The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.
Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar will reportedly allow reserves pilots who stopped reporting for duty in protest of the government’s judicial overhaul to return until October 17, after which they may be considered unfit to continue flying and face dismissal from the military.
According to Channel 13, the October 17 date was chosen because of a large joint exercise the IAF is holding with the US Air Force. On that date, all squadron commanders will be required to present the preparedness levels of their pilots and a decision will be made about those considered unfit.
After the government passed its first major piece of overhaul legislation, barring the court from striking down cabinet decisions based on the reasonableness doctrine, hundreds of pilots announced that they would suspend their volunteer reserve duty in protest. Officials have warned the move by the pilots and other senior reservists could seriously hurt Israel’s preparedness for war.
The Yesh Din rights group says settlers are currently attacking Palestinians in the northern West Bank village of Kusra.
Several Palestinian vehicles and a chicken coop have been damaged by stones thrown by settlers, according to photos released by Yesh Din.
Palestinians trying to block the settlers were pushed back by the IDF, which fired teargas at the Kusra residents, Yesh Din says, adding that several people have apparently been injured.
The IDF says it responded to a violent clash between settlers and Palestinians, confirms that a Palestinian vehicle had been damaged and adds that it fired in the air to disperse the clash.
Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi and Knesset Economy Committee chairman David Bitan have landed in Saudi Arabia, leading an Israeli delegation to the Universal Postal Union’s 2023 Extraordinary Congress.
Karhi is the second minister to publicly visit Saudi Arabia and Bitan is the first Knesset representative to do so.
Karhi and Bitan’s delegation has a total of 14 members in it.
Karhi will be giving a speech at the conference and meeting with US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Michael Ratney along with other global figures, his office says.
Karhi also received an invitation to visit the Sukkah of Mohammed Saud, a Likud activist in Riyadh, the communications minister says.
A football match between Saudi and Iranian teams has been canceled amid a dust-up over a statue of slain Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, a club source tells AFP.
The match between Sepahan FC and Al Ittihad FC set to take place in the Iranian city of Isfahan “has been canceled due to unanticipated and unforeseen circumstances,” the AFC Champions League says in a statement, without elaborating.
However, an official with Saudi side Al Ittihad says a dispute arose after club administrators objected to a bust of Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in 2020.
“The club administrators found a bust of Qasem Soleimani in the walkway to the pitch. It’s a pure football game and [the bust’s] presence is totally irrelevant,” the official says.
“We asked them to remove it before going to the pre-game warm-up and they didn’t remove it. The team went back to the lockers.”
The official says the two sides then met with AFC representatives to determine if the match would be rescheduled.
Soleimani commanded the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and remains a revered figure in Iran following his 2020 assassination.
The Iranian news agency ISNA reports that the match had been canceled “by the decision of the referee,” without giving a reason.
“We will prepare our complaint about this incident and present it to the Asian Football Confederation,” the agency says.
The dispute comes one month after Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a “groundbreaking” deal to resume home-and-away football matches between club sides after seven years of competing in neutral venues.
That agreement was the latest sign of rapprochement stemming from a surprise China-brokered deal announced in March that saw the long-time rivals agree to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their respective embassies following a seven-year rupture.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi club Al Nassr played a match in Tehran on September 19, the first time a Saudi club had played in Iran since 2016.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announces his candidacy for a third term in office, ahead of December elections he is widely expected to win.
“As I have responded to the people’s call before, I heed the call now and announce my intention to run and complete the dream in a new presidential term,” Sissi, 68, tells a cheering crowd in Egypt’s new capital — the crowning jewel of a megaproject in the desert east of Cairo.
State-aligned television showed thousands of people celebrating the announcement in ready-built stages across the country.
Earlier on Monday, rallies were held in Cairo calling for Sissi to declare his candidacy.
Sissi urges Egyptians to head to the polls on December 10-12 “even if not to vote for me.”
The president, whose security forces have been accused of harassing and detaining opponents, applauds other candidates and hails “a real beginning to vibrant political life full of pluralism.”
A year after deposing Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Sissi won 96 percent of the vote in 2014.
Four years later, he scored a 97-percent victory against one of his own supporters, after more prominent candidates were sidelined or arrested.
