European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 17.03.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 17.03.2016

Major Headlines
  • Hareidi minister tells PM: It’s us or Reform Jews

Haredi Knesset members are growing increasingly upset over recent moves to allow egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall and open religious ritual baths for use in non-Orthodox conversions, leading Health Minister Yakov Litzman to declare that haredim will not compromise with Reform Jews, Israel Hayom reports.

"It's either us or the Reform Jews," Litzman, from the United Torah Judaism party, recently told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "This is the unequivocal ruling of the rabbis and it cannot be manipulated."

Ultra-Orthodox leaders have been pressurising lawmakers to pass a bill that would prohibit the use of state-owned ritual baths (mikvehs) in Conservative and Reform conversions, going as far as to threaten disbanding the coalition if they do not get their wish.

One haredi MK said Tuesday: "We're calm. No one -- including in the opposition, except [Yesh Atid head Yair] Lapid -- is interested in another election. And even if there is an election, it's already clear that no coalition can be made without the haredim."

Click here to read the full article in Israel Hayom


  • Deputy Foreign Minister reveals details on secret contacts with Indonesia

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely revealed at the Knesset on Wednesday that Israel barred Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi from visiting the Palestinian Authority for violating secret understandings reached between Israel and Indonesia, Ha’aretz reports.

As per the understandings, in addition to her trip to the PA, Marsudi was also expected to travel to Jerusalem and meet with senior Israeli officials. 

If the terms had been met, it would have been a first visit by an Indonesian foreign minister to Israel.

Hotovely made the remarks at the Knesset plenum in response to a question submitted by MK Ahmad Tibi of the United Arab List. "Why was the visit prevented," Tibi asked, "and what is the Israeli government's policy with regard to the entry of foreign ministers to the Palestinian Authority?"

The Deputy Foreign Minister said that the director of the Foreign Ministry's Asia Division, Mark Sofer, visited Jakarta secretly a few days prior to Marsudi's planned trip in an effort to reach understandings with regard to the visit. 

"There had been a clear understanding that [Marsudi's] visit to Ramallah would also include a visit to Israel and a meeting with senior officials in Jerusalem," Hotovely said. "It was a general understanding regarding any visit to Israel. Visits to the Palestinian Authority are made under terms of reciprocity – a visit to Jerusalem, and a visit to Ramallah."

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Israel reconsiders, Belarus embassy to remain open

Two months after announcing the closure of five Israeli diplomatic missions around the world as a cost-saving measure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intervened on Wednesday to save at least one of them: the embassy in Belarus, the Jerusalem Post reports.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu decided not to close the embassy in Minsk “after a series of consultations with heads of the foreign ministry and with [Immigration and Absorption Minister] Ze'ev Elkin.”

The statement said that Netanyahu, who is also Foreign Minister, attributes importance to the existence of the embassy in Minsk.

Along with the embassy in Belarus, the Foreign Ministry announced in January that because of budgetary reasons it was going to also close the embassy in El Salvador, as well as the consulates in Philadelphia and Marseille. 

In addition, Israel’s roving ambassador to the Caribbean, who is stationed in New York, is also to be cut out. The plans to do away with those missions still remain in force, one government official said.

The decision to close the embassy in Minsk triggered a sharp reaction from Belarus, which threatened to respond by closing its own embassy in Israel. Israel closed its embassy in Minsk already once in 2002, but reopened it two years later.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


Thursday, March 17, 2016
More News
Israel Press Review of 03/02/2017
- Israel and Turkey renew strategic dialogue - Israel and Ukraine healing rift from Security Council vote - Ryanair launches 15 new flight routes between Israel and Europe
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists are one step closer to solving the riddle of what took place in Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by Romans in 70 CE.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
  • Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
    Israeli lawmakers want to tighten a ban on the employment of underweight models and on the undeclared digital slimming-down of fashion images, amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
  • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
    A Cypriot official said work on an electric cable linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on track to start in the first quarter of 2018 after Greek and Cypriot regulators approved the project.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
  • In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
    While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism