The majority of Israelis believe that their Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, should not be legally protected from criminal prosecution, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
Israel’s Walla news found that 56 percent of Israelis oppose legislation that would enable Netanyahu to receive immunity as he faces possible indictment in three separate corruption cases. 33 percent support his immunity while 11 percent said they had no opinion.
Netanyahu’s Likud party has denied reports that it is conditioning coalition talks upon to passing of such a law.
Read more at i24NEWS.
Berlin - German authorities on Tuesday handed over to Israel some 5,000 documents kept by a confidant of Franz Kafka, a trove whose plight could have been plucked from one of the author’s surreal stories.
The papers returned include a postcard from Kafka from 1910 and personal documents kept by Max Brod, which experts say provide a window into Europe’s literary and cultural scene in the early 20th century.
They are among some 40,000 documents, including manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks and other writings that once belonged to Brod, which are being brought together again in Israel’s National Library. They had ended up in bank vaults in Switzerland and Tel Aviv, a Tel Aviv apartment and in a storage facility in Wiesbaden, Germany, where police found them tucked amon...
Beijing - The United States is delaying restrictions on U.S. technology sales to Chinese tech powerhouse Huawei in what it calls an effort to ease the blow on owners of its cell phones and smaller U.S. telecoms providers that rely on its networking equipment.
The Trump administration insists the sanctions are unrelated to its escalating trade war with China, and many analysts see it as aimed at pressuring U.S. allies in Europe to accede to Washington’s entreaties to exclude Huawei equipment from their next-generation wireless networks, known as 5G.
The U.S. government says that the ban on selling technology to Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of mobile network gear and the No. 2 smartphone brand, will be delayed by 90 days. Shares in tech companies rose Tuesday on the news.
Jerusalem - Israel says it is expanding the permitted fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, the latest sign that a cease-fire deal with Palestinian militants is moving forward.
COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Tuesday that it had expanded the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles (28 kilometers).
The cease-fire agreement, brokered earlier this month by the U.N., Egypt and Qatar, ended the worst bout of violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers since a devastating 2014 war.
The deal calls for economic incentives to ameliorate the dire conditions in the Gaza Strip, including loosening restrictions on movement and allowing cash for civil servant salaries and Qatari-funded fuel shipments into the enclave. Israel imposed a blockade wit...
New York - Prosecutors aren’t quite finished investigating campaign finance violations by President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III agreed Tuesday to keep search warrant materials related to the investigation of Michael Cohen under seal until July 15 after prosecutors submitted a letter last week explaining why the probe continues. That letter remains sealed.
Pauley cited “ongoing aspects” of the government’s investigation as he directed prosecutors to identify in July what individuals or entities remain subject to continuing probes and explain any need for continued redaction.
Cohen, 52, is serving a three-year prison sentence after admitting a role in paying off two women. Assuming good behavior, Cohen woul...
New York - The outlook for department stores got murkier Tuesday after J.C. Penney and Kohl’s reported fiscal first quarter results that showed they struggled at the start of the year.
Penney, which has been trying to turn around its business for several years after a disastrous reinvention plan, reported a wider than expected loss and sales declines during the quarter. Kohl’s sales momentum took a pause during the quarter as well, and it cut its fiscal 2020 profit outlook as it struggled with slumping sales. It cited damp weather that cut into sales of spring clothing and a competitive environment in discounted home goods.
The downbeat reports from the mid-priced department stores, announced Tuesday, were in contrast to Macy’s performance, reported last week. Macy&rsqu...
San Francisco - A San Francisco journalist whose equipment was seized in a police raid will get back his property, a police attorney said Tuesday at a court hearing, but that did not resolve larger issues in the case that alarmed journalism advocates.
Authorities have said the May 10 raids of freelancer Bryan Carmody’s home and office were part of a criminal investigation into what police called the illegal release of a report on the death of former Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who died unexpectedly in February.
But media organizations across the country criticized the raids as a violation of California’s shield law, which specifically protects journalists from search warrants. The Associated Press is among dozens of news organizations siding with Carmody and seeking to submi...
Washington - The risk of nuclear weapons being used is at its highest since World War Two, a senior U.N. security expert said on Tuesday, calling it an “urgent” issue that the world should take more seriously.
Renata Dwan, director of the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), said all states with nuclear weapons have nuclear modernization programs underway and the arms control landscape is changing, partly due to strategic competition between China and the United States.
Traditional arms control arrangements are also being eroded by the emergence of new types of war, with increasing prevalence of armed groups and private sector forces and new technologies that blurred the line between offence and defense, she told reporters in Geneva.
With disarmament talks stale...
Baltimore police Commissioner Michael Harrison rounded out his top command staff on Tuesday.
Michael Sullivan will become the new deputy commissioner of operations, while Michelle Wilson will leave Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's office to become deputy commissioner of public integrity.
The bureaus were created under restructuring that Harrison put in place last month. Both appointments are effective June 10.
Wilson became assistant attorney general after a decade as assistant state's attorney in Baltimore. Harrison said the choice of an attorney over a sworn officer followed a national trend.
