April 26, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - In a landmark ruling on the struggle over prayer at Judaism's holiest shrine, an Israeli court ruled Thursday that women could legally pray at the Western Wall wearing prayer shawls, contrary to Orthodox practice enforced at the site. The ruling came after a string of incidents in recent months in which police detained women who wore the shawls while worshiping at the shrine, saying they had broken a law requiring prayer according to "local custom. " The arrests created an uproar in American Jewish communities and exposed a divide between Israel, where the Orthodox rabbinate has authority in Jewish religious matters, and the Jewish diaspora, where the more liberal Reform and Conservative movements are dominant.
April 22, 2013 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Wrapping up a 24-hour visit to Istanbul, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday sought to cement and speed up an improvement in relations between Turkey and Israel as well as explore new ways to relaunch Mideast peace efforts. President Obama has made both issues foreign policy priorities for his second term and Kerry was pushing them in meetings with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. On a trip to Israel last month, Obama secured a pledge from Turkish and Israeli leaders to normalize ties that broke down after a 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish American.
April 18, 2013
Ram Karmi, 82, a leading Israeli architect whose work is both celebrated and controversial, has died. Mr. Karmi won the Israel Prize, the country's highest honor, in 2002 for his architecture. With sister Ada Karmi-Melamed, he designed Israel's Supreme Court, and with a New York firm, he co-designed the newest terminal at the Ben Gurion International Airport. Both buildings were lauded but Mr. Karmi's other designs provoked criticism, including his Tel Aviv central bus station, a concrete labyrinth of staircases and escalators.
April 17, 2013
Israelis mark independence JERUSALEM - Israelis celebrated 65 years of independence Tuesday, with more than a million people pouring into national parks despite unusually blustery weather. As flags fluttered from windows, streetlamps, and buildings across most of the country, families braved whipping winds and rain to indulge in the holiday's traditional pastime - the park barbecue. The festivities began Monday night, just a day after the country mourned its war dead during its annual Remembrance Day commemorations.
March 24, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian rebels on Saturday seized a major air defense base in a strategic region in the south near the Jordanian border, the latest battlefield triumph for fighters seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, activists said. Fighters with a rebel group active in the south stormed and seized control of the base used by the 38th Division after a 16-day siege, according to a statement posted on websites of the group known as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. The base near the village of Saida is situated along the international highway linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with Jordan to the south.
March 7, 2013 |
Aaron Shneyer's contribution to mediating conflict in the Middle East began with 12 teens and a jam session in Jerusalem. The Georgetown University graduate brought together a dozen Israeli and Palestinian musicians as part of a Fulbright-mtvU project that used music to foster dialogue and understanding. The result is Heartbeat, a peace-building collaboration that has been exported to the United States and will find its way to Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley on Thursday evening.
March 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Seeking to reassure anxious Israelis and their American supporters, Vice President Biden vowed Monday that the United States would not back down from its pledge to use military action to thwart Iran's nuclear program should all other options fail. "President Barack Obama is not bluffing," he said. In a prelude to Obama's forthcoming trip to Israel - his first as president - Biden told a powerful pro-Israel lobby that the United States doesn't want a war with Iran, but that the window for diplomacy is closing.
March 1, 2013 |
SOMETIMES, a documentary is all about the "get," and that's certainly the case with "The Gatekeepers. " Somehow, filmmaker Dror Moreh was able to get the rarely-if-ever-interviewed heads of Shin Bet, Israel's secretive security apparatus, to talk with remarkable candor about the agency's uneven history in protecting Israel from external/internal threats, their surprising views on national politics and Israeli-Arab engagement. Is the testimony in "Gatekeepers" truthful? Self-serving?
February 25, 2013 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The mysterious death of a 30-year-old Palestinian gas station attendant in Israeli custody stoked new West Bank clashes Sunday, along with Israeli fears of a third Palestinian uprising. A senior Palestinian official alleged that Arafat Jaradat was tortured by Israel's Shin Bet security service, citing an autopsy he said revealed bruising and two broken ribs. Israel's Health Ministry said the autopsy did not conclusively determine the cause of death, but that the bruising and broken ribs were likely the result of attempts to revive the detainee.
February 15, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Foreign reports about the mysterious death of an Australian-born Israeli Mossad agent who died in an Israeli prison two years ago have sparked a rare backlash against the country's well-respected security agencies. Critics have accused the government of trying to cover up the affair and are demanding a full investigation, fueling a debate about balancing national security and freedom of information in a country that prides itself as a vibrant democracy. "Israel is a democracy in its basis, but it doesn't adapt itself to the modern age actually," Avigdor Feldman, a lawyer who met the man dubbed "Prisoner X" shortly before his death, told the Associated Press on Thursday.