Israel

Peace is solar-powered, says Israeli green energy guru

By Nathan Jeffay, December 6, 2013

INTERVIEW YOSEF AMBRAMOWITZ

Israel’s foremost green energy pioneer is visiting London next week, where he will propose, among other innovations, a “renewable energy” solution to the Iranian crisis.

“Nuclear power is the power of war and solar power is the power of peace,” said Yosef Abramowitz, who has set up massive solar fields in Israel’s Negev desert.

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Kerry looks to boost peace talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 6, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week in an attempt to revitalise the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The talks, which began five months ago as a result of Mr Kerry’s efforts, have become bogged down amid mutual accusations.

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Israeli rabbinate cracks down on mikveh tyrants

By Nathan Jeffay, December 6, 2013

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate is to rein in strict mikveh attendants who bar some women from immersing.

Observant Jewish women go to a ritual bath at the end of their monthly cycle before resuming sexual relations.

Religious law is exacting about precisely which day women must go to the mikveh and on the rules around washing and grooming before immersion.

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Google and Facebook click with Israeli tech

By Daniel Easterman, December 5, 2013

Israeli entrepreneurs streamed into London this week to meet potential investors from world-renowned high-tech companies, at the second annual Innovate Israel conference.

The one-day event provides a forum for representatives from the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft to view the best new ideas coming out of Israel’s technology start-ups.

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Israel to join West at UN Human Rights Commission

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Israel’s isolation at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) is about to come to an end as it joins the Western group of nations (WEOG) at the commission.

Israel has officially been invited to join the group as part of the deal in which it agreed to end its unofficial boycott of the UNHRC last month.

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Peres: I’m 90, so maybe time to retire — in politics

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Shimon Peres, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year, has ruled out remaining the president of Israel after his seven-year term ends next year.

Last week, during a state visit to Mexico, he told reporters: “I will end my role as president in July 2014 and am against any attempt to extend my term or change the legislation.”

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Not a cause, not a problem - Israel is a country

By David Aaronovitch, December 5, 2013

The weekend before last, I was in Jerusalem again, for the third time in my life.

The third time in my life in Israel and every time, no matter how brief the visit, I come away feeling something different.

My earliest visit was in 1977. I was on a student “fact-finding” delegation to Israel, Lebanon and the West Bank.

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Analysis: Israel agonises over Bedouin land crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Ironically perhaps, as the world waits for the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev to clear its final legislative hurdles in the Knesset and the bulldozers to start demolishing the homes of over 30,000 Bedouin slated for resettlement, the only person who has actually lost out so far is Benny Begin.

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French forensics experts say Arafat was not poisoned

By Rosa Doherty, December 3, 2013

French scientists have ruled out the possibility Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned.

News agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) tweeted the update on Tuesday afternoon, reporting that, in the opinion of the forensics experts, he died due to a “generalised infection”.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP that the French results were "not a surprise".

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Battle over Knesset bill to create one chief rabbi of Israel

By Daniel Easterman, December 3, 2013

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, David Lau, has angrily rejected a proposed Knesset bill that would combine the separate Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbi positions into a single role.

Rabbi Lau argued that Israel should not break from tradition and that it was still necessary to maintain “two rabbis of an equal standing, like in the times of the Tannaim Abtalion and Shmaya”.

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