The News From Israel

Sleepwalking Through The Campaign

Orly Halpern rounds up the news from Israel.

Where is hatred when you need it? Where is the fervor and the fire − or at least a little smoke?--Gideon Levy talks of the sleepy election for the 19th Knesset.

  • Israel removes Palestinian protest camp outside Jerusalem - Tent city pitched near Beit Iksa just a week after Israel evacuated Palestinian encampment in E-1. (Haaretz)
  • Obama wrote the Prime Minister: "Looking forward to continuing to work with you" - Netanyahu sent Obama a letter yesterday congratulating him on his inauguration as US President. He also sent him a letter wishing him a happy New Year to which he got a response a few days ago signed by the President. Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich also wrote Obama congratulations. (Israel Hayom, p. 25)
  • Report: Israel brings Yemeni Jews - Palestinian weekly Al-Manar reports that a group of Yemeni Jews arrived in Tel Aviv via Doha on a Qatari flight. Efforts to bring Yemeni Jews apparently involve a number of government offices, MKs and Shas party. (Israel Hayom)
  • Housing more than twice as pricey in Israel as in the U.S., data shows - Comparing Israeli numbers to an annual survey of international housing affordability confirms what Israelis already know – it's hard to afford a home here. (Haaretz+)
  • A quarter of Israeli citizens struggle with Hebrew, survey finds - New survey released Monday reveals that 60% of immigrants from former Soviet Union have difficulty filling out forms and writing letters in Hebrew, while 45% of Israeli Arabs have trouble with such paperwork. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Malaysian PM in first visit to Hamas-ruled Gaza - Najib Razak's visit is political boost for Gaza's internationally isolated rulers. During first-ever visit to the territory, Razak expects to meet with Hamas leaders, tour sites bombed by Israel and visit school funded by his predominately Muslim nation. (Israel Hayom)

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