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  • Israelis are blunt and rude. You got a problem with that?

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — A couple of months ago I was waiting to use an ATM near my house, flicking through Twitter as the line inched its way forward. Finally, after about 10 minutes and several tweets, I reached the machine and was getting ready to insert my card when an Israeli man ran over from…

  • In Israel, missile alert apps save lives — and spread anxiety

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four years ago, on the eve of the Israeli military’s Gaza operation known as Protective Edge, a private developer created the Red Alert app providing real-time notification when missiles or rockets were fired into Israel. Since then, Red Alert and smartphone apps like it have become tools for saving lives, social media sites in…

  • Israeli city’s first woman mayor is a reluctant icon for Orthodox feminism

    BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (JTA) — When Aliza Bloch was elected mayor of Beit Shemesh last month, it ended a decade of haredi Orthodox control over this small bedroom community of just over a 100,000 residents. The site of numerous clashes between haredi zealots and their secular and national-religious counterparts in recent years, the city —…

  • Israeli lawmakers debate American anti-Semitism without American Jewish input

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — In the wake of the deadly shooting Oct. 27 at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Israeli lawmakers gathered for a special meeting for a discussion of anti-Semitism in America. It was dialogue that at times grew heated: Politicians yelled at each other and argued about the definition of anti-Semitism, the occupation and the movement…

  • Israeli elections bring out ugly politics online and on the street

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Municipal elections in Israel on Tuesday capped weeks of campaigning that had a familiar feel for those who lament an abrasive, nationalist and even racist turn in American politics. In Tel Aviv, the local branch of the ruling Likud party ran campaign posters featuring Israeli and Eritrean flags side by side with…

  • Walter Laqueur, the Holocaust survivor who reinvented terrorism studies, dies at 97

    (JTA) — Walter Laqueur, a Holocaust survivor and one of the 20th century’s most prominent scholars, has died. Laqueur passed away at his home in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. He was 92. Born in Wroclaw, Poland, and raised in Bres­lau, Germany, he was a teenager when his parents sent him to Mandatory Palestine only days before the…

  • Jefferson Airplane co-founder Marty Balin is dead at 76

    (JTA) — Marty Balin, the co-founder of the iconic 1960s psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, has died in Tampa, Florida, of unspecified causes. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was 76. Born Martyn Jerel Buchwald to Jewish parents in Cincinnati in 1942, Balin was one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane and a member of its successor…

  • Bernie Sanders saved a woman’s life and didn’t tell anybody

    (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is not publicity shy by any stretch of the imagination. Known for his thick Brooklyn accent and progressive politics, the former presidential candidate has become an iconic figure on the American left. Apparently, however, Sanders can also exhibit modesty. On Thursday, a woman named Amy Currotto posted…

  • Woman who faked being Jewish to avoid extradition convicted of murder

    (JTA) — A Puerto Rican woman who falsified documents to show she was Jewish and explored moving to Israel in order to avoid extradition from Italy to the United States was found guilty of murder by a U.S. court. Aurea Vazquez Rijos was convicted Wednesday of offering millions of dollars to a hitman who killed…

  • Sidney Shachnow, Holocaust survivor who went on to command US forces in Berlin, dies at 83

    (JTA) — Sidney Shachnow, a child Holocaust survivor from Lithuania who went on to become a two-star general and the commander of U.S. forces in Berlin during the Cold War, has died. Schachnow died Friday in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he lived. He was 83. He and his family survived the Holocaust in Lithuania,…