Sunday, May 9th 2021   |

Israel

Israel Air Force hits Hamas target in response to rocket attack

(TPS) — Gaza-based terrorists launched a rocket toward Israel on Saturday night. The rocket exploded in an open area, causing no injuries or damages.

In response, Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft struck a Hamas military post in southern Gaza.

The last rocket attacks occurred two weeks ago when terrorists fired some 45 explosive projectiles at Israeli civilian targets.

Tensions remain high as Hamas has promised a further escalation this week...

Leading Jewish Republicans differ sharply over a Biden human rights nominee

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sarah Margon, up for a top human rights role at the State Department, is the latest Biden nominee to face fierce pushback from conservatives, among them the Republican Jewish Coalition.

But at least one prominent Jewish Republican is backing Margon’s nomination. Elliott Abrams, a longtime foreign policy maven with experience in a number of Republican administrations, most recently under former President Donald Trump, has...

Jared Kushner launches peace institute to advance Abraham Accords

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Jared Kushner has launched an institute to promote his major accomplishment when he advised his father-in-law, former President Donald Trump: the normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Sunni Arab countries.

Kushner founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace with Avi Berkowitz, a friend who Kushner brought in to be the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the latter part of his father’s single...

Netanyahu declares national day of mourning as tragedy strikes during Lag B’Omer in Meron

(JNS) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a national day of mourning for Sunday over the disaster that took place at a massive Lag B’Omer gathering at the foot of Mount Meron on Friday morning.

Dozens of people were crushed to death in a stampede that broke out in the early hours on Friday, where more than 100,000 pilgrims, mostly haredi Jews, had gathered to honor Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a...

What is Israel’s Mount Meron and why were so many Orthodox Jews gathered there for the Lag B’Omer holiday?

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — “If you haven’t seen the joy of Lag B’Omer on the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, you haven’t seen joy at all,” wrote the author Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Prize laureate.

That description reflects an aspect of the annual pilgrimage to Mount Meron in northern Israel that was underlined by the deaths on Friday of at least 45 revelers in a stampede:...

JPPI survey answers questions of the numbers of pilgrims at Meron

(JERUSALEM) – In light of the tragic loss of life at Meron on Lag B’Omer, the question of how many visit the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai there has been raised.

Several newspapers have regularly reported that “hundreds of thousands” of Israelis make the pilgrimage there, but some media have reported the figure as “half a million people.”

While there is no accurate way to measure the actual numbers,...

President Rivlin spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah, others after Meron tragedy

(JERUSALEM) – President Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin spoke on the telephone today with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, who called to express his condolences on behalf of the Jordanian people following the massive loss of life and injuries sustained at Mt. Meron last night.

This is Israel’s worst civil disaster with at least 45 dead and more than 150 injured, some critically.

The president thanked the king and said...

For the first time, a woman will lead an Israeli Orthodox synagogue

(JTA) — A woman will be the spiritual leader of an Israeli Orthodox synagogue for the first time. Shirat Hatamar, a congregation in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, elected Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis, 40, as spiritual leader on Monday with the support of 83% of its membership.

“I truly hold in my heart all of the women, across all of the generations, who are greater than me, and smarter...

Netanyahu backs down on Cabinet appointment of loyalist, averting a constitutional crisis in Israel

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed down Wednesday from his attempt to install a loyalist as justice minister while he is being tried in court on corruption charges.

The last-minute decision by Netanyahu to allow his political rival Benny Gantz to assume the role of justice minister in a transitional capacity comes as the country awaits the composition of a new government following the national election in March. 

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John Kerry denies he ever talked about Israeli strikes on Syria with Iranian foreign minister

(JTA) — John Kerry, an architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, has adamantly denied that he discussed Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria with Iran’s foreign minister.

“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false,” Kerry said Monday on Twitter following reports of a leaked taped conversation with Javad Zarif. “This never happened — either when I was secretary of state or...