Israel news

IDF learnt lessons from Lebanon War

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

On Tuesday morning, an explosion shook the Upper Galilee, after months of quiet. The shock-wave reminded many that exactly three years ago this week, war broke out in the same area.

Later in the day, when the circumstances of the blast began filtering out, those memories were reinforced.

A hidden Hizbollah katyusha rocket store in a nondescript house had blown up nine miles from the border. This was just the kind of thing that Israel had hoped to eradicate by embarking on what became known as the Second Lebanon War.

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Stones Rolling to Israel

July 16, 2009

The Rolling Stones have confirmed that they will perform in Israel for the first time ever, though a date and venue have not been finalised.

The Stones are the latest in a string of high=profile names to play Israel in the past year. Madonna, Paul McCartney and Depeche Mode have played concerts there, and Leonard Cohen is due to play in Israel on September 24.

The Stones influential Jewish manager Allen Klein passed away this week at his New York home after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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Bibi and Ahmadinejad may clash at UN

By Jessica Elgot, July 16, 2009

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu may speak at the UN's General Assembly session in September, which could see him go head-to-head with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The meeting of world leaders, including the US President Barack Obama, will open on September 23, and Mr Ahmadinejad plans to give a speech at the opening.

If he does attend, Mr Netanyahu will use the opportunity to meet Arab leaders such as Jordan's King Abdullah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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Anger over West Bank football advert

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

An advert for an Israeli mobile phone company which shows soldiers playing football across the West Bank barrier has been slammed by Palestinian leaders.

The advert for Cellcom shows a ball falling on an Israeli army jeep from behind the controversial barrier in the West Bank but a match between the Israelis and unseen Palestinians ensues, including a call for reinforcements and ending with the slogan "After all, what are we all after? Just a little fun".

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UK cuts arms licences to Israel after Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

The UK government has revoked the licenses of five arms companies to supply to the Israeli military with spare parts for guns on Sa'ar 4.5 ships.

British officials have confirmed that the ban was imposed because the supplies were being used by Israeli battleships which participated in the attack on Gaza.

The UK has claimed this would have violated the security agreements between Britain and Israel, which specifies how British equipment can be used by buyers.

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Dana International accused in race row

By Keren David, July 9, 2009

The Israeli transsexual singer Dana International has been accused of threatening and racially abusing two heavily pregnant women in a Tel Aviv coffee shop.

Lee’at Gentely, 25, who made aliyah from Elstree in March, says the Eurovision star called her a “f***ing nig**r” as she had coffee with her two sisters-in-law at the Olive Coffee Bar on Tuesday.

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Barak chosen for US talks in London

July 9, 2009

Israel discussed new measures on access and movement in the West Bank with the US administration this week.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak flew to London on Monday for talks with President Obama’s special envoy for Middle East peace, George Mitchell.
It was the second leg of detailed discussions which began in New York on June 30.

The talks covered all aspects of Middle East peace and security.

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Sacred sells for Israeli musicians

By Nathan Jeffay, July 2, 2009

Given that she is one of Israel’s most popular musicians, Etti Ankri’s latest album may seem a little esoteric: it consists entirely of poems by the 12th-century philosopher, Rabbi Yehuda Halevy.

But Ms Ankri is not taking a gamble. In mainstream Israeli music today, sacred means sales.

Last year, a collection of songs based on the teachings of the 18th- and 19th-century Chasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Breslev reached gold album status, with buyers across the religious spectrum.

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Rebuild for diaspora museum

July 2, 2009

The Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv, Beth Hatefutsot, will be rebuilt and renamed the Museum of the Jewish People.

Instead of telling the story of the diaspora, beginning with the destruction of the temple and ending with the establishment of the Jewish state, the emphasis will be on the story of the Jewish people as a whole, beginning with Abraham and Sarah, and with no end.

The new exhibition will cost £15 million and will open to visitors in 2012.

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Disgraced political prodigy rides back

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 2, 2009

After almost a decade of enforced absence, one of the brightest stars of Israel’s political scene is set to make his comeback.

Arieh Deri, the Moroccan-born maverick, was appointed Interior Minister before the age of 30 and transformed Shas from a marginal religious party into a major parliamentary force. But in 1999 he was convicted of fraud and bribe-taking and jailed for two years.

He will make his return to public life on July 15, seven years after leaving prison.

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