After hiding for a number of days, as he usually does, behind the backs of unnamed sources in Likud, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu realized Tuesday evening that if he doesn't immediately come out of the closet and put all his weight behind the initiative to call off the September election it would perish.
The arrangement was as follows: First the publication of the initiative led by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (on Channel 12 News by reporter Dafna Liel), which was immediately followed by the release of pre-prepared statements by Likud, according to which Netanyahu is considering Edelstein's initiative seriously," and therefore will examine Edelstein's proposal in the next few days. In other words: Netanyahu has been on it for over a week already.
>> Read more: Netanyahu to consider proposal to cancel upcoming Israeli election, party says - Netanyahu could crash and burn in the next elections while his rivals are sleeping | Opinion
MANAMA - The Trump administration's Peace to Prosperity economic conference in Manama, Bahrain, entered its second day on Wednesday with international diplomats, officials and business people in attendance.
The summit, which discusses the economic chapter of Washington's Middle East peace plan led by U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, does not include official representatives of Israel or the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinians are boycotting the conference and protesting the fact that it is taking place without a diplomatic solution in tow.
The oldest Jewish cemetery in Cuba is undergoing rehabilitation.
The Havana burial ground is being restored as part of an initiative by the city historian's office ahead of the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital's founding, which will be marked in November, The Associated Press reported.
In addition to the cemetery, located in the Guanabacoa neighborhood on Havana's east side, the city is repaving streets, cleaning monuments and restoring historic sites.
>> Bahrain day 2 live updates: Billion-dollar promises and one Manama synagogue
MANAMA, Bahrain Under strict security arrangements and despite the absence of official Israeli and Palestinian representatives, the biggest public event indicating the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world was held on Tuesday evening in the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, the capital of the tiny island of Bahrain.
This was the Trump administration's Peace to Prosperity economic conference, intended to raise $50 billion in contributions for the Palestinians if the peace plan, which the Americans plan on presenting to the parties after the election in Israel in September, makes progress.
The United States would not dare violate Iranian soil, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division said Wednesday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
Tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States after the Islamic Republic shot down a U.S. drone they claim was flying over their territorial waters last Thursday. Washington says the drone was in international airspace.
>> Read more: Iran's attack on U.S. drone Is just a preview of what's to come in Mideast | Analysis - Contradicting Trump, top Putin adviser says U.S. drone downed in Iranian airspace
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed on Wednesday reports that he will consider an initiative to call off the September 17 election after it was proposed by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
The prime minister denied that he offered opposition party Kahol Lavan to form a rotation agreement, by means of which Likud and Benny Gantz's party will share the premiership. "At no point was a rotation offered, to this point there is contact between the Likud and Kahol Lavan and I don't intend to give up on my natural partners to form a right-wing government," the premier said.
He also added that he intends to meet in the coming days with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein in order to discuss the initiative to nix the election.
Elizabeth Warren's first encounter with Israeli democracy was a memorable one.
In November 2014, during her first foreign trip as a freshman Massachusetts senator, she stepped onto the balcony of the Knesset just as a massive brawl was breaking out in the main hall below. Then-Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin and Arab lawmaker Jamal Zahalka were involved in an argument, with Zahalka branding Likud MK Feiglin a fascist and a racist. Zahalka was forcibly removed from the Knesset by security as Arab and left-wing lawmakers screamed in protest.
In the midst of these chaotic scenes, Minister Yuval Steinitz was visibly embarrassed as he tried to calm the angry legislators long enough so they could greet Warren, who was being escorted by then-U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. Steinitz begged them to stop fighting and welcome the distinguished visitor in the balcony. The MKs stopped what they were doing just long enough to give Warren a round of polite applause and then returned to their skirmish.
Israel's Foreign Ministry reprimanded the Chilean ambassador to the country after Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who is currently on a visit in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, was accompanied to Jerusalem's Temple Mount on Tuesday by Palestinian officials.
According to the ministry, it was decided in an earlier agreement with the Chileans that Palestinian officials would not accompany Pinera, who had also paid a visit to the Western Wall.
A statement released by the ministry said that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz "views gravely any violation of Israel's sovereignty on the Temple Mount, especially when it takes place in violation of protocol and clear agreements." The statement went on to add that "one must separate between complete religious freedom, which Israel insists on upholding, and the maintenance of our sovereignty over the Temple Mount."
In a phone conversation with Reggie Watts, the listener hears no hint of the fact that Rolling Stones magazine included him on the list of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Times. Although Watts, who will perform Wednesday (June 26) at Hangar 11 in the Tel Aviv Port, chuckles quite a lot, he answers the questions seriously. When I perform I perform, the 47-year-old comedian declares.
The punch lines that end every joke in stand-up comedy are not typical of Watts' performances. The subjects he talks about are more existential than one would expect.
I really love taking everyday topics and then making them not about what they are, he explains. You make them more abstract. So I like the idea of the structure of a traditional stand-up set, but then I turned it into something really weird. That's fun for me. It's not like I do that every time. I just like to try everything.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who issued a report in April on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, will testify in open session before the House of Representatives Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17, the panels' Democratic chairmen said on Tuesday.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the judiciary panel, and Representative Adam Schiff, head of the intelligence panel, said in a joint statement that Mueller had agreed to testify after the two committees issued subpoenas on Tuesday.
A representative for Mueller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Most center-left voters in Israel - excluding the chronically defeatist, dejected and depressed - keep to a strict ritual in advance of new elections. First they rationally remind themselves that they don't have a chance, then they are enticed to believe that just maybe, on Election Day they get pumped and excited despite themselves, paving the way for the ecstasy of the exit polls and the inevitable agony of the actual results. It's like a polished routine.
Signs of laxity in maintaining the established tradition were already apparent in advance of the April 9 elections: Many leftists opted to spare themselves the inevitable heartbreak of disappointment and to reconcile themselves to another rout by Benjamin Netanyahu from the outset. In retrospect, however, the doldrums of their first election campaign in 2019 seems like zealous over-enthusiasm, especially when compared to the despondence and fatalism that seems to be percolating from the center-left's leadership on down, as they face their second.
>> Read more: Voter fatigue and empowered extremists: The possible effects of Israel's constant elections - Netanyahu's losing rivals need open primaries or even a reality show: The Choice | Analysis
Facebook has created an uproar in the high-tech and financial world with the announcement of its Libra cryptocurrency earlier this month, but in many respects the ideas behind Libra have already been implemented by Israeli entrepreneur Ido Sadeh Man with his Saga digital currency.
Libra is often compared to Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. But Facebook has designed Libra to overcome their deficiencies, which have consigned them to being used as a speculative investment, to evade taxes and to buy and sell contraband.
Libra contains four elements aimed at making it a currency that can be used in real-world transactions. One is that it is backed by bank deposits and government securities and tied to existing currencies to ensure its value doesn't fluctuate. Another is that it follows the banking principle of know your customers to prevent its being used for money laundering. Finally Facebook is outsourcing management of the currency to a non-profit consortium based in neutral Switzerland called the Libra Association, rather than running it as part of its business. It's composed as of now of 28 corporate members.
