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Israelis pay last respects to founding father Ariel Sharon

Israelis were on Sunday paying their respects to Ariel Sharon, whose controversial life inspired admiration and provoked revulsion and whose death drew emotional reactions even after eight years in a coma. Celebrated as a military hero at home, recognised as a pragmatic politician abroad and despised as a bloodthirsty criminal…

Netanyahu heads to Rome for first talks with Pope Francis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for Rome on Sunday for a two-day official visit during which he will meet Pope Francis for the first time. The Israeli leader took off around midday accompanied by six of his ministers, including his newly reappointed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, public radio said.…

Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel in solidarity with Palestinians

Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted…

Watch live: Obama’s first meeting in Israel with president

Following the first meeting of his Mideast tour, President Obama delivers a statement with Israel’s President Shimon Peres. Watch live, broadcast on March 20. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

Shimon Peres wants to be your Facebook friend …’for peace’

Jews are the people of the Book but also the “people of the Facebook,” Israeli President Shimon Peres joked about his flashy new page — complete with electro-pop video — on the site. “You have to speak the language of the young people,” the 88-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner laughed,…

Iran remains defiant on nuclear program

Iran vowed Wednesday it “will not budge an iota” from its nuclear path despite a new UN report hardening suspicions it is seeking atomic weapons, as an Iranian general warned Israel of “destruction” if it launched an attack. The words of defiance fell while the United States and its allies said they were…

Muslim, Christian tombs defaced in Israel

Vandals defaced graves in two cemeteries, one Muslim and the other Christian, with anti-Arab graffiti in Jaffa south of Tel Aviv, Israeli police said on Saturday. The vandals wrote “Death to Arabs” and “Price Tag” on 22 graves in the Muslim cemetery and on four in the Christian burial ground,…

Obama asks Congress for $205 million to upgrade Israeli missile defenses

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve 205 million dollars to help Israel deploy an anti-missile defense system, the White House said Thursday. “The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to…

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