jewish divorce israel

Israel News for 8-29-17

Court Ruling
On Monday Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that that illegal aliens (who are primarily from African countries) refusing to be transferred to a third African country cannot be detained for more than 60 days. According to the existing law, infiltrators who refuse to be deported can be held against their will indefinitely at a detention center in the Negev until they are “convinced” to be deported.

The decision was made by a panel of five judges, in response to an appeal submitted the end of 2015 to the Be’er Sheva District Court by two Eritrean citizens and six human rights organizations, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and a center for refugees and immigrants.

In the ruling, Naor stressed that while an infiltrator could be held for more than 60 days for refusing to cooperate with authorities, refusing deportation does not constitute such a refusal, and could not be used to keep infiltrators locked up.

She said, “Interpreting refusal of deportation as a refusal to cooperate cannot coexist with the need for a true, free-willed, voluntary and autonomous agreement (for deportation).”

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, however, criticized the judges’ decision. “The decision not to allow the state to expel infiltrators against their will is very problematic, as it takes away from the state a very important tool and allows any infiltrator who wants to stay to remain in Israel.” He added, “We have to take care of the citizens of the State of Israel, the residents of south Tel Aviv and other cities whose lives are not worth living.”

Deri is planning to sponsor an amendment to the law that would allow the state to deport infiltrators from the country against their will.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked also attacked the court’s decision yesterday, stressing that the principles of Zionism and maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel must take precedents over issues relating to human rights.

Commenting on the court’s ruling Shaked said, “The question of the Jewish majority is never relevant. It’s irrelevant when the issue is African illegal aliens setting up camp in south Tel Aviv, effectively creating a city within a city while pushing out the original residents. The court’s response was striking down—and then striking down again—the law attempting to deal with this phenomenon.”

While saying that she strongly believes in the importance of safeguarding the human rights of all individuals, she made it clear that she believes that doing so must not threaten the continued stability of a Jewish majority in the land of Israel. When the two clash, the latter must always prevail.

For further reading click here.

No Strip
The Tel Aviv District Court ruled yesterday that stripping cannot be considered “entertainment,” and revoked a business license belonging to a Ramat Gan strip club.

In the ruling Justice Michal Agmon Gonen wrote, “Stripping is using a woman’s body as a tool to titillate and sexually satisfy the male viewers, and women should not be used merely as tools to achieving someone else’s objectives.”

The suit against the strip club, which is located in the Diamond Exchange complex, was filed by the Ramat Gan municipality, which claimed that the only activity a club in the region may supply its patrons is “entertainment”. A lower court initially ruled in favor of the municipality. Then the club owner turned to the appellate court which overturned the lower court’s decision. The municipality then brought the case before the District Court.

Even though most strippers do not consider their work degrading, Judge Gonen ruled that, “It can be determined that a certain activity objectifies women and injures their dignity, even if they themselves don’t consider that to be the case.”

Gonen’s ruling can lead to the closing of other strip clubs throughout the country.

The club’s owner intends to bring his case before the Supreme Court.

For further reading click here.

Hebron Autonomy
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday granted official status to the Jewish community of Hebron, represented by the Hebron Municipal Committee. The committee will have administrative authority over all the Jewish residents of the city and all Jewish owned property. The Jewish community will no longer be reliant upon or under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority’s Hebron municipality.

It was further determined that in the case of road hazards and the like in the PA controlled section of the city, the head of the municipal committee would inform the mayor of Hebron to deal with it. Should the matter not be dealt with within a reasonable period of time, the municipal head may deal with the matter himself with the approval of the Civil Administration.

The Jewish community welcomed the decision to grant it autonomy.

For further reading click here.

Terror Families
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met last night in Ramallah with families of Palestinian prisoners (including terrorists) being held in Israeli jails and receiving medical care while serving their sentences. According to a report in the Palestinian Wafa news agency, the family members asked Guterres “to act seriously to save the lives of more than 6,500 male and female Palestinian prisoners who are being subjected to serious harm.”

Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Authority, Issa Qaraqe, asked Guterres to convene a special meeting in the UN General Assembly on the matter. Guterres responded, “We understand the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners, and are working with the relevant officials in order to stop their suffering.”

