The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
The ultra-conservative Noam party holds an election campaign launch event in Jerusalem Tuesday night, with its leading lights denouncing the “poison” and “destruction” wrought by “postmodern culture” in a war against everything that is holy.
The Noam party, which is part of the far-right Religious Zionism Knesset faction, is fiercely opposed to LGBT rights and rails against what it says are efforts to undermine Jewish identity and nationhood in Israel.
Rabbi Tzvi Tau, president of the radical Har Hamor yeshiva and Noam’s spiritual leader, says at the conference that the forces of postmodernism “corrupts the nature of life, humanity, and basic biological mental health which is the platform for living a life of holiness,” and put humanity itself “at the edge of the abyss.”
Noam’s lone MK Avi Maoz declares that the party and its supporters are in “an obligatory war for the soul of our beloved country” and notes that in Jewish law “everyone is obliged to go out to fight, everyone is conscripted.”
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman has written to the heads of the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Union’s commissioner for competition to ask them to take steps to help increase import competition in Israel and lower consumer costs.
Channel 12 airs details of a letter sent to the two officials, in which Liberman says restrictive deals between American and European manufacturers and official Israeli importers make it difficult for parallel importers to bring in products.
“Additionally,” he says, “Israeli importers have occasionally been subjected to unfair pricing and distribution practices,” contributing to higher product costs.
These issues, he says, have discouraged competition in Israel and disadvantaged Israeli consumers.
He asks the officials to work together to encourage greater competition on Israeli imports for the benefit of Israeli consumers.
Younger MKs secure top spots in Labor’s primary, while ministers Omer Barlev and Nachman Shai will likely be bumped from the 25th Knesset.
Lawmakers Naama Lazimi, Gilad Kariv, Efrat Rayten, Ram Shefa, and Emilie Moatti clinch the second-through-sixth spots behind Labor party leader Merav Michaeli.
Placing seventh on the list, newcomer Yaya Fink wins the highest spot for a new candidate. Labor is currently polling at between five and six seats, placing him within striking range of a seat if Labor’s position improves.
Ibtisam Mara’ana, a sometimes controversial MK who held the seventh spot on the 2021 slate, has fallen to eighth place.
A number of Hebrew media outlets, citing unnamed Israeli diplomatic officials, report that Jerusalem believes Iran is unlikely to agree to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
An official tells Ynet anonymously that European expressions of optimism in recent days were “manufactured optimism intended to pressure the Iranians to make a decision, but the Iranians don’t want to accept the deal as it is.”
An unnamed source tells Haaretz: “There’s no strategic change for the Iranians… It will be very difficult for them to accept a deal that is not a significant improvement [from their perspective] on the original accord.”
The source added that while some of Iran’s nuclear negotiators are interested in a deal, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is seen as strongly opposed.
A dog belonging to the elite Yamam counterterrorism police unit, killed by Palestinian terrorists this morning, is laid to rest at the unit’s dog cemetery.
The nine-year-old Belgian Malinois, Zili, was killed during a gunbattle in the West Bank city of Nablus, during which three Palestinians were also killed, including Ibrahim Nabulsi, a wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades member.
“The Yamam soldiers paid their last respects to man’s best friend,” police say in a statement.
A senior Ukrainian military official tells The New York Times that Kyiv was behind the blasts at Russia’s Crimea airbase that caused huge explosions there earlier.
He does not say how Ukraine attacked the base.
So far one person is confirmed to have been killed and five wounded in the explosions.
“This was an air base from which planes regularly took off for attacks against our forces in the southern theater,” the official tells the Times.
He adds cryptically that “a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used.”
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 9, 2022
????Better footage of nothing happening in Crimea. pic.twitter.com/Yz9WfeVzyW
— Captain Black Sea (@CaptainBlackSe1) August 9, 2022
Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the biggest stars of the left and a fierce critic of Israel, is facing a challenge from the center in her congressional primary in Minnesota today.
Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels’ north Minneapolis base suffers from more violent crime than other parts of the city, and the moderate Democrat helped defeat a ballot question that sought to replace the city police department with a new public safety unit.
Omar has defended calls to redirect public safety funding more into community-based programs. The congresswoman, who crushed a similar primary challenge two years ago from a well-funded but lesser-known opponent than Samuels, has said she expects to win easily.
A Turkish drone strike has killed at least four people in a northeast Syrian city held by Kurdish forces, the latest in a flurry of attacks, a war monitor says.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the attack struck near a hospital in Qamishli, the de facto capital of a semi-autonomous Kurdish administration that runs large parts of the country’s northeast.
