I respect people like MK Amichai Chikli, who from the day they entered public life they announced they were supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu, much more than I do MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, for whom a slot was reserved in Meretz, one of the outstanding anti-Netanyahu parties. The latter has now decided that she can't stand it any longer, and she is making a very respectable contribution to the fall of the only government in recent years that has a strong left wing.
I respect people like Gideon Levy, who write black on white that they prefer a Netanyahu government over a government of change, much more than intellectuals who explain how this government is racist and terrible, after explaining for years with the same passion that the Netanyahu government is the epitome of evil, the end of democracy, etc. etc.
I have much more respect for people who are sincere enough to refine themselves into one simple line, instead of wallowing in the thick and pleasant fat of naughty and unbridled radicalism under whose aegis everyone is bad without distinction or level. I have much more respect for people who have no privileged awareness, who look reality straight in the eye and painfully choose the less bad possibility to survive. People who have privileged awareness know neither suffering or want, and therefore they are not pushed into painful compromises.
Our Meravy was very insulted. Ahmad called her scum. And why, for heaven's sake? What did she do to deserve that horrid slur? After all, she's so polite, so correct, so Jewish and democratic.
All the Yesh Atid lawmaker Merav Ben Ari did was to appear on television the day after the entire world saw officers from the Israel Police charge at mourners during the funeral of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and disperse them with batons, nearly causing the pallbearers to drop the coffin and to reiterate that she would express no regret over Abu Akleh's death. For that, she deserved to be called scum? What's the big deal?
To be shocked by Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi's harsh description of Ben Ari that gets the award of the year for taking something out of context. Yes, Tibi went to extremes, but in order to determine whether he was too hard on her the remark must be weighed against what Ben Ari said that provoked him.
The Israel Defense Forces is preparing for the future. It is holding a major, extended exercise simulating a war on several fronts. The planned response on each of these fronts is active, the goal a decisive victory, not another containment.
Only on one front, the internal one, does the insidious idea of containment continue to prevail. In the next war, too, the police this time reinforced by Border Police reservists will face lynchings, the torching of synagogues and homes, blocking of roads and sieges on military airports.
This is not the route to peace in Israel. He who is afraid to face reality head-on, who denies it, will never overcome it. Every day there are dozens of acts of terrorism in Judea and Samaria: shootings, the throwing of Molotov cocktails and stones, car ramming attacks and break-ins of settlements.
The violence at hospitals demands an immediate governmental response to ensure the safety of medical staff members. Nothing is more just than the protest of the medical staff, who have been dealing for years with violence on a daily basis. Hundreds of cases of physical violence and thousands of cases of verbal violence are reported to the Health Ministry each year. Many other cases, including verbal abuse, threats against medical staff members and destruction of medical equipment aren't even reported. This is an intolerable state of affairs.
The current protest, which took the form of a demonstration and work on a limited basis on Thursday, was triggered by the violent incident that took place at Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus, last Monday. Dozens of relatives of a patient evacuated to the hospital in critical condition broke into the ICU upon being informed of his death, attacked staff members, wounded two of them and damaged equipment. This was not the only violent incident last week. At the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya as well, family members of a patient attacked hospital security guards, injuring several, upon being notified of their loved one's passing. Yet another incident took place at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, where a child's father accosted ICU staff members and threatened to kill them. The violence at hospitals is first and foremost an expression of the violence of Israeli society, which finds expression in many other arenas. And yet, the state must recognize its responsibility for the lack of action in this field.
The best proof of this is the fact that the steps necessary to deal with the problem have been known for four and half years, since a Health Ministry commission filed its recommendation for dealing with violence against medical staff. In 2017, following the murder of nurse Tova Carrero by a patient at a Clalit health maintenance organization in Holon where she worked, then-Health Minister Yaacov Litzman appointed a commission headed by Prof. Shlomo Mor Yosef. Half a year later the commission submitted its recommendations, including: Installing technological measures and cameras connected to security hotlines, expanding security staff powers, harsher punishment, stationing a police officer regularly at hospitals, and improving psychological support for workers hurt by violence. None of the recommendations has been implemented.
An Israeli Arab joining a Zionist party is, by definition, a Zionist Arab; a Zionist Arab is by definition a collaborator. There is no other way to describe attempts by Israeli Palestinians to integrate and build a political career in Zionist parties.
It's not their place, under no circumstance. Only the opportunists and the naĂŻve still try. It always ends in tears. Perhaps as a Jew it's hard to judge them, hard to put ourselves in their shoes, but you can't miss it.
Now it's Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi's lament. True, at first she thought of joining Balad, but eventually she landed in Meretz. It ended in chagrin for all involved. She should have known it in advance. It's not Nitzan Horowitz's sour mien, as she complained it's Meretz's Zionism.
Ukraine on Saturday ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory.
Acknowledging that Kyiv's stance on the war was becoming more uncompromising, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting.
"The war will not stop (after any concessions). It will just be put on pause for some time," he told Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office, where some of the windows and corridors are protected by sandbags.
The President of the European Union Parliament, Roberta Metsola, is scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from May 22 until 24.
On Sunday, she will speak before a special session of Knesset, and is scheduled to meet with President Isaac Herzog, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid, and other senior Israeli figures in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
During her visit, she will also visit Yad Vashem, meet with students at Tel Aviv University, and inaugurate the Europa Forest observatory near Beit Shemesh.
A government source said Saturday that "significant progress" has been made in talks to persuade Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi to reverse her resignation from Israel's coalition, after the Meretz lawmaker's decision seemed to sound the death knell for the minority government.
"Tomorrow, everything will be behind us," said the source, claiming Zoabi will neither leave the Knesset nor the coalition.
Rinawie Zoabi is slated to meet with Yair Lapid, the alternate prime minister and foreign minister, and other officials on Sunday in order to reach an understanding that would allow her to stay in the coalition.
The nuclear talks in Vienna, an Israeli security source says, aren't being conducted as a dialogue but as two monologues. The room for compromise isn't very large, in part because both Iran and the United States are preoccupied with domestic issues.
The Tehran regime is busy addressing protests over the cancellation of fuel and bread subsidies that have driven up prices a few fold. This is compounded by a teachers' protest and occasional violent incidents. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is preparing for the midterm elections and fears a loss to the Republicans.
Regarding the nuclear agreement, Washington's promises to Israel to hammer out a stronger and longer (in duration) accord have dissolved. Remember that the world's focus on the Iranian nuclear project is limited because eyes are largely on Ukraine (and Washington remains preoccupied by the China challenge).
Israeli troops shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian as clashes erupted when they entered a volatile town in the West Bank overnight into Saturday, the Palestinian Health Ministry and local media said.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group described the teen as one of its members and said he had taken part in the fighting against the Israeli soldiers. Photos circulated on social media showed him holding a rifle.
The Health Ministry identified the dead as Amjad al-Fayyed, who, the ministry said, was hit in the neck and chest. The ministry said another 18-year-old Palestinian, who was also wounded by Israeli fire, was in critical condition.
An Israeli strike launched from the Golan Heights and targeting southern parts of the Syrian capital Damascus killed three people and caused some material damage, the Syrian Defense Ministry said on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, state TV reported that Syrian air defenses shot down a number of missiles in the Damascus countryside.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said the missiles targeted bases of the Syrian military and Iranian militias. The attack, the group said, hit most of its targets.
The homepage of the National Training Academy in Egypt provides a link to submit a request to participate in an upcoming national dialogue. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi announced the dialogue's official launching during an Iftar meal in April. He explained this dialogue is meant to open a direct channel between the government and the public. He said every movement, party or organization is entitled, and even invited, to direct questions and comment on the burning issues the regime must deal with to build the new republic.
