Jerusalem

France unlikely to back EU plan to split Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, December 3, 2009

France is unlikely to back Sweden in its drive to push east Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital.

French ambassador Christophe Bigot told the Jerusalem Post that the proposal was unlikely to be approved by the 27 EU member states in its present form.

EU foreign ministers, including British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will meet on December 7 in Brussels to discuss the proposal.

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Israel fights EU proposal to divide Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer and Martin Bright, December 3, 2009

Israel is urging EU members to defer the vote on a Swedish proposal to recognise east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, due to be tabled at next week’s meeting of foreign ministers.

The UK government, meanwhile, has distanced itself from the Swedish plan, with senior sources saying that Jerusalem is not the place to start negotiations for a peace settlement because the division of the city is “too provocative”.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry says Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, and its foreign minister, Carl Bildt, is the main force behind the measure.

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EU to propose dividing Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, December 1, 2009

Israel has slammed a move by the European Union to officially divide Jerusalem as a capital for both Israelis and Palestinians.

A proposed resolution for the EU Council has been drafted by Sweden, the current holders of the EU presidency, Ha’aretz reported. The draft says that the EU should recognise Palestinian statehood with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It states: “The goal is an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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Brothers of 'starved' Israeli boy are sent to live in UK

By Marcus Dysch and Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2009

Three brothers of a boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem have moved to England, and are now living with their grandparents in London’s strictly Orthodox community.

The boys, aged nine, seven and five, arrived in Stamford Hill last Thursday, the same day their mother gave birth to her sixth child, also a boy.

It is believed they were accompanied on the jouraney by a rabbi from the strictly-Orthodox Edah Charedit faction and that they were sent on the express orders of Rabbi David Kahan, the spiritual leader of the Toldot Aharon Chasidic group to which the family belongs.

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Woman arrested for wearing tallit at Western Wall

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2009

A woman has been arrested by Israeli police for wearing a tallit at the Western Wall.

Nofrat Frenkel, who was wearing a tallit, a kippah and carrying a Torah scroll, was arrested during the Women of the Wall’s Rosh Chodesh prayers.

Police who arrested Ms Frenkel say she was violating Israeli law that a certain dress code should be worn at the Kotel.

Forty women were attending the prayers in the Western Wall square when Ms Frenkel was allegedly seen reading from the scroll by members of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, who called police.

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Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

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Labour: Jerusalem is not the Jewish capital

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

Ehud Barak’s Labour Party has vetoed a bill in the Knesset describing Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.

The party says that while Jerusalem should be asserted as the capital of Israel, a move to make it a religious capital would be misinterpreted by the rest of the world as a potential act of aggression.
The government cannot support a bill if a party in the Knesset uses its power of veto.

The bill was proposed by Habayit Hayehudi (Our Jewish Home) MK Zevulun Orlev, in order to state clearly that a “United Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people.”

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Israel's Abramovich uses football to unite Jerusalem

By James Montague, October 15, 2009

For the past four seasons the terraces of Betar Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium have noisily exalted their saviour. When Arkadi Gaydamak, the controversial Russian-born tycoon, arrived from nowhere to buy the struggling team, he was heralded for restoring the club’s former glories. The fans ignored his colourful background, and lapped up the success. “Arkadi is the Messiah!” they would sing as he bought them back-to-back championships.

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Rabbi compares Jewish Agency to rioters

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2009

The rabbi in the centre of the row over gender segregation at the Western Wall has compared the Jewish Agency to the Jerusalem rioters.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, has previously demanded more stringent gender segregation at the Western Wall, causing the Jewish Agency to halt all ceremonies for new olim at the Kotel.

The head of immigration and absorption at the Jewish Agency, Paula Edelstein, refused to segregate men and women during the ceremony, and the organisation will now hold the presentation at its own headquarters in Jerusalem.

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Analysis: Situation has explosive potential

By Shmuel Rosner, October 8, 2009

Winter in Jerusalem is not a good time for protest. The winds are too strong, the weather too cold, and days are much too short for people to gather after work for demonstrations. Summer is good, especially for the strictly-Orthodox, bored in the afternoons of a long Shabbat. And autumn is good for the Palestinians.

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