Guterres also visited the grave of Yassir Arafat as part of his four day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

For further reading click here.

Back to Egypt
Eight months ago Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt and his staff were forced to leave the country because of security threats. Yesterday the Ambassador David Gorin returned with eight staff members, where they will resume work from the ambassadors residence in suburban Cairo. The Israeli Embassy in central Cairo has been closed since protesters stormed it in 2011.

For further reading click here.

Super Mom
If you think you’ve got a busy schedule, you need to watch this video about a mother of 19. Yup, you heard right. The dad should get some credit too. They’re originally from Brooklyn and live in Safed (Tzfat).

To watch the video (Hebrew) click here.

Israel News for 8-28-17

UN Visit
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is on a four day visit to Israel. He visited Yad Vashem today and then met with President Rivlin and told him that he would be handling relations in the Middle East impartially and that he was devoted to implementing the principles in the UN Charter.

He said, “Impartiality means treating all states equally, and I am totally committed to that in my action and in everything I can do for the organization I lead,” he continued. “I do believe that in particular when you mention those that call for the destruction of the State of Israel that that is a form of modern anti-Semitism, but you also understand that I sometimes disagree with positions with the government of Israel or any other government, and that is absolutely normal in a society where many of your citizens have exactly the same expressions of opinions.”

Guterres will also meet with PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Lieberman and opposition leader Herzog. He will meet Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday in the West Bank and visit Gaza on Wednesday.

In the Yad Vashem visitors book Guterres wrote, “As UN Secretary-General, I’m committed to combating anti-Semitism and any other form of intolerance that hasn’t yet been eradicated. I wish to praise every person who works and preserves this exceptional museum.”

For further reading click here.

IDF Pardons
President Reuven Rivlin has called upon IDF soldiers with criminal records to file a special request to the President’s Residence seeking a full removal of prior convictions in a bid to optimize work prospects and facilitate greater integration into society.

Rivlin basically said that everyone deserves a second chance and that the crimes committed by youths were not indicative of how they would behave as adults, especially after serving in the IDF with distinction.

The president recently granted clemency to a number of soldiers who carried out their military responsibilities and careers with the utmost professionalism, thereby enabling them to turn a new leaf and facilitate greater integration in the workplace.

For further reading click here.

New Fighters
Israel has purchased 17 more F-35 stealth fighters from the US, bringing the total number of planes to 50, which constitutes two fighter squadrons. Delivery of the planes will be completed by late 2024. The air force has already received five of the planes in recent months, with two more scheduled for delivery in the coming days and an additional two in October.

The 17 planes now ordered are Israel’s third purchase of Stealth fighters. For the first time, the price per plane will be less than $100 million, compared with $125 million per plane in the first procurement in 2011 and $110 million in the second in 2015. A defense sources estimated that the price in the current purchase would be just over $90 million per plane.

Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman said, “Completion of the deal for purchasing the stealth fighter constitute a significant and strategic addition of force for the air force. The two F-35 squadrons, the apex of technology, will help the IDF cope with the security challenges facing Israel.”

For further reading click here.

Conan in Israel
Comedian Conan O’Brian is in Israel and having a blast. You can follow his trip and watch his hilarious videos on his Facebook page.

To view the Facebook page click here.

Jared Kushner and Abbas

Israel News for 8-25-17

Jared’s Message
During his visit to Israel yesterday with a small US delegation, Jared Kushner told both Netanyahu and Abbas That President Trump was very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in this area,” and that he was “very optimistic and hopeful for a better future for all Palestinian people and Israeli people.”

Neither side seems very confident that a real solution will emerge from the peace making attempts, but they continue to hope.

For further reading click here.

Settlement Wall
The Defense Ministry has allocated NIS 5.5 million to build a wall around part of Beit El, the large Jewish settlement located next to Ramallah. The wall will protect the settlement from attacks from the adjacent Palestinian refugee camp Jalazone.

According to Beit El Spokeswoman Yael Ben-Yashar, the request to build a wall came after “Palestinians attacked the community several times over the last year, including shootings at houses and using explosive devices and Molotov cocktails, which have started fires.”

