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Outgoing Israel President Shimon Peres speaks at the swearing in ceremony for his successor, Reuven Rivlin, July 24, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Outgoing Israel President Shimon Peres speaks at the swearing in ceremony for his successor, Reuven Rivlin, July 24, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As chapter closes, Shimon Peres hailed by normally divided Knesset

JERUSALEM (JTA) — In the midst of a grinding war in Gaza, a sometimes near-empty Knesset gallery was packed last week for an uplifting moment: what probably was the final political act of Israel’s elder statesman. Shimon Peres — former Israeli prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister and now former president — stood before the […]

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Israeli concerns about Turkey and Qatar fuel dispute with Kerry

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Behind the feud between John Kerry and Israel over the secretary of state’s efforts to broker a Gaza cease-fire is a larger tension concerning the role of Turkey and Qatar in Palestinian affairs. Israeli officials rejected the proposal for a cease-fire advanced by Kerry in part because of what they see as […]

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(Sean Hayford O’Leary via Creative Commons)
(Sean Hayford O’Leary via Creative Commons)

European anti-Semitism is focus as Jewish leaders, Democratic senators meet

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Talk at the annual meeting between Democratic senators and Jewish groups kept coming back to anti-Semitism in Europe. The recurring theme, which the 24 senators who attended and the Jewish leaders both raised, was a measure of the anxiety aroused by recent reports of attacks on European Jews, according to participants at […]

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Sole Israeli national on downed Malaysian airliner was son of Christian evangelist

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A few hours before he departed Amsterdam for Australia on July 17, Ithamar Avnon was praying for peace with his parents at their home in the Netherlands. That evening, pro-Russian separatists shot down Avnon’s flight, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew. Avnon, 26, was the […]

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Israel reject’s Kerry’s proposed cease-fire

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease-fire proposal. “We are not announcing that it has been achieved tonight,” Kerry said in Cairo on Friday night. “The world is watching tragic moment after tragic moment unfold and wondering when both sides are going to come to their senses.” Kerry said he […]

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Ira Forman, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, speaks at the Hungarian parliament in Budapest, October 2013. (Tom Lantos Institute)
Ira Forman, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, speaks at the Hungarian parliament in Budapest, October 2013. (Tom Lantos Institute)

U.S. intervenes in Europe’s circumcision wars

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration’s anti-Semitism monitor has added an issue to his office’s portfolio: defending circumcision in Europe. Circumcision has become a top focus for Ira Forman, the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. He has been using the pulpit his office provides to warn European governments that moves to […]

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Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar putting teffilin on 102-year old David Barulya, a World War II veteran and Crimean Holocaust survivor, at a Holocaust commemoration ceremony in Sevastopol, July 10, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)
Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar putting teffilin on 102-year old David Barulya, a World War II veteran and Crimean Holocaust survivor, at a Holocaust commemoration ceremony in Sevastopol, July 10, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

At Crimean Holocaust event, a chance to burnish Russia’s image as defender of minorities

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (JTA) — Until recently, Holocaust commemorations in this port city were generally low-key gatherings of a few dozen people reciting the Kaddish prayer for victims of the near-annihilation of Crimean Jewry in 1942. But on July 10, a memorial service at the Sevastopol Holocaust monument attracted hundreds of visitors, including a delegation of prominent Chabad rabbis from across Europe […]

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FAA, reviewing Israeli measures, lifts flight ban

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on flights to Israel after reviewing Israeli measures to keep flights safe from rockets. “Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of […]

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caption: A sign pointing to a bomb shelter on the runway at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. Air France was among the many carriers that canceled flights to and from Israel after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near the airport on July 22, 2014. (Tsahi Ben Ami / Flash90 / JTA)
caption: A sign pointing to a bomb shelter on the runway at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. Air France was among the many carriers that canceled flights to and from Israel after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near the airport on July 22, 2014. (Tsahi Ben Ami / Flash90 / JTA)

After flight cancellations, a waiting game at Ben Gurion Airport

LOD, Israel (JTA) — Natali Cohen and Snir Shahar discovered via email around midnight that their flight from Tel Aviv to Barcelona was canceled. They’d been looking forward to two weeks exploring the Catalan city and getting a break from the conflict in Israel. Shahar, 23, had just taken a standardized test to apply for […]

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on July 23, 2014, a day when many foreign carriers still had flight bans to Tel Aviv. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on July 23, 2014, a day when many foreign carriers still had flight bans to Tel Aviv. (Haim Zach/GPO)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Why the Tel Aviv flight cancellations are such a blow to Israel

(JTA) — When the Federal Aviation Administration announced a ban Tuesday on U.S. carriers flying to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, prompting a slew of similar decisions by European carriers, the flight cancellations were more than just a major inconvenience to thousands of passengers on 160-plus canceled flights. They were a distressing reality check to a country […]

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