With Israel Independence Day next week, the country’s population statistics are out and looking strong. The population in Israel is currently 8,680,000, up 159,000 (1.9%) from last year. The Jewish population is 6,484,000, which is about 75% of the total population. Arabs make up just over 20% with 1.8 million people. There are close to 400,000 people classified as non-Arab Christians or members of other religions.
Within the Jewish population 44% classify themselves as non religious, 24% as traditional, 12% as “modern” religious and 11% as Haredi (ultra-orthodox).
Regarding happiness, 89% of those surveyed said they were happy with their lives in Israel, 59% were happy with their financial condition and 52% assumed that their lives would improve in the future.
There are eight cities with over 200,000 inhabitants: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Letzion, Petach Tikva, Ashdod, Netanya and Bersheeva.
To read more statistics click here.
Senate Warns UN
The 100 members of the US Senate signed a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning the UN to stop picking on Israel.
The letter said, “While much good is being done and has been done by the body, many of its member states and agencies are using the UN’s privileged platform to advance an ant-Israel agenda. Too often, the UN is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing the lofty goals of its founders. These actions have at time reinforced the broader courage of anti-Semitism…”
The Senators stressed, “…we are united in our desire to see the United Nations improve its treatment of Israel and to eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms.”
The letter pointed out several specific steps the UN should take to improve the treatment of Israel including the termination of funding for agencies and committees related to the BDS movement, and the stopping of anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO, UNRWA and UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The letter ended with a strong demand for Guterres to, “engage member states in a comprehensive effort to directly confront and root out this [anti-Israel] bias.”
To read the entire letter click here.
Trouble Up North
A Patriot anti-ballistic missile was fired from the northern Israel to destroy an drone that had penetrated into the Golan from Syria. This comes in the aftermath of a reported Israeli attack on Hezbollah weapons depot in the Damascus International Airport early Thursday morning. The weapons are regularly sent to the Assad regime by Iran.
In an unrelated event, a Lebanese citizen was arrested by police in Kiryat Shmona, just over the Lebanese border, after he was spotted by citizens at the towns central bus station. The man was found to have infiltrated from Lebanon. Police are investigating.
For further reading click here.
Bennett in Charge
Bayit Yehudi leader and Minister of Education Naftali Bennet won his party’s primary election by a landslide, consolidating his position of leadership. Bennett won a whopping 80% of the vote. He said, “The choice was not about me. Rather, the choice was about the way… the way to maintain Israel’s security without compromise, to preserve our Jewish identity, to maintain unity and to open the party’s ranks. Anyone who believes in our values, this is his home.”
For further reading click here.
The World Jewish Congress has launched a campaign to stop FIFA, the international soccer association, from potentially banning Israel from the organization.
The WJC has launched the #LetIsraelPlay campaign on social media to defeat the boycott movement’s attempt to kick Israel out of FIFA.
1) Visit the FIFA Facebook page and tell them to keep politics out of football.
2) Paste this video (https://goo.gl/mdQpob) and the following message to their Facebook wall before May 11:
FIFA, one of the world’s most important sports organizations, is contemplating the world’s biggest mistake — to expel Israel from FIFA. We can not let this happen!