacts her very unique form of revenge.
But though some call the film a black comedy, there's nothing funny about the end it's brutal, and feels very real. Writer-director Emerald Fennell says she wasn't interested in a comic-book fantasy ending. Nobody pulls out an AK-47 and blows the bad guys away. In fact, the bad guys tend to masquerade as good guys.
The European powers party to the Iran nuclear deal told Tehran on Wednesday that its decision to enrich uranium at 60-percent purity and install a further 1,000 centrifuges at its Natanz site were contrary to efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Talks between world powers, Iran and the United States are due to resume in Vienna on Thursday, but in a joint statement Britain, France and Germany said Tehran's decision to enrich at 60 percent was not based on credible civilian reasons and constituted an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon.
"Iran's announcements are particularly regrettable given they come at a time when all JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) participants and the United States have started substantive discussions, with the objective of finding a rapid diplomatic solution to revitalise and restore the JCPoA," the three countries said.
When Ethiopian migrant Jamal Hussein boarded a UN-run repatriation flight out of Yemen, he ended a journey through the war-torn country that he had hoped would take him to a better life in wealthy Saudi Arabia.
Many more migrants are also calling it quits, reversing a longstanding and often perilous flow out of the Horn of Africa by sea and then north through Yemen into Gulf states for work.
Their hopes for better prospects have been thwarted by coronavirus restrictions and the security conditions, leaving them stranded in a country where millions already live on the brink of famine.
Was the decision to launch the two recent attacks on Iran, last week's strike on the spy ship Saviz in the Red Sea and Sunday's sabotage of the uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, influenced by Benjamin Netanyahu's desire to wreck the powers' nuclear talks with Iran and create a better situation for him to finally form a government?
No one can provide a reliable answer. Not even Netanyahu, who is famously capable of convincing himself that any move advantageous to his political and personal fortunes is also in Israel's interest, can honestly answer that question.
One thing we can say for sure is that because the complex planning, intelligence gathering and preparations for such operations takes months, sometimes years, they were in the works long before Iran and the United States agreed to hold proximity talks in Vienna and before the Israeli voters yet again failed to deliver Netanyahu his coveted majority.
Greece and Libya have agreed to hold talks on marking out their maritime zones in the Mediterranean, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday, after a meeting with the president of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi.
In a statement after the meeting, Mitsotakis said the two leaders "agreed on the immediate resumption of talks between Greece and Libya on the delimitation of the maritime zones".
Libya's new unity government took office on March 16, succeeding two warring administrations that had ruled eastern and western regions during a decade of violent chaos since the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi.
When one's favorite food becomes unavailable, one eats other things. Clearly when mega-fauna existed, we prehistoric humans ate them with gusto, but as the giant animals vanished from the landscape, we had to settle for smaller ones. This may explain the unexpected prevalence of reptile remains in late prehistoric archaeological contexts in Israel, which was reported last year including a lizard that has only now been identified properly.
Yes, our predecessors during the Natufian period in Israel, from about 15,000 to about 12,000 years ago, ate many squamates, including snakes and lizards. Now a new paper published in Vertebrate Zoology by an international team of researchers reveals that one of these prehistoric suppertime squamates, a legless lizard, was not the same as its peers in Eurasia. It is a sister species endemic to the Levant Israel, Lebanon, and the coasts of Syria and southern Turkey, explain Daniel Jablonski of the Comenius University in Bratislava with an international team of colleagues.
The completley separate archaeological study by Ma'ayan Lev, Mina Weinstein Evron and Reuven Yeshurun published in Scientific Reports last year offered evidence that in the Natufian period, which is the late Stone Age culture in Israel during the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, people ate whip snakes and European glass lizards, among other things. The Vertebrate Zoology article is about that glass lizard.
A coalition of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan will leave the country in coordination with a planned U.S. withdrawal by September 11, Washington's top diplomat said on Wednesday, ahead of a formal announcement of the end of two decades of fighting.
Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces from mainly NATO countries, but also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan but still rely on U.S. air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Brussels that it was time for NATO allies to make good on its mantra that allies went into Afghanistan together and would leave together.
When plotted on a graph, the curve of Bhutan's COVID-19 vaccination drive shoots upwards from the very first day, crossing Israel, United States, Bahrain and other countries known for vaccinating people rapidly.
