Israel on verge of creating one chief rabbi role

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

The israeli government has backed a move to disband the twin posts of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis.

Last Sunday, the cabinet’s legislative committee unanimously voted for the proposal, co-sponsored by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.


Canberra pro-settler stance makes waves

By Dan Goldberg, January 23, 2014

Britain called in Israel’s envoy last week to protest against Jerusalem’s intention to build more settlements in the West Bank. In stark contrast, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in Israel last week for Ariel Sharon’s funeral, urged the international community to refrain from branding the settlements “illegal”.


Israel plans laser beam rocket shield

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

Israeli defence firms are developing new short-range missile defence systems to protect civilians and military bases in border areas under threat.

The IDF’s Iron Dome has proved capable of intercepting the majority of missiles but is less effective at dealing with rockets and mortar rounds fired from under four miles away.


Multi-billion funds mull Israel exit

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

The international pressure on Israel to cease settlement-building and reach an agreement with the Palestinians is beginning to directly affect its economic prospects as European investment funds start to rethink their connections to the Jewish state.


Astronaut wanted, must speak Hebrew

By Rosa Doherty, January 23, 2014

Admirers of Israel’s high-tech prowess this week had another reason to celebrate: the Jewish state intends to put a man in space.

The Israel Space Agency (ISA) has been in talks with its US, European, Russian and Chinese counterparts about dispatching an astronaut to stay on the International Space Station.


Israel to send astronaut into space

By Rosa Doherty, January 22, 2014

Israel has confirmed it has plans to send an astronaut into space.

The Israel Space Agency (ISA) has held talks with the US, European, Russian and Chinese space agencies about dispatching an astronaut to stay on the International Space Station.


Labour MP denies he compared Israel to Nazis in tweet

By Marcus Dysch, January 20, 2014

A Labour MP’s tweet which appeared to compare Israel to the Nazis was “poorly-worded”, the party has admitted.

Grahame Morris posted a message on Sunday showing what appeared to be a group of protesters waving an Israeli flag.

Alongside it he wrote: “Nazis in my village - do you see the flag they fly.”


Israeli court orders exhumation of dead Palestinian terrorists

By Rosa Doherty, January 20, 2014

Palestinian militants killed by Israelis have been exhumed and returned to their families for reburial.

Among the bodies is that of Majdi Khanafer, a resident of a village south of Jenin who was killed in 2002 by the IDF as he was on his way to carry out an attack.


Multi-billion European funders consider divesting from Israel

By Rosa Doherty, January 20, 2014

European investors worth a combined $490 billion are reviewing their holdings in Israeli banks over concerns they are being used to fund Israeli settlements.

Pension funds ABP and KLP and fund houses Nordea Investment and DNB have requested more information from the banks about their involvement in financing settlements.


Jewish leaders condemn Unesco decision to cancel Israel exhibition

By Rosa Doherty, January 17, 2014

Jewish groups have condemned a decision by Unesco - the cultural arm of the United Nations - to cancel an exhibition about Israel following pressure from Arab states.

“The People, the Book, the Land — 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel” was due to open at Unesco's Paris headquarters on Jaunary 20.