Israel news

Praise for prizewinning Israeli medical organisation

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2010

A leading Israeli medical organisation has won a prize for environmental protection from the International Public Relations Association.

Representatives of Maccabi Healthcare Services received their Golden World Award in London on Friday for a campaign to collect medicines beyond their expiry date.

Since the launch of the initiative 18 months ago, around 240,000 packages containing seven million pills have been collected from Maccabi community clinics around Israel.

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Israel advocacy expands

November 5, 2010

An international scheme to promote Israel advocacy and education is to extend its activities in the UK.

StandWithUs (SWU), founded in 2001, has 12 offices around the world working to ensure that Israel’s case is heard in discussion of the Middle East.

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IDF's first Arab officer: 'It's my duty'

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A 26-year-old who has become the first Israeli Arab officer in the IDF has called for more members of his community to fight for the country.

Lieutenant Hisham Abu Rayya has faced outrage in his community and accusations that he is a traitor for taking on the role.

But he told The Times that serving in the Israeli army, and even protecting a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, was “my duty to my country”.

Lieutenant Abu Raaya rubbished claims that the reason Arab teenagers opt not to join the Israeli army is down to discrimination.

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Israel-Britain strategic talks back on

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

Security and defence talks between the Israeli and British government will now take place in Israel amidst fears that Knesset members could be prosecuted under universal jurisdiction legislation if they visit Britain.

As the JC reported earlier this week, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor, cancelled a speech at the Bicom dinner in London just hours before the event.

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'Bibi will agree to new freeze'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Israel is expecting a renewed push to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians now that the American midterm elections are over. According to sources close to Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will agree to a new form of building freeze in the settlements.

Peace talks with the Palestinians ground to a halt a month and a half ago when the ten-month moratorium on building in the West Bank ended.

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Mass rallies against stipends for Orthodox

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Thousands of students took to the streets of Jerusalem this week to protest against a budget law awarding yeshivah students special stipends which university students will not enjoy.

The students called upon the government to end the situation whereby strictly-Orthodox students who do not work are financed by the state.

Last week the government passed a two-year budget which included
111 million shekels for stipends for strictly-Orthodox yeshivah students.

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Turkey lists Israel as security 'threat'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Turkey now regards Israel as a "major threat" to its security.

According to Turkish newspapers, the country's National Security Council made the assessment last week in its new five-yearly strategic report.

The security agency took four of the country's neighbours, Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia and Georgia, off the list. Greece, which recently began carrying out joint military exercises with Israel, remains on the threat list.

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UNESCO row: 'Tomb of Rachel is a mosque'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

UNESCO, the world culture and heritage organisation, has classified the ancient Tomb of Rachel, south of Jerusalem, as a mosque as well as a holy Jewish site.

The small building on the outskirts of Bethlehem has been identified for many centuries as the tomb of the Matriarch Rachel who, according to the Torah, died there while giving birth to Benjamin.

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Israel predicted Chicago parcel bombs plot

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

"We were not aware of the precise timing," said a very senior Israeli security official this week, on the discovery of the two parcel bombs on America-bound cargo planes and addressed to shuls in Chicago, "but the platform and the method they used was certainly no surprise."

The official went on to explain that Yemen is now one of the major sources of international terror operations and that the successful location of the bombs was the result of co-operation between the intelligence services of various countries.

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Pamela Anderson fighting Israel's religious fur trade

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has written to an Orthodox Israeli politician asking him to back a proposal to ban the trade of fur in Israel.

The Canadian-American actress and animal rights activist is also planning to go to a Knesset meeting to appeal for more politicians to support proposed legislation preventing religious men from wearing shtreimels (hats) trimmed with fur.

In a letter to Yakov Margi, Israel’s Minister of Religious Services, Ms Anderson said that the fur trade goes against Jewish laws about the treatment on animals.

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