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Ha'aretz
Time: Thu, 10.24.2019 06:33 AM Local file generated: Thu, 10.24.2019 02:45 AM
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Vendors disappointed with Amazon Israel, a month after its launch

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 06:28:29

When it launched, the Amazon Israel site captured headlines as the harbinger of a new era in online shopping. But a month later the Israeli merchants who have been selling their wares on the site say it's been a disappointment.

They say there is little traffic on Amazon Israel pages and sales have not met their expectations. There's almost no sales traffic on Amazon Israel. There was a little buzz at the start but the last two weeks it's gone silent, complained one vendor, who asked not to be named.

Another added: I expected that the High Holidays would give a boost to sales, but I sold only a little merchandize and haven't begun to recover the big up front costs that Amazon required from me whether it was for customer service, logistic and fees.


 Vendors disappointed with Amazon Israel, a month after its launch


Haaretz cartoon

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 06:16:43

 Haaretz cartoon


U.S. out, Russia in: The dangers of doing business with Moscow grow

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 06:07:02

Thirteen years ago, Russneft, the Russian energy company founded by Michael Gutseriev, caused a huge stir in Israel after it said it would join the bidding for the Ashdod oil refinishes. In the end the Shin Bet security service vetoed the idea after examining Russneft's structure and ownership. A year later Gutseriev revealed that the government was pressuring him to sell to Oleg Deripaska, a crony of Vladimir Putin's. Gutseriev fled to London and Russneft was nationalized.

Four years later, in 2010, vast quantities of natural gas had been found offshore Israel in the Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs. Russia feared Israel might break its grip on the European gas market and a team of executives from Gazprom were sent to Israel. Officially they were here to talk about buying liquefied natural gas from Tamar; behind the scenes, they were negotiating for drilling rights.

Again, the Russians were sent off. The worry was that we would be importing corruption. Pure and simple. Noting more than that. We didn't want them here, says one former senior government official.


 U.S. out, Russia in: The dangers of doing business with Moscow grow


Why aren't Israelis protesting, too?

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 05:08:40

Eight years after the Occupy Wall Street movement and others like it swept the world in the wake of the global financial crisis, another wave of protests is underway. In Lebanon, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Britain and Haiti, just to name a few, demonstrations are sometimes drawing up to a million people.

They are often punctuated by violence, either from security forces or the protesters themselves. Yet if the protests sometimes lead to the loss of life, they protesters themselves are fighting for life.

There are big difference is what the demonstrations are about. In Lebanon, Chile and Ecuador they're against economic distress and government policies. In the streets of Europe, it's young people protesting the failure of those in power to address climate change. In Hong Kong, it's against the heavy hand of Beijing. In Barcelona it's in favor of Catalan separatism while in Britain it's in favor of staying in Europe.


 Why aren't Israelis protesting, too?


See? We condemn it, too

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 04:46:58

For years the settlers of Yitzhar have assaulted soldiers, with the consent and backing of the political establishment. That's the truth, and soldiers who are sent into the territories should know that this will be one of their duties. They must know that if a settler hits them with a rock, the most he will get is a tiepid, noncommittal rebuke. That is the truth. The recent censures by the right in general and Benjamin Netanyahu in particular aren't worth the pixels they were written with.

It is heartening that figures on the right remembered to condemn last week's injury of a soldier. That denunciation tired them out so much that when settlers from Yitzhar assaulted soldiers this week, they were silent. Nu, you have to draw the line somewhere!

It's tempting to get upset about it. It's tempting to compare the outgoing prime minister's vigorous, shameful castigation of the TV series Our Boys, for example, to his vague and sterile criticism of the violence at Yitzhar. It is both instructive and dangerous to follow the delicate politics of censure that Netanyahu has perfected.


 See? We condemn it, too


The wild East

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 03:58:52

The violent incidents near the settlement of Yitzhar in recent days managed to momentarily divert public attention from the political impasse and focus it on the moral blockage in Israel's respiratory tract its military control over the Palestinian people. Senior army and police officers who were interviewed by Haaretz following the latest outburst of violence against soldiers painted a picture that ought to keep all Israelis awake at night. And dealing with it must top the agenda of anyone who aspires to halt the collapse of Israel's democracy. The golem of the settlements has turned on its creator, and the state is powerless against it.

The violence is the end result of the whole problem of the hilltop youth, said a senior defense official very familiar with the settlements (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz, October 23). It begins with ignoring the illegal outposts, attacks on Palestinians, attacks on Palestinian property, arson and vandalism. When it relates to Arabs, it's easier to ignore it. But when soldiers are attacked, it comes up again.

Judging by the statements of those who were interviewed, the incidents at Yitzhar are the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem that everyone knows about, but nobody talks about openly. These defense officials said that settlement leaders ignore violence by hilltop youth against Palestinians, and even against Israeli policemen. Though they do denounce assaults on soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, the settlers still see the hilltop youth as part of the settlement enterprise. Moreover, the most extreme settlement leaders have had increasing influence over the government, to an extent that undermines the IDF's status in the territories. As a result, the prevailing mood is that the territories are a kind of undefined area in which anything goes. Due to pressure from settlement leaders, those who were interviewed said, decisions are made that don't stem solely from security considerations, but are meant to improve the settlers' quality of life.


 The wild East


An efficient inspector

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 03:28:46

Dayan Somekh works as an inspector for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority's investigations division, whose offices are located on Am Ve'olamo Street in Jerusalem. As a young man, he undoubtedly dreamed of being a permanent member of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

Perhaps he loves wildflowers, perhaps he climbs mountains, perhaps he raised hamsters. Perhaps he's a settler, perhaps he's an expert on snakes, perhaps he just wound up in this job by chance, after doing wonderful service in the army's Kfir Brigade.

At work, Somekh wears a green shirt with a drawing of an ibex and an oak tree, the nature authority's logo. The authority is headed by Shaul Goldstein, who by chance previously served as chairman of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the local government of a West Bank settlement bloc.


 An efficient inspector


Marcelle Ninio, Israeli spy who was jailed in Egypt in 1950s and 1960s, dies at 90

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 02:50:24

Victorine Marcelle Nigno (commonly spelled Ninio), jailed as part of a convicted Jewish espionage ring for Israel that operated in Egypt in the early days of statehood, has died at age 90, her family said on Wednesday.

Ninio was born in Cairo in 1929 to a woman from Turkey, and a father of Bulgarian descent. Following her father's death in 1939, the family moved to the Cairene neighborhood of Heliopolis. The young Ninio played basketball for the Hakoach Club, a Jewish organization, and seen as a possible contender for the Olympics. She was a little bit Zionist, as she put it, but had no intentions of leaving Egypt.

However, with Israel's establishment in 1948, the Egyptian authorities began to crack down on activity by Jews and in parallel, the nascent Israeli army began recruiting Jewish Egyptians for espionage purposes. Ninio joined a cell formed by agent Avraham Dar in 1951. Her function was to liaise among members of the cell in Alexandria and Cairo.


 Marcelle Ninio, Israeli spy who was jailed in Egypt in 1950s and 1960s, dies at 90


Israelis with cancer, especially the worst kinds, show much-improved survival rate

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 02:18:42

The survival rates for people in Israel with cancer improved significantly between 1996 and 2016, particular for those with very aggressive types of cancer, which are responsible for a large proportion of deaths from the disease. The figures were published Wednesday by the Health Ministry and the Israel Cancer Association, ahead of the charity's annual door-to-door fundraising campaign.

The figures are for people who were diagnosed with an invasive cancer in three periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2006 and 2007-2011, and they refer to the five-year survival rate from the date of diagnosis of breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and lung cancer and colorectal cancer in both men and women.

The most significant rise in survival rates was among Jewish men with invasive cancer, which climbed to 67 percent for those diagnosed between 2007 and 2011, from 56 percent for the 1996-2000 group. The equivalent figures for Jewish women were a rise to 54 percent from 48 percent, and for Arab women to 71 percent from 61 percent.


 Israelis with cancer, especially the worst kinds, show much-improved survival rate


Senior Israel Navy officer resigns amid complaints of sexual harassment

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 02:01:05

Brig. Gen. Shai Elbaz, a senior Israel Navy officer and former commander of elite unit Shayetet 13, announced Wednesday his resignation from the Israel Defense Forces after female soldiers who had served under him in the past said he had improper relations with them.

The testimonies were gathered as part of an investigation conducted by Channel 12's 'Ulpan Shisi' program, which will be aired on the weekend.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that Elbaz asked to leave the army, due to the publication of events that allegedly took place over a decade ago, in which there was conduct that is not in keeping with accepted IDF norms. Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and Israel Navy Commander Eli Sharvit reportedly acceded to his request.


 Senior Israel Navy officer resigns amid complaints of sexual harassment


Military Police reviews informer recruitment after soldier suicide

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:58:37

The Israel Defense Forces assembled a team of experts this month to examine the way the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division, whose Hebrew acronym is Metzah, recruits soldiers as informers and handles their activities.

The decision came after two former investigators were charged with not reporting the psychological distress of a soldier they sought to recruit as an informer and who killed himself a few days later. The order establishing the team was signed by Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz, head of the IDF's personnel directorate, and Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek, the military advocate general.

