Israel news

Rights group is biased on Israel, says its own founder

October 22, 2009

The founder of Human Rights Watch has blasted the group for “writing report after report about Israel” while ignoring the rest of the Middle East.

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Israel slips down rankings for media freedom

By Jessica Elgot, October 20, 2009

Israel has lost its place at the top of Middle Eastern states for media freedom after the restrictions placed on journalists during the Gaza war.

Reporters San Frontières, which complies an annual ranking of media freedom in 176 countries, placed Israel in 93rd place, below Kuwait, UAE and Lebanon.

Severe restrictions were placed on journalists covering the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Three journalists were killed in Gaza, 20 injured and five were arrested.

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Weizmann letter to Lady Lloyd George fails at auction

By Robyn Rosen, October 16, 2009

A letter written and signed by the first president of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, has failed to find a buyer at an auction.

The letter, which was estimated to fetch up to £1,500, was written to Lady Lloyd George, the first female MP and daughter of the First World War prime minister, Lloyd George, on October 26 1945.

Mr Weizmann, who was also president of the World Zionist Organization, wrote that he was “deeply moved” by a letter Lady Lloyd George had written in the Daily Telegraph.

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Britain will abstain from Goldstone UN vote

By Jessica Elgot, October 16, 2009

Britain will abstain from a crucial United Nations vote today over whether to endorse the Goldstone Report, despite urgent calls from Israel for Gordon Brown to reject it.

The UN Human Rights Council will vote in Geneva on whether to accept the report, which was strongly critical of Israel’s conduct during the Gaza offensive in January this year.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly held a heated phone conversation with Mr Brown yesterday where he claimed that if the resolution against Israel was to pass; it could completely derail the peace process.

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Israeli house prices rise by one quarter

By Simon Griver, October 15, 2009

The price of Israeli homes has risen by 24 per cent over the past two years, according to a Bank of Israel (BOI) survey.

In recent months price rises have accelerated, with the value of the average home rising by an annualised rate of 15 per cent in August, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

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The end of Israeli-Turkish ties?

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 15, 2009

The Israeli government is split over the correct response to Turkey’s decision to cancel a joint military exercise. While the Foreign Ministry is in favour of a belligerent stance, the defence establishment is trying to lower the tensions.

Israeli, American, Italian and Turkish warplanes were due to simulate dogfights against each other this week over Turkey, but Ankara barred Israel from participating at the last minute, in protest at Operation Cast Lead. The other participants then pulled out, leading to the cancellation of the manoeuvre.

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Turkish state TV depicts 'bloodthirsty' IDF soldiers

By Jessica Elgot, October 15, 2009

Watch the controversial Turkish TV drama

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Ken Loach: reaction to Israeli film donations row

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Film director Ken Loach, a supporter of the Israeli film boycott, has criticised the chief executive of Israel’s leading film distribution company, who, he claims, did not inform him that his latest film would be shown at the Haifa Film Festival.

Mr Loach has frequently attacked Israel’s action in Gaza and was among the high - profile figures urging organisers of the Toronto Film Festival to drop a celebration of Tel Aviv last month.

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Hizbollah 'rearming against Israel'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2009

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Rabbi compares Jewish Agency to rioters

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2009

The rabbi in the centre of the row over gender segregation at the Western Wall has compared the Jewish Agency to the Jerusalem rioters.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, has previously demanded more stringent gender segregation at the Western Wall, causing the Jewish Agency to halt all ceremonies for new olim at the Kotel.

The head of immigration and absorption at the Jewish Agency, Paula Edelstein, refused to segregate men and women during the ceremony, and the organisation will now hold the presentation at its own headquarters in Jerusalem.

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