search
Live updates (closed)

Medical residents end resignation threat, say deal reached after Lapid intervenes

Lapid, visiting Germany, involved in talks to end dispute; said to order Treasury to allocate NIS 66 million to help reduce shifts of trainee doctors from 26 to 16 hours.

Dr. Rey Biton (center), head of the Mirsham organization of medical residents, holds a press conference alongside other residents in Tel Aviv on August 25, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Dr. Rey Biton (center), head of the Mirsham organization of medical residents, holds a press conference alongside other residents in Tel Aviv on August 25, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.

Kushner laments Biden failure to bring more countries into the Abraham Accords

Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a Washington event marking the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords on September 12, 2022. (Screen capture/YouTube, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a Washington event marking the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords on September 12, 2022. (Screen capture/YouTube, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner laments the Biden administration’s failure to coax additional countries to join the Abraham Accords that he helped negotiate in 2020.

“I think the biggest disappointment so far is that more countries haven’t been brought into it,” Kushner says at a Washington event marking the two-year anniversary of the agreements hosted by his Abraham Accords Peace Institute and the pro-Trump American First Policy Institute.

Kushner then reveals that before he left office, “I think that we had about six active discussions going on” with other prospective Abraham Accords countries. The US had negotiated normalization deals between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco at that point. US officials told The Times of Israel in January 2021 that the Trump administration had been closing in on agreements with Mauritania and Indonesia to be the next Muslim countries to normalize relations with Israel, but ran out of time before the Republican president’s term ended.

“I think that there’s a lot more to build on. But I do hope that the current administration will focus on that and work to do that because once the whole Arab Israeli conflict is over, I think that you will have an era of prosperity and peacefulness in that region that will endure for a very, very long time,” Kushner says.

Biden officials have embraced the Trump initiative, but have also expressed discomfort with some of the methods used by the previous administration to negotiate the accords, namely the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE and the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region.

Still, they have worked to strengthen the existing normalization agreements, hosting multilateral forums with Abraham Accords members and expanding them to include US allies as well. Biden has also managed to convince Saudi Arabia to open its airspace to more flights to and from Israel, in a step Washington and Jerusalem hope will bring Riyadh closer to normalizing ties with the Jewish state. Saudi Arabia has rejected the notion that the move is a precursor to normalization though.

Medical residents end resignation threat, say deal reached after Lapid intervenes

Dr. Rey Biton (center), head of the Mirsham organization of medical residents, holds a press conference alongside other residents in Tel Aviv on August 25, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Dr. Rey Biton (center), head of the Mirsham organization of medical residents, holds a press conference alongside other residents in Tel Aviv on August 25, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Medical residents threatening mass resignation over their work conditions say they have reached a deal, after Prime Minister Yair Lapid intervened.

Mirsham, which represents medical residents in Israel, has been lobbying the Health Ministry to reduce shifts from 26 hours to 16-18, saying that the long shifts are a danger to both the medical professionals and the patients.

Dr. Rey Biton, who is leading the strike, says Lapid spoke to her from Germany where he is visiting.

“Today, we have advanced dozens of steps forward. We have brought a great achievement,” she says.

Sources traveling with Lapid say that despite being in Berlin, he was involved in helping to resolve the dispute and that the residents will begin shorter shifts from September 23.

Reports say he ordered the finance ministry to allocate NIS 66 million to finance the move.

Meeting Palestinian community, GOP Illinois governor candidate indicates opposition to anti-BDS laws

Republican candidate for governor in Illinois Darren Bailey speaks at the Palestinian American Club in Bridgeview, Illinois, on September 10, 2020. (Palestine TV/Facebook, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Republican candidate for governor in Illinois Darren Bailey speaks at the Palestinian American Club in Bridgeview, Illinois, on September 10, 2020. (Palestine TV/Facebook, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Republican candidate for governor in Illinois met recently with a representatives of a local Palestinian community and indicated that he opposes legislation passed in the state that targets those who engage in boycotts of Israel.

Darren Bailey was hosted at the Palestinian American Club in Bridgeview, Illinois, and spoke in an auditorium where a map of Palestine and a Palestinian flag hung behind him.

In a short recording obtained by The Times of Israel, Bailey was asked for his opinion on the controversial legislation, which has been passed in dozens of states across the US. He appeared to be unfamiliar with it and avoided providing an answer.