In its announcement, the IDF said the team would include former high-ranking intelligence, security and law enforcement officials. The team will examine from a broad systemic perspective Metzah's location and recruitment of sources and their handling, including the... oversight, control and supervisory mechanisms. The team is to submit its findings and recommendations to Almoz and Afek by the end of the year.


 Military Police reviews informer recruitment after soldier suicide


UN panel demands answers from Israel on asylum seekers

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:53:35

Israel must explain to the United Nations why only a minuscule proportion of asylum seekers here are granted refugee status, and why they cannot get permanent work permits or regular access to health and social service, a UN committee has stated.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights last week said it will be seeking answers when it meets with Israeli officials in April.

The committee wants Israel to explain the measures taken to address the extremely high number of outstanding asylum applications and the minimal number of refugee statuses granted and further to improve the asylum system. More than 15,000 asylum requests remain unchecked as of June 2019. Of the 16,149 requests from Eriteans, 5,502 were rejected and only 13 were accepted.


 UN panel demands answers from Israel on asylum seekers


Ashkelon baby dies of critical injuries after suspected abuse; mother released from custody

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:51:54

A 10-month-old baby girl from Ashkelon whose mother and her partner were remanded on suspicion of abusing her, died on Wednesday of serious injuries.

The child had been hospitalized on Sunday in critical condition at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva with a serious head injury, and according to the findings of the police investigation she suffered from ongoing abuse.

Be'er Sheva District Court Judge Gad Gideon ordered the mother, 22, released from detention after determining that there is no reasonable suspicion that she would commit a crime, although she is suspected of abuse and neglect. Earlier the authorities said the woman and partner faced possible charges of manslaughter. On Monday, a court extended the detention of the mother's partner, Ziad Aabid, by five days.


 Ashkelon baby dies of critical injuries after suspected abuse; mother released from custody


Gantz's only hope to form a government is Israel's Attorney General

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:36:58

It's been 11 years and five elections since the last time someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu was asked to form a government. Presidents, chiefs of staff, judges and central bank governors have come and gone. Babies were born, smartphones upgraded and satellites launched. But the man who walked out of the President's Residence with the job of forming the government was always the same.

This ritual was cut short Wednesday night by someone who didn't arouse great hopes when he first entered politics, less than a year ago. He did so in a dignified, conciliatory manner that he has maintained throughout his new career.

Even people who can't imagine a reasonable life without Netanyahu must admit that Benny Gantz looked prime ministerial (or in American terms, presidential) Wednesday night. He paid due respect to every segment of Israeli society the ultra-Orthodox, whom he promised to treat like brothers, Arabs, Druze, gays and rightists. After years of incitement, division and a systematic fanning of hatred by the man who, just two days ago, racked up his second failure to form a government, the difference in both language and vision was refreshing.


 Gantz's only hope to form a government is Israel's Attorney General


Naz Shah: I've campaigned for race and gender equality all my life. But I didn't get anti-Semitism

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 23:09:38

This article was first published on July 18, 2016

Just over a year ago, against all the odds, I won my parliamentary seat in Bradford West in the North of England from the divisive candidate George Galloway. Never did I imagine that I would soon be at the center of an international anti-Semitism story.

When it happened, I wasn't worried about the media storm, or even my career - what really worried me was knowing I've offended people and that I must do the right thing and apologize. I took a long hard look at myself and asked if I - someone who has campaigned for equality of race and gender my whole life - have so little understanding of modern anti-Semitism that I had hurt and offended Jewish people.


 Naz Shah: I've campaigned for race and gender equality all my life. But I didn't get anti-Semitism


Gantz tasked with forming government after Netanyahu failure

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 22:57:05

President Reuven Rivlin announced Wednesday he is tasking Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz with forming the next governing coalition, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he failed to do so.

During the official ceremony in which Rivlin handed Gantz the mandate, the president said that "we all have to create the conditions needed to resolve deadlock."

The president added that "It's important to remember that as long as entire sectors are boycotted, as long as there is no compromise to create a partnership between big as well as small parties, a government won't be established.


 Gantz tasked with forming government after Netanyahu failure


Trump could shoot someone and escape prosecution, president's attorney says

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 22:45:13

A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump told a federal appeals court Wednesday the president does not have to hand over his tax returns to New York state prosecutors because he is immune from criminal investigation.

William Consovoy, an attorney for the president, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump has immunity until he leaves office and said prosecutors would not even have the power to do anything if Trump shot someone on 5th Avenue in New York City.

The remark echoed a past comment by Trump, who has said his supporters are so loyal that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose a single vote.


 Trump could shoot someone and escape prosecution, president's attorney says


UN expert calls for international ban on Israeli products made in settlements

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 22:43:12

The United Nations independent expert on human rights in the Palestinian territories is calling for an international ban on all products made in Israeli settlements, as a step to potentially end Israel's 52-year-old "illegal occupation."

Michael Lynk told the General Assembly's human rights committee Wednesday that the international community should also issue "a clarion call to the United Nations" to complete and release a database "on businesses engaged in activities related to the illegal settlements."

Lynk said the international community has a responsibility and a legal obligation to compel Israel to completely end its occupation and remove barriers to self-determination for the Palestinians.


 UN expert calls for international ban on Israeli products made in settlements


37 days after the fact, Israel saw today the first real manifestation of Netanyahu's election defeat

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 22:22:52

Conventional wisdom holds that Benny Gantz will be just as unsuccessful as Benjamin Netanyahu in setting up a new government. That means that President Reuven Rivlin giving Gantz the mandate to form a new coalition on Wednesday night was nothing more than ceremony. A ritual. A mostly symbolic gesture with negligible influence on reality.

Nonetheless, the live, prime time broadcast of the ceremony in which Rivlin anointed Gantz as prime-minister-in-waiting jolted an Israeli public that had come to believe that Netanyahu would entrench himself in the prime minister's office for all eternity. Instead, there was Rivlin handing over the mandate to someone completely different, Gantz, who has remained largely unknown to the public despite leading Kahol Lavan in two successive election campaigns.

It was like a scene from Bizarro World. Nothing was familiar. The face was different, as were the demeanor, the tone and the message. Gantz read out his overlong speech from teleprompters, but his excitement and his anxiety broke through. He was conciliatory to everyone but Netanyahu, who, he warned, would be ejected from politics if he took Israel to a third election campaign running. And his dynamics with Rivlin were a study in contrast compared to Netanyahu: Instead of hiding his hostility, Rivlin had to squash his obvious satisfaction.


 37 days after the fact, Israel saw today the first real manifestation of Netanyahu's election defeat


'Traitors choose to harass Jews': Over 20 Palestinian cars vandalized in West Bank city

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 21:23:55

Unidentified vandals defaced more than 20 vehicles near a checkpoint in the West Bank city of al-Bira on Tuesday overnight, as well as spray-painted graffiti on a wall in the area that read: "closed-off military area traitors choose to harass Jews."

Police said they entered the scene along with Israeli army forces and began collecting evidence, and that an investigation was underway.

The graffiti most likely refers to the closed-off military area order that was enforced by the Israeli army to Comey Uri Hill near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar following the violence in the area against security forces.


 'Traitors choose to harass Jews': Over 20 Palestinian cars vandalized in West Bank city


Israel extends extradition date of imprisoned Russian hacker to U.S.

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:47:39

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to extend Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov's extradition request to the United States for another 60 days, despite the state filing its request after the original deadline set for it had expired.

Burkov's attorny agreed to the extension request, with the new deadline being set for December 3.

Israel had refused a prisoner swap deal suggested by Russia, according to which Burkov would be freed in exchange for the release of 25-year-old Naama Issachar, who was sentenced to 7.5 years behind bars in Russia after she was found carrying a small amount of hashish while she was traveling to Israel from India through the Moscow airport in April. 


 Israel extends extradition date of imprisoned Russian hacker to U.S.


Trump announces lasting cease-fire in Syria, lifts sanctions on Turkey

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:25:16

WASHINGTON  U.S. President Donald Trump spoke from the White House Wednesday morning on what he's calling the "big success" along the Turkey-Syria border, announcing the U.S. will be lifting its sanctions against Ankara following a lasting cease-fire reached in the war-torn country.

Trump claimed that the U.S. and only the U.S. is responsible for the cease-fire, but added that it's time to "let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand." He added that he hopes the cease-fire will be "permanent", but that in "that part of the world," meaning the Middle East, it is difficult to predict the future. 

"Countless lives are now being saved", Trump said. "We reached this outcome without spilling one drop of American blood." 


 Trump announces lasting cease-fire in Syria, lifts sanctions on Turkey


Trump's Syria envoy says ISIS fighters still missing, sees evidence of Turkish war crimes

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:19:13

U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for Syria said on Wednesday that U.S. forces had seen evidence of war crimes by Turkish forces in Syria, during their recent offensive against Kurds. 

"We haven't seen widespread evidence of ethnic cleansing" by Turkey, but there had been reports of "several incidents of what we consider war crimes," said James Jeffrey, special representative for Syria, at a House of Representatives hearing.

He said U.S. officials were looking into those reports and had demanded an explanation from Turkey's government. He also said U.S. officials were investigating a report that Turkey had used restricted burning white phosphorus during its offensive.