The discussion topics include security, economic welfare, education and the war against terror. The dialogue's duration is undetermined; registration opened last week. It is supposed to bring together discussion groups nationwide, with participants formulating proposals and requests. At the end, conclusions will be presented to Sissi, who will then decide which ones will be submitted to parliament as bills.
The National Training Academy, an institution under the president's auspices and in charge of the dialogue, explained the need for the process by saying Egypt is facing national security threats that put it in an exceptional situation.
The first case of monkeypox has been discovered in Israel, the Health Ministry confirmed on Saturday.
Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital said a man in his 30s who recently returned from Western Europe arrived at the emergency room with symptoms of the disease on Friday, and the tests turned out positive the following day.
He was admitted into quarantine once suspicion of the disease arose, and is currently in a good condition.
Just over 24 hours after Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi's shock resignation seemed to sound the death knell for Naftali Bennett's government, Meretz's first female Arab lawmaker says she has no regrets.
In an interview with Haaretz, she talks about how she didn't always feel supported by her party, and points the finger at other coalition members for the government's collapse.
Following her resignation, Rinawie Zoabi says she "doesn't know what the future holds" when it comes to leaving the Knesset altogether, and that she remains undecided about whether she will vote to dissolve parliament next week.
We didn't need the dumb statement recently made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to become aware, once again, that the memory of the Holocaust can be twisted for political purposes, that historical trauma is mobilized in the struggle for narrative and collective memory. But it's the increasing politicization of the Holocaust and its cynical use by vested interests that forces us to broaden our horizon and examine history not only from the singular Jewish perspective but from a universal one.
This calamity is of course amenable to interpretation within the narrow framework of Jewish history, and it can be seen as a unique event fraught with national and theological meanings. At the same time, it must be seen as a seminal universal event that undermines conventional thought about human nature, rationality and morality, an event that rekindles questions on modernism, the bureaucratic state and technology.
Auschwitz, the German sociologist and philosopher JĂŒrgen Habermas wrote, has changed the basis for the continuity of the conditions of life within history. Indeed, the post-Auschwitz world was forced to cope not only with the destruction and devastation left behind by Hitler's retreating armies, but also with the mirror image that Nazism held up to it, an image that forced the world to reexamine its most basic values.
Three tattered parkas are lying in the ruins on the ground, each in a different village. There's a chest of drawers filled with tools and another one crammed with notebooks and textbooks, scales used to weigh sheep, a sink, remains of a mattress, scraps of a carpet, ripped-up pipes and ripped-up lives. Overshadowing everything is helplessness and the dread of what lies ahead.
From village to village, ruin to ruin, we drove this week in the wake of the forces that had pulverized these communities the previous Wednesday, under the auspices of the High Court of Justice validator of all the wrongs and crimes of the occupation. In each place the agents of the military government's Civil Administration and the troops of the Border Police told the helpless people: The High Court decided.
The High Court decided to eradicate one of the oldest and most fascinating fabrics of life between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea: the pastoral communities and cave dwellers of the South Hebron Hills, residents of genuine heritage sites. A first mass expulsion came in 1999, with man of peace Ehud Barak as prime minister 700 new refugees, 14 devastated villages and shepherds' communities. Now it's 23 years later and the turn of the government of change, endorsed by the High Court, beacon of Israel's extinguished justice. Same place, same evil.
WASHINGTON - Fifty-seven U.S. lawmakers on Thursday demanded the U.S. State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations launch an investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the lawmakers one fourth of all House Democrats led by Reps. Andre Carson, Lou Correa and Bill Pascrell noted they were "deeply concerned" by her death, highlighting the conflicting reports from the Israeli military and international media and eyewitnesses to the Al Jazeera journalist's killing.
"As an American, Ms. Abu Akleh was entitled to the full protections afforded to U.S. citizens living abroad," the lawmakers wrote, urging Blinken and Wray "to uphold the values that our nation was founded on, including human rights, equality for all, and freedom of speech. We have a duty to protect Americans reporting abroad."
Two children died from a heat stroke on Friday after being left alone in a locked vehicle in the Bedouin town of Hura in southern Israel.
The cousins, aged 3 and 7, were found unconscious in the vehicle and were warm to the touch, according to paramedics from Israel's emergency service Magen David Adom. They were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition and later pronounced dead.
Israel Police have opened an investigation into the incident.
Abandoned fishing boats line the banks of the Tigris River in Iraq. In Iran, Lake Urmia, which once stretched out 140 kilometers in length, today looks more like a puddle. Trucks carrying tanks of water ply between villages in Iraqi Kurdistan, and there are protests in southern Iraq over Iran's cutting water supplies. All these represent just a few of the smoldering flames that threaten to ignite conflict between Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
Right now, when talks to restore the nuclear agreement with Iran are on hold, the summer is approaching and, after a year of severe drought, the issue of water has taken center stage. In July, with the start of the rainy season in Ethiopia, the government in Addis Ababa is due to begin the third phase of filling the reservoir behind its enormous new Nile River dam, thereby ratcheting up the political struggle between it and the government of Egypt and Sudan.
The president of Tel Aviv University has expressed concern that students are frightened to come to campus after a Nakba Day protest and counter-protest sparked several violent incidents on campus.
In his letter sent Thursday to students and lecturers, President Ariel Porat wrote: Tensions between Jews and Arabs are regretfully common in Israel. Heaven forbid these tensions should become a legacy of the campus.
In his letter Porat was referring to a Nakba Day protest held by Arab students on 15 May at the campus entrance last Sunday, which he said, quickly turned into a violent incident in which radical elements on both sides of the political barricade participated.
As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its fourth month next week, it has become a war of attrition. Along 1,300 kilometers (810 miles) in the Donbas region, the two armies are making only minor gains, advancing or retreating at most dozens of kilometers.
This is no longer a war of movement. It's a war of endurance, pitting the civilian economies and populations against each other, as much as their militaries.
By all signs, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war he started are still popular among broad swaths of the Russian public. Putin's problem is that the Russians who support him support the war he sold them, which isn't a war at all but a special military operation that by nature should be over quickly and successfully. As time passes and with it both military funerals and soldiers coming home discussing their experiences the illusion will be much harder to maintain.
A legislator from the Joint List an alliance of three of Israel's Arab-majority political parties said Friday that he would submit a bill to dissolve the Knesset on Wednesday.
This comes a day after Meretz lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi announced that she is quitting the ruling government, and leaving it without a majority, thus increasing the opposition's prospects of toppling it.
This evil government must fall, said lawmaker Sami Abu Shehadeh. He was responding to a report about talks between the Joint List and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to collaborate on preventing elections.
Meretz lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi's resignation from the coalition rattled Israeli politics in a move interpreted as another nail in the government's coffin.
She said she was resigning for ideological reasons, among them the events of Ramadan and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and her perception that the coalition leaders were only serving the interests of the government's right wing.
Rinawie Zoabi made the news a few months ago when she opposed the army draft law. The crisis ended with the announcement of the intention to appoint her consul general in Shanghai. Many of the issues she listed as reasons for her resignation were valid even then, but she chose to exercise restraint.
Russian forces intensified their offensive in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region using artillery, rocket-launchers and aircraft to damage defenses around Donetsk, Ukraine's general staff said on Friday.
"The Russian enemy carried out massive artillery shelling of civilian infrastructure, including multiple rocket-launchers," it said in a statement. Russian shelling in Luhansk, also in the Donbas, has killed 13 civilians over the past 24 hours, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. Twelve were killed in the town of Sievierodonesk, where a Russian assault had been unsuccessful, he said.
Ukraine's Prosecutor General office said 232 children had been killed and 427 wounded since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Reuters could not independently verify the reports and Russia denies targeting civilians.
