Israel visit is dream come true for Michael Gove

By Marcus Dysch, December 20, 2013

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he had fulfilled a long-held ambition after visiting Israel for the first time.

During the trip, which took place last week, he signed a deal with Israeli counterparts to strengthen education links, a move he said was evidence of the increasingly strong bilateral relationship.


Israel to levy new second home tax

By Nathan Jeffay, December 20, 2013

The cost of maintaining a second home in Israel will rocket on January 1, when a new regulation will double council tax on properties that lie empty for most of the year.

Last week, the Knesset approved the increase in taxes for so-called “phantom apartments”, following years of complaints by municipalities in tourist areas such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


Israel fears sanctions tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Israeli diplomats are concerned that a large wave of sanctions could hit the country if the current round of talks with the Palestinians fails.

A recent spate of boycott actions in Europe and the US will have a limited effect but Israelis fear that they could be just the beginning.


Israel storm of the century

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Weather historians are still arguing whether this was the worst snowstorm to hit Israel in 21, 60, 93 or 140 years, but its results are hard to argue with.

From Thursday afternoon, 48 hours of rain, hail and snow — which in Jerusalem piled up as high as 70cm — paralysed transport around the country.


PA says two killings within 24-hours is threat to peace

By Daniel Easterman, December 19, 2013

The Palestinian Authority has accused Israel of causing damage to the ongoing peace negotiations after Israeli security forces killed two suspected terrorists in the West Bank.

A spokesperson for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said: "This dangerous Israeli escalation is aiming to thwart the attempt by the Americans and international community to advance the peace process."


American academics vote to boycott Israel

By Daniel Easterman, December 18, 2013

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin has hit back at the American Studies Association (ASA) for its decision to boycott Israel.

The Minister described the association as a "radical leftist" group but raised concerns that their boycott could spread to similar organisations.


Let’s rev up that pulpit power

By Shmuley Boteach, December 17, 2013

When Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies, challenged me to a public debate, I immediately accepted (we thought it would happen at this year’s Limmud, then logistics got in the way but I look forward to airing this critical dialogue soon).


Sniper who shot Israeli soldier turned himself in to Lebanese authorities

By Rosa Doherty, December 16, 2013

The sniper who shot dead an Israeli solider on Sunday night has turned himself in to the Lebanese authorities.

IDF and Lebanese army officials are due to meet today alongside UN representatives to discuss the attack.

The Israeli military said the incident happened on the border between the countries, near the crossing at Rosh Hanikra.


Transport chaos in Jerusalem as snow storm leaves thousands stranded

By Daniel Easterman, December 13, 2013

Hundreds are stranded on the roads leading up to Jerusalem and tens of thousands of homes in the city are without power, on the third day of one of the worst storms in Israel’s history.

According to reports, between 1,500 and 2,000 people were rescued from cars trapped in the snow last night and hundreds of others were evacuated to the city’s two main conventions centres.


Tel Aviv now broadcasting English-only radio station

By Shira Rubin, December 12, 2013

As Israel’s first English-language radio station and with its offering of original cultural and political analysis, TLV1 is unprecedented in the country’s radio scene, says CEO Avner Shelem.

The station is headquartered in Tel Aviv and operates exclusively on private donations and without any support from the government.