People close to Eduardo Elsztain, the Argentinian real estate tycoon who controls Israel's IDB holding group, say he is radiating his usual confidence these days.
Elsztain recently made Israel his main place of residence and is apparently becoming more involved in day-to-day management of financially troubled IDB. He tells skeptics that in his 30 years managing a real estate empire in Argentina he has coped with far worse crises than he faces with IDB today.
That bullishness, however, is no longer shared by IDB's creditors and minority shareholders.
An Oklahoma judge on Monday approved a revised $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals resolving claims by the state's attorney general that the drugmaker helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic.
The decision by Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman in Norman, Oklahoma, came after the state's attorney general, governor and top lawmakers resolved a dispute over how the money should be deposited and spent.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter struck an initial settlement with Teva on May 26, just days before the Israel-based drugmaker was set to face trial alongside Johnson & Johnson, which is continuing to fight the case. The settlement resolved claims that Teva and other drugmakers helped cause the epidemic by marketing opioids as safe and effective for everyday pain while downplaying their addictive qualities.
The crowds in the lobby of Tel Aviv's Tzavta Theater last Friday afternoon might have misled passersby. The crowds weren't there for the so-called emergency conference about censorship and self-censorship in Israeli theaters, which took place in the Tzavta 3 hall, but for the Shlomo Artzi concert in Tzavta 1. Empty chairs, some marked with signs reading reserved, dominated the hall where the conference took place.
Those chairs tell the story of the entire event in a nutshell and lead to a clear conclusion about how low the standing of theater in Israeli culture has sunk. After four years of Miri Regev as culture minister, and with streaming services growing more popular, even theater people have lost interest in discussing the field's future, just as their audience has gradually abandoned the theaters in favor of binge-watching.
The faces on the stage, like those in the small audience that bothered to show up, were well known: accomplished playwrights, directors, actors and creative artists (the vast majority of them men, but so what?), who have persisted in staging political theater for decades from Ilan Ronen, Oded Kotler and Motti Lerner, all of whom were among the conference's organizers, to Yehoshua Sobel, Sinai Peter, Norman Issa, Makram Khoury, Hillel Mittelpunkt, B. Michael and Ephraim Sidon.
At first I chuckled. The column was pretty amusing. The writing was a bit awkward, the irony was heavy, but the idea wasn't bad.
The gist of it was that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to market himself to Israel's Palestinian citizens through his loyal lackey, Nathan Eshel (The right must stop splintering, Haaretz, June 18).
Netanyahu is good for the Arabs, Eshel explained to them sweetly, but he was essentially saying that now the Arabs are good for Netanyahu.
The military advocate general's announcement Tuesday that he was withdrawing the indictment of Mahmoud Qatusa on a charge of raping a 7-year-old girl and his release from custody aren't enough to end this harsh affair.
The case allows a terrifying look into the rot that has spread into the justice system that Israel has created for its Palestinian subjects living under military occupation. In the backyard of Israeli democracy exists a parallel legal world where the Palestinians are assumed to be terrorists unless proved otherwise.
This general failure includes every member of the system: the police, who held Qatusa in custody for two months without sufficient evidence; the military prosecutors, who filed an indictment even though the file lacked sufficient evidence; the media, which instead of serving as the watchdog of democracy humiliated itself with a sick dialogue implying that reservations about the rape of little girls depends on political tastes and whims; and the politicians, who saw this shocking incident as nothing but an opportunity to sow fear and win votes.
A new national education council was established at a meeting at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, as part of a new drive by educators seeking to defend secular schools from religious and ultra-nationalist-driven interference by the Education Ministry.
The new independent council is meant to guide schools in the pursuit of education for democratic, humanistic and liberal values, warning them about trends and programs that are at variance with such values. Among the members of this forum are former education minister Prof. Yuli Tamir and former MK Prof. Yossi Yonah (Zionist Union).
>> Read more: Independent public education | Editorial - Will secular Israelis be left alone in the dark? | Opinion
I have distressing news for anyone who thinks the election campaign hasn't started yet: We're at the peak of the first stage, more cynical and malicious than ever, and the goal is to fatally sabotage the media.
Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign people who disseminated fake news relating to pedophilia in the last election cycle as well now proclaim that with the dropping of the charges against Mahmoud Qatusa, the question isn't whether he's guilty, or if a rape was committed at all. They say the question is why the media underplayed this story when it's clear that if a Jew had been suspected in the rape of a 7-year-old girl, this would have made the top headlines.
>> Read more: Israeli leaders like the lowest Lehava Activists | Editorial - The right is politicizing the rape of a 7-year-old girl | Opinion
Donald Trump's announcement that he'll impose new sanctions on Iran stirred plenty of excitement in Israel. Like their predecessors, these sanctions were dubbed unprecedented, and we're dying of curiosity to see how they'll bring Iran to its knees. In this week of diplomatic festivals, the people are beside themselves with the surfeit of good news.
Following the welcome sanctions on Iran, the heads of the national security councils of the United States and Russia arrived in Jerusalem. This was also an unprecedented celebration Israel and two world powers discussing the future of the Middle East, diplomatic channels for solving crises, and an international coordination of approaches as if it were the Yalta Conference that drew up spheres of influence near the end of World War II.
While they're meeting in Bahrain's capital Manama, another unprecedented festival is taking place where representatives of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and unofficial Israelis, under American sponsorship, will dedicate the economic workshop the summer event that's supposed to reveal the deal of the century.
High concentrations of poisonous lead have been found in the blood of children in the Gaza Strip by researchers working for the Palestinian Authority, a report published this month shows. The levels pose a serious health risk to the children and may also affect their development.
The lead comes from workshops and factories located near residential areas that make use of the poisonous substance. The researchers' findings were based on blood samples taken from 1,700 children at a number of locations around Gaza. They were published this month in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. The research team was headed by Jamal Safi of the Environmental Protection and Research Institute in Gaza, who was joined by researchers from Al-Azhar University and the Islamic University of Gaza.
>> Collapsing environmental state of Gaza poses threat to Israel's national security, report warns
NEW YORK - Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her use of the term "concentration camps" to describe American border detention facilities, claiming that her Jewish constituents agree with her, in a comment made to Jewish Insider on Monday.
Controversy over whether or not Ocasio-Cortez was minimizing the Holocaust with such comments began last week when the congresswoman seen as a heroine by many on the left and as a lightning rod for controversy on the right posted an Instagram live video in which she claimed that the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are.
She continued: If that doesn't bother you ¦ I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that Never again' means something.
A Jerusalem court on Sunday issued a restraining order halting the sale of a rare handwritten letter by early Zionist leader Joseph Trumpeldor on suspicion that the letter was stolen decades ago from the Tel Aviv-based Jabotinsky Institute.
