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Ha'aretz
Time: Wed, 08.21.2019 06:50 AM Local file generated: Wed, 08.21.2019 04:06 AM
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Australia says it will join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 07:49:54

Australia will join the United States in a coalition of countries protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from threats posed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months after a series of Iranian attacks on international merchant vessels and the seizure of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway through which almost a fifth of the world's oil passes.

"This destabilizing behavior is a threat to Australia's interests in the region," Morrison told a news conference in Canberra.


 Australia says it will join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz


Haaretz Cartoon

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:52:30

 Haaretz Cartoon


West Bank violence could erupt before Israeli election, security officials believe

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:44:20

Israel's debate about security on the eve of the election has focused on what's happening near the Gaza border. Repeated rocket launches from Gaza have led to criticism from both the right and the left about what they call the Netanyahu government's policy of appeasing Hamas.

When the rockets were recently joined by a series of cross-border infiltration attempts, the criticism intensified. And the prime minister's promise during a visit to Ukraine that his response to these events won't be influenced by electoral considerations isn't really convincing.

But Netanyahu's greatest security challenge in the near future may actually lie in the other Palestinian theater, the West Bank. And in this case, his policies have made a significant contribution to the mess.


 West Bank violence could erupt before Israeli election, security officials believe


Why should an Israeli Arab vote?

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:42:57

As a crude generalization, one could say that democracy rests on three things: government by the majority of the state's citizens via representatives elected for fixed terms in free elections; respect for the rights of minorities and their representatives; and complete equality before the law for all citizens, irrespective of religion, race or gender. All the rest derives from these three principles.

For any regime to crown itself with the title of a democracy, these three principles must exist simultaneously. Removing any one of them necessarily strips the regime of its œdemocratic title.

If you consider Israel's characteristic political behavior since its inception by these yardsticks, you'll reach the sorry conclusion that real democracy doesn't exist in this country. It's true that ever since its establishment, Israel has complied with the principle of free, democratic elections with secret balloting. Moreover, Israel's government can be replaced by voters expressing their will in the polling booth. But this principle remains isolated; the other two have never existed.


 Why should an Israeli Arab vote?


School costs for Israeli families soar, stinging the poor in particular

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:09:32

Free public education? Not really Israeli households spent 26.5 billion shekels ($7.5 billion at current exchange rates) in 2018 covering school-related costs, a 15% increase over 2017 and equal to nearly 24% of the government's spending on education.

The figure which was released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, less than two weeks before the next school year covers a wide range of expenses including school books and other supplies, after-school groups, private lessons and university tuition.

But it probably understates many of the expenses undertaken by households. The Education Ministry, for instance, estimates that parents spent 5 billion shekels in fees that schools are allowed to collect from them, but experts say the figure was probably higher because many schools demand more than the maximum authorized by the ministry.


 School costs for Israeli families soar, stinging the poor in particular


Israeli Finance Minister expresses little concern over strong shekel

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:51:33

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon expressed little concern about the strengthening shekel in an interview with Bloomberg news published on Tuesday.

Israeli exporters have expressed concern about the impact of a 6% appreciation of the shekel against the dollar since the start of the year and Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron has come under pressure to respond, possibly by intervening in the market.

Three weeks ago he vowed not to raise interest rates, as the central bank had previous signaled, in an effort to ease the pressure on the shekel.


 Israeli Finance Minister expresses little concern over strong shekel


Israel's Teva rallies on modest settlement in opioid case

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:37:54

Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals rallied on Tuesday after another drug maker facing a lawsuit over its alleged role in fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic agreed to pay a small $10 million settlement to avoid going to trial.

The settlement with Endo International raised hopes that Israel-based Teva, among the drug makers embroiled in the affair, might also be able to settle for a relatively small sum. That was fortified by a Wall Street Journal report that Allergan was negotiating a $5 million deal in the same suit.

The news sent Teva shares more than 7% higher in New York trading, but the gains eventually were trimmed back to about 4% in early after at $6.99 a share.


 Israel's Teva rallies on modest settlement in opioid case


Israel's Rivulus, world's No. 2 drip irrigation maker, is on the block for $500 million

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:17:57

The Israeli drip-irrigation company Rivulus is being put up for sale by the FIMI private equity fund and could fetch a price as high as $500 million.

FIMI has retained Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the company, the world's second-largest maker of drip-irrigation equipment after Israel's Netafim. The U.S. investment bank also managed the 2017 sale of an 80% stake in Netafim to Mexico's Mexichem for $1.5 billion.

Goldman sold Netafim for 14.8 times the company's net asset value. If it achieved the same valuation for Rivulus, the company could be sold for $550 million, but sources said it was unlikely to achieve that, if for no other reason than Rivulus isn't the world's market leader like Netafim.


 Israel's Rivulus, world's No. 2 drip irrigation maker, is on the block for $500 million


The Israeli startup that puts some zip into stodgy old email

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:57:40

Email is an old and many would say inefficient technology for communicating, certainly compared to instant messaging. But 50 years after it was invented, email remains as strong as ever, at least in the world of business.

Radicati, a research firm that studies messaging trends, estimates that there are 3.9 billion email boxes around the world, a 3% increase from 2018. Even if half the messages are spam, Radicati puts the number of emails sent and received every day at an astonishing 293 billion, up 5% from 2018.

œThe email is here to stay, said Dvir Ben-Aroya, the CEO of the Israeli startup Spike. œIn the digital world, we all have two identities our telephone number and our email. Even if you want to go into Facebook you need an email, so the numbers are always growing.


 The Israeli startup that puts some zip into stodgy old email


Netanyahu vs. Israel's gatekeepers and watchdogs

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:37:03

There's a tendency to play down the messages flying off the keyboards of Yair Netanyahu, the son of Benjamin Netanyahu, and right-wing journalist Shimon Riklin, one of the prime minister's biggest fans. After all, they're the most biased, deceptive and devoted in the campaign to keep Netanyahu in the prime minister's residence forever. It's their life's mission.

But brainwashing, certainly in this era of social media, sometimes works, and there's a risk that false and distorted messages will penetrate the public debate like the message that denigrates the gatekeepers.

Yair Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew: œThe term ˜gatekeepers' doesn't exist in any country and was invented here in Israel not long ago. There's a need to translate the term into Hebrew. Gatekeepers = small, miserable clerks who serve extreme left-wing agendas contrary to the will of the voter. They frame people and criminally leak distorted material to their friends in the leftist media. Riklin, meanwhile, tweeted: œGatekeepers is a concept invented in Israel and is valid for as long as the clerks do what the undemocratic left demands.


 Netanyahu vs. Israel's gatekeepers and watchdogs


Israel should keep its Filipinos and drop Birthright

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:21:48

Last week, Israel, sadly and disgustingly, deported Rose Perez, no doubt a devoted caregiver, and her 13-year-old Israeli-born son, Rohan, to the Philippines. Occurring during the summer, when buses of the Birthright program are often seen, this expulsion begs for comparison between these two types of œvisitors to Israel.

First, let's compare people who want to live in Israel to those who view the country as a theme park to stoke their Jewish œidentity (a rather ambiguous concept used to justify tens, if not hundreds, of well-endowed educational programs). Rose and her son were clearly dying to live in Israel. Birthright participants are happy to get a free touristic joy ride in Israel.

Rose worked with devotion, competence and naive innocence to provide services that most Israelis are happy to consume but not supply. (That the Population and Immigration Authority accused her of making last-minute sensational scenes to avoid deportation instead of obediently showing up for the proceedings shows who is dissembling naivete and innocence here.) Rose and her son will return to the Philippines and their reports on Israel will no doubt be colored by their last days here.


 Israel should keep its Filipinos and drop Birthright


Jewish groups rebuke Trump over claim that U.S. Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal'

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 02:37:14

Leading Jewish American organizations denounced President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his statement that Jews who don't vote for him and his party are showing œignorance and œgreat disloyalty.

The statement received condemnation from a large number of organizations, including some that had come out against Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib in the controversy surrounding their visit to Israel-Palestine.  

The American Jewish Committee wrote in a direct plea to Trump - œEnough, Mr. President. American Jews like all Americans have a range of political views. Your assessment of their knowledge or loyalty, based on their party preference, is divisive, disrespectful, and unwelcome. Please stop.


 Jewish groups rebuke Trump over claim that U.S. Jews voting Democrat are 'disloyal'


Examine the claims against Shaked

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:55:05

On Monday Haaretz revealed that emissaries acting on behalf of Yamina chairwoman Ayelet Shaked made a proposal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that raises suspicions of a political bribery deal: In return for restoring her membership to the Likud party, Shaked would use her influence with Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to get him to support moves to give the premier immunity from the corruption charges pending against him, subject to a hearing.

According to the report, one of Shaked's representatives said, œShe's like this with Mendelblit, using his fingers to display a tight connection. œShe controls him, she knows how to influence him. She's close to him. If she doesn't control the Justice Ministry, it's clear that Bibi will go to jail.

Another emissary promised that œonly she can bring Bibi immunity. She knows how to explain to the media why immunity is warranted. She has credibility; she's not Miri Regev, a reference to the culture and sports minister.


 Examine the claims against Shaked


Israel Supreme Court rejects request to jail Shalit deal inmate for domestic assault

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:32:11

The Supreme Court has rejected the state's request to jail a former Palestinian security prisoner freed in the 2011 prisoner swap for kidnapped soldier Gilat Shalit, who was later rearrested for domestic violence.

Mohammed Ziada was convicted of assaulting his wife in 2016 and sentenced to a year in jail. After he finished serving this sentence, the state asked the parole board to revoke the pardon he received in 2011, so that he would have to serve the remaining 14 years of his original sentence for terrorism.

The parole board agreed, and a district court rejected Ziada's appeal. But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned that decision.


 Israel Supreme Court rejects request to jail Shalit deal inmate for domestic assault


Eight Israeli teens arrested on suspicion of repeatedly raping 11-year-old girl

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 00:16:24

Eight boys between 14 and 16 from northern Israel have been arrested on suspicion of raping an 11-year-old girl multiple times over a period of weeks beginning in April.

They were released to house arrest after two days. A gag order on the case was lifted Tuesday; the boys were arrested around two weeks ago. Seven other minors were detained for questioning.

The police say they have text messages of a sexual nature between the girl and the suspects, who deny the allegations and say the girl œbugged them, as they put it.


 Eight Israeli teens arrested on suspicion of repeatedly raping 11-year-old girl


Jews who vote Democrat are disloyal or ignorant, Trump says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:08:21

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat  I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Trump did not specify to whom these Jews were being supposedly disloyal - to the United States, to Israel or to him as president. 

Discussing U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, whose planned visit to Israel and the West Bank was cancelled over their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, Trump said: "Where is the Democratic party gone? Where have they gone over defending these two people over the State of Israel?"


 Jews who vote Democrat are disloyal or ignorant, Trump says


To please Trump, Netanyahu turned Omar, Tlaib and BDS into prime time news

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 22:12:48

WASHINGTON In the hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bowed down to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday and reversed his own decision to allow Democratic congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to enter Israel, something unprecedented happened.

One after the other, leading pro-Israel organizations, politicians and activists in the United States published statements against Netanyahu's decision.

The criticism came from both Democrats and Republicans, and even from the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, which usually adheres to a policy of never criticizing the Israeli government.


 To please Trump, Netanyahu turned Omar, Tlaib and BDS into prime time news


Blasts in Iraqi warehouse used by Iran-backed militia, casualties reported

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:35:23

Several blasts hit a position held by Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitaries next to Balad air base north of Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi military officials and a source in a paramilitary group said. 

Balad base hosts U.S. forces and contractors and is located about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad. An Iraqi Shi'ite militia group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which is backed by Iran, is stationed nearby. 

The military official said the intended target of the blasts was the militia's position near the base. The paramilitary source said his group's weapons depot was specifically targeted by an aerial bombardment. 


 Blasts in Iraqi warehouse used by Iran-backed militia, casualties reported


Major Israeli city defends 'voluntary gender separation' at male-only public event

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:28:26

Holding an event for men only is voluntary not coerced gender separation, said Haifa city hall on Tuesday, in response to a complaint about a concert scheduled for next week, advertised for œmen only.

The municipality added that the ultra-Orthodox community is excluded from a long list of public events and that it has therefore allocated a budget for gender-segregated cultural events catering to the city's ultra-Orthodox community.

The complaint was submitted to Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem by the Israel Women's Network. The organization claimed that separation in public events is illegal and that œthe assumption that there is an audience that prefers to hold the event without women is not reason to hold the event.


 Major Israeli city defends 'voluntary gender separation' at male-only public event


Fake Jewish profiles flood Twitter in anti-Semitic campaign to 'subvert Jews'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:58:36

In a coordinated campaign to sow dissent in the American Jewish community and inflame hatred against Jews, Twitter has been flooded with fake accounts of Jewish identities that endorse extreme views and anti-Semitic messaging. 

The vast majority of the accounts have been identified clearly as handles that were created as recently as August 19, although a few were established in the past and revived over the past few days. On Monday, journalist Yair Rosenberg traced the profiles to alt-right activists using the platform 4Chan. 

Rosenberg tweeted an excerpt from a detailed 4Chan post and a thread continued from several days earlier titled œOperation My Fellow Jew, calling for œa massive movement of fake Jewish profiles on social media that are œas authentic looking as possible, because œsince Jewish shapeshift into whites, anytime they want, we can do the same to them. By masquerading as a œJew, the post reasoned, œyou are able to subvert Jews themselves. 


 Fake Jewish profiles flood Twitter in anti-Semitic campaign to 'subvert Jews'


Intel launches artificial intelligence chip developed in Israel

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:24:12

Intel Corp on Tuesday launched its latest processor that will be its first using artificial intelligence (AI) and is designed for large computing centers.

The chip, developed at its development facility in Haifa, Israel, is known as Nervana NNP-I or Springhill and is based on a 10 nanometer Ice Lake processor that will allow it to cope with high workloads using minimal amounts of energy, Intel said.

Intel said its first AI product comes after it had invested more than $120 million in three AI startups in Israel.


 Intel launches artificial intelligence chip developed in Israel


Israel won't allow Palestine Cup soccer game, cites ˜security reasons'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:21:13

Israel has refused to allow the Gaza champion soccer team to leave the Strip for the final of the Palestine Cup match in the West Bank œfor security reasons.

The chairman of the Palestine Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, told Haaretz that the security reason was œone big lie, and has asked FIFA, the world soccer federation, to intervene. So far Israel has refused to reverse its decision, and a new date for the match has not been set.

The second match of the final between the Balata refugee camp's team and Khadamat Rafah from the Gaza Strip was to take place on July 3, but it was postponed after Israel denied exit permits to most of the players and team personnel.


 Israel won't allow Palestine Cup soccer game, cites ˜security reasons'


Saudi Arabia begins implementing end to travel restrictions for women

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:50:30

Saudi Arabia has begun allowing adult women to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday, following a flurry of royal decrees approving the changes.

Riyadh has long faced international criticism over the status of Saudi women. Rights groups say women are often treated as second-class citizens under rules requiring them to get the consent of a male guardian for important decisions throughout their entire lives, regardless of age.

>> Read more: In Saudi Arabia, women's rights are used to sweep murder under the rug | Analysis -  The real reason Saudi Arabia women's rights reforms may not bring new freedoms


 Saudi Arabia begins implementing end to travel restrictions for women


Earth's future is being written in fast-melting Greenland

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:25:03

This is where Earth's refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise.

New York University air and ocean scientist David Holland, who is tracking what's happening in Greenland from both above and below, calls it "the end of the planet." He is referring to geography more than the future. Yet in many ways this place is where the planet's warmer and watery future is being written.

It is so warm here, just inside the Arctic Circle, that on an August day, coats are left on the ground and Holland and colleagues work on the watery melting ice without gloves. In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 52 degrees Fahrenheit (10.7 degrees Celsius).


 Earth's future is being written in fast-melting Greenland


Far-right party surge in eastern German regions threatens Merkel's coalition

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:17:47

A surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party before regional elections next month in two former communist eastern states threatens to wreck Chancellor Angela Merkel's unwieldy right-left coalition government.

Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) jointly run the state of Saxony, mirroring their coalition at the national level in Berlin. In neighbouring Brandenburg, the SPD governs along with the radical Left Party.

Opinion polls suggest the anti-immigrant AfD could come first in both states in the Sept. 1 elections, in what would be a humiliating outcome for Merkel's party and the SPD, which have ruled Germany together for 10 of her past 14 years in power.


 Far-right party surge in eastern German regions threatens Merkel's coalition


When 'Good Boys' behave badly

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:12:03

In a short promo for œGood Boys, the producer, Seth Rogen, is seen sitting with the film's three young stars and explaining why they won't be able to watch the picture they're starring in. œEven though you can do it, you can't watch yourselves do it, Rogen says after rattling off a fair number of reasons for restricting the movie's viewing age. œWhat if we did a family-friendly version of ˜Good Boys'? one of the boys asks. œThat would be four seconds long, Rogen replies. The promo is staged, of course, but it conveys vividly the spirit of the film.

Twelve years after they wrote the script for œSuperbad, and eight after establishing a production company named for the Vancouver junior high where they met, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are a well-established Hollywood brand. In the past two years alone, the writers-directors produced five films and four television series, in which they didn't hesitate to give creative artists an opportunity to try out new roles. The latest to join the list is Gene Stupnitsky, who makes his directorial debut with œGood Boys. The screenplay was written by Stupnitsky with his regular writing partner Lee Eisenberg, with whom he worked on the American version of œThe Office and on the movie œBad Teacher.

The plot is launched with a scene that makes clear immediately which way the wind is blowing. Twelve-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay) creates a feminine character in a computer game and is caught by his father (Will Forte) while starting to masturbate. In contrast to similar scenes in many teen movies, the humiliation stems precisely from the father's pride in a son who is undergoing healthy sexual development.


 When 'Good Boys' behave badly


Stephen Miller tried to ban migrant children from public school, report says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:02:23

Stephen Miller, a senior aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, spent months pushing for legislation that would give states the power to block children of undocumented immigrants from enrolling in public schools, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

The efforts are part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, which have sparked outrage amongst Democrats and immigration activists who have called the efforts cruel. The revelation comes a week after the administration adopted a new rule that would deny permanent resident status to immigrants deemed "likely" to use public services.

