Israel news

Jews thought of Jesus first, says Bible scholar

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

The idea of a Messiah who is killed and then resurrected is a Jewish one that pre-dates Christianity, according to a Hebrew University scholar.

Israel Knohl, a professor of Bible, believes the evidence lies in the “Gabriel Revelation”, an inscription on a stone found at the Dead Sea, which dates back to the beginning of the first century CE or the end of the century before.

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Lieberman: Cyprus the blueprint for peace

By Stephen Pollard, May 14, 2009

Israel’s controversial Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, appears to have persuaded Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to adopt a peace plan which the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu views as an alternative to the two-state solution as it is usually defined.

Mr Lieberman, who has been visiting European capitals, revealed the outlines of his plan at a reception in London on Tuesday, on the eve of his meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. He also discussed the plan, which he has floated before, in Italy last week.

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Noa and Mira in Eurovision final

May 13, 2009

Israel has made it into the final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

Voters from around Europe selected its entry There Must Be Another Way, performed by Noa and Mira Awad, at the first of two semi-finals.

Joining Israel in the final on Saturday night will be 24 other countries, including the United Kingdom.

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Israel reveals its unlikely allies

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 12, 2009

Israel has identified new allies in its emerging diplomatic dispute with the new administration in Washington over Iran 's nuclear programme – the Arab states.

"In the past, the Arab leaders would complain about the Americans being too pro-Israel," says a senior Israeli diplomat in Jerusalem.

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Israel takes the swine out of swine flu

By James Martin, May 8, 2009

Israel has re-named the potentially deadly Swine Flu virus as "Mexican Flu" because the virus comes from pigs, which are non-kosher.

Ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman made the announcement at a press conference on the grounds that under Jewish law pigs are considered unclean and pork is non-kosher.

This is despite the fact that the non-kosher meat is available in some stores in Israel.

Mr Litzman was appointed health minister in the recently-formed government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is one of eight ultra-Orthodox ministers in his administration.

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New swine flu case in Israel

May 8, 2009

A seventh Israeli case of swine flu has been announced, with health authorities concerned that the carrier may have passed it on to other passengers on a flight back from New York last Sunday.

The 58-year-old West Bank resident, who had not been hospitalised and has since recovered, was found to have contracted the virus according to the results of tests carried out in the United States.

The Israeli Health Ministry said that anyone who was on the woman’s flight from New York on Sunday – El Al 008 – and was feeling unwell should get tested.

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Pope will achieve nothing, say Israelis

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 7, 2009

Israel will see little benefit from Pope Benedict XVI’s visit next week, say senior Israeli officials.

The Pope will land in Tel Aviv on Monday for a five-day “pilgrimage” to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The much heralded visit has become a political, financial and security nightmare for many of those involved in organising it.

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Kayak champ poisoned

May 7, 2009

Israeli kayaking champion Yasmin Feingold, 20, was in intensive care after overturning her boat in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon River.

The Yarkon has been severely polluted for many years, despite efforts to clean it up.

In 1997 four members of the Australia’s Maccabiah Games team were killed and 60 injured when a temporary pedestrian bridge collapsed over the Yarkon and they swallowed toxic chemicals.

Feingold was rushed to the city’s Ichilov Hospital, where she is out of danger.

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Stolen scroll sheds light on exile days

By Simon Rocker, May 7, 2009

A 2,000-year-old papyrus fragment offering rare evidence of early Jewish history was seized by police in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Two men were arrested.

The 15 lines of Hebrew, written in the style of the Dead Sea Scrolls, contains a the phrase “year four to the destruction of Israel” — a reference possibly to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70CE or the Roman defeat of the Bar Kochba revolt nearly 70 years later.

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What Shimon Peres told Barak Obama

By Nathan Guttman and Anshel Pfeffer, May 7, 2009

Israel’s new right-wing government made its debut in the American capital his week, with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trying to convince the Obama administration that they are committed to the peace process.

Mr Peres, who met with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday and gave the keynote speech at the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby group, Aipac, assured his audience that Mr Netanyahu’s government will not renege on its roadmap commitments.

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