NEWS FROM ISRAEL

PM: Palestinian failure to recognize Jewish links to Israel is a 'tragedy'
Netanyahu addresses issue of democracy, refers to Jewish state bill, during first visit of Serbian prime minister to Israel.

It is a “tragedy” that many Palestinians deny any Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday at the start of a meeting with visiting Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.
This marks the first ever visit to Israel of a Serbian prime minister.
“Here, in the State of Israel, the Jewish people have achieved their self-determination in a democratic state that guarantees equal rights for all its peoples, all its citizens, regardless of race, religion or sex,” Netanyahu said, as the debate over the Jewish state bill seemed to animate part of his welcoming comments to Vucic.
“It is indeed a tragedy that so many of our Palestinian neighbors still repudiate the basic facts of history. They deny the more than three thousand year-old connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,” he said.
Netanyahu bewailed what he said was the Palestinian denial of Israel's right to national self- determination, even as they demand that right for themselves...
More at the Jerusalem Post site (Dec 1, 2014)

Four killed in Jerusalem synagogue terror attack
Netanyahu convenes security meeting, says Israel will respond with 'firm hand;' Abbas condemns attack, Hamas lauds it; eight wounded; all fatalities held British or American citizenship.
By Nir Hasson, Barak Ravid, Jonathan Lis, Jack Khoury, Gili Cohen and Yair Ettinger

Four Israelis were killed and several others wounded in a terror attack on Tuesday morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof.
Two assailants were killed at the scene by police.
Eight people were wounded in the assault, including four seriously, two moderately and two lightly. Magen David Adom ambulances administered first aid to the wounded before evacuating them to hospitals in the city. Five were taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, and the rest to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
One of the critically wounded was a police officer, who was reported to be in critical condition in Hadassh Hospital last night.
The hospital's spokesperson said on Tuesday night that of the other four casualties in the hospital, two are in serious condition, one in moderate condition and the injury of the fifth is regarded as light...
More at the Haaretz Site (Nov 18, 2014)

Condemnation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway: Press release

Israeli newspaper’s political cartoon sparks outrage over 9/11 imagery

An editorial cartoon in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper is drawing criticism for using Sept. 11 imagery to depict U.S.-Israel relations under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In it, a character resembling Netanyahu is seen flying a small plane into a building that resembles a World Trade Center tower. An American flag flies atop the skyscraper.
The cartoon, which appeared Thursday, comes after the Israeli leader was reportedly criticized by an Obama administration official as being a "chickensh**."
The paper, and its political cartoonist Amos Biderman, faced widespread criticism on Twitter.
More at Yahoo News (Oct 30, 2014)

Hamas says 3 senior leaders killed in Gaza strike

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three senior leaders of the Hamas military wing on Thursday, the militant group said, in what is likely to be a major blow to the organization's morale and a significant scoop for Israeli intelligence.
The strike near Rafah, a town in the southern part of the coastal territory, was one of 20 the Israeli military said it carried out after midnight on Wednesday.
In a text message sent to media, Hamas said three of its senior military leaders - Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar - were killed, along with three other people.
Gaza police and medical officials said scores more people remained under the rubble of a four-story structure destroyed in the airstrike.
The three Hamas leaders are considered to be at the senior levels of its military leadership and were involved in a number of high profile attacks on Israeli targets.
More at the the AOL site (Aug 21, 2014)

Israeli wedding of Jew, Muslim draws protesters amid war tensions

By Allyn Fisher
Ilan Related Stories Dozens of Israelis defy police to protest Gaza war Reuters Israeli soldier missing in Gaza is dead: army AFP Israel Ready To Continue Gaza War After Tunnels Razed: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Huffington Post Netanyahu says determined to destroy Gaza border tunnels before truce Reuters Israel has the right to defend itself. What about the Palestinians? The Week (RSS) RISHON LEZION Israel (Reuters) - Israeli police on Sunday blocked more than 200 far-right Israeli protesters from rushing guests at a wedding of a Jewish woman and Muslim man as they shouted "death to the Arabs" in a sign of tensions stoked by the Gaza war.
Several dozen police, including members of the force's most elite units, formed human chains to keep the protesters from the wedding hall's gates and chased after many who defied them. Four protesters were arrested, and there were no injuries...
More at the YahooNews site (Aug 18, 2014)

Israel's Netanyahu says Hamas to blame for Gaza deaths

Israel's Netanyahu makes the rounds on U.S. Sunday morning news programs, saying among other things that Hamas is to blame for civilians deaths in Gaza. Rough Cut (No reporter narration).

Video at the YahooNews site (July 28, 2014)

Israel-Hamas fighting enters 18th day

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, while ground troops and Hamas gunmen fought intense battles in the north and center of the territory, Palestinian officials said.
The Israeli military confirmed dozens of sites were hit, including what it said were Hamas command posts, but did not elaborate.
With the current round of fighting entering its 18th day, Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later Friday to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.
One plan calls for a five-day humanitarian truce during which Israel and Hamas would negotiate new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza, said Hana Amireh, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official in the West Bank, who is involved in cease-fire efforts.
Hamas has said it will not halt fire without international guarantees that Egypt and Israel will open Gaza's border crossings and end their seven-year-old border blockade. Israel and Egypt are reluctant to ease the blockade, fearing this will enable Hamas to tighten its grip on Gaza...
More at AOL.com, July 25, 2014

Inside Gaza's vast network of tunnels

Israeli bulldozers demolished more than a dozen tunnels Saturday in the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian authorities reported intensified airstrikes and shelling as the death toll from Israel's ground offensive rose to at least 342 Palestinians. Diplomats struggled to revive a cease-fire.
Israeli soldiers uncovered 34 shafts leading into about a dozen underground tunnels, some as deep as 30 meters (yards), that could be used to carry out attacks, the military said...
More images and video from AOL.com, July 23, 2014

Israel starts Gaza ground offensive

The Israeli military has begun a ground offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, stepping up its 11-day-old military operation.
Troops and tanks were sent into Gaza to deal "a significant blow to Hamas", Israel said.
A Hamas spokesman said Israel would "pay a high price" for its actions.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the invasion after days of intensive rocket fire and air strikes between the two sides.
Gaza's health ministry said 11 Palestinians had been killed since the ground offensive began on Thursday night.
A five-month-old child was among the dead, Palestinian medics told AFP news agency. Israel said it had killed 14 "terrorists" overnight.
Israel meanwhile suffered its first military fatality, with the death of a soldier during the invasion, it said.
Some 258 Palestinians - three-quarters of them civilians - have died since the start of the wider Israeli operation on 8 July, officials in Gaza say.
An Israeli civilian was killed from mortar fire, and several Israelis have been seriously injured, Israeli medics say...
More from BBC News, July 18, 2014

Ground operations in Gaza 'might become necessary', Israeli official says
By Diana Magnay, Ed Payne and Josh Levs CNN July 9, 2014

