Globe Briefs November 18

Globe Briefs November 18

Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her opera debut

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared on stage in an opera performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Ginsburg, 83, performed Saturday night with the Washington National Opera in “The Daughter of the Regiment” by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. She played the role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp.

Some of her lines were rewritten to reflect the current political climate, according to reports. The Los Angeles Times reported that Ginsburg did the rewriting. The new lines referenced among other issues the “birther” campaign against President Barack Obama and her 2013 dissent against weakening the Voting Rights Act.

Ginsburg, who reportedly is an opera fan, did not sing, and delivered her lines in English rather than French.

She wore a floor-length green gown and sat in a huge chair that did not allow her feet to reach the floor, according to reports.

State Department calls Israel’s outpost bill a ‘troubling step’

The U.S. State Department called a controversial Knesset bill that would legalize some unauthorized West Bank outposts a “troubling step” and “corrosive to the cause of peace.”

In a briefing Monday to reporters, State Department Press Office director Elizabeth Trudeau first referred to the legislation passed a day earlier by a Knesset committee as “a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution.” She later amended her statement to say the “issue of the settlements” instead of a settlement enterprise, calling it a “good clarification.”

Trudeau was responding to a question about the legislation, which passed the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and is expected to be introduced in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday for its first reading.

The measure was sponsored by the Jewish Home party in an effort to save Amona, which Israel’s Supreme Court has determined was built on private Palestinian property and ordered demolished by Dec. 25.

Under the bill, the government would pay the Palestinian landowners large sums of money and give them new property in exchange for their land.

“We’re deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalization of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land,” Trudeau said. “Israel’s own attorney general has reportedly expressed serious concerns about the constitutionality of the proposed legislation.

“If this law were enacted, it could pave the way for the legalization of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank. This would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that’s inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and also break longstanding Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land.

“Our policy, as you know, on settlements is clear,” she said. “We believe they are corrosive to the cause of peace.”

Trudeau declined to answer a question on whether the Obama administration would “do something tangible” if the bill becomes law.

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked brought the bill to the committee over the objections of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Oct. 31, the State Attorney’s Office asked for a delay of seven months from the Dec. 25 deadline to evacuate Amona, saying it could not arrange alternative housing for the residents before the target date. The government indicated at the time of the request that it would go ahead with the demolition of the settlement on time if required. The request was denied.