Work on the wall is scheduled to begin in a few weeks.

For further reading click here.

Terror Stats
According to statistics released by Israel’s security services (Shin Bet), there were 222 terrorist attacks against Israelis in the month of July, which is the highest number since December of 2015. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 2 soldiers and 3 civilian. Seven people were wounded. Of the attacks, 129 occurred in Judea and Samaria and 87 in Jerusalem. Most of the attacks consisted of throwing Molotov Cocktails or firebombs.

Since January of 2016 there have been 2,314 attacks in which 33 were killed and 223 wounded.

To read the Shin Bet report click here.

Peace Game
One way to move the peace process for ward and improve Israeli-Arab coexistence has come from an unlikely source — backgammon. Specifically, the Jerusalem Backgammon Championships, which came to a conclusion last night after months of play.

To read more about this click here.

Shabbat Song
I can’t think of a better way to get ready for Shabbat than by listening to the legendary Reb Shlomo Carlebach singing his version of Lecha Dodi.

Shabbat Shalom!

To listen to Lecha Dodi click here.

Israel News for 8-24-17

Tragic Details
The military court released its indictment of the terrorist who murdered the three members of the Salomon family in Halamish earlier this summer. The document recounts graphic details of the attack based on the terrorist’s own words.

According to the document the terrorist, after entering the settlement, came to two houses, one of which was dark and quiet. He chose the house that had its light on and noise coming from it. When he entered the house he first met Chaya (the daughter) and said “what about Al Aqsa” before plunging his knife into her chest. Then he stabbed Tova (the mother) in the back and she managed to escape upstairs. Meanwhile, Michal (the daughter-in-law) grabbed the children and ran upstairs where she hid them.

The terrorist then stabbed Yossi (the father) in the stomach. That’s when Elad (the son) jumped on the terrorist and began struggling with him. Elad was stabbed 3 times before he managed to get the knife out of the terrorist’s hand. Then the terrorist kicked him in the back, throwing him to his knees. He then stepped on his hand and hit him in his head with a cutting board and then stabbed him in the head with the knife that was in the cutting board. He then picked up the original knife and stabbed Elad 12 times.

The terrorist then returned to Yossi, who was still breathing, and stabbed him another 15 times. He was then shot by the neighbor, an IDF soldier.

For further reading click here.

US Peace Delegation
A US delegation comprised of Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell arrived in Israel last night. The visit’s goal, a White House source told Politico, is to “focus on the path to substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, combating extremism, the situation in Gaza, including how to ease the humanitarian crisis there.”

Before coming to Israel, the Americans met with leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. They will meet with PM Netanyahu today and then head to Ramallah to meet with Abbas.

The Palestinians have criticized the US as being too pro Israel and unable to serve as an impartial broker. They have also began dropping hints that they might resume their bid for full UN membership and to file suits against Israel in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Btw, Dina Powell is an Egyptian born American (Christian) who is fluent in Arabic.

For further reading click here.

PM and Putin
PM Netanyahu met with Russian President Putin yesterday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi to discuss the threat of Iran’s growing military presence in Syria.

Netanyahu said, “Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria. That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon.”

He added, “We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day; it is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads. For all these reasons, Israel continues to oppose Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. We will defend ourselves in any way against this threat and any threat.”

While Putin did not directly address the Iranian issue, he did praise what he described as an “efficient mechanism of cooperation” between Russia and Israel.

Israel has been in talks with US officials to obtain a commitment that the US will include a clause in any agreement to end the Syrian conflict that would require the withdrawal of all Iranian forces from the country. The US has not committed to the request.

Israel is concerned that Iran is about to build military, air and naval bases in Syria, which Israel has said would constitute the crossing of a red line.

For further reading click here.

Oh No
Last week Amanda Hanna won the 2017 Miss Lebanon Emigrant Beauty Pageant. But now she’s been stripped of her title because it was revealed that she visited Israel last year on her Swedish passport. Visiting Israel is illegal according to Lebanese law. Oh well.

For further reading click here.