According to Bloomberg, the proposal was part of a slew of ideas that would allow the White House to act on immigration without congressional approval.


 Stephen Miller tried to ban migrant children from public school, report says


Trump again attacks Tlaib: I don't buy her tears, I have watched her 'violence, craziness'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:53:15

A day after Democratic U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan held a news conference on travel restrictions to Israel and the West Bank, U.S. President Donald Trump slammed Tlaib on Twitter.

Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the two congresswomen on Twitter, wrote, "Sorry, I don't buy Rep. Tlaib's tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!"

Omar and Tlaib appeared at the news conference with Jewish leaders from their districts and called on all members of Congress to visit Israel and the West Bank.


 Trump again attacks Tlaib: I don't buy her tears, I have watched her 'violence, craziness'


As the world gets hotter, is it OK for men to wear shorts to the office?

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:50:32

In July, London sweated through one of the hottest months the British capital has seen in 20 years. During one week, the temperature hit a high not felt since August 2003, nearly 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). It disrupted railway service, caused overcrowding in public swimming pools and neighborhood pubs, and filled the streets with unpleasant smells.

The climate changes resulting from global warming has also affected the strict dress code enforced on London's gentlemen, who usually sport dark suits, white or pale blue dress shirts and black shoes. Some workplaces and exclusive gentlemen's clubs have allow entry sans jacket, while others simply suggest the application of common sense. Sandals, or any other tow-bearing show, are still verboten for men.

Shorts are a particular point of contention. Normally reserved for more casual activities such as gardening, this summer they have appeared in offices and formal events. During the hottest week last month, British department store John Lewis reported that sales of its classic chino men's shorts spiked 87 percent from the previous week.


 As the world gets hotter, is it OK for men to wear shorts to the office?


California high school students make Nazi salute, sing marching song at ceremony

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:41:18

Students at a Southern California high school made a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi marching song at the start of an awards ceremony.

The school district will not say publicly if or how it disciplined the students.

The incident, which took place last year, involved 10 members of the boys water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, the Daily Beast reported. The video was posted to Instagram by one of the athletes, according to the Daily Beast, and widely circulated among students at the high school.


 California high school students make Nazi salute, sing marching song at ceremony


Gaza stripped: What normal life looks like in the least normal place on earth

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:20:31

The great tragedy of the Gaza Strip is that, while it is never far from the headlines, it is rarely in our thoughts.

The often baffling and always contentious complexity of the situation in the tiny coastal enclave discourage us from spending too much time contemplating the fate of the two million or so Palestinians who live there.

And while we focus on the geopolitical realities, the violent intra-Palestinian struggles, the rocket attacks and the retaliatory strikes from Israel, we tend to forget (or, rather, we make a conscious effort to sublimate) the people of Gaza.


 Gaza stripped: What normal life looks like in the least normal place on earth


With Gaza-Israel border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:07:34

A series of attempts by Palestinians to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past two weeks have trapped Hamas between its desire to preserve the calm with Israel and the public support, and in some cases internal Hamas support, for such attacks.

On Monday, Hamas called on Gazans to come out en masse for the Friday demonstration along the border fence with Israel, a call intended to enable Palestinians to let off some steam and also a clear message to Israel that without an improvement in the Strip's humanitarian conditions and a commitment to the ceasefire agreement reached in May, another blowup is imminent.

Indeed, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday that Palestinian factions in Gaza have informed Israel via intermediaries that if it does meet its commitments, including allowing Qatar to bring in more money into Gaza, they intend to initiate a violent escalation. They did not provide details of the nature of the escalation and how it would be carried out.


 With Gaza-Israel border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance


FACT CHECK: No, Pakistan is not holding an Israeli pilot and Haaretz did not ask for his return

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:00:33

A fake image of Haaretz's frontpage with the headline œPakistan should return our pilot is the latest in a series of doctored Israeli newspaper headlines pushing a fake news story alleging that an Israeli pilot was arrested in Pakistan.

In late February, Pakistan shot down an Indian fighter jet and released the pilot days later in March. However, conspiracy theories, fueled by mainstream media and politicians, falsely claimed an Israeli pilot was captured as well.

Read more: 'Israelis led India's airstrikes': In Pakistan, the Hindu-Zionist conspiracy theory takes a wild turn


 FACT CHECK: No, Pakistan is not holding an Israeli pilot and Haaretz did not ask for his return


Gantz, Lieberman slammed for signing vote sharing deal ahead of Israeli election

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:33:45

Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu and Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan announced Tuesday that the two parties have signed a surplus vote agreement ahead of Israel's September 17 election. 

Kahol Lavan leaders hope that the deal will garner them another Knesset seat at the expense of right-wing voters voters, because according to the law, the biggest party among the two that sign such a deal has the best chance to gain the surplus votes. Yisrael Beiteinu, meanwhile, called the agreement a "mere technical matter" and stated that they "will not risk  losing a Knesset seat." 

>> Read more: The Israeli left has given up on this key demographic. Here's why that's a mistake -  Netanyahu's singular knack for turning friends into bitter enemies | Analysis


 Gantz, Lieberman slammed for signing vote sharing deal ahead of Israeli election


Gaza emigration ploy suggests Netanyahu hell-bent on torching Israel's image abroad

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:24:01

The last thing one can say about Benjamin Netanyahu is that he's stupid or ignorant about the ways of the world.

Netanyahu has written extensively about the basics of anti-Israeli propaganda. He understands Western public opinion better than most, and he knows what makes it tick.  He is well aware of the fact that - with the exception of Donald Trump, the Evangelicals, and right wing nationalists wherever they may be Israel's image in the world these days is somewhere between bad and awful.

So you have to ask yourself what might have compelled the prime minister, disguised as a œsenior diplomatic source, to tell reporters accompanying him on a trip to Ukraine that Israel was pursuing a policy of encouraging œvoluntary emigration of Palestinians from Gaza.


 Gaza emigration ploy suggests Netanyahu hell-bent on torching Israel's image abroad


Why you must watch HBO's brilliant new Israeli drama ˜Our Boys'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:13:43

What's the right length of time to wait before revisiting a traumatic incident from your country's past? I ask not because of the new œBeverly Hills, 90120 reboot but the Israeli series œOur Boys, which takes the horrific events that led up to the 50-day Gaza War in the summer of 2014 and creates a grueling but gripping 10-part drama series out of them.

You could be forgiven for not wanting to tune in, given the show's use of the tragic time when four teenage boys ” three Israeli yeshiva students and a Palestinian boy from East Jerusalem ” were murdered and a permanently simmering country finally boiled over. But œOur Boys is done in such a thoughtful and sensitive manner that it demands to be viewed by as large an audience as possible, both locally and globally.

œOur Boys ” a co-production of Keshet International's Keshet Studios and HBO, and produced by Movie Plus ” is the first entirely Hebrew/Arabic-language series to air on the U.S. cable giant. Buying the rights was a laudable move on HBO's part, because this is an unapologetically Israeli show that makes few concessions to its international audience.


 Why you must watch HBO's brilliant new Israeli drama ˜Our Boys'


Ignoring or downplaying price of West Bank annexation is playing with fire

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:07:46

In the 52 years that Israel has controlled the West Bank, it has significantly expanded its presence in the territory from building critical security and transportation infrastructure to authorizing Jewish communities across Area C. What it has not done is attempt to change the West Bank's status through annexation or extending Israeli sovereignty to settlements. Such actions would constitute a drastic departure from decades of Israeli policy, which is why it is incumbent upon proponents of annexation to be honest about their motivations and intentions as well as the potential consequences of their policy proposals.

For example, in advocating for Israel to apply sovereignty over its West Bank settlements, Yossi Kuperwasser was consistently misleading in the arguments he listed in his recent Haaretz op-ed in favor of annexation. Kuperwasser was deceiving in his characterization of the objections to such a momentous decision; he erroneously contends that the Commanders for Israel's Security (CIS) and the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) are calling to œaccept the Palestinian demands and unilaterally dismantle settlements. Aside from his failure to detail which precise Palestinian demands we want to accept, neither CIS nor IPF which are strategic partners have called to dismantle even one West Bank settlement. For Kuperwasser to dissemble so blatantly is a telling indication of either the paucity of his own arguments or intellectual laziness in not reading or understanding what we are actually advocating, or both.

>> Read more: There are no more excuses left. Just annex the West Bank | Opinion -  Two states, one and other solutions the Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Explained


 Ignoring or downplaying price of West Bank annexation is playing with fire


The ˜Jerusalem District' reality show and other ˜illustrations'

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:50:01

About two weeks ago, Haaretz reporter Nir Hasson exposed the story of the police who planted a weapon in the home of Samer Sleiman in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah during the filming of the television reality series œJerusalem District. Since then two other incidents have been discovered of police officers planting weapons and drugs in the homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. One of the Palestinians recounted that following the filming, he was been beaten by unknown individuals.

Koda Communications, which produced œJerusalem District, explained that the planting of weaponry was done as œillustration, to simulate the work of the police. For purposes of illustration, armed police entered the homes of Palestinians who were made to appear like drug dealers or collaborators. Granted that Ram Landes, who owns Koda, apologized to his viewers and to œanyone who was harmed.

