Israel

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World Now Has Almost as Many Jews as Pre-Holocaust

Israeli think tank links rise to changing patterns of identification

(Newser) - The world's Jewish population is nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, Israeli think tank Jewish People Policy Institute said in its annual report yesterday, putting that number at 14.2 million Jews. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partially... More »

Israel Politician's Wife Posts Racist Obama Tweet

'Black and weak' joke does not go down well

(Newser) - As a well-known media personality in Israel and the wife of one of the country's most powerful politicians, Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has a lot of Twitter followers—and a lot of people to offend when she does something like tweet a racist joke about another country's leader. "... More »

Scientists Reconstructing Ancient Jar Find a Mystery

The inscription dates back to the King David era

(Newser) - When archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of shards of pottery at the Khirbet Qeiyafa biblical site near Jerusalem in 2012, they noticed letters in ancient Canaanite on some of the pieces and began the work of putting the 3,000-year-old jar back together. What they found was the inscription of a... More »

Israel Frees Pork-Eating Soldier

US-born man didn't realize sandwich would be a problem

(Newser) - The Israeli military has scrapped a punishment for a US-born Israeli soldier who had caused a stink by violating the military's kosher rules by eating a pork sandwich while in uniform. Earlier, the military said the soldier, whose name was not released, "violated rules and regulations," which... More »

Israel's Burning Man Torched Ancient Relics

Site of festival fire housed ancient flint tools

(Newser) - The Israeli Antiquities Authority says revelers at a Burning Man festival famous for its pyrotechnic spectacles have accidentally torched some remnants of prehistoric man. Archaeologist Yoram Haimi says organizers of Midburn, an Israeli affiliate of the Nevada carnival, burned a wooden temple Saturday on a hilltop scattered with flint tools... More »

Ex-Israeli PM Gets Prison Over Cash From American

Ehud Olmert was sentenced today to eight months in prison

(Newser) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced today to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a US supporter, capping the dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country and hoped to bring about a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. Olmert was... More »

Workers Stumble on 2K-Year-Old Marvel in Jerusalem

Ancient aqueduct worked 'intermittently' until last century, experts say

(Newser) - Workers constructing a sewer line in East Jerusalem last month discovered a 2,000-year-old water-supply system that—think about this—worked fairly well until the last century, LiveScience reports. The 13-mile long Lower Aqueduct, which was fed by a spring south of Bethlehem and runs through four modern-day Jerusalem neighborhoods,... More »

65-Year-Old Gives Birth, Sets Record

She's the oldest to bear a child in Israel

(Newser) - A 65-year-old woman in Israel has just become a mother for the first time. The ultra-Orthodox woman gave birth to a healthy 5.9-pound baby boy this week, reports the Jerusalem Post . Haya Shahar did so thanks to IVF treatment she had outside the country, likely Russia, because Israel forbids... More »

Vatican Recognizes Palestine; Israel 'Disappointed'

Official diplomatic recognition days ahead of Abbas visit

(Newser) - The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized today, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition... More »

Last-Minute Deal Allows Netanyahu to Keep Power

He's able to form coalition with just an hour to spare

(Newser) - It came down to the final hour, literally, but Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a deal to form a new government, reports AP . Netanyahu faced a deadline of midnight local time to scrape together a coalition following Likud's victory in the March elections, and he needed nearly every minute of... More »

Oldest Copy of Ten Commandments Goes on Display

But only for 2 weeks, in Israel

(Newser) - A 2,000-year-old copy of the Ten Commandments believed to be the oldest in existence is going on display at a Jerusalem museum, reports the Jewish Press . This particular version showed up in one of the Dead Sea scrolls, and it's so fragile that it will be allowed to... More »

Without Palestinian Gig, Lauryn Hill Cancels on Israel

Singer didn't want to alienate fans

(Newser) - Lauryn Hill is canceling a planned performance in Tel Aviv because she wasn't able to also schedule a concert in the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah. The singer-songwriter said in a statement yesterday that she originally intended to perform in both cities in hopes of being "a presence... More »

Cops: Woman Set Car Afire After Being Denied Cigarette

At a gas station

(Newser) - A man who stopped for gas at a Jerusalem gas station yesterday saw his day go downhill in a flash when cops say a woman peeved that he didn't give her a cigarette set his car on fire, per Haaretz . Security footage shows the woman walking up to the... More »

Jews, Muslims Bicker Over New Carpet in Jerusalem Shrine

Archaeologists say Jordanian contractors may be damaging Dome of the Rock

(Newser) - It began as a routine remodeling project: Muslim authorities replacing an old carpet at the Dome of the Rock, the iconic, gold-topped shrine that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. But the carpet has sparked a verbal holy war over the hilltop compound, revered by Jews and Muslims whose competing... More »

Judge: NYC Buses Must Run 'Killing Jews' Ads

Pamela Geller's controversial group wins in court

(Newser) - Soon, you could see MTA buses in New York with the words "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" on the side. That's because a controversial pro-Israel group wants to run the ads—they show a man with a Palestinian keffiyeh covering his face alongside... More »

Kim, Kanye, North Hit Israel for Quick Visit

Kardashian-West clan came from Armenia

(Newser) - Israeli paparazzi are in hot pursuit trying to catch up with the Kardashians—and rapper Kanye West. Members of reality TV's first family touched down today in the Holy Land for what was described as a private two-day visit. Kim Kardashian, along with husband West, their daughter, North West,... More »

Israel: Here's Our List of Iran-Deal Changes

Including fewer centrifuges, no R&D, closing of enrichment site

(Newser) - "I'm not trying to kill any deal. I'm trying to kill a bad deal," Benjamin Netanyahu said as he worked the Sunday talk shows , per the New York Times . But Israel was mum on what a good deal might look like until yesterday, as Intelligence Minister... More »

Obama: Iran Nuke Deal Is 'Personally Difficult'

The president presents his argument to Thomas Friedman

(Newser) - President Obama made his case yesterday for the pending Iran nuclear deal and essentially put it this way: While he respects Israel's concerns, and doesn't totally trust Iran, he's the leader of a massive military superpower that can afford to take a chance on diplomacy—a chance... More »

Netanyahu: Iran Deal Could Mean End of Israel

Prime minister isn't swayed by Obama

(Newser) - President Obama called Benjamin Netanyahu after today's progress toward a deal with Iran about its nuclear program and tried to convince him that it was good news. How'd that go? Afterward, Netanyahu held a press conference. "A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of... More »

Former Israel PM Olmert Convicted of Corruption

Could face 5 years in prison after court finds he unlawfully accepted cash

(Newser) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted today of unlawfully accepting money from a US supporter in a retrial on corruption charges, the latest chapter in the downfall of a man who only years earlier hoped to lead the country to a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. The... More »

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