Jerusalem (CNN) - Israel intercepted a rocket fired at Tel Aviv on Tuesday and killed militants who stormed into Israeli territory, the military said, as people on both sides of the Gaza border were living under a barrage of attacks from the air.
In a dramatic escalation of the conflict, militants fired more than 130 rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel said. Palestinians reported 24 people in Gaza were killed and more than 150 injured in Israeli airstrikes. Israel said it targeted about 150 "terror sites" in Gaza.
The warning sirens that blared in Tel Aviv, one of Israel's most populated areas, showed a threat Israel had warned of. The country said militants' rockets from Gaza are powerful enough to reach 3.5 million Israeli citizens. "Hamas will pay a heavy price for its vicious attacks on millions of Israeli civilians," the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter...
More from CNN.com

Officials:
Israel finds bodies of kidnapped teens
By Josef Federman

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israeli military found the bodies of three missing teenagers on Monday, just over two weeks after they were abducted in the West Bank, allegedly by Hamas militants. The grisly discovery culminated a feverish search that led to Israel's largest ground operation in the Palestinian territory in nearly a decade and raised fears of renewed fighting with Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was huddling with his Security Cabinet late Monday to discuss a response.
Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, disappeared while hitchhiking home near the West Bank city of Hebron late at night on June 12 and were never heard from again. Despite the dangers, hitchhiking is common among Israelis traveling in and out of Jewish settlements in the West Bank...
More from the AOL.com (June 30, 2014)

Shimon Peres Says ISIS Should Unite Arabs And Israel

WASHINGTON -- The threat posed by a network of Sunni extremists sweeping through Iraq and Syria is changing the political calculus in the Middle East, Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview this weekend after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington.
Israel, he said, is no longer the most significant threat to the majority of Arabs in the Middle East.
"Until now, maybe Israel was the first problem in the eyes of many Arabs," he said. "Today, they have to say it openly, the real problem for the Arabs and for us are not the mutual mistrust but really the problem of terror, which is a common danger to them and to us."
Peres said the peace process could be kick-started by the new common enemy.
"We have to take the joint interests, which are many, and didn't exist before," he said, proposing "to establish a functional headquarter of Arab countries and Israel to fight a common danger, because the terrorists are destroying the Arab world. They are the greatest danger to the Arab world, as well as to us a great danger. We have to fight them in order to stop it."...
More from HUFF POST site (June 29, 2014)

Right-winger Reuven Rivlin elected Israel's president

(Reuters) - Reuven Rivlin, a right-wing legislator opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state, was elected Israel's president on Tuesday to replace the dovish Shimon Peres in the largely ceremonial post.
Rivlin, 74, is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. He has a reputation for political independence and has had a frosty personal relationship with the Israeli premier.

A former speaker of parliament, Rivlin defeated Meir Sheetrit of the moderate Hatnuah party by a vote of 63-53 in a run-off in the legislature, after none of the original five candidates won an outright victory in a first-round ballot.
Although Israeli heads of state are not directly involved in political decision-making, Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, used the presidency as a pulpit for advocating peace with the Palestinians, often taking a more conciliatory stance than Netanyahu...
Whole text from the Ruters site (June 10, 2014)

- Pope Francis in Israel - May 2014

Pope Francis will be the fourth Pope to come to the Holy Land. He will visit Israel on May 25-26, 2014 - the 50th anniversary of the historic visit of Pope Paul VI.

Pope Francis announced his pilgrimage to the Holy Land on January 5, 2014: "The main purpose of this pilgrimage of prayer is to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place on 5 January, exactly 50 years ago today."
(Source: Embassy of Israel, Belgrade)

Israel overjoyed by Maccabi's basketball title

Thousands of fans flood Tel Aviv main square in spontaneous celebration after local team beats Real Madrid in Euroleague final.
Jubilant Israeli basketball fans are still celebrating Maccabi Tel Aviv's dream season, which culminated with an overtime victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague basketball final in Milan on Sunday.
Thousands of fans clad in Maccabi yellow filled Tel Aviv's Rabin Square overnight, with many jumping into its landmark fountain. Celebrations erupted in other cities as well, with TV and radio stations airing special broadcasts.
The victorious team is scheduled to return to Tel Aviv on Monday, where it will be officially received by the mayor. Afterward, the team will be celebrated by the public in Rabin Square.
According to initial ratings figures, about a third of the country watched Sunday's game live on TV, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Both men called head coach David Blatt after the game to offer congratulations...
Whole text from the Haaretz site (May 19, 2014)

Former Israeli Leader Is Convicted of Taking Bribes
By JODI RUDORENMARCH 31, 2014

JERUSALEM — Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister who was forced from office under a corruption cloud, was convicted Monday of taking bribes to ease the construction of a huge housing complex while he was mayor of Jerusalem, dashing his much-discussed dream of a political comeback.
The verdict was the most severe ever against a former Israeli prime minister, and was viewed by analysts as a victory for prosecutors whose campaign against corruption has been criticized as expensive and overzealous.
Mr. Olmert, who did not go to jail after a 2012 conviction for breach of trust in a separate case, could now face up to seven years in prison, legal experts said.

In a searing verdict whose reading stretched for nearly two hours and was shown live on television Monday morning, Judge David Rosen of Tel Aviv District Court said that Mr. Olmert had “told lies in court.” The judge also decried “a corrupt political system that has decayed over the years.”
Whole text from the New York Times site

January 27, 2014 - Hague

I wish to thank the Staff Union of the International Criminal Tribunal for The former Yugoslavia in The Hague, for having given us the opportunity to talk about the bright side of the dark period of the Second World War. Also I would thank to all of you who came to hear us.
The Second World War was largely raging when on 6th April 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers, from all directions. The army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia capitulated within 11 days, and some 200,000 officers and soldiers were taken to Germany, to the prison camps...
Whole text from supplement by Milan Folel, Israel. Click on image to see Photo Gallery

Snow in Jerusalem!

Snow in Jerusalem is always a special and newsworthy event here. For some, it is a delightful occasion; for others, an annoyance.
While more well-prepared and equipped than any other nation to deal with serious emergencies, including terrorist threats and situations of war, somehow the cold but lovely, white blanket practically shuts down the capital. This is an amusing phenomenon to immigrants from places such as Moscow and Montreal, where people are accustomed to much deeper snow.
The Prime Minister’s Office cancelled a number of meetings due to inclement weather. Most notably, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres has been postponed, The Jerusalem Post reported.
More from the United with Israel site (December 14, 2013)

Israel blocks construction materials from Gaza after 'terror tunnel' discovery

The discovery of a secret tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel has prompted the Israeli government to order an immediate halt of all construction materials to Gaza.
The Israeli military found the mile-long underground passage running between a home in a Hamas-controlled area, and a site close to a kibbutz (community settlement) last Monday, according to a BBC report.
An Israeli Army spokesman said the tunnel could have been used to attack or kidnap civilians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the army for finding the tunnel, but warned that the "quietest year in over a decade" had been disturbed by recent militant activities.
Just last month, Israel lifted a ban on the transfer of building materials in the private sector, but this recent discovery has broken the trust.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said exposing what he described as the "terror tunnel" was "further proof that Hamas continues to prepare for confrontation with Israel and for carrying out terror attacks, if it feels it is possible.”...
More from FOX News (October 14, 2013)

Nazi memorial in Croatia a disgrace to Europe
A service for Hitler is unthinkable. So why is the world quiet in response to a service for Ante Pavelić?

