Israel News

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

Orthodox Convert Nixed On Aliyah

Conversion by NY rabbi rejected by Chief Rabbinate in defiance of earlier agreement on immigration.
12/12/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — In an apparent about-face on a deal hammered out earlier this year among Israel’s Interior Ministry, the Jewish Agency and the Chief Rabbinate, an Orthodox convert whose conversion took place in New York was threatened with expulsion from Israel, The Jewish Week has learned.

Seth Farber

Israelis Stung By Official U.S. Criticism

Are comments by Panetta, Clinton and envoy a problem for Obama?
12/05/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — A cartoon in the newspaper Yisrael Hayom shows three men in white robes standing in a street in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. They are staring at two signs: one says “Women” with an arrow pointing left, the other “Men” with an arrow pointing right.

Seeing the robed men on their street, one chasid tells another, “The Muslim Brotherhood has come here to learn from us.”

Egypt Votes, Israel Frets

Fear of Muslim Brotherhood’s influence balanced by sense that peace treaty will hold.
11/28/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israelis watched elections in Egypt with the same ambivalence it has viewed the Arab Spring: historic images of Egyptians casting ballots for the first time were accompanied by troubling commentary by officials and analysts that the election is likely to empower an Islamist leadership that is more hostile to the Jewish state.

The anticipated victory by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic parties is expected to further complicate the 32-year-old peace between the neighbors, while boosting political Islam in neighboring Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Egyptians cast votes this week in a historic election, but one that leaves Israel anxious. getty images

Can Tel Aviv Become A Center For Fashion?

Inaugural Tel Aviv Fashion Week has industry observers wondering.
11/28/2011 - 19:00

Tel Aviv — For Israeli fashionistas, last week’s inaugural Tel Aviv Fashion Week proved what they’ve known for years: Israeli fashion is creative, current and worthy of worldwide attention — and, hopefully, sales.

“I wanted to help my business and help my country,” said organizer Ofir Lev, deputy CEO of the Israel Textile and Fashion Association and a former model. “I wanted to show that there is fashion and creativity in Israel.”

Israeli designer Dorit Bar Or, acknowledging applause with models at the close of her show at Tel Aviv Fashion Week.

Will Hamas And The PA Put Aside Their Differences

Israeli pundits skeptical unity will last, especially with pressure from U.S. and Jordan.
11/21/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority may announce this week that they have overcome differences that delayed implementation last May of a new unity government, but Israeli analysts doubt the rapprochement will last.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets in Ramallah with Jordan’s King Abdullah.Getty Images

Israel Shifting Tone On Iran

After threats of an attack, a change as the rhetoric softens this week.
11/14/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

After much saber rattling about possible military action to halt Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, Israeli officials have changed tactics following the release of a report on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. 

“Now we’re not seeing talk of unilateral action but a call for a broader approach,” said Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University.

Abbas Stands At A New Crossroads

Will additional UN moves do more damage than good for the PA president?
11/14/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — For months the Palestinian Authority rode a wave of international anticipation over its bid for United Nations statehood recognition and the possibility of domestic protest. The mere mention of “September,” the timing of the UN General Assembly, was enough to make Israeli politicians uncomfortable.

Abbas: His next move carries great risks. Getty Images
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