The multi-ethnic and multilingual Idan Raichel Project has set out to change how the world views the Middle East. But the project's creator sees potential for expanding the project's impact far beyond music.
Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israeli citizens, a block about equal in size to the Hispanic population in the United States. But while Hispanics in the United States made a big difference in the past election, Arabs in Israel have little impact on Israeli elections.
Israel's electoral system for parliament has people voting for parties, not people. In order to get seats, a party needs to win at least two percent of the vote. Some 34 parties are running this year and some parties that are on the fringe of Israeli politics are on the verge of winning enough support to actually secure seats.
Israel's elections later this month will be a test of how politically motivated 2011's protesters in that country were. In a series of protests, tens of thousands took to Tel Aviv's streets to protest climbing housing costs. But polls indicate that its the right-wing parties that are building momentum in the election.
In a bid to construct a hotel and church for a Christian priest, archaeologists in Israel may have made a major discovery. As they dug, they came across the remains of a synagogue, one thousands of years old with potential implications for Judaism and Christianity.
Israeli officials have said they will push ahead with new settlements in a sensitive area of the West Bank, in retaliation for Palestinian officials move to get recognition at the United Nations. U.S. officials have protested and European countries have taken even stronger actions.
Palestinians scored a diplomatic victory on Thursday when the United Nations General Assembly granted their request for nonmember observer status, rejecting a call from Israel and the United States to put that off until Israel and the Palestinians reach a permanent peace agreement.
Yasser Arafat died some eight years ago, but the investigation into his death only recently turned a surprising corner. On Tuesday, investigators exhumed his body to try and determine if radiation poisoning was behind his death.
The Israeli action in Gaza continues and the Palestinian protests have reached the West Bank. On Tuesday, Palestinians took to the street, where they were joined by Palestinian Authority security forces — a sign the authority is concerned this attack may hurt its standing in the eyes of Palestinians.
Lena Ibrahim, a Palestinian-American, is watching the unfolding crisis between Israel and Hamas with alarm. She has friends who still live in Gaza and as the death toll mounts, she's worried about their safety.