Trump provides hope for Middle East peace, Israel’s president tells U.S. Jewish leaders

JERUSALEM (JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to the Middle East offers a brighter outlook to the region, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told American Jewish leaders in a wide-ranging conference call.

“With the election of President Trump, we have new hope for peace and reconciliation with our neighbours,” Rivlin said in the conversation Wednesday with leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in honour of the Jewish New Year, according to his office. [Read more…]

Comment

At ceremony marking one year since Peres’ death: ‘You have left us much more to do’

People paying their respects near the grave of late former Israeli President Shimon Peres during a ceremony marking one year since the death at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, Sept. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
People paying their respects near the grave of late former Israeli President Shimon Peres during a ceremony marking one year since the death at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, Sept. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

People paying their respects near the grave of late former Israeli President Shimon Peres during a ceremony marking one year since the death at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, Sept. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A state ceremony in Jerusalem marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Shimon Peres.

Peres’ family, world leaders and state and business leaders attended Thursday morning’s ceremony at Mount Herzl cemetery. [Read more…]

Comment

Netanyahu warns UN secretary-general of Iran’s ‘warfronts’ in Syria, Lebanon

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Iran is using Syria and Lebanon “as warfronts against its declared goal to eradicate Israel.”

Iran is “building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept,” Netanyahu told Guterres Monday prior to their meeting in Jerusalem. [Read more…]

Comment

Terror attack that killed three incited by ‘wild hatred,’ Netanyahu says

Volunteers from the ZAKA search and rescue organization remove blood from the scene of a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 21 that killed three members of one family as they sat at their Shabbat table. (Photo courtesy of ZAKA)
Volunteers from the ZAKA search and rescue organization remove blood from the scene of a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 21 that killed three members of one family as they sat at their Shabbat table. (Photo courtesy of ZAKA)

Volunteers from the ZAKA search and rescue organization remove blood from the scene of a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 21 that killed three members of one family as they sat at their Shabbat table. (Photo courtesy of ZAKA)

(JTA) – The attack on the West Bank settlement of Halamish that killed three members of one family as they sat at their Shabbat table “was an act of terrorism committed by a reprehensible person incited by wild hatred,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In a statement released shortly after the end of the Jewish Sabbath, Netanyahu said the country’s security forces would “take all necessary measures” to maintain security. [Read more…]

Comment

Parole restrictions lifted on Ehud Olmert

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin lifted all parole restrictions on former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who left prison on early release this week.

Olmert had petitioned Rivlin for the lifting of the restrictions hours after he left prison on Sunday after serving 16 months of a 27 month sentence for corruption. [Read more…]

Comment

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

Nikki Haley calls UN a ‘bully’ against Israel during meeting with Netanyahu

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaking at a Security Council meeting in New York City, April 12, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaking at a Security Council meeting in New York City, April 12, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, called the UN a “bully” against Israel, during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu thanked the envoy for “standing up for Israel” in the UN. [Read more…]

Comment

Trump, landing in Israel, heralds ‘rare opportunity’ to bring peace and stability

President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Israel for a whirlwind 28-hour visit, saying his trip to the region has given him “new reasons for hope.”

Air Force One touched down on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport shortly after 12:30 pm Monday. The landing represented the first direct flight ever between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the first stop of Trump’s first international trip as president.  [Read more…]

Comment