Ending a decades-long policy of neutrality, Sweden and Finland have decided to join NATO in response to Vladimir Putin's botched invasion of Ukraine. On this episode of Haaretz Weekend, our correspondent in Stockholm, David Stavrou, explains why this decision is an earthquake for the two Scandinavian countries, and veteran national security analyst Amir Oren discusses the global implications it will have, ranging from Washington and Moscow to Israel and the Middle East. They also tell host Amir Tibon how Putin could punish the two countries in the interim period until they are accepted to NATO, and what it would take to remove Turkish President Erdogan's opposition to their application.
A Palestinian driver attempted to ram into Border Police officers as he raced through Hizme checkpoint near Jerusalem, police said on Friday.
The officers shot at the Palestinian's car and arrested four additional suspects. The driver, however, managed to escape, the police said in a statement. No casualties were reported in the incident.
The Palestinian drove from the West Bank to the check point where officers told him to stop. He then tried to barrel through the checkpoint and run over the officers who raised spikes to prevent him from going through.
The State Prosecutor's Office has charged a supporter of opposition Benjamin Netanyahu with threatening and extorting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family.
According to an indictment filed on Friday, Ilana Sporta Haniya, 64, sent letters containing death threats and bullets to Bennett and his family. The state is accusing Sporta Hania with extortion by threat and carrying a weapon. She denies all charges against her.
The main evidence tying Sporta Hania to the letters, police say, is a lab examination that found that the handwriting on the envelopes fully matches hers.
Celebrating the advent of spring with kishke and mofletta, the invitation read, referring to distinctively Ashkenazi and Mizrahi dishes. Want to fly and exhaust your soul? Come to the parting-of-the-sea party.
The event in question was held on the evening of the last day of Passover at Hatahana, the old train station between Tel Aviv and Jaffa that has been renovated as an entertainment complex or, as the announcement hinted, next to the Tel Aviv seashore. It wasn't exactly a beach party, and neither the sea nor the museum honoring the pre-state Irgun militia across the way were visible. Still, Tel Aviv seashore connotes a more sensual promise than a plain geographic location. When you grow up in an ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, neighborhood like Mea She'arim in Jerusalem, any place outside its walls is tantamount to the Tel Aviv beach.
At 10 P.M., the so-called city that never stops was just starting to awaken from the week-long slumber of Pesach. Outside the Abulafia bakery in Jaffa stretched the traditional line of people who crave bread. Meanwhile, Hatahana was already moving to the beat. Passersby probably thought the sounds augured the onset of the traditional Moroccan Mimouna festivities that mark the end of Passover, where mofletta stars. Only at the party itself, inside the dimly lit space of the Tash & Tasha restaurant, near the deejay and loudspeakers, were the revelers' utterances audible: Oy, oy, oy, oy, and Kadesh, kadesh, kadesh, kadesh (sanctify, sanctify ...). A few guests were dancing on the patio. Others started to trickle in from outside, some having waited for Passover to end formally. Transportation from Jerusalem was available for a token sum. In general, the revelers weren't dressed in religious garb, but their gestures and expressions belied their former existence.
A vast cache of antiquities looted from sites in the West Bank was revealed on Thursday by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
While antiquities theft is common in Israel, and thieves and traders are often caught, this was a big catch.
Ancient cuneiform tablets, a bronze figurine, jewelry, seals, and no less than 1,800 coins were seized from the home of an antiquities trader in Modi'in on Sunday by police working with the Israel Antiquities Authority theft prevention team.
It would be best to tone down the drums of war. Notwithstanding the aggressive declarations in the middle of the week, the raucous headlines and the reports of Israel conducting an exercise of unprecedented scale based on an attack against Iran, Israel and Iran are no closer to war than they have been at any other stage in recent years.
The reports stem from constraints on the government, domestically and internationally, and were intended to send messages to the United States; but as far as is known they do not reflect any extraordinary development that is hidden from the public's eye.
Iran's progress toward a bomb is undoubtedly disturbing, but not much is new about that. Tehran is moving toward its goals relatively cautiously, and we shouldn't confuse the immediate goal (accumulating uranium enriched at a high level in sufficient quantity to manufacture one nuclear bomb) with the final, more distant goal (adapting the bomb to a nuclear warhead that can be installed on a ballistic missile). There are at present no signs that the Tehran leadership is ready to risk developing a warhead at this time, given the international reaction this would generate.
After the powerful shakeup the coalition experienced when its whip, MK Idit Silman, bolted, the party leaders assumed that the first two weeks of the Knesset summer session would decide the fate of the government.
This seemed to be a reasonable assessment: If the ship rights itself, no one else will jump off, the opposition's bills will be voted down and the government bills will pass Netanyahu and his friends will lose momentum and on the other hand, the remaining 60 MKs will realize that things are not so bad. That they can survive, if they make the necessary adjustments. For example, present only social bills for legislation.
Well, the two weeks are almost up. All those assumptions proved true. The coalition's road seemed strewn with rose petals. Its leaders celebrated the Likud infighting over the bill for scholarships to demobilized soldiers, which threatened to spill over the boundaries of the party, undermine the unity among the ranks of the opposition and provoke conflict with the ultra-Orthodox.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev proved once again on Wednesday that the government of change, of which he is a member, heralds no change. Even as a left-wing representative in a sensitive, important role like public security minister, he acts just like his predecessors from the right.
Bar-Lev decided that the defiant nationalist Flag March in Jerusalem will once again pass through Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter. Thus he has proven not only the weakness of his stand, but also that he sees himself as public security minister for Jews only. The fate of the Palestinians, their well-being, security and dignity, interests him not at all; he permits them to be trampled on, and perhaps even encourages it.
From Bar-Lev's point of view, there are no residents in Jerusalem except the Jews for whose well-being he is responsible. He could and should have acted differently by allowing the march to proceed, but not through the Muslim neighborhoods.
The public reacted angrily to the sharp rise in prices published this week, which affected all branches of the economy: Housing prices soared, food prices went up, clothing is more expensive, as is transportation and international travel. Blow after blow.
It's a sensitive issue. Inflation is a scary thing. Wages are not linked to price increases and when our salaries are eroded, we can no longer afford the necessities we are used to. After all, most of us aren't protected by strong unions that can demand higher compensation on our behalf.
Why has the public outcry been so strong? After all, in Israel inflation has reached a rate of just 4 percent (based on the past 12 months), while inflation in Europe (7 percent) and the United States (8 percent) is much higher.
Last week, Shireen Abu Akleh, a correspondent for Al-Jazeera, fell in the line of duty. She was hit by a single bullet to the head, while wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet, and covering events in the Jenin refugee camp. Much has been written and will be written about her professionalism, the circumstances of her death and the investigation of the incident. In the Palestinian arena there is no doubt as to who is responsible. Whether the bullet undergoes ballistic testing, the presence of an occupying army in Jenin is reason enough to pin the responsibility on Israel, even if the details remain murky.
In Israel, the incident has been described mainly as a public relations disaster and less as a return of the conflict and the occupation to public awareness. The goal is to push the term occupation out of the lexicon. In contrast, for the Palestinians, Abu Akleh's death has become an event worthy of the history books. Her burial procession has already been called the longest funeral for three days her coffin passed through Palestinian towns and villages, including Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. If it were up to the Palestinians, they would have tried to continue on to Bethlehem and Hebron, possibly to Gaza, never mind Nazareth and Haifa. This is no exaggeration, these were the driving emotions. The embrace of Abu Akleh was a rare event in the Palestinian landscape.
Beyond the emotional element, her death highlighted a basic issue: The Palestinian public is searching for a figure or event that can convey a message to the world that the Palestinian people, wherever they may be, still cling to their national sentiments and their right to freedom and self-determination. This striving is independent of any particular leader or faction.
The Israeli government has failed to implement recommendations made in 2017 for countering violence in hospital, while health care personnel contend with violence on a daily basis and thousands of instances reported annually to the Health Ministry.
Nevertheless, a panel that discussed implementing the suggestions convened only two months ago.