The letter, written in 1915 to a father whose son was killed while serving in a Jewish military unit in World War I, is the only known letter from Trumpeldor written in Hebrew, according to King David Auctions of Jerusalem, which had offered it for auction on behalf of an owner who was only identified as Zohar. It includes language tha arguably foretells Trumpeldor's own last words at battle at Tel Hai in 1920, "It is good to die for our country."
The letter had been due to be auctioned on Monday at an opening bid of $100,000, but efforts to sell it are now on hold until the ownership of the letter is clarified by the Jerusalem District Court.
The decision by Military Advocate General Sharon Afek on Tuesday to withdraw the indictment against Mahmoud Qatusa, a Palestinian accused of raping a 7-year-old Israeli girl in the West Bank, was the only appropriate decision under the circumstances. Afek did what he needed to do as a legal professional, even if one can assume that he anticipated the negative reaction that dropping the charges and releasing Qatusa from detention would prompt.
This disapproval would come from a number of directions. It includes tweets from the right professing disappointment over not getting to see the summary trial that they dreamed of, as well as the headache that Afek would face with the announcement that the military advocate general office's handling of the case would be investigated.
>> Case of 7-year-old who was raped reverberates with Atlanta-style racism | Opinion - The right is politicizing the rape of a 7-year-old girl | Opinion
A new study points at a warming trend in Israel over the past 70 years, which has strengthened in the past three decades. At the same time a trend toward a decline in the amount of precipitation, mainly after a small number of very powerful climate events, was also noted.
The findings are based on an analysis of extreme weather events measured in 30 stations throughout the country for measuring temperature, and 60 for measuring rain. It was found that in one of the stations, which operates in Kibbutz Ein HaHoresh in central Israel, the rate of temperature increase is not 0.1 degrees centigrade per decade according to a previous estimate but 0.26 degrees.
It was also found that the average minimum temperature increased each decade at a rate of 0.24 degrees, while the average maximum temperature increased at a rate of 0.19 degrees per decade. The analysis of the findings took into account various factors that could have affected the accuracy of the measurements, including a change in the surroundings of the weather stations, equipment or location, among other things.
The British military acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that its fighter jets carried out a joint excercise with their Israeli counterparts. The United Kingdom's Permanent Joint Headquarters posted on Twitter about the F-35 training exercise, which also included American aircraft.
The announcement comes at a time of heightened military cooperation between the United Kingdom and Israel. Israeli aircraft will, for the first time, participate in an exercise in the Combat Warrior exercise in Britain in September.
>> In era of Brexit and Tory power, Israel sees shift in relations with Britain
Palestinians burned portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump as they protested in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on Monday against U.S.-led plans for a conference on their economy in Bahrain.
Many Palestinian business groups have said they will boycott the June 25-26 event, billed as part of Washington's long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and spearheaded by Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
"Down with Bahrain, down with Trump, down with the Manama conference," chanted crowds in Gaza, which is ruled by the armed Islamist group Hamas. Some burned large paintings of Trump marked with the words: "Deal of the devil".
The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter is that his name wasn't Henry Porter, Bob Dylan, Brownsville Girl
All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie, Bob Dylan, Things Have Changed
Long before Donald Trump, Bob Dylan, in his songs and in his life, epitomized the fluidity of truth. He created his own myth, perpetuated with a playful grin over decades of reinvention. Dylan is not the little boy lost, who takes himself so seriously. He's the Judas who alienated fans by going electric and who baffled everyone with three born-again Christian albums. And, in a monumental new collaboration with Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, he's cast himself as the mischievous mangler of history.
Luc Besson's new film arrived in movie theaters with little fanfare. Even though the French director has a loyal fan base, thanks to movies such as Nikita, Leon, The Fifth Element and Lucy, his new picture, Anna was released amid unusual PR silence. And it's all the more striking in the case of a high-budget espionage thriller that aims to be a summer blockbuster. Everyone involved in the production apparently prefers the action to speak for itself without drawing attention to the director, who's trying to recover from serious accusations hurled at him in the #MeToo wave.
Besson hoped that Anna would be his comeback following Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), the most expensive French film ever made and a commercial and creative failure. He completed Anna last year, but then five women accused him of sexual wrongdoing on the French investigative site Mediapart. They were joined by four more women, who spoke about harassment, assault, even rape. One of them, Sand Van Roy, who appeared in Valerian, filed a complaint with the police in which she related that Besson had drugged her in a hotel and raped her. Lionsgate, the film's distributor, postponed the picture's release until the police investigation was competed it ended without evidence and without an indictment.
Besson's comeback thus became a dramatic double test for a long career that's seen major successes and equally major failures. For more than three decades, his work displayed extreme inconsistency. Anna might provide Besson with a box office success not because it's one of his better films, but because its appeal is to an audience that isn't necessarily interested in the director's personal life. Indeed, with the closing of the case by the police, though without the public stain having being removed, the decision to place the film in wide release attests to surprising confidence by Lionsgate in Besson. Or, alternatively, confidence by the company in the indifference and lack of interest on the part of the audience, which in the summer is only too happy to view every action movie irrespective of creed, race or suspicion of sexual violence.
Saudi special forces have captured the leader of the Yemeni branch of the Islamic State militant group, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said on Tuesday.
The leader, Abu Osama al-Muhajer, as well as other members of the organisation including its chief financial officer, were captured on June 3 in a raid on a house carried out by Saudi and Yemeni forces, the coalition said in a statement carried on Saudi state news agency SPA.
Weapons, ammunition and telecommunication devices were also seized during the 10-minute operation, it added.
The Peace to Prosperity economic workshop currently taking place in Bahrain is important. Not because it will lead to peace: it won't. And most of the dismissiveness about it has been justified. As one Palestinian leader said, It's a technocrats' conference. No decisions will be made there and the glossy realtors' prospectus prepared by Jared Kushner's team for the event is a copy-paste job, plagiarized from previous failed initiatives, totally devoid of any context or connection to the reality on the ground.
>> Economic side of 'deal of the century' holds some Surprises, but It's more vision than blueprint | Analysis
But the Bahrain gathering, which ends Wednesday, is still important. For the first time, official representatives of a significant number of Sunni Arab states will be openly attending an international conference on resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. They will be doing so against the express wishes of the Palestinians, and not one of the cardinal Palestinian demands statehood, Jerusalem, borders, refugees will be on the conference's official agenda.
Happy news for aspiring fathers fantasizing of flying to Mars: Frozen sperm retains its viability in outer space conditions, researchers announced Tuesday at a conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
The viability of frozen gametes aside, there are other reasons to suspect that protracted long-distance space travel isn't in our future. The astronauts themselves might not survive the trip. But at least their frozen sperm will, according to the results presented by Dr. Montserrat Boada from Dexeus Women's Health in Barcelona. Whoopee.
What about sperm that goes into space still inside the astronauts? Apparently, live sperm loses some motility in conditions of microgravity, the scientists explain, hence the investigation into the frozen version.
