Israel news

Revolution in the Israeli army

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 28, 2010

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi is widely credited with putting Israel's military back on an operational footing after the Second Lebanon War. But when he ends his military career in five months' time, he may be remembered for an altogether more profound change in Israeli society.

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Rabbis hit out at Christian funding for Holocaust centre

By Nathan Jeffay, September 28, 2010

Leading Israeli rabbis are furious that a new residential facility for Holocaust survivors is being funded by evangelical Christians.

Last Sunday dignitaries and politicians attended the opening of the largest assisted-living facility for destitute Holocaust survivors in Israel.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, an umbrella organisation for evangelical groups, donated NIS 3 million (£517,000) to local non-Christian charity Yad Ezer L'Haver so that it could expand a 15-resident facility to accommodate 80 survivors.

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Comment: Areas left by Israel still mostly empty

By Moeen Elhelou, September 28, 2010

Just over five years after the Israelis left the Gaza Strip, the area they evacuated is practically unrecognisable. There is no evidence left at all that 8,000 Jews ever lived there. The rubble from the settlers' houses destroyed by the Israelis before they left has long been cleared. The al Toufah checkpoint near Khan Yunis in the south is ancient history.

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Analysis: Can Gaza be part of a peace deal?

By Nathan Jeffay, September 28, 2010

Say the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian talks suddenly came good. All issues are resolved, borders are set, and leaders from both sides sign on the dotted line. What then?

More specifically with whom, exactly, will Israel have reached an agreement? Binyamin Netanyahu's negotiating partner is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He is negotiating for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, where 2.5 million Palestinians live, and Gaza, where there are 1.5 million - but there's a problem.

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Hamas ups terror to prove it is relevant

September 28, 2010

Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are all uneasy allies with one another but one thing the three administrations have now in common is an enemy - Hamas.

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Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne tour Jerusalem

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

The Western Wall and other tourist spots in Jerusalem have made a “great impression” on heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne.

The singer, in Israel for the Tel Aviv leg of his OzzFest tour, spent a day touring around the Old City of Jerusalem.

Accompanied by his Jewish wife Sharon, he also visited Holocaust museum Yad Vashem. Mr Osbourne said: “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to come to Israel and visit the holy sites.”

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Ozzy Osbourne talks Israel ahead of concert

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne has defied calls to boycott a performance in Israel this week.

The heavy metal star, who arrived in Israel on Sunday for the Tel Aviv leg of his OzzFest tour, said he had “no time” for politics.

“Politicians don't understand me and I don't understand them."

His wife Sharon, the daughter of the late Jewish music impresario Don Arden, added: "Britain has the IRA and no one cancels concerts there."

The former Black Sabbath singer also blamed the fact that he had not performed in Israel before on being “drunk for years.”

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Appeal for talks to continue as settlement freeze ends

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has called for "expedited, honest talks" with the Palestinians to continue as the ten-month-long settlement construction freeze came to an end.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister said: "Israel is ready to pursue continuous contacts in the coming days to find a way to continue peace talks."

US officials also urged the negotiations to continue despite the expiry of the moratorium.

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Jewish boat heads to Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

A boat carrying a group of Jewish pro-Palestinian activists has set sail for Gaza with the aim of breaking Israel’s naval blockade.

The boat, named “Irene”, left a port in Cyprus on Sunday morning.

It has been organised by Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the umbrella organisation European Jews for a Just Peace.

More than 40 activists had been expected to join the passage; however JfJP said there were ten passengers and crew on board, from Britain, Germany and the US.

The cargo includes fishing nets, musical instruments and textbooks.

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Billy Crystal donates to Hebrew University

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

When Harry Met Sally star Billy Crystal has been described as “a real mensch” after he made a large donation to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

The American Jewish actor, 62, has given a “substantial” amount to the institution’s Peace through the Performing Arts programme, which has run projects uniting Israeli and Palestinian students for more than a decade.

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