Israel news

Israel bans fur imports, except for Chasidic hats

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

The Israeli government is going to forbid manufacture, import and export of all kinds of furs, with one exception: Chasidic shtreimels, or fur hats.

A new law forbidding all manufacture and trade in furs in Israel is one of the strictest of its kind in the world and was approved on Sunday. It is an extension of a previous law prohibiting the use of cat and dog skins.

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon explained that the inspectors had trouble distinguishing between the different kinds of furs and that Israel should not be supporting “a cruel industry”.

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Israeli expats may get voting rights

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

A new law proposed this week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli citizens living out of the country to vote in the elections could cause a split in his own coalition.

Israeli law allows only official representatives of the government to vote outside the country. Various proposals in the past to allow expatriate voting for the estimated one million Israelis living abroad have never garnered enough support.

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Why Jerusalem Post sacked columnist Naomi Chazan

February 11, 2010

The Jerusalem Post fired columnist Naomi Chazan after the organisation of which she is president, the New Israel Fund, threatened to sue the paper.

The Post, along with several other Israeli newspapers, published an advert by student organisation Im Tirzu, featuring a caricature of Ms Chazan with horns and the letters “NIF” on her forehead.

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Military expert on Goldstone report ‘severely biased’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

An investigation by an Israeli think tank has alleged that the military expert on the UN’s Goldstone Commission, Desmond Travers, was so biased against Israel that the commission’s report was a travesty of the truth.

And in an interview last week, Colonel Travers — who retired from the Irish Army in 2001 — accused “Jewish lobbyists” of strongly influencing Britain’s Middle East policy.

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Israeli ice skater's misery at Olympic deselection

By Jessica Elgot, February 10, 2010

Three Israeli athletes are gearing up for the start of the Winter Olympics on Friday, hoping this will be the year the country finally wins a medal.

But Tamar Katz, a 22-year-old figure skater and three-time Israeli champion, has not qualified, despite meeting the standards set by the Winter Olympics committee.

Controversially, the Israeli Olympic Committee decided not to send her because she did not finish in the top 14 at the World Championships held in Spokane, Washington.

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Israeli soldier killed in West Bank terror attack

By Jessica Elgot, February 10, 2010

An Israeli soldier has been stabbed to death by a Palestinian while sitting in a military jeep in the West Bank.

Judea and Samaria District police have arrested Mohammed Hatib, believed to be a senior officer in the Palestinian security forces, in connection with the attack.

The soldier, Sergeant-Major Ihab Khatib, 28, was attacked while he sat in a traffic jam at Tapuach junction, south of Nablus in the West Bank.

He was stabbed twice in the chest through the open car window. The injured man attempted to drive away but his car overturned in a nearby ditch.

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Netanyahu calls for 'crippling' Iran sanctions

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran in a meeting with European ambassadors in Israel.

His call to EU leaders comes as Tehran announced it would begin enriching uranium to 20 per cent, rather than the 3.5 per cent it is currently producing.

The technology used to enrich uranium to this level is very similar to that needed to make a nuclear bomb, about 80 to 90 per cent.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons, in brazen defiance of international law.

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Anti-Zionists urge Elton John to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton John to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be the Candle In The Windsinger’s first performance in Israel for 17 years.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a “racist state” in its letter.

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Israeli organ donors to get priority transplants

By Nathan Jeffay, February 4, 2010

Israelis are about to be presented with a stark choice by their Health Ministry: sign up for a donor card, or you may find yourself at a disadvantage if you ever need a transplant.

The National Transplant Centre, the ministry’s transplant authority, is working on a NIS 3.5 million (£600,000) advertising campaign spelling out the ramifications of legislation to encourage organ donation which is unlike any other in the world.

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EU 'funding Palestinian terror’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2010

The British Taxpayers’ Alliance pressure group has joined the Israeli campaign against European Union funding for the Palestinian Authority’s education system, which they claim includes incitement against Israel.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance Chief Executive, Matthew Elliot, visited Israel this week and held meetings with officials at the Foreign Ministry to co-ordinate the campaign it is running, with additional European organisations, against the lack of transparency in the PA’s use of EU financial support.

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