Historic advance in Jewish-Catholic relations, but the world will recall just one photograph

By Nathan Jeffay, May 29, 2014


Rarely has a single event shown just how far Jewish-Catholic relations have advanced in recent decades. Pope Francis’s 27-hour visit to Israel this week came five decades after the first papal visit to the Jewish state. And it is difficult to imagine a more different trip.


Welfare fears as cuts loom in Israel

By Nathan Jeffay, May 28, 2014

Major cuts are expected in Israel following a Bank of Israel report which said that the government needs to pull NIS 18 billion (£3bn) out of its welfare budget next year.

The Finance Ministry is now caught in a tug-of-war between the government’s welfare departments and a very nervous defence establishment.


Final list emerges for Israeli president race

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 28, 2014

Six contenders remained in the race to be Israel’s next president as the list closed on Tuesday.

The candidates, who managed to collect the necessary ten signatures of Knesset members, included three serving MKs.

Former Speaker Rubi Rivlin is widely regarded the front-runner, although he has not been endorsed as his Likud party’s official candidate.


Why Israeli men live longer (clues: beer and women)

By Nathan Jeffay, May 22, 2014

They spend three years in the army and enjoy nothing more than a deep-fried falafel. But Israeli men rank fourth in the world when it comes to life expectancy.

According to new World Health Organisation projections, a baby boy born in 2012 in a low-income country will live until 60 on average, while in a high-income country the average is 76. In Israel, however, he can expect to reach 80.


Israel’s hopes for the Pope

By Nathan Jeffay, May 22, 2014

Pope Francis will arrive in Jerusalem on Sunday evening for a 27-hour visit and all that Israel will be hoping for is an uneventful trip.

Israel will welcome declarations on the importance of the Holy Land and general statements on the church’s yearning for peace. But it is concerned that the Pope may delve into the politics of the failed peace process.


Ex-ICC lawyer praises Israeli legal system

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 22, 2014

Former International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has downplayed fears that Palestinian access to The Hague will result in a tidal wave of war crime indictments against Israelis.

Now that the Palestinian Authority has had its UN status upgraded to non-member observer state, it is eligible to join the court, though the PA has yet to do so.


Watch: Inside Iran's Nuclear Weapons Plan

May 21, 2014
Israel's Diaspora Affairs Ministry has produced an animated film to warn of the dangers of Iran's nuclear programme.


Israeli cartoon warns of Iranian nuclear danger

By Charlotte Oliver, May 21, 2014

Israel is attempting to alert the world to the dangers of Iran’s nuclear programme through the medium of animation.

A cartoon film stressing the threat posed by Iran was posted online this week, to coincide with ongoing negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers.


Abbas signs oil deal with Venezuela

By Rosa Doherty, May 19, 2014

Venezuela has signed a deal to provide the Palestinian Authority with oil and diesel fuel.

The South American nation signed the deal on Friday in Caracas with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Venezuelan petroleum company PDVSA is expected to send 240,000 barrels of oil and diesel to the PA.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “We welcome the Palestinian people and the Arabs.


MKs propose access to Temple Mount for Jews

By Daniel Easterman, May 19, 2014

Knesset members on the left and right have proposed a new law which would allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

The bill, co-authored by right-wing Likud MK Miri Regev and Labour MK Hilik Bar, is an attempt to overturn the current ban on Jewish worshippers at the site, currently reserved for Muslims.