Netanyahu rivals win top 4 spots in Likud primary

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four lawmakers who have clashed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the top spots in the Likud party primary. Netanyahu was given a pass in Tuesday’s voting by party members and will still lead the Likud ticket in national elections scheduled for April 9. The top… Read more »

Golan Heights Winery impresses Tucson travelers, including culinary expert

Tucson travelers enjoy a wine-pairing luncheon at Israel’s Golan Heights Winery, Oct. 17, 2018. Visible from left, front: Jil Feldhausen, Edward Feldhausen, Lawrence Kinet, Michelle Kinet, Wendy Weinberg, Jeff Weinberg. From front right: Janice Brundage, Dawn Gunter, Steve Wool, Debe Campbell. Weintraub Israel Center)

Viniculture isn’t new; it’s perhaps as old as history itself. The first winery discovered dates back to 4100 BCE in Armenia. Some wine historians date the origins of winemaking back as early as 8000 BCE. Grapes are one of the seven biblical species (Deuteronomy 8:8). With 221 mentions in… Read more »

U.S. cuts to Palestinians begin to have impact

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Reports of rollbacks in Palestinian aid projects are emerging as massive cuts in U.S. aid to the Palestinians kick in. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that up to 90,000 Palestinians will not get food aid in programs that are administered by nongovernmental organizations funded by U.S.… Read more »

Terrorist attacks in Israel decrease sharply despite 3 deaths

(JTA) — The number of terrorist attacks against Israelis dropped by 75 percent last month over November, but it was also the deadliest month since March with three people killed. The downturn in attacks was mostly due to Hamas inactivity along the border with Gaza, the Israel Security Agency… Read more »

New Yorker wins Israeli honor for helping Syrian refugees

(JTA) – Israeli President Reuven Rivlin honored an American-Jewish academic for her efforts to help Syrian refugees. Rivlin praised the actions of Georgette Bennett at an awards ceremony Thursday in Tel Aviv for eight groups or individuals deemed to have made a positive impact in the developing world. Bennett, 72,… Read more »

The story behind Frank Sinatra’s $10,000 yarmulke

Sinatra received the yarmulke at a fundraiser for a Jewish school in New Jersey in 1981. (Courtesy of Pauline Schwartz)

(JTA) — When a huge auction was held at Sotheby’s last month of items belonging to Frank Sinatra and his wife Barbara, the item that made the most headlines was one of the smallest: a hand-knit yarmulke, owned by Frank, which was purchased for nearly $10,000 by an unknown… Read more »

Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO goes into effect

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO has gone into effect a year after it officially notified the international body that it would leave. Israel announced at the end of 2017 that it would leave the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in solidarity with the United States,… Read more »

The New York Times says a Palestinian medic’s death in Gaza could be a war crime

Palestinian protesters during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza-Israeli border, Sept. 14, 2018. (Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(JTA) — The New York Times devoted much of its front page and three inside pages Sunday to a reconstruction of the circumstances surrounding the June death of a Palestinian medic during riots at the Israeli fence with Gaza. The newspaper concludes that the shooting of 20-year-old Rouzan al-Najjar by an Israeli soldier “appears… Read more »

Amos Oz, a ‘saintly intellectual’ who turned Israel’s national reality into art

Amos Oz, shown here in 2015, often blurred the personal and the political in his writing. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Amos Oz would often speak in the kind of tossed-off epigrams that come only with a lot of practice. But just when you wanted to smack him for his breezy erudition, he would redeem himself with a flash of spot-on — and hilarious — self-awareness. In 2011,… Read more »

Israel carried out airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria, official confirms

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An unnamed Israeli official confirmed that Israel carried out airstrikes in Syria, hitting several Iranian targets. The airstrikes late on Tuesday night hit Iranian arms storage facilities and arms depots, used to ship weapons to the terrorist Hezbollah organization in neighboring Lebanon. The Israeli official also… Read more »

Israeli program enlists young religious women to solve social problems through tech

Ayelet Ganot, left, and Roni Ashkenazi, participants in the Carmel 6000 national service program, work on an app intended to help autistic children cope with change. (Sam Sokol)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Sitting side by side in an open office in the tech giant Cisco’s headquarters here, Roni Ashkenazi and Ayelet Ganot sat staring at lines of code on a flat screen monitor checking their work before launching a demo of their latest project — a tablet app they… Read more »

Israel heads to early elections as government coalition dissolves

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will hold new elections in April after the heads of all six coalition parties announced Monday that they were dissolving the government. The current government’s term was set to end in November. “Out of national and budgetary responsibility, the leaders of the coalition parties decided,… Read more »