Latest News Briefs


Life after death: Where do we go from here?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Is there a World-to-Come after this one, and is it eternal? Who even goes there?

Sanders: I'd consider moving embassy back to Tel Aviv

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Senator Bernie Sanders says he would consider moving US embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. Bloomberg: You can't move it back.

Amazon stops selling books described as 'Nazi propaganda'

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Amazon has stopped sales of some books on its platform following protests that the titles, including some for children, were Nazi-era "propaganda," a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday, according to AFP.

The move came days after the Auschwitz museum called on the US tech firm to remove Nazi-era anti-Semitic children's books from sale.


Spanish carnival features Nazi uniforms, trains with crematoria

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Israeli Embassy in Madrid on Tuesday protested a carnival procession in Spain in which participants dressed like Nazis and Jewish concentration camp prisoners while dancing next to a float evoking crematoria, JTA reports.

The display appeared this past weekend at the annual carnival procession in Campo de Criptana, a town situated about 80 miles southeast of Madrid.


Abbas spokesman blasts new Israeli construction

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel would build 3,500 housing units the E1 area, near Maaleh Adumim.

In a statement quoted by the PA’s official Wafa news agency, Abu Rudeineh said this decision is the result of “the biased and dangerous American policy in favor of the Israeli occupation, which led to a situation that violates international law, transgresses the red lines, and contradicts with United Nations resolutions on settlements, specifically Security Council resolution 2334 of 2016, which confirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements.”


China reports 52 new deaths from coronavirus

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

China reported 406 new cases of the coronavirus and 52 deaths, all of them in Hubei Province.

In total, 78,064 people have been infected with the virus.


Montreal-area home has clause preventing sale to Jews

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Montreal-area home contains a clause in its deed preventing its sale to a Jewish person, JTA reported on Tuesday.

It is the second home near that city discovered to contain such a “servitude clause” barring sale to anyone of Jewish origin.


South Korea reports 169 new cases of coronavirus

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

South Korea reported 169 new coronavirus cases, pushing the total tally to 1,146.

Of the new cases, 134 were from Daegu city.


When flying bombs explode above your head

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Tamar Yonah is down south in Ashkelon, and talks about the three different rocket attacks she experienced this week.

Hotovely meets Reform leader

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Diaspora Affairs Minister met this past week with the President of the the Union for Reform Judaism, who invited Hotovely to his community.

US sanctions 13 foreign entities and individuals over Iran support

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The US announced on Tuesday it was imposing sanctions on 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia, and Turkey for supporting Iran’s missile program.

The State Department said the action included new sanctions against five firms or individuals in China and Turkey. It named a Chinese individual sanctioned as Luo Dingwen and three Chinese entities as Baoding Shimaotong Enterprises Services Co. Ltd., Gaobeidian Kaituo Precise Instrument Co. Ltd., and Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co. Ltd.


Islamic Jihad: We turned life in Gaza envelope into 'hell'

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Abu Hamza, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad’s “military wing”, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed on Tuesday that the organization's terrorists, along with terrorists from other Palestinian organizations, succeeded in making life in the "settlements" of the Gaza envelope a "hell" and "a place not suitable to live in."

Speaking in Khan Yunis after the group fired over 80 rockets at southern Israel, Abu Hamza said that any act of resistance is "legitimate" and it is gaining popular support and "we are proud of the sacrifice of our blood so that our (Palestinian) and our (Islamic) nation will live in dignity."


'Democratic president can’t stop Trump plan'

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
PM Netanyahu explains his agenda in interview with Gil Hoffman and admits: I'm sorry I couldn't bring Pollard to Israel.

Bloomberg to address AIPAC conference

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg will speak at next week’s AIPAC policy conference, the group confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday.

The announcement comes two days after Senator Bernie Sanders, one of Bloomberg’s rivals in the race for the Democratic nomination, announced he would boycott the AIPAC conference and used harsh words when doing so.


Smotrich: Benny Gantz wants to create a legal dictatorship here

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich criticized Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, who said in an interview on Radio 103FM on Tuesday that he believes that the legal system should be superior to the political system.

"Benny Gantz wants to create a legal dictatorship here. He wants to turn the State of Israel into a totalitarian state. We will not let him transform Israel into Iran," Smotrich said.


Gantz: Netanyahu wants to become an Erdogan-style leader

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz on Tuesday evening urged left-wing voters not to vote for small parties and to support Blue and White instead.

In a speech, Gantz proclaimed, "Netanyahu wants to turn himself from a Prime Minister to a Rais (Arabic word for ruler -ed.) - this is not the time for small parties."


Yamina: Eli Moyal was a cornerstone in the history of Zionist activity

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Yamina party said on Tuesday evening following the passing of former Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal, "The Yamina party expresses its condolences over the untimely passing of Eli Moyal, the former mayor of Sderot, and sends condolences to the members of the family."

"Moyal led and successfully developed the city of Sderot in the face of the many challenges it faced and was a cornerstone in the history of Zionist activity in the State of Israel. May he rest in peace,” said the party.


