Is Bibi throwing Sheldon Adelson, who bankrolls the free, Likud-leaning daily Israel Hayom, under the bus? Secretly recorded conversations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the publisher of the Yediot Achronot newspaper, trading favorable coverage of the Israeli leader for government action against one of the paper’s competitors, is the subject of extensive coverage. The 972mag.com website reports that Netanyahu and publisher Amon “Noni” Mozes discussed a deal in which the paper “will alter its hostile coverage of Netanyahu,” in return for which “Netanyahu will act to reduce the circulation of rival newspaper Israel Hayom,” which many believe acts as a mouthpiece for the prime minister.
“The contents of the conversations … expose the bitter truth about the world of Israel’s media: it is one in which media and journalistic outlets are driven solely by economic interests,” 972mag.com stated.
The funerals of four soldiers who were killed Sunday in a terrorist attack at a promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem were held today. The victims of the truck-ramming attack were IDF Lt. Yael Yekutiel, 20, of Givatayim, Cadet Shir Hajaj, 22, of Maaleh Adumim, Cadet Shira Tzur, 20, from Haifa, and Cadet Erez Orbach, 20, from Alon Shvut, the Times of Israel reported. Seventeen people were injured in the attack. Erez Orbach, 20, of Alon Shvut in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem was an American citizen, Haaretz reported, citing a U.S. Embassy official. He holds U.S. citizenship through his mother, according to the newspaper, citing a family member. Orbach was the oldest of six brothers. Shira Tzur, 20, of Haifa, had American-born parents, according to Haaretz, which cited a soldier in her unit.
South African President Jacob Zuma has advised citizens of his country to not visit Israel, in order to show solidarity with “the people of Palestine.” According to Arutz Sheva, Zuma’s comments came at the 105th anniversary celebration of the ruling African National Congress. “The people of Palestine continue to suffer in their rightful quest for self-determination,” the news service quoted Zuma as saying. “We reiterate that we firmly discourage travel to Israel for causes not related to fostering peace in the region.
Online conversions to Judaism have “emerged as a tool for potential converts to learn” about the religion, the Times of Israel reports. “But just as with online degrees, suspicion surrounds conversions relying on long-distance learning.”
“The term online conversion is not a neutral one — it is extremely polemical,” said Rabbi Juan Mejia, who has helped several communities in Latin America convert to Judaism through a process that relies in large part on online learning. “It is something that the Jewish community is just discovering, and for the most part it has quite a big stigma attached.”
Israel has taken delivery of two F-35 Adir Stealth warplanes, and two American firms, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are “battling for billions of dollars” in orders for future fighter jets, the Globes business newspaper reports. “The type of planes to be procured may be decided during the coming year, or during the following year at the latest. The selection will be either an improved version of the Boeing F-15 or a special model of the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s flagship plane.”