Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people are enjoying sweeping support in the lead up to Thursday night's vote at the UN General Assembly over whether to upgrade the Palestinians' standing to non-member observer state status. By Thursday morning Israel time, that support had turned into a full-on landslide, as more European nations – including Germany – decided to alter their positions, essentially leaving Israel to fend for itself.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert broke ranks with official policy by saying that he sees “no reason to oppose” the Palestinian bid for UN recognition. Olmert said that the General Assembly decision “lays the foundation for the idea” of a two-state solution.
Sixty thousand Labor Party members were expected to headed to the polls on Thursday to choose their party's slate from among 83 contenders. In the wake of the many malfunctions experienced during the Likud primaries on Monday, Labor had cancelled computerized voting. As of 2 P.M., the voter turnout stood at 18 percent. Labor chairwoman, Shelly Yacomovich, called on voters to ignore 'blacklists' that dictate who not to vote for and pushed for a 'balanced list.'
The Iranian Navy unveiled two new submarines and two missile-launching warships on Wednesday, Mehr news agency reported. The two domestically-built Ghadir submarines and the Sina-7 warships - together with two repaired hovercrafts - officially joined the Iranian Navy, Mehr quoted navy commander Habibollah Sayari as saying.
Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA. Wonder's representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his status as a UN "Messenger of Peace," according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder's representatives and organizers of the event.
A Tiberias judge ruled that kibbutz members must share child support, citing their "egalitarian lifestyle." The judge's decision was made in response to a woman's request that her ex-husband be solely responsible for their children's support.
A pilot for Israel's biometric database will begin in January 2013, thanks to a directive that was passed by the Knesset on Wednesday, which includes biometric means of identification and biometric identification data in identification documents and databases.
The government wants half of Israel's garbage to be recycled by the end of the decade, as landfill sites become increasingly scarce. The success of a recent program might give it hope – unless 'political rubbish' gets in the way.
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