Coronavirus panic hits Israel

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
The Israeli health system is on the alert and worried about the possibility of the virus spreading in Israel.

Rivlin: Eli Moyal built Sderot as a metropolis

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

President Reuven Rivlin eulogized former Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal and said, "Eli was a dear friend and a loyal envoy of the residents of Sderot. I remember vividly, from my days as a Knesset member, Eli's uncompromising commitment to the mission, the day-to-day work for the residents of the south and of Sderot out of true love."

"Eli built Sderot as a metropolis in Israel while not sparing efforts and caring for the safety of residents as well as their ability to earn a living with dignity and well-being. Even in difficult times and after he left office, Eli always remained committed to his mission. The people of Israel will remember him as one of its special sons,” Rivlin added.


Eli Moyal, former mayor of Sderot, passes away amid widespread acclaim

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Eli Moyal, former mayor of Sderot, the Gaza border city, has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 67. Moyal resigned as mayor in 2008 after ten years in office as a protest over the government's lack of response to rocket attacks from Gaza that began in 2001 (and continue until today). Members of all political parties have expressed sorrow at Moyal's passing and have praised him for his tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Sderot.

Read more


French city calls Tel Aviv ‘ex-Palestine’ in official letter

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
French municipality of Marseille describes Tel Aviv as part of 'former Palestine' in official letter to resident born in Israeli city.

IDF soldiers who combine Torah study with army duty will serve longer

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The military commitment of IDF soldiers who combine Torah study with army duty has been extended from seventeen to eighteen months. These soldiers will no longer be enlisted in mixed units, such as artillery, where women serve alongside men. Many rabbis had sharply criticized their students being placed in mixed units.

These soldiers will also be part of the army's new emphasis on recruitment into vanguaard combat units. As such, they will serve in infantry, armored corps (tank), and combat engineer units.


Wasted votes of far right not a concern for their spiritual leader

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Despite the fact that votes for Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength), a far right party, will almost certainly not result in any Knesset seats for its candidates, Rabbi Dov Lior, the party's spiritual leader will not ask Itamar Ben-Givr, the head of the party, to withdraw from the elections. It is widely held that an additional two or three seats could be added to the right wing bloc, probably enough to form a majority in the next Knesset, if Otzma Yehudit were to withdraw, with its backers then voting for other right wing candidates. In order to pass the threshold for winning Knesset seats, a party must garner 3.25% of the votes cast, which is roughly equivalent to four seats, a threshold Otzma Yehudit is virtually certain not to reach. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reached out to Rabbi Lior, asking to schedule a meeting with him. Lior refused to meet since he understood that Netanyahu would try to persuade him to tell Ben-Gvir to withdraw. "There is no price on earth that would persuade me to abandon the ideology in which I believe," Lior said.


Bennett on Gaza escalation: We are preparing something

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Defense Minister delivers implicit threat to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip following latest round of rocket attacks.

Defense Minister Bennett: We're preparing something for Gaza

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett hinted at Israel's future plans for Gaza against the backdrop of yesterday's terrorist escalation with the firing of more than twenty rockets by Islamic Jihad from Gaza into israel. "We just liquidated terrorists in Gaza and Damascus," Bennett explained, "and since I do not like rounds of fighting I have instituted a new protocol. The Prime Minister has spoken the truth, we are preparing something -- but we need a little bit of patience."


"Even if we have to sleep in the streets, we must elect Netanyahu"

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council, called on the residents of Judea and Samaria to pull out all the stops to make sure Netanyahu leads the right bloc to victory in next week's elections. "It's a question of whether we continue to build and grow," Dagan asserted, "or heaven forbid we are uprooted from our homes. This is not the time for disagreements and arguments. Of course there are differences of opinion but Netanyahu is the leader of the nationalist bloc and he has brought unprecedented achievements to Israel in general and to Judea and Samaira in particular. Our goal must be to strengthen the tenure of Netanyahu and as long as all of us vote for a right-wing coalition party, even if it means pulling people out of their homes to vote, we can do that. Even if it means sleeping in sleeping bags in the streets in order for the right wing to be victorious, that will be our task."


Italy: Communal prayer becomes prohibited in some areas

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Italian Jewish life in danger as result of COVID-19 spread, following new government ban on gatherings in some areas, including religious.

50K shekels to yeshiva students due to female police officer conduct

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Two yeshiva students were awarded 50,000 shekels as the result of a female police officer's conduct. In the wake of a protest in Bnei Brak, an ultra-orthodox community just east of Tel Aviv, the female officer touched the shoulder of one of the students and closed the door of the room when she investigated each of them. According to Jewish law, a man is not allowed to have physical contact with or be secluded with a woman (other than his wife or immediate family). The police reacted by noting that the anti-military draft protest at issue resulted in violation of public order with the yeshiva students laying down in the street. Despite endless provocations both physical and verbal on the part of the ultra-orthodox during this and similar protests, a police memorandum maintained that the police always try to respect the dignity of every human being throughout such stressful encounters and their aftermath.


3 hurt in Jerusalem synagogue gas explosion

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Firefighters fear synagogue building may collapse following severe gas explosion.

Israel at work to develop vaccine for coronavirus

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A sample of the coronavirus is being investigated by the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona, near Tel Aviv. It is hoped that a coronavirus vaccine may be developed from it. The sample came from one of two Israelis who were infected with the virus while on a cruise ship near Japan. Those Israelis are now in quarantine in Sheba Medical Center, also near Tel Aviv.


Coronavirus disrupts Jewish life in Italy

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy, which is the most serious in all of Europe, Jewish activity has been strictly curtailed. Directives from the government forbid many regular public gatherings. As a result, a Bar Mitavah has already been canceled and other public Jewish celebrations are in doubt.. Even daily minyans (prayer services) have been discontinued in some places. 35,000 Jews live in Italy today and there are fears that living a full Jewish life in that country will not be possible at least in the immediate future due to the virus.


Minister Smotrich: Bring sanity back to southern Tel Aviv

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Transport Minister Betzalel Smotrich and candidate Shirley Pinto visit southern Tel Aviv; Smotrich 'commits to working for the residents.'

Two Israeli diplomats in Japan ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Two Israeli diplomats in Japan have self-quarantined as a result of their having accompanied eleven Israelis as they disembarked from the Diamond Cruise "corona ship." Since two of the Israeli passengers were subsequently diagnosed with the coronavirus in Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, the diplomats who are still in Japan have been order to quarantine themselves in their residences for two weeks.


Living as a Moslem in Libya, Sabrin returns to Jewish roots in Europe

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A woman who grew up in a Jewish family in Benghazi, Libya, that hid its faith from the Moslems around them, has just now been welcomed into the Jewish community in an Eastern European city. Forty-one years ago, after Gaddafi came to power in Libya, nearly all Jewish residents of that country departed. Only a few, such as the famly of Sabrin, remained, but they had to hide their Judaism to survive and they eventually abandoned all Jewish practices. Thanks to Yad L'Achim (Hand to Brothers), an Israeli organization that focuses on counter-missionary work and deterrence of interfaith marriage with Muslims and rescue from it, Sabrin was able to find a helping hand in transforming her life so she could live and practice as a Jew. The transition was not easy since she was married to a Muslim who kept her secret while they lived in Libya. After the revolution that resulted in LIbyan dictator Gaddafi's death, however, she decided she must leave Libya. Her brother had been in the rebel army and when he was killed he received a Muslim burial, which was the impetus for Sabrina's decision to leave. She realized then that she had to get back to her Jewish roots. Eventually, in an Eastern European city, she was able to divorce her husband and happily join the Jewish community. She now sends her children to Jewish schools.


Netanyahu will try to form unity government after elections next week

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Once again, neither the right or left bloc stands to gain enough seats in next week's elections to form a government on its own. While sources from both the Likud led rightwing bloc and the Blue and White led left wing bloc believe that Netanyahu will try to form a unity government, his terms will be less generous to Blue and White than those he offered after the previous elections. This is the assessment of Raviv Drucker, a reporter for channel 13 television news.

According to a most recent poll, both left and right wing blocs stand to gain 56 mandates, but Likud will garner 33 mandates as opposed to Blue and White's 32, a lost of four mandates for Blue and White over the past week, which will mean that President Rivlin will first call upon Netanyahu to try and assemble a government.


Yamina: 'Gantz wants a dictatorship of the High Court'

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Yamina party slams Blue and White leader for calling for judiciary to be supreme over other branches of government.

Gantz wants dictatorship of the courts according to right-wing party

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This evening (Tuesday) the right-wing Yamina party attacked the words of Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party. According to Yamina, Gantz favors ascendancy of the judicial system over the political one.

"Gantz, who has suggested that Israel be transformed into a dictatorship of the Supreme Court, should withdraw his candidacy for Prime Minister since he wants to completely erase separation between the branches of government," Yamina candidates for the Knesset argued. "It is this separation upon which a democratic state depends and so by erasing it there is no point for Gantz to assume the position of Prime Minister since it would have no meaning for him."

The Yamina candidates added: "What is clearer that ever before is that a vote for Yamina is a vote to stop judicial activism. The alternative is a turn to the left."


IDF spokesman addresses Gaza residents in Arabic: Jihad hurts you most

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

An IDF spokesman addressed residents of the Gaza Strip in Arabic following yesterday's military escalation when more that twenty rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel. "The Islamic Jihad group hurts you most of all," the spokesman said. "The consequences of its actions bring about a reality in which you do not want to live and efforts to achieve a state of calm are made more difficult. Hundreds of trucks with supplies you need pass through the Kerem Shalom crossing every day but the recent military escalation is why the crossing is now closed."


Gantz: Judiciary must be supreme over political system

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Blue and White chairman warns about 'danger to Israeli democracy' if Netanyahu remains in office while under trial.

Labor head: 'Netanyahu strengthens Hamas'

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Labor Chair Amir Peretz stops in at Nativ HaAsarah: 'Bibi lets Hamas determine reality, height of flames, and schedule between rounds.'
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