Imagine for a minute that memorial masses were held in two major cities in Germany on the anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler. Needless to say, such a ceremony would arouse fury, indignation, and widespread protests not only in Germany, but throughout the entire world. Last week, the local equivalent of such an event took place in Croatia, but instead of anger and demonstrations, not a single word of protest was heard from anywhere in the country.
I am referring to the December 28 memorial masses conducted in Zagreb and Split (and perhaps elsewhere as well) to mark the 51st anniversary of the death of Ante Pavelić, the head of state of the infamous Independent State of Croatia, created by the Nazis and their Italian allies in 1941. Following its establishment, rule was turned over to the local fascist movement, the Ustasha, headed by its Poglavnik (leader) Ante Pavelić..
More from Jeruselam Post (June 11, 2013)

Israeli Warplanes Strike Syria In Escalation: Official

BEIRUT — Israel rushed to beef up its rocket defenses on its northern border Sunday to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours – an unprecedented escalation of Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war.
Syria and its patron Iran hinted at possible retribution, though the rhetoric in official statements appeared relatively muted.
Despite new concerns about a regional war, Israeli officials signaled they will keep trying to block what they see as an effort by Iran to send sophisticated weapons to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia ahead of a possible collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to intervene in the Syrian civil war to stop the transfer of what it calls "game-changing" weapons to Hezbollah, a Syrian-backed group that battled Israel to a stalemate during a monthlong war in 2006...
More from huffingtonpost.com (May 5, 2013)

Nikolić visits Israel
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic began a two-day visit to Israel on April 29 by meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic began a two-day visit to Israel on Monday by meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, with whom he talked about the historically good ties between the Serbian and Jewish people and possibilities for expanding economic and scientific cooperation.
In Jerusalem, Nikolic spoke in favor of strengthening economic cooperation between Serbia and Israel, and thanked the country for its principled support to Serbia's stance on the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo-Metohija, expressing hope that this position will be maintained.
Nikolic said his visit to Israel is an expression of Serbia’s and his personal gratitude for Israel’s consistent and principled position, and invited Peres to visit Serbia.
Peres said he is particularly glad that the EU is seriously considering Serbia as a new member state because of the progress achieved in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, and underscored that all conflicts should be resolved in this way...
More from ISRAEL DIPLOMATIC NETWORK site (April, 29 2013)

Serbian leader hails Israel ties before visit
Tomislav Nikolic: Despite pressure, Serbia will not recognize independent Kosovo; Iran will continue nuclear development.
On the eve of his first state visit to Israel beginning Monday, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic offered warm words of praise for the Jewish state, saying in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, “We have a lot to learn from Israel – not only how to love one’s country, but how to create earth out of sand, how to develop hi-tech, how to feed your people.”
In the interview, the full text of which will appear in this Friday’s Jerusalem Post Magazine, Nikolic also stated that he believes Iran will press forward with efforts to develop its nuclear program despite Western attempts to halt it...
More from The Jerusalem Post (April, 29 2013)

Obama Mideast Trip:
U.S. Officials Set Low Expectations For President's Journey (VIDEO)
By MATTHEW LEE 03/19/13 10:12 PM ET EDT

WASHINGTON -- On his second trip to the Middle East as U.S. commander in chief, President Barack Obama this week will confront a political and strategic landscape nearly unrecognizable from the one he encountered on his first trip to the region shortly after assuming office in 2009.
Gone are the authoritarian regimes and leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and the once seemingly indestructible Assad regime in Syria is tottering on the brink of collapse. Uncertainty abounds in the wake of the revolutions that have convulsed the Arab world for the past two years and shaken many of the strong but imperfect pillars of stability on the planet's most politically volatile patch of land.
And the few constants are hardly cause for cheer: a moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process that remains mired in mutual distrust and recrimination, an Iran that seemingly inches closer to nuclear weapons capability despite intensified international sanctions, and the ever-growing threat from extremists...
More from HUFF POST site

Netanyahu says Iran using nuclear talks to "buy time" for bomb

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Renewed international efforts to negotiate curbs on Iran's disputed nuclear program have backfired by giving it more time to work on building a bomb, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
His remarks on the inconclusive February 26-27 meeting between Iran and six world powers signaled impatience by Israel, which has threatened to launch preemptive war on its arch-foe, possibly in the coming months, if it deems diplomacy a dead end.
Senior U.S. diplomat Wendy Sherman flew in to brief Israel about the Kazakh-hosted talks, in which Tehran, which denies seeking nuclear arms, was offered modest relief from sanctions in return for halting mid-level uranium enrichment.
There was no breakthrough. The sides will reconvene in Almaty on April 5-6 after holding technical talks in Istanbul...
More from Yahoo News (March 4, 2013)

Defiant Israel to boost settlements after UN's Palestine vote

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli official said on Friday, defying a U.N. vote that implicitly recognized Palestinian statehood there.
The United States, one of Israel's few allies in Thursday's battle at the world forum, called "counterproductive" the construction blueprint, which included a stretch of land east of Jerusalem that Palestinians fear would bisect much of the West Bank and choke off their access to the holy city.
The Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative government had authorized the construction of 3,000 housing units and ordered "preliminary zoning and planning work for thousands of units in Jerusalem and settlement blocs including Maale Adumim and E1".
Israel froze much of its activities in E1 under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush and the area has been under the scrutiny of his successor, Barack Obama...
More from Yahoo News (November 30, 2012)

9 dead in Israeli attacks on Hamas in Gaza

(CNN) -- An Israeli air strike Wednesday killed the head of Hamas' military wing, the first attack in a broader military operation against terrorist targets in response to an increase in rockets fired on Israel from Gaza.
Palestinian leaders immediately condemned the Israeli attacks as an escalation, with President Mahmoud Abbas calling for an emergency session of the Council of the League of Arab States to discuss what he called Israeli "aggression," the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
Hamas' military wing warned that Israelis had opened "the gates of hell on themselves."
Palestinian medical sources said nine people died in the air strikes, including a young girl, and 35 others were wounded, with 10 in serious condition. However, the health minister in Gaza, Mufid al-Mukhalalati, put the death toll at seven, including two young girls.
The dead included Ahmed al-Ja'abari, the popular and influential head of the Hamas military wing, and his son, the group said on its website...
More on CNN site. November 14, 2012

Insiders: Israel Will Attack Iran

Two-thirds of National Journal's National Security Insiders believe Israel will attack Iran to try to derail its nuclear program, but they are divided over whether military action would take place in the coming months or at a later date.
Speculation abounds over whether the Jewish state may strike, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called upon the United Nations General Assembly to draw a clear "red line" to stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. While President Obama has insisted that no option is off the table to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the administration has so far advocated for a strategy of tougher sanctions and diplomatic pressure.
"If the U.S. strategy in 2013 does not produce noticeable changes in Iran's behavior," one Insider said, "then either Israel will convince the U.S. to strike (their preferred option) or they will go it alone (and the U.S. will share in the consequences)."...
More from Yahoo News (October 10, 2012)

