To move or not to move the US Embassy?
The question of whether U.S. President Donald Trump will announce that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem has been the subject of rife speculation in Israeli media.
Trump had until Monday to decide, but has not made an announcement as to whether he will move the embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, or postpone his decision another six months. An announcement is expected this week.
Ynet, an Israeli online news source, ran an editorial.
“Enough is enough! The United States and the international community must no longer remain hostage to Palestinian threats, extortion and intimidation. President Trump should lead by example in this regard, by not only sending a powerful message to the Palestinians, but doing what is right and just, in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
Israel attacks Syrian outposts
Israel has reportedly launched several missile strikes on Syrian outposts, including an Iranian military base being built near Damascus, in the last week.
The Iranian facility is located only 31 miles from the Israeli border and it existence was reported by BBC in October. Israel fired five missiles at the base Saturday, reportedly destroying a massive arms depot.
According to Ynet, Israel reportedly attacked another military installation in the Jamraya area on the outskirts of Damascus late Monday night. Ynet’s report was based on a story released by media affiliated with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate Iranian influence on its border with Syria, which is a supreme threat to the Jewish state.
Chess federation trying to get Israeli players to Saudi Arabian match
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is attempting to get visas for Israeli players to attend a speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia later this month, the federation said.
Seven Israeli players have submitted visa requests. Should their visas be granted, it would mark the first time Saudi Arabia has publicly hosted Israeli citizens.
“We have sent their documents to the organizers and the visa status is currently pending,” FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos said. “The same applies for many other chess players who are waiting for their visa invitation letters. We are making a huge effort to ensure that all players get their visas.”
While Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have formal relations, both countries are reportedly working together tacitly and both view Iran as a main threat to the Middle East.
Modesty signs ordered taken down in Beit Shemesh
Any woman entering an extremely religious neighborhood in Israel has up till now been subject to signs warning her to dress modestly — or do not enter the neighborhood.
Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox modesty standards, require women to wear long dresses, long sleeves and cover their hair if married.
On Monday however, the Supreme Court issued an ultimatum to the city of Beit Shemesh ordering removal of modesty signs. The justices ruled that “Women will not be excluded from the public sphere in Israel.”
Similar signs exist in Mea Shearim, a religious neighborhood in Jerusalem.
“We were glad to hear the determined and unequivocal statement against the signs and restricting women from certain streets,” said Miri Shalem, a Beit Shemesh resident. “The judge was resolute in saying that there will not be streets closed to women and he said too that a dress code in public is unacceptable.”
For nearly three years, women in Beit Shemesh have complained about the city’s refusal to remove these signs.
“The order to remove the signs with a police escort and a constant police presence will send a strong message that the rights of the women of Beit Shemesh are important,” said attorney Orly Erez-Lahovsky. “The ruling is a victory for the rule of law over the rule of lawlessness, a victory for the rights of women for respect and equality. We will continue to monitor and combat all instances of exclusion of women in Israel.”