Those countries took months to reach where they are, painstakingly strengthening their vaccination campaigns in the face of rising coronavirus cases. But the story of Bhutan's vaccination campaign is nearly finished just 16 days after it began.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom wedged between India and China has vaccinated nearly 93% of its adult population since March 27. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62% of its 800,000 people.
Dozens of people, including disabled Israeli military veterans and those with post-traumatic stress disorder, demonstrated on Wednesday in front of Defense Ministry's rehabilitation clinic in central Israel, where a disabled veteran set himself on fire on Monday, protesting a lack of support from the ministry in vets' rehabilitation.
The demonstrators called on the ministry to "stop burying" those suffering from PTSD, holding up signs reading, We are all Itzik Saidian, referring to the 26-years-old veteran, who remains hospitalized in critical condition with extensive burns.
The protest was held as Israel marked Memorial Day on Wednesday, commemorating fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.
Days after his successor at the Anti-Defamation League said he would not honor Rupert Murdoch today, Abraham Foxman said he stands by the award he gave to the Fox News owner a decade ago.
In 2010, under Foxman's leadership, the ADL gave Murdoch its International Leadership Award in recognition of his stalwart support of Israel and his commitment to promoting respect and speaking out against anti-Semitism.
In the years since, critics of Fox have called out the network, and particularly its popular talk show host Tucker Carlson, for giving a platform to far-right ideas. Last week, Greenblatt called on Fox to fire Carlson for endorsing the white supremacist theory that there is a coordinated effort to replace the population of the United States with immigrants from the third world. (Carlson said he was not discussing an issue of race.)
Mordechai Yosepov, the first person to be killed by a Qassam rocket fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, barely knew Hebrew. He had immigrated to Israel from Uzbekistan in the early 1990s and found work at a factory in Sderot, near the Gaza border. He was killed on June 28, 2004 when a rocket that landed near a kindergarten in the town exploded.
One of his grandchildren, Ilanit Yosepov, who was 5 at the time, was in the kindergarten classroom at the time. Now 22, she has few memories of her grandfather, but she cannot forget the day that he died.
I remember seeing him that morning on my way to kindergarten and soon afterwards, we heard an explosion that frightened all of the children. Later I learned that the explosion had killed my grandfather.
After the first years, during which the pain is acute and terrible, come years in which the wound begins to be covered over by layers of reality and the everyday. There are things that need to be done. There's work, there are relationships with family and friends. There are all of life's obligations and also its joys. There's coronavirus and there's politics and there are by contrast new babies that are born to the grieving family. There are even distractions from the pain. For a few moments here and there, one seems to forget it ever happened.
Slowly, amid the endless negotiation with life, a way emerges to live with the loss.
Over our wound, above our private abyss, reality seems to spread a tenuous, flexible fabric and we, the mourners, learn how to go forward on that fabric, which is stretched above the abyss.
Turkey's foreign minister said a new period was beginning in Ankara's ties with Egypt with senior officials from the two countries set to hold talks, broadcaster NTV said on Wednesday.
Last month Turkey said it had resumed diplomatic contacts with Egypt and wanted further cooperation after years of tension since the Egyptian army toppled a Muslim Brotherhood president close to Ankara.
A thaw in ties between the regional powers could have repercussions around the Mediterranean. They have backed rival sides in the war in Libya and sealed conflicting maritime deals with other coastal states.
Dr. Anna Chuprin doesn't have much time for telephone calls in the lab, but for some calls she'll put everything on hold. This doesn't happen often, maybe twice or three times a week, when she is notified by one of Israel's hospitals that a potential celiac patient is undergoing a biopsy and has agreed to donate part of it for research being conducted by Ukko, the startup company Chuprin works for as an immunologist. The samples must reach the company's offices within two hours at a temperature of 4 degrees celsius.
Chuprin receives the biopsy in small test tubes. She extracts the blood cells (T cells) from them and grows them in a petri dish for a few weeks. When she has enough cells she moves them to a shallow dish with wells into which she gently drips a liquid resembling glue or wax. One liquid is gluten protein produced from wheat, while the other is gluten protein that has undergone a slight manipulation after being redesigned using artificial intelligence.
The T cells are the combatants of the immune system. When they identify foreign proteins invading the body they get activated they multiply and attack the foreign protein in order to destroy it. Celiac patients' T-cells mistakenly identify gluten as a foreign invader and excrete inflammatory proteins that damage the patient's intestines. Chuprin measures the level of interferon gamma protein excreted following this encounter and thus identifies a celiac patient whose body is incapable of digesting it.