Iran on brink of nuclear bomb in 6-7 months: Netanyahu

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that Iran was just six to seven months away from the brink of being able to build a nuclear bomb, adding urgency to his demand that President Barack Obama set a "red line" for Tehran in what could deepen the worst U.S.-Israeli rift in decades.
Taking to the television airwaves to make his case directly to the American public, Netanyahu said that by mid-2013 Iran would be "90 percent of the way" toward enough enriched uranium for a weapon. He again urged the United States to spell out limits that Tehran must not cross if it is to avoid military action - something Obama has refused to do.
"You have to place that red line before them now, before it's too late," Netanyahu said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, adding that such a U.S. move could reduce the chances of having to attack Iran's nuclear sites.
The unusually public dispute between close allies - coupled with Obama's decision not to meet with Netanyahu later this month - has exposed a gaping U.S.-Israeli divide and stepped up pressure on the U.S. leader in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign...
More from Yahoo News (September 16, 2012)

Islamists kill 15 Egyptians, Israel strikes attackers

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamist gunmen killed at least 15 Egyptian police on Sunday and seized two military vehicles to attack a crossing point into Israel, the deadliest incident in Egypt's tense Sinai border region in decades.
Israeli aircraft destroyed one of the armored vehicles and four of the gunmen were killed, Egyptian security sources said. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak called for "determined Egyptian action" to "prevent terror in Sinai".
The attack is an early diplomatic test for Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who assumed office at the end of June after staunch U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year in a popular uprising.
It may also complicate Egypt's relations with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip that borders Egypt and Israel who are close to Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, if it is shown that Palestinian gunmen were involved.
Israel has accused Palestinian militants in Gaza of involvement in militant activity in Sinai, where insecurity has grown since Mubarak was toppled...
More from Yahoo News (July 26, 2012)

Israel losing international support, says British ambassador

Matthew Gould says Jewish state losing mainstream political support over lack of peace progress and West Bank expansion.
The British ambassador to Israel has said international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is eroding, driven by settlement expansion in the West Bank and continued restrictions on Gaza.
There is "growing concern" in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians, and Israel was now being seen as Goliath against the Palestinians as David, said Matthew Gould, in reference to the biblical story.
In an unusually forthright interview for Israel's Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel...
More from The Guardian, August, 3, 2012

Israel: The War Within

In Israel, compulsory military service has been the backbone of the beleaguered Jewish State since its founding in 1948. All Israeli's upon reaching the age of 18 must serve a two or three year term in the Tzva Hahagana LeYisra'el — Israel Defense Force. However there is a fierce debate on-going regarding just who will fill these ranks. Currently Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men are allowed exemption from military service on grounds that they will instead be pursuing religious study.
However earlier this month Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began the process of reform that would do away with such exemptions. Netanyahu remarked, "Everyone must bear the burden. We will provide positive incentives to those who serve and negative incentives to draft dodgers." These actions were celebrated by reformers within Israel who argue that the defense of Israel is the duty of all its citizens...
More from Yahoo News (July 26, 2012) plus Christiane Amanpour video report from Jerusalem.

Don't rehabilitate the guilty

It is time for the Israeli government and Jewish defense organizations to begin actively combating the dangerous phenomena of Holocaust distortion,
By Efraim Zuroff

Recent events in four different Eastern European countries have once again highlighted the ongoing assault on the accepted Holocaust narrative in the post-communist world. Three attracted considerable attention, while the fourth, which perhaps affords us the best insight into the phenomenon of Eastern European attempts to rewrite World War II history, was virtually ignored, until it aroused a solitary Jewish protest.
In Kiev, Odessa and Lviv, on January 1, hundreds marched to mark the birthday of Ukrainian nationalist hero Stepan Bandera, who headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN ), which collaborated with the Nazis and actively participated in the mass murder of Jews following the German occupation of Ukraine in 1941. A few days later, the regional council of the Ukrainian oblast of Ivano-Frankivsk declared 2012 the year of the UPA, the military wing of the OUN...
More from HAARETZ.com, January 13, 2012

Foreign Ministry: Israel's recognition of Armenian genocide could threaten Turkey ties
Knesset holds first discussion on possible recognition of Turkey's Armenian genocide; Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin says Israel has an ethical commitment to recognize other nations' genocides.
By Jonathan Lis

The Foreign Ministry warned that Israel's possible recognition of the Armenian genocide, which was discussed in a Knesset committee on Monday, could lead to the serious deterioration of Israel's ties with Turkey.
A Knesset committee discussed on Monday the possibility of setting a memorial day for the Armenian genocide by the Turkish people nearly 100 years ago, marking a first in Israeli history.
Several MKs expressed support for the move, saying that Israel, as a nation of the Jewish people who have experienced genocide, cannot ignore genocides in other countries.
However, the recognition of the Armenian genocide has long been a sensitive diplomatic issue due to the implications it has on Israel's relationship with Turkey, which denies it...
More from HAARETZ.com, December 26, 2011

Israel announces new 'depth' command for long-range military operations

New command to be headed by former chief of elite special forces squad Sayeret Matakl; unit to supervise operations away from Israel's borders.
The Israel Defense Forces is forming a command to supervise "depth" operations, actions undertaken by the military far from Israel's borders, the army announced on Thursday.
The new authority will be commanded by a military officer at the rank of Major General, and will be headed by the former chief of the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit Shai Avital, who will return to military serivce to fill the position.
Onoing concerns with Iran's contentious nuclear program serve as the backdrop for the IDF's annoucement, with both U.S. and Israeli officials noting that, while diplomatic efforts were the preferred tool with attempting to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, no options were "off the table."...
More from HAARETZ.com, December 15, 2011

Israeli, UK media report increased planning for confrontation with Iran

Just as the United States is preparing to further unwind itself from its military entanglements in the wider Middle East--departing Iraq and transferring lead security responsibilities to Afghans by 2014--a new round of tension appears to be surfacing between Iran and Israel that could force the U.S. military back in.
Reports in the Israeli press indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are working to convince other members of Netanyahu's cabinet and Israeli security chiefs that Israel needs to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear program...
More from Yahoo news, Novemeber, 3rd, 2011

As Palestinians Push for Statehood, Israel Finds Itself Isolated

There are links between nations, cordial relations, firm bonds, alliances and strategic partnerships. But what Turkey and Israel had in mind just four years ago was something akin to being joined at the hip. The plan was to snake an extraordinary "infrastructure corridor" from Ceyhan in Turkey's south to Haifa in Israel's north, a thick bundle of pipes carrying crude oil in one, electricity in another, natural gas in yet another and in the fourth, a steady flow of fresh, sweet water, all thrumming along the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. Not only would these pipes serve as ties that bind two nations, but they would also show the world that a Muslim country could tether itself to the Jewish state, to their mutual benefit.
Which makes the events of the past few weeks all the more worrisome for Israel. With dizzying speed, Turkey has gone from offering oil and gas to Israel to threatening to send gunboats to the Gaza Strip to protect activists seeking to break Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory. Enraged by Israel's refusal to apologize for its killing of eight Turks (and one Turkish American) on board a blockade-busting ferry last year, Ankara has ejected Israel's ambassador, downgraded diplomatic relations and imposed military sanctions on its former ally. And that "infrastructure corridor"? It's now a mere pipe dream...
More from TIME site Sept. 26, 2011

Israel should have learned the Holocaust's lessons of nationalism

Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day, which is being marked today, is above all a day of remembrance. Today is the day on which the Holocaust is to be recalled, and on which the memory of those who perished and the heritage of those who managed to survive is invoked. It is also a day on which to remember those survivors who are still among us and to consider their well-being.