This time, as Egyptians grow increasingly frustrated with an unrelenting economic crisis, presidential hopefuls have emerged from the woodwork of an opposition decimated by Sissi’s decade-long crackdown on dissent.
A handful of party leaders have said they had already gathered the necessary 20 nominations from parliament.
Another challenger, former parliamentarian Ahmed al-Tantawi, has been trying to rally popular support on the campaign trail.
Without parliamentary backing, the 44-year-old will need to collect 25,000 nominations from Egyptians across at least 15 governorates by October 14 to be eligible.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah weighs in for the first time on the ongoing US effort to broker a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
In a speech commemorating the anniversary of the Muslim prophet Muhammed’s birth, Nasrallah says the entire Muslim world “must bear responsibility for what is happening to the Palestinian people and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
But instead of aligning with the Palestinian people, some countries are aiming to normalize ties with Israel, Nasrallah laments.
“We must condemn any country that might sign a normalization agreement,” he adds.
Interior Minister Moshe Arbel’s office denies having hired former Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi as an adviser amid a pair of reports claiming as much.
Channel 14 reported yesterday that Rinawie Zoabi has been participating in meetings with Arab municipal officials, presenting herself as an adviser to Arbel. Arbel’s office told the network that they never hired her, and Zoabi did not respond to Channel 14’s request for comment.
This evening, Channel 12 reports that Zoabi has actually been appointed as an Interior Ministry adviser for municipal affairs, filling a position located in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Arbel’s office says it was not contacted for comment, and the report did not cite a source or include a response from Zoabi.
Arbel’s office told this reporter yesterday that Zoabi is not employed in any way by the Interior Ministry, and neither does she work for the ministry as an outside consultant.
In July, Zoabi posted a photograph showing her alongside Arbel during what she said was a tour of hospitals. She said Arbel, who also serves as minister of health, had invited her on the tour.
شاركت اليوم وبدعوة من وزير الصحة السيد موشي أربل بجولة في مستشفيات الناصرة حيث عرضت ادارات المستشفيات أمامه الاحتياجات…
Zoabi helped cause the break-up of the previous unity government last year after voting against extending the application of Israeli criminal law to West Bank settlements.
200 anti-overhaul activists demonstrate outside Golan Heights resort village where Netanyahus vacationing
Some 200 anti-judicial overhaul activists are currently protesting in the Golan Heights resort village of Neve Ativ where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are vacationing for the Sukkot holiday.
מפגינים בנוה אטי"ב, המחאה ממשיכה
קרדיט: בעז ברדוש pic.twitter.com/VphLFJgpJ2
— דמוקרטTV (@Democrat_TV) October 2, 2023
Beitar Jerusalem fans are filmed singing “Death to Arabs” and other racist slogans while taking the Jerusalem Light Rail to tonight’s soccer match.
The supporters of the soccer team known for its extremist fanbase are sharing a light rail car with Arab passengers, Army Radio says.
— נועה ברנס Noa Baranes (@noabaranes10) October 2, 2023
The World Health Organization says that its experts have recommended a second malaria vaccine for children, R21/Matrix-M, developed by Britain’s Oxford University.
The R21/Matrix-M vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and has already been approved for use in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria.
“As a malaria researcher, I used to dream of the day we would have a safe and effective vaccine against malaria. Now we have two,” says WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In 2021, the RTS,S vaccine, produced by British pharmaceutical giant GSK, became the first to be recommended by the WHO to prevent malaria in children in areas with moderate to high malaria transmission.
The WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, says the new vaccine held great potential for the continent by helping to close the huge demand-and-supply gap.
“Delivered to scale and rolled out widely, the two vaccines can help bolster malaria prevention and control efforts and save hundreds of thousands of young lives in Africa from this deadly disease,” she says.
The European Union signals its long-term support for Ukraine, as its foreign ministers convened in Kyiv for a historic first gathering beyond the bloc’s borders.
The meeting came as disagreements grow among EU members over support for Ukraine and as Kyiv’s forces make limited gains in a high-stakes counteroffensive against Russian troops in the south and east of the country.
“We are convening in a historic meeting of the EU foreign ministers here in Ukraine, candidate country and future member of the EU,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says in a statement.