Hate evil and love good, And establish justice in the gate (Amos 5:15)
From Amos to Amos there were none like Amos. Amos Oz was a literary giant and, as he was described by Prof. Dan Laor, a guide unto the generations, who is at the level of Haim Nahman Bialik and Natan Alterman, who not only wrote but also made a point verbally as well. I assume that due to his modesty Oz did not consider himself a prophet, but for me he was a prophet for generations.
About a year ago, on June 3, 2018, Oz delivered his last lecture from the podium of the Cymbalista Jewish Heritage Center at Tel Aviv University. He died on December 28, 2018, and after the fact we know that this lecture which he delivered uninterruptedly for 50 minutes, by heart and without any notes whatsoever was a kind of last will and testament.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that a New York-based advice columnist who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s is not his type.
I'll say it with great respect: Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened, Trump told The Hill in an interview at the White House.
Writer E. Jean Carroll has claimed that a friendly encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in 1995 or 1996 turned violent when the real estate mogul pushed her up against a dressing room wall, unzipped his pants and forced himself on her. Carroll said that, in a colossal struggle, she pushed him off and ran from the store.
Turkey's opposition has just achieved its most significant victory since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. And it was a victory for the most successful political branding strategy since Recep Tayyip Erdogan's own anti-elite, poor boy made good campaigning frame which launched him and his party into power in 2002 and has helped him hold on since until now.
Not only did the opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu win the race for mayor of Istanbul, a highly influential position, but he also managed to defeat Erdogan's own nominee, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Indeed, this was the second time Imamoglu won the race. His initial victory on 31 March was annulled by the Supreme Electoral Council in the wake of immense governmental pressure.
>> Read more: Erdogan just suffered a humiliating defeat. And thanks to Istanbul, Turkey's democracy just won a famous victory
U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is going on the offensive against Democrats, with a newsletter published Moday saying: President Trump has repeatedly condemned racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism. Why can't Democrats do the same?
The focus of the message was a recent statement by Senator Cory Booker, in which he said he wouldn't necessarily refuse to meet with controversial Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has been widely accused of espousing anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views.
>> Read more: Pompeo's promise to protect U.K. Jews from Corbyn was shocking, foolish - and morally perfect | Opinion - America's synagogues are burning: A turning point for U.S. Jews | Opinion
Britain's defense secretary says the country's most advanced military aircraft, the Lightning F-35B, has flown its first missions over Syria and Iraq as part of the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group.
A statement released Tuesday quoted Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt as saying that the jets' first operational mission from a British air base in Cyprus where they have been undergoing training since May 21 is "a significant step into the future for the U.K."
British military officials had said there were no plans for the aircraft to conduct combat missions during their stay at RAF Akrotiri.
Iran announced in mid-June that by the 27th of the month it will exceed the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, pushing tensions with the U.S. into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory.
The June 27 deadline comes ahead of another, July 7, the deadline for Europe to come up with better terms for Iran to stay in the accord. If that second deadline passes without any action, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic likely will resume higher uranium enrichment, a move that would breach the terms of a nuclear pact with world powers.
That threat could lead Iran's nuclear program to have enough uranium to fuel a bomb within a year.
Iran's president has mocked U.S. President Donald Trump, going as far as to say the White House is afflicted by mental retardation.
The comments by President Hassan Rohani came after the Trump administration announced sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday. Rohani said the decision meant the certain failure of the White House's efforts. He also criticized U.S. officials for wanting to sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Many in the U.S. media and history-savvy Twitter users are also mocking Trump, as he appeared to name the wrong supreme leader when announcing the new sanctions.
The United States will stop Turkish forces flying and developing its F-35 stealth jets if Ankara goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian air defence system, the U.S. envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.
Washington and its allies have urged fellow NATO member Ankara not to install the S-400 Russian system, saying that would let the technology learn how to recognise the jets, which are built to avoid tracking by enemy radars and heat sensors.
But Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to budge, exacerbating a diplomat rift already widening over conflicting strategy in Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of U.S. consular staff.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he believed the number of Syrians returning from Turkey to their homeland will reach one million once a safe zone is established in northeast Syria along their shared border.
Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians - the largest number in any one country of Syrians displaced during the eight-year-old civil war. Tensions between Turks and Syrians flare up on occasion in the host country.
Turkey is in talks with the United States over the establishment of a safe zone across its border in northeast Syria, where the United States supports the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara sees the YPG as a terrorist organisation.
NATO urged Russia on Tuesday to destroy a new missile before an August deadline and save a treaty that keeps land-based nuclear warheads out of Europe or face a more determined alliance response in the region.
NATO defence ministers will discuss on Wednesday their next steps if Moscow keeps the missile system that the United States says would allow short-notice nuclear attacks on Europe and break the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
"We call on Russia to take the responsible path, but we have seen no indication that Russia intends to do so," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference. "We will need to respond," Stoltenberg said.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday that Israeli air strikes on Syria were undesirable.
Israel has repeatedly attacked what it describes as Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon's Hezbollah. The strikes have caused friction between Israel and Russia, which apart from Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's other major foreign backer.
Read more: Contradicting Trump, top Putin adviser says U.S. drone downed in Iranian airspace
Dozens of metal archaeological artifacts that had been excavated in Caesarea were stolen from an Israel Antiquities Authority storage facility in the center of the country about two months ago.
The authority never publicly disclosed the break-in at the facility, which houses a large portion of the country's archaeological treasures, but told Haaretz it is taking the matter very seriously and took immediate security measures after it was discovered.
Among the objects apparently taken were figurines, arrowheads, rings and nails. About 50,000 items, both large and small, are housed at the facility, including coffins and decorations from ancient columns.
Joe Sestak, whose failed 2010 Senate race was a precursor of this decade's shift among Democrats toward increased criticism of Israel's government, is running for president.
Sestak, 67, is the 25th candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. His announcement Monday referred to his foreign policy experience, and his advocacy for tax reform and addressing climate change.
>> Read more: Surveyed on Israeli human rights record, this is what Democratic presidential hopefuls think
The charges against the Palestinian man suspected of raping a seven-year-old girl in a West Bank settlement were dropped on Tuesday in a surprising turnaround, marking an unexpected development in a case fraught with legal complications and contradictions.
Israel's military prosecution, which handled the high-profile investigation, released a joint statement with the Israel Police in which it said that there is evidence in the case to show that the girl was sexually assaulted, as well as evidence "pointing at the involvement" of the suspect, Mahmoud Qatusa. However, officials involved in the investigation "are all of the opinion that there isn't enough evidence to file charges against Qatusa."
>> Read more: Case of 7-year-old who was raped reverberates with Atlanta-style racism | Opinion - Israel using any means possible to frame Palestinian accused of rape, locals say - The right is politicizing the rape of a 7-year-old girl | Opinion
The promotion of the public prosecutor handling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption cases has been suspended, following an anonymous complaint letter that was penned by concerned prosecutors.
The prosecutors who signed the letter claim that Liat Ben Ari's appointment to next deputy state prosecutor for financial crimes was only intended to keep her in the system for her aggressive attitude toward Netanyahu.