Lost and Found
Last Wednesday the driver of the #422 bus that runs from Jerusalem to Bnei Brak found a roll of American cash held together with a rubber band. He turned it in to his dispatcher who then deposited it at the Ramat Gan police station.

The police placed a notice in the local Bnei Brak newspaper, saying that a large amount of money was left on the bus by an ultra-Orthodox passenger. Within hours, a man from Bnei Brak called the station and gave officers accurate details identifying the rubber band-bound wad of cash.

The driver of the bus was 35-year-old Ramadan Jamjoum, an Arab from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. He said the cash “did not tempt” him as “it is my duty morally and religiously, and to my God and my work, to return the money.”

Jamjoum got no reward, just a certificate of thanks from his company.

For further reading click here.

Israel News for 8-22-17

US Kotel Report
The US State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 expresses displeasure about the Israeli government’s reluctance to follow thru on the compromise agreement reached with non-Orthodox Jewish denominations to create an egalitarian prayer area at the southern area of the Western Wall (Kotel).

The report also expressed concern about the continued prohibition of women to read from the Torah at the Kotel and about “reports of Haredi men spitting at non-Haredi Jews and persons of other faiths, including those wearing Christian clerical clothing.”

Israel’s Supreme Court is scheduled to rule next week on a petition against the government’s decision to freeze the egalitarian prayer area plan. The Chief Rabbis have submitted a petition claiming that the court has no jurisdiction to rule over matters related to the Kotel and Jewish worship.

For further reading click here.

Pedophile Crackdown
Israel’s Ministry of Education has begun conducting rigorous checks into the criminal records of all school teachers and staff members ahead of the resumption of the school term, following heightened fears across the country that Israeli schoolchildren may be exposed to sexual offenders whose history has never been the subject of adequate scrutiny.

The impetus for the checks was the inditement of Shaul Shamai, a 48 year old substitute elementary school teacher in Tel Aviv, for multiple counts of indecent acts against a minor. Shamai was arrested after one of the students told her mother he had hurt her, and the mother complained to the principal.

Since the Education Ministry began examining the backgrounds of school workers, nine sexual offenders were found to be employed over the last year as substitute teachers in elementary schools throughout Israel while 31 teachers were barred from work due to suspicions found in their criminal records. The nine teachers were all fired and are no longer permitted to be employed by the Education Ministry.

Schools have been issued with new instructions by the Ministry of Education stipulating that no substitute teachers may be employed, or even allowed on school premises, without official approval of the ministry itself.

For further reading click here.

UN Blacklist
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, has compiled and is planning to publish a blacklist of international companies doing business in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan. The purpose of the list is apparently to put pressure on the home countries of the companies to stop them from doing business with Israel.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called the list “an embarrassing move,” as well as “an expression of modern anti-Semitism reminiscent of dark periods in history.” He went on to accuse the UN commissioner for human rights of becoming “the BDS Movement’s most active member worldwide” who made it his goal “to harm the State of Israel instead of doing his job,” and called on the international community and the UN “to immediately stop this dangerous move.”

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the list “shameful” and “an attempt to provide an international stamp of approval to the anti-Semitic BDS movement.”

For further reading click here.

Fast Train
Israel Railways yesterday conducted the first trial run of a train on the new Jerusalem – Tel Aviv line, which will connect the two cities in less than half-an-hour. The train will make one stop at Ben Gurion Airport.The new line is scheduled to begin service in April 2018.

Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz said, “This is a fast train that will take 28 minutes to travel between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and will enhance the status of Jerusalem and the ability of people to live there and set up businesses and it will completely transform the connection between Jerusalem and the rest of the country.”

For further reading click here.

Haredi Vacations
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Israelis are spending part of their summer vacations at kosher hotels in European destinations such as the Swiss and Italian Alps. It’s a relatively new phenomenon which is is growing each year.

To watch a video report (in Hebrew) about this new Haredi vacationing trend, click here.

girl with Israeli flag

End of Week Video Edition [VIDEO]

It’s vacation time in Israel, which is traditionally a quite time for the news. So to kick off the weekend we found a few videos we think you’ll find interesting (plus one article at the end).

Barcelona Mincha
Soon after the tragic Barcelona terror attack that took place outside of the Maccabi kosher restaurant, the people in the restaurant, which was under lockdown, joined together in the afternoon prayer (mincha).