Supporters of anti-BDS legislation say it targets those who unfairly single out Israel for boycott while opponents argue that it stifles Americans’ right to free speech.

Pressed again for his opinion on the matter during a subsequent interview with Palestine TV, Bailey said, ““I’ll always stand [for] the Constitution and it sounds like some of those values are being stepped on right now.”

“That’s what’s taking place in every aspect of government with this governor of ours,” he continued, referring to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “He doesn’t follow the law, he doesn’t follow the Constitution… The Muslim community, the Arab community will always have a seat with me as we learn together, work together and live together.”

Pritzker does not appear to have taken a public stance on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, but Illinois authorities in December voted to divest state pension funds from Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, which announced earlier in 2021 that it would cease selling its products in the West Bank.

Pritzker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment clarifying his position on the matter.

Unmanned Bezos Blue Origin rocket explodes on take-off

A rocket from Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, after a launch failure on September 12, 2022. (Blue Origin via AP)
A rocket from Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, after a launch failure on September 12, 2022. (Blue Origin via AP)

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company suffers its first launch failure today. No one was aboard, only science experiments.

The Blue Origin rocket blasted off from West Texas and was barely a minute into the flight when bright yellow flames shot out from around the single engine at the bottom. The capsule’s emergency launch abort system immediately kicked in, lifting the craft off the top. Several minutes later, the capsule parachuted onto the remote desert floor.

The rocket crashed back to Earth with no injuries or damage reported, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Although this New Shepard rocket was dedicated to flying experiments, it was the same kind used for launching people on 10-minute rides to the edge of space. The rocket is grounded pending the outcome of an investigation, said the FAA, which is in charge of public safety during commercial space launches and landings.

Mourners told to stop leaving marmalade sandwiches as tribute to queen

Officials in charge of the park outside Buckingham Palace have told people to stop leaving marmalade sandwiches as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II because of the “negative impact on the park’s wildlife.”

Some mourners have left the snacks alongside floral tributes at Buckingham Palace and neighboring Green Park. The sandwiches are a reference to a comedy sketch featuring the queen and an animated Paddington Bear, filmed for the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.

In the video, the queen said that, like Paddington Bear, she also favors marmalade sandwiches and hides them in her purse “for later.”

The Royal Parks organization says people should not leave the snacks, but could leave teddy bears and other items if they wished.

Yisrael Beytenu announces Knesset list with several new faces

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman arrives for cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman arrives for cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Avigdor Liberman announces his Yisrael Beytenu party’s Knesset list, which prioritizes some new voices over sitting lawmakers.

Filling out the five seats behind Liberman are Agriculture Minister Oded Forer, MK Evgeny Sova, and then newcomer Sharon Nir, a reserve brigadier general and a former Israel Defense Forces gender adviser.

Then comes MK Yulia Malinovsky, and Druze politician Hamad Amar, a minister in Liberman’s finance ministry.

Yisrael Beytenu is currently polling at five seats, below the seven it holds in the current Knesset.

Knesset Finance Committee head Alex Kushnir, one of the party’s most active lawmakers, is in the seventh spot and not expected to enter the Knesset unless the party outperforms polling or enters the government and can swap ministers for candidates lower on the list.

Photographer William Klein dies aged 96

US photographer William Klein posing at The Maison Européenne de la Photographie (European Photography Centre) in Paris, on April 15, 2002. (MAXIMILIEN LAMY / AFP/ File)
US photographer William Klein posing at The Maison Européenne de la Photographie (European Photography Centre) in Paris, on April 15, 2002. (MAXIMILIEN LAMY / AFP/ File)

American photographer William Klein, who made his mark with imagery of fashion and urban life, died in Paris on Saturday, aged 96, his son, Pierre Klein, says in a statement.

Klein, whose striking depictions of the restlessness and violence of city life helped revolutionize photography, died “peacefully,” the statement says.

Celebrated as one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Klein also worked in film and fashion.

His death comes as a retrospective of his work draws to a close at New York’s International Center of Photography.

Born into a New York family of ultra-Orthodox Jews in 1926, William Klein grew to love Europe during his military service.

He became a painter after World War II, studying under French artist Fernand Leger, and also had dreams of becoming an architect.

But Klein was inspired by photography after winning his first camera in a poker game, beginning immediately to shoot Paris monuments with the German-made Rolleiflex.

