Israeli attorney general to investigate security services’ interrogations of liberal activists

Peter Beinart attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, June 21 2012. (Flash90)

Peter Beinart attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, June 21 2012. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Attorney General’s Office in Israel is investigating a spate of incidents in which prominent left-wing activists have been detained and questioned about their politics and ideologies when trying to enter the country.

According to a report in Haaretz, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber has asked the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, to clarify the reasoning behind its actions, which have been a source of controversy both domestically and abroad. Her investigation follows a complaint by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Zilber plans on chairing a meeting on the issue in September. [Read more…]

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Ronald Lauder, in second public rebuke, asks if Israel ‘is losing its way’

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder speaking at the Neue Galerie in New York, June 19, 2015. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder speaking at the Neue Galerie in New York, June 19, 2015. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder speaking at the Neue Galerie in New York, June 19, 2015. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

(JTA) – The president of the World Jewish Congress issued another rare rebuke to Israel on Tuesday, panning the recently passed nation-state law, calling out the country’s Orthodox monopoly and accusing the Netanyahu administration of damaging “the sense of equality and belonging of Israel’s Druze, Christian and Muslim citizens.”

Writing in The New York Times, Ronald Lauder, a usually vociferous defender of Israel, listed a number of recent incidents – including the arrest of a Conservative rabbi for conducting weddings and the exclusion of same-sex couples from a newly passed surrogacy law – that he believes “are creating the impression that the democratic and egalitarian dimensions of the Jewish democratic state are being tested.” [Read more…]

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Netanyahu reprimands Corbyn for honouring terrorists; Corbyn then accuses Israel of killing ‘dozens of children’

British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the National Transport Design Centre in Coventry, England, Feb. 26, 2018. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)
British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the National Transport Design Centre in Coventry, England, Feb. 26, 2018. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the National Transport Design Centre in Coventry, England, Feb. 26, 2018. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

(JTA) – British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn issued a scathing critique of Israel after being publicly reprimanded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his apparent participation in a commemoration ceremony in memory of members of the Black September terrorist organization who took part in the 1972 massacre of 11 Israelis during the Munich Olympics.

Pictures of the event, which seemed to show Corbyn laying a wreath near the terrorists’ graves in a Tunisian cemetery four years ago, were published in the Daily Mail last Friday and immediately led to a political firestorm. [Read more…]

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Israeli Arabs protest controversial nation-state law

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs, some waving Palestinian flags, gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday evening to protest the recent passage of Israel’s nation-state bill enshrining the state’s Jewish character.

At a protest organized by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, an umbrella group representing Israeli-Arab civil society organizations, speakers railed against what they described as a law that formalized a racial hierarchy among Israeli citizens in which Arabs enjoyed a diminished legal status compared to Jews. [Read more…]

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Journalist Peter Beinart detained and questioned at Israeli airport

Peter Beinart attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, June 21 2012. (Flash90)
Peter Beinart attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, June 21 2012. (Flash90)

Peter Beinart attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, June 21 2012. (Flash90)

(JTA) – Peter Beinart said he was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport for an hour and questioned by an Israeli security official about his political activism.

Beinart, a prominent liberal Zionist journalist and commentator, was interrogated Sunday at the Tel Aviv airport, according to an op-ed he wrote in the Forward. He was visiting the country with his wife and children for a family affair. [Read more…]

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Argentina blames Gaza violence on Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the San Martin palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 12, 2017. (Avi Ohayon/Government Press Office/Flash90)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the San Martin palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 12, 2017. (Avi Ohayon/Government Press Office/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the San Martin palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 12, 2017. (Avi Ohayon/Government Press Office/Flash90)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – In a sign of Argentina’s changing attitude toward Israel, the Argentine Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that seems to put the blame for recent clashes between the Israeli military and Hamas squarely on the Palestinians.

Referring to the recent escalation in tensions that has seen Hamas fire hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory and the Israelis carry out numerous retaliatory strikes against Hamas outposts and fighters, Friday’s statement expressed its “deep concern” over the violence, which it said was “caused by the launch of rockets towards Israel.” [Read more…]

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Critics of nation-state law ‘mistaken and misinformed,’ Netanyahu adviser says

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s adviser for world communities said in an op-ed that critics of the nation-state law that passed last month in the Knesset often are “mistaken and misinformed.”

“The accusations about the new law’s effects on Israeli democracy have no connection to the actual content or context of the law,” Sara Greenberg wrote in an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post. [Read more…]

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Tens of thousands of Druze and their supporters rally against nation-state law

Tens of thousands of Israeli Druze and their supporters attend a Druze-led rally to protest against the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv on Aug. 4, 2018. (Gili Yaari /FLASH90)
Tens of thousands of Israeli Druze and their supporters attend a Druze-led rally to protest against the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv on Aug. 4, 2018. (Gili Yaari /FLASH90)

Tens of thousands of Israeli Druze and their supporters attend a Druze-led rally to protest against the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv on Aug. 4, 2018. (Gili Yaari /FLASH90)

(JTA) – Tens of thousands of Israel’s Druze community and their supporters rallied in Tel Aviv against the controversial nation-state law.

Israeli media reported that at least 50,000 and up to 90,000 participated in the Druze-led rally on Saturday night in Rabin Square. [Read more…]

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Two major funders of Israel join criticism of its nation-state law

(JTA) – Jewish Federations of North America and The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, two organizations that provide major funding to projects in Israel, joined the criticism of Israel’s new nation-state law.

Jewish Federations, which annually donates many millions of dollars to Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, focused its criticism on dissatisfaction with the law among some members of the Druze minority, an Arabic-speaking community where most men serve in the Israeli army. [Read more…]

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