>> By planting gun for reality TV, Israeli police reveal truth about East Jerusalem | Analysis


 The ˜Jerusalem District' reality show and other ˜illustrations'


Solar energy and natural materials: Tel Aviv architecture on display at Berlin Bauhaus exhibit

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:45:44

Over the weekend an exhibition entitled œBeyond Bauhaus opened in Berlin. It was organized by the organization Deutschland Land der Ideen (Germany Land of Ideas). The exhibition, which runs through September 1 at the CLB Gallery in German capital, grew out of an international competition marking the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement of international style.

It focuses on the countries where that style of architecture has been prevalent China, United States, Brazil, Germany and Israel. Of the 1,500 entries in the competition, 20 were selected to be displayed at the gallery, including two from Israel.

Architect Hila Shemer, who coordinated the competition in Israel, explained that the exhibition seeks to depict Bauhaus not as a style but as a theme. The show is an effort to present œsolutions that architects and designers need today, as she described it, œwhether it relates from an ecology standpoint to air and water pollution or the future of the food industry and agriculture, and how we can find solutions for those with disabilities.


 Solar energy and natural materials: Tel Aviv architecture on display at Berlin Bauhaus exhibit


Israel's lousy schools, lousy students, lousy workers

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:40:55

Anyone familiar with the Israeli scene cannot help but marvel at the technological innovation generated by such a small country -- self-driving cars, drip irrigation, spectacular feats of cybersecurity and cyberhacking, and an atomic bomb (according to foreign sources). We're Startup Nation and we've won quite a few Nobel Prizes.

Yet try to get your vacuum fixed, much less your laptop, and you meet another Israel. To put it gently you encounter the Israel that's the polar opposite of Lake Wobegon, where the children are famously œabove average." We're a country where far too many of the adults are below average.

This isn't idle ranting by someone who recently encountered manifold obstacles in getting a vacuum repaired, including baseless claims by the repair center that the product was working perfectly well, and later returning it covered with mysterious goo.


 Israel's lousy schools, lousy students, lousy workers


U.S. warns all Mediterreanean ports: Assisting Iranian tanker would be seen as aiding terrorism

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:41:57

An Iranian tanker at the center of an angry confrontation between Iran and Washington sailed for Greece on Monday after it was freed from detention off Gibraltar, as Washington called the release unfortunate and warned Greece and Mediterranean ports against helping the vessel.

Tehran said any U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences". While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to downplay the possibility of military conflict with Washington in an interview on U.S. television, he also indicated on a visit to Finland that Washington was seeking "more escalation".

The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 P.M. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.


 U.S. warns all Mediterreanean ports: Assisting Iranian tanker would be seen as aiding terrorism


On Trump and Iran, the UAE shifts strategy ” and Israel should take heed

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:10:44

Israel has long hinted about its quiet ties with Arab Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as their common struggle to contain Iran and steadfast alliance with the United States have opened doors for cooperation on security issues. 

But recent fractures in both those alliances ” between the UAE and Saudi Arabia regarding Yemen, and the UAE and the United States facing the threat posed by Iran ” challenge the mutual interests on which their budding security relationship was founded. 

>> Read more: Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE - Trump's Gulf standoff is chipping away at the Arab anti-Iran alliance | Analysis -  Netanyahu is edging closer to Arab countries, just not the way you think | Analysis


 On Trump and Iran, the UAE shifts strategy ” and Israel should take heed


Palestinians threaten weekend violence if Gaza cash, electricity not resolved

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:00:04

Palestinian factions in Gaza have relayed an ultimatum to Israel warning of an escalation on the border if Israel does not fulfill its commitments, a Hamas source told Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday.

According to the report, the Palestinian demands include a Qatari cash infusion to the Strip and a resolution to the electricity shortage.

Though the source did not specify what the "escalation" would entail, Talal Abu-Zarifeh, a member of the March of Return organizing committee, said the factions have agreed in principle to return to airborne firebombs, nightly activity along the border fence and mass crowds approaching the border.


 Palestinians threaten weekend violence if Gaza cash, electricity not resolved


U.S. Jew refused to divorce wife, so Israel refused to bury his mother

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:46:28

Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau ordered on Tuesday not to bury a woman whose son had refused to grant his wife a get, or Jewish divorce, for the past 15 years.

Hours after the decision, the man said he will accede to a rabbinical court order to allow the religious divorce. Since the the two no longer live in the same country, an agreement was reached between the man's family and a representative of his wife that the former put up a bond pledging he will appear before a rabbinical court as soon as possible to grant the get.

A rabbinical court in the United States ordered the man - an American citizen - to grant his wife the divorce a decade ago, but he continued to refuse to do so, leaving his wife agunah, or "chained" and unable to remarry.


 U.S. Jew refused to divorce wife, so Israel refused to bury his mother


Russia says it has troops on the ground in Syria as Assad forces advance in Idlib

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:41:37

Russia has military servicemen stationed on the ground in Syria's region of Idlib and is following the situation there closely, Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.

Lavrov was quoted as saying that any attacks carried out by Islamist militant groups in the de-escalation zone in Idlib would be forcefully suppressed. Russian military forces have long been operating in the area.

Syrian government forces look set to recover a strategic town that has been in rebel hands since 2014 in a major Russian-backed offensive into the opposition's last major stronghold.


 Russia says it has troops on the ground in Syria as Assad forces advance in Idlib


Leader of Pakistan-held Kashmir welcomes Trump initiative

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:17:13

The president of Pakistani-administered Kashmir has welcomed efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to lower tensions between Pakistan and India over the disputed Himalayan region and warned of a humanitarian crisis and food shortages in the Indian-held portion.

Sardar Masood Khan made the comments at a news conference Tuesday after Trump contacted the leaders of Pakistan and India to discuss Kashmir.

According to a White House spokesman, Trump "reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint on both sides."


 Leader of Pakistan-held Kashmir welcomes Trump initiative


Russia decries U.S. missile test, warns of destabilization

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:36:06

A top Russian diplomat has lamented the U.S. test of a type of missile that was banned for decades before both Washington and Moscow quit the treaty earlier this year.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in comments to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday expressed concern that the United States is increasing "the destabilizing potential" of the issue.

Ryabkov also said that the test proved Russia's earlier suspicions that the U.S. was testing the banned missiles even before it withdrew from the treaty.


 Russia decries U.S. missile test, warns of destabilization


Syrian troops advance as militants partially leave rebel town

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:33:39

The main insurgent group in the Syrian province of Idlib says it partially pulled out its fighters from an opposition-controlled town as government forces advanced in the area.

A statement on Tuesday from the main al-Qaida-linked faction in Syria says it's "a redeployment" and that its fighters withdrew to the southern part of the town of Khan Sheikhoun from where they would continue to defend their territory.

The withdrawal is a significant loss for the opposition in its last major stronghold of Idlib, in northwestern Syria.


 Syrian troops advance as militants partially leave rebel town


Ultra-cheap cellular package sends shivers through an ailing Israeli industry

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:59:22

Even for Israeli smartphone users who have enjoyed low rates since the 2012 cellular reforms, Monday marked a milestone in the history of ever cheaper packages: Suny Communications announced a package of unlimited calls and SMSs, as well as 50 gigabytes of data, for just 14.90 shekels ($4.20) a month.

That was 20% less than the next cheapest deal on the market 19 shekels a month for just 10 gigabytes by Xfone, or we4g, which is committed to its low rate for two years. Suny won't say how long its bargain deal is locked in.

For consumers, the news is good; for the Israeli cellular market it was a dark day that aroused worries in the industry that Suny's parent company, Hot Telecom, was engaged in predatory pricing.


 Ultra-cheap cellular package sends shivers through an ailing Israeli industry


Reading Amos Oz in Mandarin: The Chinese who adore Hebrew literature

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:45:02

If Prof. Yang Yang had been born just one year earlier, it might never have been possible to read Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld in Chinese. In 1991, Yang enrolled in Peking University's Arabic studies program, but a few weeks before the academic year, he received a letter from the university: They were launching a Hebrew studies program.

The timing was no coincidence. In 1992, Israel and China would establish diplomatic relations, and airlines would now fly directly between Beijing and Tel Aviv.

Yang jumped at the university's offer. œI thought to myself that there are enough students studying Arabic and that there was nothing new in Arabic, he says. œAnd Hebrew seemed something a lot more intriguing, a language that very few people in China knew.


 Reading Amos Oz in Mandarin: The Chinese who adore Hebrew literature


After Haaretz report, Shaked claims she never bargained with Netanyahu's party

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:56:15

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked said she didn't hold any negotiations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party about joining its slate after an Haaretz report reveald she conveyed messages to the premier, offering him immunity from prosecution in his corruption cases in exchange for welcoming her back to the fold.

Speaking on Israel's public radio, Shaked said that "In the first weeks after the do-over election was announced, I had several options. There were people who thought that it would be good for Likud if I come onboard and that was it.

"My associates and those of the prime minister were in contact, but at any stage, those contacts didn't develop into negotiations. Nothing was offered to me nor did I offer something to anybody," Shaked said.


 After Haaretz report, Shaked claims she never bargained with Netanyahu's party


Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:54:14

For the past few weeks an innocent-looking white executive jet has been taking off from the Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, cruising for hours in the airspace above the Persian Gulf. A much closer look is needed to notice the unique protrusions on its belly, tail and back. This is not an ordinary executive jet, but an advanced surveillance aircraft owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose purpose is to gather electronic intelligence and one of its targets is Iran.

