Israel News

Has The ‘Tough Love’ Rebbe Gone Too Far?

Rav Aharon Bina has headed a popular Jerusalem yeshiva for diaspora students for many years. But charges of emotional abuse continue to dog him.
01/23/2012 - 19:00

For those in the Modern Orthodox community who send their sons to yeshivas in Israel for a year or two of post-high school study, it’s long been an open secret that Rav Aharon Bina, rosh hayeshiva of Netiv Aryeh in the Old City of Jerusalem, has a unique — many say bizarre — pedagogical style.

Supporters call it “tough love”; critics call it abuse.

Israeli Planes Attack Gaza Sites

01/23/2012 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Air Force attacked terrorist sites in the Gaza Strip.

The targets hit after midnight on Monday night included a weapons manufacturing site in central Gaza, two terror tunnels in northern Gaza, and a third terror tunnel in southern Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The attacks were in response to several rockets fired at southern Israeli communities in recent days, the IDF said. Six rockets have been fired into southern Israel from Gaza in the last week.

The Mossad Vs. Ahmadinejad?

While most Israelis see covert war as the preferred method for stopping Iranian nukes, some question its effectiveness.
01/16/2012 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — “Everyone knows that we’re behind this and we should be proud!”

The comment appeared on the Facebook page of the Israeli Defense Forces’ chief spokesperson following the assassination last week of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Despite the usual silence from Israeli officials, the quip reflected the widely held consensus that Israel’s Mossad was responsible for the hit.

Assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan.

U.S. Artists Confront Israel’s Complexities

First cohort at American Academy in Jerusalem gets lessons in Jewish state’s culture and tensions.
01/09/2012 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When Donald Byrd, a Tony-nominated choreographer (“The Color Purple,” “Harlem Nutcracker”) worked with Jewish and Arab dancers in Israel four years ago, he learned that relations between Israelis and Palestinians are a lot more complicated than they seem from the outside.

But it wasn’t until last fall, during Byrd’s most recent sojourn here, that he learned just how charged relations within the country’s Jewish community could be. 

Donald Byrd’s “Maybe a Genesis,” about the biblical Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. Michal Fattal

‘Jerusalem Is Becoming A Ghost Town’

Lack of affordable housing, aggravated by foreign purchases, squeezing middle class; Tel Aviv to double tax on empty units.
01/02/2012 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Molly Livingstone and David Tanami, a young couple in Jerusalem, were forced to move from the tree-lined neighborhood of Katamon to Armon Hanatziv (East Talpiot), a far-cheaper neighborhood next to a couple of Arab villages, this summer, after their landlord, who’d already raised the rent by 25 percent, demanded another big price hike. 

When Livingstone, a 28-year-old mother who works in public relations, began her search for an affordable, centrally located alternative, it turned into a mission impossible.

Molly Livingstone, with her son.

Jordan Tries A Jump Shot

King Abdullah brings Israelis and Palestinians to the table, but expectations are lower than ever.
01/02/2012 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israeli and Palestinian negotiation envoys met for the first time this week in more than a year, but the expectations on both sides for any substantive breakthrough in the coming months have never been lower.

Normally, the first direct meeting of the sides since September 2010 would be considered a breakthrough in itself. And King Abdullah of Jordan’s decision to host talks in Amman for the first time is also a new development.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

In Beit Shemesh, Modesty Wars

Report of haredi extremists attacking schoolgirls spurs protests, promises of government crackdown.
12/26/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

An estimated 10,000 people took to the streets of Beit Shemesh, a community between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Tuesday night to protest the actions of ultra-Orthodox extremist activists who are terrorizing students in the city’s Orthodox girls school Orot. 

Israelis on Tuesday protest gender segregation and violence against women by some ultra-Orthodox men. getty images

Amid Settler Crackdown, Hilltop Town And Its Yeshiva Still Defiant

As new anti-vigilante measures take hold, officials in Yitzhar increasingly in the government’s cross-hairs.
12/19/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Yitzhar, West Bank — “Revenge junction,” reads the graffiti scrawled on a road sign marking the turnoff to this mountaintop Jewish settlement. It is perhaps a telling welcome to a town and local yeshiva considered by Israel’s government as a nest of young, radical right-wing vigilantes.

In the week since an Israeli military base was attacked and Palestinians were stoned by dozens of settlement sympathizers, Israelis have been up in arms amid allegations of growing lawlessness among hard-line Jewish settlements and the smaller outposts.

The Od Yosef Chai seminary in Yitzhar.

Israeli Committee Chair: Protests Will ‘Play Out Very Strongly’ In Elections

Tel Aviv economist Manuel Trajtenberg says he has ‘translated the clamor of the people’ into ‘a language that government can do something about.’
12/12/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The half-million middle-class Israelis who took to the streets calling for social justice last summer will be a force to reckon with in next year’s election even as some of the demanded changes are implemented.

That was the view of Manuel Trajtenberg, a Tel Aviv economist and chairman of a committee that released a 270-page report in September that he said “translated the clamor of the people into a language that government can do something about.”

Manuel Trajtenberg.

Only 126 Shopping Days Until Yom HaShoah

The attack on Manny’s bookstore in Jerusalem by modern-day ‘zealots,’ and what you can do about it.
12/12/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Chanukah is almost upon us, the beloved Festival of Lights, that special weeklong holiday whereupon we celebrate the second century BCE victory of the Jewish zealots of Judea over the Jewish secularists of Judea, and give our children iPods, Legos and Nerf guns to commemorate our inexhaustible capacity for internecine violence and stupidity. But some other Jewish zealots — modern zealots — recently enjoyed another victory, a huge victory, just one month ago, a victory that I believe is worth noting.

The Sikrikim in action. The haredi group is accused of vandalizing a Jerusalem bookstore because it carries English translations
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