Israel News


Bitter Fight Over Funding Leads to Power Shift at Magen David Adom

By Nathan Guttman

A long-running feud between Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross and its American fundraising affiliate is coming to an acrimonious end that is expected to result in the Israeli group increasing its influence over the American-based charity. Magen David Adom, Israel’s leading provider of emergency medical help and blood services, is expected to renew its contract with American Friends of Magen David Adom, the American organization that raises more than $20 million annually for the Israeli group.Read More


A Bipartisan Crowd, Helped by Bibi, Pleas for Pollard, the Convicted Spy

By Nathan Guttman

A recent series of public statements and letters has landed the campaign for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard its greatest achievement in 25 years: a powerful bipartisan roster demanding clemency for Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to a life term.Read More


In Abandoning the Labor Party, Barak Solidifies Coalition With Netanyahu

By Nathan Jeffay

Overnight, he went from leader of Israel’s most illustrious left-wing party to an appendage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. What next for Ehud Barak? Since his January 17 break with Israel’s Labor Party — taking that once mighty, now shriveled faction down yet one more peg by his departure — the retired general and former prime minister is voicing high hopes for the new party he has founded with fellow Labor Party defectors.Read More


The Heart of Israel’s Reform Judaism

By Nathan Jeffay

In this congregation, there is an excerpt from Psalms set to a tune the rabbi picked up in a French monastery; a prayer for peace in Arabic, contributed by a Malaysian Muslim and an annual expedition to a nearby home for the disabled, to spread cheer. Your typical Jerusalem synagogue it is not.Read More


Knesset To Investigate Funding of Left-Wing Israeli NGOs for Terror Ties

By Nathan Jeffay and Nathan Guttman

Amid growing fury on the Israeli right toward the country’s human rights groups, the Knesset has approved two motions aimed at examining whether there are skeletons in NGO closets. The separate but similar motions, submitted by the Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud parties, mandate a Knesset investigation of funding sources of left-leaning nongovernmental organizations. The motions, passed January 6 by large majorities, emerged from the Knesset’s two largest right-wing parties.Read More


Government of Israel To Give More to Birthright Program

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Within three years, Taglit-Birthright Israel plans to be sending 50,000 young Jews to Israel annually on a free 10-day trip, thanks to a new $100 million commitment from the Israeli government. But this enhanced funding comes with a catch: North American Jews are on the hook to keep pace with the increase in Israeli grants — a tall order, as fundraising at Jewish federations continues to stagnate in the wake of the recession.Read More


Gabrielle Giffords Is in Critical Condition; Synagogue Hosts Healing Service

By Gabrielle Birkner

The synagogue where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a member held a healing service in her honor Sunday — one day after the Arizona congresswoman was shot in the head outside of Tucson supermarket. She had been meeting with constituents at the time of the attack, which killed six and wounded 14.Read More


Protest Death Spurs Scrutiny of Israeli Tactics

By Daniella Cheslow

The Israeli army’s alleged killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, the unarmed woman who reportedly died from tear gas inhalation during a protest of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, is putting the army’s tactics at such demonstrations under greater scrutiny, along with its moral credibility.Read More


Birthright Alumni Follow-Up Program Trims Its Ambitions

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Birthright Israel NEXT, which follows up with young Jews after they return from the free trip to Israel offered by Birthright, is rewiring itself after a major shakeup of its top leadership. The multimillion-dollar nonprofit, founded three years ago to deepen the involvement of Birthright alumni in the Jewish community, is considering reducing and redirecting its programming as debate continues over whether its purpose is even worthwhile.Read More


Israeli Anti-Missile System Faces Fire at Home and Delays in U.S. Funding

By Nathan Jeffay and Nathan Guttman

It has been promoted as a cutting-edge technological marvel and marketed as the ultimate solution to the misery Israeli civilians experienced facing rocket attacks from Gaza militants. But as the Iron Dome rocket defense system moves into its final stages of development, Israelis are questioning its effectiveness, and American lawmakers are seeking assurances that the system they are poised to fund will indeed be used to protect citizens in the battered Negev city of Sderot, close by Gaza, and not just used to defend military bases.Read More





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  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
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  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
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