News from Israel and the Jewish World

JNS.org is an editorial content and business-services resource for media, reaching global Jewish communities. Below you will find the most pressing, breaking news from Israel and the Jewish world. JNS.org is updated regularly and includes special Israel news through exclusive English-language syndication of content by Israel Hayom, one of Israel’s leading daily newspapers.

Latest News

Still flushed with the success, for the Iranians anyway, of the 2015 nuclear deal reached with the United States and other powers, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif this week embarked on a five-nation tour of Latin America to spread the message that Tehran's global influence is on the up, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen. 

The refugee crisis, escalating terrorism and dissatisfaction with the political elite are blamed for the current rise of Europe’s far-right political parties. Such a revival has not been seen since World War II, writes JNS.org reporter Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman. 

As a minority group that has faced down centuries of anti-Semitism, the Jewish people have long stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other long-suffering and persecuted minority groups such as African-Americans. This was evident during the Civil Rights Movement when Jewish leaders stood against segregation in the south. That allegiance continues today with Jewish figures speaking out against inequality that many African-Americans face. Yet, some affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement are seeking to blend their struggles in America with the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel movement, which threatens to drive a wedge between the two groups. 

As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13.

It's one of the most disturbing photos from Israel that I've seen in years, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen Flatow. I'm referring to this week's image of the hundreds of Palestinian terrorist weapons captured in Israeli raids. It was enough to send shivers down one's spine. And it revealed more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than all the panel discussions, research papers, and expert analyses with which we are always being bombarded.

World Vision and other foreign aid organizations that have funneled millions of dollars to the terror group Hamas are directly responsible for the murder of scores of Israeli Jews, an Israeli legal expert contends. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of Shurat HaDin Israeli legal center, warns that groups like World Vision cannot collect charity that ends up in the hand of terrorists “on the blood of the citizens of Israel."

A group of 75 future IDF soldiers who made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh on Aug. 17 on a flight facilitated in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar. Among the soldiers were several young men and women following in the footsteps of their siblings by joining the Israeli army, writes JNS.org reporter Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman.

A day after the Israel Defense Forces bombed a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket attack on the southern Israeli town of Sderot, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that the Jewish state cannot allow the Hamas terror group to arm itself. Lieberman’s caution comes just days after Hamas threatened to abduct Israeli soldiers on Sunday, showcasing two "prison cells" built especially for future Israeli captives. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israeli security forces also raided seven illegal Palestinian weapons mills in the Hebron and Bethlehem area on Monday night in the largest crackdown of its kind over the last year.

Russia’s unprecedented move last week of dispatching warplanes to bomb targets in Syria through an Iranian airbase may have Israeli officials worried. The move shows growing cooperation between Russia and Iran, Israel’s biggest foe in the Middle East in recent years, and a regime that, like Russia, has been working to maintain the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Could Russia’s apparent growing closeness to Iran affect its growing relationship with Israel?

Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed to fight against repeated violations and attacks carried out by Israel and extremist groups on the Temple Mount complex, according to an interview in the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour last week. The Jordanian king claimed that Israel was seeking to “Judaize” the holy site and was attempting to "violate the sanctity and compromise al-Aksa Mosque. These comments may signal a deepening strain in relations between Israel and Jordan, one of only two Arab states that has a peace treaty with the Jewish state. 

Richard Allen is not a careful, polished Jewish communal leader with a seasoned staff operating from a mid-town Manhattan office, ensconced behind a stylized logo, fortified by tax-exempt donations and burnished advisors. Allen is a private businessman. He wields his entire organization from a computer in his office and, not infrequently, from a phone in his pocket. Allen is no anomalous gadfly buzzing at the periphery, but rather a determined activist who has unified an ad hoc, semi-cohesive army of independent pro-Israel and pro-Jewish defenders that have changed and continued to change the Jewish communal landscape, writes JNS.org reporter Edwin Black. 

For most students, the dog days of August are one final chance for summer traditions such as hitting the beach or visiting national parks with their family before heading back to campus. For dozens of pro-Israel college students, however, learning about ways to combat increasing campus anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism was their focus during summer’s final weeks.

For the first time, the U.S. State Department has explicitly accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of promoting anti-Semitism, a signal Jewish groups are hoping will lead to change in U.S. policy.

In early August Israeli media reported that the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has launched outreach to an estimated 300,000 eligible American voters living in Israel. The Trump campaign is working with the Israel branch of Republicans Overseas, an organization that works to reach American citizens abroad who can vote via absentee ballot. JNS.org asks, could votes by Americans in Israel affect the presidential election’s outcome?

Israeli water experts believe by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. In Israel’s Negev Desert, which has long been plagued with water challenges, a team of 80 scientists and 250 graduate students are working on ways to tackle the problem using cutting-edge science in partnership with academics around the world, writes JNS.org reporter Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman. 

On Aug. 7, a Palestinian terrorist hurled a bomb at the Tomb of Rachel, near Bethlehem. By some miracle, the bomb failed to explode. But if it had ignited, and worshippers were harmed, how would the world have responded? Many people don't realize but there is actually a full-time U.S. government official whose only job is to monitor and protest against anti-Jewish attacks around the world. His name is Ira Forman. But so far, there has been no word from Forman's office regarding the Palestinian bomb attack on the Tomb of Rachel. JNS.org contributor Stephen Flatow asks: where is the condemnation and outrage?

Several of the country’s most prominent pro-Israel groups participated in the first Israel Today Symposium designed to educate the Dallas, TX community on understanding the complex issues Israel faces, writes JNS.org Editorial Assistant Shalle' McDonald. 

More than 11,000 world athletes have converged on Brazil’s second largest city, Rio de Janeiro, for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which began on Aug. 5. Despite the problems that led up to the games, such as Rio’s issues with pollution and crime, and the threat of the Zika virus, many have also hailed the games as bringing forth an Olympic spirit of peace and friendly competition during a time of global stress and conflict. Yet, before and shortly after the games began, athlete delegations from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia had already violated this spirit by bringing their respective countries’ ongoing conflict with Israel to the Rio games.

A Palestinian who offered assistance at the scene of a July 1 terrorist attack in Israel, in which a rabbi was killed, has been dismissed from his public service job in the Palestinian Authority.

At 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighing around 150 pounds, 26-year-old optimistic and powerful blonde Ilana Kratysh will become the first-ever Israeli woman to compete in the wrestling events at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, which began Aug. 5. On Aug. 17 she will fight for the gold in the under 69-kilogram category. Ahead of the games, JNS reporter Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman spoke with Kratysh as she seeks to make history for her country and bring home the gold.