The sight of the surveillance plane that recently began trial flights marks the last stages of a secret mega deal that began about a decade ago, and whose connection to Israel was unknown until now. A Haaretz investigation reveals that the person behind the supply of the planes is Israeli businessman and entrepreneur Matanya œMati Kochavi.

Documents obtained by Haaretz, some of them originating in the huge Paradise Papers leak by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2017, reveal that the deal involved total payments of about 3 billion shekels ($846 million according to the current exchange rate). The documents note that at least part of this sum was paid for in cash, and they name UAE leaders as being connected to one of the companies involved in the transaction.


 Mysterious Israeli businessman behind mega-deal to supply spy planes to UAE


Israeli tycoons' holding groups have been cut down to size

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:54:30

A decade or more ago, they ruled Israel's economic roost. Nochi Dankner, Eliezer Fishman, Shaul Elovitch and other tycoons controlled big holding groups with a wide range of businesses and were household names even among people who never invested money in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

But pressed by massive debt and the 2013 Business Concentration Law, their day has mostly but not entirely passed, according to a study released last week by the Israel Securities Authority.

œBusiness groups are occupying less space , and they have become smaller, Liza Teper and Guy Sabah, two of the ISA economists who conducted the study, said in the report.


 Israeli tycoons' holding groups have been cut down to size


Kibbutz is due windfall in sale of drip irrigation stake

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:26:42

The 240 members of Kibbutz Metzer are on their way to making a tidy profit on the drip irrigation business they established nearly 50 years ago.

TheMarker has learned that the kibbutz is in talks with an unidentified foreign investment fund to sell a big stake in its Metzer Group in a deal that values the maker of drip irrigation systems and related products at 300 million shekels ($84.7 million).

The kibbutz wouldn't confirm the report but sources close to the deal told TheMarker that the fund would be buying no less than 25% of Metzer Group and possibly more than 40%. That would mean proceeds of 75 million to 150 million shekels, most of which will be going into the pockets of Kibbutz Metzer's members.


 Kibbutz is due windfall in sale of drip irrigation stake


Ohio man pleads not guilty to threatening Jewish center in online video

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 06:25:44

A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to threatening a Jewish community center in a video that authorities say showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle.

A judge near Youngstown set bond at $250,000 for James Reardon, ordered a mental health evaluation and told him to stay away from Jewish churches and organizations if he is released from jail.

>> Read more: Trump's 'rodent-infested' rhetoric shows how Germany and the world stayed silent | Analysis -  America's synagogues are burning: A turning point for U.S. Jews | Opinion  


 Ohio man pleads not guilty to threatening Jewish center in online video


Not just Rashida's grandmother

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 05:13:12

Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother is not the only one who made headlines in recent weeks (and also led to a wave of loving posts of œSitti my Palestinian grandmother on social media). Another œsitti who became famous all of a sudden is the late grandmother of Roni Sassover, number 9 on the Yamina Knesset roster. A tweet by her aspiring politician granddaughter lifted her out of anonymity and into the focus of some of the Israeli public over the past couple of days.

Some people are upset about the failure of secular Sassover to pass a right-wing-religious trivia quiz she was given by Channel 13's religious affairs and settlements reporter Akiva Novick. Others are more upset by her tweet from February 2018, when Sassover a lawyer according to Wikipedia was apparently too obscure to raise a storm with her racist Israeli off-the-cuff comment. Today she's better known, and the tweet is another window into what we can expect in the next Knesset. (The polls predict 11 Knesset seats for Yamina, so Sassover has a good chance of becoming a lawmaker and an official representative of the people.)

This is what she tweeted: œMy late grandmother, who came to Israel after the Holocaust and voted her whole life for the Labor Party, always said the following: 1. A good Arab is a ¦. Arab . 2. If you turn your back on an Arab he'll stick a knife in it. 3. Be a friend to whoever you want, marry only a Jew. And she ended her tweet with the words: œGranny is always right.


 Not just Rashida's grandmother


We miss you, Uri Avnery

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:54:28

Uri Avnery, the writer, Knesset member and peace activist, died a year ago, on August 20. What would he have said about the current situation, about Netanyahu, about the elections? One thing is certain. His comments would have been original and interesting, as was always the case with him.

In his will Avnery directed that his body be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. He once told me: œI've eaten fish my whole life and enjoyed it. When the time comes, it would also be fitting for the fish to enjoy me. Now the time has come to recount how his will was complied with.

>> Read more: How Uri Avnery laid the foundations for political dissent in Israel | Analysis -  Uri Avnery, 1923-2018: A great optimist who never stopped fighting for peace -  How a Mossad plot to kill Yasser Arafat nearly cost me my life | Uri Avnery -  Why peace activist Uri Avnery refused to give up- and six other must reads 


 We miss you, Uri Avnery


Marijuana use linked to spike in Israeli ER visits in the past five years, Health Ministry says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:37:21

The annual number of people arriving in emergency wards due to use of marijuana has risen more than four-fold (27 to 118) in the last five years, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Health. The number of psychiatric hospitalizations has risen similarly, from 30 in 2013 to 125 in 2017.

The largest increase came in men aged 15 to 24. This worrisome trend is ascribed by the ministry to the rise in the number of users, the strength of the cannabis and the drop in the age of first-time users, as well as to careless usage. The rise also stems from a leakage from the medicinal cannabis market to the general population and from a perception, deriving from attempts to legalize it, that the drug is not dangerous.

>> Israel Health Ministry pushing to subsidize cannabis for autistic children, adults


 Marijuana use linked to spike in Israeli ER visits in the past five years, Health Ministry says


Orthodox yes, suckers no

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:16:07

Once upon a time, there were three major streams of Judaism Orthodox, Reform and Conservative. In Israel there arose another stream the indulgent stream. This stream, a mentally disturbed version of the Orthodox stream, decided, or so it seems, that mitzvah observance was a little difficult, and thus it decided to share it with others.

It's actually pretty weird. After all, when a person decides to become Orthodox, he knows perfectly well that he's taking upon himself a whole system of obligations and prohibitions. A long list of actions, foods, pleasures and behaviors will be totally forbidden to him. For example, he cannot be a chef in a seafood restaurant, eat Hungarian salami or be a steward on Lufthansa, a masseuse at a spa, a pig-leather gloves merchant, a hired killer, an astrologer, a nudist or a Shabbos goy, and if he's one of the ultra-holy he will also be forbidden to go the opera, study in a œmixed classroom or spend time in the company of women and that's just a very partial list.

>> Israel's attorney general is allowing the gender-segregation tsunami to sweep over | Analysis


 Orthodox yes, suckers no


Bring back Rohan

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:00:02

The operation to arrest and deport foreign workers from the Philippines is continuing with determination, as if the targets were dangerous criminals. On Sunday a couple and their two daughters, who were born in Israel, were arrested in order to be deported.

The protests against the deportations generally make humanitarian arguments, calling for the authorities to go beyond the letter of the law and allow the children to remain here because they were born here and have lived as Israelis in every way. But these deportations are not just immoral, they also fly in the face of Israeli and international law.

>> Read more: Israel may have the world's highest rate of foreign health aides - and it's a luxury, not a need -  The Israeli interior minister's deportation campaign | Editorial


 Bring back Rohan


Israeli police break up Arab soccer tournament in Jerusalem's Old City

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 02:40:22

The police broke up a soccer tournament among families in Jerusalem's Old City at the order of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, claiming that the event was linked to the Palestinian Authority. 

The tournament, in which families compete against each other, is a popular initiative that has been held for several years running. There are 183 families competing, each of which puts together a team of young people. Some of the families invest large sums of money on training and uniforms for the event.

On Sunday afternoon, as the players and the audience gathered for the opening of the competition, police officers arrived and ordered the crowd to disperse, confiscated posters and other equipment. The police carried an order signed by Erdan, which stated, œThe event will be held on behalf of and/or is sponsored and funded by the Palestinian Authority.


 Israeli police break up Arab soccer tournament in Jerusalem's Old City


˜Furious and confused': Liberal U.S. Jews fume over Israel's Tlaib-Omar rejection

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 01:56:45

Tamah Graber says she felt a one-two punch of U.S. President Donald Trump pressuring Israel to bar two congresswomen from visiting and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu capitulating. It left her so distraught she had to turn off the TV news.

œI'm furious, it's tearing me apart ¦. Now if I say I'm a Zionist, which I am, does that mean I support a country that keeps out elected officials of the United States? says Graber, 73, a retired school librarian frclarom Rockville, Maryland. œThis is not good for the Jews. I really would call Netanyahu a puppet, and he's as autocratic minded as Trump is.

For Graber, and many other American Jews who support Israel, the country's decision to ban representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib felt like an especially stinging blow to their perception of Israel as a democracy (even if Israel later backtracked and let Tlaib visit her grandmother in the West Bank, an offer she rejected because of restrictions put on the trip).


 ˜Furious and confused': Liberal U.S. Jews fume over Israel's Tlaib-Omar rejection


Israel willing to let Gazans who want to emigrate to fly out via its territory, official says

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:37:53

Israeli authorities are willing to allow Gaza Strip residents who want to emigrate to fly out via Israel if a country is found to accept them, a senior government official said on Monday. According to the official, Israel would even pay for the flight. The official added that the government had asked a few countries, including some in the Middle East, whether they would be willing to accept Palestinians from Gaza, and was turned down.