The purpose of the meeting was to “express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people,” he says, acknowledging that the gathering “does not have the aim of reaching concrete conclusions and decisions.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tells the ministers that the length of the war, now in its twentieth month, will depend entirely on the support Ukraine receives from its allies.
“Our victory directly depends on our cooperation: the more strong and principled steps we take together, the sooner this war will end,” Zelensky says in a statement.
To bring about a speedy end to fighting, he urges the EU to expand its sanctions regime on Russia and Iran, which has supplied attack drones for Russian forces.
And he also calls for the “acceleration” of work by the bloc to direct “frozen Russian assets to finance the restoration of war-torn Ukraine.”
The EU’s 27 nations have remained broadly united through the war on their support for Ukraine, hitting Russia with 11 rounds of sanctions and spending billions of euros on arms for Kyiv.
Orthodox Jews are filmed spitting at Christian tourists in the Old City of Jerusalem in the latest incident of harassment targeting the religious minority.
Israel’s official spokespeople and social media accounts go out of their way to emphasize Israel’s freedom of worship and to portray the Jewish state as the only safe home for Christians in a hostile Middle East.
The picture of safe coexistence painted by Israeli officials is starkly at odds with the experiences Jerusalem’s Christian leaders themselves describe. While they readily acknowledge that there is no organized or governmental effort against them, Christian clergy in the Old City tell of a deteriorating atmosphere of harassment, apathy from authorities, and a growing fear that incidents of spitting and vandalism could turn into violence against their persons.
Jewish settlers celebrating the Sukkot holiday spits on a group of Christians after they met in the old city of Jerusalem. Jewish supremacy at its finest.
— ???????????????????? (@tiredpali) October 2, 2023
Ukraine reacts angrily to a social media post by billionaire Elon Musk that made fun of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s repeated calls for Western military and financial aid to fight Russian forces.
Musk has provided Ukraine with Starlink satellite services that have been vital to the Ukrainian army, but some have criticized his statements on the war with Russia.
Musk owns the social media platform X — formerly known as Twitter — where he posted a meme of Zelensky earlier Monday.
The caption read: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.”
“Any silence or irony towards Ukraine today is a direct encouragement of Russian propaganda that justifies mass violence and destruction,” presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak answers on X.
Ukraine’s parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk also slams the post while mocking Musk’s attempt to “conquer space,” after his SpaceX starship blew up shortly after blasting off in April.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2023
Stefanchuk says the attempt failed in five minutes and left the billionaire up to his eyeballs in problems.
Ukraine has praised Musk for deploying the Starlink satellites that became a key battlefield tool, helping soldiers communicate in areas where telecommunications are down.
But Musk also admitted he prevented Kyiv from wiping out Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet last year by denying Starlink internet access for the attack.
He also previously angered Ukraine by proposing that Kyiv give up territorial claims in exchange for peace.
Former US president Donald Trump denounces the civil fraud case over his business practices as a politically motivated “scam” as he arrives defiantly for a trial in the lawsuit, which could cost him control of Trump Tower and other prized properties.
“This is a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time,” he says as he makes a voluntary trip to a New York court for a trial that has high stakes for him.
“It’s a scam. It’s a sham,” the Republican says, reiterating claims that the suit is a politically motivated attempt to thwart his return to the White House.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit accuses Trump and his company of deceiving banks, insurers and others by habitually lying about his wealth in financial statements.
Judge Arthur Engoron already has ruled that Trump committed fraud in his business dealings. It is a non-jury trial, so Engoron will decide on six other claims in the lawsuit.
The Palestinian security prisoner with whom at least five female soldiers serving as prison guards were suspected of having intimate relationships at a prison in southern Israel was identified on Monday as Mazen Al-Qaadi, a 43-year-old convicted terrorist who was involved in a 2002 shooting and stabbing attack in Tel Aviv that killed three Israelis.
Qaadi, from the Ramallah suburb of al-Bireh, is affiliated with Fatah (formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement), headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to newly revealed details published by Hebrew-language media. He was convicted of aiding the terrorist who carried out the March 5, 2002 attack at the Sea Food Market on Menachem Begin Boulevard in Tel Aviv in which three were killed and 35 were injured.
Qaadi was one of the drivers. He was arrested later that same month and sentenced to life in prison.
