Jeffrey's Feed
Oct 23, 2013

Jerusalem mayor re-elected in blow to ex-Foreign Minister Lieberman

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem won re-election on Wednesday in a hotly contested race that dealt a political blow to his challenger’s main backers, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

Lieberman, a legislator whose far-right Yisrael Beitenu party is allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, is embroiled in a corruption case, with a court verdict next month likely to determine whether he returns to the cabinet.

Oct 21, 2013

Netanyahu’s mission: to head off Iran sanctions relief

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday will seek to dim the optimism after nuclear talks with Iran, cautioning that Tehran is strengthening its strategic regional position by calling the shots in Syria as President Bashar al-Assad’s puppet master.

In talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Wednesday, Netanyahu is expected to argue against easing Western sanctions on Iran, which hinted at recent Geneva talks it was willing to scale back its nuclear program.

Oct 10, 2013

Nobel Prize sparks ‘brain drain’ debate in Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Nobel Prize in chemistry has stirred up national pride in Israel but also concern on Thursday over a brain drain of some of its best and brightest to universities in the United States.

Two of the three scientists who won the prize on Wednesday hold Israeli citizenship, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to phone in his congratulations – long distance.

Oct 7, 2013

Over 500,000 attend funeral of revered Israeli rabbi

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – More than half a million mourners turned out on Monday for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who transformed an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle East heritage into a powerful political force.

Jerusalem’s police chief said the funeral for Yosef, who died earlier on Monday aged 93, was the biggest ever held in the holy city. Streets became a sea of black coats and hats as weeping ultra-Orthodox faithful in traditional garb honoured a cleric they deemed their supreme spiritual leader.

Oct 7, 2013
via FaithWorld

Influential Israeli rabbi and political kingmaker Ovadia Yosef dies, aged 93


(An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stands beneath campaign posters depicting Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, in the southern city of Ashdod January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.

Oct 7, 2013

Influential Israeli rabbi Ovadia Yosef dies, aged 93

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.

Dubbed Israel’s Ayatollah by critics who condemned many of his pronouncements as racist – he likened Palestinians to snakes and said God put gentiles on earth only to serve Jews – Yosef was revered by many traditional Sephardic Jews as their supreme religious leader.

Sep 30, 2013

Israel showcases Iranian spy case as Netanyahu visits U.S.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A man arrested on suspicion of being an Iranian spy appeared in an Israeli court on Monday and some Israeli analysts questioned the timing of the affair, suggesting it was being showcased as part of efforts to discredit Tehran’s new opening to Washington.

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew on Sunday to the United States for a visit focused on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s Shin Bet security service announced that Ali Mansouri had been arrested on September 11 on suspicion of spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Sep 25, 2013

Iranian leader’s smooth diplomacy poses new challenge for Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A charm offensive toward the West by Iran’s new president and his nuanced approach to his predecessor’s Holocaust denial have run into an Israeli wall of suspicion hardened by Tehran’s nuclear pursuits.

Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, will not be fooled by Hassan Rouhani’s international outreach and the world must not be either.

Sep 15, 2013

Kerry reassures Israel on bid to rid Syria of chemical arms

JERUSALEM, Sept 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry assured Israel on Sunday a U.S.-Russian deal to remove
Syria’s chemical weapons would be effective, addressing concern
that a lack of resolve would embolden Iran in its nuclear drive.

“We cannot have hollow words in the conduct of international
affairs, because that affects all other issues, whether Iran or
North Korea or others,” Kerry said after talks with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sep 15, 2013

Netanyahu gives guarded response to Syrian chemical weapons deal

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday on a U.S.-Russian deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, an accord that drew a guarded response from the Israeli leader.

Netanyahu, in a speech before the meeting, said the agreement would be judged on whether it achieved “the complete destruction” of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons stockpiles, and he pointed toward Iran’s nuclear program as another test of world resolve.

    • About Jeffrey

      "Heller joined Reuters from United Press International in Tel Aviv in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987. He returned to the Middle East in 1992 as a senior sub-editor on the Middle East and Africa desk before taking up a post as correspondent, Jerusalem a year later. He is currently editor-in-charge in the Jerusalem bureau."
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