>> Gazans' only way out is through Egypt if they can afford it | Analysis

Some media outlets in Israel quoted the official, who spoke to journalists during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Ukraine, as saying that Israel would agree to organize shuttles from the Gaza Strip to an airport in the south from which they would take off. 


 Israel willing to let Gazans who want to emigrate to fly out via its territory, official says


Targeting LGBTQ organization, Palestinian Authority calls to halt West Bank community event

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:54:35

Palestinian Authority police targeted the Palestinian LGBTQ community last week, calling on citizens to report "suspicious" activity and vowing to break off community events, even though same-sex relations are not illegal in the West Bank.

The statement the Palestinian police released specifically targeted the al-Qaws organization for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, after it announced it will hold a "queer camp" at the end of August near the West Bank city of Nablus. According to the organization, the event was to provide an opportunity for young Palestinians to discuss their sexuality and experiences. 

The police spokesman said such an event hurts the values of Palestinian society and is organized by "suspicious figures attempting to provoke and harm the Palestinian social fabric." The spokesman added that the police will pursue the organizers, although it does not have concrete information regarding the place of the event. 


 Targeting LGBTQ organization, Palestinian Authority calls to halt West Bank community event


Omar, Tlaib on Israeli travel ban: 'We can't let Trump and Netanyahu hide occupation'

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:43:57

WASHINGTON - Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the two members of Congress who were refused entry into Israel last week, held a joint press conference on Monday, during which they denounced the Israeli government for its decision, and gave the stage to Palestinian-American activists who have also been denied entry into Israel.

Omar said during the press conference that the trip she and Tlaib were planning was supposed to include meetings with œmembers of the Israeli Knesset and Israeli activists who work against the occupation. She said that œwe cannot allow Trump and Netanyahu to succeed in hiding the cruel reality of the occupation from us.

Omar encouraged people to go to the West Bank and see that œthe occupation is real, and that œbarring members of Congress from seeing it will not make it go away. She also mentioned the fact that the United States provides billions of dollars in military aid to Israel, and said that œdenying visits from dully elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally.


 Omar, Tlaib on Israeli travel ban: 'We can't let Trump and Netanyahu hide occupation'


New German defense minister reaffirms support for two-state solution in Jordan visit

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 22:40:14

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would seek an extension to her country's regional troop mandate as she arrived in Jordan on Monday, on her first foreign trip since taking up the post.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said Germany has an interest in securing stability and ensuring that recent successes against militants like Islamic State make "a sustainable and lasting contribution to security in the region, and also for security from terrorism in Europe and in Germany," she said on arrival in Amman.

The German defence minister is in the Middle East to push for an extension of the country's troop mandate, which is set to expire on October 31. There is not yet agreement in Germany's governing coalition on whether to grant an extension.


 New German defense minister reaffirms support for two-state solution in Jordan visit


Shaked relayed to Netanyahu: I control Israeli AG, will make sure you get immunity

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:00:18

Intermediaries on behalf of Ayelet Shaked told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the former justice minister would be willing to try to influence the attorney general to be lenient with Netanyahu, a suspect in several corruption cases.

The offer to the premier, who is currently awaiting a pre-indictment hearing, was made as part of Shaked's efforts to rejoin the Likud party in advance of the September 17 election.

Conversations with political sources, recordings and correespondence that Haaretz has witnessed reveal that Shaked's associates offered her categorical support for immunity for Netanyahu, as a means to keep him from standing trial.


 Shaked relayed to Netanyahu: I control Israeli AG, will make sure you get immunity


Germany begins repatriating children born to Islamic State militants in Syria

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 19:42:24

Four German children fathered by Islamic State militants, including an ill toddler, were handed over to Germany on Monday by Syria's Kurdish-led administration, a Kurdish official and Germany's foreign minister said.

The children had been held in detention camps in Syria alongside over 70,000 women and children, many of them foreigners, who emerged from the last ISIS-controlled territories in Syria.

Two of the German children are orphans, while a third, who is six months old, is ill. Her mother gave permission for her handover to German authorities, said Abdulkarim Omar, a foreign affairs official in the U.S-backed Kurdish-led administration.


 Germany begins repatriating children born to Islamic State militants in Syria


Israeli election mismatch pits fire-breathing Netanyahu against sluggish Gantz

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 19:16:42

Benjamin Netanyahu is larger than life. He casts a giant shadow over the country he's ruled for over a decade. Netanyahu controls his cabinet, lords over his party, scares the legal system, deters journalists, tames civil servants and transforms ambitious politicians into petrified poodles. For the past few years, he's been waging war on Israel's ostensibly entrenched democracy and rule of law, which is now nearing its final, decisive round: One man against the sacrosanct bedrocks of his country, with more than reasonable chances to triumph.

Netanyahu is always a master of manipulation and a specialist in spins, but in election campaigns he invariably reaches his zenith. A survival instinct sharpens his mind and injects his veins with boundless energy: He is ruthlessly focused, his charisma works overtime and his words inspire fear among rivals and enthusiasm among fans. In ancient Greece, Plato defined similar maestros of eloquence and oratory, who distort reality and enchant the crowds, as practitioners of witchcraft.

>> Read more: They're promising to destroy Hamas | Opinion -  Instead of tossing out fantasies, Kahol Lavan promises voters a war | Opinion


 Israeli election mismatch pits fire-breathing Netanyahu against sluggish Gantz


Pakistan accuses India of using water as a weapon in Kashmir dispute

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:09:51

Accusing India of waging "fifth-generation warfare", Pakistan said on Monday New Delhi had failed to inform it about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding across the border.

Relations between the neighbours, already hostile, have been deeply strained over India's decision this month to revoke the special status of its portion of the Kashmir region that both countries claim. Pakistan reacted with fury, cutting transport and trade links and expelling India's ambassador in retaliation.

Islamabad said the unexpected release of water into the River Sutlej that flows from India to Pakistan was part of an attempt by New Delhi to flout a longstanding treaty between the countries.


 Pakistan accuses India of using water as a weapon in Kashmir dispute


The last years of Golda Meir in never-before-seen pictures

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:29:13

Golda Meir was of the same generation as her predecessors, Moshe Sharett and Levi Eshkol. She was the last Israeli prime minister of the left-wing Mapai party originating in the wave of pioneering emigrations to Israel.

She would later pass the baton to Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, of the generation that was raised in Eretz Yisrael under the British Mandate.

Meir became prime minister in March 1969. Following Israel's great victory in the Six-Day War, the Alignment (or Maarach in Hebrew) ” a joint slate of Labor and Mapam, which was one of left-wing Meretz's precursor parties ” had achieved an absolute majority in parliament with 63 out of 120 Knesset seats, a feat never done by any Israeli party before.


 The last years of Golda Meir in never-before-seen pictures


The tiny Syrian island of Arwad: Home to boatmakers and Assad loyalists

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:21:08

In the years before Syria's war the boatmakers of Arwad used to sell their wooden vessels along the Mediterranean coast down to Lebanon and up to Turkey, but the trade has withered.

The tiny island is one of the few places in Syria physically untouched by eight years of conflict, its only direct brush with war being the distant boom and sight of smoke from an explosion on the mainland in 2016.

While other areas suffered terrible shelling, air strikes and gun battles, or were subjected to car bombs and suicide attacks, life in Arwad has quietly continued.


 The tiny Syrian island of Arwad: Home to boatmakers and Assad loyalists


Bashir on trial: Ousted Sudanese president admits to taking millions from Saudi Arabia

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:10:10

Sudan's ousted president Omar Hassan al-Bashir acknowledged receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a police detective told a court on Monday at the start of a corruption trial that many Sudanese thought they would never see.

Bashir listened to the testimony without comment, sitting in a metal cage and wearing traditional white robes and a turban in his first appearance in a Khartoum courtroom.

He is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner. Bashir's lawyer dismissed the accusations, telling reporters after the hearing it was usual for leaders to hold amounts of foreign currency.


 Bashir on trial: Ousted Sudanese president admits to taking millions from Saudi Arabia


Civilian death toll mounts as Syrian offensive widens

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:05:06

Air strikes have killed more than two dozen civilians in northwestern Syria in the last two days in an escalation of a Russian-backed offensive against the last major rebel stronghold, a war monitor and local activists said on Saturday.

An air strike in the village of Deir Sharki killed seven members of one family, most of them children, on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Another seven people were killed by bombardments in other areas, it said.

On Friday, air strikes in the village of al-Haas killed 13 people. The dead included a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, local activists and the Observatory said. They had been seeking shelter after fleeing another area.


 Civilian death toll mounts as Syrian offensive widens


Former Belarus synagogue being auctioned off as warehouse for $6,000

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:52:22

A unique former synagogue in Belarus from the 19th century is being auctioned off for a little over $6,000.

The building in Porazava, a village located about 120 miles southwest of the capital Minsk, was auctioned earlier this month on the website Torgi. On Thursday, a day before the auction's end, no one had bid on the property, which has a minimum price equivalent to $6,041.

The synagogue is the only one still intact in Belarus that is made mostly from rubble stone, according to the Tut.by news site, which published an article last week on the usual sale.


