Middle East

Newly found KGB document names PA President Abbas as Soviet spy

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) at the presidential compound in Ramallah, May 31, 2016 (Ehud Amiton/TPS)Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) at the presidential compound in Ramallah, May 31, 2016 (Ehud Amiton/TPS)

The Hebrew University researcher who unearthed evidence that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas served as an agent for the Soviet Union during the 1980s says that this should not derail Russia’s current attempt re-ignite Israel-Palestinian peace talks. But at least one senior MK said the revelation is serious enough to… Read more »

Arab-Israeli lawmaker in US refuses to enter offices shared with Jewish Agency

Ayman Odeh, carrying one of his three children, casting his vote in
Nazareth on Israel's Election Day, March 17, 2015. (Basal
Awidat/Flash90)Ayman Odeh, carrying one of his three children, casting his vote in Nazareth on Israel's Election Day, March 17, 2015. (Basal Awidat/Flash90)

(JTA) — Arab-Israeli lawmaker and political leader Ayman Odeh refused to meet with the umbrella foreign policy body for American Jews because it shares office space with the Jewish Agency, an abrupt and dissonant end to a trip that was aimed at promoting greater Arab-Jewish cooperation. “I came here… Read more »

New brand identity reinforces THA values

Students, faculty and staff in the forecourt of Tucson Hebrew Academy on Nov. 3 after THA’s new sign was revealed.  (Courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)Students, faculty and staff in the forecourt of Tucson Hebrew Academy on Nov. 3 after THA’s new sign was revealed. (Courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Tucson Hebrew Academy introduced its new brand identity to the community on Tuesday, Nov. 3, celebrating with morning coffee, cocoa and refreshments. THA is the only school in Tucson providing K-8 education that combines a strong secular program, integrated Jewish education, and a warm sense of community celebrating Jewish… Read more »

Op-Ed: Obama could learn from Bill Clinton how to be a true friend of Israel

Former President Bill Clinton meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Nov. 8, 2010. (Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty Images)Former President Bill Clinton meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Nov. 8, 2010. (Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — By now it should be obvious how absurd it is to call President Barack Obama Israel’s “best friend” ever, as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times has claimed. A Blame Israel Firster, Obama won’t use his moral authority to try stopping the instigators of this… Read more »

Meet the Islamic Movement, Netanyahu’s newest public enemy

Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, in Jerusalem, March 26, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, in Jerusalem, March 26, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – In assigning blame for the recent wave of violence in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned to the usual suspects – Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. But he has also accused a lesser-known group that operates within Israel’s borders: the Islamic Movement, a religious political… Read more »

Netanyahu and Abbas agree: Blame the UN

alestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 30, 2015, and Oct. 1, 2015 respectively. (Both Andrew Burton/Getty Images)alestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 30, 2015, and Oct. 1, 2015 respectively. (Both Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas took plenty of shots at each other. But in their dueling dueling speeches to the United Nations General Assembly, the Israeli prime minister and Palestinian Authority president directed much of their fire at the same target: the assembled world leaders. Netanyahu… Read more »

How Israeli volunteers on the ground in Europe are helping Syrian refugees

A dinghy carrying refugees arriving at a beach on the island of Lesbos in northern Greece. (Boaz Arad/IsraAid)A dinghy carrying refugees arriving at a beach on the island of Lesbos in northern Greece. (Boaz Arad/IsraAid)

LESBOS, Greece (JTA) — As the small rubber dinghy crowded with Syrians and Afghans emerged from the midnight-black sea to land on a desolate pebble beach, the first people to greet the bewildered and frightened refugees were two Israelis. “Does anyone need a doctor?” Majeda Kardosh, 27, a nurse… Read more »

Is U.S. taxpayer money subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs?