To watch the video click here.

Helping Syrians
We’ve already told you about how Israel has been assisting civilians caught in the Syrian civil war. But hearing it from the mouth of one of those Syrians really brings it to life.

To watch the video click here.

IDF History
Here’s some interesting footage of the IDF in the early days of the state along with some news shots. There’s a military march playing in the background, so you might ant to turn down the volume.

To watch the video click here.

Startup Hubs
This video from Wired magazine takes a look at Tel Aviv’s startup and tech scene. Then it moves to Ramallah to show a tech scene you probably didn’t know existed.

To watch the video click here.

Comic Mission
Comedian and TV host Conan O’Brian has announced that he will be heading to Israel to film an episode of his travel show and to escape the turmoil in the US. He also mentioned that he’ll be there at the same time as Jared Kushner, so he might be able to lend a hand to the peacemaking process. It’s much funnier when you watch it for yourself.

To watch the video click here.

Shocking Problem
In an interview with Bentzi Gopstein, the head of the right wing Lehava organization, Gopstein reveals the shocking phenomenon of Jewish girls from Haredi homes being lured into relationships with Arab men who then take advantage of or abuse them. The interview is in Hebrew.

To read the interview click here.

israel disaster aid

Israel News for 8-17-17

Food to Africa
Israel has delivered at least 10,000 meals to the African country of Sierra Leone, which is recovering from a deadly mudslide that devastated its capital and killed hundreds.

Paul Hirschson, Israel’s envoy to Sierra Leone, said that Israel was the first country to provide tangible assistance to the country.

For further reading click here.

Dangerous Game
When you play with fire, you can get burnt. That’s what happened when Hamas terrorists came into conflict with an even more radical terror group in Gaza.

According to the Gazan Interior Ministry, Hamas forces stopped for a security check two people who were nearing the Rafah border crossing (with Egypt) from inside Gaza when one of them set off an explosion, likely from a suicide belt.

The commander who was killed was identified as 28-year-old Nidal al-Jaafari, who in addition to being a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades also served in the Hamas security forces. Five other Hamas security personnel suffered various degrees of injuries in the explosion. The second terrorist was also wounded.

The two terrorists are members of the Salafist faction in the Gaza Strip, which is affiliated with ISIS.

So now Hamas has a taste of what it feels like to be on the other end of a suicide attack.

For further reading click here.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has ruled that a woman can serve as the director general of the state’s rabbinic courts. Justice Elyakim Rubinstein wrote in the decision that, “there is a great value in opening the rabbinic courts for women to serve in administrative roles, not only for women but it also serves to strengthen the public’s faith in the (rabbinic) courts, which is an essential element to the court’s functioning.”

Under to the new criteria, a religious female lawyer or a woman who is a recognized Rabbinical Court’s litigator – a position that has been open to women for years – can submit her candidacy for the top position after practicing in the courts for seven years.

The court’s decision is expected to be opposed by the Haredi leadership on the grounds that the director general position requires a person who is expert in Jewish law (halacha), which apparently can only be someone of the male gender, even though the position is administrative.

In any case, the fact that the court ruled that a women could serve as director general does not mean that the Rabbinical Court must hire a woman to fill the position. It just needs to consider female candidates.

For further reading click here.

Rabbi Expels
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the leading authorities in the Haredi community, has ordered rabbinic leaders in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem to “expel” members of the radical ‘Jerusalem Faction’ (Peleg Hayerushalmi) from the neighborhood. The radical group was formed to demonstrate against the IDF draft. Its demonstrations often turn violent.

For further reading click here.

Air Revenues Up
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) reported a record order backlog of $11.1 billion as of the end of the second quarter of 2017, up from $9 billion at the end of 2016. IAI said that the order backlog was boosted by new deals in the second quarter worth $2.9 billion including $2.4 billion in Indian deals.

For further reading click here.