As we speak by phone, Alon Tal is taking a pleasure drive in the Jerusalem Hills. If Tal's frightening vision comes true, in a few years the same drive will slow to a nightmarish crawl on a road jammed with cars. He says that while Israel sees itself as a young, growth-hungry state, in fact it is heavy, clumsy and fit to burst. But Tal is optimistic. We just have to take a few steps to change our entire idea of who we are.
Prof. Alon Tal, of Tel Aviv University's public policy department, is co-chair of the Israel Forum for Population, Environment and Society.
Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice to open a road to their Isawiyah neighborhood, which has been closed for 20 years, since the second intifada.
The petitioners argue that the road, between Isawiyah and the Hebrew University, isn't being kept shut for security reasons, as the Israeli authorities claim, and that blocking it constitutes collective punishment against the neighborhood's 20,00 residents.
Justice Ofer Grosskopf instructed the state to respond to the petition by May 13.
Lunar exploration company iSpace will transport a United Arab Emirates rover to the moon in 2022, the company said on Wednesday, as the UAE pushes for rapid expansion in the space exploration business to diversify its economy.
The UAE is using its space program to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.
The Gulf state's, and the Arab world's, first interplanetary probe entered Mars' orbit in February. It is now sending data about the Martian atmosphere and climate.
Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism is being commemorated on Wednesday around the country with official ceremonies.
Speaking at the main ceremony in the National Hall for Israel's Fallen on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the tremendous sacrifice made by our fighters paved the way for peace with Egypt, but also taught us an invaluable lesson: We must never remain indifferent to threats of annihilation and destruction by those who hate us.
As official ceremonies started across the country, several dozen protesters gathered in front of the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Department offices in Petah Tikva, where a disabled Israeli military veteran set himself on fire on Monday.
Isi Leibler, a former activist on behalf of Soviet Jews and a leader of Australian Jewry, has died in Israel. He was 86.
Leibler, who was born in Belgium but grew up in Melbourne, Australia, led the Executive Council of Australian Jewry for nearly 20 years until 1995. He later served on the governing board of the World Jewish Congress. He was WJC's honorary vice president at the time of his death Tuesday.
In addition to lobbying with Australian governments to let in Jews leaving the former Soviet Union and leading public awareness campaigns to allow more of them to leave, Leibler used his contacts in China and India to improve their relations with Israel and eventually establish diplomatic relations with that country.
June 6, 2005, just after 6 A.M. At the Qalqilyah checkpoint is a long line of Palestinian cars waiting to take passengers from the West Bank to Israel, for work. Facing them are soldiers from Caracal, a combat battalion. One sees two Palestinian women entering a taxi that's moving toward Israeli territory. She asks them for ID, and a scuffle breaks out. The commander of the checkpoint, Lauren Dagan Amos, one of the first female soldiers in Caracal, runs to help the soldier. In the midst of the struggle I head the soldiers at the checkpoint shout terror attack, they have a bomb strapped to their body, Dagan Amos recalls, and can't stop her tears.
I didn't understand what was happening, I found myself lying on the road together with the two Palestinian women and everyone around us started moving away. I don't remember calling for help, I thought that if this is what's happening, let it happen quickly, so I won't feel too much pain. She doesn't know how long she lay in the road, waiting to die, until two army jeeps arrived. To her surprise, they didn't try to rescue her. They were Shin Bet or combat soldiers, but I saw they were just standing far from me and shouting at me not to shoot, because it would set off the explosive.
Only later, when it was clear the Palestinian women weren't carrying explosives, did the soldiers swoop down on the women.
Most of the people who brought us an unnecessary, preventable war in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014, 51 days with no victory, are also involved in what's happening today a steady, dangerous slide toward the possibility of an even worse military conflict with Iran.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz and Aviv Kochavi were all there that wretched summer, though the latter two have since been promoted respectively, from chief of staff to defense minister and from head of Military Intelligence to chief of staff. Then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is no longer in the picture.
Under their leadership, Israel now risks conflict that's an order of magnitude greater. That's the situation on the eve of our 73rd Independence Day.