Many cases also go unreported, including incidents of verbal violence, threats, damage to equipment, and physical violence.
Roman and Svetlana Levin, 30 and 60; flying to Milan
Hello, do you speak Hebrew?
Roman: I do. My mother knows Russian and Ukrainian, and she's also learning Italian, but Hebrew, not as much. So I'll translate what I can. I've been here for 12 years; she's been here since 2014. She came for the usual reasons.
The decision to grant parole to convicted rapist Alon Kastiel will be appealed, Israeli state prosecutors announced Thursday.
Haaretz has learned that the appeal will center on the claim that the board did not hear opinions from all the women that Kastiel was convicted of assaulting before making their decision, as is stipulated by the law. The appeal will be filed next week, and the victims in the case have been notified.
On Monday, the board approved Kastiel's request for an early release. Kastiel, who was convicted of sexual offenses against four women, has served just under four years of his four year and nine month sentence. The board delayed his release by a week in order to allow the state prosecutors time to file their appeal. The decision to delay the release was made on Thursday.
This past Saturday, the United States endured its 198th mass shooting of 2022. In Buffalo, New York, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, domestic terrorist and white supremacist, opened fire in in a supermarket and its parking lot with a semi-automatic weapon.
According to Gendron's 180-page-long manifesto found after the shooting, his intention was, in his own words, to "kill as many Blacks as possible." During the shooting, Gendron murdered 10 people and injured several more; among the victims, 11 were Black.
As is common with other white supremacists, Jews factored prominently into Gendron's phantasmic beliefs and conspiracy theories about racial subordination and dominance. In his manifesto, Gendron devoted "dozens of pages" to antisemitic and other memes. He also peddled "great replacement theory," the conspiracy that Jews are controlling non-white immigration as a means to intentionally diminish the white population and establish dominance over "weaker" races.
Israeli lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi from the left-wing Meretz party a part of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's governing coalition delivered her long-awaited response to her shock resignation that could potentially send Israel into a fifth election in three years.
Rinawie Zoabi, who spoke on Channel 12, said there is no way back from her move, which caught even her party head in surprise and heralded a fresh political crisis.
>> Another member just quit Israel's coalition. Is a fifth election in three years inevitable?
An almost palpable darkness covers Lahav Forest in the Negev. The only light comes from Rimon Farm, a project for at-risk youth. Inside a hut overlooking the farm, cookies, oranges and hot drinks are laid out on a table. The refreshments are for the jeep unit and other volunteers of Hashomer Hachadash (the new guardian in Hebrew). They're preparing for action in the depths of the forest. The operation's commander is standing with his back to a plasma screen that shows a map of the area. He begins his briefing by mentioning recent incidents: people trying out guns, illegal sales of combat weapons, the axing of pine trees, the deliberate destruction of crops, the torching of picnic tables. The group appears to be deploying for a tense night in a forest teeming with violence and crime.
The aim of the forces is to create a presence, the commander says. In the event of an encounter, the unit is to contact the local police and not thrust to engage. After all, this operational force which consists of neither police officers nor members of the Civil Guard has no real policing powers. That's not to say it doesn't work closely with the police. This month, in the wake of the wave of terror attacks around the country, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared his intention to establish an armed force of civilians a national guard that might be based in part on the infrastructure developed by Hashomer Hachadash.
And a considerable infrastructure does exist. In the 15 years since the group was founded with the aim of helping farmers cope with harassment, looting and other violence Hashomer Hachadash has grown into a genuine empire. It boasts 400 paid employees, tens of thousands of volunteers, a youth movement of 24,000, four agricultural schools, 300 cadets doing national service (instead of regular military service), and a core group associated with the Israel Defense Forces' Nahal Brigade (combining military and civilian service). The organization has a budget of 82 million shekels (about $24 million) and receives generous government support. Indeed, of all the organizations in Israel that run educational programs, Hashomer Hachadash is in first place in terms of state funding. And equally important, it's popular with (Jewish) politicians across the political spectrum.
Next Thursday's event at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem has been circled in red ink for months on the calendars of every aspiring member of Israel's right-wing intelligentsia. It's the "Israeli Conservatism" conference where exponents of reining in the bloated public sector, the rapaciously activist court system and the radical progressives who apparently dominate Israel.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the money for the lavish event is coming from an American foundation and the ideology they will be hawking there at Binyanei Ha'Uma, along with heavily-subsidized tomes by Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, will be anything but "Israeli." It will be what passes today in America for conservatism, awkwardly translated into Hebrew.
There's a long list of reasons why American-style conservatism can't work in Israel, and why this is a hollow debate. For the sake of brevity, here's just one reason.
Jordan's king has gone public with a royal rift with his half-brother and formalized the former crown prince's house arrest, calling him erratic in an unprecedented harshly worded public letter published Thursday.
King Abdullah II said in a public letter that he had approved measures to detain Prince Hamzah in his palace and restrict his communications and movements, citing his half brother's erratic behavior and aspirations.
We will provide Hamzah with all that he requires to live a comfortable life, but he will not have the space he once abused to offend the nation, its institutions, and his family, nor to undermine Jordan's stability, the king said.
Police rejected a request by the LBGT community to protest the cancellation of next month's Gay Pride Parade in a southern Israeli city on Wednesday, saying it might harm public safety.
Aguda Israel's LGBTQ Task Force requested to stage the demonstration in front Netivot's city hall or next to the mayor's office after a decision was made Wednesday to cancel the parade in light of threats made against the mother of one of the organizers. The parade was set to take place on June 3.
The police rejected Aguda's request on the grounds that the proposed site for the protest was adjacent to an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. The police offered to allow the demonstration to be held a site near the entrance to the town, but the group turned down the offer.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington on Thursday, telling him that action was required "against Iran's aggression in a number of ways, including strenghening the U.S.-led regional coalition."
Austin meanwhile reassured Gantz that the U.S. was working to strengthen its regional coalition and assert its power in the area.
The U.S. officials attending the meeting also made it clear that they were concerned about events involving the Palestinians, noting the violence at the funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and emphasizing the need for trust-building steps.
Police stopped celebrations Thursday at Mount Meron after a large crowd of ultra-Orthodox Jews broke into the holy burial site, ending events at the site of Iast year's deadly stampede which saw 45 people crushed to death.
As of Thursday evening, seventeen participants were arrested in the clashes.
Every year, tens of thousands of devout Jews from across the country flock to the northern Israeli burial site of second-century Mishnaic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai to mark the holiday of Lag Ba'omer with singing, dancing and multiple bonfires.
The visiting artists were wondering where their studios in Jerusalem would be located. Elise Bernhardt, the founder and director of their program, had some surprising news. There are no studios, she told them. The city will be your studio.
Ten weeks later, the participants in this first-of-its-kind cultural program four women who hail from different countries unanimously agree: It was a brilliant idea.
This is not about sitting in a studio, says Bernhardt, the initiator of the Jerusalem International Fellows program. This is about getting out there, creating networks and engaging with locals.
It was no secret that Meretz lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi was uncomfortable in a governing coalition with a broadly right-wing agenda. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid offered her a way out: the position of Israel's consul general in Shanghai. That was supposed to have sorted matters. But the events of the last six weeks in Jerusalem, the clashes between police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and at the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh were too much for her. She doesn't want to represent Israel in China or support its government in the Knesset.
Rinawie Zoabi's resignation from the coalition on Thursday leaves Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with a minority government and, on paper at least, the opposition now has 61 seats. Likud swiftly tabled a dissolution bill, which is scheduled to be voted on next Wednesday. If the vote passes, Israel will be headed for another election in September its fifth in 40 months.
But it is still far from certain that all those currently in the opposition will vote in favor, beginning with Rinawie Zoabi herself. In her resignation letter, she wrote that she is no longer a member of the coalition. Is that final, and does it mean she's automatically joining the opposition in every vote? She didn't say.
