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  • Israeli audiences warm to home-grown horror movies

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — On an army base in northern Israel, a scrawny nerd with glasses shakily patrols in the dead of night. Suddenly he’s ambushed by a group of militants in kaffiyehs, and he’s forced to fight for his life, using everything from a gun to a knife to a desk lamp, until he’s…

  • Israeli Rabbinate releases list of approved rabbis, including 2 controversial figures

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has released a list of rabbis around the world that it trusts to confirm the authenticity of Jewish conversions, and it includes two Americans who have been mired in scandal and omits New York liberal Orthodox Rabbi Avi Weiss. The list released Tuesday features more than 100 rabbis, mostly from…

  • Bus bombing rocks Jerusalem, at least 21 injured

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least 21 people were injured in a bus bombing in Jerusalem, police said, in the first such attack in Israel in years. A city bus exploded and went up in flames Monday evening on a major thoroughfare in the southern end of the capital. The blast set a second bus and a…

  • Talk of giving back the Golan is a thing of the past

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — During the five-plus years of Syria’s civil war, Israel has striven to stay neutral — supporting neither the government of President Bashar Assad nor the rebels, and certainly not the Islamic State. But on one issue, senior Israeli politicians have gladly taken sides: Israel keeping the Golan Heights. Facing reports of an…

  • With few gains and focused army action, Palestinian terror wave recedes

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — It began almost out of nowhere. No one organized it. Israelis weren’t even sure whether to call it an “intifada.” Now, six months later, the wave of stabbings and shootings that has gripped Israel is ebbing. According to monthly reports by the Shin Bet intelligence agency, the rate of Palestinian terror…

  • At first official diplomats’ seder in Tel Aviv, more champagne than bitter herb

    Perhaps the best thing about the seder was that food came first and liturgy came later — not the other way around. The first annual Diplomatic Seder, held Tuesday for foreign diplomats stationed in Israel, was almost certainly not the first seder in Tel Aviv to attract 80 people in dresses, suits and ties, eager to…

  • Why Israeli kids are so right-wing – a historical explanation

    American young people are rallying behind Jewish socialist Bernie Sanders. Their Israeli counterparts look more likely to back Jewish nationalist Naftali Bennett. A poll of Jewish-Israeli teens released Wednesday by Israel Hayom, the free Israeli right-wing daily, portrays a generation that’s staunchly nationalist, pessimistic on peace and, in part, dismissive of Arab-Israeli civil liberties. The survey’s full results…

  • 4 ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Betzalel Smotrich, perhaps the most right-wing member of the current Knesset, caused a storm when he endorsed the idea that Arabs and Jews should be segregated in Israel’s maternity rooms. Smotrich was responding to a report on the Israel Broadcast Authority that several hospitals practice de facto segregation of maternity rooms…

  • Most Israeli Jews want US Jewry involved in religious policy, poll finds

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Sixty percent of Israeli Jews support the work of American Jewish coalitions whose goal is to advance civil marriage in Israel, according to a new poll. The survey released Monday by Hiddush, an Israeli organization that aims to advance religious pluralism, found that nearly one-third of Israelis strongly support U.S. Jewish involvement in the marriage…

  • Humanitarian aid or political meddling? Israel, EU clash over Palestinian buildings

    MAALE ADUMIM, West Bank (JTA) — In a ramshackle village off a dirt road in the West Bank’s central hills, near an inhabited shack with a cloth roof and tin walls, stands an outhouse bearing a peeling sticker with the European Union flag. The text below the flag reads “Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.” The outhouse…