 Trump's Syria envoy says ISIS fighters still missing, sees evidence of Turkish war crimes


Defense minister says Turkey, U.S. to overcome F-35 problem

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:07:34

Turkey expects that disagreements with the United States over production of F-35 jets will be overcome, its defence minister told Reuters, adding that Ankara remained at the centre of NATO despite criticism from allies of its incursion into Syria.

Washington began removing Ankara from a joint F-35 production programme after Turkey bought and took delivery in July of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

The United States says the system is not compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organization defenses, and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighters.


 Defense minister says Turkey, U.S. to overcome F-35 problem


Turkish op and U.S. withdrawal pave way for ISIS resurgence. Special report from Iraqi border

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:48:30

FAYSH KHABUR, Iraq The Iraqi-Syrian border is not visible to the naked eye on this moonless night, but the locals don't see it as a perimeter anymore anyway. It is no longer a border but a front line, says an Iraqi-Kurdish fighter, Maj. Sardar Saleh, from the Peshmerga military forces.

Sitting in his office in northwestern Iraq, Saleh and his men are chain-smoking, their eyes locked on the TV news channels streaming images from neighboring Syria. Images of wounded Kurds and refugees have been dominating their screens since the beginning of the Turkish military offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces on October 9.

But Saleh does not fear the Turks. The chaos across the border has resurrected the specter of another enemy: the Islamic State. Thousands of jihadists are currently being detained in Kurdish Syria, and there are regular reports of prison breaks, with Kurdish authorities and Ankara accusing each other of being responsible for the escapes.


 Turkish op and U.S. withdrawal pave way for ISIS resurgence. Special report from Iraqi border


Arab parties are readying to back Gantz but will he invite them to the negotiating table?

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:38:59

The Joint List of Arab parties is expected to accept Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz's invitation to holds negotiations over supporting him as a candidate for the premiership while remaining outside the coalition. 

Gantz, a former Israeli army chief of staff, will receive from President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday the mandate to try and form a government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week that he cannot establish a coalition. Gantz will have 28 days to try and forge a government. 

Whether the Joint List will receive the Kahol Lavan leader's formal invitation, and what the purpose of the negotiations will entail, has yet to be seen. Regardless, in conversations with Haaretz, leaders and some members of the list's four parties Hadash, Ta'al, the United Arab List and Balad did not object to negotiating their support from outside the government.


 Arab parties are readying to back Gantz but will he invite them to the negotiating table?


Kushner, Mnuchin to attend Saudi Arabia's 'Davos in the Desert'

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:30:14

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and presidential adviser Jared Kushner will lead Washington's delegation to an annual financial conference in Saudi Arabia, government sources said on Tuesday.

The conference comes a year after U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, prompting a global outcry.

State Department Iran adviser Brian Hook and Kushner adviser Avi Berkowitz plan to join Mnuchin and Kusher at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, a senior administration official told Reuters.


 Kushner, Mnuchin to attend Saudi Arabia's 'Davos in the Desert'


André Aciman on the parallels between Jews and gays, and his 'Call Me By Your Name' sequel

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:30:12

André Aciman probably never imagined that his writing intimate, labyrinthine and somewhat devoid of plots would one day enjoy a kind of Harry Potter moment. It happened in May, immediately after he posted to his Twitter account the cover of his new book, Find Me: A Novel, due to be published worldwide next week. The legions of admirers of its predecessor Call Me by Your Name, the huge best seller that was made into an acclaimed film unleashed a flood of enthusiastic tweets and comments in response to the cover, which is no more than a photograph of a sun-drenched street corner in Rome.

I'm nervous, I'm very, very nervous about it, Aciman told me in a phone interview, from New York. The anticipated sales on Amazon are extremely high, so I'm very nervous, of course, because people loved Call Me by Your Name,' they loved the movie, they loved the book, and they expect to see the same thing. I have this funny feeling that I have written something like The Godfather, Part IV,' which becomes weaker and weaker, and I'm nervous. I hope people are not going to be disappointed, but how can you tell?

Can you tell us a little about Find Me?


 André Aciman on the parallels between Jews and gays, and his 'Call Me By Your Name' sequel


The real danger that Brexit poses for Israel

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:26:00

When Israelis ask what Brexit means for them, many will think of economy and trade, and about diplomatic relations with Britain and Europe. These are important, but in considering Brexit's implications, there's a far bigger picture that Israel's leaders need to see.

Beyond the political crisis in London and Brussels, Brexit represents a clash over the future of world order, and it is this issue which has the most significant long-term significance.

For sure, Brexit itself if and when it is finally implemented will have some impact on Israel's economic and political relations with Britain and Europe. Much of Israel-U.K. trade worth roughly 20 billion shekels (4.4 billion pounds) is governed by Israel-EU trade agreements.


 The real danger that Brexit poses for Israel


Nation-wide protests dominated by young Lebanese, calling to end country's sectarian-based regime

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:12:26

Like most young protesters flooding Lebanon's streets to vent their fury over joblessness and inequality, Nina Sabbah demands more than the government's hastily announced reforms if she is to back down.

She wants to end a political system where, she says, what job you get depends on who you know and what religion or sect you belong to.

Demonstrations dominated by young faces have paralysed the country in recent days, forcing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's government to rush out measures aimed at quelling anger and rescuing an economy in free fall.


 Nation-wide protests dominated by young Lebanese, calling to end country's sectarian-based regime


Why a Netflix show about rape resonates so much with Israelis

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:05:13

A young British woman charged with falsely accusing 12 Israelis of gang rape testified for the first time in a Cyprus court last week. Under cross-examination, the 19-year-old said a police officer had pressured her to retract her complaint. For some Israelis following the case, which has garnered considerable international attention, the parallels with the new Netflix show Unbelievable are striking.

The eight-part U.S. series, released last month to critical acclaim, is based on the case of a serial rapist on the loose in Washington and Colorado and how he was eventually caught. It also follows the story of Marie (played by Kaitlyn Dever), a teenager charged with submitting a false report about being raped. In a plea bargain, she is eventually put on probation and forced to pay a $500 fine. Only later does it emerge that Marie was pressured by two investigating police officers both male to retract her complaint.

In Cyprus, the young British woman initially told police she had been gang-raped by a dozen Israeli teens after they met while vacationing in Ayia Napa this summer. The Israelis were taken into custody on July 18, a day after she lodged her complaint. They were held by the police for about a week before being released when, over the course of a night of questioning by local police, the British tourist changed her story and retracted her allegation.


 Why a Netflix show about rape resonates so much with Israelis


Man convicted of murdering Israeli schoolgirl seeks retrial

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:55:48

Roman Zadorov, who was convicted in 2010 of murdering 13-year-old Israeli schoolgirl Tair Rada four years earlier, has petitioned for a retrial on Wednesday based on evidence that his attorney Yoram Halevi say exonerates his client and points the blame at a woman known as A.K.

On December 6, 2006 Rada was found with her throat slashed in the bathroom at her school in the northern city of Katzerin. Zadorov had been doing construction work at the school on that day. He was arrested, confessed to and reenacted the murder, then promptly retracted his confession.

Halevi claims to have an opinion from an overseas forensic expert, according to which the bloodstains that were found at the murder scene contradict Zadorov's confession.


 Man convicted of murdering Israeli schoolgirl seeks retrial


Four tombstones defaced at Jewish cemetery near London

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:49:27

Four headstones at a disused Jewish cemetery in the United Kingdom have been destroyed in what police are investigating as a possible anti-Semitic attack.

The perpetrators knocked down the headstones at the cemetery of the Chatham Memorial Synagogue in Rochester, a town located 30 miles east of London, sometime between September 27 and October 4, police told Kent Online, which published an article about the incident Tuesday.

It's difficult to describe the sense of horror at the disrespect and needless violence, Dalia Halpern-Matthews, the chair of trustees of the nonprofit organization that runs the Chatham Memorial Synagogue, told the Daily Mail.


 Four tombstones defaced at Jewish cemetery near London


Albania says it's discovered an Iranian paramilitary network

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:45:35

Albanian police said on Wednesday they have discovered an Iranian paramilitary network that allegedly planned attacks in Albania against exiled members of an Iranian group seeking to overthrow the government in Tehran.

Police chief Ardi Veliu said the foreign wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guard operated an "active terrorist cell" targeting Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, group members in Albania.

He did not say what the alleged plot involved, or whether any arrests were made.


 Albania says it's discovered an Iranian paramilitary network


Reform is the last thing that Lebanon's leaders want

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:44:36

The Power Of The People Is Stronger Than The People In Power, claimed a placard held up during the ongoing protests in Lebanon.

It's a compelling idea and clearly one that is animating the protesters disgusted by the dire state of the country's economy and the inability of the politicians to do anything about it.

In Lebanon's case, however, my bet is with the people in power.


 Reform is the last thing that Lebanon's leaders want


Who is Benny Gantz, the former general tasked with forming Israel's next government

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:41:03

Confronted by a right-wing heckler while campaigning for last month's parliamentary election in Israel, Benny Gantz grabbed the man by the lapels and glared down at him. "No one's doing anything wrong by you," Gantz, who leads the centrist Kahol Lavan Party, told him. "We only want what's good for you."

The encounter was part embrace, part menace, and highly ambiguous. So is much else about Gantz, who will try to form a government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to abandon his own attempts to put together a new coalition. 

President Reuven Rivlin turned to Netanyahu first after the Sept. 17 election, in which no party won a majority. Gantz, was next in line after Kahol Lavan won 33 seats in parliament, one more than Netanyahu's right-wing Likud.


