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#MeToo, in Israel: Harassment of women prevalent in local film and TV industry

Haaretz - 1 hour 23 min ago
'We don’t have those kind of all-powerful producers here who can make or break your career,' said one director, referring to Harvey Weinstein. 'But you don’t need to have that much power in order to assault'

Bronfman Sisters Named As Members Of Shadowy Cult That Branded Women

The Forward - 1 hour 41 min ago
Two daughters of the late philanthropist Edgar Bronfman were named as members of a shadowy cult that branded female members.

Haaretz Cartoon

Haaretz - 1 hour 43 min ago

Why Are People Pushing Back Against The ‘Me, Too’ Campaign?

The Forward - 2 hours 15 min ago
As a social worker working with sexual assault victims, the social media campaign hit close to home for me.

Graeme MacQueen on 9/11: The Pentagon's B-Movie

9/11 Blogger - 3 hours 1 min ago

Graeme MacQueen on 9/11: The Pentagon's B-Movie

Published on Sep 18, 2017
Graeme MacQueen returns to Our Interesting Times to discuss his article "9/11: The Pentagon's B-Movie." We talk about how the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, however real, were also eerily similar to a movie plot and thus indicate the "9/11 movie" to be a carefully scripted event directed and produced by the Deep State.

Graeme is a retired member of the Religious Studies Department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He earned a doctorate in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University and helped found the McMaster's Centre for Peace Studies in 1989. Graeme is the former co-editor of The Journal of 9/11 Studies and the author of The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy.

Will Israel’s airlines survive the arrival of low-cost carriers?

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 23:57
With discount competitors such as Ryanair and Wizz Air likely to open base of operations in Israel in the future, local airlines may face the same fate as that of Italy's Alitilia that recently went bankrupt

Israel's Delek Group mulling $280M sale of royalties from Tamar offshore gas field

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 23:57
Delek Group faces a government deadline to divest its 31.25% stake in Tamar by 2020 as part of regulation in place to dismantle Israel's gas cartel

Israeli Labor Party leader: The new Likudnik

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 23:38
Labor party members, like their colleagues in the left-wing camp, deserve a leader who will show loyalty to their basic values, not Likud's

What Little League Can Teach Us About Post-Holiday Jewish Life

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 23:01
Will we beat ourselves up for our failures in the new year, or will we adapt the attitude of the the Little League 8-year-olds?

Florida Gov. Pledges $1M For Jewish Security. Muslims Ask, ‘Why Not Us Too?’

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 22:40
The ACLU added that awarding security grants to institutions from only one religion may violate the separation of church and state.

The Palestinian right of return, not such a complicated issue

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 22:36
Today, the Arab refugees number six million. Would all of them actually want to return to Israel if given the chance?

Jews Have A Biblical And Rabbinic Obligation To Oppose Trump’s Muslim Ban

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 22:22
The Talmud teaches that “the Torah warns us 36 and some say 46 times” to love the stranger and to not wrong the immigrant.

Human Trafficker Sues Over Non-Kosher Prison Meals

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 22:20
Reza Moazami claims that he strictly follows his religious teachings. He was convicted of luring teen girls into prostitution by promising them drugs.

Israel Won’t Negotiate With Hamas-Backed Palestinian Government

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:55
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had seven conditions, including that Hamas recognize Israel, disarm and sever ties with Iran.

MeToo: When The Community Mean Girls Crossed The Line

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:53
My experience with female sexual predators at school seems so rare in the common lexicon, and yet those experiences are the ones that hurt the most.

Israel's chief pathologist: State prosecutor misled court in controversial murder trial

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:48
Roman Zadorov, convicted of 2006 murder of 13-year-old, claims he is innocent and is fighting for a retrial

ADL Slams GOP Rep. For Bringing Holocaust Denier To Meeting

The Forward - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:40
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was accompanied by Charles C. Johnson, who wrote about “Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.”

No Clear End Game For US Military In Iraq And Syria - WXPR

ISIS Watch - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:31

No Clear End Game For US Military In Iraq And Syria
The fight against ISIS is what led the United States to send troops into Iraq and Syria. And now that ISIS has lost nearly all its territory in these countries, what are U.S. troops going to do? To answer that question, we have NPR Pentagon ...

Israeli men report lower cancer figures than women

Haaretz - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:27
Cancer remains Israel’s no. 1 cause of death, and the battle against it continues on all fronts: public information campaigns, examinations, efforts to encourage a healthier lifestyle and medical research

What Palestinian reconciliation means for Israel

JTA - Tue, 2017-10-17 21:16

Hamas and Fatah leaders shake hands following the signing of a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo, Oct. 12, 2017. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a wait-and-see approach to last week’s Palestinian reconciliation deal.

Netanyahu spoke out publicly and loudly against the move toward unity between the feuding Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, calling it a threat to Israel and a setback to peace. But he quietly indicated Israel could accept reconciliation if Hamas reformed.

“Israel insists that the PA not allow any base whatsoever for Hamas terrorist actions from PA areas in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] or from Gaza, if the PA indeed takes responsibility for its territory,” his office said in a statement Thursday after the deal was inked. “Israel will monitor developments on the ground and act according.”

