reading israel news

The 10 Best Online Israel News Sources in English

There’s no shortage of Israel news in English online these days, but finding the best ones that you can trust is a bit more challenging. At IsraelAM we get the Israel news for our daily email newsletter from a wide variety of reputable Hebrew and English Israeli and American news sources. In this blog post we’re going to let you in on the English Israel news sources we use.

If you have the time and the desire, these Israel news sources in English are definitely worth checking out on a daily basis. Some of them are more to the left and some to the right, so you need to read a bunch of them from all sides to get a balanced view of the Israel news.

We haven’t rated them or listed them in any particular order. But we have tried to give you some insight into their political leanings, writing style and ease of use.

1. Haaretz

Haaretz Israel News

Haaretz.com is the English language site of Israel’s oldest daily newspaper. The Hebrew newspaper was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in print and online.

Haaretz’s political orientation leans left. You’ll find their articles to be critical of Israeli policies relating to the West Bank (which they consider to be occupied territory) and injustices directed against the Palestinians living there. The paper is also critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right leaning government, especially the right wing parties within it. Charedim and Orthodox Judaism don’t feel the love from Haaretz columnists either.

But even if you can’t stand their politics, Haaretz is worth reading for their thorough and accurate news reporting and interesting feature stories. You’ll just have to filter out their biases.

Most of the articles on Haaretz.com are translations of stories appearing on their Hebrew site www.haaretz.co.il. Those translations aren’t always 100% accurate or don’t fully capture the meaning of the original Hebrew. This most likely happens because the translators are sometimes just trying to translate word for word, which doesn’t always work from language to language.

Some of the stories on the English language site are different than on the Hebrew site, especially if the stories relate to domestic issues which the editors feel non-Israelis will not be interested in. So if you’re interested and are a Hebrew reader, you should click on the link at the top of their homepage to check out the Hebrew site and see what the top stories are for the natives.

The website doesn’t have nearly as many ads or annoying popups as some of the other Israel news sites, so getting the articles to load is relatively painless and won’t crash your computer. You probably will have to close a couple of ads to maintain your sanity, but I guess that’s par for the course.

Warning
While most of the headline news articles are free, many of the features and articles that contain analysis require a premium subscription. It comes out to about $9 per month, but you really have to be a fan of the paper to pay, with so many other free options available.

2. Jpost

jpost israel news website

Jpost.com is the website for The Jerusalem Post, which was founded in 1932 as The Palestine Post. The Jerusalem Post is an English language newspaper with no Hebrew edition. Therefore, the articles don’t have the same problem of mistranslation from Hebrew like some of the other English language Israel news sites.

Jpost’s political leanings are supposed to be centrist, but they tend to pull to the right. The paper/site has interesting features and analysis, some for free and some for paid subscribers only.

The main problem with the website is that it has way too many ads and super annoying popups that significantly impact the site’s loading speed and make it almost unusable. I’ve repeatedly tried to use the site as a news source for our israelAM daily email, but I always find myself waiting ages for pages to load and my browser tends to slow down, which is totally unacceptable to me. So I end up just closing the pages and moving on. Maybe it’s just me or my computer, so you should try it for yourself and see how it goes for you. It’s worth a shot.

3. Ynetnews

ynet israel news

Ynetnews.com is the online English-language Israeli news website of Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper, and the Hebrew news portal, Ynet. The Hebrew print edition is considered to be the newspaper of record in Israel and its reporting is fairly balanced.

The stories on the English language website are often about half a day behind the Hebrew website, so if you really want to stay current, you better brush up on your Hebrew. Since it’s a translation, the Ynetnews stories are sometimes lacking in grammar and completeness relative to the Hebrew versions, but you’ll still get the basic news from an Israeli perspective.

The site is totally free, but chock full of adds and popups that slow it down. But it’s not nearly as bad as jpost.com.

4. Israel Hayom

Israel Hayom news

Israel HaYom (Hebrew: ישראל היום‎, lit. “Israel Today”) is an Israeli Hebrew-language free daily newspaper, first published in 2007. Israel HaYom has the largest daily circulation in the country.

The newspaper is owned by US casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who is a big supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Therefore, the paper is clearly biased in favor of Netanyahu and chooses to play down events that don’t help to promote a positive image for Netanyahu, while on the other hand, touting and inflating events that help promote him and the Likud.