The Shin Bet has uncovered an Iranian espionage campaign targeting Israeli academics and former defense officials, the agency said Thursday.
The Iranians contacted the Israelis while portraying themselves as academics, journalists, business people and philanthropists, using the identities of real people from overseas who were unaware their names were being used, the Shin Bet said.
The approaches were made using a relevant cover story, with the intention of gathering information about the Israeli targets and perhaps to convince them to travel overseas in order to kidnap or harm them, according to the security agency.
In the Biriya Forest, among rich foliage, springs, orchards and historical sites, a path twists toward one of the most popular tombs of tzaddikim righteous or pious religious figures in the region. It is that of the sage of the Mishna Yonatan Ben Uziel, which is near Safed. The tzaddik is known for his special ability to make matches and grant fertility, which is why many of his visitors are women. The path to his gravesite is separated by a tall, white, metal barrier, which conceals the open landscape.
I climb up a small hill and peer over at the balcony of the men's section, which spreads out to the open spaces. When the conditions are good, you can even see Mount Hermon from there. Inside the tomb folded notes burst from every slit among the bricks carrying requests, and various names are written on every available space. Outside, the tree that stands opposite the structure bears dozens of colorful scarves tied to it, a common initiative of female believers for the granting of their request.
Not far from there, in Hatzor Haglilit, there is a marker for another tomb. It is a cave identified as the resting place of first century B.C.E. sage Honi the Circle Maker, which was usually visited during periods of drought in order to pray for rain. These days, it hosts a hilula, a joyous event to commemorate the figure's death, each year on Independence Day. Hatzor Haglilit is near the Syrian border, and it was shelled after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, 48-year-old Dikla Peretz, who grew up in the community, explains. There was a feeling that there's nobody protecting us. She now lives in the center of the country, and is stopping at the nearby Ein Honi spring with her husband and their three children during a family visit.
Turkey will oppose Sweden and Finland joining NATO, the country's president flatly stated in a video released Thursday.
We have told our relevant friends we would say no' to Finland and Sweden's entry into NATO, and we will continue on our path like this, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a group of Turkish youth in the video for Commemoration of AtatĂŒrk, Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday.
Turkey's approval of Finland and Sweden's application to join the Western military alliance is crucial because NATO makes decisions by consensus. Each of its 30 member countries has the power to veto a membership bid.
The date is February 23, 2009, the time is 7:00 P.M. Somewhere in the world sits an unknown figure listening to static noise coming out of a radio receiver.
Suddenly, out of the static a woman's voice can be heard but instead of a news flash or traffic report, she simply repeats the words Echo, Zulu, India time after time, for three full minutes. When this ends, the mysterious woman says: Message, message, group 32, group 32, text, text.
After this, and for the next five minutes, she reads out in the phonetic alphabet letters in groups of five:
A ship in the Red Sea came under attack on Thursday off the coast of war-torn Yemen, a monitoring group run by the British military said.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations group said the attack happened off Hodeida, a contested port city amid that country's years-long civil war. It said an investigation was ongoing into the incident, without elaborating.
British maritime security company Ambrey Intelligence said the incident involved a sailing vessel that managed to escape an attempted boarding from occupants of skiffs, and that the crew have been reported safe.
Meretz lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi announced on Thursday that she is quitting Israel's ruling government, leaving the coalition with 59 of the Knesset's 120 seats.
In her resignation letter, Rinawie Zoabi wrote that she had joined the coalition in hopes that Arabs and Jews working together might help bring about "a new path of equality and respect," but that coalition leaders had chosen to take "hawkish, hard-line and right-wing positions."
In the letter, Rinawie Zoabi cited violence at the Temple Mount and the funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as leading her to make "a moral decision."
When the Germans occupied Lithuania in June 1941, Alexander Bogen took with him a pistol, grenades, pencils and paper, and set off to fight. Bogen, who was an art student at the University of Vilna, became the commander of a unit of Partisans in the forests. He blew up bridges and railroads used by the Germans and smuggled himself into the ghetto to rescue Jews. In between such exploits, he drew what he saw.
All the time, in the worst conditions, I had a pencil and paper and I drew, he later said. When we returned from an operation we would sit by the fire and drink vodka, and everyone would talk about what happened. I sat there and drew the characters their experiences, their clothing.
That was 80 years ago. Bogen survived the Holocaust and became an acclaimed artist in Poland right after the war, and then in Israel, after he made aliyah in 1951. His works were displayed at (and some were acquired by) Yad Vashem; the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Ghetto Fighters' House' the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and other venues. But since his death 12 years ago at age 95, his estate, which comprises thousands of works some that survived the Holocaust and others that were inspired by it has become embroiled in family discord and legal and bureaucratic wrangling, which has made it less accessible to scholars and art lovers.
Finland does not want NATO to deploy nuclear weapons or set up military bases on its territory even if Finland becomes a member, the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told an Italian newspaper in an interview published on Thursday.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but face objections from Turkey to an accession process that was originally expected to be relatively rapid.
Marin, on a visit to Rome to meet with her Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, said she believed the matter could be solved through dialogue.
Several lawmakers from opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party plan to defy their leader and vote with the coalition to pass a bill funding academic studies for combat soldiers who have completed their compulsory military service.
Sources in the party criticized Netanyahu for intending to have the party oppose the legislation, in line with his efforts to torpedo bill after bill sponsored by the coalition.
Likud lawmaker Yoav Gallant tweeted on Wednesday that he was in favor of the bill, writing: I will continue to lead the efforts to persuade the members of the Likud caucus to unanimously support the bill. His Likud colleague Patin Mula also tweeted his intention to vote for the bill, regardless of how the rest of the party votes. I will support the bill and I will do all I can so the bill passes! he tweeted.
The Israeli army said Thursday that intercepting rockets were launched at an aerial target after a target was misidentified.
According to an initial investigation, Israel's aerial defenses tried to shoot down an Israeli drone and failed
The rocket sirens sounded earlier Thursday in communities across the Upper Galilee near the border with Lebanon as well as Ma'ale Yosef regional council. Residents who were rushed into shelters can now carry on regularly with their routine, the army said.
Physicians in public hospitals and clinics operated by health maintenance organizations began Thursday a 24-hours strike in protest of violence against medical stuff in Israel.
Israel's Medical Association demands small police stations set up in every emergency room, the increasing of security in hospitals and local clinics as well as a legal amendment that will ensure an assault of a medical staff member is treated as an assault on an officer.
During the strike Thursday, hospitals will operate on a weekend schedule, while in every city one health clinic will operate. In addition, there will be protests at Hadassah University Hospital at Mt. Scopus at 9 A.M., Shaare Zedek Medical Center at 9:30 A.M. and a rally of solidarity at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer at 11 A.M.
The military censor has barred publication of information about former Mossad Director Yossi Cohen's visits to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019.
New information obtained from defense officials by TheMarker shows that the purpose of these trips, which Cohen made on Israel's behalf, was controversial, problematic and some would even say dubious. This information intensifies the questions around his conduct in this affair, which led to his activities being exposed.
As first reported by Bloomberg News, Cohen visited Congo several times in 2019 while he was still head of the Mossad. He was accompanied by billionaire Dan Gertler, who is suspected by the British authorities of paying an enormous bribe, $360 million, in exchange for mining rights in Congo. The American and Swiss authorities suspect Gertler of similar crimes.
The decision by Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and the police top brass to allow the Flag March along the usual route on Jerusalem Day was expected. In the current political situation, any other decision would have been interpreted as a surrender and subjected to huge condemnation from the right.
The parade, which has been held annually for more than 30 years, has become one of the most important and symbolic events on the calendar of religious Zionism and the right. This status does not allow for the decision-makers to change its route or limit it, and this is exactly the problem.
