Israel News


Eritrean Tells of His Cruel Odyssey to Israel

By Nathan Jeffay

On a bed in his tiny shared apartment in Tel Aviv, Mekonen Kefete bares his right leg to illustrate the story of his journey to Israel. It is dotted with dark black marks where red-hot iron bars were cruelly poked into his skin. Kefete, 26, fled his native Eritrea a little more than a year ago, destination unknown, to escape an open-ended draft in the country’s army. After the eight-hour trek from Eritrea to Sudan, he related, traffickers forcibly detained him, ordered him to pay $500, decided that his destination was Egypt’s border with Israel and said they were taking him there.Read More


New Call To Protect Migrants Likely, But Action Far From Certain

By Nathan Jeffay

Judging by a flurry of recent declarations, it is likely that early 2011 will see growing demands from the international community for Egypt to take action to halt the abduction, abuse and trafficking of Africans on its territory in Sinai. But some experts strongly doubt that Egypt will pay much attention. “In general, the Egyptians are not at all responsive to outside pressure in areas like human rights,” Mark Heller, a Middle East expert at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, told the Forward.Read More


Haredi Schools Resist Israel’s Efforts To Impose Core Curriculum

By Nathan Jeffay

A tug-of-war is taking place over the government’s attempt to impose a core curriculum in ultra-Orthodox elementary and high schools, and it’s not just about education. It cuts to the heart of a bitter conflict within Israeli society on the issue of authority. Israel’s Education Ministry has launched a zero-tolerance policy aimed at Haredi schools that refuse to teach the ministry’s prescribed secular studies curriculum.Read More


Does Declaring It ‘Palestine’ Lead to a State?

By Gal Beckerman

As peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain at an impasse, the Palestinians seem to be moving closer to their ultimate goal on a separate front: international recognition of their own independent state.Read More


Israel Advocacy Is a Hot Place for New Hires, Whatever One’s Politics

By Joy Resmovits

When Max Berger started college in 2004, he didn’t know whether he would finish. His father, uncle and grandfather all dropped out of school to start businesses. As a child growing up in a small town outside Boston, Berger was taught that “you kind of cheated” if you couldn’t achieve success without a college degree.Read More


U.S. Rabbis Offer Rare Rebuke of Israeli Edict

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

An edict signed by dozens of Israeli rabbis barring the sale or rental of homes to non-Jews in Israel has led to a rare consensus among American rabbis, who have issued a nearly unanimous condemnation of the ban.Read More


Israel's Core Curriculum Meets Fierce Haredi Opposition

By Nathan Jeffay

A tug-of-war is taking place over the government’s attempt to impose a core curriculum in ultra-Orthodox elementary and high schools, and it’s not just about education. It cuts to the heart of a bitter conflict within Israeli society on the issue of authority.Read More


The Biggest Pro-Israel Group in America? That’s Us, Says Christians United

By Nathan Guttman

America’s largest pro-Israel group is no longer a Jewish one. Or at least that’s what one might gather from Christians United for Israel’s recent announcement that it now has more than 500,000 members. In its November 30 press release touting the milestone, CUFI boasted that this makes it “by far the largest pro-Israel organization in America, as well as one of the leading Christian grassroots organizations in the world.”Read More


Israel’s Worst-Ever Fire Destroys Village’s Art and Music

By Nathan Jeffay

When New Yorker Nissan Cohen moved to Israel 15 years ago, he took along his treasured collection of 200 music boxes that became the core of a popular new museum he opened. On December 6 he sat woebegone in his soot-filled museum, his entire collection ruined by the forest fire of the preceding four days.Read More


As Fire Burns in Northern Israel, U.S. Groups Plan Help for Aftermath

By Nathan Jeffay

As the huge fire in northern Israel continues to burn for the fourth day, American supporters are formulating ways to help with the worst natural crisis in the nation’s history.Read More





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