Israel's Civil Service Commissioner Daniel Hershkowitz ordered Sunday to delay the selection committee's meeting, which was scheduled for Monday, after the letter claimed it was just going to rubber-stamp the pick by State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, who is set to end his six-year term at the end of 2019.
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back at controversial Republican Congressman Steve King on Twitter after he urged her to accept an invitation to visit a Nazi concentration camp.
King tweeted on Sunday, .@AOC I went to Auschwitz & Birkenau with Eddie Mausberg & Jonny Daniels with In the Depths . I went with a deep understanding of the Shoah and had a profound personal experience. Please accept their offer.
Edward Mosberg, honorary president of From the Depths (a Holocaust remembrance group), on Friday invited Ocasio-Cortez to visit Auschwitz after she ignited a heated debate about the use of the term concentration camp to describe migrant detention centers in the United States.
Russia has military intelligence that shows that a U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace when it was shot down by Iran last week, Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia's Security Council, said on Tuesday in his opening remarks at a first-ever trilateral meeting with American and Israeli national security advisers in Jerusalem.
The U.S. claimed the drone was flying over international waters. Patrushev said evidence presented by the United States alleging Iran was behind attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman was poor quality and unprofessional.
>> Read more: Netanyahu hosting Russian victory lap while emasculated Bolton looks on | Analysis - Something stopped Trump from striking Iran, and it wasn't 150 lives | Analysis
A general strike was declared in the Gaza Strip in protest at the U.S.-sponsored economic summit in Bahrain, which began Tuesday as part of the Trump administration's effort to foster peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 12 people were wounded, three of them from live fire and the others by rubber bullets, during protests against the summit.
In the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, Palestinians held protest gatherings and marches, which are expected to continue through Wednesday. There were also clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the city and, according to Palestinian reports, dozens of demonstrators were injured from tear gas inhalation.
The meeting was fixed for nightfall at one of Gaza City's beachfront restaurants. The place is almost empty. Sami (not his real name) sits at a table, looking hesitant. He only starts speaking after the waiter has left us. I had to get married so as not to damage my family's reputation, the 40-year-old Gazan whispers. My mother put pressure on me, told me she wanted to have grandchildren. Before I married my first wife I told her, Mom, I'm gay.' She started laughing. I insisted. So she looked me right in the eye and ordered me never to say that again. After the divorce, I told her everything again. Show people you're straight,' she replied. I thought: I'll do my best.
Sami first knew he was gay at the age of 7. He has lived a clandestine life ever since, using Viagra when he needs to pretend to be straight. Married twice already, he often dreams of what life could be like outside the coastal enclave.
To be gay in the world's largest open-air prison has been a constant struggle, he says. Whereas LGBTQ Palestinians living in Israel or the West Bank have the opportunity to leave their conservative towns and villages to find relatively safe spaces in Haifa, Tel Aviv-Jaffa or even Ramallah, Gazans are trapped in what he calls a homophobic society.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Tuesday described renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran as desperate and called the White House "mentally retarded", an insult Iranian officials have used in the past about Trump but a departure from Rohani's own comparatively measured tone.
"You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks," he added and called the sanctions "outrageous and idiotic."
"The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do," Rohani said.
The broadcast of the television series Chernobyl has again raised the question of whether such a disaster could happen in Israel. The standard answer, of course, is no.
After all, the output of the nuclear reactor that exploded in Russia is many times greater than the output of the Israeli reactor at Dimona (at least 30 times greater), and similarly the amount of nuclear waste it produces is proportional to the size of the reactor.
>> Read more: 'Chernobyl' reopens old wound for thousands of Israelis
Marking a rift among Israel's far-right political alliance, the leaders of Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit said Tuesday that the political outfit will break away from the Union of Right-Wing Parties.
The joint slate, which has some members who support the late, racist rabbi Meir Kahane, was formed ahead of Israel's previous election with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's blessing in a move that sparked criticism in Israel and abroad.
Otzma Yehudit leaders explained that they feel "abused" by the other factions in the ticket, and would look to join forces with other right-wing parties ahead of the September 17 election.
The unveiling of the U.S. administration's long-awaited production of Peace for Prosperity, premiering in Bahrain on Tuesday, garnered mixed reviews, to say the least. Barak Ravid of Axios and Israel's Channel 13 described it as impressive, detailed and ambitious perhaps overly ambitious. Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt Dan Kurtzer offered a slightly different take: I would give this so-called plan a C- from an undergraduate student. The authors of the plan clearly understand nothing, he said.
The plan, released in a colorful pamphlet on the eve of the Bahrain economic summit, is being portrayed by the White House as a vision of the bountiful fruits of peace that Palestinians might reap once they reach a peace agreement with Israel. Critics describe it as an amateurish pie-in-the-sky, shoot-for-the-moon, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hodgepodge that promises projects that cannot be implemented, funded by money that does not exist and contingent on a peace deal that will never happen.
But the main problem with Peace for Prosperity isn't its outlandishly unrealistic proposals such as the $5 billion superhighway between the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel will never agree to; or its occasional condescending and Orientalist attitude towards Palestinian society - their great hummus could attract millions of tourists; or even its offer to manage and foster Palestinian institutions and civil society in a way that can be viewed either as implicit state-building or as imposing foreign control on a future Palestinian government.
Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman claimed Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to set up a minority coalition supported from the outside by the Arab parties.
We heard the prime minister saying about Arabs that they were heading for the voting booths in droves ¦ but now the prime minister is heading towards the Arab parties, which will apparently cost the taxpayer a great deal of money, Lieberman told a meeting of a his party.
Lieberman is basing his statement in part on the op-ed written by the prime minister's close associate Nathan Eshel, which was published in Haaretz. We must tie our fate to that of Israel's Arabs, Eshel wrote.
Israel will indefinitely stop the transfer of fuel to the power plant in the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
COGAT said the reason was the launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which sparked fires in neighboring Israeli communities.
Two weeks ago, Israel imposed a total maritime blockade on the Strip, which lasted one week. Israel has been tailoring restrictions on the size of Gaza's fishing zone in which Israel allows fishermen to operate in response to incendiary balloons.
The Israeli economy is a strong economy high growth rates, full employment and a low debt-to-GDP ratio. The economy is strong thanks to the responsible economic policies that we have pursued over the last years as we have maintained fiscal discipline. Those were the words of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon at Monday's cabinet meeting just before he asked them to approve another across-the-board cut in their ministries' budgets.
Regarding the first half of his remarks, Kahlon spoke the truth. Today, four years after he took over the finance portfolio, the economy is still growing (even if the Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy index published on Monday was a little disappointing).
The employment picture is as good as ever (even if figures also published Monday showed employment down slightly amid record low joblessness). The debt-to-GDP ratio (even if it has risen slightly recently) is a lot lower than it was a decade or two ago.
Israel's cabinet on Monday approved a package of fiscal adjustments, including a 1.2 billion shekel ($333 million) spending cut for 2019-20, as Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron delivered unusually harsh words about the ballooning budget deficit.
The reductions will be imposed on all ministries, with some of the savings directed to fund what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a security project of unparalleled importance.
