Jerusalem

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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Israeli mother who starved child avoids prison

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 21, 2010

The strictly Orthodox woman from Jerusalem who was charged with starving her three-year-old son was convicted of intentionally harming her child in a plea bargain with the prosecution on Monday.

According to the terms of the plea bargain, the mother will not serve any prison time but will spend the next three years under house arrest, following which she will be sentenced by the court.

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Wiesel: Outrage at Jerusalem letter

By Jessica Elgot, May 13, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has sparked outrage in Jerusalem for an open letter he wrote to US President Barack Obama urging him not to ‘politicise’ Jerusalem.

The American-based academic and Holocaust survivor wrote to President Obama: “For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics.

"It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain.

“The first song I heard was my mother's lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory."

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Israelis celebrate Jerusalem Day

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

Israelis have celebrated Jerusalem Day, marking 43 years since the unification of Jerusalem in 1967, when east Jerusalem was captured from the Jordanians.

Thousands of police have been mobilised in Jerusalem, as Jewish nationalists prepared a celebratory march across the city. Tensions were high in the east of the city as most Palestinians still view the area as a future capital of an independent Palestine.

An open air concert was held to celebrate the day, with American band, Kool and the Gang, performing.

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Teenage girl suspected of synagogue arson

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

A teenage girl has been arrested for a suspected arson attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, which she claims was revenge for harassment by her Charedi neighbours.

The girl, who has not been named, is suspected of setting fire near the Ark at the Heichal Shlomo synagogue on Pnim Meirot Street, during Lag B’Omer.

She will be held in custody for police questioning until this evening.

Police said that the girl is believed to have carried a lighter into the synagogue and set fire to the cantor’s platform and the screen in front of the Ark.

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Netanyahu gets away with Jerusalem policy

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 29, 2010

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes he has turned a corner in his difficult relationship with the American administration and that peace talks are now possible without a commitment to freeze building in east Jerusalem.

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