Jerusalem

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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Analysis: Hamas play for power

By David Hazony, October 8, 2009

This week was not the first time Arabs were called upon to “defend Al-Aqsa”. The sudden spreading of false rumours about Israeli attempts to Judaise Jerusalem, to destroy the Dome of the Rock, or to plant false antiquities showing an ancient Israelite provenance — without any obvious provocation from Israel — happens occasionally.

Of course, had Israel wanted to exert its sovereignty over Temple Mount, it has no need for such secretive steps. To begin with, it could have allowed Jews to pray there.

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Jerusalem riots 'not new intifada, just Palestinian politics'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2009

Experts believe that the outbreak of riots around the Old City of Jerusalem is not the beginning of a “third intifada”, but an attempt by Palestinian leaders to draw their population’s attention away from recent governmental debacles.

Stone-throwing and violent encounters with police began in Jerusalem, in and around the Old City, last Sunday, on the day before Yom Kippur.

The rioting began when a group of French tourists entered the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount and rumours spread that “the Jews are trying to take over the mosques”.

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Christians flock to Jersualem for Succot

By Ben Lynfield, October 6, 2009

Soft rock infused with hymns from a 30-person band and choir, invocations in a multitude of tongues, worshippers up on their feet with arms outstretched toward the heavens and perhaps most important of all, a break to plug El Al Israel airlines.

Pilgrims from more than 80 countries attended the Christian evangelical service in Jerusalem on Sunday. It was one of the highlights of the annual Feast of Tabernacles festivities that coincide with Succot, and are organised by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ).

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Police prepare for more Jerusalem violence

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Police in Jerusalem are preparing for more violence in Jerusalem and will be on high alert during today’s annual Succot Jerusalem march, which 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Access to the Temple Mount will be restricted to Muslim women and to Muslim men over the age of 50.

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Anger at rule on gender segragation near Kotel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

A move by the rabbi of the Western Wall to gender-segregate ceremonies taking place near Judaism’s holiest shrine is causing consternation.

Officials at the Jewish Agency are considering changing the venue of the ceremony at which new immigrants to Israel are given their first identity cards. According to the decision of the Western Wall Heritage Fund, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, women and men would be forced to sit separately and women would not be allowed to speak from the podium.

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Secularists fight Charedi housing plan

By Ben Lynfield, September 24, 2009

The Charedi community has scored a victory in the latest round of its conflict with secular residents over the future of the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem. Last week a Charedi group won a tender for a large housing project expected to further consolidate the growing ultra-Orthodox presence in the area.

The rapid influx of Charedim into the neighbourhood is being met with unusually vocal opposition from secularists, and the area has come to symbolise the larger battle over the character of Israel’s capital.

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Turn on and tune into a Yomtov service

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Reform synagogues have reported an encouraging response to moves to put High Holy-Day services online.

The web initiative was meant to be in preparation for a swine flu epidemic.

However, Finchley Reform Synagogue and Glasgow New Synagogue were among shuls that went ahead and streamed their Rosh Hashanah services over the web, linking to viewers across the world, including patients at the Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem.

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Arrest over threats to gays

August 13, 2009

A soldier in the Nahal Charedi battalion was arrested last Friday over suspicions that he had threatened members of the gay community in Jerusalem.

Shmuel Primark, 20, is suspected of sending threatening messages to gay centres and posting them on internet forums. Police say they do not believe he has any connection to the shooting in Tel Aviv last week in which two members of a gay youth club were killed. Police have yet to make arrests over the shooting and are investigating whether there was a connection to a fight at the club a few days previously.

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