All of this, however, is not enough: Israelis must also devote themselves to studying the lessons of the Holocaust. In addition to the lessons that have been learned well here - such as the need for the existence of a strong and thriving sovereign state, and the duty to combat anti-Semitism - one must not on any account neglect the moral lesson of the Holocaust...
More on HAARETZ site, May 2, 2011

Rival Palestinian factions reach unity agreement

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Rival Palestinian groups said they reached an agreement Wednesday on reuniting their governments in the West Bank and Gaza after years of bitter infighting that weakened them politically and caused the deaths of hundreds in violent clashes and crackdowns since.

Even as the tentative agreement revived hopes among Palestinians that they might be able to form a unified front, unity between the rival groups Fatah and Hamas appeared unlikely to jump start negotiations with Israel for an independent Palestinian state.

Israel swiftly rejected the prospect of a Palestinian government including Hamas, citing the militant group's stated goal of destroying the Jewish state. The U.S. expressed similar concerns...
More on Yahoo News. April 27, 2011

Jerusalem blast leaves 1 dead, dozens injured

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A woman was killed and more than 50 people were wounded when a loud explosion shook a busy street in Jerusalem as the evening rush hour began on Wednesday, authorities said.
Several of the wounded were critically injured in the first serious bombing in Jerusalem in four years, authorities said.
Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" in which "innocent people were hurt."
The blast took place in "a very crowded area" with "a lot of civilians and two buses," said Yonatan Yagadovsky, a spokesman for Israel's emergency services...
More on CNN site. March 23, 2011

Palestinians and Israel exchange new round of strikes

Jerusalem (CNN) -- At least four rockets slammed into Israel Wednesday, injuring one man and prompting retaliatory Israeli airstrikes that wounded two Palestinian militants, one critically, sources said.
The strikes and counterstrikes mark the latest phase in a deadly round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
At least 10 Palestinians have been killed since Saturday, including two children, and though both sides say they do not want the violence to escalate, Wednesday's attacks show it does not seem to be abating.
The Israeli man hurt Wednesday was injured in one of two rocket strikes on Beer Sheva, an Israeli army spokeswoman said.
The Israel Defense Forces struck back at a rocket launching site in northern Gaza associated with one of the other attacks Wednesday. Two militants were injured, one critically, Palestinian medical officials and Hamas sources said...
More on CNN site. March 23, 2011

Google and Yad Vashem launch Internet access to Holocaust archives

Israel's Yad Vashem museum and Google have launched a cooperative effort to put put the world's largest collection of Holocaust documents onto the Internet.
Internet giant Google and the Israeli national Holocaust museum Yad Vashem have launched a new cooperation to put the museum's archive online. In a first step, Google made some 130,000 documents and photos available to the global Internet audience.
"Our cooperation with Google is a great step forward, we are harnessing technology for the benefit of millions around the world to permit them access new information," director of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev said.
"Especially for young people this will raise awareness about the Shoa and it will provide them with the kind of tools they're used to for doing research."
More on Deusche Welle site. Jan. 27th, 2011

Israel ex-president Katsav convicted of rape
By Michael Blum (AFP)

TEL AVIV — Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape on Thursday, capping a four-year scandal that shocked the Jewish state and leaves him facing at least eight years in prison.
As a Tel Aviv court handed down the verdict, which also convicted Katsav on charges of sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice, the visibly distraught 65-year-old muttered "No, no."
On the street outside, protesters chanted: "All the world knows, Katsav is a criminal."
The ruling ends a trial that lasted 18 months and included harrowing accusations, with depictions of Katsav as a sexual predator who routinely harassed his female staff.
The former head of state was accused of twice raping a victim identified as "Aleph" during his term as tourism minister, and sexually assaulting and harassing two other women while he was president...
More from Google News site December 31, 2010

Israel, Turkey meeting aimed at mending rift
By the CNN Wire Staff, December 5, 2010

(CNN) -- Officials from Israel and Turkey met in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday in an attempt to reduce tensions between the two nations in the wake of an incident earlier this year involving an aid flotilla to Gaza, representatives from both countries said.
The meeting came about after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent two firefighting planes Friday to Israel to aid in combating a deadly wildfire, according to a Turkish foreign ministry official.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly thanked Erdogan, then called him to thank him again, the official said. While on the telephone, Netanyahu said he hoped the two countries could discuss the state of their relationship in a different context, according to the official...
More on CNN ste

Firefighters making progress on Israel blaze
By the CNN Wire Staff, December 5, 2010

Jerusalem (CNN) -- The "major sources" of a deadly Israeli wildfire have been extinguished, police said Sunday, as the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to speed aid to those affected.
The cabinet's vote, at a special meeting near the area affected by the fire, came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged haste.
"I do not want delays," Netanyahu said. "I do not want bureaucracy. I want processes to be shortened. I want quick solutions. I want all of the people -- within days -- to be able to return to their homes or to alternative housing, until the reconstruction work is finished."
The fire, which broke out Thursday, has killed at least 41 people and injured at least 17 others...
More on CNN ste

On Facebook: Israeli soldier posed with bound Arab

By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer – Mon Aug 16 2010, 7:41 pm ET
JERUSALEM – A former Israeli soldier posted photos on Facebook of herself in uniform smiling beside bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoners, drawing sharp criticism Monday from the Israeli military and Palestinian officials.
Israeli news websites and blogs showed two photographs of the woman. In one, she is sitting legs crossed beside a blindfolded Palestinian man who is slumped against a concrete barrier. His face is turned downwards, while she leans toward him with her face upturned. Another shows her smiling at the camera with three Palestinian men with bound hands and blindfolds behind her...
More on Yahoo site

With UN flotilla probe, Ban ki-Moon is trying to stay relevant
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon was desperate to earn a diplomatic achievement, in the wake of charges recently leveled against him by the former UN comptroller.
Immediately following Israel's raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31, United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon began to work to form a UN probe into the incident.
Ban's lobbying efforts in recent weeks to advance a UN probe, which included meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, displayed Ban's desire to register a diplomatic achievement and earn the gratitude of the international community – two things Ban needed desperately...
More from HAARETZ.com.Published August 2nd 2010
Bloody Israeli raid on flotilla sparks crisis

JERUSALEM – Israeli commandos rappelled down to an aid flotilla sailing to thwart a Gaza blockade on Monday, clashing with pro-Palestinian activists on the lead ship in a botched raid that left at least nine passengers dead.
Bloodied passengers sprawled on the deck and troops dived into the sea to save themselves amid hand-to-hand fighting that injured dozens of activists and six soldiers. Hundreds of activists were towed from the international waters to Israeli detention centers and hospitals...
More on Yahoo siteMay, 31st 2010

Israel strikes Gaza
By Ben Harris · January 8, 2010

Publika(JTA) -- Israeli warplanes struck four targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket that landed near Ashkelon.
The Israel Defense Forces said the targets included several smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza, as well as a weapons manufacturing facility, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Thursday night's raid followed the firing of a Katyusha rocket at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. The rocket caused no casualties. 
Palestinians said one person was killed and two wounded in the strikes.

