Israel news

Israel’s biblical bees came from Turkey

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2010

Israel has long been known as a land flowing with milk and honey, and now scientists have discovered exactly where the bees came from.

Researchers at the Hebrew University have found that the biblical bees almost certainly came from Turkey and were transferred hundreds of miles to Israel. The findings, the earliest examples of bringing animals such a long way, suggest the ancient Israelites were involved in sophisticated agricultural practices.

In 2007 scientists came across the remains of clay beehives dating back 3000 years in the Jordan Valley.


Reuters crop photos of bloodied Israeli soldiers

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2010

The Reuters news agency has said it did not mean to edit out a dagger and a pool of blood from photographs of Israeli soldiers injured on the Gaza flotilla.

In one of the original images a pro-Palestinian activist is pictured pointing a knife next to a wounded Israeli soldier.

But when Reuters distributed it, the photograph had been cropped so that his assailant was not visible.


Britain gives Gaza £19m aid

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The British government has pledged to give £19 million in aid to Gaza and called on Israel to end the blockade.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said the money is to go towards services including education and healthcare.

The donation is part of a £100 million financial deal with the UN Relief and Works Agency, which the Labour government arranged in 2006.

The announcement follows a second attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in place since Hamas gained control of the area in 2007.


Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel dies

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel has died in Jerusalem at the age of 81.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who spent a decade at the helm of Israel’s Sephardic community, had been in intensive care for more than eight months.

Born to a religious family in Jerusalem in 1929, Rabbi Eliyahu went on to become Israel’s youngest dayan (religious court judge) and the Chief Rabbi of Beersheva.


Tel Aviv to go to Europe's largest gay parade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Israel’s gay community has been invited to take part in Europe’s largest gay parade.

The Tel Aviv Municipality will be the formal guests at the event in Madrid at the beginning of July.

Four representatives of Israel’s gay community, to be chosen via an audition process, will be in the Spanish capital to mark the parade.

There will also be a Tel Aviv themed party featuring Israeli performers and DJs, as well as an appearance by a bus bearing the slogan "TLV Love Embassy".


Rescue volunteers show support for Israeli Navy

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Rescue volunteers ZAKA have showed their solidarity with the Israeli Navy by sailing a flotilla of craft bearing the slogan “We love the Navy”.

ZAKA divers and marine units demonstrated their support by sailing motor boats and jet skis along the Tel Aviv coastline.

The apolitical humanitarian organisation sends out recovery teams for everything from natural disasters to suicide bombings.


Pixies cancel Israeli performance

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Rock group Pixies have pulled out of a concert in Israel just days before the event was to take place.

They were said to have been urged to boycott the performance by pro-Palestinian activists following the recent clashes with the Israeli navy on board an aid ship.

The American band, popular in the 1980s for their punk rock music, had been set to perform at a Tel Aviv venue on June 9.

But they surprised fans by cancelling the appearance at the Pic.Nic festival at the last minute.


Second Gaza ship boarded peacefully

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Israel has deported another group of pro-Palestinian activists after they tried to sail a second ship into Gaza.

On Saturday, srael's navy peacefully boarded the Rachel Corrie, 30km off the Israeli coastline, to prevent the activists from breaching the blockade of Gaza.

The move followed the rejection by the Rachel Corrie of Israeli and American appeals to sail into an Israeli port.


Bibi vows new ship will not enter

By Robyn Rosen, June 4, 2010

Confusion surrounds the status of the Rachel Corrie, the latest ship carrying aid to Gaza.

The ship, part of the original Freedom Flotilla, fell behind the fleet after suffering technical problems but has been sailing towards Israel since yesterday.

Some reports claim it has turned back while others state it is due to arrive on Saturday morning.

Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu said yesterday that the ship, organised by the Free Gaza movement, would not be allowed to reach Gaza.


Analysis: Israel must learn that the military is not the solution

By Daoud Kuttab, June 3, 2010

Violent Israeli attacks against the Freedom Flottila, an international humanitarian mission to Gaza, show the failure of Israel's strategic deterrence policy.

The idea of deterrence is that you mete out enough pain to the other side that it stops trying to challenge your authority. This deterrence policy only works if the other side does not have the ability or the will to up the ante. If the other side does, this forces another round of confrontation, which by its nature requires an even harsher degree of punishment.