Dan's Feed
Mar 20, 2012

Despite Iran jitters, Israeli anti-war camp muted

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – With all the talk of an attack on Iran, one might expect Israelis to be hiding in basements or marching against another war.

But though polls show about three-quarters of them would oppose Israel resorting to force against Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme without U.S. support, that sense of unease has had little impact on normal life in the Jewish state [ID:nL5E8E11EK].

Mar 13, 2012

Israelis see Iran “mini-drill” in Gaza flare-up

JERUSALEM, March 13 (Reuters) – Israel has emerged
from the past few days of fighting with Palestinians in Gaza
more confident that its advanced missile shield and civil
defences can perform well in any war with Iran.

“In a sense, this was a mini-drill” for Iran, an Israeli
official said on Tuesday after an Egyptian-brokered truce took
hold, leaving 25 dead in the Gaza Strip and three people wounded
in Israel.

Mar 7, 2012

Israel cautiously welcomes big-power talks with Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday cautiously welcomed the planned resumption of big-power nuclear talks with Iran, insisting that Tehran be denied the means to turn uranium into bomb fuel.

With Israel speaking increasingly loudly of resorting to military action to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, the talks could provide some respite in a crisis that has driven up oil prices and threatened to suck the United States into its third major war in a decade.

Mar 6, 2012
via FaithWorld

Jewish Orthodoxy spreads in the Israeli military

Photo

(Israeli soldiers pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Baz Ratner )

Roni Daniel saw the writing on the wall in a toilet.

A former infantry commander who fought in three Middle East wars and now the dean of Israeli defense correspondents, Daniel recently visited military headquarters in Tel Aviv. There, a urinal that uses a motion detector to clean itself was signposted: “Forbidden on the Sabbath.” Troops, he realized, were being ordered to defer to Orthodox Jewish curbs on the use of electricity between Friday night and Saturday night.

Mar 5, 2012

Insight: In Israeli military, a growing orthodoxy

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Roni Daniel saw the writing on the wall in a toilet.

A former infantry commander who fought in three Middle East wars and now the dean of Israeli defense correspondents, Daniel recently visited military headquarters in Tel Aviv. There, a urinal that uses a motion detector to clean itself was signposted: “Forbidden on the Sabbath.” Troops, he realized, were being ordered to defer to Orthodox Jewish curbs on the use of electricity between Friday night and Saturday night.

For Daniel, and for millions of other Israeli citizens, the sign is symbolic of creeping change in an institution long cherished as a bastion of national unity. An increasing number of conscripts are Orthodox Jews – mirroring the growth of the minority in Israeli society at large. Some religious troops view military service through the prism of their own piety – either as the realization of a messianic vision that sees Jews conquering biblical lands or as an institution that should be subordinated to rabbinical writ.

Mar 1, 2012

Israel pre-announces missile test to stem Iran war fears

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel took the unusual precaution of announcing on Thursday that it would soon test-fire a ballistic interceptor missile, hoping to avoid stoking war tensions with Iran.

Missile trials from a launch base near Tel Aviv, most recently in November, were not published in advance. As a result, the first Israeli media reports on them were based on often breathless witness accounts, rocking world energy markets until defence officials provided explanations.

Mar 1, 2012

Wary of Iran jitters, Israel announces missile test

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel took the unusual precaution of announcing on Thursday that it would soon test-fire a ballistic interceptor missile, hoping to avoid stoking war tensions with Iran.

Missile trials from a launch base near Tel Aviv, most recently in November, were not published in advance. As a result, the first Israeli media reports on them were based on often breathless witness accounts, rocking world energy markets until defense officials provided explanations.

Feb 27, 2012

Israel seen slow to dig in as Iran war talk simmers

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s civil defenses are not ready to protect the population in a missile war, an opposition lawmaker said on Monday, fuelling debate about the feasibility of an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

Almost one in four Israelis lack access to bomb shelters, whether communal or reinforced rooms in private homes, said Zeev Bielski, chairman of a parliamentary panel on Israel’s home defense preparations.

Feb 22, 2012
via FaithWorld

Israel’s top court scraps the draft exemption for ultra-Orthodox Jews

Photo

(Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from the Rachmistrivka congregation attend the celebrations for Tu Bishvat, The Jewish Arbor day, in Jerusalem February 7, 2012. REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Israel’s top court struck down on Tuesday a law designed to encourage ultra-Orthodox Jews to join the military and the workforce, saying it had backfired by “entrenching” their blanket draft exemptions and protracted seminary studies.

Feb 22, 2012

Israel top court scraps pious Jews’ draft exemption

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s top court struck down on Tuesday a law designed to encourage ultra-Orthodox Jews to join the military and the workforce, saying it had backfired by “entrenching” their blanket draft exemptions and protracted seminary studies.

The ruling was welcomed by Israel’s secular majority but could set off rifts in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition government, which includes powerful religious Jewish parties.