More on: http://jta.org/news/article/2010/01/08/1010075/israel-strikes-gaza

'Iron Dome' successfully intercepts rocket
Israel inched a step closer on Wednesday to deploying the Iron Dome missile defense system along the border with the Gaza Strip after it successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests held in southern Israel this week.
The tests were overseen by the Defense Ministry, the Israel Air Force and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., which developed the Iron Dome, slated to become operational and be deployed along the Gaza border in mid-2010.
The missile volleys which the system succeeded in intercepting included a number of rockets that mimicked Kassam and longer range Grad-model Katyusha rockets that are known to be in Hamas's arsenal...
More from The Jerusalem Post site. Dated Jan,7th.2010.
Israeli air strikes target Gaza 'smuggling tunnels'
Israeli aircraft have struck an alleged weapons factory and two suspected smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials reported no casualties, but Reuters news agency said three people had been injured in the attack.
The airstrike, in the Khan Younis area of the Gaza Strip, followed the launch of a rocket from Gaza into the western Negev desert on Wednesday morning...
More from BBC World. Dated Nov,19th.2009.
Israel approves plan to build 900 homes
Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israel approved a construction plan Tuesday for hundreds of houses in a disputed neighborhood on Jerusalem's southern outskirts, quickly prompting criticism from Washington.
The Jewish state's Interior Ministry said it had approved the construction of 900 units in Gilo. The approval of construction moves forward the process for the project; it will now be opened to public objections...
More from CNN World. Dated Nov,18th.2009.

Obama warns Israel on settlements
US President Barack Obama has said Israel's approval of 900 extra housing units at a settlement in East Jerusalem could lead to a "dangerous" situation.
Mr Obama told Fox News that additional settlement construction made it harder for Israel to make peace in the region and "embitters the Palestinians"...
More from BBC World. Dated Nov,18th.2009.

AAbbas will not seek re-election

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will not seek re-election in polls in January.
In a televised speech, Mr Abbas said the impasse in efforts to resume peace negotiations with Israel had prompted his decision not to run again.
Whole text from BBC site. Dated Nov, 6th.2009.

November 4, 2009  - Israel ’s Navy seizes arms smuggling ship

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel 's navy detained a ship carrying a large cache of arms.

Soldiers on Tuesday night boarded the freighter ship, flying the flag of Antigua , and discovered the arms and ammunition, disguised as commercial freight, according to the IDF spokespersons office. The ship, named the Francop, was stopped by a special naval force about 100 miles off the coast of Israel .

The ship was then taken to Israel 's Ashdod port for further scanning and unloading. 

The ship was en route from Iran to Syria , according to reports. It carried more than 60 tons of weapons. including Katyusha rockets, assault rifles, grenades, and mortar shells, as well as an advanced anti-aircraft platform that so far has not made it to the region, Israel Radio reported,

"The seizure of the ship was carried out as part of the navy's ongoing intensive fight against terrorism and the prevention of weapons smuggling," a statement from the IDF said.

New president of the HOJ elected in Israel

Josef Zamboki otvara sednicuMoshe Ben Shahar, novoizabrani predsednik, njegova supruga Ilana i Aleks Zelikovic, Kontrolna komisijaMilan Fogel, predsedavajuci Skupstine, Josef Zamboki, dosadasnji predsednik HOJ, Lili Papo sekretar-zapisnicar SkupstineThe new President of the Association of immigrants from former Yugoslavia in Israel (HOJ), Moshe Ben Schahar was elected at the Association’s Assembly held on September 10, 2009. Moshe Ben Schahar’s term of presidency is weighed down from its onset by the exceptionally difficult financial state of Association affairs. In his speech on program tasks he pointed out the demanding period lying ahead of us that may persist for another two years and how many will be unhappy by the forthcoming proposal of a restrictive budget at the first meeting of the Association Execute Board. Since the collected annual membership fee could not cover the Bulletin - MOST’s printing expenses, its publishing has so far presented a major expenditure. MOST shall for the time being be printed on 12 pages (instead of 32) in Serbo-Croat and on 4 (instead of 8) in Hebrew. Up to the end of the year MOST’s Editor Ana Schomlo shall prepare another two complimentary issues. Failure to secure funds for editor wages shall result in a recruitment announcement for a non-salaried editor post.

Notwithstanding the difficult financial situation Associations activist managed to organize a number of successful projects in the past period. Miri Derman, President of the Social Committee is specially credited for providing modest donations to a small number of financially challenged members. Together with Lili Papo she eased the complex initial period of resettlement and adjustment to different conditions of living for new settlers. On behalf of Association members Assembly chairman Milan Fogel expressed gratitude to previous President Josef Zamboki for his successful management of the Association over the past period.

Israel pilot Assaf Ramon, astronaut's son, dies in F-16 crash
The 21-year-old air force lieutenant was the son of Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster of 2003.

Israeli President Shimon Peres awarded Assaf Ramon his wings at the Hatzerim base in June. (Israel Defense Forces)Israel Air Force Capt. Asaf Ramon, 21, was killed Sunday when the F-16A Falcon jet he was flying crashed during a routine training flight near the southern Hebron Hills. Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan ordered an official inquiry and an immediate halt to all F-16 training flights until further notice, according to a report in Haaretz. The main focus of the investigation is on human factors, and there is a high probability that some physiological problem may have led to the crash.

Ramon took off from the Nevatim air base at 1 P.M. on a routine training flight in a single-seat Falcon as part of the advanced flight training course that the pilot began in July. The formation was led by A., a veteran pilot, and was meant to exercise at an altitude of 18,000 feet over the Hebron Hills and the West Bank . The two aircraft were to simulate dogfighting. The training was fairly basic, as this was a somewhat early stage of Ramon's fighter pilot training. The two aircraft were supposed to pass each other, and then perform a fairly wide turn in order to continue the exercise. A. was supposed to see Ramon several seconds after the two aircraft had passed each other, but quickly realized that he could not find him. He called him on the radio: "Watch your altitude," but there was no response. The incident occurred at about 1:30 P.M., when Ramon's aircraft disappeared off radar. Several minutes later reports began coming in from people living in the area south of Hebron that an aircraft had been seen flying at low altitude over the Hebron-Be'er Sheva highway, and of an explosion, followed by a cloud of smoke.
(Guysen.International.News)