Inspirational Music
Israeli female singer Roni Dalumi sang this beautiful song at a Yad Vashem memorial on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To watch the video click here.

terror and abbas

Israel News for 8-15-17

Terror Payments
The Shin Bet and police have uncovered a network run by Hamas to transfer money to the families of convicted terrorists. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the funds seized and overnight Monday, security forces raided the homes of families receiving the funds. More than NIS 100,000 in cash was seized along with one vehicle. The raids were carried out in Ras al-Amud, Beit Hanina, Isawiya and Wadi al-Joz in east Jerusalem.

For further reading click here.

New Citizens
The daughter of US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman immigrated to Israel along with 232 other Jews from the US and Canada yesterday on a chartered flight organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh. Included in the group were 70 young men and women who will be joining the IDF. Around 2,000 Jews will be making aliyah (immigrating) to Israel from North America this summer out of an estimated 4,000 this year.

Regarding his daughter Talia, who is a nurse, Ambassador Friedman said, “I hope she will bring aid to those who need her here in Israel.” He added that Talia “always wanted to move to Israel. She is fulfilling her dream and the whole family is proud of her. We’re here to welcome here, to hug her and wish her the best of luck in Israel.”

To read more and watch a video click here.

Israel Basketball
The 16th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe is for the first time being held in Israel. BWB Europe brings together 60 top male and female players born in 2000 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches.

Basketball star Omri Casspi — the only active NBA player from Israel — is involved in this year’s BWB program, which includes a variety of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA clinics and workshops for Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze youth in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in partnership with local community organizations. BWB will dedicate a new “learn and play” center at Jerusalem’s International YMCA as part of the program.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met at his residence on August 10 with NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Mark Tatum, NBA club owners, chairmen, board members, and NBA Hall of Famers David Robinson and Wayne Embry. Rivlin said, “Sport has the great power to break down barriers between people from different communities. In Israel, we are working to build this understanding.”

For further reading click here.

Chocolate Israel
If you love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and want to try your hand at making some, there are places in Israel where you can fulfill your dream.

For a list of 7 Israeli chocolate making experiences, click here.

Music Video
Here’s a beautiful music video of female singer Ofir Ben Shetrit singing a song taken from a verse in Genesis on the Israeli version of The Voice.

To watch the video click here.

Israel News for 8-14-17

Terror Attacks
An Arab woman stabbed a Jewish man near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Shabbat afternoon, lightly injuring him. The woman, 29 and a mother of five from East Jerusalem was tackled and arrested by Border Police after the stabbing. She reportedly told police during the initial investigation that she intended to stab a Jew.

Last night Arabs attacked Israeli vehicles near Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem in Judea. Beitar Illit has 50,000 residents and is the second largest Jewish community in Judea and Samaria after Modiin Illit. Both cities are Haredi.

To read more and watch a brief video clip click here.

Dimona Land
Dimona Mayor Benny Biton (Likud) received city council approval to gift over 100 acres of city land to the neighboring illegal Bedouin community of Qasr al-Sir. Biton received the support of all Likud and Shas council members despite opposition by many of the city’s residents.

According to Negev newspaper Hashavua Hahadash, “Benny Biton gifted municipal lands to the Bedouin, receiving nothing in return. This land, which could have been used for shops, factories, commercial centers, or other business ventures to benefit Dimona’s residents, will now become a Bedouin enclave Dimona, bringing their city dangerously close to Dimona’s entrance. We will not even receive property tax for it. Benny Biton is the only mayor who will be remembered on the one hand as pushing the Israeli government to build five Jewish towns around Dimona, and on the other giving 411 dunams of the city’s land to Bedouin.”

For further reading click here.

PM Pro Kurds
PM Netanyahu told a visiting delegation of 33 Republican Congressman last week that he is in favor of an independent state for the Kurds, calling them “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.” An independence referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan will take place next month.

Zach Daniel, a Middle East analyst based in Tel Aviv and Iraqi Kurdistan and an expert of Kurdish affairs, praised Netanyahu’s statement saying, “Netanyahu’s reiteration of his 2014 declaration-which was followed by virtually every major Israeli political figure-had a unique audience. The Trump administration has so far failed to change course from the same Obama and Bush policies on Iraqi Kurds and Iraq’s unity, and Netanyahu was encouraging Congress to lead on this, and the issue of containing Iran’s proxies. These statements buoy the Kurds, as they look abroad for support for their independence referendum in September.”

