Turkey, Israel to restore full diplomatic relations after break in 2018
Turkey and Israel will return ambassadors to their countries, ending a four-year rupture as each country seeks to expand ties and influence in the Middle East, JTA reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the news on Aug. 16 after Lapid spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The agreement follows a visit to Ankara in March by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who met with Erdogan.
It was Erdogan who initiated a suspension of ties after violence flared on the Israel-Gaza border following the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.
Ties were previously strained in 2010 after Israel’s deadly raid on a Turkish ship — the Mavi Marmara, which sought to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza — but Israel and Turkey reconciled in 2016.
Israel seeks to build on the 2020 Abraham Accords, which normalized relations with four Arab countries.
Illustrated adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary receives reprieve in Texas
A school district in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, ordered its librarians to remove an illustrated adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from their shelves and digital libraries, along with the Bible and dozens of other books challenged by parents last year, JTA reported.
The book purge at the Keller Independent School District in Keller, Texas, was requested on Aug. 16 by a district executive in an email.
“Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation,” by Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman and illustrator David Polonsky, is a 2019 illustrated adaptation of the bestselling diary by the teenage Holocaust victim.
Later in the week, Superintendent Rick Westfall said the illustrated adaptation and other removed books would be back on shelves “very soon.”
Two Women Appointed to Top Spy Roles by Mossad
The Mossad announced on Aug. 18 the appointment of two women to senior roles, The Jerusalem Post reported.
One woman, named “A,” heads the Mossad’s Intelligence Department, while another, named “K” heads the Iran Department.
Four women now serve in the forum of department heads that make up the senior executive team running the agency.
“It is important for the Mossad, as an agency that stands at the forefront of providing security for the state, to send a message to women about the unlimited possibilities that are available to them in the organization, as well as to serve as a role model for other security agencies when it comes to integrating women into key positions,” Mossad Director David Barnea said.
— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb