Israel news

Israel draws up concession list

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 15, 2010

Following the friendly meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in Washington last week, Mr Netanyahu is putting together a list of gestures to the Palestinians that, he hopes, will convince the Palestinian leadership to enter direct negotiations.


Analysis: Conversion bill threatens the coalition

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 15, 2010

Across the diaspora, Jews may be preoccupied with issues of conversion. But in Israel, the plight of over 300,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are not recognised as Jews by the Orthodox rabbinate and cannot marry locally has attracted very little attention. Nor has there been much of an outcry against the increasing hold of the Charedi non-Zionist rabbis on the state conversion courts, where they impose their super-stringent demands on every prospective convert.


Missy Elliot ignores Israel boycott campaign

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Rap star Missy Elliot has defied pro-Palestinian protesters and landed in Israel ready for a much-anticipated performance.

Activists had launched a campaign to dissuade her from going and join musicians including Elvis Costello and the Pixies in boycotting shows there.

But the American singer has ignored this and is set to perform in Tel Aviv on Thursday, her first ever concert in Israel.

She is also said to be planning to visit the Western Wall and Dead Sea while in the country, before heading to Morocco for the next date of her European tour.


UK-Israel business links up

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Israel has overtaken Hong Kong as an investor in British industry.

Figures released by UK Trade & Investment place Israel in the top 20 countries investing in British companies.

Richard Salt, the director of UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, said he was delighted Israel had risen in the rankings.

He called on more Israeli companies “to act now to benefit from the huge investment opportunities on offer in the UK.”

Mr Salt added: “I and my team will do our utmost to help those companies to succeed."


Johnny Rotten defies Israel-gig protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has vowed to perform in Israel despite a campaign by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for him to boycott the concert.

John Lydon – the punk singer’s real name – said in a radio interview that he has been sent hate mail because his band Public Image Limited is due to play in Tel Aviv in August.

But the controversial star, known for his anti-government stance, said he would not give in even as pro-Palestinian activists said they would picket an upcoming Bristol concert.


Israel sends humanitarian aid to Congo

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

An Israeli medical team has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo to treat burn victims, following a fuel tanker explosion which killed and injured hundreds of people.

The delegation from Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Centre has taken medical equipment to treat those wounded in the disaster

More than 60,000 litres of fuel went up in flames in the city of Sange in the east of the country on July 2.

The doctors, sent there by Israel's National Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV), are all specialists in plastic surgery and burns.


Lebanon war victims sue Al-Jazeera

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A group of victims of Hizbollah rocket attacks have begun legal action against the Al-Jazeera television network for allegedly aiding the terror group.

The 91 Israelis and North Americans claim that the Qatari media organisation’s coverage of the conflict helped Hizbollah aim missiles more accurately during the 2006 second Lebanon war.

According to those bringing the case, Al-Jazeera’s real-time broadcasts regarding the location of missile strikes enabled Hizbollah to strike civilian centres more effectively .


Exodus doctor dies at 86

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A British-born doctor who cared for passengers on board the Exodus ship as it sailed to pre-state Israel has been buried in Jersualem.

Dr Joshua Cohen, from Glasgow, who looked after the 4,500 Holocaust survivors on the ill-fated journey, died in Israel last week, aged 86.

As a newly qualified doctor, he volunteered on the ship setting up clinics for the passengers and helped those injured during fighting with British troops.

Following the Exodus journey he served in the British Army and the Israeli Medical Corps, and later became deputy director of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.


Flotilla probe: IDF made intelligence mistakes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 13, 2010

The team of military experts appointed to investigate the IDF operation against the Gaza flotilla found a series of mistakes in the intelligence-gathering and planning stages of the mission.

However, they praised the actions of the naval commandos who carried out the May raid on the Mavi Marmara, in which nine Turkish activists were killed.


Woman arrested for Western Wall prayer

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

Progressive groups in Israel have spoken out against the arrest of a woman for attempting to read from the Torah at the Western Wall.

Police in Jerusalem brought Anat Hoffman in for questioning after she was found with the scroll at the time of morning prayers, in violation of a Supreme Court ruling requiring women to pray from the Torah at an alternative site.

It follows the arrest of another Israeli woman in 2009 for wearing a tallit and a kippah while carrying a Torah scroll at the Western Wall. Both acts have drawn fire from Israel’s strictly Orthodox groups.