 Who is Benny Gantz, the former general tasked with forming Israel's next government


Syria offensive deepening sense of alienation among Turkey's Kurds

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:20:29

Kurdish lawmaker Musa Farisogullari says he has been targeted by water cannon, tear gas and blows from riot shields while trying to protest this month against Turkey's military offensive in northeast Syria.

The incursion, targeting the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, has deepened a sense of alienation among people in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, which is being further fueled by a crackdown on the country's main pro-Kurdish party.

Dozens of people have been arrested and mayors ousted in anti-terrorism investigations since the operation began on October 9, while police have prevented public statements by officials of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), including Farisogullari.


 Syria offensive deepening sense of alienation among Turkey's Kurds


New exhibition brings contemporary Morocco to Jerusalem

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:53:24

I went in search of history in the village of Tizgui, which doesn't exist on any map in the world. My great-grandfather, Shalom Amar, arrived there sometime in the early 20th century. His house was the only one in the village made of concrete, placed on top of the old brown Berber foundation a sign of things to come: The new goes on top of the old ... sometimes it's placed on it like a patch, creating a new aesthetic. A flowing river a few steps from the entrance door, within a huge natural setting. And next to the house, about 10 meters away, a mosque. God is great.

That's the beginning of the text that accompanies the exhibition Ziara: Moroccan Common Wisdom. The words are of Amit Hai Cohen, the curator, who starts with his visit to the village from which his grandmother and grandfather set out on their journey to the Holy Land. Ziara means visit in Arabic. In Morocco, Jews and Muslims also use this word to refer to holy sites such as the graves of the righteous and places of worship.

After all, everything started from bare land or an arid desert. In Netivot, where I grew up, the horizon also showed nothing but sky, Cohen writes. But this emptiness, to which romantics stream to view its enchantment, is endless boredom for those who live there. It's the ground from which you create fantasies, it's the reason you yearn to escape to the city.


 New exhibition brings contemporary Morocco to Jerusalem


The Great British Disenfranchisement of the Jews

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:13:48

Choose your poison. The anti-Semitic populist left or the racist, illiberal populist right?

You're a British Jew. Who would you choose between a political camp which consistently dismisses and delegitimizes complaints of anti-Semitism and actively interferes with official investigations into them, or a political camp which glorified a crude, nostalgic nationalism, whose leader ridicules minorities?

If you had to choose between the mainstream left party leader who doubted whether Jews could be sufficiently culturally acclimatized to appreciate Britain's tradition of irony, or the mainstream right-wing politician who accused the Illuminati and George Soros of interfering in U.K. politics, which way would you go?


 The Great British Disenfranchisement of the Jews


Iraq tells U.S. Defense Secretary troops from Syria must leave in four weeks

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:08:49

U.S troops withdrawing from northeastern Syria to Iraq are transiting and will leave the country within four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday.

Najah al-Shammari made the remarks to The Associated Press following a meeting in Baghdad with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who arrived as Iraqi leaders chafed over reports the U.S. may want to increase the number of troops based in Iraq, at least temporarily.

Iraq's military said Tuesday that American troops leaving northeastern Syria don't have permission to stay in Iraq in a statement that appeared to contradict Esper, who has said that all U.S. troops leaving Syria would continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group from Iraq to prevent its resurgence in the region.


 Iraq tells U.S. Defense Secretary troops from Syria must leave in four weeks


Fearing for their safety, one-third of U.S. Jews shun Stars of David and skullcaps, survey shows

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:59:28

Nearly nine out of 10 American Jews say anti-Semitism is a problem in the United States today, with more than a third describing it as a serious problem, according to a survey published Wednesday by the American Jewish Committee.

The poll timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which falls this Sunday found that nearly one in three American Jews avoid publicly wearing, carrying or displaying items that might identify them religiously, while one-quarter avoid places, events or situations out of concern for their safety as Jews.

The views expressed in the survey cut across religious denominations and political affiliations, though levels of concern about growing anti-Semitism in the United States seem to be somewhat more pronounced among non-Orthodox Jews and those who vote for the Democratic Party.


 Fearing for their safety, one-third of U.S. Jews shun Stars of David and skullcaps, survey shows


From ISIS to Syria's oil: 5 big lies Trump keeps telling about his Syria policy

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:12:15

U.S. President Donald Trump has made several incorrect or misleading statements about the five-year battle against the Islamic State group as he seeks to end what he calls endless wars and explain an abrupt abandonment of America's Kurdish partners in the face of a Turkish offensive.

He has gotten his facts wrong on at least five key points about the conflict.

TRUMP: THE U.S.-LED EFFORT TO DEFEAT THE ISLAMIC STATE GROUP WAS A MESS BEFORE I TOOK OFFICE.


 From ISIS to Syria's oil: 5 big lies Trump keeps telling about his Syria policy


Israeli Arab sentenced to 16 years in prison for abetting 2017 Temple Mount terror attack

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:07:26

 An Israeli Arab man was sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Haifa District Court on Wednesday for abetting a 2017 terror attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in which two policemen were killed.

The court found Amjad Jabareen, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, guilty of being an accessory to murder, abetting terrorism, using arms for terror purposes, obstruction of justice and conspiring to commit a crime.

He was accused of aiding the attackers in planning the shooting, helping conceal the weapons in an Umm al-Fahm mosque before the attack, and driving them to the bus to Jerusalem. He was a relative of one of the assailants, and was familiar with the other two.


 Israeli Arab sentenced to 16 years in prison for abetting 2017 Temple Mount terror attack


Poll: Trump's GOP support dips over Syria policy; support for impeachment soars among independents

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:51:43

Support for impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump surged among political independents and rose by three percentage points overall since last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

More Americans also said they disapproved of the president's handling of foreign threats.

The Oct. 18-22 poll showed public opinion continued to shift as Americans digested a flurry of news over the past several weeks stemming from the congressional impeachment inquiry and Trump's decision to pull troops from northern Syria.


 Poll: Trump's GOP support dips over Syria policy; support for impeachment soars among independents


WeWork founder Adam Neumann gets $1.7 billion payoff to leave company he tanked

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:42:33

SoftBank Group agreed to spend more than $10 billion to take over WeWork on Tuesday, doubling down on an ill-fated investment and giving a near $1.7 billion payoff to the U.S. office-space sharing startup's co-founder Adam Neumann to relinquish control.

The deal represents a stunning reversal of fortune for WeWork as well as its largest shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp , which has committed more than $13 billion in equity to a company that is now valued at just $8 billion.

The bailout comes as SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son is seeking to convince investors to participate in the Japanese company's second mammoth Vision Fund, for which he is seeking to raise $108 billion.


 WeWork founder Adam Neumann gets $1.7 billion payoff to leave company he tanked


14 Israeli soldiers arrested on suspicion of attacking Bedouin in south

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:33:11

Fourteen soldiers were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attacking Bedouin at a gas station in southern Israel. The soldiers belong to Netzah Yehuda, an ultra-Orthodox battalion of the Israel Defense Forces' Kfir Brigade.

The Military Police are investigating the incident, which took place at the gas station in the Dvira intersection.

The soldiers are suspected of assaulting and threatening the men they are accused of attacking, as well as of illegally using weapons. Their detention is expected to be extended on Wednesday. 


 14 Israeli soldiers arrested on suspicion of attacking Bedouin in south


Syrian Kurd sets himself on fire outside UN refugee agency in Geneva

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:19:00

A Syrian Kurdish man in his 30s set himself on fire outside the United Nations refugee agency headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday and was quickly airlifted to hospital after the flames were extinguished, police said.

The man, who resides in Germany, was flown by helicopter to the specialised burns unit at the university hospital in Lausanne where he is receiving treatment, Geneva police spokesman Silvain Guillaume-Gentil said.

"Given his state, it was impossible to ask him about his motive, but we imagine that it was the political situation."


 Syrian Kurd sets himself on fire outside UN refugee agency in Geneva


Exploitation and profiteering: Palestinians forced to pay a fortune to work in Israel

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:55:57

From 6 or 6:30 A.M. you see them in groups sitting on the curb, sometimes dozing off or leaning on a pole, fence or tree and waiting.

Around half an hour earlier they successfully went through one of the crossings from the West Bank into Israel; that is, they have permits to enter. The early hour indicates that they're laborers, and they're waiting there for two reasons: Either their transportation to work hasn't yet arrived, or they're waiting for someone to hire them.

One of them is Maher, 34, from the Jenin area, who in August and September waited daily on the other side of the Sha'ar Ephraim crossing (between Tul Karm and Taibeh) for someone needing a painter or handyman.


 Exploitation and profiteering: Palestinians forced to pay a fortune to work in Israel


Anonymous Trump official writing unprecedented' book from inside the White House

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:51:18

The Trump administration official who wrote an anonymous essay about resistance from the inside has a book deal.

The book, titled A Warning, will come out November 19, The Hachette Book Group imprint Twelve announced Tuesday. It will likely set off the biggest Washington guessing game since Primary Colors, the fictionalized take on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign that turned out to be written by journalist Joe Klein.

The anonymous essay appeared in The New York Times in September 2018 and said that many within the administration were actively blocking some of Trump's orders. No one has named the official despite widespread speculation and Trump's own suggestion that the author's identity be investigated.


