Israel

Israel limits public protest during coronavirus lockdown

(JTA) — Public protests in Israel will be limited during the coronavirus lockdown under legislation passed early Wednesday by the Knesset. Protesters will be prohibited from traveling more than 1 kilometer, or 0.6 miles, to participate in a demonstration and outdoor gatherings will remain limited to 20 people. Hours… Read more »

President of Malawi says his country will open embassy in Jerusalem

(JTA) — The president of Malawi said that his country would open an embassy in Jerusalem Lazarus Chakwera made the announcement Saturday as part of a larger expansion of the country’s diplomatic representation abroad. Malawi currently does not have a diplomatic mission in Israel. The announcement came a day… Read more »

Locals in Uman, Ukraine scuffle with Jewish pilgrims

(JTA) — Residents of Uman, Ukraine, scuffled with Orthodox Jews who were seeking to enter a building in the city that is the site of an annual  Jewish pilgrimage. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday by Sergiy Alekseev, a city council member representing the far-right Svoboda party, several… Read more »

El Al schedules its first flight to United Arab Emirates

(JTA) — El Al, Israel’s national airline, is scheduled to make its first publicly advertised flight to the United Arab Emirates. The flight, which appears to be reserved for dignitaries, is set to leave Ben Gurion Airport on Monday bound for Abu Dhabi, the Associated Press reported. The flight… Read more »

Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s VP pick — here’s what Jewish voters should know

Sen. Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

(JTA) — It’s official: Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s choice for vice president. The California senator, who made history Tuesday as the first Black woman to join a major party presidential ticket, is still in her first term. But during several years in public office, the 55-year-old lawmaker’s outspoken… Read more »

A Jewish guide to Joe Biden’s VP short list

Rep. Karen Bass in her office at the Rayburn House Office Building, July 30, 2020. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to name his running mate in the next two weeks, and while the list of contenders has changed constantly for months, most reports have now whittled the group of front-runners down to Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Susan Rice, Karen… Read more »

Seth Rogen: Israel should exist, but I’m not sorry for my critique of Jewish education

Seth Rogen speaks onstage at The Workers Circle 2019 benefit in New York City, where he was honored, Dec. 2, 2019. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In a new interview, Seth Rogen said his comments about Israel being a bad idea for a state were made in jest but affirmed that he found his childhood education about the country, which he received through Jewish schools and camps, to be problematic. “I don’t want… Read more »

Austria will allow descendants of Holocaust victims to receive citizenship

(JTA) — Austria will allow the descendants of Holocaust victims to receive citizenship beginning Sept. 1, the country’s embassy in Israel announced Sunday. Before an amendment to Austria’s citizenship law ratified last September, only survivors were entitled to receive citizenship, and then only if they left Austria due to… Read more »

An activist says it is ‘electioneering’ for nonprofits to call candidates racist. Jewish groups say it’s routine.

An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A pro-Israel activist has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service that, if successful, could severely restrict freedom of speech for non-governmental organizations. David Abrams’ lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit New Israel Fund “electioneered” in violation of its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel… Read more »

Israel offers Lebanon assistance after massive, deadly explosion in Beirut

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel has offered Lebanon humanitarian assistance after a massive explosion at Beirut’s waterfront killed at least 30 people and injured thousands. Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz announced the offer on Twitter. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli army and at least one Israeli hospital also offered… Read more »

Israel will allow foreign students to enter country to begin studies

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Foreign students planning to begin their studies in Israel this fall will be permitted to enter the country despite coronavirus restrictions that ban non-citizens. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said in a statement reported by The Jerusalem Post that “we have been making great efforts to maintain… Read more »

An enduring feature of the pandemic so far: Jews are flocking to online classes

Israeli poet Rachel Korazim has been surprised by the popularity of her online classes during the pandemic. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — Israeli poetry scholar Rachel Korazim had been thinking about cutting back on travel when the coronavirus pandemic made the decision for her. “I said I really want to shift my teaching to distance learning because, you know, I’m not getting any younger. Travel is tiring,” she said… Read more »

John Lewis and the Jews: 6 moments that showcase an enduring alliance

John Lewis, D-Ga., and Norbert Bikales, who was part of the Kindertransport from Berlin to France in July 1939 following the deportation of his parents and brother to Poland, light one of six candles representing the more than six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, in a ceremony in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2002. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When John Lewis, the civil rights icon and congressman from Georgia, died at 80 over the weekend, Jews in America and abroad lost an ally of nearly six decades. Lewis never tired of telling folks to “get into good trouble,” to defy the authorities and the… Read more »

Deluged by pandemic needs, Israeli doctors get help from unlikely source: robots

Surgeons doing knee surgery at Hadassah hospital's Mount Scopus campus use the ROSA robot, made possible with a grant from USAID's Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad. (Gurion Rivkin)

JERUSALEM — Orthopedic surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus recently welcomed a newcomer to their team. She’s incredibly efficient, never needs a coffee break, doesn’t complain about the long hours and isn’t worried about catching COVID-19. That’s because she’s a robot. Called ROSA, short for Robotic… Read more »