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Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel will seek to anchor its status as the national homeland of the Jewish people in law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

“One of my main missions as prime minister of Israel is to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the national state of our people,” Netanyahu said in a speech in Tel Aviv, a transcript of which was provided by his office.

“To this end, it is my intention to submit a basic law to the Knesset (parliament) that would provide a constitutional anchor for Israel’s status as the national state of the Jewish people.”

Netanyahu has made recognition of Israel as a Jewish state a key demand in the crisis-hit peace talks with the Palestinians which formally drew to a close on Tuesday.

The Israeli leader placed the issue of recognition at the forefront of the talks, describing Arab rejection of the Jewish state as the “root of the conflict” in a move firmly rejected by the Palestinians.

For the Palestinians, accepting Israel as a Jewish state would mean accepting the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” that befell them when 760,000 of their people fled or were forced out of their homes in the war that accompanied Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Photo: Downing Street via Flickr

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) / CC BY-SA 2.0

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For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

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