Israel’s Pick to Head Holocaust Memorial Stirs International Uproar

JERUSALEM — For years, his name was synonymous with intolerance and right-wing extremism. So when Israel’s conservative-led government nominated Effie Eitam to be chairman of Yad Vashem, the country’s official Holocaust memorial and one its most hallowed institutions, it prompted an uproar. Mr. Eitam, a 68-year-old retired brigadier general and former minister, has spent the last decade in the private […]

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Casualties From Banned Cluster Bombs Nearly Doubled in 2019, Mostly in Syria

Casualties from cluster bombs, the internationally banned weapons that kill indiscriminately, nearly doubled last year, mostly because of use by the Russian-backed armed forces of Syria in that country’s nearly decade-old war, a monitoring group reported on Wednesday. At least 286 people were killed or wounded in 2019 from cluster-bomb attacks or from remnants of the munitions, compared with 149 […]

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Diplomatic row sparked by an abandoned baby and strip searches

What’s it about? The discovery of a newborn dumped at a Doha airport in October, which resulted in female passengers – many of them Australians – undergoing strip-searches and physical examinations, triggered global outrage and strained ties between Qatar and Australia. On Monday (Nov 23), Qatar said the parents of the abandoned baby girl had been identified and efforts were […]

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Israeli Reports Say Netanyahu Met Saudi Crown Prince, but Saudis Deny It

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel flew to Saudi Arabia for a covert meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Israeli news media reported on Monday. Hours after those reports, attributed to an unidentified Israeli official, the Saudi foreign minister flatly and publicly denied that such a meeting had taken place. The confusing turn […]

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Netanyahu Held Secret Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince, Amid Talk of a Deal

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel flew to Saudi Arabia for a covert meeting Sunday night with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an Israeli cabinet minister confirmed on Monday. The visit was the first known meeting between high-level Israeli and Saudi leaders and could signal an acceleration of gradually warming relations between the two powers. Israeli news […]

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From hope to agony, what's left of the Arab Spring?

BEIRUT (AFP) – Ten years ago, a wildfire of revolts in the Arab world touched off an unlikely series of events that swelled, then dashed many hopes, and irrevocably changed the region. From the quickfire collapse of seemingly invincible regimes to the rise and fall of an Islamist caliphate in its heart, the Middle East hurtled through the 21st century’s […]

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Israeli Panel to Look Into Submarine Scandal, Riling Netanyahu

JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister announced on Sunday the establishment of a governmental commission of inquiry into the multibillion-dollar purchase of submarines and missile boats under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an episode often described as the worst corruption scandal in Israel’s history. The defense minister, Benny Gantz, took the step largely to pressure Mr. Netanyahu, a political rival, into fulfilling […]

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Egypt actor Mohamed Ramadan in hot water after selfies with Israelis

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s self-proclaimed superstar Mohamed Ramadan has sparked a heated political debate after snapping selfies with an Israeli singer and footballer. Ramadan, a 32-year-old actor and rapper, boasts millions of followers in the Arab world, is a close friend of Morocco’s King Mohamed VI and the recipient of the 2019 All Africa Music Awards prize. On Saturday (Nov […]

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