Israel news

Israelis revolt against early winter time

By Simon Griver, September 7, 2010

Tens of thousands of Israelis have signed a petition protesting against the early end of summertime.

For many years, Israelis have moved their clocks back one hour in the run-up to Yom Kippur in order to make the fast easier by enabling it to be broken an hour earlier.

But this year, because the High Holy Days fall so early, many Israelis are upset by the loss of an hour's daylight in the evenings. Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz is proposing a Knesset bill that would make Israel fall in line with the EU, which ends summertime on the last Sunday in October.

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Iran shows it is rattled by Israel

By Meir Javedanfar, September 7, 2010

"If Iran is attacked, with our fire we will turn the night into broad daylight over Israel. Our missiles will target all their cities, and the reactor at Dimona will be no exception," a commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards recently threatened in the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai Al Alam.

These are not mere words of bravado. They are also a clear sign that Iran's rulers are actually worried about the possibility of a military strike by Israel.

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Study: Israelis are not as charitable as they think

By Nathan Jeffay, September 7, 2010

In the run up to Rosh Hashanah in Israel, as everywhere else in the Jewish world, charities have been busy trying to convince people to donate. But research shows that Israelis do not give as generously as people might think.

For several years, Israelis have had a reputation as the second most giving people in the world. The Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Civil Society Studies ranks Israel second only to America in terms of donations as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP) – 1.34 per cent compared to America's 1.85 per cent.

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Unemployment falls as Israeli economy surges

By Simon Griver, September 7, 2010

Israel's holiday season has been brightened by better-than-expected economic figures.

The Central Bureau of Statistics in Jerusalem reported that the Israeli economy grew by 4.7 per cent on an annualised basis in the second quarter of 2010 - far above expectations of 2.9 per cent - because of the crisis in Europe.

Unemployment fell from 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter and is approaching the low-point of 5.9 per cent achieved in the summer of 2008, before the global economic crisis struck.

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Israeli actors to boycott West Bank theatre

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 7, 2010

On November 11, a new cultural centre will open in Ariel, across the Green Line. For many actors and theatre-goers, it will be a moment of truth.

Two weeks ago, 35 actors and dramatists signed an open letter telling the directors of their theatres that they would refuse to act on the stage of the largest Jewish town in Samaria. Since then, the Israeli drama scene has been up in arms, with season-ticket holders cancelling their subscriptions, counter-petitions flying around and politicians threatening to withhold funding.

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Arab-Jew deception rape 'was violent'

September 7, 2010

Evidence revealed last week has cast new light on the case of Saber Kashur, the Arab man convicted of rape for telling a woman with whom he had sex that he was Jewish.

The sex was considered a rape only because Kashur masqueraded as a Jew.

The Jerusalem DA's office agreed however that, although the rape was violent, Kashur would be charged with the lesser crime of "rape by deception" in order to avoid the victim being cross-examined.

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Analysis: Bibi changed. He really does want a deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 7, 2010

On the surface nothing significant has changed. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in Washington, stuck to his proven tactic of giving nothing away until he absolutely has to.

President Mahmoud Abbas brought up all the old Palestinian demands, including the right of return. The gulf between the two sides seems as wide as ever. Meanwhile, building in the settlements is set to resume in only two weeks and blow up talks that have barely resumed.

But something has changed.

Israelis who returned from the Washington summit have shed their outer layer of cynicism.

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Israel and Russia in arms accord

September 6, 2010

Israel has signed the framework of a military co-operation agreement with Russia that could lead to exports of weapons and technology.

Israel defence minister Ehud Barak met his Russian opposite number Anatoly Serdyukov in Moscow on Monday where they discussed both weapons and military co-operation.

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Shimon Peres: peace in Middle East 'tangible'

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

Shimon Peres has expressed his hope that the New Year will lead to the signing of a historic peace treaty and bring “tranquility, prosperity and security” to the Middle East.

In a Rosh Hashanah message the Israeli president referred to the Washington-sponsored peace talks and said that this year hopes for peace in the region appear “tangible”

Addressing global Jewry, Mr Peres said that more young Jewish people should visit Israel.

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Rachel Corrie case opens in Haifa

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

The parents of a pro-Palestinian activist who died during a protest in Gaza 2003 have arrived in Haifa to pursue a civil court case against the state of Israel.

The second stage of the Rachel Corrie case opened yesterday in Haifa’s district court. The American activist died aged 23 in March 2003 after being crushed by an IDF bulldozer.

She had come to Rafah at the height of the Palestinian intifada with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, to demonstrate against the demolition of houses.

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