If you need any evidence of how much the food-technology business is exciting investors these days, look at Bio Meat Foodtech, a research and development partnership traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
On Sunday, it announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture with an unnamed partner to develop cultured fish meat. Bio Meat's share price has since skyrocketed, rising more than 52% in three days of trading, boosting the tiny company's market cap of about 43 million shekels ($13 million).
It went public at the beginning of March in a 25 million shekel initial public offering.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has told Congress it is proceeding with more than $23 billion in weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates, including advanced F-35 aircraft, armed drones and other equipment, congressional aides said on Tuesday.
A State Department spokesperson said the administration would move forward with the proposed sales to the UAE, "even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials" related to the use of the weapons.
The Democratic president's administration had paused the deals agreed to by former Republican President Donald Trump in order to review them. The sales to the Gulf nation were finalized right before Trump left office.
Intel's Israeli Mobileye unit has teamed with four-year-old Silicon Valley startup Udelv in an effort to put automated electric delivery vehicles into service in the United States by 2023, the companies said on Monday.
Mobileye is supplying a fully automated driving system for Udelv's new Transporter, a boxy electric shuttle without seats or cockpit that is designed specifically for delivery.
Udelv will not sell the vehicles, but will offer them as part of a subscription-based delivery-as-a-service package to commercial customers. And while the vehicles will not have human drivers, Udelv plans to offer a teleoperation feature with humans remotely assisting customers with loading and unloading.
The backup at Israeli ports has cost the economy some 960 million shekels ($292 million) over the last six weeks by forcing factories to close for want of raw materials, but importers, exporters and manufacturers all say officials have yet to solve the problem.
The Manufacturers Association of Israel, which made the 960 million shekel estimate, said that each additional day of port delays costs the economy an additional 75 million shekels. The immediate damage is not only to imports of raw materials but to the import and export of fresh produce and other time-sensitive foods whose sell-by date has expired while waiting aboard ships, the association said.
Ron Tomer, the president of the manufacturers' trade group, again called on the Transportation Ministry to intervene in the crisis. Every delay in the delivery of raw materials to factories means that plants remain idle. Companies can't export and reputations that were built over the years are destroyed, he said.
The period of the national holidays always brings out the big national arguments too, and raises the intensity of the emotions that accompany them. But it seems that this year these holidays are awakening more despair than ever in the Israeli minority that still clings to the basket of liberal values, including watchwords that today are considered almost offensive, such as equality, rule of law and freedom of expression.
Beyond the danger of despair, which regularly threatens the left in a country that continues to march to the right, over the past two weeks an abundance of unusual events have taken place that demonstrate the trend: The successor of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and the representative of misogynists and homophobes, Avi Maoz, were sworn in as Knesset members. The task of forming the next government was once again given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the same time that he was being tried in court.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who battles the occupation, was beaten with a baton by a settler. Lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich called for the deportation of Arab citizens on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Israel Prize was denied to Oded Goldreich because of his anti-settlement opinions. Joint List lawmaker Ofer Cassif was beaten by a policeman during a protest.
Nothing better illustrates Israel's situation on the eve of its 73rd Independence Day than the decision to withhold the Israel Prize for mathematics and computer science from Prof. Oded Goldreich until the state has examined his political opinions and determined to what extent he is really a leftist. Israel boasts of being a high-tech power, of being an international leader in vaccinating its people against the coronavirus and of continuing the Zionist ethos of making the desert bloom. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ministers of his court are leading Israel, in the same breath, toward an authoritarian regime of silencing dissent and persecuting anyone suspected of disloyalty to the government. And that's even before the establishment of his dream-team government a totally right-wing coalition that includes racists, Kahanists, homophobes and Islamists whose dream is to return to the Middle Ages and completely eliminate freedom of expression.
Goldreich's scientific excellence, which won the esteem of the Israel Prize jury, is of no interest to our right-wing government. As far as it's concerned, his research accomplishments can be thrown in the trash because he dared to protest against the occupation and one of its symbols, Ariel University. The message to Israel's scientific community is clear become collaborators or be humiliated. At least scientists have so far been spared the violence of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana's police. But this violence has been turned against anti-government protesters in the streets, like MK Ofer Cassif of the Joint List, who was beaten by police officers at a demonstration in Jerusalem Friday.
