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Sun. February 1, 2015 EDITOR'S PICKS :  
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Lead Story in Context
Issue: Israel's Jewish Identity. What Does it Mean?
MidEast Week
PA: Made "Generous" Offer; Israel: "Bring it to the Table"
Jews Killed in Paris Attack Buried in Israel
Islamic State Continues to Gain Ground in Syria
Walking Through 2000 Years of Jewish History in Jerusalem
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More Shekels for Your Dollar
Hizbullah Threatens Revenge After Israeli Attack
Libya is Mired in Chaos
Israeli Supreme Court Stops Barrier Through Battir
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Palestinians Try to Stop Israeli Barrier Near Monastery
by Linda Gradstein on Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plans to Appeal to the Pope Beit Jala, West Bank – Representatives from 22 European Union member states converged on the Silesian Sisters Convent on the edge of this West Bank town, to protest Israel’s plan to extend the controversial barrier that Israel is building in and around the West Bank through this area. “The fact that we are all here is a message that the European Union (EU) is united in expressing its concern over the impact the.....

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Two Israeli Soldiers and UN Peacekeeper Killed Near Lebanese Border
by Justin Salhani on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hizbullah Says Attack in Retaliation for Israel’s Killing of Six Gunmen At least two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven others wounded, several seriously, when a Hizbullah anti-tank missile hit the unarmored vehicle they were traveling in. A Spanish UN peacekeeper was also killed, apparently from an Israeli air strike on south Lebanon after the Hizbullah attack. Lebanese security officials said Israel fired 25 artillery shells into Lebanon after the soldiers were killed. Hizbullah claimed responsibility for the attack.....

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More Shekels for Your Dollar
by Linda Gradstein on Monday, January 26, 2015

Shekel Depreciation Good for Israeli Exports It’s a good time for American tourists to visit Israel – flights, especially those going through Ukraine or Moscow cost less than $500 round-trip. Once you get here, everything from falafel to T-shirts are cheap, thanks to an exchange rate of four shekels per dollar, up from 3.5 just a few months ago. “Until now, a strong shekel has made Israeli exports less competitive overseas,” David Rosenberg, the business editor at the Ha’aretz.....

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Downfall of Yemen Transition Government Opens Way for Rival Islamists
by Mohammed Ali Kalfood on Sunday, January 25, 2015

Al-Qa’ida and ISIS already seen to be benefiting from Yemeni crisis [Sana’a] -- The resignation of Yemen’s interim president and government could suggest a dramatic end to three-years of peaceful political transition of power and portend a sadly predictable future as the Shi’ite Houthi group, which has recently intensified its rivalry with the Sunni Al-Qa’ida, is now seeking to form a military or presidential council to preside over the country. The resignation was submitted last week, two days after.....

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Palestinian Christians Call for Peaceful Solution to Conflict
by Linda Gradstein on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Say Anger, Depression Increasing Among Palestinians Palestinian Christians warn that the current situation of no-war and no-peace with Israel is not sustainable in the long term, and say they want to see a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been frozen for more than a year. Most Palestinians say they support non-violent resistance to achieve an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem next to Israel. The Palestinian Authority has recently joined several United Nations.....

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Can the EU Help Solve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
by Linda Gradstein on Thursday, January 22, 2015

Some Say the EU Perpetuates Conflict The United Nations General Assembly is holding the first – ever special session to address the global outbreak of anti-Semitism. The session, planned before the recent attack on a Jewish supermarket in France, are being sponsored by 37 member states including the US, Canada, Australia, and all of the members of the European Union. “It says a lot that so many countries have partnered with Israel to raise this issue of anti-Semitism to.....

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Turkey’s Border Unlikely to Close to Jihadists and Terrorists
by Nick Ashdown on Monday, January 19, 2015

Although Ankara’s willingness questioned, practical issues prevent tight control Paris terror suspect Hayat Boumedienne’s recent escape from France to Syria has renewed concern about Turkey’s ability and willingness to prevent terrorists from transiting through its territory. Boumedienne is the romantic partner and alleged accomplice of Amedy Coulibaly, who was shot dead by police after killing four people in a kosher supermarket and shooting a police officer in Paris on January 9. Airport footage shows Boumedienne’s arrival from Madrid to.....

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Freedom of Expression Under Attack in Egypt
by Linda Gradstein on Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jail Time for Atheists and Gays Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird is in Cairo this week trying to win the release of Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Fahmy is one of three journalists from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network who were sentenced for 7-10 years for allegedly spreading lies to help a “terrorist organization,” meaning the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed in Egypt. The Al-Jazeera case probably has more to do with tensions between Egypt and Qatar than with journalism......

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Distinction between the Lebanese Army and Hizbullah Fading
by Justin Salhani on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Washington apparently unconcerned when sending arms to the army   [Beirut] -- Murky links between the upper echelons of Lebanese Army Intelligence and the twin incarnations of Hizbullah -- a political persona and a fighting force -- have drawn criticism from sectors of Lebanon’s political and civilian class.   The two bodies have long coordinated their operations, but purported sympathies between the two parties, shakeups in the army’s personnel after the civil war’s conclusion in 1990, and recent history muddies the.....

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Women Win Big in Labor Primaries
by Linda Gradstein on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hope to Attract Younger, Socially- Conscious Voters The center-left Labor party, which recently announced a joint list with former Justice Minister Tzippi Livni’s Hatnuah party, announced the results of party primaries today, with women taking four of the top ten spots. After party leader Yitzhak Herzog and Livni, number three on the list is former Labor party leader Shelly Yachimovich, followed by Stav Shaffir, a young Knesset member who was one of leaders of Israel’s social protest movement.....

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