The parade begins in front of the Great Synagogue in west Jerusalem, proceeds to Tzahal Square near city hall and there it splits: The girls march through Jaffa Gate to the Western Wall and the boys enter the Old City through Damascus Gate and along Hagai Street in the Muslim Quarter to reach the Wall.
The Israeli army's Military Police Criminal Investigation Division does not plan to investigate the fatal shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh. The Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera was killed during clashes between Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin on May 11.
Abu Akleh's death has been widely covered in international media outlets and brought fierce condemnation of the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli policy in the West Bank. Israeli officials, including the prime minister and the military chief of staff, expressed regret over her death. The Biden administration also criticized Israel and demanded explanations. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of killing Abu Akleh. The IDF said its interim investigation could not determine whether she was killed by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire.
Abu Akleh was shot and killed on the outskirts of Burqin, a village adjacent to the Jenin refugee camp, while the IDF commando unit Duvdevan was conducting an arrest sweep in the camp. Palestinian gunmen fired heavily at the commandos and additional troops who entered the camp. The investigation into the shooting led by Col. Meni Liberty, the head of the Commando Brigade (to which Duvdevan is subordinate), found six instances of IDF gunfire at armed Palestinians who were near Abu Akleh and additional journalists. In one of them, a Duvdevan fighter returned fire, from inside an armored jeep, at a gunman. The Palestinian emerged from behind a wall, while the jeep was about 190 meters from the reporter. It is during this incident that the army fears Abu Akleh may have been shot.
The number of detainees and prisoners in Israeli detention facilities rose by almost 900 between February and May, to approximately 15,000. The spike is mainly due to increased arrests for weapons offenses in the Arab community as well as a decline in early releases after the Knesset stiffened conditions for such release. The addition to the prison population will place the state even further from compliance with a 2017 High Court ruling, which called on the state to meet the goal of providing minimum living space for prisoners by the end of the year.
In order to meet the High Court requirement by the end of 2022, there should be 13,600 inmates in prisons service facilities. However, the number has jumped from about 14,000 prisoners in February to almost 15,000 in May, according to figures provided by the Israel Prisons Service to the NGO Hatzlacha and obtained by Haaretz.
According to Prof. Oren Gazal-Ayal, an expert in criminal law, the rise in the number of prisons stems from two main reasons. The first: Since February arrests have gone up because of the waves of arrests in the Arab community mainly on weapons charges. Gazal-Ayal says that 40 percent of the prison population consists of detainees who have not yet been convicted up from 30 percent four years ago.
It is forbidden to live; it is permissible to die, but not to be buried. It is forbidden to gather and to wave a flag. It is forbidden to travel to the sea and to visit the family in Gaza. It is forbidden to arm yourself, and also to dress yourself. All the rage among the occupied: M16 fashion; all the rage among the occupier: forbidden fashion.
Israeli police officers have raided shops and seized M16 shirts. The merchants conceal them, and there's already a black market for the black T-shirts. Social media is exploding from the volume of complaints by hypocritical Israelis: The supermarket delivery guy showed up at their home in an M16 shirt, how terrifying; two boys roamed the halls of a Jerusalem hospital wearing M16 shirts. We treat their children and they want to slaughter us. You won't believe your eyes, an agitated Israeli man tweeted.
You won't believe your eyes. Now they can't even wear whatever they want. M16 fashion, which began with black T-shirts with the silhouette of an M16 rifle printed in silver, made in Turkey, is spreading like wildfire. What a twist: An American rifle, with which the Israeli army has killed thousands of Palestinians over the years, has become a symbol of the struggle against the occupation and an emblem that the occupier has prohibited.
As an oil geologist who devoted decades of his life to searching for oil and natural gas in Israel, and as the person who initiated and led the discovery of the Tamar offshore natural gas field which is named after my granddaughter in the Israeli Mediterranean Sea, I object to the insulting expressions that regularly appear in Nehemia Shtrasler's articles on the topic of natural gas.
The use Shtrasler makes of expressions such as the cult of natural gas charlatans and the last refuge of the scoundrel against anyone who opposes the present policy on the matter is an attempt to create a virtual reality, one that not only does not advance his claims but instead fosters the desire to propose that Shtrasler look into the mirror and examine himself carefully.
So what are the facts: The Tamar gas field, whose initial capacity was about 300 billion cubic meters of gas, has been supplying gas to Israel since March 2012 and it will most likely supply the country's full gas needs through 2035.
In the outside world, they don't like us. They don't like occupation and repression. Who is responsible for them not liking us? Antisemitism and hasbara, or Israeli PR. But antisemitism as an excuse is losing altitude, it is impossible to use antisemitism to explain every response to our abuses. The pose of the persecuted Jew has been replaced by the crazy Israel. So we are left with hasbara.
Hasbara for the goyim is a waste of time. For 56 years we have been explaining and explaining, and it does nothing we can grab the world by its ears and scream that God promised, and all that, and they will still hate us. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the world's absentmindedness, its tendency to focus on its own problems, that now Ukraine interests it more than the transfer of 1,000 Palestinians and the building of another 4,000 apartments in the settlements.
So who needs explaining to? We do. What, we need for them to explain to us? We, who allowed half a million settlers to wipe out this place's future as a safe home for our children and grandchildren? We, who time after time elected the people who brought them down on us? We, who were silent, who turned away, who were busy with more important things we have to have it explained to us? Yes, definitely, because all of us are Likudniks, under every leftist heart beats a Likud heart because we all believe in Jewish and democratic, which destroys all hope.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked called yesterday in a letter to Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar to stop Israel's process of joining the Istanbul Convention, which is considered the highest standard of the international struggle against domestic violence. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is based on four principles: prevention, treatment, prosecution and policy coordination. So far, more than 40 countries have joined the convention. Doing so will advance the required, lifesaving actions to prevent violence to women and children, will make possible programs to be implemented by all state agencies and will assist in cooperation between them and social organizations. This is an important and necessary component in the multi-front battle that must be waged against domestic violence.
Shaked's opposition is based mainly on three out of 60 clauses in the convention that deal with issues of political asylum and immigration policies. Her opposition echoes a well-orchestrated campaign by far right groups trying to instill fear in the public and its representatives that a wave of women from other countries will take advantage of the Istanbul Convention to infiltrate into Israel and thus destroy the Jewish identity of the state.
There is no basis for this fear. After all, Justice Minister Sa'ar is only continuing the work that began during the term in office of Shaked herself who at the time supported the convention.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked sent a letter Wednesday to Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, in which she called to halt the process of Israel joining the Istanbul Convention on gender-based violence.
In her letter, Shaked expressed a fear that joining the convention for combating violence against women and domestic violence would require Israel to grant residency status to foreign women who have suffered from violence and who are persecuted in their own countries, but are not entitled to residency under Israeli immigration law.
Joining the convention requires cabinet approval, and Sa'ar plans on bringing the matter to a cabinet vote at the end of the month.
Over 600 people have been indicted for offenses allegedly committed during the May 2021 riots in Israel, and nearly 90 percent of those indicted are Arab, statistics from the State Prosecutor's Office published on Tuesday showed.
In May 2021, a nationwide wave of violence occurred in Israel, particularly in mixed Jewish-Arab cities, throughout the fighting between Israel and Gaza in "Operation Guardian of the Walls."
Of the 616 indictments issued, 545 were against Arabs accused of rioting, acts of terror and violence, while 71 were against Jews; minors were indicted in 162 cases; in the Jerusalem district, 131 indictments were issued; in the Haifa district, 79; and in the southern district, 70.
Dozens of angry family members of a patient who had just died at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital rioted for nearly 10 minutes on Monday, assaulting medical workers, destroying equipment and breaking doors and windows.
On Thursday, physicians in public hospitals and clinics operated by health maintenance organizations will strike for 24 hours in response, starting at 7 A.M.
