Pre-military yeshiva head acknowledges his comments on female soldiers ‘inappropriate’ but defends intent of message

(JTA) – The rabbinic head of a religious Zionist pre-military yeshiva in the West Bank who said that the Israeli army drives female soldiers “crazy” and upsets their Jewishness acknowledged that he was wrong to denigrate female soldiers.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, who runs the Bnei David academy in the Eli settlement, in a letter to his students and to graduates of the yeshiva said that the tone of the remarks he made earlier this month to several hundred students visiting from another West Bank pre-military academy was “inappropriate,” though he also said that some of his comments were taken out of context, the Times of Israel reported. [Read more…]


Attack against soldier in the West Bank foiled

(JTA) – An attack against an Israeli soldier near a West Bank checkpoint was prevented.

The alleged assailant was wielding a screwdriver as he approached a soldier at the Shomron Regional Brigade junction, also known as the Huwwara checkpoint, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Other solders subdued the alleged assailant and detained him, according to the IDF.

The junction is a popular hitchhiking post.


Palestinian man sentenced to two life terms for assisting in attack that killed father of 10

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Palestinian man who assisted in a terror attack that killed an Israeli rabbi and father of 10 was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

Muhammad al-Amarya was sentenced Wednesday by a West Bank military court for the July 2016 drive-by shooting near Hebron that killed Rabbi Michael “Mikki” Mark, 48, the head of the Otniel Yeshiva. His wife, Chavi, was seriously injured, and two of their teenage children also were wounded. [Read more…]


Reform Jewish delegation calls meeting with Netanyahu ‘candid’

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A delegation from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) had a “wide-ranging and candid conversation” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, the group said.

The delegation, led by the URJ’s president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, met with Netanyahu for an hour on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the congregational arm of the movement at the end of a weeklong leadership mission to Israel.  [Read more…]