Some of his early almost abstract pictures caught the eye of Vogue artistic director Alexander Liberman, who hired Klein when the photographer was just 26.

Israeli man seriously wounded in clash with Palestinians in West Bank

A man in his 30s is seriously hurt amid a brawl with Palestinians near the settlement of Ma’on in the southern Hebron Hills area of the West Bank, medics say.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says medics are taking the man to Beersheba’s Soroka hospital for treatment. He is currently listed in a stable condition, MDA says.

The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service the man was apparently hit over the head with a hoe.

One victim of Tel Aviv car accident dies of wounds

One of the four people injured in a car accident in central Tel Aviv has died of her wounds, the Ichilov hospital says.

Medics transported the woman, in her 20s, to the hospital in critical condition, while trying to resuscitate her. The hospital says doctors in the trauma center were forced to confirm her death.

The other three wounded are being treated and are in good to moderate condition, the hospital says.

Senior Israeli official: Cautiously optimistic about maritime deal with Lebanon

An Israeli Sa'ar Class 4.5 missile boat guards the Energean floating production, storage and offloading vessel at the Karish gas field, in footage published by the military on July 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
An Israeli Sa'ar Class 4.5 missile boat guards the Energean floating production, storage and offloading vessel at the Karish gas field, in footage published by the military on July 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

A senior Israeli official in the delegation to Berlin says Jerusalem has “especially cautious optimism” that a deal can be reached with Lebanon on a disputed maritime border.

“Both sides are close,” the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Both countries claim an area rich in natural gas, but are still officially at war with each other. The US is mediating talks.

“We have no reason not to want the two gas fields right next to each other,” the official says, hinting at a compromise agreement. “Strengthening Lebanon economically isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

“We will extract from Karish the minute we’re ready. If Hezbollah does something they’ll suffer,” he says referring to the Shiite terror group’s threats to attack if Israel starts extracting gas before a deal is reached. “A terror group won’t decide our foreign policy.”

Senior Israeli official: There is not going to be a nuclear deal

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (left) walks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, September 12, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/ GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid (left) walks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, September 12, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/ GPO)

A senior official traveling with the Israeli delegation in Berlin says there will be no nuclear deal after Israel provided the Europeans proof that Iran was lying during the talks.

“There’s not going to be a JCPOA, say the Americans and most Europeans. They say we have a lot of reservations about the possibility of a nuclear agreement. Everyone has their own excuse,” says a senior official traveling with Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the Europeans, in particular, are afraid that Russia will help Iran evade nuclear sanctions.

“We gave information to the Europeans that proved that the Iranians are lying while talks are still happening. Add to this the fact that the Europeans are more afraid than the Americans that the Russians are a player in this issue, and that the Iranians will have a way to evade sanctions. We of course encouraged this,” the official says.

“It’s time to start a strategic dialogue with the Americans and Europeans about a longer stronger agreement. But what we need now is for the Americans to put a credible military threat (in place,) and everyone to push for a better agreement.”

“We need an agreement without sunset clauses,” the official says.

“There are no talks right now with Iran. There is no one in Vienna. There will be a point at which the schedule will force everyone to say that the talks have ended.״

The official says Israel has succeeded in sidelining US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley in its talks with the US.

“This is out of the hands of Malley’s camp by now. The decisive talks that we are doing with the US are no longer in Malley’s hands,” he says.

4 hurt, one critical, as car slams into pedestrians in central Tel Aviv

Four people are injured, including one in critical condition, after a car ran into pedestrians in Tel Aviv’s Hamedina Square.

Magen David Adom medics are trying to resuscitate one of the injured and treating the other three.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Medics said the driver had gone up onto the sidewalk. Her condition was not immediately clear.

Condemned to ignorance: Bennett slams Netanyahu for reported deal on Haredi schools

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into Nahal Tzafit disaster in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into Nahal Tzafit disaster in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett slams Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu for reportedly promising state funding to ultra-Orthodox schools that don’t teach secular subjects.

Netanyahu is said to have made the promise to ultra-Orthodox parties in a bid to get them to run in a united slate for the upcoming elections, strengthening his chances of returning to power.

Bennett says the move will condemn Haredi schoolchildren to a life of ignorance.