The English language website is basically a newsletter with the news that appeared in the Hebrew language version the day before. So you’re basically getting day old news. But you’ll still find interesting stories and analysis which you won’t find elsewhere, so it’s worth a look.

The site is totally free. If you want to be brave, you can also read the digital version of the Hebrew print addition online, which is really pretty cool.

5. Al Monitor

Al Monitor Israel News

Al-Monitor (media site) features reporting and analysis by journalists and experts from the Middle East, with special focus sections (that Al-Monitor terms “pulses”) on Egypt, the Persian Gulf, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey.

The Israel section of Al Monitor is heavily left leaning and pro-Palestinian. If you want the extreme left version of events, this is a good place to get it.

6. Arutz 7

Arutz Sheva Israel news

Arutz 7 literally means channel seven, which was the call signal for the independent, pro-settlement radio station. The actual station no longer is active, but Arutz 7 has a Hebrew and English news site.

The English one is a www.israelnationalnews.com. It’s right wing, pro-settlement and a bit reactionary, but if that’s your cup of tea, it’s a great site to get your Israel news from. If you’re looking for the Jewish perspective of a recent incident on the Temple Mount or an attack on Jewish settlers, you’ll find it here (and possible nowhere else in English).

The actual website has lots of ads and can get slow. But it’s manageable.

7. JTA

JTA Israel news

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) is an international news agency and wire service serving Jewish community newspapers and media around the world. It’s not-for-profit, with no political or philosophical leanings.

JTA.org has Jewish news from all over the world, but if you just want Israel news you can get it by clicking on the “Israel” link on the homepage. It’s a great source for unbiased and concise reporting. And there are no ads or popups, so the site loads quickly and painlessly.

8. Globes

Globes.com is the English language version of one of the premier Israeli business news publications. It’s a bit behind its Hebrew language version, but it’s still the best source for everything business and economy related in Israel. There are sections on real estate, technology and startups, just to name a few. Want to know which Israeli company just got purchased by Google or Microsoft? You’ll find the answer in Globes.

The site is fast, for the most part, with few ads.

9. Associated Press

One of the two major world newswire service, you can’t go without heading to the site and searching for Israel news. Many of the Israeli papers get stories from here, so you might as well read it in the original.

10. Reuters

The other major world newswire service. Check out what we just wrote for the Associated Press.

Of course there are other general news sites like CNN, Fox News, NYTimes, The Wall Street Journal and many more that will contain some news about Israel, depending on the day and events. But if you want your daily dose of Israel news in English, on a regular basis, the 10 sites we listed are good bets to check out.

Of course, if you don’t have time to spend reading all of those articles, you can subscribe to our israelAM daily email newsletter and get the Israel news you need to know directly in your inbox every morning.

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mizrachi shabbat songs

Revivo Project Mizrachi Shabbat Songs

This music video of the Revivo Project brings a large group of Israeli musicians singing Mizrachi – Sephardic Shabbat songs. Super fun!

 

 

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moshe perez

Moshe Peretz and Omer Adam singing Modeh Ani

This music video of Israeli singing stars Moshe Peretz and Omer Adam singing a song called Modeh Ani will definitely inspire you. The song is based on the first prayer recited each morning in which we thank God for returning our souls to us for a new day. But even before the music starts the singers do something that will touch your soul and help you understand the deep bond between the Jewish People, God and the Land of Israel.

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Kids Friendly Israel Day Trip to the Dead Sea Area

It was early August, just after Tish B’av, and we decided to take a day trip with the our three young children, aged 6, 4 1/2, and 2, from our home base in Modiin (which is a city about a half hour drive from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem). We first considered going up north, but since the rest of the country was thinking the same thing (everyone goes north in the summer — not that it’s much cooler up there) we chose to be contrarians and head south, to the lowest place on earth: the Dead Sea.

We had spoken of the salt filled sea (which is really a medium sized lake by American standards) often to the kids, and about how they could float without even knowing how to swim, and about the mud — you know, all that fun stuff that attracts tourists from around the globe. And yes, it is the lowest place on earth, which also means that you’re not supposed to get sunburned there.