Netanyahu and his collaborator, Education Minister Yoav Gallant, didn't invent anything in the Goldreich affair. They are marching down the crooked path of other powers that have subordinated science and culture to the interests of the regime. But of course, it's forbidden to make comparisons to Nazi Germany, which drove Albert Einstein into exile because of his Judaism. Or to the Soviet Union under Stalin. Or to America during the McCarthy era, with its blacklists. Or to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who are destroying academic freedom in their own countries today. Like those regimes, the Israeli right also wants a chorus of support for the occupation and the settlements, not scientists and cultural figures who will dare to protest against moral crimes and violations of international law. It's disappointing that the attorney general backed Gallant, and that the High Court of Justice quickly acceded to the state's position by barring Goldreich from being awarded the prize at the state Independence Day ceremony Wednesday evening.
On this Independence Day after last Independence Day when the strongest image, the clearest, of the relationship between Israel and the Israelis was the lockdown it is now clear to everyone who can see that the biggest challenge facing Israelis is to create for them, for us, a new Israel. Not another quick fix, or band aid or filling, but a reexamination and clarification of the ways in which citizens, not the establishment, implement for themselves the term that is called the country, this idea that is called independence.
What was created 73 years ago on an ideological and national basis as they grew out of the Industrial Revolution, and which created mechanisms of mass identity as a mirror image of mass production, no longer work. The political impasse and degeneration and not only in Israel are proof of this.
A lot has been written here that the essential first step in such a process of thinking, whose aspiration is to nurture a society and not just to wallow in despair from it, is to disconnect from the yearning for the past. But while this may be a necessary condition, it is not enough. On the basis of the recognition of the irrelevancy of the past and that human existence is undergoing major changes these days, new foundations of discussion and in-depth examination must now be created.
All classes in the public school system will be reopened Sunday, the cabinet has decided.
In the schools, the capsule system of splitting classes will be scrapped, under the plan put forward by the Health Ministry and adopted by the cabinet Monday night.
After two weeks have passed with stability in the infection rate and with 95 percent of the country green,' including low rates of illness among children, the opening of the school system more broadly can move ahead, with extensive testing where a rise in infection is detected, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Although children under 16 are not vaccinated, infection rates among children continue to fall, as does the general infection rate.
The Walla internet news site belonged completely to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his circle, former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua said Tuesday, his fifth day of testimony in Netanyahu's trial.
The norm was that we weren't actually the site's editors, Yeshua told the Jerusalem District Court. When we posted something, they'd ask for improvements. I knew they could always come change things. ... Every day was a battle.
He said he was even asked to fire journalists who opposed the slanted coverage, including editor-in-chief Avi Alkalay.
The 16th joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony was held Tuesday evening, co-hosted by the left-wing NGOs Combatants for Peace and Parents Circle Families Forum.
During the ceremony, two bereaved Israelis and two bereaved Palestinians spoke and video message by the actor Richard Gere was screened. Due to the coronavirus safety precautions, the ceremony was broadcasted online.
Two weeks ago, a company that rents out billboards refused at first to approve signage publicizing the ceremony, but eventually did so.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit told the cabinet secretary on Tuesday that it would not be possible for the security and other key cabinets to convene in the absence of a justice minister.
The term of acting Justice Minister Benny Gantz lapsed on April 1, and Mendelblit has been vocal in urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Gantz to fill the post.
In his legal opinion, Mendelblit stated that the security cabinet could only convene without a justice minister in matters of utmost urgency and on the condition that the number of ministers between the two government blocs Netanyahu and Gantz is the same.
WASHINGTON Twenty-seven Democratic Senators are urging the Biden administration to immediately return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under a compliance-for-compliance approach.
According to a letter obtained by Haaretz, the senators hope to relay the urgency of addressing Iran's nuclear threat particularly its impending breakout time and increased levels of uranium enrichment and use it s a springboard to address additional significant concerns with American allies, as well as potentially extending the deal's terms or negotiating a new pact as a follow-on agreement.
"We strongly support returning to the JCPOA and using a 'compliance for compliance' approach as a starting point to reset U.S. relations with Iran," the letter lead by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) reads.
WASHINGTON U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday reaffirmed the Biden administration's "unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to ensuring that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon" in a virtual meeting of a U.S.-Israel strategic consulting group, the White House said.
This meeting was held as part of ongoing bilateral consultations on security issues of vital importance to the two countries. During the meeting, officials consulted in detail on opportunities to promote stability and security in the face of shared regional threats and challenges.
Mr. Sullivan reaffirmed the Biden-Harris administration's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to ensuring that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon. The officials expressed their shared interest in maintaining a close and open dialogue in the months ahead. Mr. Sullivan warmly invited his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, to visit Washington before the end of this month for follow-up consultations.
President Joe Biden has decided to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after al Qaeda's attacks triggered America's longest war, three sources familiar with the decision told Reuters.
However, the withdrawal would be based on certain security and human rights guarantees, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the formalization of the decision. The sources did not provide further details.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are expected to brief the decision to NATO allies in Brussels on Wednesday. Biden may also publicly announce his decision, the sources said.
Lauren Hertz and Daniel Brosh still aren't sure who kissed the other first. It was on their first date, but that was eight years ago. They danced in a bar, Lauren says, and I drank, and we danced, then he suddenly came and kissed me.
Daniel: Wrong. She kissed me. I was just dancing near her. She's the one who made the move and kissed. Lauren, 49, is a transgender woman. Her partner Daniel, who is 20 years younger, is a transgender man. They live in south Tel Aviv and are in the midst of the surrogacy process, which is happening abroad. They're expecting twins.
I'd heard a lot about love stories, but this one intrigued me and drew me in. I never thought that two transgender people could fall in love and build a family. Even I, as a part of this community, was surprised. I'm on my way to see them, and I have so many questions. Meanwhile, I entertain the thought that maybe, out of fear, we're missing out on love stories like theirs.
The Defense Ministry has ordered an investigation into the case of a disabled IDF veteran who set himself on fire two days before Israel's Memorial Day, the ministry's director-general Amir Eshel announced on Tuesday.
Itzik Saidian, 26-years-old, was admitted to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, in a serious condition with extensive burns, after he self-immolated in front of the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Department on Monday.
The department's behavior during their correspondences allegedly pushed him the edge of despair, a friend said.
The attack on the Republican Guards' spy ship in the Red Sea and sabotage of the Natanz uranium enrichment site are both attributed to Israeli intelligence, and, taken with the leaks about these attacks it shows that Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is playing with fire.
Official Iranian spokesmen vow that Iran will respond. Based on precedent, they can be believed. There is no question that they will seek reprisal against Israel, even if success is not assured.
Unlike the airstrikes in Syria, where Israel feels quite safe, the conflict between Iran and Israel that has been going on for two and a half years could spin out of control, leading Israel into a cycle of violence in which it does not necessarily hold the upper hand. Some 95 percent of all trade with Israel is by sea. The Israeli navy is relatively small and its ability to protect and secure maritime trade is limited, particularly in areas like the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, which are far from Israel's shores.
When she was 6 years old, in 1953, Batya Asher discovered the secret her parents had concealed from her. I was standing with a group of children in a circle and one of them said to me: Your mother didn't give birth to you.' I ran home and asked my parents if that was true and they said it was, but told me no more, she said this week.
Thus teasing by children in Kvutzat Yavneh, a religiously observant kibbutz in central Israel, became a formative event in Batya's life, and the marks are still evident almost 70 years later. Ever since, I've had feelings of inferiority. I became a girl, a woman, a mother and a grandmother who only wants people to love her, she said.
The secret happened during the War of Independence. About 10 days after the state was established, on May 24, 1948, an Egyptian plane appeared in the sky over Kvutzat Yavneh. Hadassah Wolff, who was pregnant, was sitting in one of the kibbutz huts with her daughter Batya, who was about a year old. Hadassah was having coffee with friends, Avraham and Hani Meir.
An Israeli-owned ship was attacked near Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel reported on Tuesday.
Israeli defense sources confirmed that a ship partially was attacked on Tuesday, and said they were certain that Iran is behind the attack. The attack took place in international waters, likely by an unmanned drone or a missile strike, they said, noting that only minor damage was caused.
The ship, the Hyperion Ray, is partially owned by Israeli businessman Rami Ungar, but had no Israeli nationals on board and did not sail under an Israeli flag, the sources said.
Police are considering filing assault charges against a social activist who reported she was beaten by a fellow protester at an LGBTQ Pride rally in Tel Aviv last summer.
Police suspect that she engaged in an altercation herself.
The activist, Sapir Slutzker-Amran, a lawyer, was treated at a hospital after the attack. She reported the incident to the police two days later, giving them the name of her alleged attacker and a list of eyewitnesses. The suspect was only called in for questioning two months later, after which he filed a complaint against Slutzker-Amran. Now the police have told her that there is sufficient evidence to charge her with participation in a brawl.
