Thursday, October 29th 2020   |

Israel

Sinai border attack seen as test in Egypt-Israel relations

By MARCY OSTER

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The attack this week along the Israel-Egypt border poses dilemmas both for Israel and for the new Egyptian president. Should Israel accede to pressure to modify its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt and allow more Egyptian troops into the Sinai to quell the unrest there?

For Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, will his crackdown on militancy in the Sinai be seen...

Barak orders haredi conscription

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli Defense Forces to draft haredi Orthodox men as it does other Jewish Israelis. Barak has allowed a month for officials to formulate regulations on haredi conscription, according to reports.The order came as the Tal Law, which allowed haredi men to defer army service, expired on Wednesday. Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the law in February.

Israeli law mandates that...

Romney visit reveals falling visibility of Palestinian issue

By BEN SALES

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Mitt Romney’s policy speech in Israel covered plenty of bases: The presumptive Republican presidential candidate spoke about the status of Jerusalem, the threat of a nuclear Iran, the “tumult” of the Arab Spring and the “enduring shared values” that bedrock the U.S.-Israel relationship. But there was one topic that gained little attention: Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. The word “Palestinian” did not appear once...

Knesset’s Danny Danon: unapologetic Israeli nationalism

By URIEL HEILMAN

JERUSALEM (JTA) – If there’s one thing Danny Danon doesn’t do, it’s shy away from controversy. Danon, a deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset and chairman of World Likud, has come under fire for describing African migrants in Israel as a “national plague,” for hosting controversial U.S. TV personality Glenn Beck at the Knesset and for demanding government investigations of left-wing NGOs.

Though Danon is in his first...

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyasiv, leader of haredi community, dies at 102

By MATI WAGNER

JERUSALEM (JTA) — In an age of sound bites and celebrity seekers, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who died Wednesday at age 102, represented a world apart. The head of the Lithuanian haredi Orthodox community in Israel, Elyashiv was a Torah sage who shunned the limelight, dedicating himself single-mindedly to the pursuit of Torah study.

The Lithuania-born Elyashiv, a reluctant leader largely lacking in charisma, was elevated to his...

Israel political constellation realigns as Kadima quits government

By URIEL HEILMAN

(JTA) – For the second time in just two months, the Israeli political universe was upended when Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima Party voted to quit Israel’s governing coalition. Kadima’s departure, the result of a breakdown in negotiations over reforming Israel’s military draft law to include haredi Orthodox Jews, shatters the 94-seat super-majority that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controlled in the 120-seat Knesset. It also raises questions for the future...

Obama administration raps Israeli settlements report

(JTA) — The Obama administration criticized an Israeli panel finding that West Bank settlements are legal under international law. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters Monday evening in answer to a question about the Levy Committee report. Ventrell added that the State Department is “concerned about it, obviously.”

U.S....

SEEKING KIN: A Changing of the Genealogy Guard in Israel

By HILLEL KUTTLER

BALTIMORE (JTA) — Yitzhak Mann’s brother-in-law reached Israel in 1950 a broken man, his life in Belgium shattered. His wife, daughters and many other kin were murdered in the Holocaust, so in Israel he searched for his lone surviving relative. The brother-in-law submitted his own name to the radio program “Hamador L’chipus Krovim” (Searching for Relatives Bureau) for broadcast. Yitzhak Mann listened that day. The men soon were...

Haaretz reporter accepts plea bargain

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Uri Blau, the Haaretz journalist who accepted classified documents from an Israeli soldier, has agreed to a plea bargain. Under the deal announced Thursday, Blau reportedly will admit to holding secret intelligence without intent to harm national security and his four-month prison sentence will be commuted to community service. He had faced up to seven years in prison on charges of “severe espionage,” which means that he...

Shamir remembered as mute, but resolute

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When Yitzhak Shamir was Israel’s prime minister, he liked to point American visitors to a gift he received when he retired as director of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. It was a depiction of the famed three monkeys: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

“He didn’t say anything,” recalled Dov Zakheim, then a deputy undersecretary of defense in the Reagan administration....