According to medical staff at the hospital, the attack could have been predicted. They say the patient, who was known to belong to a family with a history of violence, was transferred to Hadassah from a Palestinian hospital in the city, because employees there feared the reaction of family members to his treatment.
Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party finds itself in an unlikely and embarrassing confrontation with Israeli soldiers, thanks to its stated policy of never supporting legislation sponsored by the current Israeli government, which ended Netanyahu's hold on power almost a year ago.
A proposed new law would anchor into the budget a program that helps cover tuition at institutes of higher education for some of Israel's most dedicated and needy soldiers combat unit veterans, new immigrants, lone soldiers and soldiers for poor families.
But the bill, which was supposed to be voted on Tuesday, is being held up in the Knesset after facing surprising objections from none other than Likud.
Thousands of religious Jews from across Israel arrived at Mount Meron in an annual pilgrimage for the holiday of Lag Ba'omer Wednesday evening, a year after a crowd crush at the site killed 45 in Israel's worst civilian disaster.
This year, only about 16,000 people are permitted to be on the mountain at any given time, compared to about 70,000 in previous years.
Thousands of police and event ushers have been stationed at Mount Meron since noon. The celebrations will begin at 8 P.M. and will be followed by the lighting of a single bonfire, the only one to be held this year on the mountain, attended by only 4,000 people.
WASHINGTON - The American Israel Public Affairs Committee emerged from Tuesday's primary races in North Carolina and Pennsylvania with mixed results. Two of its three endorsed candidates emerged victorious, both in North Carolina, while its candidate's progressive opponent won in Pennsylvania despite unprecedented efforts to sway voters against her candidacy.
The results provide a Rorschach test of sorts for the sustainability and staying power of pro-Israel organizations' attempts to dramatically alter Democratic primary races via previously unimaginable levels of spending. The pro-Israel groups spent millions of dollars on attacks ads the majority of which had nothing to do with Israel against their preferred candidates' progressive challengers, causing significant alarm among those already concerned with the tone of the debate surrounding the Democratic Party's support for Israel.
It has brought new urgency, meanwhile, to discussions over super PACs' influence on elections touching not only on negative ads, but disproportionate fundraising on behalf of candidates.
Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his 2006 faux documentary Borat, is set to star in a new cartoon special based on classic Jewish stories set in a legendary Polish shtetl, HBO Max announced Wednesday.
"Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth," titled after the eastern European city that inspired generations of Jewish storytellers for its reputation as a "town of fools," will share "the absurdist humor and interpretive questioning that is a nod to Jewish intellectual traditions Š and present a fresh take on the silly antics and exaggerated conflicts of the town, while also preserving the essence and heart of the classic folktales," the HBO statement said.
The British-Israeli Baron Cohen has long incorporated Jewish themes into his work, mocking antisemitism in "Borat" as an over-the-top Kazakhstani racist; posing as an Israeli counterterrorism expert, who caused a Georgia state representative to resign after convincing him to reveal his buttocks and shout racial slurs on camera, in "Who is America;" and starring as Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who infiltrated the Syrian government in the 1960s and was later executed, in the Netflix series "The Spy".
The discovery of the Denisovans was particularly spectacular, even by the standards of archaeology: Genetic analysis of a single finger bone fragment found in a single Siberian cave led to the revelation in 2010 that it was an unknown human species.
That revelation sparked an explosion of scientific investigation into the unexpected species. In time, more teeth surfaced in that same Denisova Cave in Siberia, after which the species is named. But bone-wise, that was that. No more Denisovan remains were found, to the general frustration of scientists everywhere until a jawbone surfacing in Tibet was identified with the mysterious hominin in 2018 (not all agree on the identification), and that was that again.
Until this week, when a single child's tooth found in Laos was announced to be Denisovan, generating enormous excitement in archaeological and anthropological circles.
STOCKHOLM When Haaretz met experimental musician, artist and political activist Dror Feiler at his home in the Swedish capital in January, he was composing a new work for an 80-piece orchestra. This task involved no small amount of optimism, since no one had commissioned the piece and European concert halls were shutting down at a rate of knots in those COVID days.
If the piece is eventually performed, then, like most of the 70-year-old's works, audiences will likely describe it as avant-garde, experimental, noncommunicative or just noise. And while there may be some truth to these descriptions, over the decades Feiler's work has included biographical elements from his kibbutz childhood, his military service as a paratrooper, his emigration to Sweden and his experience as a European expat. His works are ideological and artistic statements combined with personal elements.
In Israel, Feiler is famous some would say notorious for his political activism, mainly because of his role helping organize the flotillas attempting to bring aid to a blockaded Gaza Strip. Then there was the controversial art installation Snow White and the Madness of Truth, which he made with his Swedish artist wife Gunilla SkĂ¶ld-Feiler and which the Israeli ambassador to Sweden attempted to deface.
Israel's flag march, scheduled to take place on Jerusalem Day on May 29th, will pass through Damascus Gate and the Old City's Muslim Quarter, Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai decided on Tuesday.
Last year, a barrage of rockets were fired by Hamas at the city during the march, prompting Israel's Operation Guardian of the Walls in the Gaza Strip which coincided with interethnic riots throughout Israel.
This year, the marchers are expected to reach the Damascus Gate plaza, which will be closed to Muslim traffic, where they will perform dances, and from there toward the Muslim Quarter through which they will arrive at the Western Wall where the final event of the march will take place. Following approval, restrictions on Muslim residents in the Old City are expected.
Russia said on Wednesday it was expelling a total of 85 embassy staff from France, Spain and Italy in response to similar moves by those countries, highlighting the damage to relations with leading EU members since it launched its war on Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry said it was ordering out 34 diplomatic staff from France, 27 from Spain and 24 from Italy.
The three countries are among European nations that have collectively thrown out more than 300 Russians since the Feb. 24 invasion. In many cases, they accused Russian diplomats of spying, which Moscow has denied.
A supporter of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is set to be charged Friday with threatening and extorting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family.
Ilana Sporta Hania, 65, an avid Netanyahu advocate, is suspected of sending death threats with live bullets to Bennett last week.
The State Prosecutor's Office submitted a declaration to the court on Wednesday stating it planned on charging Sporta Hania with extortion through threats, and possibly for threatening to carry out an act of terrorism. Sporta Hania denies sending the letters and all charges against her.
The first-ever LGBTQ Pride event slated to take place in the southern Israeli town of Netivot was canceled Wednesday over death threats against the mother of one of the organizers.
Last week, a man threw a stone at the woman's car, smashing one of the windows. On Wednesday, a plastic bag with a bullet was hung on a door at her workplace. The Association for LGBT Equality in Israel subsequently announced the cancellation of the event and said it would provide security for the three organizers. The police said they had opened an investigation.
LGBT activists met with Netivot Mayor Yehiel, a member of the Likud party, on Tuesday and clarified that the event, planned for June 3, aimed to promote tolerance and provide a safe space for LGBT residents. According to the activists, the mayor said he did not intend to support holding the event.
WASHINGTON Several thousand people participated in the Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, where U.S. lawmakers, Jewish community leaders and activists rallied in support of abortion rights.
The rally, organized by the National Council of Jewish Women and sponsored by nearly 150 Jewish organizations including representatives from all denominations comes after the leak earlier this month of an initial draft majority opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.
"We've been so sad the last few weeks seeing the leaked draft. Today is the first day I have hope," NCJW CEO Sheila Katz told Haaretz. She noted the rally was the first time she had seen the Jewish community rally behind a cause in years.
When Finnish President Sauli NiinistĂ¶ and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson arrive in Washington Thursday to jointly meet U.S. President Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin's strategic calamity will be cast in iron in the annals of strategic follies. The man whose flawed assumption that NATO was inevitably weakening managed to do what no U.S. president or European leader succeeded in doing for decades: bolster and consolidate the alliance.
