Netanyahu calls Putin to blame Syria for downing of Russian plane

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, Jan. 29, 2018. (Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, Jan. 29, 2018. (Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told President Vladimir Putin of Russia that Syria was squarely to blame for the downing of a Russian military plane, and said he hoped Israeli-Russian military coordination would continue.

Netanyahu’s statement describing his phone call Tuesday with Putin – issued just before the start of Yom Kippur in Israel – came after Russian officials blamed Israel for downing the plane on Monday. Fifteen Russian troops were killed. [Read more…]

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Russian court forces ice cream maker to drop ‘poor Jew’ label

(JTA) – A court ordered an ice cream factory in Russia to change its “poor Jew” brand because it is offensive.

The Naberezhnye Chelny city court ruled against the Slavitsa company earlier this week, the news site Chelny-Biz reported Wednesday. The regional prosecutor, Alexander Evgrafov, had launched proceedings against the factory for discriminatory speech in March following protests by the local Jewish community. [Read more…]

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Iranian forces in Syria withdraw more than 80 km from Israeli border, Russian official says

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Iranian forces and their weapons have withdrawn to no closer than 85 km from Israel’s border with Syria on the Golan Heights, a Russian official said.

Russian Presidential Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told Sputnik news agency that Russia is working for Syrian reconciliation in an open manner and in coordination with the Syrian government, respecting the interests of neighbouring countries, including Israel. [Read more…]

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Israel, seeking total withdrawal, rejects Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria 60 miles away

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel rejected a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria some 60 miles from the border with Israel.

Instead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Iran leave the country completely, an unnamed senior Israeli official told reporters on Monday following a meeting in Jerusalem between Netanyahu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. [Read more…]

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Israeli troops fire on Syrian army post following mortar launch

Israeli forces standing guard on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, Nov. 27, 2016. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Israeli forces standing guard on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, Nov. 27, 2016. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

(JTA) – Israeli troops opened fire on a Syrian army post that they said was used for firing a mortar round at Israel.

No Israeli troops were injured in the exchange and the mortar round landed in the buffer zone separating land controlled by Israel from Syria, the Israel Broadcasting Corp., or IBC, reported. [Read more…]

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Israeli soccer fans harassed at World Cup in Moscow

(JTA) – Soccer fans displaying Israeli flags at World Cup matches in Russia have been subjected to threats, harassment and violence.

In one incident, a man wearing an Israeli flag around his shoulders was filmed as he was being chased around Moscow’s Red Square by men shouting “Palestine,” including one wearing a Tunisian flag. The man wearing the Israeli flag, who was also wearing a kippah, was filmed walking away from the growing group of hecklers along with another man who walked alongside him. [Read more…]

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Flames ravage 19th-century Russian Jewish cemetery

(JTA) – A fire that raged for hours in the city of Voronezh in Russia consumed large parts of its 19th century Jewish cemetery.

The fire appears to have started Friday in the immediate vicinity of the cemetery in the country’s northwest, the news website 36on reported Monday. Police are investigating whether it was the result of arson directed against the Jewish cemetery in an anti-Semitic attack, the report said. The Jewish cemetery in Voronezh has been targeted in such attacks in the past. [Read more…]

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U.S. Treasury’s ‘Putin list’ features at least two Jewish billionaires

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. (Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. (Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. (Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)

(JTA) – At least two Jewish billionaires, including the head of the European Jewish Congress, appear on a list of Russian politicians and oligarchs published by the U.S. Treasury as part of a sanctions law against Moscow.

The list of 114 politicians and 96 oligarchs, which was ordered by the U.S. Congress in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, all rose to power under Russian President Vladimir Putin. They are considered to be fair game for sanctions under legislation meant to punish Russia for its interference in the U.S. election, as well as other actions such as human rights violations, annexation of Crimea and ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine. [Read more…]

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