Zubin Mehta conducts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for final time as music director

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Conductor Zubin Mehta conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for the final time as its musical director.

Mehta, 83, performed with the Orchestra on Sunday evening in Tel Aviv and was honored with an extended standing ovation. Members of the orchestra threw flowers on the conductor and his...
Continue Reading ⇒

Rivlin to task Gantz with forming government in official handover

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will officially ask Benny Gantz to form a government.

Rivlin will give the mandate to Gantz, head of the Blue and White faction, on Wednesday evening at the President’s office in Jerusalem, a statement from Rivlin’s office said.

The charge comes after the...
Continue Reading ⇒

Benny Gantz declines Netanyahu invite into ‘broad unity government’

(JTA) — In the latest twist in Israel’s ongoing leadership struggle, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited his chief rival, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, to join him in a “broad unity government.”

Gantz declined.

In a video posted to Facebook on Thursday morning, Netanyahu said he presented Gantz...
Continue Reading ⇒

Trump’s ‘impulsive’ decision to leave Syria undermines Israel’s interests, according to experts


( – The abrupt decision by U.S. President Donald Trump last week to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria has led to a major foreign-policy crisis in the region and worldwide.

Equally as important are the changing roles of Syria, Turkey, Russia, Iran and Israel in the immediate area....
Continue Reading ⇒

Netanyahu requests pardon from Putin for Israeli-American woman jailed in Russia

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent an official request to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon an Israeli-American woman sentenced in Russia to 7 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of smuggling marijuana into the country.

The request submitted on Sunday to pardon Naama Issachar, 26, and...
Continue Reading ⇒

Palestinian Authority will accept tax money collected for it by Israel

The Palestinian Authority agreed to again accept tax money collected on its behalf by Israel, after it stopped taking the revenue several months ago.

The Palestinians had stopped accepting the money in February, after Israel said it would not distribute part of the revenues, amounting to more than $138 million, because...
Continue Reading ⇒

Netanyahu-Liberman meeting makes no progress toward forming coalition government

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman, who prevented Netanyahu from forming a coalition government following elections in April, lasted for less than an hour and failed to make progress toward forming a unity government.

“Netanyahu offered Lieberman to join the government as soon...
Continue Reading ⇒

Demi Lovato apologizes to fans offended by her Israel visit

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Demi Lovato had gushed about her “magical” visit to Israel, saying she felt a “sense of spirituality” there.

Now the 27-year-old pop star and actress is apologizing to those who may have been offended by her trip.

In Israel, Lovato made three posts earlier this week on...
Continue Reading ⇒

Israeli diplomats around the world go on strike

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The employees of Israel’s foreign and defense ministries around the world have gone on strike.

The strike means that there are no consular services both in Israel and abroad. It also means that all border crossings between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza are closed, Ynet...
Continue Reading ⇒

There are now more than 9 million people living in Israel

(JTA) — There are now 9.092 million people living in Israel.

The country’s Central Bureau of Statistics released the number in its annual report ahead of the Jewish new year, which starts on Sunday evening.

The total represents an increase of 184,00 people, or 2.1 percent, since last Rosh Hashanah....
Continue Reading ⇒