The four victims, all affiliated with the administration, were killed while they dug trenches near Turkey’s border in anticipation of a new offensive that Ankara has threatened to launch since May, the monitor says.
Ammunition detonated at an airfield in Moscow-annexed Crimea earlier but there were no victims, the Russian defense ministry says.
The blasts at the Saki airfield took place on the 167th day of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.
“Several aviation munitions detonated” near the settlement of Novofyodorovka, the defense ministry says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies. “As a result of the explosion, no one was hurt.”
The Russian defense ministry says it is looking to establish the reason for the explosions but indicates that the airfield was not targeted in an attack.
According to dramatic footage on social media, vactioners left the local beach in panic as large plumes of black smoke billowed into the sky. Cars rushed to leave Novofyodorovka, as ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
Congratulations to ???????? for striking Crimea for the first time.
They hit something highly explosive at the Saki Airbase.
The secondary explosion could be seen from miles away.
Probably a Tochka-U strike as Saki is nearly 200 km from the front. pic.twitter.com/ZjW2WUmRZu
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) August 9, 2022
Police publish headcam footage of the Yamam counterterrorism unit operation in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning.
Amid the raid, three armed Palestinians, including Ibrahim Nabulsi, a wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operative, were killed.
The footage shows troops surrounding the home and launching missiles at it.
In the first few seconds of the video, Zili, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, can be seen in his last moments. The Yamam canine was killed by the gunmen.
Police publish headcam footage of the Yamam operation in Nablus this morning, during which three Palestinians were killed, including Ibrahim Nablusi, a wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operative pic.twitter.com/VcchjhtOty
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 9, 2022
A Palestinian teen has been killed as a result of clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, according to media reports.
The clashes are ongoing. Earlier, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 17-year-old Moamen Yassin Jaber was critically hurt by live gunfire that hit his chest.
Palestinian media reports say the teen succumbed to his injuries a short while ago.
Israeli website-building platform Wix has announced it is firing some 100 employees, amid a wave of layoffs in the usually lucrative tech sector.
Some of the workers being let go are abroad, but many are in Israel.
Dozens of Israeli workers are also being let go from Kaltura, a New York-based cloud video company.
The country’s most successful sector has lost thousands of workers in recent months amid the global economic downturn.
With high salaries and exorbitant perks, Israel’s tech sector has been breaking records in recent years, though some observers have warned of a bubble in the market, given the investment frenzy and the sky-high valuations.
Iran says it has received first telemetry data from its newly launched Khayyam satellite.
The purpose of Khayyam is to “monitor the country’s borders,” enhance agricultural productivity and monitor water resources and natural disasters, the space agency said.
The Israeli military believes it inflicted “significant” damage on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group during the recent 3-day conflict, destroying infrastructure including a tunnel into Israel described as a “flagship” project and eliminating its top brass.
Read Emanuel Fabian’s full report here.
Russia has announced a freeze on US inspections of its nuclear arsenals under a pivotal arms control treaty, claiming that Western sanctions have hampered similar tours of US facilities by Russian monitors.
The move reflects soaring tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military action in Ukraine and marks the first time the Kremlin halted US inspections under the New START nuclear arms control treaty.
In declaring the freeze on US inspections, the Russian Foreign Ministry says the sanctions on Russian flights imposed by the US and its allies, visa restrictions and other obstacles effectively have made it impossible for Russian military experts to visit US nuclear weapons sites, giving the US “unilateral advantages.”
The Biden administration has no immediate public response to the move.
Several explosions have taken place near a Russian air base in Moscow-annexed Crimea, which is a popular tourist destination, local officials said.
“I can confirm the fact of several explosions in the area of Novofyodorovka. The circumstances are being clarified,” Oleg Kryuchkov, an aide to the Moscow-installed head of Crimea, says on messaging app Telegram.
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) August 9, 2022
Australia’s most populous state takes a major step toward banning Nazi symbols, with the New South Wales Parliament’s lower house passing a bill that would criminalize their display.
The bill must pass the upper chamber to become law.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, in June became the first in Australia to pass a law banning the public display of Nazi swastikas.
Queensland and Tasmania states have foreshadowed similar laws, which would mean half Australia’s eight states and territories and most of the Australian population were banned from displaying Nazi symbols.
The Tnufa bus company has apologized after a driver forced dozens of Palestinian laborers off one of its buses at the demand of a Jewish passenger who boarded the bus.
One of the workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Haaretz daily, said some 50 workers traveling from Tel Aviv toward the settlement of Ariel in order to return to their homes were told by the driver to disembark in Bnei Brak, after one of three Jewish passengers who boarded demanded it.
