JERUSALEM, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu backed down in a fight over Israel’s most prestigious
arts and sciences award on Friday, saying he would not meddle in
the prize days after removing several of its judges for not
reflecting “Israeli society”.
Netanyahu’s office said he would respect the advice of the
attorney-general, who warned against involvement in the
appointment of prize judges at a time of heightened political
tension before next month’s election.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli officials are considering amending the format of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned address to the U.S. Congress next month to try to calm some of the partisan furor the Iran-focused speech has provoked.
Netanyahu is due to address a joint session of Congress about Iran’s nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections, following an invitation from John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the house.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new exhibition of ancient clay tablets discovered in modern-day Iraq is shedding light for the first time on the daily life of Jews exiled to Babylon some 2,500 years ago.
The exhibition is based on more than 100 cuneiform tablets, each no bigger than an adult’s palm, that detail transactions and contracts between Judeans driven from, or convinced to move from, Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – At a busy supermarket in Jerusalem a smartly dressed woman, recently arrived in Israel, was stopping shoppers to ask if anyone spoke French. Having found a candidate, her first question was: “Where’s the cheese counter?”
For Jews coming to “the Jewish state” from all corners reached by the diaspora, the move may bring relief, but it also raises challenges: a new language and culture, unfamiliar social codes and the difficulty of finding a job — let alone a cheese counter, something uncommon in Israel.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept an invitation to address the U.S. Congress just days before Israel’s parliamentary election offers him invaluable pre-vote publicity, but may also have shaken the balance of U.S.-Israel ties.
John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, issued the invitation without consulting the White House, a breach of protocol since it is normally up to a head of state to invite a foreign leader.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The militant group Islamic State released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.
A black-clad figure with a knife, standing in a barren landscape along with two kneeling men wearing orange clothing, said the Japanese public had 72 hours to pressure their government to stop its “foolish” support for the U.S.-led coalition waging a military campaign against Islamic State.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Four French Jews killed in the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris were buried in Jerusalem on Tuesday before thousands of French and Israeli mourners, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying they had been returned to their “true home”.
In an emotional ceremony at a hillside cemetery amid tight security, Netanyahu denounced the “terrorism of extremist Islam” behind Friday’s assault on the grocery and the deadly shootings on Wednesday at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly.
JERUSALEM/PARIS (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to ruffle a few feathers while taking part in the “Charlie Hebdo” rally in Paris on Sunday, an event his office initially said he would not be attending for security reasons.
Perhaps most awkward was his invitation to French Jews — alarmed by the Paris attacks and the killing of four people at a kosher supermarket — to migrate to Israel if they wanted, leaving French Prime Minister Manuel Valls scrambling to reassure the community it was safe and an integral part of France.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – For someone nearing 80, President Mahmoud Abbas still knows how to shake things up. But his decision last week to join the International Criminal Court is a high-risk move that may set back the ultimate goal: an independent Palestinian state.
Frustrated by the lack of progress in negotiations with Israel – the last, fruitless talks broke down in April – and the failure of his New Year’s Eve statehood bid at the United Nations, Abbas followed through on a long-promised threat to join the ICC, filing the relevant documents on Jan. 2.
GAZA (Reuters) – Two months after donors pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza after the war between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian, U.N. and other officials say barely 2 percent of the money has been transferred.
The conference in Cairo had been hailed as a success, with Qatar promising $1 billion, Saudi Arabia $500 million and the United States and the European Union a combined $780 million in various forms of assistance.