If the entire world was Israel, all would be fine. Shops, malls and restaurants have been open for more than a month and at least the consumer bit of the economy is reviving quickly. Israel continues to lead the world in vaccination rates surpassed only by the Seychelles and Bhutan, and coronavirus restrictions are being lifted. It seems like the post-pandemic era is finally upon us.
It's not. The Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking ranked Israel at No. 5, thanks to our successful vaccine rollout (our other metrics aren't impressive), putting us ahead of COVID champions like China and not far behind New Zealand and Taiwan. But that just shows how Israel remains a rare exception to the rule for most of the world.
Yes, there are countries that are reopening, such as Britain and the United States, and others like China that have been open for a while. But the number of daily new COVID cases and deaths (based on a seven-day average) is still on the rise and approaching the levels of the previous wave.
Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, begins Tuesday night and lasts until Wednesday night, when the country transitions into Israel's Independence Day, Yom Haatzmaut.
In Israel, the day is marked with one- and two-minute sirens when the country halts and everyone stands in silence. At night, Israelis attend official memorial services. People traditionally visit the graves of loved ones who died in wars and terror attacks during the day a custom that was interrupted last year, when the country was in the middle of its first pandemic lockdown.
This year, Israelis are largely able to resume their local traditions for these holidays. Still, a range of programs and memorial services are being streamed, geared toward English-speaking audiences whose ability to travel to Israel has been largely cut off for the last year.
Karen Zivan was thrilled last week when she heard that Israel would begin allowing entry of vaccinated first-degree relatives of Israelis into the country. Her parents, both in their 80s, had been anxiously waiting for over a year to come to visit her and her five sons their grandsons and their 10 great-grandchildren, three of whom were born during the period they were kept apart. Previous requests to enter the country to meet their new great-grandchildren had been rejected.
But like other immigrants, Zivan quickly learned her excitement was premature. She discovered that between the announcement and her family lay a mountain of confusing and contradictory paperwork, some of which could take months to procure, and the process required substantial financial commitments before any guarantee that they would be admitted.
The Zivan family are literally the poster children for the aliyah-promoting organization Nefesh B'Nefesh, appearing on their advertisements and in a recent promotional video released for the commemoration of Memorial Day. After spending three days running between government offices to make her parents' visit happen, Zivan says she fails to comprehend how a country that so energetically encourages Jewish immigration can treat immigrants so badly.
Tzipi Refaeli, mother of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, will be released after serving half of her 16-month sentence, a prison parole board said Wednesday.
Tzipi Refaeli has been convicted in a tax evasion case in which she and her daughter were implicated. She is now expected to be released in late May, having served eight months of her sentence.
As a condition of the early release, the elder Refaeli will be required to report regularly to the police for the remaining eight months, to remain under house arrest at night and to do community service. She will also be barred from leaving the country. Under the terms of the plea agreement, her daughter, Bar, was obligated to do nine months of community service but was spared jail time in an arrangement approved by the Tel Aviv District Court.
The U.S. is recommending a pause in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow.
The death of Sabri Arslan was reported in a 62-word story in Haaretz in December 1952, below the forecast for drizzle in the Galilee. It was titled Policeman killed by accident. The daily newspaper Herut treated it much the same: a very short report headlined Circassian policeman killed, explaining: A Circassian policeman was killed when a squad of security guards from Kfar Ruppin clashed with a police squad. The security guards were in a stakeout and due to a misunderstanding, opened fire at the police squad that was patrolling the site.
The marginalization and brevity of these reports in the newspapers not only fail to stress the fact that Arslan was the first Circassian in the Israeli police force to be killed; mainly, this showcases the discrimination against non-Jewish policeman in the years right after Israel's establishment. Within the police force they were treated as second-class citizens. In their society, some disapproved of their joining the Zionist police force. And even after his death, the disrespect towards him and his family persisted. On the website Yizkor (Hebrew), where the names of security forces who died in the course of duty appears, his surname appears as Hatukh.
Our name is Arslan. I don't know why they decided it's Hatukh, says his niece Ilana.
Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of the Fox Corporation, wrote in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League that Fox News will not be firing Tucker Carlson for endorsing replacement theory, a white supremacist conspiracy.
