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…]

Comment

Trump envoy brokers Israeli-Palestinian water deal

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced an agreement that will see an increase of up to 30 million cubic meters of fresh water going to the Palestinians.

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, brokered the deal Thursday as part of a larger trilateral agreement including Jordan for the construction of a 137-mile pipeline to bring water from the Red Sea to help the Dead Sea. The pipeline also will power a water desalinization plant that will provide the additional fresh water. Israel will sell the water to the Palestinian Authority. [Read more…]

Comment

U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman calls for Jewish unity, sheds diplomatic veneer

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, called for Jewish unity in his first public speech since taking office last month.

Friedman also called out an unnamed Jewish organization for threatening to withdraw its support for Israel in the wake of the Israeli government’s decision on Sunday to freeze a compromise on egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall. [Read more…]

Comment

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…]

Comment

U.S., Israel team up to fight ‘bad actors’ in cyberspace

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel and the United States signed a new bilateral cybersecurity partnership agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security adviser, Thomas Bossert, signed the agreement Monday following a meeting Monday that also included White House cybersecurity adviser Rob Joyce. Bossert is in Israel for the annual Cyber Week Conference held at Tel Aviv University. [Read more…]

Comment

Otto Warmbier’s Hillel rabbi recalls ‘one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever met’

Otto Warmbier confessing to stealing a political poster in North Korea, Feb. 29, 2016. (Screenshot from YouTube)
Otto Warmbier confessing to stealing a political poster in North Korea, Feb. 29, 2016. (Screenshot from YouTube)

Otto Warmbier confessing to stealing a political poster in North Korea, Feb. 29, 2016. (Screenshot from YouTube)

(JTA) – Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was detained in North Korea for over a year and died shortly after returning home in a coma, was remembered by friends and loved ones at a public memorial officiated by his college Hillel rabbi.

Rabbi Jake Rubin, executive director of the Brody Jewish Center at the University of Virginia, called Warmbier “one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever met” during the service held Thursday at Wyoming High School near Cincinnati, The Associated Press reported. [Read more…]

Comment

Heirs of Nazi-looted art collection can sue Hungarian museums in U.S. courts

(JTA) – A U.S. federal court has ruled that the heirs to one of the largest art collections in Hungary prior to World War II may sue for the recovery of some of the works from Hungarian institutions in the U.S. court system.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday ruled that the heirs of Baron Mór Lipót Herzog can sue Hungarian state-owned museums and a university to recover the more than 40 pieces of art with an estimated value exceeding $100 million. [Read more…]

Comment