Middle East

Arab countries are turning on Qatar. What does it mean for Israel?

President Donald Trump meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Five Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on Monday, escalating a long-simmering competition for preeminence in the region into actions that could set the stage for war. Saudi Arabia, which is leading the charge, has cut off Qatar’s only land crossing – and what one Saudi-friendly… Read more »

Trump, Abbas link renewed peace talks to countering Islamic State

President Donald Trump gives a joint statement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, May 3, 2017. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would help bring about the defeat of the Islamic State terrorist group. “I know President Abbas has spoken out against ISIS” and other terrorist groups, Trump said Wednesday at a White… Read more »

Lecturer says Trump’s dealmaking could work in Middle East

Shai Feldman

Shai Feldman, a professor of politics at Brandeis University, believes President Donald J. Trump could broker a deal that ends the Arab/Israeli conflict, because the most contentious issues contradict a golden rule of negotiation. “In the Arab/Israeli conflict the devil is not in the details, in the Arab/Israeli conflict… Read more »

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)

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)

(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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

(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)

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)

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)

  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 »