(JTA) — Renowned Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim will present a “peace concert” in the Gaza Strip.
Barenboim will direct an organization of 25 European musicians on Tuesday, the French news agency AFP reported. The so-called “Orchestra for Gaza” was announced Monday by the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.
(JTA) — Israel's Supreme Court has postponed the date that former President Moshe Katsav must begin serving his prison sentence on rape and sexual assault convictions.
Katsav had been scheduled to enter prison May 8 to serve a seven-year sentence, but the court granted a delay Tuesday following his appeal the previous day. The court set a May 11 date to hear a final appeal by Katsav's attorneys.
The conviction was handed down in the Tel Aviv District Court in December.
(JTA) — An Australian citizen was arrested by Israel and charged with spying for Hamas.
Iaad Rashid Abu Arja, 46, a computer expert, was indicted in Petach Tikvah District Court last week, accused of being recruited by the banned Islamic organization.
Israeli prosecutors allege that Arja, who holds dual Australian and Saudi citizenship, was asked to provide intelligence and surveillance information on key technology companies in Israel. He also holds a Jordanian passport.
(JTA) — A man suspected of setting a fire in a Southern California synagogue is facing 19 felony charges of burglary and arson.
Dmitry Sheyko, 21, is in custody in Los Angeles, charged with the April 14 fire at Temple Israel of Hollywood, according to The Associated Press. He is charged as well with breaking into several homes near Beverly Hills.
Sheyko, who has pleaded not guilty, is being held on $3 million bail. A hearing is set for May 2.
(JTA) — The nephew of an Israeli government minister was killed and at least four men were injured during a visit to Joseph's Tomb near the West Bank city of Nablus.
Ben-Joseph Livnat, 25, a father of four from Jerusalem and the nephew of Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat of the ruling Likud Party, was among a group of 15 Breslov Chasidim who arrived early Sunday morning in three cars to worship at the site, which is holy to Jews and is located in West Bank territory under Palestinian control.
(JTA) — President Obama should free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard if he wants Jews to re-elect him to the White House, Israel's chief rabbi said.
Yonah Metzger, Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, during a Shabbat sermon at Jerusalem's Jeshurun Synagogue called on Obama to prove he is a friend of Israel “and immediately free Jonathan Pollard before applying pressure to advance diplomatic initiatives.”
He threatened that American Jews would not help re-elect Obama if he did not grant Pollard clemency.
(JTA) — Helen Thomas, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer are scheduled to speak at a pro-Palestinian conference aiming to counter AIPAC’s annual gathering.
A coalition of about 100 leftist and pro-Palestinian groups, led by Code Pink and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, will run “Move Over AIPAC” in Washington from May 21 to 24, coinciding with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.