The company says the passenger in question impersonated a Transportation Ministry official and told the driver Palestinians could no longer travel on the line. The driver said he was threatened by the passenger with the loss of his job if he did not comply.
Tnufa says it has filed a complaint with police and will emphasize to drivers that it is illegal to discriminate among passengers.
Iranian authorities have allowed a French-Iranian academic held in the country for the last three years to take a brief leave from prison, her supporters say.
Fariba Adelkhah has been given a five-day furlough, which can be extended, from Tehran’s Evin prison where she is being held in a case that has raised tensions between Tehran and Paris, a statement from her support group says.
Activists say that at least 20 foreign and dual nationals are being held by Tehran on baseless charges, in a deliberate policy of hostage diplomacy aimed at extracting concessions from the West.
“We are delighted… but can only emphasize that this unacceptable deprivation of liberty is within the framework of a public policy of hostage-taking by Iran,” the supporters add.
Thousands of people take part in the Nablus funerals for three gunmen killed in exchanges of fire with Israeli forces this morning, among them terrorist Ibrahim Nabulsi of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Mourners chant, fire into the air and call “God is Great” as they lead the bodies to burial.
— Palestine News 24/7 (@PaliNewsBot) August 9, 2022
Israeli officials said Nabulsi was part of a squad that had committed several shooting attacks against soldiers and civilians in the West Bank earlier this year. He and other gunmen fired at the troops as they came to arrest him.
The Israel Airports Authority has announced a pilot program to allow Palestinians to fly abroad through Israel’s Ramon Airport, near Eilat.
Flights to Turkey will run twice a week, in coordination with COGAT, Israel’s liaison to the Palestinians, which will facilitate the passengers’ travel between the West Bank and Ramon airport by bus.
Until now, Palestinians wishing to travel abroad were able to do so only via Jordan.
Taiwan warns that Chinese military drills aren’t just a rehearsal for an invasion of the self-governing island but also reflect ambitions to control large swaths of the western Pacific, as Taipei conducts its own exercises to underscore it’s ready to defend itself.
Angered by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, China has sent military ships and planes across the midline that separates the two sides in the Taiwan Strait and launched missiles into waters surrounding the island. The drills, which began Thursday, have disrupted flights and shipping in one of the busiest zones for global trade.
Ignoring calls to calm tensions, Beijing instead extended the exercises without announcing when they will end.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says that beyond aiming to annex the island democracy, which split with the mainland amid civil war in 1949, China wants to establish its dominance in the western Pacific. That would include controlling the East and South China Seas via the Taiwan Strait and imposing a blockade to prevent the US and its allies from aiding Taiwan in the event of an attack, he told a news conference in Taipei.
The Kremlin says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposal to ban all Russians from Western countries went off the charts and is seen “extremely negatively” in Moscow.
The Ukrainian leader told The Washington Post current Western sanctions against Moscow were too weak, adding the West should close its borders against Russians.
“The irrationality of thinking in this case is off the charts,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters.
“This can only be viewed extremely negatively. Any attempt to isolate Russians or Russia is a process that has no prospects,” Peskov adds.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims mark the festival of Ashura in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala, the burial place of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.
The emotional event commemorates the 7th century battlefield martyrdom of Hussein, whom Shiites view as the rightful successor to the Prophet Mohammed, the issue at the heart of a schism with Sunni Islam.
To mourn his death in the year 680, Shiite worshipers wearing black cry and beat their chests in unison and some flagellate themselves with swords and knife-edged chains.
Shiites represent more than 10 percent of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, and Ashura is marked by millions of people from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iran and Lebanon.
The Israel Defense Forces’ commander in Nablus says the military “will not allow sanctuary cities” for terrorists in the West Bank.
Samaria Regional Brigade Commander Roy Zweig adds: “We will get to every terrorist and go anywhere we need to.”
He speaks after a morning raid in Nablus saw three Palestinian gunmen killed, including a wanted terrorist who was responsible for several shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank, according to the military.
I'm proud to cover Israeli arts and culture for The Times of Israel. My beat shows 'the other side' of life here, with inspiring artists of all stripes -- musicians, painters and writers, chefs and winemakers, filmmakers and screenwriters.
Israelis' creative spirit somehow thrives despite all the obstacles this tiny nation has faced. I'm privileged to share these fascinating stories with ToI readers and listeners, increasing your awareness of the remarkably vibrant Israeli arts community.
Your support, through The Times of Israel Community, helps us to continue providing surprising, impressive stories like mine to readers around the world. Will you join our Community today?
Jessica Steinberg, Arts & Culture Editor
We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month.
That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago - to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.
So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.
For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel