Jerusalem

Greek-Israel ties bolstered

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

The diplomatic relationship between Israel and Turkey continued to deteriorate this week in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid, as the ambassador to Ankara was publicly snubbed. At the same time, Israel bolstered its ties with Turkey's rival neighbour, Greece, with a prime ministerial visit.

Israel's ambassador was not invited to a Ramadan "Iftar" supper hosted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Iftar meal was attended by all the ambassadors in Ankara but Israeli representative, Gabi Levy, was pointedly left out.

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Israel take down Jerusalem wall

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

Ten years after becoming a local landmark in Jerusalem, the concrete wall shielding the Gilo neighbourhood from Palestinian fire is being removed.

The decision to take down the wall, made from 800 concrete panels, spanning 600 metres of Anafa Street, was agreed upon by the IDF, Jerusalem City Hall and the police. The wall went up at the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, after the eastern part of Gilo came under daily fire from the Palestinian village of Beit Jallah.

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Islamic movement tried to remove evidence of Jewish Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

An investigation into the failure of law enforcement agencies to prevent what is alleged to have been an attempt to wipe out Jewish history on Temple Mount 11 years ago looks set to cause widespread controversy.

The publication of the report into the removal, by night, of 6,000 cubic metres of mud from beneath the Al Aqsa Mosque by the Muslim Wakf authority that oversees the management of the mosque compound, has been suppressed for months by the government.

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Israel honour Aborigine Nazi fighter

By Dan Goldberg, August 5, 2010

Yad Vashem will for the first time honour an indigenous Australian, who protested against the "cruel persecution" of the Jews by the Nazis.

Researchers at Israel's national Holocaust memorial have spent much of the last year verifying accounts of the protest led by the late William Cooper, the then 77-year-old head of the Australian Aborigines League, who delivered a petition to the German consulate in Melbourne on December 6, 1938 - just weeks after the Kristallnacht pogrom.

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Israel ad ban appeal unsuccessful

By Robyn Rosen, August 5, 2010

An appeal against a ban on a holiday advert describing the Western Wall as part of Israel has been unsuccessful.

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) appealed after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint in April that the Kotel was actually in the Occupied Territories.

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Jerusalem culture season planned

By Martin Bright, August 5, 2010

A Jerusalem Season of Culture, an annual event to promote the arts of the city is to be launched next summer.

The event is part of a drive by the artistic community in Jerusalem to show an alternative perspective of a city often associated with division, violence and religious fanaticism.

Figures in the political, business and cultural worlds in Jerusalem are also keen to remove the Israeli capital from the shadow of its more hedonistic neighbour Tel Aviv.

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Israel Museum gets $100 million facelift

By Ben Lynfield, July 22, 2010

The Israel Museum is to re-open next week following a $100 million refurbishment.

While Israelis have been able to take pride in having a world-class national museum since 1965, it had a reputation for being relatively visitor-unfriendly. There was a steep hike to the entrance and people got lost trying to find exhibits or trying to leave.

Museum officials say the goal of the renovation - which was completed on time, within 30 months, and on budget - was to make the collections more accessible, physically and conceptually.

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Jerusalem building plan advances

By Nathan Jeffay, July 1, 2010

Arab neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem will, for the first time, be subject to Israeli building regulations if a plan by the Jerusalem municipality gets government approval.

The proposal has been opposed by Arab representatives as it would extend Israeli authority over the area, and is considered particularly sensitive as American President Barack Obama does not want a change to the status quo in the city at the moment.

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UN: East Jerusalem homes demolition 'illegal'

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called the plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem “illegal”.

The homes, in the Silwan neighbourhood of the city, will be demolished to build an archaeological tourism park.
US President Barack Obama and Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak have also criticised the approval, granted by Jerusalem City Council.

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BBC's new man in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

The BBC's North America correspondent, Kevin Connolly, is to succeed Tim Franks as the corporation's reporter in Jerusalem.

Mr Connolly has had a long career as a foreign correspondent, but has never previously worked in the Middle East.

An Oxford graduate, he worked in print journalism before joining the BBC in 1984.

In 1987, he was posted to Dublin to be the BBC's Irish correspondent, but moved to Warsaw only a year later. He then spent four years as Moscow correspondent, during which he covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Chechnya.

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