For further reading click here.

Latin American Visits
PM Netanyahu is planning to visit Argentina and Mexico in September, which would make him the first sitting Israeli PM to visit Latin America. The trip would coincide with the 70th anniversary of the UN partition plan vote when 13 Latin American and Caribbean countries were among 33 states that cast ballots in its favor, paving the way for Israel’s independence. The trip would be part of Netanyahu’s policy of seeking to improve ties with regions of the world in which Israel has not heavily invested or concentrated on in the past.

For further reading click here.

Anti Smoking
A bill to raise the legal age for smoking from 18 to 21 is making its way through the Knesset. The bill has the support of 20 MKs including Yehuda Glick (Likud), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), Micky Rosenthal (Zionist Union), Yael German (Yesh Atid), Yakov Margi (Shas), Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), and Tali Ploskov (Kulanu).

Eight thousand Israelis die each year from smoking, with 10% of them victims of secondhand smoke. In Israel, 85% of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21.

An unlikely opponent of the bill is Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who claims that he is currently working on legislation that would restrict smoking in public areas and “does not see a need” for an additional bill.

How about raising the minimum age AND restricting smoking in public areas?

For further reading click here.

Learn Hebrew
If you’ve been considering finally learning Hebrew, now’s the perfect time to get started. eTeacher offers the only online Hebrew language courses authorized by the Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education. You’ll learn Hebrew from the world’s leading, certified Hebrew instructors. Classes are conducted exclusively in Hebrew, for beginners and advanced students alike. All classes are conducted via live video conferencing, so you can participate in lessons, tutorials and student discussions from the comfort of your own home.Join thousands of students who have learned Hebrew with eTeacher.

For more information about learning Hebrew with eTeacher click here.

Israel News for 8-10-17

IDF Demolitions
Last night IDF forces demolished the homes of the terrorists who murdered policewoman Hadas Malka in June. The families of the terrorists petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the demolitions, but the court denied their petition stressing that demolition was a deterrent, not a punishment.

The IDF also demolished the home of the terrorist who killed IDF Sgt. Elhai Taharlev in a vehicular attack at the Ofra Junction in April.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Wall
The IDF is speeding up construction of an underground barrier along the border with Gaza. According to recent intelligence, Hamas has been constructing two tunnels just one kilometer from the border on the outskirts of Beit Lahia and the Al-Shati Camp Refugee Camp. One of the tunnels is being built beneath residential buildings and the other adjacent to a mosque.

To see maps and diagrams of the tunnels click here.

Political Asylum
Israel has granted political asylum to Neda Amin, an Iranian-born journalist who fled Iran in 2014 and was expelled from Turkey last month.

Amin, 32, fled Iran in 2014 after her book Zenjir (“The Chain”) was banned. She lived in Turkey for three years as a political refugee, during which time she began contributing to the Times of Israel’s Farsi-language website. But her work for the Israeli website did not go over well in Turkey. She was accused of being a spy by Turkish authorities who gave her 30 days to leave the country. Returning to Iran would have meant a lengthy prison sentence.

Amin landed in Israel today.

For further reading click here.

Electric Roads
In cooperation with Israeli startup ElectRoad, Israel will build a stretch of bus lane in Tel Aviv that will wirelessly recharge electric buses. The technology will be installed on an 800-meter stretch of road slated to be opened in 2018. If everything goes according to plan, the government plans to deploy the technology more extensively, initially along the 18-kilometer road between Eilat and Ramon International Airport.

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Polish Farce
After assisting in annihilating Polish Jewry during the Holocaust, the Polish people — at least some of them — have apparently grown nostalgic about their former neighbors. To that end they stage reenactments of jewish events during which they dress up in traditional Jewish clothing, play Jewish music and even speak Yiddish. It’s something like a twisted macabre version of a Civil War reenactment in the US.

In a recent display of affection for their lost Jews, people in the Polish village of Radzanów, 80 miles northeast of Warsaw, reenacted a Jewish wedding.

If you can stomach it, you can read and watch a video clip by clicking here.