Tagged West Bank

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)

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 »

At security confab, Israeli coalition members split on West Bank policy

Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennet speaks at the Herzliya Conference, June 7, 2015. (FLASH90)

HERZLIYA, Israel (JTA) — When Israel’s coalition government formed last month, its constituent parties all but ruled out establishing a Palestinian state in the near future. But that doesn’t mean they can agree on what to do instead. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference this week, Israel’s premier diplomatic and security policy gathering,… Read more »

Gas chamber discovery at Sobibor spurs calls to review museum project

Israeli arcaeologist Yoram Haimi, right, has been warning of threats to important historical artifacts at the Sobibor death camp in Poland, September 2013. (Courtesy of Yoram Haimi)

SOBIBOR, Poland (JTA) — After he uncovered the path that two of his uncles followed to the gas chambers at Sobibor, Yoram Haimi thought the complex he had worked years to unearth would be preserved for posterity. So when Polish authorities announced in 2011 that they would build a… Read more »

Everything you need to know about SodaStream’s move

Some of the hundreds of Palestinians who work at SodaStream's West Bank factory that will be shit down. They could be put out of work with the facility's relocation to southern Israel. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — SodaStream, the Israeli at-home seltzer machine company, announced last month that it would be closing its West Bank factory and moving the facility’s operations to southern Israel next year. Here’s what you need to know about SodaStream, the controversy that has bubbled up in its… Read more »

In suburban settlement bloc, kidnapping shakes sense of security

Israeli soldiers guard near where Jewish settlers hitchhike at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, June 16, 2014/ (Flash 90)

EFRAT, West Bank (JTA) — At a shopping center in the middle of Efrat, families eat pizza, a deliveryman unloads a cart and a barista serves coffee. On a passing bus, a banner reads “Gush Etzion — an Israeli home.” In many respects it’s a normal, quiet Monday in… Read more »

At Presbyterian assembly, divestment advocates get narrow, but limited, victory

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, addressing the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church (U.S.A.) to urge the denomination to reject divestment, June 19, 2014. (Courtesy of Union for Reform Judaism)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – There were amendments and amendments to amendments in a debate lasting for more than four hours. There were dueling T-shirts. There was a last-minute appeal for a joint pilgrimage to speak hard truths to Benjamin Netanyahu. And there was a plea to emulate Jesus and speak… Read more »

American Jews take up cause of missing Israeli teens

Demonstrators rally outside the Israeli consulate in Manhattan to express solidarity with three Israeli teens who were abducted in the West Bank, June 16, 2014. (Miriam Moster/JTA)

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Reform movement posted a prayer. Chabad asked followers to pledge to do a mitzvah. The Jewish Federations of North America set up a Web page to express solidarity. The disappearance of three Israeli teens in the West Bank last week is being taken as a call to action uniting… Read more »

Praying for three boys whose plight hits close to home

Racheli Frenkel, center, mother of kidnapped teenager Naftali Frenkel, stands with the mothers of the other abducted teens, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaar, outside her home in Nof Ayalon in central Israel, June 17, 2014. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

KARNEI SHOMRON, West Bank (JTA) — Four days into the search for three kidnapped Israeli teens, I attended a group prayer session dedicated to their safe return. Dozens of women gathered together to read responsively psalms seeking God’s mercy and intervention before the start of our morning Jewish studies… Read more »

Palestinians avoid U.S. aid cutoff, but what happens when Hamas runs in elections?

Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas delivers his farewell speech as prime minister of the Hamas-run government in Gaza, a position he stepped down from under the new Palestinian unity agreement, June 2, 2014. (Wissam Nassar/Flash90)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Is the new Palestinian government kosher under U.S. law? A range of American Middle East policy analysts and current and former U.S. officials say that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threaded the needle last week and created a government of technocrats untainted by Hamas and not… Read more »

Calls grow for stronger response in wake of ‘price tag’ attacks

Protesters in Jerusalem calling on the Israeli government to take action against so-called 'price-tag' attacks, May 11, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Houses of worship have been vandalized, businesses defaced and car tires slashed. So-called “price tag” attacks have proliferated since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were suspended at the end of April. Intended to exact a price for Israeli government policies seen as detrimental to the settlement enterprise,… Read more »

Op-Ed: The West Bank is under military occupation, and that’s a fact

Jessica Montell (Courtesy B'Tselem)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — According to press reports, the crowd at a recent Republican Jewish Coalition conference “noticeably gasped” when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie referred to the West Bank as “occupied territories.” Christie promptly apologized to the event’s host, mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, clarifying that his remarks “were not meant… Read more »

Op-Ed: ‘Occupied territories’ is a flawed and biased term

Alan Baker (Courtesy Alan Baker)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Republican donor Sheldon Adelson for using the term “occupied territories” to refer to the West Bank, critics pounced. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” ridiculed the apology, insisting that the phrase is “widely accepted” and accurate. While the… Read more »

The wisdom of a former Shin Bet Chief

Washington – In the past week, I had the honor of spending several days with Ami Ayalon, a decorated Israeli war hero and former commander of the Israeli navy and head of the Shin Bet security service from 1995 to 2000. Ayalon was in the United States to address… Read more »

Op-Ed: Beating back the assault on Israel’s legitimacy

Anti-Israel protesters march in front of the White House in 2013. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement say they are protesting Israel’s policies in the West Bank. They are doing far more than that. BDS advocates routinely oppose a two-state solution and seek to delegitimize the sovereign, Jewish State of Israel. In some cases,… Read more »

For some West Bank CEOs, no lost sleep over boycott threat

Yakov Burg, CEO of Psagot Winery in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Psagot, says boycotts of settlement goods haven't affected profits in a major way. (Courtesy Psagot Winery)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Of the 200,000 wine bottles Yakov Burg produced last year, 16,000 went to Europe. The possibility of a boycott and repeated rumblings that Europe is planning to label goods produced in the settlements could decrease that number, but Burg isn’t worried. The CEO of Psagot… Read more »

Kerry will need a miracle to broker a peace deal

Last weekend, like other fellow Jerusalemites, I was confined to my home, besieged by the horrendous snowstorm that plagued our city. When power was cut off in our Beit HaKerem neighborhood for two agonizing days, I proudly lit my wood-burning stove. For years, I have been a victim of… Read more »

As Palestinian riots fizzle, fears of third intifada die down

Palestinian protesters throwing stones outside Israel's Ofer military prison in the West Bank, near Ramallah, Feb. 25, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinians were marching, rocks were flying, tires were burning and prisoners were hunger-striking. Prompted by accusations that Israel was responsible for the death of a Palestinian detainee while in an Israeli prison, West Bank Palestinians erupted last month in a wave of riots on a scale… Read more »

Israelis, Palestinians fighting fear, not each other

Brighton, UK – During the violence between Gaza and Southern Israel last month, I was shocked that some of my friends were posting images on Facebook that supported the disproportionate force Israel used against Gazans. When I asked why, they all believed that Palestinians wanted to wipe out Israel.… Read more »