This is very hard for all of us, it is what is necessary. We have no choice, Netanyahu said. We must see to the priorities security, the homes that went up in flames, the afternoon daycare these are the needs which, as of now, we must put before others.
Bet Shemesh Engines, a small Israeli manufacturer of jet engine components for some of the world's leading aerospace companies, said on Monday it has signed a long-term contract with Pratt & Whitney Canada worth $800 million.
The company has been working with P&W, one of the world's big three makers of jet engines, for about 35 years, including a long-term agreement due to expire at the end of 2019. But the new deal, which will run from 2020 to 2039, marks a substantial increase in the value of orders P&W will be making in the future.
CEO Ram Drori said the contract was the biggest ever awarded to Bet Shemesh Engines, whose customers include GE Aviation and Siemens as well as the Israel Air Force. The company specializes in high-tech components, such as precision castings, forges and aircraft frame assemblies.
A key step toward putting control of Bezeq, Israel's dominant telecommunications company, into new hands took place on Monday, as U.S. private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners and Israeli David Fuhrer reached an agreement to take control of Bezeq parent company B Communications.
The agreement, if completed, will mark a major restructuring of the Bezeq group. Besides putting the Searchlight-Fuhrer group in control of Bezeq, it would also bring an end to the pyramid group that has controlled the company since the era of its previous controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch.
Heavily indebted Bcom signed the agreement with the Searchlight-Fuhrer group after its bondholders voted earlier in the day in principal to support the terms of a debt bailout. That ended protracted negotiations that had failed on six separate occasions beforehand, including last Thursday.
What can Jared Kushner's plan be compared to? A blueprint for a luxury yacht designed to sail on the desert sands. To treat the plan of Donald Trump's son-in-law seriously we must be blessed with amnesia. Reality must be jettisoned from our consciousness for us to read such an exhausting text laden with empty promises and advertisers' clichés.
What reality? One of total Israeli control of the space, land and what is under it, the water, the people, their marriages and lives, their freedom of movement, property, their hopes and freedom.
To speak, for example, about the limited access of Palestinian farmers to land, water, and technology without stating explicitly that it is Israel which limits them this is laughing in the readers' faces. So Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American social activist, business consultant and analyst of Israeli policies decided to answer Kushner with a sort of humorous fatigue.
Israel's Labor Ministry inspectors ordered 27 construction sites shut down on Sunday due to safety issues.
The ministry said its inspectors, together with the police police, examined 30 sites in the central town of Modi'in and the southern city of Ashdod last week. It ended up issuing closure orders against all 15 inspected sites in Modi'in and 12 of the 15 sites in Ashdod.
Since the beginning of 2019, 38 construction workers have died on site.
The northern city of Afula announced Monday it will close its main municipal park to nonresidents over the summer, except on Fridays. In recent years, Afula residents have complained of Arabs from the area using the park, and have protested against Arabs buying homes in the city.
The mayor of Afula, Avi Elkabetz, was responsible for building the park during his previous terms in office from 2005 through 2013. His election campaign last year featured a slogan calling for Afula to maintain its Jewish character. Before he was elected, he took part in protests against the sale of homes in the city to Arabs. After the election, members of the city council were sworn in with an oath that they would protect the Jewish character of the city.
As part of Elkabetz's election campaign, he wrote the following on Facebook: The occupation of the municipal park must end. It is not a political issue. It is not an election issue. It is simply a fundamental matter of principle. A park that was built for the residents of Afula needs to remain theirs ¦ We must proudly wave Israeli flags through the entire park and play music in Hebrew, he wrote.
Some 2,000 people protested in Tel Aviv on Monday against the authorities' plans to deport more than 100 children who were born in Israel to Filipina women. The women had come to Israel legally as foreign workers, but once their children were born, the women's work permits were not renewed. They became subject, along with the children, to being deported.
The protesters, many of whom were children of either Israeli or Filipino background, stood together holding Israeli flags and chanting slogans such as children should not be deported and there is no difference between blood because we are all human beings (which contains alliteration in Hebrew).
The deportations are expected to be carried out in July and August. The Population and Immigration Authority issued a statement saying: These are foreign citizens who have been in Israel for a very long time in total violation of the law and without any orderly status.
MANAMA Landing at the airport in the Bahraini capital, you can't miss the American Peace to Prosperity conference taking place in the tiny kingdom.
Large signs have been set up to direct the hundreds of participants to special reception counters set up for the occasion, so as not to miss a single visitor especially not the small group of Israeli businesspeople and journalists, some of whom have entered Bahrain in an unusual manner, with Israeli passports, even at the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
>> Read more: Trump's Bahrain conference - not what you imagined - Kushner's deal holds some surprises, but it's more vision than blueprint - The billion-dollar question in Trump's peace plan
The government recently admitted that the Population Authority's biometric database at the Interior Ministry was breached twice in the last two years, in 2017 and 2018. The incidents had not been reported to the Knesset at the time and the public was not informed.
The details regarding the two occurrences and their degree of severity are still not known. At this point, the only information the Interior Ministry's Biometric Database Management Authority has agreed to disclose is that the incidents have been responded to and are still being dealt with by experts.
At least one of the incidents is still under investigation, and it appears that the authorities are unaware of its severity and extent of the possible harm it caused to Israeli citizens. It is also not clear whether the breaches were one-time events or extended over a period of time.
U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior Iranian officials with new U.S. sanctions on Monday, looking for a fresh blow to Iran's economy after Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone.
With tensions running high between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions, which U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets.
Trump told reporters the sanctions were in response to Tehran's downing of a U.S. drone last week, but would have happened anyway. He said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime" in the Middle East.
Members of both Likud and Kahol Lavan have been inquiring whether the law to disband the Knesset can be voided to prevent the September 17 election, despite the Knesset legal adviser's position that the law could not be reversed.
Speaking at a committee convened to discuss the Knesset's termination three weeks ago, the legal adviser to the Knesset, Eyal Yinon, told the outgoing Knesset members that the vote to dissolve the Knesset is a point of no return. From the moment they voted in favor of disbanding the Knesset a new election cannot be put off and the law cannot be tossed aside to preclude the election, he said.
Despite his clarifications, since the official announcement of the September 17 election members of both Likud and Kahol Lavan, as well as other parties, have been inquiring if there's a way to cancel the law and allow the outgoing Knesset to hold its seat.
Industrial air pollution in Haifa Bay has been diminishing but the area still continues to suffer from grave ecological and environmental problems, according to a new report by the state comptroller.
Moreover, the responsible authority, the Environment Protection Ministry, has not taken appropriate action against local industrial polluters including the worst offenders, Oil Refineries and its affiliates, outgoing State Comptroller Joseph Shapira asserts. His suggestion: Forming an independent committee that will discuss the future of industry in the bay with an eye to possibly forcing some of the plants to move out.
