Israel news

Doctors named at Hebew U

May 30, 2008

Britain’s Fred Worms and French philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy are among recipients of 10 new honorary doctorates awarded this week by the Hebrew University during its annual  board of governors’ meeting in Jerusalem. Mr Worms, who was made OBE in 1998, is chairman of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation  and a co-founder of Immanuel College.


Bibi plans ‘comeback book’ on the economy

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2008

Likud Leader Binyamin Netanyahu is preparing to bring out an autobiographical book on his term as Israel’s Finance Minister as part of his plan to rehabilitate his image and sweep back to power in the next elections.

The new book, expected to come out towards the end of summer, deals with the reasons that Israel’s economy is booming, despite a lack of natural resources and devoting a significant portion of its GDP to security costs.


Israel and Syria start talking

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

Amid cries of political spin from the opposition, the Prime Minister’s Office announced this week that Israel and Syria were conducting “indirect” peace negotiations under the auspices of the Turkish government.

The news was released simultaneously on Wednesday morning in Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara.


Olmert faces second police questioning

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is to be questioned by police today (Friday) for the second time over suspicions of bribe-taking. One of the main witnesses, financier Morris Talanski, is to give preliminary evidence next week.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador claimed in a Supreme Court hearing that Mr Olmert had received envelopes stuffed with dollars from Mr Talansky, a US citizen.


Billionaires to build a ‘school of leadership’

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

An international school of Jewish and technological leadership will be founded in two years in Jerusalem, to foster the next generation of leaders in Israel and the Jewish world.

The project is part of an initiative of President Shimon Peres and the non-Jewish media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch. Others involved include businessmen Leslie Wexner and Mort Zuckerman.

The initiative was announced by Mr Murdoch last week at the President’s Conference in Jerusalem, originally as a special school for technological innovators.


Hamas poised to agree Gaza ceasefire

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

Israel is poised to agree to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal with Hamas, despite the deal not including any assurances regarding the release of captured solder Gilad Shalit and an end to arms smuggling over the Egyptian border.


Shul 'sex sting' charges likely

By Nathan Jeffay, May 23, 2008

Israel’s Ministry of Justice looks set to prosecute a chazan accused of trying to land himself the country’s top cantorial job by tempting its incumbent with a honey-trap.

Jerusalem police believe that freelance chazan Israel Rand hired a female private investigator to tempt his former teacher, Naftali Hershtik, the cantor of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, into a sexual encounter.


New gay Israel tour

May 23, 2008

A new Israel tour for gay Jewish young professionals is to launch this autumn.

The luxury 10-day “Pride in Israel” tour will take members of Young Judea Impact, the US youth movement’s young adult programme, to sites of gay interest.

Highlights will include the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, planting trees in the Pride Forest in the Upper Galilee and meeting gay soldiers and activists.


'Israel has failed to learn from Lebanon War'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2008

Israel has not implemented the lessons from its disastrous war in Lebanon, almost two years ago, says one of the country’s leading strategists.

According to a memo prepared by Professor Yehezkel Dror, a member of the Winograd Commission set up to investigate the war, and seen by the JC, the government has not carried out the commission’s main recommendations.


How the battle for Jaffa lives on

By Ben Lynfield, May 16, 2008

Jews and Arabs hold conflicting memories of the confrontation that lead to Israel's establishment

Despite flags everywhere and aerial acrobatics for Israel’s 60th birthday, ghosts were still haunting Jaffa this week.

At Etzel House, a museum that commemorates the conquest of Jaffa in 1948 by Menachem Begin’s underground fighters, also known as the Irgun, 82-year-old veteran Joseph Nachmias recalls how forces moved from house to house, hammering holes in the walls to enter.