 Anonymous Trump official writing unprecedented' book from inside the White House


The split in Israel's biggest Hasidic court shows that no rabbi is immune

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:50:51

Don't try to compare what's happening in Ger to the rest of the ultra-Orthodox community, said a veteran Gerrer Hasid this week. It's a closed and strange kingdom. It's like a palace coup in North Korea. There's no place like it and nothing to compare it with.

That's just how Gerrer Hasidim are. Even when they're undergoing events similar to other dynasties, and succession battles are splitting their sect for the first time since its foundation in Poland in 160 years ago, they insist they're different and special.

Ger, also known as Gur, is special. The largest Hasidic court in Israel (and one of the three largest in the world along with Chabad and Satmar) has unparalleled political and financial power, and its thousands of Hasidim are ruled with an iron fist. It's a community with branches across Israel and in the United States and Europe, but with the characteristics of a closed cult where the leader dictates the most intimate details of the lives of his followers, who are dependent on him for everything. And yet, it's not that different.


 The split in Israel's biggest Hasidic court shows that no rabbi is immune


Top U.S. diplomat gives new account of Trump quid pro quo in Ukraine

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:27:10

 A top U.S. diplomat testified Tuesday that President Donald Trump was holding back military aid for Ukraine unless the country agreed to investigate Democrats and a company linked to Joe Biden's family, providing lawmakers with a detailed new account of the quid pro quo central to the impeachment probe.

In a lengthy opening statement to House investigators obtained by The Associated Press, William Taylor described Trump's demand that everything President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wanted, including vital aid to counter Russia, hinged on making a public vow that Ukraine would investigate Democrats going back to the 2016 U.S. election as well as a company linked to the family of Trump's potential 2020 Democratic rival.

Taylor testified that what he discovered in Kiev was the Trump administration's irregular back channel to foreign policy led by the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and ultimately alarming circumstances that threatened to erode the United States' relationship with a budding Eastern European ally facing Russian aggression.


 Top U.S. diplomat gives new account of Trump quid pro quo in Ukraine


Russia says oil sites in northeastern Syria should be controlled by Damascus

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:22:03

Oil sites in northeastern Syria, the site of a battle that began earlier this month, should be controlled by Damascus, Russia's Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, the Kremlin accused the United States of betraying and abandoning the Syrian Kurds, and advised the Kurds to withdraw from the Syrian border as per a deal between Moscow and Ankara or be mauled by the Turkish army.

The comments by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to Russian news agencies followed a deal agreed on Tuesday between Russia and Turkey that will see Syrian and Russian forces deploy to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey.


 Russia says oil sites in northeastern Syria should be controlled by Damascus


Lieberman accuses Netanyahu of dragging out government formation 'for personal reasons'

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 11:51:55

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of talking about a unity government while driving Israel into a third round of elections in a Wednesday morning radio interview.

Hours before President Reuven Rivlin passes the mandate to form a government to Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, Lieberman told Kan Bet public radio that Netanyahu has no interest in establishing a government. He wants to drag things out, for personal reasons. 

Likud, Lieberman said, is "already eulogizing Netanyahu." The party's senior members "are on the starting line to primaries," he added.


 Lieberman accuses Netanyahu of dragging out government formation 'for personal reasons'


Joe Lieberman's new job: lobbying for Israel Aerospace Industries

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:53:52

The Israeli defense industry is facing a difficult period ahead, as the new military aid agreement, signed during Obama's last days in office, gradually phases out the Israeli Defense Ministry's ability to use American money to buy supplies from Israeli companies.

As other large markets, such as China and the Arab world, are closed to them, Israeli firms have little choice but to focus on expanding sales in the United States. Thankfully for them, the U.S. military budget dwarfs those of any other countries: Washington spent $680 billion on defense in 2018, with Beijing a far second with just $250 billion. And with the world seeing an arms race surge and the U.S. military needing to bolster its capabilities as the situation worldwide seems increasingly volatile, new avenues for growth might have opened.

At the same time, under new rules set up by the Trump administration as part of its America First policy, the American military is required to buy weaponry made in the U.S., which has Israeli players scrambling for solutions.


 Joe Lieberman's new job: lobbying for Israel Aerospace Industries


Israeli household wealth fails to keep pace with GDP

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:53:19

Nearly two decades of uninterrupted economic growth and a steady stream of high-tech successes haven't yielded the number of millionaires it should have, Credit Suisse said in its 2019 Global Wealth Report.

Growth of per capita gross domestic product and household wealth normally go hand in hand, the report released on Monday stated, but in Israel's case while GDP per capita rose an average of 1.4% annually from 2000 to 2019, average wealth per capita edged up just 0.2%.

The only other surveyed country to show such a mismatch between GDP growth and increased wealth was Indonesia, Credit Suisse noted.


 Israeli household wealth fails to keep pace with GDP


Israeli GDP growth slackened to 0.6% rate in second quarter

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:49:45

Israeli economic growth slowed even more than earlier estimated, grinding down to a revised annualized rate of just 0.6% in the second quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday.

Growth was depressed principally by a technical factor: Taxes on automobile imports surged in the first quarter, lifting gross domestic product by an annualized 4.4% as importers rushed to bring cars into the country before a revised green tax went into effect April 1.

In the second quarter, however, imports to a saturated local auto market plunged by more than 96%. The result was a sharp drop in GDP growth of just 1% when the CBS made its preliminary estimate in September.


 Israeli GDP growth slackened to 0.6% rate in second quarter


Israel's next political murder? Read the writing on the wall

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:39:24

A warning to the police, the Shin Bet security service and Israeli citizens: A political murder could strike Israel soon. The victim would be a jurist, a journalist or a senior politician from the parties that oppose the continuation of the Netanyahu regime.

The jurists at high risk are Liat Ben Ari, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit. The journalists at high risk are Guy Peleg, legal and crime reporter for Channel 12 News; Aviad Glickman, legal and crime reporter for Channel 13 News; Amnon Abramovich, analyst for Channel 12 News; Raviv Drucker, analyst for Channel 13 News; and Ben Caspit, analyst for the daily Ma'ariv and Radio 103.

The politicians at high risk are Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman, Benny Gantz, Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi. If and when indictments are filed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the public protest against him broadens, populations at risk will include the Petah Tikva protesters and political activists like Barak Cohen, Meni Naftali and Eldad Yaniv.


 Israel's next political murder? Read the writing on the wall


Ancient church dedicated to mysterious martyr found near Jerusalem

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:15:40

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a Byzantine basilica built under the Emperor Justinian and decorated with stunning mosaics and glass windows, as well as an inscription that dedicates the church to an unnamed glorious martyr. Who that was however remains a mystery.

The 6th-century shrine was discovered ahead of building a new neighborhood in the town of Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem. It has been undergoing salvage excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority for three years, archaeologists said at an unveiling of the site on Wednesday.

The church remained a popular pilgrimage destination through the early Islamic period. That in and of itself contributed to a longstanding debate among scholars about how violent and sudden the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land was, and the subsequent conversion of the population.


 Ancient church dedicated to mysterious martyr found near Jerusalem


Capitulation to Jewish settlers has enabled violence against soldiers, defense officials say

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 09:47:56

Settlement leaders ignore violence by settlers against Palestinians and even policemen, denouncing it only when the people attacked are soldiers, as happened in the settlement of Yitzhar this week, senior defense officials said.

The officials added that settler leaders have put heavy pressure on the government, thereby undermining the army's status in the territories and enabling violence against members of the security services.

It's expressed as an atmosphere that everything's allowed, said one senior officer involved in the defense establishment's conversations with government officials.


 Capitulation to Jewish settlers has enabled violence against soldiers, defense officials say


Military drone fell in Lebanon during routine operations, Israeli army says

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 08:44:16

An Israeli army drone fell near the border between Israel and Lebanon within Lebanese territory, the Israeli military stated on Wednesday. 

The Israel Defense Forces said that the drone crashed during routine operations. 

Earlier Wednesday, Lebanese media outlets had reported that an Israeli UAV crashed in southern Lebanon, but did not indicate whether the aircraft had fallen or was shot down. 


 Military drone fell in Lebanon during routine operations, Israeli army says


Australian PM Morrison calls for Israel to extradite accused pedophile Malka Leifer

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 08:28:27

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on Wednesday for the quick extradition of former school prinicpal Malka Leifer, who faces 74 charges of indecent assault and rape against her students, to his country.

Morrison said in a press statement that he had met with two of the main complainants against Leifer, sisters Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer, who are seeking her extradition. "We acknowledge the immense bravery of the victims in this case," the Australian premier stated, adding: "We stand with them." 

"We call for the matter to be resolved transparently and quickly. We also reaffirm our commitment to have Malka Leifer extradited," he continued. 


 Australian PM Morrison calls for Israel to extradite accused pedophile Malka Leifer


Teva shares rally on opioid settlement, but analysts have doubts

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 08:02:23

Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals rallied Tuesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange after the Israeli drug maker said it had reached a tentative settlement with major U.S. plaintiffs over its role in the opioid epidemic.

But analysts expressed doubts about the agreement with the attorneys general of four American states, which has yet to be released, and whether the four could gain the concurrence of some 2,600 municipalities joining in the suit.

