Israeli defence chiefs heading to Washington for talks on Syria

(JTA) – A delegation of Israeli defence officials will reportedly visit Washington, D.C., later this week to discuss Israel’s security needs concerning Syria and Lebanon with their American counterparts.

The talks will not address U.S. President Donald Trump’s nascent push for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, a senior White House official told the Israeli daily Haaretz. [Read more…]

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Russian rabbi criticizes local court for blacklisting book by 19th century rabbi

(JTA) – A prominent rabbi from Russia condemned in harsh terms a ruling by a court in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi that blacklisted and labelled extremist a book penned by a 19th century rabbi.

Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a senior aide to Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and a key figure within Russia’s Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities, called “absurd” Monday’s ruling by a district court in the city to classify as extremist the book “Forcibly Baptized” by Rabbi Marcus Lehmann. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu opposes Syrian cease-fire, fearing Iranian military expansion

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes the cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russia in southwest Syria, near the border with northern Israel’s Golan Heights.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told reporters in France following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron that the cease-fire that went into effect last week will allow Iran to expand its presence in Syria close to the Israeli border.  [Read more…]

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Israel and Russia only countries to view Trump more favourably than Obama, poll shows

President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israel and Russia were the only two countries to have a more favourable view of U.S. President Donald Trump than his predecessor, Barack Obama, at the end of his time in office, a survey found.

The annual survey by the Pew Research Center on America’s image abroad also found that some 81 per cent of Israelis have a positive view of the United States under Trump, compared with a median of 58 per cent, according to the results released Tuesday. [Read more…]

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Israel cracked details of ISIS laptop bomb plans leaked by Trump

President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli cyber-intelligence reportedly uncovered detailed Islamic State plans for bomb attacks aboard aircraft that led to the U.S. ban on laptops on flights from eight Muslim-majority nations.

The revelation appeared Monday in a New York Times article about the difficulties facing the United States in using cyber warfare to contain the influence of the terrorist group, which quickly regroups once Western intelligence agencies are able to disable its networks. [Read more…]

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