Israel news

Dead Sea scrolls to go on Google archive

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2010

The Dead Sea scrolls will soon be available to anyone with an internet connection.

Search engine Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority have revealed plans for an online archive of the scrolls, which number around 900.

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Mike Leigh cancels Israel visit over 'conscience'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 18, 2010

Mike Leigh has cancelled a trip to Israel in protest at the controversial loyalty oath bill.

The British Jewish film director said he had been stupid and naïve to agree to teach a master class at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School and that he had no choice but to let his audience down.

He said: “I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming.”

Mr Leigh was due to visit in November and receive an honorary fellowship award from the school, as well as speak in Haifa and Tel Aviv and to Palestinian filmmakers in the West Bank.

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Ahmadinejad at Israel-Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, October 14, 2010

Israeli officials have criticised a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon's border with Israel.

Mr Ahmadinejad addressed thousands at a stadium in Bin Jbeil on Lebanon’s southern border, an area of the country where Tehran-backed terrorist organisation hizbollah is a key influence.

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Analysis: Rage over 'racist' law is misplaced

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2010

The newly amended Citizenship Law, approved by the cabinet on Sunday and requiring all foreign non-Jewish citizens wishing to become Israeli to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, is polarising opinion in Israel and across the world.

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Netanyahu needs this peace deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing the ground for a possible centrist coalition, if a resumption of talks with Palestinian Authority and an extension of the settlement freeze cause a major crisis within his government.

Another week has gone by without a decision by Mr Netanyahu on the future of the settlement freeze, now at the centre of Palestinian conditions for continuing direct peace talks.

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Hamas 'target journalists' in Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

Hamas has closed down the offices of the Palestinian Journalists Union in the Gaza Strip.

Members of the terrorist organisation raided the Fatah-dominated union’s headquarters and announced that it would be closed until further notice.

Abdelnasser al-Najar, the head of the union, said more than 20 media organisations had been shut down since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

He said this was the latest in a series of "violations of the rights of the media".

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Pamela Anderson to judge Israeli reality show

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

Pamela Anderson is to appear in an Israeli reality show.

The Baywatch star, 43, has been named as one of the judges on the new series of Israel’s Dancing with the Stars series.

Ms Anderson, who was one of the judges on the American version of the series, will also perform as a guest dancer.

She is expected to earn several thousand dollars from the appearances.

A spokesman for Israeli TV channel Reshet said: “The new season is the biggest and most grandiose yet."

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Netanyahu to Abbas: recognise Israel for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

Benajmin Netanyahu has offered to halt construction in the West Bank if the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

The Israeli prime minister said that the Middle East conflict “will never end” unless the Palestinians agree to this.

A ten-month-long freeze on settlement construction expired last month. Talks between Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas have stalled in the wake of this.

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Israel divided over loyalty bill

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

A controversial bill requiring Israel’s non-Jewish citizens to swear loyalty to the "Jewish and democratic" state has been approved by the cabinet.

It was passed by 22 votes to eight and will now face a vote in Israel’s Knesset.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The state of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people and is a democratic state in which all its citizens - Jews and non-Jews - enjoy full equal rights.

“Whoever wants to join us has to recognise us."

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Jewish boat passenger as Jewish as 'pork chop'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 8, 2010

A German woman who took part in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza pretended to be Jewish in order to take part.

According to Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Edith Lutz may not have formally converted to Judaism.

Ms Lutz was part of the Jewish boat that attempted to sail to Gaza last week. The boat, named the Irene, was intercepted by the Israeli navy and redirected to Ashdod.

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