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is JTA's Israel correspondent.

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  • 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…

  • At Israel’s mikvahs, women claim verbal abuse and unwanted touching

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Without warning, the ritual bath attendant pulled off Naava Shafner’s towel. She was standing, naked, in front of a woman she didn’t know. Then the attendant began interrogating her. Shafner had gone to a ritual bath, or mikvah, regularly since she married in 2010. Under Jewish law, Orthodox women are required to…

  • Why Gal Gadot is Israel’s real-life Wonder Woman

    Israel’s famously partisan papers have finally found something to agree on: They all love Gal Gadot. Israel Hayom, the Sheldon Adelson-funded right-wing daily, called her a “woman of valor.” Walla, a popular news website, suggested that if Israelis were tired of her, they might as well “move to another news item, site or planet.” The City Mouse, an events…

  • From left to right, Israelis sour on ‘opportunist’ Donald Trump

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — He’s crude. He’s blunt. He’s inauthentic. He is not a man of peace. Left and right, religious and secular, Arab and Jew, Israelis don’t have many kind words for Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner. In interviews this week, several prominent Israelis described Trump as an opportunist and a demagogue whose political…

  • Jerusalem, maybe next year: Passover bookings see sharp decline

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — By now, Gil Azoulay would have expected his hotels would be 80 percent booked for Passover. Instead, Azoulay — who runs a chain of boutique hotels — has roughly half his rooms still available. Azoulay opened Smart Hotels — a mini-chain of three small, midrange hotels that focus on providing personal attention to…

  • Rabbi Marc Schneier: Netanyahu should take bold peacemaking trip to Saudi Arabia

    New York Rabbi Marc Schneier two weeks ago met with Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the country’s capital city of Manama. A day earlier, the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-state body composed of Bahrain and its neighbors, had adopted a Bahraini-sponsored resolution declaring Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group committed to Israel’s destruction, a…

  • Western Wall prayer deal: Why liberal Jews aren’t worried after losing Orthodox support

    The Western Wall rabbi just denounced the Western Wall deal. Its supporters aren’t worried. In January, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz reached a compromise with non-Orthodox leaders over the future of the holy site. On Monday, he denounced the deal. In two strongly worded letters to haredi ministers, Rabinowitz lambasted non-Orthodox Judaism, criticized the compromise…

  • At Tel Aviv cannabis tech conference — lots of tech, no pot smoking allowed

    CannaTech, Israel’s first international cannabis technology conference, aimed to change the image of marijuana from a recreational drug to a mainstream medicine.