Israeli president questions plans to evacuate elderly from hospital

(JERUSALEM) – Israel’s president, Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin, today, March 29,  questioned Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to evacuate elderly and frail patients from hospital wards around the country as a means of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

The president stressed in his conversations that he...
Continue Reading ⇒

Why did Benny Gantz join forces with Benjamin Netanyahu?


(JTA) — One of the crazier weeks in Israeli politics in recent memory ended on a fittingly dramatic note: Benny Gantz, the former army chief who came close to unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three straight elections, laid down his proverbial arms.

Gantz will join a...
Continue Reading ⇒

The coronavirus hasn’t stopped immigration to Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Aviva Karoly, an attorney originally from Queens, New York, and her husband, Tzvi, were raised in religious Zionist homes and always dreamed of living in Israel.

In preparation, the couple had sent their 6-year old son Adi to a Hebrew-speaking preschool. They also put...
Continue Reading ⇒

3 Israelis die of COVID-19 on Thursday

(TPS) – Three Israelis died of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) on Thursday, as the number of patients in the country grew to 2,666.

The Wolfson Medical Center announced that a 91-year-old woman passed away.

“The staff of the department fought for her life by all means for long days and nights,...
Continue Reading ⇒

Benny Gantz takes Knesset speaker post as his prime minister hopes break down


JERUSALEM (JTA) — As his Blue and White party was on the verge of breaking up, its leader, Benny Gantz, was elected speaker of the Israeli Knesset on Thursday evening.

Gantz has been tasked with forming a coalition government following elections earlier this month, Israel’s third vote...
Continue Reading ⇒

Iconic open-air markets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv closed because of coronavirus

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Popular open-air markets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv reportedly were closed by police after the Israeli government decided to tighten the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

The Carmel Market in Tel Aviv was ordered closed by police shortly after stalls opened for business, Israel’s Channel 12 reported, even as...
Continue Reading ⇒

Gantz and Netanyahu break off talks of a unity government that would include both of them

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz, who has been tasked with assembling a coalition government, said Thursday that it has broken off talks with Likud on a unity government without reaching an agreement.

“Contact with the Likud negotiating team has been terminated this evening,”...
Continue Reading ⇒

Arab-Israeli parties just recommended Benny Gantz to be prime minister. Here’s why that’s historic.


(JTA) — Amid all the justifiable focus on the coronavirus and its consequences, there was major political news in Israel this week: Benny Gantz, the Blue and White party leader, was tapped by the president to assemble a government coalition — bringing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closer...
Continue Reading ⇒

Trump and Netanyahu have handled the coronavirus outbreak in totally different ways. Here’s why.


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have much in common when it comes to policy and style.

They stand together in recommending tough action to contain Iran, and are comfortable dealing with autocracies (Saudi Arabia) and increasingly nationalist democracies (Hungary, India). Netanyahu has fervently embraced...
Continue Reading ⇒

Rabbi asks worshippers not to kiss stones of the Western Wall

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The rabbi of the Western Wall and other holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, called on worshippers not to kiss the stones to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

The request came after consultations between Rabinowitz and the Health Ministry about required hygiene practices, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said...
Continue Reading ⇒