News Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

In Jerusalem, even street naming can be divisive

In East Jerusalem, addresses in many Palestinian neighborhoods are nonexistent. Without street names and house numbers, people identify where they live by adjacent landmarks: "opposite the mosque," or "next to the corner bakery."

Ultra-Orthodox students are angry at Eud Barak's plans to end their exemption from military service

Ultra-Orthodox up in arms as Israel prepares to end army exemption

The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has announced plans to draft thousands of Ultra-Orthodox students into the army – a move that could set him at loggerheads with the religious parties in the run-up to a general election in January.

Netanyahu chooses date of next Israeli general election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen January 22 as the date of the next general election, but it could be some time before he discovers the identity of his main challenger.

Netanyahu calls snap general election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night called a snap general election, hoping to cash in on his overwhelming popularity and forestall divisive wrangling over spending cuts.

The Crusader States, By Malcolm Barber. Yale, £25

Between 1099 and 1192, an assortment of Western European Christians known as Franks or Crusaders managed to recapture, rule and eventually lose Jerusalem, Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli and the lands surrounding them in Syria, Palestine and the Levant. Known as Outremer, these were Latin and Catholic polities in lands then dominated by Greek Orthodox, or Shia and Sunni Muslim. Malcolm Barber's detailed, fair-minded and scholarly history of this collection of western states in an eastern setting sheds much light on both the period, and its repercussions, which are still with us today.

The Liars' Gospel, By Naomi Alderman

This gripping and visceral novel depicts the life of Christ from a Jewish perspective.

DJ Taylor: Britain is ready for a highbrow PM

Bright politicians should learn that authenticity pays; dirty wars in leafy suburbia; and books that shape generations

Album: Bill Fay, Life Is People (Dead Oceans)

Success in songwriting is as much a lottery as a measure of true quality.

The Blagger's Guide To: Oldies

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?

Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert cleared of two charges but found guilty of one in corruption case

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been cleared of the major charges in a corruption trial which forced him from power.

Kathy Burke: 'I'm sick of dramas about crime and murder which always make young actresses take their clothes off'

Kathy comes home

Kathy Burke has written a sitcom about her childhood, but most shows about young women make her puke, she tells James Rampton

Jez Butterworth’s latest play, The River, is billed as bewitching tale involving a remote cabin, a man and woman and a moonless night

How to build a new Jerusalem in an 85-seat theatre

Jez Butterworth's hit play caused a transatlantic stampede – and it won't be easy to catch his new work either

Israel begins rounding up African migrants

Israeli authorities say they have detained dozens of migrants from South Sudan who have entered the country illegally.

Amore

Observations: Popera act Amore are graduating to the big time

Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins have done wonders in changing classical music's reputation as stuffy. But will British operatic group Amore succeed in putting the fun back in opera and be the next big opera band?

Lord Rothschild backs occupy activists

Lord Jacob Rothschild, the British investment banker, arts patron and philanthropist, has expressed "sympathy" for the Occupy movement's protests against banks.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project