“Transferring vast amounts of funding to schools that refuse to teach English and mathematics will create an entire generation of youths without skills, work or income,” tweets Bennett, who is not running in the upcoming election.

“They have condemned them to ignorance,” Bennett says, warning of the implications for the state.

Jewish scholars among winner of Italy’s prestigious Balzan Prize

Martha Nussbaum is introduced as an honorary degree recipient during Harvard's 371st Commencement, May 26, 2022, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)
Martha Nussbaum is introduced as an honorary degree recipient during Harvard's 371st Commencement, May 26, 2022, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Three Americans are among the winners of this year’s Balzan Prize for their work in the fields of moral philosophy, musicology and biotechnology.

Martha Nussbaum, a philosopher and scholar at the University of Chicago, won for “her transformative reconception of the goals of social justice, both globally and locally,” the Balzan Foundation says in its citation.

Nussbaum, author of more than 20 books, frequently examines emotions and the role they play in moral and political judgments. Her latest book, “Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility,” is scheduled for publication in December.

Another University of Chicago faculty member, ethnomusicologist Philip Bohlman, was recognized for his work focusing primarily on European and Jewish music. He is cited by the foundation for his exploration of “the interstices between music and religion (and) Jewish music in modernity” as well as for his performance of Jewish urban music.

Bohlman performs both as artistic director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society, and with his wife Christine Wilkie Bohlman presents works for piano and dramatic speaker written during the Holocaust.

Robert Langer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wins the biotechnology prize for what the Milan-based Balzan Foundation called pioneering research and advances in mRNA vaccines and tissue engineering, paving the way “for breakthroughs in the controlled release of macromolecules with many medical applications.”

The final prize was shared by Danish paleoclimatology professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of the University of Copenhagen and Dutch climatologist Johannes Oerlemans of the University of Utrecht for glaciation and ice-sheet dynamics. The Balzan citation noted their joint and complementary work on the dynamics of glaciation and ice sheets which has helped to create “more reliable projections of ice sheet behavior related to changes in sea level.”

The Balzan Foundation awards two prizes in the sciences and two in the humanities each year, rotating specialties to highlight new or emerging areas of research and sustain fields that might be overlooked elsewhere. Recipients receive 750,000 Swiss francs ($785,000), half of which must be used for research, preferably by young scholars or scientists.

The prizes will be awarded by Italian President Sergio Mattarella in November in Rome.

Lapid helps Holocaust survivor scared at seeing German soldiers on arrival in Berlin

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) helps Holocaust survivor Shoshana Trister descend from the aircraft after she was overcome with emotion on seeing German soldiers upon arriving in Berlin on September 12, 2022. (Screencapture/Channel 12)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) helps Holocaust survivor Shoshana Trister descend from the aircraft after she was overcome with emotion on seeing German soldiers upon arriving in Berlin on September 12, 2022. (Screencapture/Channel 12)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid helps a Holocaust survivor alight from their aircraft in Berlin after she became overwhelmed at seeing the honor guard of German soldiers.

Shoshana Trister is one of several survivors and family members who are accompanying Lapid in his visit to Germany.

“I was completely frozen inside,” Trister tells Channel 12 of her feelings on seeing German soldiers down below. “I said to the prime minister, ‘Look at their hats.'”

“And he said to me ‘I’m holding you, you will go down with me, you are not alone.'”

Video shows the prime minister arm in arm with her, comforting Trister as they descend the stairs.

Trister tells Channel 12 she could not look at the soldiers.

“You have to understand, it was as if I was back there 85 years ago,” she says, adding that she came with him on the visit to Germany because “I want to tell the German chancellor, maybe you don’t see it upon us, but the suffering still exists inside.”

Far-right leader Smotrich calls for ban on Arab political parties in Israel

Religious Zionism party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich speaks at the Kikar HaShabbat conference in the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Religious Zionism party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich speaks at the Kikar HaShabbat conference in the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The leader of the ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism Party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, calls for a ban on Arab political parties and stirs up fears of “massacres” by “thousands of Arab rioters” during wartime, in a speech at the Institute for Counter Terrorism at Reichman University in Herzliya.

Smotrich says that the biggest security threat to the State of Israel is “the threat at home from nationalist elements among Arab Israelis.”