Yigal Amir, who assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, appearing before the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2004. Amir allegedly has received funds from Honenu, an Israeli nonprofit with tax-exempt status in the United States. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)Yigal Amir, who assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, appearing before the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2004. Amir allegedly has received funds from Honenu, an Israeli nonprofit with tax-exempt status in the United States. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Taxpayer dollars in the United States and Israel are subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs, a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office alleges. The accusations follow a recent expose by Israel’s Channel 10 about the work of the 13-year-old Israeli nonprofit Honenu, which provides financial support to… Read more »

Prisoner’s hunger strike and release hit home for many Palestinians

Palestinians demonstrating for the release of then-imprisoned Mohammed Allaan, who staged a 65-day hunger strike in an Israeli jail, in the southern Israeli city of Rahat, Aug. 18, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)Palestinians demonstrating for the release of then-imprisoned Mohammed Allaan, who staged a 65-day hunger strike in an Israeli jail, in the southern Israeli city of Rahat, Aug. 18, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – In the eyes of Israeli authorities, Mohammad Allaan was a member of the Islamic Jihad terror group who had attempted to orchestrate a suicide bombing. Many Palestinians, by contrast, saw him as a powerful symbol — a man who staged a 65-day hunger strike to protest… Read more »

Hamas says it has captured an Israeli spy-dolphin

Hamas reportedly claimed to have captured a dolphin equipped with Israeli spying equipment and an arrow shooter. (Wikimedia Commons)Hamas reportedly claimed to have captured a dolphin equipped with Israeli spying equipment and an arrow shooter. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — Forget the Iron Dome defense system and the rest of Israel’s formidable military – Hamas is worried about Israeli spy-dolphins. The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported this week that Hamas captured a dolphin outfitted with Israeli “spying equipment.” Hamas’ naval wing reportedly tracked down the dolphin, which gave itself away through… Read more »

Here’s why Hamas and Israel may be secretly negotiating

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arriving at a Liberation Youths summer camp organized by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, Aug. 1, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arriving at a Liberation Youths summer camp organized by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, Aug. 1, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — After more than a decade of failed diplomacy, Israel could be close to signing a major agreement with the Palestinians. They’re just not the Palestinians you thought. After years of vowing not to negotiate with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, Israel may be finalizing… Read more »

In pivot, Egyptians and their leaders are warming to Jews, Israel

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, center, meeting a six-person delegation from the American Jewish Committee, July 2015. (Courtesy of Ken Bandler)Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, center, meeting a six-person delegation from the American Jewish Committee, July 2015. (Courtesy of Ken Bandler)

CAIRO (JTA) — It’s been a particularly challenging summer for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Within one week in late June and early July, his attorney general was assassinated in the upscale Cairo suburb of Heliopolis and an Islamic State affiliate launched a two-day siege in the North Sinai town of Sheikh… Read more »

What can Iran hide in 24 days? Answering the questions posed by the nuclear deal

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Iran nuclear deal, July 29, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Iran nuclear deal, July 29, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Congress has until mid- to late September to consider whether to reject the nuclear restrictions for the sanctions rollback deal reached by Iran and six major powers on July 14. Some of the debate is over the meaning of certain provisions in the accord. Here’s a breakdown… Read more »

A year after Gaza war, border communities are growing

Children in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz playing near a colorfully painted concrete shelter, July 6, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)Children in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz playing near a colorfully painted concrete shelter, July 6, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Few communities were as battered during last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas as Nahal Oz, a kibbutz of some 350 people located just a mile from the Gaza border. At one point in the fighting, 40 missiles landed on the community in a single… Read more »

After Palestinian baby’s death, Israelis say condemnation not enough

Tali Mizrahi, a member of the anti-racism group Light Tag, visiting the home of a Palestinian baby allegedly killed by Jewish arsonists. (Ben Sales)Tali Mizrahi, a member of the anti-racism group Light Tag, visiting the home of a Palestinian baby allegedly killed by Jewish arsonists. (Ben Sales)

DUMA, West Bank (JTA) — The smell of stale smoke wafted from the burnt concrete home now marked by a banner bearing the grinning face of a baby and, in bold red letters, a name: Ali Saad Dawabsha. Some 100 Jewish visitors trudged hesitantly under the banner and into the… Read more »

Thousands protest the Iran deal at Times Square rally

A protester's sign urging U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to vote against the Iran deal at the "Stop Iran Now" rally in Times Square, July 22, 2015. (Gabe Friedman)A protester's sign urging U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to vote against the Iran deal at the "Stop Iran Now" rally in Times Square, July 22, 2015. (Gabe Friedman)

(JTA) — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer was not actually in New York on Wednesday, but the Democrat’s influence on the fate of the Iran deal loomed large when several thousand people descended on Times Square to protest the agreement. Many of those demonstrating against the agreement chanted “Where… Read more »