Israeli president comments on Western Wall controversy

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin criticized the regularization law that retroactively legalizes settler homes build on private Palestinian land. (Bryan Pace-Pool/Getty Images)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (Bryan Pace-Pool/Getty Images)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin published an open letter today in response to the controversy generated by the cabinet decision to suspend the agreement reached in 2016 to create an expanded section for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

Rivlin wrote: “As a child, I used to walk with my father to the Kotel (Western Wall) each year to hear the shofar blown at the end of Yom Kippur, at a time when Jerusalem was under the British Mandate. I still remember arriving at the crowded area packed with worshippers, while among them waited uniformed British policemen. The tense silence was eventually broken by the cry of the shofar that sounded strongly despite the British policemen who immediately rushed forward to silence the shofar blower who was closely surrounded by his fellow worshippers. For me, this event was a symbol of the eternal faith of our People. [Read more…]

Comment

St. Louis man pleads guilty to cyberstalking in eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions

(JTA) – A St. Louis man accused of making eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions pleaded guilty to cyberstalking charges.

Juan Thompson, 32, also pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan to a charge of conveying false information and hoaxes, The Associated Press reported. In April, the former journalist denied the charges. [Read more…]

Comment

Belgian region parliamentary committee votes to ban ritual slaughter

(JTA) – A committee of the Walloon Parliament in southern Belgium has voted to ban the slaughter of unstunned animals, a requirement for both kosher and halal ritual slaughter.

The environment committee of the Walloon Parliament voted unanimously on Friday for the ban, which takes effect on Sept. 1, 2019. The issue is set to be debated later this month in the Parliament’s plenary, according to the European Jewish Congress (EJC).  Similar legislation has been proposed by the parliament in the northern Belgium Flanders or Flemish region. [Read more…]

Comment

Netanyahu: General belittles Holocaust by comparing Israeli army to Nazis

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed remarks made last week by the Israeli army’s deputy chief of staff in which he appeared to compare Israel and its military to the rise of Nazism in Germany.

“The remarks are fundamentally incorrect. They should not have been made at any time, much less now,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “They do injustice to Israeli society and cause a belittling of the Holocaust. The deputy chief of staff is an outstanding officer, but his remarks on this issue were utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me.” [Read more…]

Comment

Belgian Jew who lost leg in Brussels attack moving to Israel

Walter Benjamin speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 News from his hospital bed in Brussels, March 28, 2016. (Screenshot from Channel 2)
Walter Benjamin speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 News from his hospital bed in Brussels, March 28, 2016. (Screenshot from Channel 2)

Walter Benjamin speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 News from his hospital bed in Brussels, March 28, 2016. (Screenshot from Channel 2)

(JTA) – A Belgian Jew whose leg was blown off in a suicide bombing at Brussels’ main airport said he would immigrate to Israel.

Walter Benjamin plans to make aliyah when he recovers from the injury he sustained in the March 22 attack, he told Israel’s Channel 2 Sunday. The attack was part of a series of bombings in the Belgian capital that killed 35 people and wounded hundreds. [Read more…]

Comment

After row over settler envoy, Brazil approves Israeli consul

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Days after Israel agreed to withdraw a former settler leader as its ambassador to Brazil, Brasilia approved the appointment of a lower-level Israeli diplomat to Sao Paulo.

The Brazilian government formally approved Dani Goren as Israel’s consul general in Sao Paulo on Thursday. His name was OK’d by Israel’s Cabinet on Jan. 17, but kept secret until Brazil signed off, in strict adherence to diplomatic protocol. [Read more…]

Comment