The leader of the far-right party describes “hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons being directed at that moment of truth against Israeli citizens,” and evokes images of “thousands of Arab rioters, equipped with the best weapons, descending on the towns and cities of Israel and carrying out huge massacres at a time when Israel’s security forces are involved or stretched to the limit on multiple war fronts.”

Smotrich says that a first step to coping with such a “threat” would be to outlaw the Arab political parties, which, he alleges, support armed struggle against Israel and should therefore be banned.

Netanyahu says he won’t quit if he fails to form a government after election

Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu attends Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu attends Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu vows he will not quit if he fails to form a government after the upcoming elections.

Speaking at a conference organized by the ultra-Orthodox Kikar HaShabat newspaper, the former prime minister is asked if he will keep leading his political bloc if he again fails to get a majority.

“I’m staying to lead it until we return a right-wing government to the State of Israel and as long as the Israeli citizens believe in it,” he says.

King Charles, siblings escort mother’s coffin in parade through Edinburgh

The children of Queen Elizabeth II are accompanying their mother’s coffin on a procession through the Scottish capital.

A military bagpiper played mournful music as the coffin, draped in the royal standard, was carried from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and placed in a hearse Monday.

King Charles III, dressed in army uniform, and his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are walking behind the hearse as the procession moves slowly toward St. Giles’ Cathedral.

The hearse is flanked by a bearer party of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and a detachment of The King’s Body Guard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.

The coffin will remain at the cathedral until Tuesday so that members of the public can pay their respects.

Germany to buy Israel’s Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system — report

Israel and the United States carry out a successful test of their advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system on January 22, 2019 (Missile Defense Organization/Defense Ministry)
Israel and the United States carry out a successful test of their advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system on January 22, 2019 (Missile Defense Organization/Defense Ministry)

Germany has made a preliminary decision to buy Israel’s Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the decision.

The deal was alluded to by both German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who met today in Berlin.

The report says Germany chose the Israeli system over the US Lockheed Martin’s THAAD system.

The move is spurred by Germany’s decision to boost its defenses in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and will be bolstered by a 100 billion euro fund to modernize its forces.

“We are very keen to work with Israel on that, including in the area of air defense where Israel has a very effective product with the Arrow 3 system,” Scholz says.

“Israel will play a role in building Germany’s new defense force,” says Lapid, “mainly in the field of air defense.”

Lapid stresses that democracies must be “willing and able” to defend themselves. “Sometimes, freedom must be defended with force,” he adds.

German media says the deal for the Arrow 3 would cost some 2 billion euros.

The Arrow 3 is currently Israel’s most advanced long-range missile defense system, meant to intercept ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, taking out projectiles and their nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional warheads closer to their launch sites. It was developed in a joint project between the Defense Ministry’s Missile Defense Organization and the American Missile Defense Agency.

 

Netanyahu said promising to fund Haredi schools that don’t teach secular subjects

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)
United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly promises funding for ultra-Orthodox schools that don’t teach the state’s curriculum of secular subjects if he returns to power.

Ynet reports that Netanyahu made the pledge as he brokered a deal for the Hasidic party Agudat Yisrael and the non-Hasidic Degel HaTorah to run together again as the ultra-Orthodox political party United Torah Judaism.

But the parties had been mulling separate runs this year amid a dispute over an agreement by the Belz Hasidim, part of Agudat Yisrael, to allow the study of some secular subjects in their schools in exchange for increased state funding.

Reports say Netanyahu offered to match the state funding for schools that choose not to teach the so-called secular core curriculum.

State funding had been offered as an incentive to ultra-Orthodox schools to teach secular subjects so that students could graduate with skills needed to enter the workforce.

Netanyahu was concerned that one or both parties would fail to cross the election threshold in separate runs, damaging his chances of clinching a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knesset

Lapid, Scholz meet Holocaust survivors at House of the Wannsee Conference

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (4R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (3L) meet with Holocaust survivors and family members at the the House of the Wannsee Conference outside of Berlin on September 12, 2022 (Lazar Berman/Times of Israel)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid (4R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (3L) meet with Holocaust survivors and family members at the the House of the Wannsee Conference outside of Berlin on September 12, 2022 (Lazar Berman/Times of Israel)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz begin their discussion with Holocaust survivors at the House of the Wannsee Conference outside of Berlin.

The survivors and their families flew from Israel on Lapid’s plane.

