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  • 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…

  • Israeli Scouts hold memorial for slain American Taylor Force

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — The Israeli Scout Movement held a memorial service for Taylor Force, the American graduate student killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv. The event Thursday marked 30 days — the shloshim mouring period in Judaism — since the March 8 death of Force, an MBA student at Vanderbilt University who was on a…

  • At Forbes conference in Israel, sitting on pillows and listening to Monica Lewinsky

    Rappers, entrepreneurs, actors and Monica Lewinsky: Welcome to the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Israel. Held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv this week, the Under 30 Summit is the financial magazine’s inaugural international gathering of up-and-coming millennials. The conference spanned food tastings, tours of Tel Aviv’s hi-tech sector and Jerusalem’s historical sites, panels of hi-tech…

  • For parents of soldiers lost in Gaza, the war never ended

    KFAR SABA, Israel (JTA) — One family lost their son in late July 2014. The other lost theirs on the first of August in the same year. One family has lobbied the United Nations and crossed an ocean in hopes of bringing their son’s remains back. The other mostly stays home. One family is sure their…

  • Following AIPAC speech, Israelis still prefer Clinton to Trump

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Donald Trump’s speech to America’s largest pro-Israel lobby did not help his standing among Israelis, a new poll shows. The March Peace Index, a monthly poll of Israeli attitudes by the Israel Democracy Institute think tank, showed that 40 percent of Israeli Jews thought Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton would be “better for Israel,”…

  • Israeli conversion ruling dents Chief Rabbinate’s control of ritual

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — The Israeli Supreme Court decision on Jewish conversion changes almost nothing. But down the line, it could change a lot. Under the March 31 ruling, the state of Israel must recognize Jewish conversions performed in private Orthodox conversion courts not run by its Chief Rabbinate. A network of such courts, called…

  • Israeli Supreme Court rules state must accept non-Rabbinate Orthodox conversions

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the state must recognize Orthodox conversions performed in Israel outside the authority of the Chief Rabbinate. The ruling Thursday means any non-citizen who converts in a private Israeli Orthodox conversion court can gain Israeli citizenship under the country’s Law of Return. Previously, converts could only gain Israeli citizenship if…

  • Israeli lawmaker: US Jewish leaders threatened to stop helping Israel due to insults

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Knesset member Yair Lapid claimed American Jewish leaders said they would stop advocating for Israel due to government ministers’ insults of Reform and Conservative Jews. In a Knesset speech Monday, Lapid said American Jewish leaders approached him following the campaign last year against the Iran nuclear agreement, telling him it was…

  • Israeli chief rabbi retracts comments on non-Jews, killing terrorists

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef walked back his statement that non-Jews should not live in Israel, calling the comment “theoretical.” The letter also retracted Yosef’s statement made earlier this month that it is obligatory to kill terrorists. Yosef made the statement about non-Jews on March 26 during his weekly Saturday…

  • Why 3 videos of a West Bank shooting are roiling Israel

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — It began as an all-too-common story: A Palestinian assailant in the contested West Bank city of Hebron stabs and wounds an Israeli soldier. Israeli forces shoot him dead. But hours after the incident Thursday, a political and moral firestorm engulfed Israel. A video showed a soldier executing the already incapacitated attacker. One day…