European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 06.06.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 06.06.2016

Major Headlines
  • 30,000 flock to Old City for Jerusalem Day march

They came with drums, hundreds of Israeli flags attached to cheap sticks, and shirts with images of a rebuilt Jewish Temple on them.

But mostly they came with songs about “Jerusalem of Gold” and “the eternal people do not fear a long journey.” Gone were the racist chants of years past, and neon-emblazoned ushers kept the masses of youth from banging on Arab shops as they made their way from Damascus Gate to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The annual Jerusalem Day events brought tens of thousands to Jerusalem to celebrate the Six Day War and the conquest of the. Bussed in from across the country, many crowded onto separate men’s and women’s sections on King George Street in the mid-afternoon, to listen to speakers who reminded them about how paratroopers took back the city 49 years ago.

According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, 2,000 police were involved in security in and around the Old City.

“Over 30,000 people took part in the march to the Western Wall via Damascus Gate and Jaffa Gate, no incidents were reported,” police statement said.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israel engaging with ICC over Gaza war crimes enquiry

Israel is holding discussions with the International Criminal Court over its inquiry into possible war crimes in the 2014 Gaza conflict, the ICC's prosecutor said.

The disclosure, in an interview with Reuters, would indicate a step-up in Israeli engagement with the Hague-based tribunal and a shift from a policy of non-cooperation with ICC probes of alleged war crimes in Palestinian territories, the Jerusalem Post reports.

An Israeli government source said there was contact with the ICC on procedural issues, but declined to go into detail.

"Israel has agreed to engage with my office and we are exchanging information," ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said during a visit to the UN  in Geneva late on Thursday. She said the ICC was in touch with both sides in the Gaza conflict.

The ICC's preliminary examination under way could lead to the opening of a criminal investigation and war crimes charges against individuals on both sides of the 50-day war between Islamist Hamas militants in Gaza and Israel.

Health officials said more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, died in the conflict. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • 200,000 crowd Tel Aviv streets for annual Pride march

Under arches of rainbow balloons and flags, more than 200,000 people thronged through the streets of Tel Aviv on Friday for the annual Gay Pride Parade, the Times of Israel reports.

Hundreds of police officers and volunteers were dispatched to help secure the march. Cars were banned from parking along the route of the parade, and traffic was redirected.

Knesset security also beefed up protection for Likud MK Amir Ohana, an openly gay member of Israel’s parliament, following threats to harm him during the event.

Sources close to Ohana blamed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) community, telling Army Radio that it was unfortunate that such an open and accepting community would do to “the only gay MK in the coalition just because he’s right wing.”

Fellow Likud politician Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev told participants she “loves” the gay community and was happy to see so many participating in the event. She said the government “needs to do more for you because you deserve it like everyone else.”

Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Galon called on the government to take greater action for the LGBTQ community, criticising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “pink washing” Israel’s policies.

“This government needs to provide the gay community with what it deserves — equal rights under the law, funding and recognition,” Galon said.

According to a Channel 2 report on Thursday, police warned right-wing extremists not to come near the Tel Aviv celebration.

Last year during the Jerusalem pride parade radical ultra-Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel stabbed several participants, killing 16-year-old Shira Banki and injuring several others. Friday’s parade included a minute’s silence in Banki’s memory.

More than 180,000 people, including 30,000 tourists, were expected at the annual event, according to the Foreign Ministry, a number surpassed by midday estimates. 

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

 

  • Israel to ease West Bank and Gaza movement during Ramadan

Israel announced Friday it was relaxing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians to and from the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Times of Israel reports.

The measures, similar to those of previous years, were announced by COGAT, the unit which manages civilian affairs in the West Bank.

Up to 500 people from the Gaza Strip will be allowed to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem over the holy month, set to begin on Monday.

In addition, 200 Gaza residents will be allowed to visit relatives in the West Bank during Ramadan, and 500 Palestinians from the West Bank will be authorised to visit family in Gaza, COGAT said.

Israel will also allow 300 Palestinians living abroad to visit relatives in Gaza, and 500 West Bank Palestinians would be permitted to travel out of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

 

  • Thousands attend memorial for Ethiopian Jews who died on the way to Israel

At a ceremony on Sunday memorialising those who perished en route from Ethiopia to Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to eradicate racism in Israeli society, the Jerusalem Post reports.

“This is an alarming phenomenon among us. It’s something that is unacceptable,” he said at the national memorial ceremony held on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl. “We are against this with all our might, and it has no place in Israel. You are the flesh of our flesh, an integral part of our nation, equal among equals.”

The names of more than 1,500 Ethiopian Jews who set out for Israel but died on their trip, most in Sudan, are engraved on a monument at Mount Herzl.

Every year a ceremony is held to commemorate them on the eve of Jerusalem Day, in honor of their lifelong – but unfulfilled dream of reaching Jerusalem.

“Even in the darkest periods in our history, in the darkness of exile, the deepest of despair, there was always one light of hope that illuminated the way: Jerusalem, Zion,” Netanyahu told the assembled crowd.

President Reuven Rivlin also spoke at the ceremony, promising to spread the community’s story of devotion to their dream of aliya.

“I stand alongside the monument which tells your story – the story of the villages and towns from which you came, the story of the home left behind, the story of the long and painful journey which you chose to undertake, a story of yearning, of longing for Zion.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

 

Monday, June 06, 2016
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