Netanyahu reacted very differently to the failed 2014 reconciliation attempt by Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza. At the time, Israel froze negotiations and severed diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.

Circumstances have since changed.

Israel has persistent fears about the costs of Palestinian reconciliation. But the prime minister’s restrained response, despite calls from right-wing ministers for more aggressive measures, reflects the potential benefits of letting the attempt play out, at least for now.

On Thursday, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo that reportedly will see the Palestinian Authority take over Gaza’s border crossings and assume full administrative control of the territory in the coming months. Some 3,000 Palestinian security officers are to join the Gaza police force. Elections are to be held for a national unity government.

But Netanyahu has made clear that Israel maintains its longstanding stance against Hamas rejoining the Palestinian Authority, which it broke from when it violently seized control of Gaza in 2007, unless the terrorist group makes historic reforms, including disarming, recognizing the Jewish state and breaking off relations with Iran.

“Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace much harder to achieve,” Netanyahu wrote Thursday on his office’s Facebook page after the deal was announced. “Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Say yes to peace and no to joining hands with Hamas.”

Members of Netanyahu’s right-wing government urged an even tougher line. But Haaretz reported that Netanyahu told top ministers on Monday that Israel would neither cut ties with the Palestinian Authority, as advocated by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, nor act to stop reconciliation.

Israel has plenty of reasons to worry about Hamas joining the Palestinian Authority. The reconciliation deal reportedly does not address Hamas’ military wing, which has repeatedly fired rockets at, terrorized and warred with Israel. After the signing, Hamas’ deputy political leader, Saleh al-Arouri, said the purpose was for all Palestinian forces to “work together against the Zionist enterprise, which seeks to wipe out and trample the rights of our people.”

According to Israeli analysts, Hamas could let the Palestinian Authority handle the administration of Gaza while it focuses on bolstering its terrorist infrastructure and planning new attacks on Israelis. A plan that would have P.A. officials who oversee the coastal strip’s border crossings move back and forth between the West Bank and Gaza also raises security concerns.

However, if fully implemented, reconciliation could also bring benefits for Israel. It would address what many observers have warned is a looming humanitarian crisis in Gaza that could push Hamas into another war with Israel. Egypt, which is brokering the talks between Fatah and Hamas, would likely ease its blockade of Gaza, allowing more goods and people to move in and out of the territory. P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas would have to end the sanctions he has imposed on the territory to force Hamas’ capitulation, including crippling electricity cuts.

At the same time, reconciliation just might force Hamas to moderate. According to a report last week in Haaretz, the group agreed not to carry out terror attacks or fire rockets against Israel as part of the deal. Dana El Kurd, a researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, wrote Monday in Foreign Affairs that the international backers of reconciliation seek to “neutralize Hamas’ power by weakening its popular support.”

While El Kurd went on to argue that this would lead to more popular discontent and violence, Israel would likely welcome this development.

Even if Israel would prefer to see Palestinian reconciliation fail on its merits, the government has diplomatic reasons to accommodate the process. Among the world leaders celebrating the deal are two of Israel’s most important strategic partners, Egypt and the United States.

Under Egyptian President Abel Fattah-el Sisi, Jerusalem and Cairo have cooperated closely in recent years on shared regional security concerns, including Hamas. At the U.N. General Assembly last month in New York, Sisi coupled his first-ever meeting with Netanyahu with a call for Palestinian unity as a step toward peace with Israel. By opposing Sisi on reconciliation, Israel could put this progress at risk.

When it comes to the United States, which has also thrown its weight behind reconciliation, Netanyahu has gone out of his way to ensure no daylight comes between him and President Donald Trump. The prime minister reportedly warned top ministers in February against confronting Trump, explaining that the president’s personality must be taken “into account.”

In many ways, the Trump administration has rewarded Netanyahu. Washington reportedly has asked Israel to limit settlement expansion, and settler leaders have complained of slower-than-promised building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. But U.S. officials have stayed relatively quiet as Israel has advanced such construction, including, as Netanyahu reportedly promised, outside the settlement blocs Israel expects to keep in any peace deal.

Trump has also taken a position on Iran, Israel’s arch-nemesis, very much along the lines suggested by Netanyahu. On Monday, Trump reiterated his vow to pull the United States out of the Iran deal if Congress did not tighten its restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program — earning praise from the prime minister, who last month exhorted world leaders to “nix it or fix it.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has vociferously defended Israel in the international body, and on Thursday, the State Department announced the United States would pull out of UNESCO over its anti-Israel bias, prompting Israel to follow.

In return for all this and more from the United States, Netanyahu may feel that abiding Palestinian reconciliation is a small price to pay — especially since he may simply have to wait for the process to collapse. The issues that have doomed numerous past attempts remain outstanding, most notably Abbas’ demands that Hamas disarm and bring its military wing under the command of the Palestinian Authority.

Unpopular at home and under his own diplomatic pressure, Abbas may also be playing a waiting game.

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