 Former Belarus synagogue being auctioned off as warehouse for $6,000


Man accused of threatening Jewish center arrested by Ohio police

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:47:11

Police say a man accused of making what they believe was a threat to a Jewish center in Ohio on Instagram has been arrested on telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing charges.

New Middletown police say they arrested 20-year-old James Reardon, Jr., at his home Saturday in the Mahoning County village. WKBN-TV reports Police Chief Vincent D'Egidio said Reardon allegedly posted a video last month of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with the caption: "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O'Rearedon."

Reardon is scheduled to be arraigned Monday by video in Struthers Municipal Court.


 Man accused of threatening Jewish center arrested by Ohio police


For Trump, fueling white fears about race may be tougher in 2020, new poll finds

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:27:33

U.S. President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and focus on the grievances of white voters helped him win the 2016 election. But a Reuters analysis of public opinion over the last four years suggests that Trump's brand of white identity politics may be less effective in the 2020 election campaign.

The analysis comes amid widespread criticism of Trump's racially charged comments about four minority women lawmakers and the fallout from a mass shooting of Hispanics in El Paso, Texas, that many Democratic presidential candidates swiftly blamed on the president's rhetoric.

Reuters/Ipsos polling of 4,436 U.S. adults in July showed that people who rejected racial stereotypes were more interested in voting in the 2020 general election than those who expressed stronger levels of anti-black or anti-Hispanic biases. (For graphic on Americans' changing views on race: https://tmsnrt.rs/2YPpVBW)


 For Trump, fueling white fears about race may be tougher in 2020, new poll finds


Ukraine announces Jerusalem investment center during Netanyahu's visit

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:07:29

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Monday in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his country would open a high-tech and investment center in Jerusalem.

Israel had pushed for Zelensky to announce moving the Ukranian embassy to Jerusalem, but welcomed the president's move nonetheless and said it would open a similar high-tech center in Kiev.

Netanyahu and Zelensky signed bilateral agreements in the field of education, culture and sports valid until 2022. They also signed a memorandum of understanding on agricultural cooperation between the two countries.  


 Ukraine announces Jerusalem investment center during Netanyahu's visit


Tlaib suggests boycott of Maher after HBO host slams BDS as 'a bullshit purity test'

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:52:38

HBO's late-night political satirist, Bill Maher, dove head-first into the recent policital controversy surrounding the saga between the Israeli government and the U.S.'s first two female Muslim Congresswomen over their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Maher's comments led to Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to suggest boycotting Maher's show: "Maybe folks should boycott his show. I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now." 

Maher, while discussing the BDS movement declared it "a bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."


 Tlaib suggests boycott of Maher after HBO host slams BDS as 'a bullshit purity test'


Untamed Israeli soldier tells truth. His commanders rush to deny it

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:49:20

An Israel Defense Forces soldier is caught telling the truth, and his commanders are already rushing to deny it. But long-term journalistic experience teaches that soldiers lack filters of propriety, because they are still young and not yet completely tamed, and because they aren't aware of the fact that their role as guardians of the loot and defenders of the looters is patently not proper. They spout what they hear in the corridors, between the tents and in the jeep speeding along on its way to carrying out orders.

In October 2018, a soldier at the Coordination and Liaison Office in Jericho answered an Israeli activist, who asked: Where are the shepherds from the Samra hamlet who were detained by soldiers and why were they even detained. The shepherds were already released, about an hour after being detained, the soldier informed the caller, explaining that this was a form of punishment œwith greater deterrence, so they won't repeat the things they did.

What are the shepherds doing? Grazing their sheep. And the soldiers? Obeying. And what order are they obeying? If the shepherds in question are Palestinians to chase them away, along with their sheep and goats. Or, in the words of the truth-speaking soldier: œThey were walking with their sheep and blocking a road, and when they were asked to leave they refused. That's the report I received.


 Untamed Israeli soldier tells truth. His commanders rush to deny it


Iran's Zarif rules out talks with U.S. over a new nuclear deal

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:20:22

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday said Iran is not interested in talks with Washington, but any mediation should focus on bringing the United States back to the 2015 nuclear deal which it left last year.

Zarif was speaking in Finland after meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto, who said Europe was doing its best to salvage the deal.

 


 Iran's Zarif rules out talks with U.S. over a new nuclear deal


Turkey says three killed in strike on convoy Syria slammed as act of aggression

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:18:21

Three people were killed and 12 were wounded in airstrikes on Turkish military convoy carrying ammunition after it crossed into northern Syria on Monday, bound for a rebel-held stronghold, Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The strikes hit near the highway where the convoy was moving, the activists added.

Ankara condemned the attack that "violates agreements and cooperation with Russia," Turkey's Anadolu state news agency said.  


 Turkey says three killed in strike on convoy Syria slammed as act of aggression


Without Trump and Putin, Netanyahu makes do with Ukraine campaign stop

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:40:01

Around two weeks before the April 9 election, Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington, where President Donald Trump recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. About a week later, it was on to Moscow, where Netanyahu received from President Vladimir Putin the last effects of Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel, 37 years after the sergeant had gone missing in Lebanon. The well-timed trips were testament to the prime minister's statesman status, which he has been at pains to emphasize in the run-up to next month's do-over election as well.

As a reminder, since last month, Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv has been bedecked with massive banners showing Netanyahu shaking hands with Trump and Putin. But he won't be meeting with them this time. Instead he's in Ukraine on Monday, and in two weeks he'll be flying to India for a meeting with the third leader on a Likud banner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India is of course an up-and-coming world power with the second-largest population in the world, but still, Ukraine and India aren't the United States and Russia. Netanyahu's team tried to organize repeat meetings with Trump and Putin, but this time it seems there was less openness in Washington and Moscow. Trump still supports Netanyahu but he's disappointed in him for not wrapping up a victory in April, hence the cooling-down of his efforts to get the Israeli reelected.


 Without Trump and Putin, Netanyahu makes do with Ukraine campaign stop


Gaza is a 'volcano about to erupt,' Palestinian factions warn Israel

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:27:23

Palestinian factions in Gaza warned Israel on Monday that the Strip is "a volcano that is about to erupt" and that "Israel is continuing to play with fire."

In a joint statement, the factions described the recent attempts by armed Palestinians to cross the border as a testament to the volatile situation. "The occupation's crimes against the Palestinian people and the holy sites will not go unanswered," the statement said, referring also to recent clashes on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

>> Read more: Escalating incidents on Gaza-Israel border indicate Hamas is losing its grip | Analysis


 Gaza is a 'volcano about to erupt,' Palestinian factions warn Israel


Trump and Netanyahu just broke the special relationship between America and Israel

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:40:55

The historically deep ties that bind the United States and Israel were profoundly damaged Thursday when the government of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu succumbed to pressure from the Trump Administration and barred two members of the United States Congress, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, from entering Israel. 

While the special relationship between our two countries has withstood political upheaval, wars and the ebb and flow of geopolitics, it has seldom been challenged as it has been by this reckless and contemptible act of the wannabe authoritarian tag-team of Netanyahu and Trump.

>> Read more: Nixing Tlaib and Omar visit, Netanyahu harms Israel to assuage Trump's ego | Analysis -  AIPAC, pro-Israel U.S. lawmakers rebuke Netanyahu over Omar-Tlaib ban -  In the Tlaib-Omar saga, all the politicians are winners | Analysis  


 Trump and Netanyahu just broke the special relationship between America and Israel


In a hyper-capitalist world, the kibbutz is making a global comeback

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:19:41

Just as Marco Polo in Italo Calvino's novel œInvisible Cities finds a bit of Venice in every city he describes, Ran Abramitzky sees a kibbutz everywhere he goes. Now a professor at Stanford University, Abramitzky left Israel and the kibbutz ideal 20 years ago, but it seems the kibbutz never left him.

œI see elements of the kibbutz everywhere, he said in an interview with TheMarker, published here in condensed form. œStarting with African villages, which have a large element of a safety net in them, and running to businesses in Western cities ” in law and medical partnerships, where income and profits are shared.

œAlso in the tax debate in the United States, I see kibbutzim, in the ongoing debate between Democrats and Republicans. After all, belonging to a kibbutz is like 100% tax ” you get a salary and you give it all to the kibbutz. Republicans say, ˜If we raise taxes, people won't have an incentive to work hard'; Democrats say, ˜But we also need a safety net that can fund welfare policies,' he said.


 In a hyper-capitalist world, the kibbutz is making a global comeback


'Israel can't afford to be a sweetie': Martin Amis on writing, innocence and Jewish manhood

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:38:07

I'm walking inside a lavishly decorated 18th-century country house, with two slightly trembling glasses of water in my hands. The first room I enter is of a different era, seemingly drawn from a period film: Oil paintings deck the walls, a tall gilded mirror stands above a marble fireplace, a crystal chandelier is perched over three antique settees and to complete this portrait of refined wealth and splendor, a grand piano.

I walk to the center of the room, place the two glasses on the table, and take a seat next to Martin Amis. I had flown 4,000 kilometers, to Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas in Ireland, to meet him the man who, more than any other living writer, has inspired my love of English literature.

