Israel News

For The Love Of Israel?

J Street, the Knesset and the limits of dissent.
03/21/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

This week’s hearings by a Knesset committee on the question of whether J Street is the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization it claims to be could further damage the group’s stature among U.S. lawmakers already nervous about a series of mistakes that have hurt the group after three years of spectacular growth.

But an equally dramatic result could be the further estrangement of younger American Jews from a Jewish state that seems to be raising the bar for what constitutes “pro-Israel.”

Knesset member Otniel Schneller, above, and J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami to face off.

Katsav Sentencing Shows Israeli Leaders Not Above Law

Former president gets seven years for rape, sexual assault; ‘it’s all lies,’ he says.
03/21/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav’s sentence to prison on rape and sexual assault convictions shows that not even the country’s leaders are above the law, Israeli leaders stressed.

A panel of three Tel Aviv District Court judges on Tuesday sentenced Katsav to seven years in jail and ordered him to pay compensation to his victims. The sentence came nearly five years after he was first accused.

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav leaving a Tel Aviv courthouse Tuesday after receiving a seven-year sentence. JTA

Can Hamas and PA Bury The Hatchet?

Despite moves toward unity, extremists seen unlikely to give Abbas power in Gaza.
03/21/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — For a moment last week in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians became heady with visions of unity.

After thousands of youths turned out in the squares of the Palestinian territories draped in flags and raising posters calling for an end to the feud between the two main political factions, President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas seemed headed for a détente consecrated at a Gaza Strip summit.

“God has answered my prayers,” said Palestinian oil and gas tycoon Munib Masri, a member of the Palestine Legislative Council.

Palestinian youth demonstrators calling for unity at Manara Square in Ramallah last week.

Netanyahu Says He ‘Regrets’ Hitting Palestinian Civilians

03/21/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he regretted the accidental killing of four members of a Palestinian family in their Gaza home by Israeli tank fire.

Netanyahu in a statement Tuesday from the Prime Minister's Office emphasized that the shooting was in response to fire by Hamas at Israeli citizens.

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav Sentenced to Prison

03/21/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of rape and sexual assault, was sentenced to seven years in jail and ordered to pay compensation to two of his victims.

A panel of three Tel Aviv District Court judges handed down the sentence Tuesday, nearly five years after he was first accused.

Katsav, 65, reportedly began sobbing after the verdict was read and then yelled out several times, interrupting the judges, saying "It's all lies," "the sentence is a mistake" and "it's not true."

Israel Strikes Gaza, Retaliating for Rocket Barrage

03/20/2011 - 20:00

(JTA) -- Israeli combat planes pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the worst barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israel in two years.

The French news agency AFP and Israel Radio reported repeated strikes on the strip late Monday night.

Israel Radio said that there were reports from Palestinian sources of 17 wounded. The army was not responding to the reports, the radio said.

Palin Set to Meet Netanyahu

03/20/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Potential 2012 presidential contender Sarah Palin is scheduled to have dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on her second and last day in Israel.

Palin will dine with Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on Monday before returning to the United States.

"As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel," Palin said in a statement on her official SarahPAC website.

Itamar Attacks Put Bibi In Bind

Angry settlers make new demands in wake of brutal killings.
03/14/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

 Itamar, West Bank — Just inside the entrance to this settlement where Ruth and Udi Fogel and three of their children were stabbed to death late Friday night, a sign reads: “The government destroys settlements, and the Arabs murder Jews.”

It’s a message that reflects the feeling of political and physical vulnerability among the Jewish settlers, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government resists international calls for a settlement freeze.

Friends and family mourn at the funeral of the Fogel family. getty images

Knesset Hearings on J Street Up Ante in Debate About ‘Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace’ Lobby

03/14/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Is turnabout fair play when Israel examines the critics who would examine its actions?

Groups on the Jewish left expressed outrage last week after the Knesset subcommittee on public diplomacy voted to convene hearings on J Street, the Washington-based lobby that calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace.”

The hearing is set to take place next week, and J Street director Jeremy Ben-Ami and Davidi Gilo, an American Israeli who is a major funder of the group, have agreed to testify.

Israel seizes ship carrying weapons for Gaza

03/14/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Navy intercepted a ship bound for Egypt that the military says was smuggling weapons for use by terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.

The Liberian-flagged cargo ship "Victoria" was seized on Tuesday, in the Mediterranean Sea 200 miles west of Israel.

"The various weaponry on-board the vessel was intended for the use of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement

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