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Julie Wiener RSS

is the managing editor of MyJewishLearning. Follow her on Twitter @Julie_Wiener

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  • Comedian Natasha Leggero, newly Jewish, says ‘abortions are cool’ in Judaism

    (JTA) — Speaking on late-night TV about her recent conversion to Judaism, stand-up comedian and actress Natasha Leggero said one of her new faith’s positive qualities is that “abortions are cool.” Appearing last Wednesday on the TBS show “Conan” with Conan O’Brien, the Catholic-born Leggero  — who stars on the Comedy Central series “Another Period” —…

  • UK Labour head Jeremy Corbyn slams Israel in newly released letters

    (JTA) — In letters sent to the foreign minister, the head of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called for sanctions against Israel and described some of the Jewish state’s politicians as “criminals” who should be banned from Britain. Corbyn’s anti-Israel letters, written while he was a Parliament member but before he was elected party chief,…

  • Netanyahu: Paris summit will harm peace prospects

    (JTA) — The international peace conference that begins Friday in Paris will harm chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace and “radicalize Palestinian demands,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said two days before its start. In a speech Wednesday at Bar-Ilan University’s medical school graduation, Netanyahu criticized the Paris effort and repeated a call for direct talks “without…

  • Avigdor Liberman: National unity more important than land

    (JTA) — Israel’s new defense minister told senior military leaders that a unified country is more important than holding onto territory and that he is committed to preventing unnecessary conflicts. Avigdor Liberman, who is known for his hawkish positions as foreign minister, met for the first time Tuesday with the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff…

  • Report: All but 4 of Israel’s female MKs have experienced sexual harassment or abuse

    (JTA) — All but four of Israel’s current female Knesset members report they have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault at some point in their lives — with two saying they experienced it even after entering the Knesset. A survey of Israel’s 32 female lawmakers conducted by Israel’s Channel 2 found that 28 had been…

  • Roman Polanski to face new Polish push for extradition on rape charges

    (JTA) — Poland said it will initiate efforts to extradite Roman Polanski to the United States in an attempt to reverse a court ruling last year that said doing so would be “obviously unlawful.” Polanski, who is Jewish, fled the U.S. nearly four decades ago after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. Justice Minister and…

  • Netanyahu’s government may be near collapse, report says

    (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government may be on the verge of collapse according to Israel’s Channel 10. In a report Friday night, the TV station quoted unnamed “party leaders” saying that Netanyahu’s surprise move to bring the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party into the coalition may be backfiring on him. In the past eight days,…

  • Arab states have reportedly hand-picked Palestinian leader to succeed Abbas

    (JTA) — The United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan are reportedly planning to have former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan replace Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Citing unnamed senior Palestinian and Jordanian sources, Middle East Eye reported Friday on the joint plan to bring Dahlan, the former leader of Abbas’ Fatah party in the Gaza Strip, back from exile…

  • Steven Spielberg, in Harvard commencement speech, says anti-Semitism on the rise

    (JTA) — Speaking at Harvard University’s commencement, filmmaker Steven Spielberg said he was “wrong” as a kid to think anti-Semitism “was fading.” Spielberg, whose 99-year-old father Arnold sat in one of the first rows at his address before the Ivy League university’s class of 2016, told the graduates Thursday that the world “is full of…

  • Transgender Israeli Arab wins historic Tel Aviv pageant

    (JTA) — A Christian Arab-Israeli ballet dancer won Israel’s first-ever transgender beauty pageant. Ta’alin Abu Hanna, 21, was named “Miss Trans Israel” in Tel Aviv Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported. Abu Hanna told reporters she is “proud to be an Israeli Arab,” noting, “If I had not been in Israel and had been elsewhere —…