U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed back to the Middle East this week, in hopes of renewing the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. While Kerry had originally proposed reaching a final deal in April, many are skeptical that such an agreement will ever take place because he has allegedly backed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Israeli troops continue to be stationed in part of the Jordan Valley, which comprises about a third of the West Bank. PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo, meanwhile, has accused Kerry of siding with the Israelis by asking Palestinians to make security concessions in order to silence Israel’s criticism of ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. For more on the prospects and pitfalls of the two-state solution, click here.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu skipped Nelson Mandela’s memorial service this week, citing high travel costs, a move criticized by both South African Jews and many Israelis.
Avi Shilon, author of Menachem Begin: A Life, explains why Israel once supported South Africa’s apartheid regime.
Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned this year amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment, was sentenced to three years probation and three months of home confinement after pleading guilty to several charges in October.
Manhattan’s Central Synagogue elected Angela Warnick Buchdahl Senior Rabbi—making her the first Asian American leader of one of the nation’s largest Reform synagogues.
Boston-based doctor, mohel and former IDF lieutenant Yosef Glassman examines the biblical roots of Jews and marijuana.
This week, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority agreed on a plan that would create fresh drinking water and refill the shrinking Dead Sea by desalinating billions of gallons of water from the Red Sea.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot is slated to play Wonderwoman in the upcoming Batman v. Superman film.
Secret beauty salons geared specifically for the needs of ultra-Orthodox women are becoming more and more popular in Israel.
The Israeli Knesset passed a bill this week that would allow African migrants who cross over the border without documentation to be jailed without trial for up to one year—replacing an older law that allowed detention for up to three years.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.