Israel

Chief Rabbi's successful Israel tour

May 16, 2014

In the weeks before the Chief Rabbi’s mission to Israel, there was an undercurrent of carping about the cost and the purpose of taking 49 rabbbis to the Jewish state. Now that it has happened, it should be hailed as a great success that was clearly worth the special fundraising and energy it needed.

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US-Israel relations hit nadir over spy allegations

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2014

Two high-profile reports in Newsweek magazine on Israel’s espionage campaign against its American allies are a sign that the relationship between the two countries has sunk to a new low point.

The reports quote former American intelligence officials and Congressional staffers who claim that Israel has “crossed red lines” in its attempts to obtain confidential information.

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NUS rejects Israel boycott bid

By Charlotte Oliver, May 15, 2014

A motion calling on the National Union of Students to boycott Israeli goods was rejected on Tuesday by its National Executive Council, who warned it could lead to a “BDS agenda”.

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We need to understand Israel better, says Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

By Nathan Jeffay, May 15, 2014

Chief Rabbi Efraim Mirvis has said that his mission to Israel this week, which involved 49 Orthodox rabbis from across Britain, was “not a four-day wonder — it is the beginning of a process, to learn more about Israel, to grapple with issues, to be better informed and better placed to engage with members of our communities”.

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Olmert given six years in prison

By Daniel Easterman, May 13, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to six years in prison and fined over £170,000 for taking bribes and fraudulent activities while he was mayor of Jerusalem.

This is the first time in Israeli history that a former prime minister has received jail time.

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Amos Oz attacks extremist Jewish settlers as 'Hebrew neo-Nazis'

By Daniel Easterman, May 12, 2014

Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most famous novelists, has hit out at radical Jewish settlers, labelling them “Hebrew neo-Nazis”.

At an event celebrating his 75th birthday, Mr Oz said strong language should be used to describe extremist settlers who target Christian sites in so-called "price tag" attacks including vandalism, arson, graffiti, and even threats against leaders of other faiths.

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Israelis join effort to find abducted Nigerian girls

By Rosa Doherty, May 12, 2014

Israeli anti-terrorism experts have joined the international effort to find the 223 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants in Nigeria.

The girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria's northeast.

They were abducteed from their school dormitory in the town of Chibok, on April 14 four weeks ago.

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Biased article that sent my Oy-ometer off the scale

By Robert Liebman, May 9, 2014

Alongside notifications of jumble sales and concerts, an article in the newsletter of my local church propelled the needle on my Oy-ometer off the scale.

Israel, this article proclaimed, was cruelly and arbitrarily mistreating the residents of a Palestinian Christian village. The writer supported her contentions with evidence that was weak (where it was comprehensible) and blatantly biased.

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Balagan, the British version

By Nadav Shemer, May 9, 2014

When David Cameron opened his recent speech to the Knesset with a quip about the new word he had just learnt, balagan, Israelis instantly empathised. Translated officially as a “mess” but more accurately meaning “bedlam”, balagan sums up Israel in a nutshell, describing everything from its politics to the queue at the local supermarket.

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Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet Le’Yisrael in spotlight on transparency

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 8, 2014

Ministers are calling for greater transparency from the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet Le’Yisrael (JNF-KKL), which holds around 15 per cent of Israeli land “for the benefit of the Jewish people.”

On Sunday, a cabinet legislative committee moved to put JNF-KKL under the supervision of the state comptroller.

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