Sephardi chief rabbi tells religious soldiers how to protest women singers; compares women who wear immodest clothing to animals

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel appeared to compare women who wear immodest clothing to animals in a public sermon.

Rabbi Yizhak Yosef also counselled religious soldiers on how to protest required attendance at Israel Defense Forces ceremonies that feature women singers in the Saturday night speech first reported Sunday by the Hebrew-language haredi Orthodox news website Kikar Shabbat. [Read more…]

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Pre-military yeshiva head says army service drives female soldiers ‘crazy’

(JTA) – The rabbinic head of a religious Zionist pre-military yeshiva in the West Bank is under fire for saying that the Israeli army drives female soldiers “crazy” and upsets their Jewishness.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, who runs the Bnei David academy in the Eli settlement, made the comments in remarks to several hundred students visiting from another West Bank pre-military academy. [Read more…]

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Senior Israeli army official convicted of sexual offences demoted

Israeli Brig.-Gen Ofek Buchris visiting the Tel Hashomer army base, Nov. 22, 2010. (Flash90)

Golani Brigade commander Ofek Buchris visiting the Tel Hashomer army base, Nov. 22, 2010. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A senior Israeli military official accused of rape was convicted of sexual offences as part of a plea bargain and demoted.

Ofek Buchris, 47, was demoted to colonel from brigadier general as part of his sentence handed down Thursday by a military court. He also was given a suspended jail sentence of seven months. [Read more…]

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Knesset advances bill targeting controversial Israeli army veterans group

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Knesset approved on a preliminary reading a bill that would prevent a controversial organization of Israeli army veterans from entering Israelis schools.

The legislation passed Wednesday by a vote of 51-17 targets Breaking the Silence, which collects former soldiers’ testimonies, some published anonymously, that accuse the Israeli military of using excessive force against Palestinians. Some of the former soldiers speak about their experiences in schools in Israel and in venues around the world. [Read more…]

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Hamas hacks Israeli soldiers’ cellphones posing as attractive women on social media

(JTA) – Operatives for the Hamas terrorist group hacked into dozens of Israeli combat soldiers’ cellphones by posing as attractive Israeli women on Facebook.

Using Israeli women’s photos and identities stolen from social media, the operatives would initiate personal and intimate relationships with the soldiers and then ask them to download what they said was an application in order to video chat, according to reports. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu orders new procedures after no government ministers attend funerals of killed soldiers

Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90
Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90

Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the writing of new procedures that would require Israeli government ministers and lawmakers to attend the funerals of fallen soldiers after government officials did not attend the funerals for any of the four soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem.

The order came on Monday evening after bereaved parents complained about the absence of officials at the funerals earlier in the day. The soldiers were killed Sunday in the Arnon Hanatziv neighbourhood of eastern Jerusalem. [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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Netanyahu: Pardon soldier who shot downed Palestinian

Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference of Israeli ambassadors at the foreign ministry office in Jerusalem, Jan. 3, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference of Israeli ambassadors at the foreign ministry office in Jerusalem, Jan. 3, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference of Israeli ambassadors at the foreign ministry office in Jerusalem, Jan. 3, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a pardon for the Israeli soldier who shot a downed Palestinian terrorist.

Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter on Wednesday in a military court. [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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