The House of the Wannsee Conference is a villa turned into a memorial where senior Nazis and bureaucrats coordinated plans in 1942 for the Final Solution to exterminate Jews.

Degel HaTorah, Agudat Yisrael agree to run again in united ultra-Orthodox faction

MK Moshe Gafni (left) with United Torah Judaism party colleague Meir Porush in the Knesset, June 22, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
MK Moshe Gafni (left) with United Torah Judaism party colleague Meir Porush in the Knesset, June 22, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael reach an agreement to run together again as the ultra-Orthodox political party United Torah Judaism, Hebrew media reports.

UTJ is a combined slate of the Hasidic party Agudat Yisrael and the non-Hasidic Degel HaTorah. The parties have run on a joint list since 1992 barring a period in 2004-2006, when they split over a disagreement about cooperating with the coalition but reunited before the subsequent election.

But the parties had been mulling separate runs this year amid a dispute over an agreement by the Belz Hasidim, part of Agudat Yisrael, to allow the study of some secular subjects in their schools in exchange for increased state funding.

New Degel HaTorah leader MK Moshe Gafni was also reportedly demanding greater representation on the joint slate.

Scholz comes close to endorsing Lapid in upcoming election

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, for a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, for a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz comes awfully close to endorsing visiting Prime Minister Yair Lapid ahead of Israel’s upcoming election.

“I value the political skill with which you represent Israel in the world,” he says during his prepared statement at the Federal Chancellery.

“Israel is in good hands,” says Scholz, speaking in German.

IAEA director hopes Iran will start cooperating soon in nuclear probe

International Atomic Energy Organization, IAEA, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, left, and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian shake hands prior to their meeting, in Tehran, March 5, 2022.  (AP Photo)
International Atomic Energy Organization, IAEA, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, left, and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian shake hands prior to their meeting, in Tehran, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo)

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi says he hopes Iran will start cooperating “as soon as possible” on an IAEA probe into man-made uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in the country.

“We are ready; we want this to happen,” he says, speaking at the UN nuclear watchdog’s Vienna headquarters.  “We are not in the business of aggravating or creating situations. We just want this issue to be clarified, so I really hope that they will start looking into this issue in a different way.”

Asked whether he expects to face political pressure from various sides on the issue, Grossi replies that “political pressure is always there; the thing is what I do with that pressure.” He adds that Iran appears to be “pushing their national interest in the way they see it.”

Israir flight safely on ground after emergency landing at Ben Gurion

An Israir flight from Tivat in Montenegro is safely on the ground at Ben Gurion airport after making an emergency landing.

The flight, with 160 people on board, declared an emergency after encountering a problem with its front landing gear.

Emergency teams and medics were standing by as the pilot brought the Airbus 320 down safely.

An Israir flight makes an emergency landing at Ben Gurion Airport on September 12, 2022 (Courtesy IAA)

Iran says ‘ready to cooperate’ with UN nuclear watchdog on undeclared sites

Technicians work at the Iranian Arak heavy water reactor, 150 miles southwest of the capital Tehran, on December 23, 2019. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP)
Technicians work at the Iranian Arak heavy water reactor, 150 miles southwest of the capital Tehran, on December 23, 2019. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP)

Iran reaffirms its “readiness” to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, after the agency said in a report it “cannot assure” the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.

The finding last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) further complicated diplomatic efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, including the United States.

Iran is “ready to cooperate with the agency to clear up the false and unrealistic perceptions regarding its peaceful nuclear activities,” foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani says in a press conference.

Tehran declares its “readiness to continue constructive cooperation with the IAEA”, Kanani adds, also pointing to the agency’s “obligations.”

In its report last Wednesday, the IAEA said it was “not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

The IAEA has been pressing Iran for answers on the previous presence of traces of nuclear material at three undeclared sites. The issue led to a resolution criticizing Iran being passed at the June meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors.

Britain to observe national minute of silence ahead of Queen’s funeral

Britain's Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, left, and Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex view the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Sept. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Britain's Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, left, and Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex view the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Sept. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain is to observe a nationwide minute of silence Sunday, on the eve of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

The British government says the “moment of reflection” will take place at 8 p.m. (1900GMT).

People are encouraged to mark the silence at home or at community events.

The queen’s funeral will be held next Monday at Westminster Abbey.

Britain’s monarch of the past 70 years died Thursday in Scotland at the age of 96.