The ADL had called for Carlson to be fired because, in a segment on the right-wing cable news channel last week, Carlson endorsed the idea that there is a coordinated campaign to replace the population of the United States with immigrants from the third world.
The conspiracy theory that Jews are orchestrating a great replacement of white westerners with nonwhite immigrants is popular among white supremacists and fueled the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, among other attacks.
Members of the board of directors of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Jewish National Fund demanded Tuesday an immediate halt to all plans by the organization to purchase land in the West Bank on the grounds that such acquisitions violate its constitution.
The board members cited a new legal opinion, written by former Deputy Attorney General Yehoshua Shoffman, stipulating that the JNF is only authorized to purchase land in sovereign Israeli territory. The West Bank is not under Israeli sovereignty.
The JNF's organizational constitution states that it has the right to purchase land in the state of Israel in any area subject to the jurisdiction of the government. In his legal opinion, Shoffman maintains that this only includes territory under Israeli sovereignty. Purchasing land in the West Bank, according to his legal opinion, therefore mandates changes in JNF's organizational constitution.
Moscow on Tuesday said active U.S. military support to Kyiv was a serious challenge for Russia's security and accused Washington and NATO of turning Ukraine into a "powder keg" with increasing arms supplies, Russian agencies reported, citing the foreign ministry.
Russia would do everything possible to ensure its security in the event of an escalation in Ukraine, agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ryabkov warned the United States to ensure its warships stayed well away from Crimea "for their own good", calling their deployment in the Black Sea a provocation designed to test Russian nerves.
Israeli military chief Aviv Kochavi said Tuesday that the country must "do everything" to help those who "fought and risked themselves for the country," a day after emotionally disabled IDF veteran Itzik Saidian set himself on fire outside the offices of the Defense Ministry's rehabilitation clinic.
"Israel and the Defense Forces owe a great debt to those who risk their lives and souls for the defense of the country, and we must do everything to fight on their behalf," Kochavi said.
Kochavi sent his wishes a speedy recovery on behalf of himself and the IDF to Saidian, a former fighter with the Golani Brigade.
Google seems to be confident it is going to win one of the biggest bids in Israel: Project Nimbus, the state's official cloud service project. A new job listing by Google issued recently suggests as much, with the company looking for Israelis with security clearance.
The recent disqualifications of rivals Oracle and Microsoft mean that Google and Amazon are the last big players still in the running to win the Israeli government tender for Project Nimbus, a multiyear project to migrate Israel's public information technology to the cloud.
As Haaretz reported exclusively last week, Google is in advanced negotiations toward establishing a data center in Israel for its cloud computing services a key condition of the Project Nimbus.
When you talk with Polish photographer and producer Agnieszka Traczewska, you get the feeling that she's an inseparable part of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world even though she's Catholic.
My conversations with her, like the text that accompanies the photographs in her new book, A Rekindled World, are peppered with Jewish vocabulary. She knows when to say chagim (holidays), Shabbat shalom (good Sabbath), tzni'ut (modesty), Hasidim, baruch Hashem (thank God) and even refuah shlemah (best wishes for a full recovery).
Traczewska, who has held some 40 solo exhibitions around the world including in the United States, Germany, Australia, Brazil and Canada also easily reels off names of ultra-Orthodox towns and neighborhoods in Israel, from the city of Bnei Brak to Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood.
Iran's top diplomat said on Tuesday that an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility which it blames on Israel was a "very bad gamble" that would strengthen Tehran's hand in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
Tehran has said an explosion on Sunday at its key nuclear site was an act of sabotage by arch-foe Israel and vowed revenge for an attack that appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war. Israel, which the Islamic Republic does not recognize, has not formally commented on the incident. "Israel played a very bad gamble if it thought that the attack will weaken Iran's hand in the nuclear talks," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart in Tehran.
"On the contrary, it will strengthen our position."
The attack on Iran's key Natanz nuclear site Sunday was caused by an explosive device that was smuggled into the plant and detonated remotely, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Citing an unnamed intelligence official, the report said that the explosion, which has been attributed by foreign media to Israel, damaged Natanz's primary and backup electrical systems. Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said that the attack blew a hole so big that he managed to fall into it, and suffered injuries.
It also quotes Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of the Iranian Parliament's energy committee, who told state television Monday that "The enemy's plot was very beautiful" from a scientific standpoint. "They thought about this and used their experts and planned the explosion so both the central power and the emergency power cable would be damaged."
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!