We're in the early to middle innings of a lengthy process, and I just don't see this as bringing us much closer to a global settlement, Piper Jaffray analyst David Amsellem told Bloomberg News. The government wants to extract a pound of flesh. States and municipalities want money in their coffers as soon as possible to help deal with the epidemic.


 Teva shares rally on opioid settlement, but analysts have doubts


Haaretz cartoon

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:26:23

 Haaretz cartoon


Violent Jewish settlers won't be easily deterred even with increased Israeli security presence

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:05:51

The series of violent incidents near the settlement of Yitzhar didn't take defense officials by surprise. Right-wing extremists, many of whom live in the outposts near Yitzhar, are under close surveillance by the Shin Bet security service's Jewish division and clash periodically with the Israel Police in the West Bank.

Not all Yitzhar residents support violence against soldiers and the police; far from it. But for years now, the settlers in Yitzhar have had a complicated relationship with the hilltop youth radicals living around them. The public condemnations by some of them of stone throwing or threats against soldiers and the Border Police are coming a bit late after years of tacit acceptance of attacks on neighboring Palestinian villages.

An outpost near Yitzhar, Kumi Ori, is the focal point of much of the current violence. A few years ago, the focal point was the clutch of outposts near the settlement of Kochav Hashahar northeast of Ramallah. When the police and Shin Bet concentrated their efforts there after the arrests in the 2015 arson murder of members of the Dawabsheh family, the hard core of extremists moved to the Yitzhar area.


 Violent Jewish settlers won't be easily deterred even with increased Israeli security presence


Turkey to get YPG-free 'safe zone' in Syria following Erdogan, Putin agreement

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 04:18:40

Syrian and Russian forces will deploy in northeast Syria to remove Kurdish YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey under a deal agreed on Tuesday which both Moscow and Ankara hailed as a triumph.

Hours after the deal was announced, the Turkish defence ministry said that the United States had told Turkey the withdrawal of Kurdish militants was complete from the "safe zone" Ankara demands in northern Syria.

There was no need to initiate another operation outside the current area of operation at this stage, the ministry said in a statement, effectively ending its military offensive that had begun on Oct. 9, drawing widespread criticism.


 Turkey to get YPG-free 'safe zone' in Syria following Erdogan, Putin agreement


Israel needs a permanent transitional government

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:47:51

Sometimes, we have no choice but to rush to the rescue of the groaning homeland. Evidently, it isn't capable of saving itself.

Therefore, the beginning of wisdom is to improve the warped image of transitional governments a bit. Ostensibly, these are governments whose terms should be kept as short as possible. They have little power, little support and limited capabilities and authority.

But in fact, a sober, unprejudiced view would reveal that transitional governments are the diametric opposite of this image. That is to say, they indeed have limited power, capabilities, support, jurisdiction and authority, but that's precisely their beauty. This is the kind of government any sensible doctor would prescribe for a country in which the people holding the reins of power and controlling state institutions have abandoned all restraint and all morality a torn, divided, confused, tired country.


 Israel needs a permanent transitional government


The end of Israel's free press

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:24:19

Hayamin Hehadash chairman Naftali Bennett, one of the victims of Walla's tendentious coverage that was spurred by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, lashed out at Netanyahu at the time. I feel sorry for you, Mr. Netanyahu, Bennett tweeted. You took the trouble to personally call the owner of Walla to hurt my wife, and this is a despicable and cowardly act. Shame on you. Last week Bennett sounded different, stating, The legal system mustn't take down Netanyahu. Somehow, Bennett didn't learn anything from that incident about the role of the media, its future and its ability to tarnish the reputations of politicians and their families.

Many people hope the prime minister will emerge innocent of the suspicions against him. Supporters of Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, and of Shaul Elovitch, Walla's former publisher, want their innocence proven as well. But if these wishes come true and the legal proceedings don't bring about the conviction of any of those involved, we can declare the end of Israel's free press.

The indecent acts committed as a result of the relationship between government, money and the media in Cases 2000 (the Yedioth quid-pro-quo affair) and Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla affair) are extremely serious. Even if proving criminality is stymied by legal difficulties, a term Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit loves to use to describe any complex matter, we're talking about a complete undermining of the last remaining shred of public confidence in politicians and media outlets.


 The end of Israel's free press


National reserve for wild weeds

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:22:44

With or without a government, it's clear to everyone just who is in charge in the occupied territories the settlers. They act violently toward Palestinians on a regular basis, and every so often toward soldiers as well. With regard to the former, the Israeli public and its elected representatives have been utterly apathetic. When the army is attacked, in contrast, a momentary outcry erupts, but it soon dies down.

Settlers from an illegal outpost attacking local Palestinians who had come to harvest their olives last Wednesday, along with an activist from Rabbis for Human Rights, flew beneath the Israeli public's radar, as well as that of most media outlets. But over the last few days, there have been several violent incidents between settlers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and these broke the radio silence.

During the Sukkot holiday, settlers repeatedly attacked soldiers in the settlement of Yitzhar and in nearby outposts. On Friday, settlers cursed and threatened a battalion commander who had come to conduct an exercise with his soldiers at the entrance to Yitzhar. Before dawn on Sunday, a few dozen settlers threw stones at two Golani Brigade patrol vehicles (wounding one soldier). On Monday, settlers threw stones at a Border Police unit near Yitzhar.


 National reserve for wild weeds


Religious indoctrination's great failure

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:18:02

After just the three first pages in my son's new textbook Moledet, Hevra Ve'ezrahut (Homeland, Society and Citizenship), he is introduced to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. The esteemed rabbi is featured, as are many other subjects in the book, inside an oval-shaped frame, for enrichment purposes.

There are three such frames in the book's first chapter, one devoted to Kook, the second to the patriarch Abraham (the first immigrant to the Land of Israel!) and the third to Rabbi Akiva. Not all of the frames are devoted to content from the world of religious Judaism, but the large number of references to rabbis, Talmudic legends and quotes from the Bible devoted to family life, the care of animals and traveling around Israel reflect the trickle of Jewish tradition into every field of study in the state secular school system.

In recent years, the Hebrew word hadata, (which roughly translates as increased religious influence) has taken root in public discourse in Israel, to describe this phenomenon, and although it's understandable why secular parents would feel that their children are being subject to an religious assault, hadata is not the proper term to describe the rabbinical invasion into the classroom.


 Religious indoctrination's great failure


Baby dies two days after mom killed in car crash in Israel

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 01:53:07

A baby that was delivered last week after his mother died in a road accident on Route 6 died Tuesday at Sheba Medical at Tel Hashomer.

The mother, Irna Dubinsky, 30, and her daughter Anat Rosenberg, 12, of Kiryat Yam, were killed when the car they were in swerved into a guardrail near the Ben Shemen interchange for reasons still not clear, and a van slammed into it and crushed it. The woman was rushed to the hospital and the baby was delivered by emergency cesarean section but had been listed in critical condition.

Two other people, a 65-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl, suffered moderate injuries in the crash, while six other people, including three children, suffered light injuries and were taken to Sheba and to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.


 Baby dies two days after mom killed in car crash in Israel


Iran banned indefinitely from International Judo Federation for boycotting Israelis

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 01:05:54

The International Judo Federation (IJF) on Tuesday announced it is suspending Iran for its ongoing boycott of Israeli athletes in general, and specifically for pressuring its judoka, Saeid Mollaei, to withdraw rather than compete against Israeli Sagi Muki at August's World Championships in Tokyo.

This means that Iranian judokas are suspended from all competitions authorized by the federation and its unions, and are likely to miss the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Although Iranians have never won an Olympic medal in judo, they were viewed as strong contenders at Tokyo 2020. The ban puts a question mark over their participation because qualifying depends mainly on world ranking points earned in IJF events.


 Iran banned indefinitely from International Judo Federation for boycotting Israelis


Opposition within ultra-Orthodox Ger sect declares historic split

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:26:16

A group of 250 Ger Hasidim became the first in the history of their sect to split off from the Ger Hasidic court when they gathered for the Simhat Torah holiday in a synagogue in Jerusalem on Monday.

A special feeling of freedom and liberation was in the air, far beyond the normal the holiday spirit, said the worshippers, who met under the auspices of their new leader, Rabbi Shaul Alter. Rabbi Alter is the cousin of the present Admor of Ger, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, who is the supreme leader of the Hasidic sect.

Only a few months ago, when the preliminary signs began to show of the rebellion by the opposition within Israel's largest and most powerful Hasidic sect, everyone seemed convinced that the time for an official split within the community was still a long way off. No one imagined it could happen within a few months, said one of the Hasidim who was in the synagogue on Ki Tov Street in one of the Haredi neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem.


 Opposition within ultra-Orthodox Ger sect declares historic split


Jojo Rabbit' doesn't glorify Nazis it's a lesson in how hate is taught

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:22:17

Jojo Rabbit sounds like a film that is difficult to pull off amid the state of rising anti-Semitism in 2019.

It's a comedy set during the Holocaust about a 10-year-old German boy being brainwashed by Nazi ideology and his imaginary friend a playful version of Hitler who likes to dance.

But before you get outraged or assume it downplays the horrors of the Holocaust, like multiple critics have argued already, take a deep breath: Jojo Rabbit is a very good movie with a meaningful message.