"Having a civilian attorney heading up the police department internal affairs unit has become the national best practice and this is the right time for this best pra...
Samaria Council head responds to armored vehicles transferred to PA security services as gift from EU with Israel's approval.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan attacked the defense establishment decision to approve the transfer of armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority by the European Union.
The vehicles, which were transferred to the Palestinian Authority security services as a gift from the EU, were reportedly sent to Judea and Samaria through Jordan.
Dagan said the armored vehicles transfer is "total abandonment of human life and taking an unacceptable risk both of the lives of IDF soldiers and of the lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria."
"Any reasonable person understands that the supply of armored vehicles with machine guns for terrorists in...
West Bank - Palestinian business leaders on Tuesday rebuffed U.S. plans for an economic conference in Bahrain that has become the spearhead of President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan.
As Washington appealed to Palestinian and Arab leaders to come to the June 25-26 gathering, Palestinian businessmen joined politicians in saying their political demands would have to be addressed in any plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian pollsters and analysts also reported deep scepticism about the latest in a long line of U.S. peace efforts, this time led by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.
The U.S. initiative follows an upsurge in cross-border fighting between Gaza militants and Israel, and as Palestinians still smart a...
New York - Hoping to counter misinformation about vaccination rates in the Chasidic community, a Rockland County based public affairs group has taken out a Times Square billboard assuring passersby that nearly all Chasidim immunize their children and asking them if they do as well.
The billboard, located above the marquee at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, is short and to the point, stating simply “96% Hasidim Vaccinate. Do You?” The public service announcement was created by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council which goes by the acronym OJPAC.
The eye-cathcing message went up Tuesday morning, with a two pronged purpose, explained OJPAC’s Yossi Gestetner.
“In recent weeks we have had firsthand reports of people being berated, criticized and a...
Animosity against Jewish students going strong
There is a crisis of cowardice on US college campuses. And it's the adults — the college presidents and fellow administrators — who are failing their students.
As detailed by Heather Mac Donald of City Journal, college presidents grovel before students — the ones aggressively bullying others and shutting down speakers — in the name of protecting the protesters' safety. At the same time, Jewish students are subjected to intimidation and raucous demonstrations designed to maximize their discomfort on campus, according to Carly Pildis in Tablet.
Peter Salovey, president of Yale University, is an early contender for most craven. In 2015, Yale sociology professor and master of one of Yale's undergraduate re...
Israeli former spy Jonathan Pollard, who spent 30 years in jail in the United States, gave one of his first media interviews after his release almost four years ago.
Despite strict parole conditions prohibiting him from speaking to the press, Pollard is opened up to reporters, complaining that the Israeli leadership doesn’t care about him.
“If you don’t care about someone like myself, who spent 30 years in prison on behalf of the land and people of Israel, then how much concern can you actually show or exhibit or feel towards anybody in the country, from our soldiers to our civilians?” he says.
Read more at Times of Israel.
MK Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who is Chairman of Habayit Yehudi party, initiated a new policy for his party.
In order to strengthen themselves in the mitzvah of not speaking lashon hara, Peretz has instituted the limud of Chofetz Chayim which will take place at the beginning of every party meeting. The group will learn two rules of lashon hara every day before carrying on with official business.
Mi K’Amcha Yisroel
Al Sharpton spoke at an event for Reform Jews and acknowledged how his “cheap” rhetoric stoked divisions with the Jewish community, publicly acknowledging his role for the incendiary rhetoric that helped fuel the deadly Crown Heights riots in 1991, which led to the death of Yankel Rosenbaum hy”d.
Without mentioning the Crown Heights riots specifically, Sharpton said he could have “done more to heal rather than harm.” And he said that all the public criticism he received paled next to the rebuke from Coretta Scott King, who was known for her closeness to the Jewish community. It appears to be the first time Sharpton has publicly shared the tale.
“One of the things she said to me, she said, ‘Al, the purpose of our movement has never been to ju...
Lawyers for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have asked the country’s Attorney General to postpone a pre-indictment hearing in three criminal corruption cases against the premier by at least a year, the Haaretz daily reported Tuesday.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had previously said that the hearing must be held by July 10. But he is expected to agree to a hearing by the end of September, with the time allotted for a pre-indictment hearing in Netanyahu’s cases shorter than in past cases involving public figures.
Netanyahu’s lawyers say that they need more time to properly prepare their defense for the three cases, citing the enormous amount of materials to be examined. While the case files had been available to the premier’s legal team from April 1...
Jason Greenblatt, the US Representative for International Negotiations, on Monday rejected reports claiming that the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would only be economic in nature.
“To those falsely claiming our vision is just economic peace: we’ve been clear that the economic vision we present can’t exist without the political component, and the political component can’t succeed without the economic. Don’t believe rumors the plan is only economic. It’s not,” he wrote on Twitter.
Senior White House officials said on Sunday that the Trump administration is planning to release the economic component of its upcoming Middle East peace plan in late June, adding that it would break up the release ...