We decided to head to the northern most Dead Sea beach, Kalia, which is only around a twenty minute drive from Jerusalem (or around an hour from Modiin). We left Modiin at 7:30am and made it to Kalia at 8:30am. The goal was to beat at least some of the heat and the crowds. We succeeded at both.

kalia beach dead sea

The entrance fee to the beach, which is owned by the Kalia resort, is 55 shekels for an adult and 45 for a child. The beach has clean bathrooms, changing facilities, showers and a cafe/bar — and a gift shop, of course. The cost didn’t bother me one bit when we got to the actual beach and saw that there were only about a dozen people there. In fact, I’m happy to pay for the opportunity to go anywhere fun in Israel without having to struggle with crowds.

There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas on the beach, so we settled in, left our stuff and walked into the shallow, roped off, Dead Sea waters. The heat wasn’t bad, since it was early. The water felt great. We loved it! After a couple of hours a group of Chinese tourists arrived. One of them, a middle aged man, asked if he could take photos of my son and I floating on our backs. He even provided me with a magazine to hold up as if I were reading it while floating on my back. I’m assuming that at some point we’ll end up on the guy’s Facebook page with a funny caption that will go viral throughout the Far East — hey, any publicity is good publicity, right?

Of course, what’s a Dead Sea excursion without mud? So we dug up the mineral rich mud (there’s plenty of it!) and covered ourselves with it. My skin still feels great, two weeks later! We all had an amazing time!

kalia-mud

The Fresh Pools of Ein Tzukim

We left Kalia Beach at around noon and then drove 5 or 10 minutes south to the Ein Tzukim Nature Reserve, which is billed as the lowest nature reserve in the world. The reason we chose to go there was because of the swimming pools — no not the chlorine filled kind — these are pools of water that you can swim in.

Einot-tzukim-reserve-badeteich

We paid 29 NIS per adult and 15 NIS per child at the park entrance. The attendant suggested we hang a left at the end of the road and head to the group of pools that she said were less crowded than the popular ones closer to the entrance. We followed her advice and were happy to find that she was right. There several pools in a beautiful oasis-like setting. The kids swam and splashed for a few hours. It was the perfect end complement to the Dead Sea experience.

It was a fun day for all! So if you’re looking for a day trip to do with the kids, go south and enjoy!

Do the New IDF Chief Rabbi’s Personal Opinions Matter?

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim has been appointed by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eiznkot as the next IDF Chief Rabbi, replacing the outgoing rabbi Gen. Rafi Peretz, who is retiring after six years in the position.

Karim currently serves as the head of the Rabbinate Department in the Military Rabbinate. He previously served as an officer and then commander of the elite paratrooper Sayeret commando unit, and fought in two of the Lebanon wars (pretty cool for a rabbi). He studied in the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva and headed up the pre-military academy of Ateret Kohanim, before returning to the IDF Rabbinate.

Karim has come under fire for statements he made implying that woman are prohibited from serving in the IDF and that soldiers can rape gentile women during war. He made the statements in responses to questions he received on the website Kipa.co.il. The rabbi has clearly stated that his statements were made in response to purely theoretical questions of Jewish law and were not meant to be applied in practice.

In response to the claims that Karim sanctioned rape in wartime by IDF soldiers, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office issued a statement saying: “Col. Karim asks to clarify that his statement was issued as the answer to a theoretical question and not in any way whatsoever a question of practical Jewish law. Rabbi Karim has never written, said or even thought that and IDF soldier is permitted to sexually assault a woman in war—anyone who interprets his words otherwise is completely mistaken. Rabbi Karim’s moral approach is attested by his years of military service in command, combat, and rabbinical positions in which he displayed complete loyalty to the values and spirit of the IDF, in particular the dignity of the person.”

But that hasn’t stopped the attacks against him. Why? Because there apparently is a fundamental misunderstanding in how to differentiate between theory and practice in Jewish law and scholarship.

The Torah sanctions certain actions that are considered to be no longer applicable in practice. Examples of these are slavery, the killing of Amalek and the rape of gentile women during war. But these concepts are still “on the books” and are studied and analyzed as part of Jewish law. They also contain valuable homiletical messages and lessons that go far beyond their literal readings.

There’s not a rabbi in the world who would say that slavery is permitted today. No one would permit killing someone on the basis of them being from Amalek. The same is true regarding the Torah law of permissible wartime rape, which happens to have many conditions and caveats attached to it to dissuade soldiers from committing rape and was infinitely more progressive than the norm in the ancient (and not so ancient) world.