 Jojo Rabbit' doesn't glorify Nazis it's a lesson in how hate is taught


Israeli baby hospitalized fighting for her life was abuse victim, police say

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:16:49

 A 10-month-old girl from Ashkelon who was hospitalized in critical condition on Tuesday was a victim of ongoing abuse, a police representative told the local magistrate's court on Wednesday.

She was fighting for her life Tuesday night, doctors said.

Ziad Aabid, the mother's boyfriend, is suspected of abuse, assaulting a helpless dependent, neglect and abandoning a minor. He is also suspected of assaulting the mother several times. The court extended his remand by another five days. The mother, who has also been detained and whose name is under a gag order, is also suspected of abusing and neglecting a minor. The court ordered her held for another three days.


 Israeli baby hospitalized fighting for her life was abuse victim, police say


With coffins and convoys, low turnout at Israeli Arab protest against police inaction

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 22:39:16

A convoy of cars carrying empty coffins bearing slogans like Who's next? and Women's Blood is Not Cheap, was part of a rally protesting the police's response to violence in Arab communities, held Tuesday in front of Northern District police headquarters in Nazareth.

Some 500 people attended the demonstration, which disappointed the organizers, who had expected thousands to show up in a city that has experienced its fair share of violent incidents in recent years. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee said the event was an effort to convey to the police that any one of us could be a victim of violence and crime.

The Committee Against Violence in Nazareth, which had organized the rally, admitted that it had not attracted the numbers they had expected. One reason, the organizers said, was that the protests have been going on for three weeks, and residents are starting to tire of them.


 With coffins and convoys, low turnout at Israeli Arab protest against police inaction


Brexit in chaos after parliament defeats Johnson's ratification timetable

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:50:23

The British parliament backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal in an important legislative stage on Tuesday, but did not approve his extremely tight timetable for carrying it through the rest of the necessary stages to become law.

Lawmakers voted 329 to 299 in favor of the second reading of his 115-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill, a significant boost for Johnson just five days after he struck a last-minute deal with the EU.

In a crucial follow-up vote, 322 MPs voted to defeat the Programme Motion which set out a three-day schedule to rush his deal through the House of Commons, effectively delaying Brexit another time. His opponents said the bill allowed too little time to debate the measure.


 Brexit in chaos after parliament defeats Johnson's ratification timetable


Under scrutiny, Israeli municipality walks back on gender segregation at kids' show

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:39:19

The Haifa municipality and the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry advertised a performance for children that was meant to be gender-separated, but backtracked in response to queries from Haaretz and the Israel Women's Network.

The performance of Our Heroes, for children aged 5 to 12, was held Tuesday afternoon at the Kiryat Shmuel Community Center. The invitation, bearing the logos of both the municipality and the ministry, showed pictures of only male actors. The free performance was to be staged twice, at 4 P.M. for girls and at 6 P.M. for boys.

At 4:01 P.M., the city instructed community center employees to allow both boys and girls into the performance. The audience was comprised mostly of girls.


 Under scrutiny, Israeli municipality walks back on gender segregation at kids' show


'All options on the table': Warren, Buttigieg say expanded Israeli occupation in West Bank could lead to U.S. aid cuts

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:03:38

WASHINGTON Two Democratic presidential contenders said over the weekend they are open to the idea of conditioning U.S. military aid to Israel on the actions of the Israeli government even if they didn't go as far as Bernie Sanders.

When asked about withholding aid to Israel if the Israeli government continued building settlements in the West Bank and moving away from a two-state solution, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that all options are on the table.

When Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was asked about this issue, he reiterated his position that Israeli annexations in the West Bank could lead to cuts in U.S. security assistance.


 'All options on the table': Warren, Buttigieg say expanded Israeli occupation in West Bank could lead to U.S. aid cuts


Israeli president to task Gantz with forming government on Wednesday

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 20:40:05

President Reuven Rivlin will give Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz the mandate to form a coalition on Wednesday night, the President's Residence announced Tuesday evening.

Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement Monday night that he is unable to form a government and that he is returning the mandate to the president, Knesset factions convened Tuesday evening to discuss allowing Gantz the opportunity to try to establish a coalition.

The president will present Gantz with the mandate during a live ceremony at 8 P.M. on Wednesday night.


 Israeli president to task Gantz with forming government on Wednesday


Palestinian Authority blocks 59 Palestinian websites, social media channels critical of Abbas

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 19:40:05

A court in Ramallah earlier this week ordered the blocking of 59 Palestinian websites, blogs and Facebook pages that oppose the Palestinian Authority and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The decision was made at the request of the Palestinian prosecution, but it is widely assumed that senior PA officials were behind the move. The prosecution, in its petition to the court, argued that the sites disseminate harmful content about the PA and its officials and are likely to be used to incite lawlessness.

Some of the blocked websites are very popular among Palestinians and in the rest of the Arab world. Some report critically on developments in the West Bank and Gaza, while others are identified with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the camp of Mohammed Dahlan, one of Abbas' leading opponents. The list includes the Arab48 website, which is based in Haifa and is identified with the Balad party.


 Palestinian Authority blocks 59 Palestinian websites, social media channels critical of Abbas


Amazon's 'Modern Love' is an eloquent examination of romance

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 19:35:26

It's something of truism that there are no new ideas. Mark Twain said as much in his autobiography, more than a hundred years ago. So it's no shame for creators artists, musicians, and writers to dip liberally into existing material for inspiration. The best stories have already been told and all they can do is find new and entertaining ways to retell them.

All of the stories in Modern Love, an eight-part anthology streaming on Amazon Prime, were inspired by essays penned for the New York Times column of the same name a column that has, in its 15-year life, already spawned over 750 articles, a wildly popular podcast and a book.

Described by the Times as personal essays about love, loss and redemption, the Modern Love column is a showcase for quality writing on matters of universal human interest. The eponymous podcast drafted in actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Sandra Oh to read the essays and is permanently near the top of every list of most downloaded podcasts.


 Amazon's 'Modern Love' is an eloquent examination of romance


Ilhan Omar slams GOP lawmaker for sharing fake photo of her at an al-Qaida training camp

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:50:13

Rep. Ilhan Omar has condemned a Republican state senator from North Dakota who posted a long-debunked photo on his Facebook page that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat holding a weapon at an al-Qaida training camp.

Omar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Somalia and is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, blasted state Sen. Oley Larsen's post, which also led to a call Tuesday from a top fellow Republican to apologize and relinquish a state Senate leadership position.

"This is pure propaganda designed to stir up hate and violence," Omar tweeted Monday night. "... Facebook's unwillingness to crack down on hate speech and misinformation is not just threatening my life, but our democracy."


 Ilhan Omar slams GOP lawmaker for sharing fake photo of her at an al-Qaida training camp


Tens of thousands attend funeral of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, influential figure in Israeli ultra-Orthodox world

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:49:05

Tens of thousands took part in a funeral procession for Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, who was considered one of the most important rabbis in the ultra-Orthodox world. He was aged 93. 

The rabbi was laid to rest on Tuesday noon in Bnei Brak, and several roads were closed to traffic in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city. Karelitz headed a private rabbinical court in Bnei Brak, which operates outside of the state's judicial system.

Karelitz was a member of Degel Hatorah's Council of Torah Sages, and deemed by the Haredi media "as the greatest Halachic authority of his generation.''


 Tens of thousands attend funeral of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, influential figure in Israeli ultra-Orthodox world


When you're Palestinian, American and Jewish, life like your art is complicated

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:48:00

In late September, a strange sight greeted visitors to Tel Aviv's Center for Contemporary Art. The entire first floor had been transformed into a small and cozy apartment, replete with some 150 household objects that had been locally produced. The biggest clue that this was not a genuine living space was the uniformly green color scheme.

A sign at the door, scrawled in Hebrew, Arabic and English, featured the name of the supposed resident of this temporary home: Nassar.

The man behind this project, titled The Sea Beneath Our Eyes, is American-Palestinian artist Jordan Nassar. The quintessentially Israeli apartment he designed from scratch is the result of a year-long journey through Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he assembled all the featured objects from local craftspeople. It's the home he envisions he could have lived in if he ever made good on his right to return to his ancestors' homeland.


 When you're Palestinian, American and Jewish, life like your art is complicated


Palestinian wounded by firebomb thrown at Israeli police in flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:28:11

A 26-year-old Isawiyah resident was seriously wounded after locals hurled a firebomb at Israel Police officers operating in the East Jerusalem neighborhood overnight Monday.

The police arrested eight people suspected of hurling stones and firebombs, as well as firing firecrackers at security forces.

According to the police, dozens of policemen entered Isawiyah following a report that residents were hurling stones and firebombs toward the road leading from Jerusalem to the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim. Isawiyah residents rejected the police's version of events, saying that the residents only threw stones at police officers who entered the neighborhood.


 Palestinian wounded by firebomb thrown at Israeli police in flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood


Erdogan threatens to resume Syria assault, state TV ran countdown clock

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:26:47

Hundreds of Kurdish fighters remain near to Syria's northeast border despite a U.S.-brokered truce demanding their withdrawal and Turkey could resume its offensive in the area when the ceasefire expires, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.

The five-day truce in Turkey's cross-border offensive to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG fighters from the border area ends at 10 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday. Turkish state-run television was running a countdown clock until "Operation Peace Spring" would resume, the clock was apparently taken down after it sparked a social media backlash.