On one hand, restrictions on industrial emissions has improved air quality in Haifa, to some degree, but the Environment Ministry's monitoring efforts provide only a partial picture of the state of smog.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday with the Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev to discuss security coordination in the region, ahead of a trilateral summit between national security advisors from Israel, Russia and the U.S..
"I want to say, as clearly as possible, that security cooperation between Russia and Israel has already contributed much to the security and stability of our region and has made a fundamental difference in the situation in the region," Netanyahu said during a joint press conference with Petrushev.
>> Netanyahu hosting Russian victory lap while emasculated Bolton looks on | Analysis
As President Donald Trump has flip-flopped over whether to negotiate with Iran, Tehran fears that his administration's maximum pressure campaign was never about renegotiating the 2015 nuclear deal. Instead, the Iranians see Washington's withdrawal from the agreement only as a pretext to pursue the strategic objective of toppling the Islamist regime.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme religious leader, clearly cannot yet rely on Trump's expressed desire for direct, and unconditional, talks. Indeed, several members of Trump's administration have long-established track records of wanting to topple the regime Khamenei has spearheaded since 1989.
Meanwhile, as the sanctions have paralyzed the Iranian economy with Iran losing something like $130 million per day in loss of oil income thanks to the U.S. sanctions Tehran has had to look for ways to regain leverage vis-à-vis those it sees as leading the effort to isolate it. Tehran does not want sanctions and a bleeding Iran to become the new normal, and is looking for ways to hit back to overturn this reality.
Less than three months after the last municipal elections in Turkey and after forcing the Supreme Election Council to order a new mayoral vote in Istanbul following the defeat of the candidate he backed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suffered his first major defeat.
Erdogan will have to do some thorough soul-searching, personally and regarding his Justice and Development Party (AKP), following the second rout of his candidate, Binali Yildirim, and the sweeping victory of the opposition Republican People's Party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, who won by a 9-point lead.
This time, too, Erdogan had defined the election as a vote of confidence in him personally, not just a vote for his candidate, who had served as Turkey's prime minister. So he owns the failure.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent warning that the United States may scale back intelligence cooperation with Israel over ties to China may be more than bluster after all.
As Haaretz reported on June 14, the U.S. Senate's National Defense Authorization Act for the 2020 fiscal year raises serious security concerns over the Haifa Port deal with China. A Chinese-operated port, as others, could keep the U.S. Navy away from Haifa and imperil security ties between Israel and its closest ally.
The bill does not mince words, and the Israeli government should listen.
A crater 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 4 meters (13 feet) deep has appeared in a field in central Germany, apparently caused by a World War II bomb exploding in the middle of the night.
Police said Monday that the crater was discovered on Sunday afternoon near Limburg and there was no indication it was caused by farm machinery or other tools. Residents reported having heard a loud explosion and felt a blast in the early hours of Sunday.
No one was hurt. News agency dpa reported that police said the shape of the crater, among other factors, led explosives clearance experts to confirm it was created by a bomb.
Bill Maher, host of HBO's late-night political satire program Real Time, cautioned against the political danger of Democrats continuing to label the Trump administration's detention facilities for immigrants concentration camps.
"If you want to run a campaign based on reparations and concentration camps then it's going to be very hard to win the election. I'm not saying you can't do it but it would be very hard to argue that this is helping," Maher argued on Friday's show.
Maher explained the recent newscycle, in which several prominent Democrats defended accusing Trump of setting up concentration camps.
This article was first published on June 21, 2018 and republished amid an on-going debate on whether or not Trump administration detention facilites should be called "concentration camps."
When news came in recent days of the U.S. separating parents from children at the border and holding minors in a dedicated tent city in Texas, the phrase "concentration camp" began to appear in descriptions of the new facility. I was one of the people who used the term.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that may end up shifting the way families are processed, but as various journalists have noted, it is not yet clear that there will be any improvement.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said that he does not currently feel the need to meet with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite he has met with several times before.
I have met I live in Newark so we have famous Mosque 25, we have Nation of Islam there, Booker said Saturday at a faith breakfast campaign event in South Carolina. As mayor I met with lots of folks talking to him. I have heard Minister Farrakhan's speeches for a lot of my life, so I don't feel like I need to do that, but I'm not one of these people that says I wouldn't sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say.
>> Read more: Farrakhan's Hate Speech Leads to Actual Abuse of Jews. I Just Experienced It | Opinion
Best-selling novelist Judith Krantz, whose first novel Scruples was published the year she turned 50, has died.
Krantz died Saturday at her home in Bel Air, California at the age 91, Deadline reported.
Krantz is the third-largest-selling female novelist in history, according to the Jewish Women's Archives. Although her goal is for her books to provide escape and entertainment, she does try to make some serious points and has woven such issues as anti-Semitism and the German occupation into her novels. All of her heroines are working women, and she has said that the subtext of all her books is women's opportunities, according to the archives.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request to raise money from American businessman and close associate Spencer Partrich to finance legal defense in the premier's bribery cases was denied Monday, in a final decision on the matter by the permits committee in the State Comptroller's Office.
The committee reached its decision after giving the prime minister 30 days to provide information of the nature of the his relationship with Partrich, as well as a wealth statement. Netanyahu's legal counsel asked on Sundayfor a 30-day extension to that deadline, which was denied.
Netanyahu claimed the committee was overstepping its mandate and "used its position to stack unprecedented difficulties on the prime minister and prevent him his basic rights in the legal process."
U.S. President Donald Trump's flip-flopping over the past three days may be the most important calming signal that the Middle East has received recently. It was said that all the major ingredients that could justify an American military offensive against Iran had come together.
Things had come to a boil in the Persian Gulf when Saudi, Japanese and other tanker ships were damaged in naval attacks. Without decisive proof, Iran was suggested as the culprit. And Yemini Houthis fired missiles into Saudi Arabia into Jizan province and at an airfield in Abha prompting battle cries against Iran.
Iran has shortened the period in which it will step up its enrichment of uranium and thereby violate the nuclear deal. The heads of the Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards have threatened that, despite their desire to avoid a violent confrontation, they wouldn't hesitate to hit American targets if Iran were attacked. Tensions peaked with Iran's downing of an American drone last week.
Some 12 vehicles were vandalized and malicious graffiti was scrawled overnight Sunday in the Palestinian West Bank town of Sinjil, near the Jewish settlements of Ofra and Shilo.
Sinjil residents said Monday that Stars of David were spray-painted on buildings in the Palestinian town alongside writings in Hebrew that read: "Village of terrorists," "Stone-throwing terrorists live here," and "We give them jobs and they rape a child," probably referring to the West Bank rape case in which Mahmoud Qatusa was charged with raping a 7-year-old Israeli girl. However, locals argue that Israel was trying to frame him for an act he didn't commit.
Israeli police said it launched an investigation into the suspected hate crime in Sinjil.
Israel's Communications Minister Ayoub Kara resigned Monday, after it was revealed that he auditioned for the reality television show "Survivor: VIP" during his tenure as minister.