Israir flight from Montenegro with 160 on board to make emergency landing

Illustrative: An Israir flight taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv. September 3, 2015. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Illustrative: An Israir flight taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv. September 3, 2015. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

An Israir flight from Tivat in Montenegro will make an emergency landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Medics and rescue services are standing by at the airport after an unspecified emergency is declared.

There are 160 people on board the flight.

Netanyahu denies plans to fire attorney general if he comes to power

Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022.(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022.(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no intention of firing the attorney general should he come back to power.

“No one is going to fire the attorney general. I have no intention of doing so,” Netanyahu says at a conference organized by the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Kikar HaShabbat.

His comments come a day after MK Nir Barkat, a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said that he believes the former premier, who is on trial for alleged corruption, will fire the attorney general appointed by the outgoing government if he wins the upcoming November election.

Barkat’s remarks — which echoed previous statements made in recent months by other party members — were denied hours later by the Likud party, which issued a statement saying Netanyahu has no plans to oust Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.

However, Netanyahu says he does believe the judicial system needs reform but said it needs to be done correctly, not with a bulldozer.

Netanyahu also appears to chide Barkat and other Likud lawmakers, saying that he was the one who would make important decisions.

“We have an excellent team, but the team has a captain and in the end, policy is made in an organized way,” Netanyahu says.

Amid economic crisis, Lebanon ends expensive fuel subsidy program

Drivers wait to get fuel at a gas station in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)
Drivers wait to get fuel at a gas station in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

Lebanon’s central bank lifted its remaining subsidies on fuel on Monday, gas station owners said, ending a year-long process of scaling back on the expensive program.

The Central Bank over a year ago announced it would gradually lift fuel subsidies, to slow down the draining of its foreign exchange reserves. Fuel subsidies once cost the cash-strapped country some $3 billion annually. Last week, it subsidized just 20% of the cost of fuel imports.

Lebanon is in the throes of a crippling economic crisis that has plunged three-quarters of its population into poverty and decimated the value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar by around 90 percent. The World Bank has described the collapse as one of the worst in the world in the last 150 years.

Scholz: We ‘agree that Iran must not have a nuclear weapon’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, left, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, left, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

In his prepared statement alongside Prime Minister Yair Lapid, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the countries “agree that Iran must not have a nuclear weapon.”

He expresses his regret that Tehran did not answer in the affirmative to the European proposal on returning to the nuclear deal.

Standing next to Lapid, Scholz goes to some length to stress Germany’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warns against “unilateral actions” that get in the way of such an agreement.

In Germany, Lapid criticizes Liberman for comparing Netanyahu to Goebbels

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a press conference at his ministry in Jerusalem, August 17, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a press conference at his ministry in Jerusalem, August 17, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In response to a question about Avigdor Liberman’s comparison of Benjamin Netanyahu to Joseph Goebbels, Prime Minister Yair Lapid says, “I denounce what the minister of finance said, as I denounce any comparison between the Holocaust and anything. I am happy to see that the minister of finance took back what he said.”

Asked about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s accusation in Germany last month that Israel carried out “50 holocausts” against Palestinians, Lapid calls the statements “disgraceful, disrespectful, and horrible, just plain horrible.”

Lapid stresses that this kind of speech also exists in Palestinian textbooks.

He also says he appreciates German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s eventual response to Abbas’s statement.

Lapid says he gave Scholz ‘sensitive’ information on Iran nuclear program

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) greets  Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Berlin on September 12, 2022 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) greets Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Berlin on September 12, 2022 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

In his statement alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister Yair Lapid says he presented “sensitive and relevant intelligence information” on Iran’s nuclear program.

He says that Germany paid close attention to Israel’s positions.

“We discussed the need for a new strategy to stop Iran’s nuclear program,” says the premier, stressing it is time to move on from nuclear talks.

“Returning to the nuclear agreement, under the current conditions, would be a critical mistake,” says Lapid.

Lapid says his visit “aims to conclude the final details of a strategic partnership agreement between Israel and Germany.”

“It is a practical expression of Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state, a commitment you reaffirmed when you took office,” he says.

“Israel will play a role in building Germany’s new defense force,” says Lapid, “mainly in the field of air defense.”

Lapid stresses that democracies must be “willing and able” to defend themselves.

“Sometimes, freedom must be defended with force,” he adds.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed