Israel News

Expanding Safe Havens For Women And Gays

Group founded by a former HIAS official focuses on refugee status for persecuted women and gays.
06/15/2011 - 20:00
Jewish Week Correspondent

Neil Grungras began realizing the world had a problem while working as an immigration lawyer in Israel and coming into contact with Palestinian gays, some of his first clients.

Neil Grungras

Queens Native Caught In Egypt Crosswinds

Parents deny Emory law student is Mossad spy.
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Egypt’s arrest of Queens native Ilan Grapel on spy allegations spurred denials from Israeli officials, family and friends, as well as speculation (in Egypt as well) that officials seized on Facebook photos of the Emory University law student from his days as an Israel Defense Forces paratrooper to pander to popular fears that the Mossad is ever-present.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Egyptian behavior “strange” and urged the Egyptian government to fix its “mistake” and put a rest to the incident.

Arabic-speaking Ilan Grapel went to Egypt to help settle African refugees. But was the IDF veteran naïve to make the trip?

Israel’s Summer Vacation Suddenly Cut Short — And Then Restored

Under pressure from travel industry and parents, education minister reverses last-minute decision to start school year early.
06/09/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — The Israeli public scored a victory over the government this week after it thwarted the Education Ministry’s plan to shorten the upcoming summer vacation.

Last week Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced that the school year would begin on Aug. 26 rather than Sept. 1 to enable students to integrate better into their studies before the start of Yom Kippur and the subsequent holiday vacation, and provide educators more time to teach about the holidays.  

Rachel Selby, a teacher and mother of a toddler, believes shortening Israel's nine-week summer vacation is educationally sound.

A 'Space' For Russians In Israel

Limmud FSU Festival features history-making cosmonaut and solidarity message for Israel's Russian speakers.
06/02/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Beersheva, Israel - Even 20 years after the end of the Cold War and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia, the fourth Limmud FSU Festival held last week in this sprawling desert city was an often mind-bending coming together of worlds that not so long ago seemed quite irreconcilable.

Space veterans Mikhail Koraiyenko, Garrett Reisman and Alexei Leonov at opening event of the Limmud FSU Festival in Beersheva

Who Will Be Included In Fatah-Hamas Cabinet?

With details expected next week, speculation over the Palestinian choice for prime minister and its potential impact on Israel.
05/31/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The new interim Palestinian cabinet expected to be announced Monday might provide an insight into just how well the rival Palestinian groups — Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip — are functioning after signing a reconciliation pact.

Salam Fayyad, the current prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Border Opening A Boon To Israel?

Clean break from Gaza could be strategic benefit of Egyptian move.
05/30/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — The initial Israeli government response to Egypt’s decision last week to open its crossing with the Gaza Strip was to stress the danger that weapons and militants would freely pass in and out of the territory controlled by Hamas.

And on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was still echoing that position during testimony before the Knesset as he accused Egypt of strengthening the Islamic militants.

Egypt’s opening of the Rafah crossing has Israel concerned about its security. getty images

‘This Country Will Never See Peace’

In Jerusalem, both Palestinians and Jews are skeptical about Obama’s latest initiative.
05/24/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Uria Nachmias wishes Israelis and Palestinians could get along as well as his dog, part bulldog, part something else, and the two-week-old kitten he just adopted.

Standing in a Jerusalem pet store as his large dog gently nuzzled the motherless black and white fur ball, Nachmias, a 25-year-old chef, expressed deep pessimism for President Barack Obama’s peace initiative.

Adnan, left, a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, and his Israeli friend Ami Cohen, who says the status quo is untenable.

‘Arab Spring’ For Palestinians New Tactic Against Israel

Mass demonstrations in West Bank could follow statehood declaration.
05/17/2011 - 20:00

Ramallah, West Bank — It has surrounded the Jewish state on all sides for months, a roiling wave from Egypt to Jordan to Syria, but this week the Arab Spring came to Israel.

The thousands of Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon who Sunday tried to surge across the border with Israel introduced a new tactic in the Palestinian struggle to reclaim what they see as their homeland. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he feared it is just the start of a new initiative that could present “far more complex challenges.”

On Israel’s Birthday, Netanyahu Calls For Unity

A disrupted torch ceremony, politicians singing duets and lots of barbecuing — just a typical Yom Ha’atzmaut.
05/09/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — As Israelis celebrated the country’s 63rd Independence Day, they had much more on their minds than barbecues and fireworks.

The carefully crafted official theme of the day, “Looking after one another — the year of mutual care,” raised the hackles of some Israelis who do not believe the state is looking after everyone.

During an Independence Day celebration, Yoel Shalit, was escorted away by security after disrupting the event. jta

Shifting Palestinian Alliances

J Street urges Israel to reserve judgment on Hamas-PA unity and put a ‘realistic’ deal on the table before September’s UN Statehood bid.
05/09/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Just back from meetings with Palestinian officials in the West Bank, the leadership of J Street began lobbying the Netanyahu and Obama administrations to “put a realistic deal on the table” that will end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. getty images
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