Sunday, May 9th 2021   |

Israel

Biden’s new slate of aid to Palestinians comes under intense scrutiny

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A number of pro-Israel groups, Israeli officials and Republicans in Congress are stepping up their scrutiny of the Biden administration’s plans to resume funding for the Palestinian Authority and other groups aiding Palestinians.

In the past two weeks, the Biden administration has rolled out pledges to deliver $75 million in assistance to Palestinian areas; $40 million for security assistance to the Palestinian Authority; $150...

Netanyahu again tapped to form Israeli government without clear path to majority

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu has again been chosen to lead Israel’s next government following an election that did not deliver a majority to the prime minister or his rivals.

Netanyahu, who has served as prime minister for more than a decade, does not have a clear path to assembling a majority coalition in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset. But he received the support of 52 lawmakers, more...

Who is Mansour Abbas, the Arab-Israeli who could hold the key to Israel’s next government?

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Following yet another Israeli election, voters are getting to know an unlikely kingmaker: Mansour Abbas, an Arab-Israeli lawmaker who might be the one to break Israel’s two-year political stalemate.

Abbas, head of the United Arab List political party, is not the kind of politician who usually wields power in the Jewish state. He’s an Islamist who has more in common ideologically with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood...

State Department revives use of ‘occupied,’ with caveats

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden’s State Department has revived the use of the term “occupied,” but with caveats noting Trump administration changes in policy.

In 2018, the State Department stripped “occupation” and “occupied” from the sections of its annual human rights report dealing with Israel and Palestinian areas at the behest of David Friedman, then-President Donald Trump’s ambassador, who has ties to the settlement movement. Under...

Biden administration formally resumes assistance to Palestinians with $15 million in COVID aid

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Biden administration formally relaunched U.S. assistance to the Palestinians with $15 million in COVID relief.

The money, which will go to nongovernmental institutions distributing medical care and food assistance in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, reverses Trump administration policies of all but cutting off aid to the Palestinians, fulfilling a pledge Joe Biden made as a presidential candidate.

By distributing the money to nongovernmental groups,...

Israeli cargo ship hit by missile near Yemen in suspected Iranian attack

(JTA) — An Israeli-owned cargo ship was struck by a missile in the Arabian Sea in a suspected Iranian attack, an Israeli security official said.

The ship was sailing from Tanzania to India and continued its voyage after the attack Thursday, the official told Reuters. He was not named.

The vessel, which is owned by the XT Management firm from Haifa, was flying a Liberian flag and did not sustain...

It’s official: Gilad Kariv will be the first Reform rabbi in Israel’s parliament

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — On Tuesday night, after Israeli TV stations broadcast the first exit polls from the country’s elections, a rabbi who had just won a seat in parliament tweeted out a traditional blessing of thanks, called the “Shehechiyanu.”

“Blessed are you, Hashem, our God, ruler of the universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this day,” wrote the rabbi, Gilad Kariv....

Initial Israeli exit polls shows Netanyahu has path to sixth term as prime minister

(JNS.org) – Initial exit polls from Israel’s national election on Tuesday indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with support from his right-wing bloc—if the Yamina Party is included—would have a narrow Knesset majority, giving the Israeli leader an unprecedented sixth term in office.

Exit polls show Netanyahu’s Likud winning 31 to 33 seats, with his wider right-wing bloc of around 53 to 54 seats. While this is short...

AJPA holds post-election reveal with Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman

Jerusalem Post Chief of Strategy, Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman brought in the latest exit poll data from Israel late Tuesday night as CCJN editor Alan Smason conducted an interview with her. This was the fourth Israeli election in the last two years and, as had occurred in the previous three elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have a solid lead of between 30 and 32 seats in the Knesset for his...

Israel’s first Black Cabinet member knows the aliyah struggle. It’s why she kept immigration open during COVID.

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — To immigrate to Israel from Ethiopia, Pnina Tamano-Shata’s family had to trek on foot through the desert to Sudan in the middle of a famine.

Later, the truck bringing her mother and two of her sisters to the airfield broke down. It wasn’t until the plane doors closed that Tamano-Shata realized that they would not be traveling with her, her father and the rest of...