On the flip side, the visit will coronate Biden's masterful management of the crisis due to his experience, resolve, determination and tenacity. Whether that helps Democrats in the congressional midterm elections in November is a questionable premise. Voting will be affected more by inflation, gas prices, abortion and immigration than by Ukraine, but Biden's presidency at home and abroard has undoubtedly been amplified by his handling of the Russian president.
In a speech to Sweden's parliament on Tuesday, visiting Finnish President NiinistĂ¶ said that Finland and Sweden's NATO membership would bolster the Nordic nations, which already form a strong northern European quintet.
Iranian rallies against a recent cut in state subsidies are unlikely to match the scope of previous waves of protest or pose a threat to the stability of the regime, a prominent Israeli expert predicted on Wednesday.
My sense is that the peak of the protests is over, although there are still probably relatively low-profile protests in several areas, but nothing special, says Raz Zimmt, a researcher at Tel Aviv University's Alliance Center for Iranian Studies and the Institute for National Security Studies.
Even if you compare these protests to the protests in Iran last summer over shortages of water and electricity, and certainly to the gas protests in 2019, these protests don't seem to be so significant, he says.
Tiberias was once a small city. Walking the length of the Old City from north to south takes less than a half hour. This week, we took a leisurely stroll from the Zahir al-Umar Fortress to the Greek Orthodox Church on the shore. It's a short distance, only a few hundred meters, but the sights are astounding.
Professor Mustafa Abbasi, a historian, pointed out the buildings that have survived in this part of the city. We saw the fortress; the administrative building built by the Ottomons known as the saraya; the building that once housed the Tiberias Hotel; the Franciscan Church; the guard towers on the remnants of the ancient city wall, the dilapidated Omari Mosque built by Zahir al-Umar (whose name is sometimes spelled Daher al-Omar) in the 18th century and the sealed-off Al-Bahr Mosque. We saw the Etz Hahayim Synagogue built by Rabbi Hayyim Abulafia, and drank coffee on the boardwalk. We turned down two offers to sail on the lake in a boat. We bought hats at one of the shops on Hagalil Street. Abbasi chose a khaki-colored cap. Mine had two yellow pineapples on it.
The bottom line of the tour that we did: The sights are lovely and awful at the same time. Tiberias is a beautiful city that sits on the shore of a beautiful lake, but it also very neglected and unattractive. The remnants of the Old City are large structures built of black basalt, things of real beauty, but only a few remain and some are in terrible condition. The city wall was nearly completely destroyed by the combined damage of earthquakes, severe flooding in 1934, the war of 1948 and events since then. Amazing assets of the city are either, at best, totally neglected or, at worst, deliberately wrecked.
What is rather surprising, though, has been the recent and repeated invocations of Blum's name in France. The reason has much to do with the blooming of an unusual, if not unprecedented political situation, one that has left the nation's politics transfixed between the immediate past and imminent future.
One eye of French pundits has been on the results of the last month's presidential election. It was, of course, marked by the victory of Emmanuel Macron. Yet his opponent Marine Le Pen, leader of the extreme rightwing Rassemblement National, or National Rally, also claimed that she had achieved a "brilliant victory."
The Health Ministry has refrained from releasing a new procedure for preventing and handling sexual harassment among health care system employees, despite having worked on the regulations for four years.
Dr Lior Shahar, head of the national council on women's health, says that while the health ministry claimed that the issue was in its "final stretch," and that a "circular to prevent sexual assault among the staff would be released soon," nothing has materialized.
Shahar announced her resignation last week, stating that this was not the first time the ministry had made such promises in vain and that she had given up hope that the procedure would ever be released.
Dozens of people protested as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett paid a condolence call on Wednesday to the family of an Israeli officer killed by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank last week, gathering outside the family's home and shouting insults at him.
Noam Raz, an officer in the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit, was shot and killed during an arrest operation near Jenin on Friday. Raz joined the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit in 1999 and served in a variety of roles, participating in hundreds of operations. He is survived by a wife and six children.
The demonstrators outside the Raz family's home in the West Bank outpost of Kida shouted at Bennett that he was a coward who arrived like a thief in the night, and demanding that he not return.
Israel delivered 2,000 helmets and 500 protective vests to emergency and civilian organizations in Ukraine on Wednesday.
Israel has previously provided humanitarian assistance, including a field hospital that was set up in Ukraine, in addition to about 100 tons of humanitarian supplies that have included water purification systems, medical equipment, blankets and coats. It has not sent any weaponry or defense systems, partly out of fears of further worsening ties with Russia, with which Israel must coordinate its strikes on pro-Iranian targets in Syria.
Addressing Israeli lawmakers remotely in March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Israel's response to Russia's invasion, saying: We can ask why we can't receive weapons from you, why Israel has not imposed powerful sanctions on Russia or is not putting pressure on Russian business.
You can only feel pity for Russia's bourgeoisie. Since their leader chose, without consulting with them, to invade Ukraine in February, they have been deprived of their morning Starbucks coffee, Kentucky Fried Chicken lunches and dinner-time Big Macs, to name a few of life's necessities.
Ordinary Russians could at least hold out hope that once Ukraine had been thoroughly de-Nazified, all these Western brands would be back and life would return to normal. However, that won't be the case for the Big Mac: McDonald's announced on Monday that it is abandoning the Russian market, selling its 850 restaurants and taking off a $1.2 billion writeoff.
It is impossible to imagine the Golden Arches representing the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago, Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's CEO, wrote forlornly in a message to franchises, employees and suppliers.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday at allied headquarters, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and setting in motion an accession process that is expected to take only a few weeks.
Sweden and Finland were both neutral throughout the Cold War, and their decision to join NATO is one of the most significant changes in Europe's security architecture for decades, reflecting a sweeping shift in public opinion in the Nordic region since Russia's February 24 invasion.
"This is a historic moment, which we must seize," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a short ceremony in which the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors to the alliance handed over their application letters, each in a white folder embossed with their national flag.
Members of Buffalo's Jewish community responded with a mixture of compassion and horror after last weekend's mass shooting at an area supermarket in which a far-right gunman targeting African Americans killed 10 people.
I think for Jews this really hits home particularly once the information about the gunman was exposed in terms of his manifesto, in terms of the level of antisemitic rhetoric and calls to action, Buffalo Jewish Federation CEO Rob Goldberg said on Monday.
Located upstate, Buffalo is the second largest city in New York, but lags far behind New York City in terms of the size of its Jewish community, which numbers some 10,000 people.
WASHINGTON Progressive Democrat Summer Lee on Tuesday declared victory in her primary race in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District, despite extraordinary opposition from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its backed candidate Steve Irwin, who has yet to concede.
Lee defeated Irwin by 600 votes with approximately 99 percent of the votes counted.
The race captured national attention due to the unprecedented levels of spending from AIPAC and its affiliated United Democracy Project super PAC, as well as the Democratic Majority For Israel, in a local primary. AIPAC and DMFI spent $2.7 million and $403,000 respectively on Irwin's behalf.
Israel carried out eight times as many demolition orders in the West Bank against new structures built by Palestinians compared to settlers between May 2019 and the end of 2021.
During that period, the Civil Administration Israel's governing body in the West Bank issued removal orders against 285 new Palestinian structures and razed 200. For settlers, by contrast, these figures were 84 and 25, respectively. The figures were furnished to Lawmaker Gaby Lasky (Meretz) in response to a parliamentary question she submitted to Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The Civil Administration did not comment.
The demolition orders were issued in accordance with the Removal of New Structures Order, which took effect in 2019 and was upheld by the High Court of Justice. It requires residents to present a building permit within 96 hours, after which Civil Administration inspectors are permitted to demolish the structure without holding a hearing.
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!