When a rabbi is asked a question relating to the intricacies of the laws of these types of issues, he must respond within the context of the question even though he doesn’t intend his answer to be taken as practical law. The entire discussion is clearly within the theoretical realm of intellectual scholarship.

Taking these theoretical statements as reflecting a rabbi’s practical stance is a mistake, and shows a lack of understanding of the concept of theoretical discussion and scholarship.

The statement of the IDF spokesman clearly explains this.

But Rabbi Karim’s opinion regarding the prohibition against women serving in the IDF, particularly in combat roles, might not be so theoretical. Karim might be agreeing with most Haredi rabbi and those on the extreme right wing of the National Religious sector that in fact do prohibit women from serving in the IDF due to modesty concerns. As a result of this, the IDF has traditionally provided religious exemptions for women who choose to not to be drafted. Many of those women volunteer for national service (Sherut Leumi) instead.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid has called on Karim to clearly declare that he approves of women being drafted and serving in the IDF. If he doesn’t believe in the right for women to serve in the IDF, then Lapid feels that Karim cannot be appointed as Chief Rabbi, for how can someone be a rabbi for soldiers that he does not believe should be serving?

While Karim should absolutely state his opinion publicly, whether his views on women serving or not should effect his ability to serve as the rabbi of the entire army is not so clear. Isn’t it possible for a person to have personal beliefs that are not in sync with those of his employer?

Just because a rabbi believes that women shouldn’t be drafted doesn’t mean that he cannot effectively serve their religious needs.

Or perhaps personal opinions of public servants, especially Chief Rabbis, do matter?

Woman Fights Back

Watch how this Israeli woman fights off three guys who try to attack her in a pub.

אני מופיעה בקטע של מצלמת אבטחה בפאב. חיכיתי לחברה וכמה החליטו לנצל את ההזדמנות. תודה למאמן שלי Guy Dar Kmm שלימד אותי לצאת מסיטואציות כאלו.

Posted by Gili Ganani on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Video of terrorist starting attack in Tel Aviv

The man in the video buying groceries puts down his bag towards the end of the video, removes an Uzi submachine gun and begins firing at people on the street.

Terror attack thwarted

Two minors aged 12 and 13 from a Palestinian village north of Jerusalem were caught today in downtown Jerusalem carrying knives. According to the police investigation the two were planning to carry out a stabbing attack in the area.

The two boys were seen wandering around downtown Jerusalem at around 6pm this evening Israel time. Their behavior aroused suspicions of passersby and police who stopped them for questioning. The police officers noticed they had their hands in their pockets so they searched the boys and found knives in their possession. The two suspects were taken away for questioning.

The Riot Police commander in charge of the officers who caught the boys said “the professionalism of the police officers probably prevented a terror attack and innocent people from getting hurt”.

For further reading click here

Watch: PM Netanyahu vows never to leave Hebron

PM Netanyahu made a statement at a cabinet meeting today in response to the death of Genady Kofman who succumbed to his wounds yesterday after being stabbed by a Palestinian in Hebron on December 7.

In his statement the Prime Minister sent his condolences to the family and said “to all those who would uproot us from the Tomb of the Patriarchs – except for a few years in the previous century, we have been there for almost 4,000 years and we will stay there forever. You cannot defeat us.”

For further reading click here

Hebron terror victim dies

Genady Kofman, 41, a maintenance worker at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, was stabbed by a Palestinian as he left work on December 7.  He has been been fighting for his life ever since the attack but yesterday he succumbed to his wounds.

“Despite the difficult and stubborn struggle of various teams for three and a half weeks, he did not survive his serious wounds,” the hospital said in a statement.

Kofman, who made aliyah from the Ukraine 21 years ago, lived in Kiryat Arba and was a married father of two.

The terrorist, a 21 year old from Hebron, arrived at a bus stop where Kofman was standing and stabbed  him. Border Policemen stationed there saw the attack and shot the terrorist dead.

Malachi Levinger,  head of the Kiryat Arba Council,  spent the night at Kofman’s bedside. He said that “the family is in great pain. In recent days we prayed deeply for the recovery of our friend. We ask people to strengthen the family and the community in these difficult days.”

 

PM Netanyahu made a statement at a cabinet meeting today in response to Kofman’s death in which he sent condolences to the Kofman family and said, “I say to all those who would uproot us from the Tomb of the Patriarchs – except for a few years in the previous century, we have been there for almost 4,000 years and we will stay there forever. You cannot defeat us.”