Israel

Storm brews over Netanyahu's ‘nation state’ law

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 8, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention to create a new Basic Law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is causing a major political row.

In the absence of a constitution, Basic Laws make up the foundations of legislation in Israel.

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Yom Ha'atzmaut Photo Special

May 8, 2014

Photos by: Sara Radivan, Brenda Levinson and Benjamin Alfon

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Sixty-six years old, and partying hard

By Daniel Easterman, May 6, 2014

Israel is celebrating 66 years since gaining independence with street parties and fireworks displays taking place throughout the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres both sent video messages to diaspora communities around the world to mark the day.

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Everything changed when Israel was proclaimed

By Colin Shindler, May 3, 2014

"I arrived at 3.30. By 3.45 we were all sitting down. In addition to the intended signatories, there were visitors, journalists and the Tel Aviv Philharmonic orchestra...then without any hesitation, Ben-Gurion stood up at four o’clock on the dot. We were all shaking . Without any introduction...he read the Declaration of Independence.

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Netanyahu pushes law to make Israel the Jewish nation-state

By Rosa Doherty, May 2, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to promote new legislation that will protect Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Speaking at the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, Mr Netanyahu said: “It is my intention to submit a Basic Law to the Knesset that would provide a constitutional anchor for Israel’s status as the national state of the Jewish people.”

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Agunah freed in radical court ruling

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 2, 2014

A daring ruling by the Safed Rabbinical Court in northern Israel last month ended a seven-year ordeal for a 34 year-old woman who had been considered an agunah (chained woman) since her husband was badly injured in a motorcycle accident.

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Abbas’s Shoah recognition papers over a murky record

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 1, 2014

There is a wide range of attitudes to the Holocaust among Palestinians, ranging from outright denial and support of Nazism to attempts by moderates to learn about the genocide of European Jewry.

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Israelis - most liberal

May 1, 2014

Who would have thought it? A survey by the globally respected Pew Research Centre has shown that Israelis — a people surrounded on virtually all sides by dictators, theocrats and militant Islamists — are significantly more relaxed than the rest of the world on touchstone liberal issues such as homosexuality, premarital sex and abortion.

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Israeli ‘bomb’ quiz explodes on global TV

By Nathan Jeffay, May 1, 2014

For a country with bomb-detecting security scanners in every shopping centre and leaders who constantly talk about the Iranian nuclear programme, Israel’s latest television craze is surprising — a bomb-themed quiz show.

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Survey shows Israelis to be among world’s most liberal

By Nathan Jeffay, May 1, 2014

In an international “morality” survey, Israelis have emerged as more relaxed than the average global citizen on a range of issues including homosexuality and pre-marital sex.

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