Former ‘Prisoner of Zion’ Rabbi Mendelevitch Visits St. Petersburg For First Time Since 1970

Photo credit: Menachem Adelman/Hillel Engel.

Photo credit: Menachem Adelman/Hillel Engel.

Former “Prisoner of Zion” Yosef Mendelevitch made his first visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, since he was arrested here in 1970 for attempting to hijack an airplane to Israel, JTA reports.

Rabbi Mendelevitch, 67, who along with Natan Sharansky was one of the most well-known “prisoners of Zion,” attempted to carry out Operation Wedding, the code name given to the daring attempt by 12 Zionist activists to hijack a single-engine AN-2 airplane and fly it to Israel. Read more »

Abbas ‘Reassures’ South African Jewish Leaders That He’s Committed To 2-State Solution

obama-abbasx-largePalestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has apparently “reassured” South African Jewish leaders that he is committed to a peaceful two-state solution, during a meeting in Pretoria, The South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement.

“The South African Jewish leadership welcomes the confirmation by President Abbas that he and his government remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict with Israel and to working with the Israeli government towards attaining that goal,” the SAJBD announced in a statement following the meeting at the Presidential Guest House on Wednesday. Read more »

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Urges More Muslim Opposition To ISIS During Turkey Visit

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the “barbaric violence” being committed in Islam’s name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighboring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties.

Francis sought to offer a balanced message as he met with Turkish political and religious officials at the start of his second trip to the Middle East this year. Read more »

General Gadi Eizenkot To Be Named IDF Chief of Staff On Saturday

 Photo credit: Yaron Brener

Photo credit: Yaron Brener

Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot is expected to be named as the 21st chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s Defense Minister’s office said Friday. A formal announcement will be made  on Saturday evening.

Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the current chief of staff, completes his 4-year term on February 15, 2015. Read more »

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK – Local West Midlands Council Drops BDS Motion After Opposition from UKIP, Tories

“BDS Movement against IsraelA local British municipal council has dropped a motion to boycott Israeli products, mere days after Labor-controlled Leicester City Council  passed a motion to remove goods from the “Israeli Occupied Territories” and condemning Israel for “continuing to ignore and breach international law,” UK’s Jewish News reported Thursday.

The Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) of West Midlands was considering adopting a a motion that would boycott “existing and future procurement of goods and services where there is a direct benefit to the State of Israel, until such time as the State of Israel complies with international law.” Read more »

Israel’s Netanyahu Seeking Majority For Bill To Disperse The Knesset

porush netanyahuWhile attempting to get the endorsement of the Haredi parties in his 6th bid (for 4th term) for premiership, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly already obtained the support of a majority of factions in the Knesset to pass a bill as early as next week that would dissolve the Knesset and lead to elections as early a March, political sources were quoted Thursday night.

“It is still too soon to eulogize the coalition, but if there is no choice but to advance the election, there is no reason that it would be hard to pass the bill,” an unnamed source close to Netanyahu was quoted as saying. Read more »

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Man Seriously Wounded By IDF Fire During West Bank Protest

IDF - Israel Defense Forces(AP). An Italian man marching in support of Palestinians in the northern West Bank on Friday was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli forces, a Palestinian hospital official said.

Ramallah Hospital director Ahmad Bitawi says 30-year-old Patrick Corsi was shot during a peaceful protest Friday in the village of Kufr Qadom, near Nablus. He described Corsi’s condition as stable. Read more »

Turkish Governor Apologizes To Chief Rabbi Over Synagogue Incident

Elif Güzel/Wikipedia

Elif Güzel/Wikipedia

A provincial governor of Turkey whose anger at Israel led him to call for turning a synagogue into a museum, has apologized to the country’s chief rabbi – though he claimed he was misunderstood.

Dursun Şahin, governor of the northwestern Edirne province, offered an “apology” that expressed “profound sadness” that his words were “distorted,” the office of Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva said in a statement. Read more »

French Parliament Debates Recognizing Palestine

france-french-flag-thumb1(AP). France’s government is pushing to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, amid growing pressure across Europe for recognition of a Palestinian state after decades of Mideast stalemate.

France’s lower house of Parliament on Friday debated a measure urging the government to recognize an independent Palestine. The Socialist government supports the idea of two states, but argues that it’s too early for outright recognition. Read more »

Israeli FM Lieberman Offers To Pay Israeli Arabs To Leave

Avigdor Lieberman Staring(AP). Israel’s hard-line foreign minister says he supports paying Arab citizens to leave the country.

In a manifesto of his Yisrael Beitenu party published Friday, Avigdor Lieberman says he favors ceding Arab majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis — about 20 percent of Israel’s population of 8 million — to encourage them to emigrate. Read more »

Justice Ginsburg Back At Home, Expected At Supreme Court On Monday

ruth ginsberg(AP). Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned home after undergoing an operation to implant a heart stent to clear a blocked artery and is expected to hear oral arguments on Monday.

Ginsburg, 81, experienced discomfort during exercise with a personal trainer Tuesday and was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The stent procedure came after doctors discovered a blockage in her right coronary artery, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. Read more »

Rebels Making Gains in Southern Syria

Syria Oppo(AP). Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of President Bashar Assad’s seat of power.

The advances appear to be a rare visible success story from efforts by the U.S. and its allies to train and arm moderate rebel fighters. Read more »

Florida Congressman Says Thanksgiving Shouldn’t Be About Wal-Mart

130719_POL_AlanGrayson.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeFlorida’s Jewish Congressman, Rep. Alan Grayson, a big critic of the big box retailer Wal-Mart, slammed the store for the way it treats its employees.

“Thanksgiving was once a holiday reserved for spending time with our loved ones — families across America gathered around the table to enjoy a meal … and give thanks,” Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said in a statement. Read more »

Hackers Force Message on Websites via US Firm

free-syrian-army-cbc-hack(AP) — A U.S. firm that helps connect more than 700 companies with customers through social media says a Syrian group hacked the company’s web address to upload a message to other websites.

Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer outlined what happened in a blog published Thursday. Read more »

IDF Chief Rabbi: Temple Mount Has No Religious Significance to Muslims

IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi PeretzThe Chief Military Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces recently said that he has no idea what Muslims are doing at the Temple Mount, “Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once.”

Brig. General Rafi Peretz was giving a lecture at  the Otzem Pre-Military Torah Academy in Moshav Naveh earlier this month, when he stated the controversial comments. Read more »

Thanksgiving Unites Synagogue, Church Members in Virginia

Rabbi Brett IsserowJews and Christians gathered on Thursday in a joint thanksgiving service that takes place annually by members of the Reform synagogue Beth El Hebrew and Christ Episcopal Church, in  Alexandria, Virginia. This year the service took place in the Synagogue.

“It doesn’t matter if you are Jewish or Christian or whatever. It’s just nice to share the service and there’s so much to be grateful for,” attendee Marsha Kaufman told local CBS affiliate WUSA-9. Read more »

FAA Report Reveals Danger of Near-Collisions Between Airliners, Drones

DronesA recently released report by the Federal Aviation Administration shows that near-collisions between commercial airplanes and drones has surged in recent months.

25 such incidents were reported across the country since July 1, the report reveals. The reports to the FAA came from commercial airlines, private pilots and air-traffic controllers. Read more »

Early Bird Shoppers Turn Out on Thanksgiving

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP) — Early-bird shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving in what’s becoming a new holiday tradition.

By 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 100 shoppers were in line at the Toys R Us in New York City’s Times Square. By the time the doors opened at 5 p.m., the number of people waiting in line had doubled. Read more »

New Website Brings Full Reality of Israel to Arab Audience

almasdar picShimrit Meir, editor of the Al-Masdar (The Source) website, holds daily discussions in her office on the appropriate terminology to utilize in news reports that describe events connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In just one typical example, she and her writing staff decided to use “amalya,” the Arabic word for “act,” when reporting on and describing terrorist acts against Jews, because “terror attack” would be offensive to a substantial number of Palestinian readers.

Read more »

Greenfield Touts Fight Against Borough Park School Bus Logjam

sanitationA new transportation system for yeshivas has brought about a notable rise in the number of school buses transporting Orthodox children in Brooklyn’s Borough Park section, thereby generating massive congestion on neighborhood streets each morning. To try and alleviate the problem, frustrated local officials have been attempting to convince the city Sanitation Department to adjust garbage pickup times in the community.

Read more »

Report: Agudath Israel Agrees To Endorse Netanyahu For PM, Awaiting Lithuanian Faction’s Response

litzmanAgudath Israel has reportedly decided to heed Netanyahu’s call and commit to recommend him for Prime Minister after the elections, according to a report on Kol Berama radio.

The four Agudah’s Knesset members are apparently awaiting for their Degel HaTorah colleagues of the United Torah Judaism Party, in order to offer the pledge as a united faction. Read more »

UNRWA Declares State of Emergency In Gaza Due To Flooding

gaza flood 2The United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip following two days of extreme weather and flooding.

Hundreds of Gazans have been evacuated from their homes in the vicinity of the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City, UNRWA declared on its website. One UNRWA school and an UNRWA Collective Center in Gaza City have also been affected by the rising waters. Read more »

Experts: Israel’s Economy Will Expand At Lower Rate Than Predicted

Israel EconomyEconomic experts are projecting that Israel’s economy will expand over the next two years at a rate that is less than was previously estimated.

According to a Bloomberg News survey of 18 economists that was conducted from Nov. 21 through Nov. 26, Israel’s gross domestic product will rise 2.3 percent this year, 3 percent next year and 3.3 percent in 2016, a reflection of downward revisions across all annual periods. In August, economists had forecast growth of 2.9 percent this year, 3.3 percent next year and 3.8 percent in 2016.

Read more »

US Campaign to Support Full-Time Torah Study in Israel Highlights Sharp Divide

Courtesy of Chabad.org

Courtesy of Chabad.org

A campaign to engage America’s fervently Orthodox community to financially support Israeli kollel students has generated controversy and drawn sharp lines between two opposing societal viewpoints.

“Now, as in times past, the Torah world is fighting for survival…. Now is your chance to stand up and share their burden,” reads an advertisement that has run in major Haredi periodicals, accompanied by a picture of studious men reading holy books.

Read more »

Jewish-American Lone Soldiers Celebrate Thanksgiving In Israel

Photo credit: Shay Wagner

Photo credit: Shay Wagner

On Thursday, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for American IDF lone soldiers, who are serving in the army without their family being in Israel, Arutz Sheva reported.

“The IDF has an unconventional secret weapon in the young women and men who serve the State of Israel while their families live overseas,” AJC Jerusalem Director, Lt. Col. (res.) Avital Leibovich, remarked. Read more »

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