U.S. opens first military base on Israeli soil

(JTA) – The United States opened its first official military base on Israeli soil.

The base started operating Monday following a ceremony at the end of last week to inaugurate the facility that included Israeli and American military personnel. It will operate independently from within an Israeli military base in southern Israel that houses an air defence school, according to the Israel Defense Forces.  [Read more…]

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Israeli defence officials reportedly oppose changing Iran deal

(JTA) – Israel’s intelligence community opposes the drastic changes sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, according to a report.

Several sources, who were not named, told the Haaretz daily that the defence establishment in Israel does not agree with the demand articulated by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that U.S. President Donald Trump scrap or revise the deal, the daily reported Friday. [Read more…]

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In role reversal, Israel looks to send $1M in aid to Houston Jews

A street is covered with water after being inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Tex., Aug. 27, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A street is covered with water after being inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Tex., Aug. 27, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A street is covered with water after being inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Tex., Aug. 27, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry is advancing a plan to send $1 million US in emergency aid to Houston’s flood-hit Jewish community.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett announced the plan Monday, calling it “unprecedented.” His office said the money would go toward repairing and rebuilding local schools, synagogues and Jewish community centres damaged by tropical storm Harvey. [Read more…]

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Jared Kushner meets with Netanyahu in U.S. bid to restart peace talks

From left to right, Ron Dermer, Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dina Powell and David Friedman meet in Jerusalem, Aug. 24, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/Israeli Government Press Office)
From left to right, Ron Dermer, Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dina Powell and David Friedman meet in Jerusalem, Aug. 24, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/Israeli Government Press Office)

(From left) Ron Dermer, Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dina Powell and David Friedman meet in Jerusalem, Aug. 24, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/Israeli Government Press Office)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and a delegation of American diplomats trying to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The meeting Thursday afternoon is part of a visit to the region by the U.S. diplomats. Kushner and the group were meeting that evening with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. [Read more…]

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Iran can have weapons-grade uranium within five days, its nuclear chief says

(JTA) – Iran can begin enriching weapons-grade uranium within five days if the nuclear deal with the world powers is cancelled, its atomic chief said.

“If we want, we can start the 20 per cent enrichment in Fordo in maximum five days and this has a lot of meaning,” Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Tuesday on national television, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on its English-language website. “This measure has different messages technically and professionally, and the other side understands its message.” [Read more…]

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U.S. opposes UN ‘blacklist’ of companies that do business in Israeli settlements

(JTA) – The United States has called on the United Nations not to publish a database of companies that do business in Israeli settlements.

The database, which the administration calls a “blacklist,” was approved by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016 and includes American companies such as Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com and Airbnb. The list is supposed to be updated annually. [Read more…]

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