Turkey says Kurdish YPG militia forces, which it views as terrorists because of their links to Kurdish militants waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey, must leave a "safe zone" it wants to establish inside Syria.


 Erdogan threatens to resume Syria assault, state TV ran countdown clock


As Israeli Arab community rocked by murders, Islamic leaders join anti-violence battle at a price

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:06:05

After people hear me preaching about collecting weapons from homes, they approach me anonymously and say, You'll be getting a bullet soon,' Sheikh Mohammed Haleilah of the Al-Fatah mosque in the northern Israeli town of Majdal Krum recounts.

Haleilah is just one of a number of Israeli Muslim religious figures who are seeking to fill the vacuum left by government authorities in Arab towns and villages and help curb the rising crime in the Arab community through sermons, parlor meeting and public advocacy efforts.

Such activity comes at a price, but Haleilah is not deterred. I'm not afraid of preaching and I'm angry at the sheikhs who don't, he says. A generation of orphans has grown up here, and that needs to be stopped.


 As Israeli Arab community rocked by murders, Islamic leaders join anti-violence battle at a price


Former chief justice Meir Shamgar lies in state at Supreme Court

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:00:53

The remains of Meir Shamgar, Israel's seventh Supreme Court justice, were brought to lie in state Tuesday at the country's top court in Jerusalem on Tuesday as Israelis paid their respects. Shamgar's funeral took place that afternoon, with family members, legal officials past and present and government officials in attendance. 

Shamgar, who helped shape the character of the Israeli legal system and was a key figure who laid the cornerstones of Israeli law, died Friday at 94.

Shamgar was laid to rest at Har Hamenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. At the ceremony, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other sernior figures delivered speeches about his achievements.


 Former chief justice Meir Shamgar lies in state at Supreme Court


Trump defends Gabbard in Clinton spat, says she's no Russian agent

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:57:06

U.S. President Donald Trump is attacking Hillary Clinton for suggesting Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian agent.

Trump says of Gabbard, she's not a Russian agent.

Clinton appeared to call Gabbard the favorite of the Russians in a recent interview, saying she believes the Russians have got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.


 Trump defends Gabbard in Clinton spat, says she's no Russian agent


Snoop Dogg partners with Israeli cannabis growing startup

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:11:08

American rapper Snoop Dogg is partnering with Israeli cannabis company Seedo, the company announced Monday. 

Snoop, an outspoken advocate of marijuana use, will serve as the company's brand ambassador to promote Seedo's small refrigerator-like machine that grows plants with the help of artificial intelligence.

The self-contained grow box regulates temperature, light, carbon dioxide and minerals and is monitored by an application.


 Snoop Dogg partners with Israeli cannabis growing startup


For Syrian Kurds, a leader's killing deepens sense of U.S. betrayal

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:07:42

Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf spent the final months of her life building a political party that she hoped would help shape Syria's future, drawing the attention of U.S. officials who said it would have a say in what happened once the war ended.

To her colleagues in the Future Syria Party and Kurdish communities in Syria's northeast more broadly, her killing became a symbol of betrayal by the United States.

As recently as Oct. 3, State Department officials reassured her at a meeting that Washington would safeguard northern Syria from a threatened Turkish assault by mediating between Kurdish-led forces and Ankara, according to a colleague who was present.


 For Syrian Kurds, a leader's killing deepens sense of U.S. betrayal


After 50 years, Zubin Mehta bids farewell to Israel Philharmonic with final concert

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:47:16

Conductor Zubin Mehta ended his 50-year career as musical director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, celebrating his final bow at a concert with the orchestra in Tel Aviv.

After apologizing to the audience in the Charles Bronfman Auditorium that even after 50 years he still cannot speak Hebrew, he thanked the Philharmonic for giving and teaching him so much, throughout all the generations of the orchestra.

Mehta said he cannot begin to even describe what I have learned with these musicians, and maybe they learned something from him, but it does not compare to what the first generation of the orchestra's musicians taught him. 


 After 50 years, Zubin Mehta bids farewell to Israel Philharmonic with final concert


Trump calls impeachment inquiry a 'lynching' in series of unhinged tweets

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:32:50

U.S. President Donald Trump posted a series of bizarre Tweets Tuesday morning claiming the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry in the House was a "lynching" and was without due process or fairness or any legal rights. 

Trump's tweeted, "So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!"

The U.S. impeachment process, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, is a two-step affair where the U.S. House votes on articles of impeachment, which present the evidence for "high crimes and misdemeanors" and then the U.S. Senate holds a trial and votes on whether or not to convict the president and remove him for office. Critics of Trump's tweet were quick to point out that impeachment is a type of due process. 


 Trump calls impeachment inquiry a 'lynching' in series of unhinged tweets


Lebanese protesters sing into the night, unsatisfied with new economic reforms

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:34:56

Lebanon approved an emergency reform package on Monday in response to protests over dire economic conditions, but the moves did not persuade demonstrators to leave the streets or investors to halt a plunge in its bonds.

Protesters sang into the night in Beirut and continued to demonstrate in other parts of the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets since Thursday, furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse. Roads were blocked for a fifth day across the country.


 Lebanese protesters sing into the night, unsatisfied with new economic reforms


Key witness in Trump impeachment inquiry set to testify

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:21:08

William Taylor has emerged as an unlikely central player in the events that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The retired career civil servant was tapped to run the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine after the administration abruptly ousted the ambassador. He was then drawn into a Trump administration effort to leverage U.S. military aid for Ukraine.

And then he apparently grew alarmed.


 Key witness in Trump impeachment inquiry set to testify


Syrian Kurdish leader likens U.S. move to genocide as U.S. soldiers pelted by civilians

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:01:03

A leader of Syrian Kurdish forces who have been attacked by Turkey says President Donald Trump's withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria was "akin to genocide."

Ilham Ahmed also tells reporters that her message to Trump is "Stop these massacres."

Ahmed was in Washington for meetings Monday. Among those she saw were senators who have sponsored a bipartisan measure sanctioning Turkey until it halts its invasion of northern Syria.


 Syrian Kurdish leader likens U.S. move to genocide as U.S. soldiers pelted by civilians


China says world 'shocked' Trump adviser made up fake anti-china economist

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:53:48

The world is "shocked" that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro made up a fictitious anti-China economist in his books, China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, adding that it is absurd and dangerous to make policy based on lies.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last week that Navarro invented and quoted an economist named Ron Vara.

It said that according to Tessa Morris-Suzuki, an emeritus professor at Australian National University, Vara's name had appeared a dozen times in six of Navarro's nonfiction books but no such person could be found.


 China says world 'shocked' Trump adviser made up fake anti-china economist


Netflix's The Laundromat' is a chaotic attempt to dramatize the Panama Papers

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:46:52

Just a few short years ago, the worst sentence any successful filmmaker could hear was Your movie is going to premiere on Netflix. (Now, of course, that has that been superseded by Ronan Farrow's on the phone, says he has a few questions for you.) The streaming giant, meanwhile, has managed to successfully reposition itself as a natural home for Hollywood talent thanks largely to its deep pockets and a hands-off artistic approach (but mainly those deep pockets).

Some of the best-reviewed films at this year's leading festivals are upcoming Netflix releases from acclaimed directors (Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, Noah Baumbach's Wedding Story and Fernando Meirelles' The Two Popes, to name but three). Steven Spielberg may be a big-name holdout to the streaming party, but few others seem to have such qualms.

Indeed, another A-list director, Steven Soderbergh, has already released two films on Netflix this year alone (by his prolific standards, this is about par for the course). The first, High Flying Bird, was set in the worlds of basketball and sporting agents, and now he returns with the more high profile The Laundromat, about the Central American law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers.


 Netflix's The Laundromat' is a chaotic attempt to dramatize the Panama Papers


The human rights abuses behind Erdogan and Trump's Syrian 'safe zones'

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:46:13

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the recently announced deal between the United States and Turkey concerning the Turkish invasion into northeastern Syria as a great day for civilization. In reality, the agreement officially approves Turkish control over Syrian land and subjugation of the inhabitants of the newly captured areas to the rule of undisciplined, Turkish-backed factions implicated in field executions and systematic looting.

The vague wording of Thursday's deal, supposedly entailing a five-day pause in fighting, can potentially allow Turkey to renew its offensive and attempt to take over all Kurdish-majority areas in Syria. Ankara intends to deport Syrian refugees living in Turkey into this newly conquered, unstable area, which both Turkey and the Trump administration call a safe zone.

The minor repercussions Turkey has faced as a result of its invasion two weeks ago is further testament to the devastation of human rights norms during, and as a result of, the Syrian civil war, aided and abetted by Western governments.


 The human rights abuses behind Erdogan and Trump's Syrian 'safe zones'


Pelosi says Trump 'most afraid' of Schiff as Democrats block GOP move to censure him

Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:30:30

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are afraid of the chief impeachment investigator, following a failed effort to censure him.

Pelosi said the GOP has not even tried to deny the facts of Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats. In a statement, Pelosi added a stiff defense of Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the the person of whom the President is most afraid.

She issued the statement after majority Democrats blocked a Republican effort to censure Schiff.


 Pelosi says Trump 'most afraid' of Schiff as Democrats block GOP move to censure him






US  US NO






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

tn_10-275.jpg

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