"He even lit a candle in the main menorah of the community last Hannukah."--Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custodian of the Holy Land, in a piece for Yedioth about the new Pope.
- East Jerusalem building plans delayed over Obama visit - In an effort to avoid potential embarrassment during U.S. president's visit Prime Minister's Office orders Jerusalem's municipality to postpone hearings on construction of 50 new housing units in Har Homa neighborhood, infrastructure upgrade in E1 area. (Israel Hayom)
- Palestinian Authority officials lower expectations of Obama visit - Palestinians say U.S. administration reps told them president was coming just 'to listen'; Abbas visits Putin Thursday, not coincidentally. (Haaretz+)
- New Israeli organization aims to be first right-wing Palestinian rights watchdog - Ex-PMO staffer Yoaz Hendel establishes BlueWhite Human Rights, which aims to monitor violation of Palestinians' rights at West Bank checkpoints, collate testimonies of apparent war crimes by IDF soldiers, as well as provide medical assistance to Palestinians and African asylum-seekers. (Haaretz+)
- "Bus driver attacked me from dark racist motives" - (Palestinian) Ayman Hamed, who carries a work permit from Israel, says an Israeli bus driver refused to allow him to enter the bus, cursed him and others and literally "kicked him off the bus." Hamed filed a complaint with the police, but they closed case saying "the circumstances do not warrant an investigation or trial." Hamed is suing. (Israel Hayom, p. 21)
- Demand: Put filmmakers of "5 Broken Cameras" on trial - The forum 'Consensus - Soldiers in support of soldiers' turned to Attorney General requesting the filmmakers of (the Oscar-nominated) film be tried for incitement against IDF soldiers and commanders, partly because they exposed soldiers' faces in the film. (Israel Hayom, p. 19)
- Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli calls for Pollard's release - Ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Israel, supermodel Bar Refaeli and actors Zion Baruch, Eli Yatzpan and Shlomo Vishinsky join more than 155,000 Israelis who have signed a petition supporting the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. (Israel Hayom)
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