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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Rabin memorial rally turns political as left lambastes Netanyahu

(JTA) – Opposition politicians attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a rally in memory of assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday night in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, the site where Rabin was murdered 21 years ago. The rally was sponsored by the Labor Party after the commemoration committee announced it would be unable to hold the annual event due to lack of funds. It became less of a memorial and more of a protest against the current government and its policies. [Read more…]

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Annual Yitzhak Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv cancelled due to lack of funds

Some 100,000 attend a rally marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in the same Tel Aviv square in which he was killed during a peace rally. (Flash90/Tomer Neuberg)
Some 100,000 attend a rally marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in the same Tel Aviv square in which he was killed during a peace rally. (Flash90/Tomer Neuberg)

Some 100,000 attend a rally marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in the same Tel Aviv square in which he was killed during a peace rally. (Flash90/Tomer Neuberg)

(JTA) – The annual memorial ceremony to mark the assassination of late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin has been cancelled due to lack of funding.

Organizers announced Sunday that the event will not be held for the first time since Rabin was murdered 21 years ago after being unable to raise sufficient funds. Though the artists and other celebrities who participate in the memorial appear for free, funds are needed to cover such expenses as security. [Read more…]

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U.S., Israel and Jewish groups condemn UNESCO vote denying Jewish holy sites

Jewish worshippers draped in prayer shawls performing the annual Priestly Blessing during Sukkot at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, Sept. 30, 2015. (Gil Cohen/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewish worshippers draped in prayer shawls performing the annual Priestly Blessing during Sukkot at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, Sept. 30, 2015. (Gil Cohen/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The United States, Israeli officials and Jewish groups reacted with outrage to a preliminary vote by the United Nations cultural agency that denies a Jewish connection to the Old City of Jerusalem.

UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – at its executive board’s meeting Thursday in Paris passed the Palestinian-backed measure with 24 votes in favour and six against, with 26 countries abstaining. [Read more…]

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