"Since being appointed as communications minister, a systematic smear campaign was launched against me that stems from prejudice," Kara, who is Druze, wrote in the resignation letter that he submitted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On Sunday, Channel 13 reported that Kara auditioned for the TV show while serving as communications minister and is considering competing in the program. Kara did not announce his intentions nor did he disqualify himself from handling possible conflicts of interest regarding the television market and the show's broadcaster, Reshet.
The State Prosecutor's Office reversed Sunday its decision to close an investigation against Breaking the Silence spokesman, saying an incident he described in which he beat a Palestinian detainee in Hebron had indeed occurred, in a case seen as a test of the anti-occupation group's credibility.
Deputy State Prosecutor Nurit Litman said, however, that the case would remain closed, and that the force spokesman Dean Issacharoff used against the detainee, who was suspected of hurling stones, was crucial to making the arrest.
Issacharoff served as an officer in the Nahal infantry brigade at the time of the incident.
It has to be acknowledged that the trilateral summit taking place between the national security advisers of Israel, the United States and Russia in Jerusalem on Monday is a coup for Benjamin Netanyahu. Once more, he has shown unparalleled skill as the leader of a small nation to leverage his advantages in this case, his strong personal relations with the leaders of the two powers.
He exhibited this skill twice last May: First, when President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, using identical talking points to Netanyahu in his speech. Second, less than 48 hours later, he was in Moscow as President Vladimir Putin's guest of honor at the Victory Day parade in Red Square. That night, Israel attacked Iranian and Syrian positions in Syria, also destroying Russian-supplied anti-aircraft batteries. To the world, it seemed that Putin had given Netanyahu carte blanche to act.
Convening the two national security advisers to discuss Syria and Iran is further testament that, despite their differences and some lingering Russian resentment at the shooting down of the Ilyushin spy plane off the Syrian coast last September, Netanyahu is still holding this relationship together. Israel is still carrying out airstrikes in Syria, against Iranian targets, with U.S. backing and with Russia's acquiescence.
Days before the first Democratic presidential debates, Sen. Bernie Sanders and House progressives are unveiling legislation cancelling all student debt, going further than a signature proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the two jockey for support from the party's liberal base.
By canceling all student loans, Sanders says the proposal addresses an economic burden for 45 million Americans. The key difference is that Warren's plan considers the income of the borrowers, canceling $50,000 in debt for those earning less than $100,000 per year and affecting an estimated 42 million people in the U.S.
Questions face both candidates about how to pay for all of that plus their proposals for free tuition at public colleges and universities. But the battling ideas highlight the rivalry between senators who have made fighting economic inequality the cornerstones of their presidential campaigns.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war with Tehran after a senior Iranian military commander warned that any conflict in the Gulf region could spread uncontrollably and threaten the lives of U.S. troops.
Tensions remain high between longtime foes Iran and the United States after Trump said on Friday that he called off a military strike to retaliate for Iran's downing of a U.S. drone out of concern it would have been a disproportionate response.
I'm not looking for war, and if there is, it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before, Trump said on NBC's Meet the Press program. You want to talk? Good ... no preconditions, added Trump.
The opposition candidate for mayor of Istanbul celebrated a landmark win Sunday in a repeat election that ended weeks of political tension and broke the long hold President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party had on leading Turkey's largest city.
Thank you, Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu said to the tens of thousands of people who gathered to mark his victory after unofficial results showed he won a clear majority of the vote.
The governing party's candidate, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, conceded moments after returns showed him trailing well behind Imamoglu, 54 percent to 45 percent.
>> Aborted U.S. attack exposes fatal flaw in Netanyahu's Iran strategy - Something stopped Trump from striking Iran, and it wasn't 150 lives
U.S. cyberattacks against Iranian targets have not been successful, Iran's telecoms minister said on Monday, within days of reports that the Pentagon had launched a long-planned cyberattack to disable his country's rocket launch systems.
Tension runs high between longtime foes Iran and the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he called off a military strike to retaliate for the Middle East nation's downing of an unmanned U.S. drone.
Jared Kushner's economic conference is being eulogized even before it officially opens in Bahrain on Monday, mainly because the Palestinians for whom it is being called are refusing to attend. But the fact is that economic plan released by the White House over the weekend includes a few surprises that could change the face of the region, if it ever gets off the ground.
The $50 billion program includes, for instance, a transportation link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as well as upgrades for border terminals between the Palestinian areas and Jordan and Egypt. Other sections in the plan call for massive investment in infrastructure, higher education, development of industrial zones and incentives for the Palestinian private sector.
The Palestinian economy has been in the doldrums for some time and it's gotten worse in the last several months as U.S. aid and tax revenues collected through Israel have been cut off. On the face of it, the Palestinians need whatever aid they can get and certainly an improvement in their economic relations with Israel.
Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs warned regional rival Iran there would be more sanctions if it continued its "aggressive polices", but said Riyadh wanted to avoid war.
"Today, Iran is under severe economic sanctions," Adel al-Jubeir told Le Monde newspaper in an interview published on Monday. "These sanctions will be strengthened. If Iran continues its aggressive policies, it will have to pay the price."
Jubeir was speaking in Paris after meeting his French counterpart as European powers seek to defuse tensions in the region after Iran downed a U.S. military surveillance drone and was blamed for attacks on six oil tankers.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Saudi King Salman and separately with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the escalated crisis in the Persian Gulf.
Pompeo arrived in the Saudi city of Jiddah earlier on Monday in a hastily arranged visit amid mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran as Iran's navy chief warned Iranian forces wouldn't hesitate to shoot down more U.S. surveillance drones from their skies.
Pompeo was greeted upon his arrival in Jiddah by new U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid and Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf.
The unwritten rules that have so far prevented the Democratic presidential contest from devolving into all-out conflict are about to be tested.
The early front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has so far fended off the relatively gentle wrath of his rivals. The shortcomings of his most ambitious opponents like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been largely overshadowed. And the fiery concerns of lesser-known candidates, such as former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, have been all but ignored.
That dynamic now changes as Democrats enter the most consequential week of the young 2020 campaign season.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday proposed taxing affluent American families who do not have members in the U.S. military as a way to fund healthcare for veterans.
The former congressman from Texas unveiled a plan for military veterans that includes a "war tax," in which taxpayers who earn over $200,000 a year would pay $1,000 in a new tax for each war embarked on by the United States.
O'Rourke, who did not serve in the military but sat on the House of Representatives Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs committees, said the tax would be levied on households without current members of the U.S. military or military veterans. He did not specify what types of war, or the scale and origins of the wars, on which the tax would be levied.
The authorities are seeking to separate Malka Iguan, an Israeli citizen, from her Nepalese partner, Suweikoti Toya, although they have been living together for two years in a kibbutz in northern Israel.
The Population and Immigration Authority says the couple hasn't proven the sincerity of their partnership. In their decision, they wrote that Toya doesn't know what it means to belong to a kibbutz. He didn't remember the color of the kibbutz gates. He knows the community leader but didn't remember his name.
Out of the 191 questions the couple was asked in an interview, the authority's Afula office found 10 contradictions.
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!