Conversions down 20 percent in 2009
Mismanagement and bureaucracy in the country's conversion process has caused a severe drop in the number of people signing up to convert to Judaism, according to a new report published Monday by Itim, a non-profit organization that assists many Jewish converts to navigate the complicated system.
The whole article from the Jerusalem Post (May 28th 2009)
Pope Benedict XVI Makes Historic Visit to Israel
Moving Memorial Ceremony Takes Place at Yad Vashem
On May 11, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI visited Yad Vashem where he took an active part in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, thereby conveying an influential message regarding the importance of Holocaust remembrance to Catholic followers and believers. A visit of the utmost importance, it will increase Holocaust awareness around the world.
The whole article from the Yad Vashem site
A concert in Israel
To gather in one place politicians from the republics of former Yugoslavia would be hard to do in everyday life. However, the opera diva of the Belgrade Opera Jelena Vlahović and Tijana Grujić, an opera diva with an impressive international reputation, a native of Belgrade but engaged in Landestheater, Linz, Austria, managed just that at their concert in Israel. Present at the concert were representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Ivana Levi from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Slovenian Ambassador Boris Savić, Deputy Ambassador Biljana Vučković from Serbia, Chargé d’Affaires Pajo Avirović from Macedonia and the Honorary Consul from Croatia in Israel Samuel Šlezinger. The concert named To Natania with Love was held on May 9, 2009 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the city of Natania , the Day of Europe, and The Day of Victory over Fascism. Also present at the event and in the company of the Ambassadors from the former Yugoslavia was the Hungarian Ambassador Zoltan Sent Đerđi who on this occasion had the opportunity to hear the song by the composer Rut Žamboki dedicated to the town of Sziofok in Hungary, a sister city of Israeli Natania. The song was composed for the city’s celebration and performed in front of many high ranking officials of Sziofok town magistrate in honor of Natania.
President of the Association of immigrants from former Yugoslavia in Israel , Eng. Josef Žamboki, an enthusiastic admirer of opera produced the concert. Recognition for the events successful organization went to Daniel Fogel an expert in interior communications and member of the Zemun Jewish Community. His love of music vouchsafed for his role of event moderator for the evening of music. The public eagerly welcomed the main performers of the concert Jelena Vlahović, Tijana Grujić and Ljubica Grujić, a professor of music at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade who accompanied the divas on the piano. The public enjoyed the songs and arias by Tchaikovsky, Granados, Mussorgsky, Verdi, Mozart, Saint Sans and Rossini.

Ben Shahar, Israel , 9. May 2009.

Film premiere and literary promotions in Jerusalem

This year on November 20, in Jerusalem ’s Reformist Synagogue Kol HaNesamah we had the opportunity to view the 2007 production of the documentary film “The Promised Land”. The event commemorated the 60 year anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel , and all present were greeted by Mr. Joseph Zamboki the current president of the Hitahdut. The premiere screening of the film “The Promised Land”, of Croat production, was released by an active participant of events filmed, Jehuda-Vojko Sterk, who also assisted in the making of this film. Jasminka Dormas a HRT (Croat Radio Television) reporter successfully unearthed archived film material dated 1948-51 about the deportation of Jewish repatriates – a platitude used by post-war Yugoslav authorities to justify the mass exile of more than half of all Yugoslav Jews that had survived the Holocaust, and to make interviews in Israel with émigrés emphasizing their contribution in the making of the new state of Israel. The film was an incentive for the participants in the panel to primarily evoke memories of the hardships they went through during the process of settling-in in on-going war activities which gradually led up to events more pleasant, such as raising families and fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, i.e. the settlement and continued existence in Eretz.

The second part of the program was devoted to the promotion of two books by two authors Raul Teitelbaum and Avram (Abraham) Atijas.
This year Raul Teitelbaum’s book “The Biological Solution” was published both in Israel and Germany .  The book is a comprehensive study and a critique of the system of compensation of Holocaust survivors and of the role played by Israeli and the German governments as well as that of the Claims Conference. Raul concludes that it is a detrimental system of remuneration for Holocaust survivors stressing that out of the million and eight hundred thousand survivors only 550.000 had received any indemnity. Teitelbaum asserts that no compensation has been made for the six million Jews massacred in the Holocaust.  “ Germany has attained “Jewish indulgence”, says Teitelbaum, “by paying a monstrously low price for the atrocious crimes committed by Nazi Germany”.  A compellingly steadfast author, Avram Atijas published his fifth book last year. The publication contains numerous autobiographical data but also interesting comments about the world of his associates. The first part of his latest book “We look for ourselves in a black and white world” takes us back to the starkness of post-WWII years and the search for lost Jewish identity in socialist Yugoslavia . It has been said of life that it is the creator of best literature and Atijas’s narrations are a confirmation of the fact. While it is a reminder to the elderly of all that the lot of us went through in the old homeland, it is also a testament to younger generations of a time gone by, of dilemmas and decisions that fundamentally changed the lives of those who made the choice to immigrate to Israel . The second part of Atijas’s book vibrantly and engagingly describes meetings and personas he came to know during his mission in Africa . Atijas compares his beliefs to those of people of other social systems and thus transcends the lands of Africa and urges us to assess, free of any “rooting passion”, postulates about events that took place in different parts and on different sides of the world during the twentieth century.

Milan Fogel, event moderator,
Israel

19. november 2008. | Source: B92
'Orlići' won in Tel Aviv
Junior football team from Serbia won Israel by 3:2 in a freiendly match in Tel Aviv
More on B92 page
Israel spurns UN plea to ease Gaza blockade
By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer – Wed Nov 19, 4:27 pm ET
more on Yahoo page

A successful presentation of Serbian film professionals at the 24th Haifa International Film Festival

Present this October at the 24th International Film Festival held in Haifa , Israel were also two film directors from Serbia , Mr. Dejan Zecevic with his film “The Fourth Man” and Stefan Arsenijevic with the film “Love and other crimes”. It is an unfortunate circumstance that only one “Golden Anchor” is awarded in the category of best director of feature-length films made outside Israel . This year it justly went to the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan for the film “Three Monkeys”. Nuri Bilge Ceylan is well known to movie goers in Serbia as this year’s best director laureate of the Cannes Film Festival.

The two films from Serbia were first shown to film industry workers and critics at closed screenings and then to the audience of the main festival program. The Israeli premiere of the film”The Fourth Man” was exceptionally well received both by critics and the public. Among the audience at the viewing of the film in the company of his wife the Ambassador of Serbia in Israel , Mr. Miodrag Isakov could hardly sustain his pleasure with the success of Dejan Zecevic’s film and the cordial applause it received from the public. This unforeseen interest kept Mr. Zecevic in a lengthy conversation with a very inquisitive audience. At the end of the discussion Mr. Zecevic said: “It is a great pleasure for a director when his film is appreciated as a universal depiction of the world by a foreign public that is also fully aware of the local colors of the film’s country of origin ( Serbia )”. Convinced in the success of director Dejan Zecevic’s new film project Ms. Nikolina Vucetic one of “The Fourth Man” producers promised they would all meet in Israel again.

Mr. Nenad Dukic, a Belgrade film critic had the honor to be a member of the jury for the selection of the best new Israeli film production. The award went to Omri Givon the director of the film “Seven Minutes in Heaven.” At the closing of the Festival Mr. Nenad Dukic said: “The quality of the program coupled with an outstanding insight in cinematography primarily that of Mediterranean countries upholds the high status of the Haifa Festival within the region.”

Finally, we can only conclude that the Serbian film professionals have definitely opened the door for film makers from Serbia to future festivals in Israel .

