Arab MK Ayman Odeh: Israel murdered Arafat

(JTA) – The leader of Israel’s Joint Arab List party has accused the Israeli government of murdering Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004.

Ayman Odeh, who has been championed as a moderate and spoken about the need for Jews and Arabs to work together, said in an interview Monday that the Shin Bet domestic intelligence service was responsible for the Palestine Liberation Organization founder’s death at age 75, the Times of Israel reported. [Read more…]


EU condemns settler group’s video that threatens its Jerusalem envoy

(JTA) – The European Union (EU) has condemned a campaign by a new settler organization that verbally attacks its envoy in Jerusalem.

The video posted Sunday on Facebook by the Jerusalem’s Periphery Forum, which represents Jewish communities south of Jerusalem, criticizes the EU for funding illegal homes for Bedouin and Palestinians along the major North-South Route 1. [Read more…]


Rabbi compares Israeli army’s beard directive to Nazi Germany

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli army reportedly will postpone implementing tougher regulations on beards following complaints from hundreds of religious soldiers and criticism from a prominent rabbi who compared the edict to Nazi Germany.

Under the requirements that were scheduled to go into effect Tuesday, soldiers would have to get permission to keep a beard from their commander rather than the military chaplain. But on Monday afternoon, the Israel Hayom newspaper reported that the Israel Defense Forces would postpone putting the rules into effect. [Read more…]


Last Palestinian employees at SodaStream lose their jobs

(JTA) – The last Palestinian employees of SodaStream lost their jobs following the company’s move from the West Bank to southern Israel.

The 74 employees had been commuting to the company’s new location in the Negev Desert since the plant in Maale Adumim closed in October. Some 500 Palestinian employees lost their jobs at that time. Israel gave the remaining employees permission to enter the country and continue to work for SodaStream until the end of February. [Read more…]


British Labour Party to probe anti-Semitism claims against its Oxford U club

(JTA) – Following a student’s resignation from Oxford University’s Labour Club over alleged anti-Semitism, a lawmaker for the British party will head an inquiry into his claims.

Janet Royall, Labour’s former leader of the House of Lords, the British Parliament’s upper house, was appointed Friday to head a fresh investigation into the allegations at the top university, The Jewish Chronicle reported Sunday. [Read more…]


Israeli government minister predicts PA collapse

(JTA) – An Israeli government minister predicted the collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

“The question is not if the PA collapses but when it is going to collapse,” Zeev Elkin, the minister of immigrant absorption and of Jerusalem affairs, said Monday in a speech at Bar-Ilan University. “It can happen in a month or two or a year or two tops.” [Read more…]


Portugal journalists union: Slain Palestinian terrorists not murdered

(JTA) – The union of Portuguese journalists rejected a complaint by the Palestinian Authority about a reporter’s use of the word “murder” to describe only victims of terrorist attacks and not perpetrators.

Portugal’s Syndicate of Journalists published its decision last week on a complaint that Hikmat Ajjuri, the Palestinian Authority’s envoy to Portugal, filed in December against Henrique Cymerman, the Israel reporter for Portugal’s Independent Communication Company, or SIC. [Read more…]