Tag Archives: Israel

Iran Talks Deadline Passes, but Negotiations Continue

It’s the first day of July, which means that the original deadline for a final agreement between the P5+1 and Iran has now come and passed. Yet, negotiators are still working diligently: in a widely-expected move yesterday, negotiators agreed to a seven-day extension of the talks to iron out the final details of the agreement. The extension comes at a time when the political will for an agreement, especially on the Iranian side, is being questioned: Supreme Leader Khamenei is now asserting that sanctions must be lifted before Iran starts dismantling its nuclear program, a non-starter for the countries in the P5+1. Over this next week, we will find out how serious the Supreme Leader’s demands are. Read more…

Cross, Star of David, Islamic crescent

Reflecting on Interfaith Issues in Israel

By Joey Rosen

On the plane back from my Year-In-Israel as part of my first year of rabbinical school at HUC-JIR, I had the privilege of sitting next to a man who had participated in a Christian mission trip in Israel. It was a pleasure sharing with him my journey that led me to rabbinical school, a conversation he might have never had before. I also got to enjoy a different perspective on seeing Israel for the first time, as I had no previous knowledge of how a Christian mission trip to Israel works. But before he said ‘God Bless’ and dozed off for the nine hour flight, he made a comment to me about how the Christians of America were cheering for us in our war against the Muslims, who are polluting the land with violence and treachery. Read more…

As Israel’s New Coalition Government Gets Underway, New and Old Conflicts Arise

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a coalition government after his Likud Party’s resounding victory in the March elections. As positions in the government have been given out to coalition partners, and agreements made about government priorities, we’ve started to get a sense of what this government coalition will mean for Israel. While laws have yet to be passed, political parties—and the Members of Knesset in them—are starting to stake their claims for how they want the government to respond to challenges throughout its term. Here are some of the developments we’ve been watching: Read more…

ARZA, representing Reform Judaism

Reform Movement Scores a Decisive Victory in World Zionist Congress Elections

The Reform Movement’s slate for the 2015 World Zionist Congress elections won by a wide margin, according to results released Thursday. The Reform Movement’s ARZA slate won 56 out of the United States’ 145 possible seats (or 39% of the vote), which was more than the second and third place numbers of seats combined. Read more…

Protesters wave an Israeli and Ethiopian flag outside of a building

Ethiopian Jews Continue to Protest Discrimination

Ethiopian Israelis staged another protest Wednesday night in the heart of Tel Aviv, blocking the heavily-trafficked Begin Road. Some protestors had been promising violence, and some minor scuffles did break out after 8 p.m. Israeli time, but the protest was much smaller than those at the beginning of last month that saw thousands of Ethiopian Israelis turn out to protest discrimination and police violence. Read more…

Sec. Kerry walks down a hallway with the Iranian Foreign Minister and EU Representative

Questions Remain One Month Until the Iran Talks Deadline

We’re closing in on just one month from the deadline for a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program, and there’s still much that needs to be figured out before all the parties can reach an agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry will be flying over to Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday to continue talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamani-Nia stated that 30% of the work of writing out the technical details of the agreement are yet to be completed, and while there’s a possibility that the negotiations could stretch beyond the end of June, US officials are focusing on finishing by the June 30 deadline. Read more…

Vatican Basilica

Vatican Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

Early Wednesday, the Vatican used the term “State of Palestine” in an official document, a move that has been strongly criticized by the Israeli government. The Vatican had already recognized the entity after it was granted “non-member observer status” at the United Nations in 2012, but this document marks one of the highest profile occasions in which the “State of Palestine” term has been used. The document comes in advance of an agreement between the Vatican and the Palestinians. Read more…

Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett at a press conference

Benjamin Netanyahu Forms New Coalition Government

Late last Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the final deals to form his new coalition government. The coalition, which has a bare majority of 61 of the 120 Members of Knesset, comprises five parties: Netanyahu’s Likud (30 seats), ultra-nationalist Habayit Hayehudi (8 seats), ultra-Orthodox Shas (7 seats) and United Torah Judaism (6 seats) and center-right Kulanu (10 seats). Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, sent a note of congratulations to Prime Minister Netanyahu: Read more…

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