Israel news

Is this just the start?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 2, 2010

The murder of four residents of the Beit Hagai settlement on the dark, winding road from Hebron was almost expected - as was the settlers' reaction.

Just two days earlier, the IDF Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, had met the commanders of the Judea and Samaria Division and warned them to be on the look-out for attempts to disrupt the opening of the direct peace talks in Washington.

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Charedi extremism divides Israeli city

By Nathan Jeffay, September 2, 2010

"Someone is going to be killed," predicted Orthodox rabbi Natan Slifkin on his blog this spring. He went on to outline what exactly he thought would happen. "A religious Jewish teenager is going to be beaten to death by a gang of religious Jewish men for the 'crime' of being in their neighbourhood and not conforming to their idea of Orthodoxy."

The scene of the crime, he wrote, would be a few hundred yards from his home in Beit Shemesh, a heavily "Anglo" city of 80,000 people, 10 miles west of Jerusalem. Specifically, the new part of town, Ramat Beit Shemesh (Beit Shemesh Heights).

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Bnei Akiva too religious for some Israeli parents

By Nathan Jeffay, September 2, 2010

Mother-of-four Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg is apprehensive. In a few weeks it will be time for her daughter Avigail to start Bnei Akiva, the religious Zionist youth movement that she, and her parents before her, attended.

Ms Shapira-Rosenberg, of Mazkeret Batya near Tel Aviv, does not want Avigail to miss out on the experience of getting involved, but is worried that since her day, religious standards have changed to a point that she considers extreme.

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Obama to visit Israel in 2011

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 2, 2010

President Barack Obama will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in a few months' time if the peace process continues, according to White House officials.

Mr Obama has been criticised by Americans and Israelis for not addressing both sides of the conflict directly during the first 18 months of his presidency. The president visited the region early in his term for a much-publicised speech in Cairo, but pointedly left Israel off his itinerary.

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Analysis: Bibi's peace plan? Who knows…

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 2, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu will try to manage the direct talks with the Palestinians in exactly the same way he ran the long period of preparation in the run up to them - bit by bit, without giving anything away until the very last moment he has to.

The Israeli prime minister is meeting the Palestinian president this weekend in Washington, under the auspices of President Barack Obama, without any details of his peace plan - if he even has one - becoming known.

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Second Hamas shooting as peace talks begin

By Jennifer Lipman, September 2, 2010

A second terror attack by Hamas has left two Israeli civilians injured, one seriously.

The roadside shooting near the Rimonim junction in the West Bank followed the killing of four people on Tuesday by a Hamas gunman, and came as direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began in Washington.

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Hague: Hamas killings were 'provocations'

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

William Hague has condemned the killings of four Israeli civilians by Hamas terrorists on the eve of a new round of Middle East peace negotiations.

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Esti Ginzburg: IDF soldier, model, Bond girl?

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

Jewish filmmaker Joel Schumacher has tipped the Israeli star of his latest film to be a future Bond girl.

Esti Ginzburg, a model who is currently serving in the Israeli army, plays the lead in Mr Schumacher’s new film “Twelve”.

The drama about drug users in New York also stars rapper 50 Cent and Chace Crawford, the Gossip Girl actor with whom she has been romantically linked.

Mr Schumacher, 71, told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that the Israeli actress would “get far in life”.

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LCD Soundsystem defies calls to boycott Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

An American musician has performed in Israel despite a campaign mounted by pro-Palestinian activists encouraging him to boycott the gig.

American dance act LCD Soundsystem, the stage name of producer James Murphy, played to both Israeli and Arab fans at a concert in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

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Four Israelis killed but peace talks must go on

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

Hamas’ military wing has claimed responsibility for the murder of four Israeli civilians, including a woman believed to be pregnant.

But American and Israeli officials have urged that Israel and the Palestinians do not let the terror attack derail the direct peace negotiations set to begin in Washington tomorrow.

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