Guests from Serbia and Mr. Miodrag Isakov, Serbian ambassador to Israel

Ms. Nikolina Vucetic and Mr. Dejan Zecevic were our dear gests at the celebration of Sukot in the forest of Beth Shemesh where Jews from former Yugoslavia traditionally gather for the occasion. They could not hide their pleasure (and surprise) that they could eyewitness former Yugoslavia in its entirety in one such small space. By their own admission the meetings, the new friendships and affable atmosphere will be something to remember forever.

Milan Fogel, Israel

February, 14th 2008 – Formal reception in Tel Aviv
Miodrag Isakov, Pinkas AviviOn occasion of The Day of Serbian State and The Day of Serbian Military Forces, Miodrag Isakov, Ambassador of Republic of Serbia and military attaché col. Predrag Stankovic arranged a banquet in hotel Carlton in Tel Aviv. The event was attended by high officials of Israeli political establishment and numerous military attachés accredited in Israel .
Traditionally many eminent members of Jewish community from Serbia and from other former Yugoslav republics were invited.
The event was also attended by representatives of The Serbian Orthodox Church in Israel , ambassadors of Croatia and Slovenia .
Zeni Lebl, Jafa ben Ari, Daniel FogelIn his greeting speech Mr. Isakov stressed that Serbian government and people are in difficult position now, facing unrighteous and unjust recognition of independence of Kosovo and Metohija, an inalienable part of Republic of Serbia . Ambassador even managed to make a joke on behalf of the hosting country explaining how hard it was to get a term for the reception in time when many holiday celebrations in Israel are going on. We must admit that Mr. Isakov became very familiar with official and traditional holidays in Israel . The greatest of them all Shabat is celebrated 52 times a year and how many others is still there?!
Representative of Israeli government and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pinkas Avivi in his greeting speech pointed to traditional friendship of Serbian and Israeli people. He reminded us on times century when Jews were expatriated from Spain in 15th and when they found their harbor in Serbia .
Mrs. Jaffa Ben Ari, former Israeli ambassador in Serbia was in the centre of attention.
Time on the reception passed in pleasant atmosphere, in socializing, excellent Serbian national cuisine and with wishes to meet more frequently.
Milan Fogel, correspondent from Israel .
June 2007 – Jenny Lebl celebrates 80th  birthday in Tel Aviv with her friends
Jenny Lebl, a significant activist of The Hitahdut Oley ex Yu -association of immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia, celebrated her 80th birthday in company of her closest friends. In one of the received greeting cards it was written:  Who seeds – he harvests (Serbian saying). Author of occasional oil/varnish painting added that Jenny wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the seeded fruits.
What proofs that it is true is the fact that Jenny Lebl won 25 awards for her research work by The Federation of Jewish Communities in ex-Yugoslavia and in Serbia . Her pieces will be unavoidable material for all those who want to study history of Jews on ex-Yugoslavian territory.
Her cousin Ana Lebl from Split ( Croatia ) arrived for the birthday occasion.
Among guests there was Dan Reisinger, multiple laureate for modern design, Dina Katan Ben Cion, poet and recognized translator from Serbo-Croatian to Hebrew, Ana Shomlo, editor in chief of The Most magazine, newly elected president to Hitahdut Planinka Kovacevic and many others. Vivacious and in good mood Jenny, accompanied by Dusan Mihalek, musicologist (accordion), reminded us on songs that were polpular before WW2.
Milan Fogel, Askelon, June, 20-th 2007.

June 2007 - Late Age Wishes

When I think about my life and about my years of age I come to conclusion that I have only few modest wishes.

I don’t want to win a lottery premium.
I don’t sigh for holidays on Hawaii .
I don’t want a better apartment.
Nor I want a new suit.

My wishes are much more modest.

I would like to seat in a small cafeteria in an Arab quart of the central old city and to eat good Arab humus.
I would like to watch a Soccer match Makabi vs. Palestinian best team at my home TV.
I would like to hear that security guards of institutions and buses are seeking for another job.

I think that my wishes are very modest.

Alexander Sharon, Jerusalem
The author of this article is of age 95 (Editorial remark)

June, 6th 2007 – The New President to The Hitahdut

Last night in Tel Aviv, on June, 6th there was an assembly of the association of immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia in Israel (The Hitahdut). After receding of Mrs. Miriam Aviezer Steiner the new president of The Hitahdut Mrs. Planinka Kovacevic, academy artist, was elected. As a long standing activist of The Hitahdut she was elected unanimously on a public voting. This year mandate to all presidents and commissions members has run out and the new were elected. Some of them remained on their old functions. Mrs. Miriam Aviezer was successfully managing The Hitahdut for past two years and we believe that the new president would contribute to more advancement in our organization work.

February 25th 2007 – Humor and satire literary evening with Milan Fogel

Miriam Steiner–Aviezer, president to Hitahdut Oley ex-Yu organized an evenining dedicated to literal opus of Milan Fogel, eminent activist of Hitahdut and member of Jewish Community of Zemun. Friends and venerators of Milan 's work gathered in a pleasant atmosphere of Moadon (club) Merkaz Jocej Europa, in Tel Aviv on February 25th 2007.

After introduction Ljiljana Petkovic-Lili has read a novel from Milan 's awarded collection of novels "The Return to the Response”. It was clear at the very beginning that the evening was going to be filled with laughter – the best cure for human health that can even reduce pain, as Freud said. In his presentment Milan talked about other writers with humoristic and satiric opus as well as about serious literal theory debates. Musicologist Dusan Mihalek prepared a musical program with             jovial songs, lyrics written by himself.
Among modest number of guests there were some famous names from cultural and public life of Israel . Dina Katan Bencion, writer and eminent interpretor from Serbo-Croatian to Hebrew, Jeni Lebl, writer and historian, representatives of The Embassy of Serbia  Mrs. Desanka Kocic, the First Secretary to the Embassy esq. and others. After the program finished nobody was hurrying home. They all moved to the main lounge and had an appropriate refreshments. The socializing continued with endless joke telling.

February 18th 2007 – Day of Serbian State  and Day of Serbian Army February 15th ceremony in Israel

On February 18th H.E. Miodrag Isakov, ambassador of Serbia in Israel, Mrs. Jelena Isakov and colonel Predrag Stankovic, military attache and Mrs. Tamara Stankovic made a reception in Hotel Daniel in Herzliya on the occasion of The Day of Serbian State and The Day of Serbian Army.

Among numerous banqueters the reception was attended by honorable guests of ex-Yugoslavian, i.e. Serbian origin from cultural and economy life. Military attaches from many embassies in Israel had opportunity to meet and to congratulate our ambassador and our colonel The Day of Serbian State and The Day of Serbian Army. These holidays were celebrated on Serbian religious holiday "Sretenje" (Candlemas) for the first time. On behalf of Israeli government Minister of Pensionary Affairs Mr. Rafi Eitan congratulated the holiday reminding on traditional friendship between two nations. Ambassador Miodrag Isakov and Predrag Stankovic were excellent hosts on the reception organized by their spouses.
Milan Fogel, Ashkelon

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