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is JTA's Israel correspondent.

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  • Indian community has genetic evidence of Jewish roots, study shows

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — A scientific study has found genetic evidence of claims that the Bene Israel, a community in western India, has Jewish roots. The study from Tel Aviv University, which was published in late March in the PLoS One scientific journal, analyzed the genomes of 18 Bene Israel community members. It found that the Bene…

  • Netanyahu calls for return of military parades on Israel’s Independence Day

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the return of military parades on Israel’s Independence Day. Israel celebrated its 68th year of independence on Wednesday night and Thursday, marking the anniversary of the state’s establishment on May 14, 1948, according to the Hebrew calendar. At a Jerusalem ceremony Thursday awarding 120 Israeli…

  • 6 ways Israel is counting its blessings on Independence Day

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — When Israel entered its 1948 War of Independence, the coastal city of Rishon Lezion was a hardscrabble settlement with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. As waves of immigrants inundated Israel in its founding years, many were settled in temporary camps on Rishon Lezion’s sandy outskirts. The arrivals braved rainy winters in tents…

  • Leftists, haredim and Muslims rank lowest in survey of Israeli Jews’ attitudes

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Jews tend to be tolerant of religious and political differences within their society, but believe that Muslim Arabs, the haredi Orthodox and left-wingers contribute least to the “success” of the country. So say the results of “Jewish Pluralism in Israel,” a study released Sunday by the Jewish People Policy Institute, an…

  • 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…