Yesh Atid announces that elections for party leadership will be held in December for the first time in the centrist faction’s history.
The party intended to hold elections last year, but they were canceled when Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid’s leader since its founding in 2012, ended up being the only candidate running.
This time around, the former prime minister is expected to face off against Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, who has said on multiple occasions since last year’s election that he intends to challenge Lapid’s chairmanship if primaries are held.
Ben Barak served in the previous Knesset as chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Prior to entering politics in 2019, he was deputy head of the Mossad.
The United States Postal Service has released a new series of Forever stamps honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Jewish Supreme Court justice and liberal icon who died in 2020.
The stamp, which became available for purchase on Monday, shows Ginsburg wearing her black judge’s robe and signature white collar. It was announced last year as part of the postal service’s 2023 lineup of new stamps, reflecting a jump on the service’s standard timeline for honoring deceased people.
The stamp’s release comes three years and two weeks after Ginsburg’s death at 87, after 27 years on the Supreme Court. Her death, from pancreatic cancer, came on the eve of Rosh Hashanah at a time of intense political polarization — which deepened as then-US president Donald Trump pushed through a conservative replacement despite a looming presidential election.
“Honor an icon of American culture with this new Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp,” the USPS says on its website. It says about Ginsburg: “She began her career as an activist lawyer fighting gender discrimination. She went on to become a judge who was unafraid to disagree with her colleagues. Ginsburg gained a reputation as a respected voice for equal justice.”
The RBG stamp costs $.66 but will hold its value over time as part of the Forever series. The portrait was drawn by Michael Deas, who has painted dozens of stamps, under the direction of the USPS’ Jewish art director, Ethel Kessler. The stamp will be celebrated at an official unveiling Monday evening at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The US Postal Service’s special edition stamps commemorating notable Americans have included many Jews, including the physicist Richard Feynman in 2005, cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg in 1995 and, in 1991, comedian Fanny Brice, the inspiration for the musical “Funny Girl.” The series in which Brice appeared was drawn by the Jewish illustrator Al Hirschfeld. Last year, the service released a special-edition stamp featuring the Jewish poet Shel Silverstein.
The USPS has also offered a range of Hanukkah stamps and is planning a new one, its ninth since 1966, for later this year. The new stamp was drawn by Jeanette Kuvin Oren, a Jewish artist who also designs ritual objects for home and synagogue use.
Work has started on turning the house in Austria where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 into a police station, a project meant to make it unattractive as a site of pilgrimage for people who glorify the Nazi dictator.
The decision on the future of the building in Braunau am Inn, a town on Austria’s border with Germany, was made in late 2019. Plans call for a police station, the district police headquarters and a security academy branch where police officers will get human rights training.
Workers are putting up fencing and started taking measurements for the construction work. The police are expected to occupy the premises in early 2026.
A years-long back-and-forth over the ownership of the house preceded the overhaul project. The question was resolved in 2017 when Austria’s highest court ruled that the government was within its rights to expropriate the building after its owner refused to sell it. A suggestion it might be demolished was dropped.
The building had been rented by Austria’s Interior Ministry since 1972 to prevent its misuse, and was sublet to various charitable organizations. It stood empty after a care center for adults with disabilities moved out in 2011.
The Austrian government argues that having the police, as the guardians of civil liberties, move in is the best use for the building. But there has been criticism of the plan.
Historian Florian Kotanko complains that “there is a total lack of historical contextualization.” He argued that the Interior Ministry’s intention of removing the building’s “recognition factor” by remodeling it “is impossible to accomplish.”
“Demystification should be a key part,” he adds, arguing in favor of a suggestion that an exhibition on people who saved Jews under Nazi rule should be shown in the building.
A 50-year-old man is in serious condition after almost drowning off the coast of Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach.
He was treated by medics at the scene before being rushed to a nearby hospital.
Five foreign tourists entered Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus illegally and had to be extracted by Palestinian Authority police after they were attacked by an angry mob.
One of the tourists was lightly injured after being hit by stones hurled by Palestinians.
Israelis regularly enter Joseph’s Tomb — located in PA-controlled Area A of the West Bank, which is off limits to Israeli civilians — in controversial overnight visits that are coordinated with the army, but today’s entrance was uncoordinated.
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