Ivanka Trump’s rabbi says permission to travel on Shabbat didn’t come from him

Ivanka Trump walks with her husband, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, toward Marine One while departing Washington, D.C., with her father U.S. President Donald Trump, Feb. 17, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump walks with her husband, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, toward Marine One while departing Washington, D.C., with her father U.S. President Donald Trump, Feb. 17, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the prominent modern Orthodox rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion to Judaism, said he did not give the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, a dispensation to fly on Air Force One on Shabbat.

Lookstein told Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union party, that it was “fake news” that he had given them permission to travel by plane Saturday for U.S. President Donald Trump’s first international trip, the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported Sunday. Several Israeli newspapers picked up the report in advance of Trump’s arrival scheduled for Monday afternoon.  [Read more…]

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Britney Spears concert spurs postponement of Israeli Labor party leadership vote

Britney Spears performing at 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Dec. 2, 2016. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Britney Spears performing at 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Dec. 2, 2016. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

(JTA) – Britney Spears is proving to be “Toxic” to Israel’s Labor party.

Leaders of the party announced Wednesday that they are postponing the planned leadership primary on July 3, the same day of the American pop singer’s concert in Tel Aviv, over fears that voters would have trouble getting to the polls – including a key site near the concert venue, Yarkon Park. The elections were scheduled for the following day. [Read more…]

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Israel’s opposition leader praises Trump stances on anti-Semitism, Israel

(JTA) – The opposition leader in Israel, Isaac Herzog, praised U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent condemnation of anti-Semitism in a speech to the U.S. Congress, and said he was confident the president would halt the recent attacks on Jews.

But Herzog, who heads the Labor Party, reiterated his recent comments that U.S. anti-Semitism would lead to more American Jews moving to Israel. [Read more…]

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Thousands gather in Tel Aviv for unity rally in wake of Azaria verdict

Capt. Ziv Shilon, centre, standing with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, right, at an anti-incitement demonstration in Tel Aviv, January 7, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Capt. Ziv Shilon, centre, standing with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, right, at an anti-incitement demonstration in Tel Aviv, January 7, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Capt. Ziv Shilon, centre, standing with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, right, at an anti-incitement demonstration in Tel Aviv, January 7, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

(JTA) – More than 2,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to call for social unity in the wake of the manslaughter conviction of an Israeli soldier who shot a downed Palestinian assailant.

The rally Saturday night was initiated by Israel Defense Forces Capt. Ziv Shilon, who lost his arm in a Hamas attack near the Gaza Strip in 2012. [Read more…]

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Soldier’s conviction in shooting of downed Palestinian attacker divides Israeli lawmakers

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The conviction of an Israeli soldier on manslaughter charges for shooting and killing a downed Palestinian terrorist divided Israel lawmakers, with some seeking a pardon for the soldier and others urging respect for the rule of law.

Among those calling for a pardon were opposition lawmaker Shelly Yachimovich, who previously served as head of the Labor Party. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu praises Rabin at Knesset memorial of assassination

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin for working toward peace while insisting on security during a special Knesset session to mark 21 years since his assassination.

“Rabin sought peace and extended his hand for peace but fundamentally he understood that the establishment of peace needed to be done in a sober fashion and with responsibility,” Netanyahu said Sunday afternoon. “His insistence on security arrangements, even during his final speech is exactly where I stand: the security arrangements to which even today the Palestinians do not agree.” [Read more…]

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Netanyahu calls Trump ‘true friend’ of Israel, as Israeli politicians offer congratulations

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Donald Trump on his U.S. presidential victory, calling him a “true friend of the State of Israel.”

“I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region,” Netanyahu said in his statement in which he declared that: “The ironclad bond between the United States and Israel is rooted in shared values, buttressed by shared interests and driven by a shared destiny.” [Read more…]

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