I couldn't imagine a more picturesque, dreamy, even surreal setting for such an encounter. The landscape, the architecture, and especially the people, all seemed to me exceptionally kind and benevolent, peaceful and welcoming. It is light-years away from the humid streets and typical scenery of my homeland, from the heated impatience so often characteristic of my compatriots and me: a world separate from my own.


 'Israel can't afford to be a sweetie': Martin Amis on writing, innocence and Jewish manhood


Turkey ousts three Kurdish-aligned mayors, citing links to outlawed militant group

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:29:25

Turkey's government said it has removed from office the elected mayors of three provinces in Turkey's mostly Kurdish-populated southeast region, replacing them with government appointees.

The three mayors were elected to office in the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van in local elections in March.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its Western allies.


 Turkey ousts three Kurdish-aligned mayors, citing links to outlawed militant group


London mayor urges council to approve plans for Holocaust memorial near U.K. parliament

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:24:41

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on a local council to approve plans to build a Holocaust memorial next to Parliament.

Khan said in a letter to the Westminster City Council, a borough council in Greater London, that building the Holocaust memorial and museum in Victoria Tower Gardens would œmake a powerful national statement, the U.K. Jewish News reported.

The plan has been panned by UNESCO, Historic England and The Royal Parks, according to the Evening Standard. The gardens are a UNESCO heritage site and officials say the building could obstruct the view from the gardens. Opponents have called for the Holocaust memorial to be located in a more appropriate location. The Imperial War Museum is located about a mile from Parliament in London, for example.


 London mayor urges council to approve plans for Holocaust memorial near U.K. parliament


Deflation raises prospect that Bank of Israel will try to tamp down the mighty shekel

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:45:53

Israel's consumer price index dropped much more sharply than expected for the second month in a row in July, but housing prices continued to rise with no sign that the trend will abate.

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday that the July CPI fell 0.3% for the month. That was a bigger decline than economists had forecast no change to a minus 0.1%.

The July figure followed an 0.6% drop in consumer prices in June and slashed the 12-month trailing rate for inflation to just 0.5%. Only two months earlier the 12-month rate has been 1.5%, inside the government's target range of 1-3% annually and close to Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron's target of 2%.


 Deflation raises prospect that Bank of Israel will try to tamp down the mighty shekel


Iranian tanker sought by U.S. departs Gibraltar for Greece

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:40:25

An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects to be tied to a sanctioned organization has lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar, marine traffic monitoring data showed late Sunday.

The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. The tanker slowly steered southeast toward a narrow stretch of international waters separating Morocco and the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.

Iran has warned the United States against any new attempt to seize an Iranian oil tanker in open seas after it left Gibraltar, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on state television on Monday.


 Iranian tanker sought by U.S. departs Gibraltar for Greece


Israel's Labor Party takes the socioeconomic agenda off the table

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:29:17

Give Amir Peretz and Orli Levi-Abekasis, leaders of the Labor-Gesher alliance, this much credit: After they unveiled their socioeconomic platform early last week, they elicited a response from the other parties and put the issue on agenda.

For instance, Naftali Bennett, of the new Yamina union, took time off from his skirmishes with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn against the risk of œturning Israel into Venezuela.

The attack on Peretz and Levi-Abekasis weren't just personal but about substance as well. Bennett, for example, said the Labor-Gesher program would double the taxes imposed on the stock options high-tech workers often are awarded. œWithin a year there won't be any startup companies here, said Bennett, who reminded voters that he himself was behind two startups in the past.


 Israel's Labor Party takes the socioeconomic agenda off the table


Tlaib and Omar make things clear about South Africa's successor

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:44:35

Two American lawmakers helped reveal the truth about Israel to their country and the world. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar should be thanked for this. And President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in their own way, helped uncover the truth. They are also to be thanked. The two of them, who banned the two legislators from entering Israel, saved us from another false representation.

After all the human rights activists who have been barred from entering Israel, it took the ban on two American congresswomen to show that Israel is one of the only countries in the world that turns visitors away based on political views or opposition to a country's regime.

The Zionist left did its part as well. Stav Shaffir and Tamar Zandberg were distraught over the œdamage to Israel's image that would be caused, so they advised the government on how to keep defrauding the world and claim that there is no apartheid while there is indeed democracy. Shaffir, who called Netanyahu a coward he's certainly far less a coward wanted to explain to her American colleagues the œcomplexities of the conflict, that wretched expression that serves the cowardly Zionist left, whose members love to use it to obscure the loss of their way and the clear fact that nothing is complex about apartheid.


 Tlaib and Omar make things clear about South Africa's successor


Trump says he will likely wait to release Mideast peace plan until after Israeli election

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:36:36

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Sunday he would likely wait until after Israel's September 17 election to release a peace plan for the region that was designed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, is the main architect of a proposed $50 billion economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon that is designed to create peace in the region.

>> Read more: Kushner's objective: An economic carrot to change the Palestinian narrative | Opinion


 Trump says he will likely wait to release Mideast peace plan until after Israeli election


How Israel can deter Iran

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:06:32

Hezbollah is said to have 130,000 rockets that could reach all of Israel, with Hamas possessing thousands of rockets that could cover southern and central Israel, including the Tel Aviv area. It is also said that, if war broke out, Israel could find itself fighting on two fronts, possibly even a third, the Golan Heights, where it would face an Iranian force made up of Revolutionary Guards and militias under Tehran's control.

And in the next war, thousands of rockets would land on Israeli population centers, and on strategic assets including the Haifa Bay industrial complex, power stations on the Mediterranean coast, ammonia tanks and airports and who knows what else, not to mention military bases, including air bases. Such a barrage could seriously disrupt air force operations and possibly also the mobilization assembly points and armored columns, which at that point should be racing toward Beirut, the Syrian section of the Golan Heights and Gaza.

Israel's anti-rocket capabilities, which include many Iron Dome batteries and a large supply of Arrow missiles, wouldn't provide sufficient defense for the country's cities and factories against such an onslaught. All this would happen on Iran's orders, the moment Tehran decided that the conditions were right, perhaps in the not-so-distant future in a regional conflict or something that relates more directly to Israel and its efforts to prevent the spread of Iranian power around us.


 How Israel can deter Iran


Israel to launch ad campaign to promote Jewish ritual baths for women

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:56:22

Israel's government advertising agency has begun producing an ad campaign for the Religious Affairs Ministry to encourage Israeli women to immerse in a ritual bath (mikveh) after menstruation. The ads are to be shown on television and digital platforms, at a cost 1 million shekels ($282,000).

The Jewish religious commandment for women to immerse in a ritual bath is based on the religious principle that women are unclean after menstruation until they do so. A couple is not allowed to have sex until the woman has immersed after her period.

The goal of the campaign, as defined by the government advertising agency, is a change in the perception of ritual baths to make the idea more attractive. The campaign is to present female celebrities who will tell about their personal experience of the ritual bath and recommend that female viewers immerse as well.


 Israel to launch ad campaign to promote Jewish ritual baths for women


New police regulations limit right to protest in Israel

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:23:13

Although Israel's High Court of Justice two years ago permitted the holding of demonstrations of any size without the need for a permit, new regulations drawn up by the police seek to restore restrictions to civil protests.

Under these interim regulations which were updated in June and are being reported here for the first time following a freedom of information request filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel gatherings of more than 50 people will require a permit, as will a march of 50 people or more. Smaller events will not require a permit, but policemen could still impose restrictions on the organizers under the Police Ordinance.

Police are trying to circumvent the High Court ruling by coming up with a new term, a œprotest event, which is not mentioned in any law. A œprotest event would be any demonstration of more than 50 people œaimed at expressing an idea, protest or message, a very general description that would apply to any significant demonstration.


 New police regulations limit right to protest in Israel


Central bank calls for spending surge to boost flagging Israeli productivity growth

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:45:43

The Bank of Israel on Sunday issued a road map for how to boost Israel's low level of labor productivity, in a bid to raise the issue from a largely academic debate into a declared policy of the government.

The 51-page report contained some familiar policy prescriptions, calling for more investment in education and infrastructure and reducing bureaucracy and improving the regulatory environment. But it also made some unusual ones, such as the government's abandoning its long-standing policy of weighing business incentives like tax breaks to industry and exports.

The report also proposed aligning school vacation days with business holidays to reduce the time and cost of childcare for parents. In that framework, the report proposed ending classes on Fridays, when most parents aren't working, and eliminating vacation days like the week before the Passover holiday, when most parents are at work.


 Central bank calls for spending surge to boost flagging Israeli productivity growth


Haaretz Cartoon

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 05:35:29

 Haaretz Cartoon


Documentary shows how ˜Fiddler on the Roof' made it to the stage

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 05:25:55

Instinctively, director-choreographer Jerome Robbins (née Rabinowitz) knew the musical that he was preparing for Broadway was something far greater than just the story of a Jewish family facing persecution in Czarist Russia.

So at one of his early meetings with the creatives behind the project, he made clear the route he intended to take them on: œFiddler on the Roof touched on many themes, he said, but at its core it was about tradition.

And thus was born one of the great opening numbers in the history of musical theater and the groundwork for one of the most important and popular plays ever. It opened in September of 1964 and became the longest-running Broadway musical of the time. It ran for a decade, spawned five Broadway revivals and has been performed everywhere from Vienna to Mexico City to Reykjavík, Iceland.


 Documentary shows how ˜Fiddler on the Roof' made it to the stage






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!