Israel

‘Cultural Intifada’ as Costello, Meg Ryan and Others Cancel Israel Plans

07/12/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Actress Meg Ryan's decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello when he nixed his Israel concert this spring.

Both, however, were a reminder to Israelis that in the eyes of much of the world, Israel’s politics and culture are inseparable.

One Haircut Away from Love: A Single Gal Gets a Do-Over

If there is a word for falling in love with your therapist, what’s the word for falling for your hair stylist?

Because that was exactly what went down today at a salon stuck smack dab in the middle of a very kitschy, very loud, very Israeli mall in Jerusalem.

And by “loud” I mean it’s the chofesh hagadol, as they say here, which is another way of saying, the kids have been let out of school and if you thought it was loud before, you ain't heard nothing yet.

Knesset Committee Approves Conversion Reform Bill

07/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Knesset committee approved a new draft of a conversion reform bill, angering non-Orthodox Jewish movements.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday approved the bill in a 5-4 vote, clearing its path to the Knesset floor. The bill must pass three readings and votes before it can be approved. Likud Party committee members were absent from the vote.

The Presbyterians, Israel and the value of community relations

In a world where Israel has fewer and fewer friends, Jewish groups here increasingly face a choice: do they treat Israel's critics as implacable adversaries? Or do they look for ways to work with some critics and perhaps change their mind on some issues?

Increasingly, muscular pro-Israel groups take the first approach; the second, which defines  the whole Jewish community relations movement, is in disfavor in many Jewish circles.

Presbyterians Approve Softer Middle East Report, Reject Divestment

07/09/2010

The Presbyterian Church (USA) severely modified a report by its Middle East Study Committee widely seen as anti-Israel, rejected calls for divestment from Israel and gave a conditional okay to Israel's Gaza blockade.

But the report approved by a 558-119 vote at the Church's General Assembly in Minneapolis also called for linking U.S. aid to Israel to an end of settlement expansion.

In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Washington summit, Israel and the Palestinians should:

Young Jewish Innovators Gather in Israel

07/05/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Some 120 young Jewish innovators have gathered in Israel for a global summit.

The ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators, which began Sunday and runs four days, has brought together Jewish business and social entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers and artists from all over the world to discuss how to strengthen Jewish education and identity, Jewish arts and culture, environmental responsibility, and tikkun olam, repair of the world.

Presbyterian Church working to undercut Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts?

If the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is meeting in Minneapolis this week, really cares about peace in the region it will soundly reject the latest report by its Middle East Study Committee.

This isn't about the frustrating search for some way to end the Middle East conflict; it's about a handful of determined Church activists with a serious grudge against the Jewish state, who don't much care that their churlish activism in the guise of religious morality is just making peace harder to attain.

Saudi - American 'friendship': are you kidding?

Ha'aretz ran this headline the other day: “Saudi king assures Obama of commitment to two-state Mideast solution” – and I was happy, since I needed a good laugh.

Poll: Arab States Back Tougher Iran Sanctions

06/20/2010

BERLIN (JTA) -- Several Arab countries strongly favor tougher sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, a new poll shows.

Respondents in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon were among the most supportive of such sanctions, according to the ninth annual Pew Global Attitudes Project released Thursday in Berlin and Washington. Most countries favored a tough stance on Iran, with only Pakistan and India disagreeing.

The survey of 25,000 individuals in 22 countries was completed in May, and was co-sponsored by the German-based Bertelsmann Foundation.

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