israelam news

Israel News for 1-31-18

Cyber Attacks
According to Israel’s former national cyber chief Buki Carmeli, the number of cyberattacks on Israel increased significantly in response to the December announcement by U.S. President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Border Fences
Over the past seven years, Israel has spent over 6 billion shekels on erecting border fences. This doesn’t include the 4 billion shekels spent on the barrier separating the West Bank from pre-1967 Israeli territory. Israel is currently building a high tech fence and underground barrier system on the Gaza border. Israel also constructed a fence all along the border with Egypt, as well as along the Syrian and Lebanese border. Israel is also building a fence along the southern part of its border with Jordan, to stem illegal migrants.

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New Funding
The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said Tuesday that Russia, Kuwait and nine European countries have agreed to speed up their contributions to help fill a shortfall left by the Trump administration’s decision to greatly reduce crucial US funding.

Last year the US contributed $360 million, or one third of UNRWA’s $1 billion budget. This year the US has committed to giving only $60 million. At UNRWA’s urging, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Kuwait, the Netherlands and Ireland have all taken on the east of filling the budget gap.

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Rivlin in Greece
Israel’s President Rivlin is in Greece on an official state visit. Yesterday he, along with the Greek PM, laid the cornerstone for a Holocaust museum in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, which lost 97 percent of its Jewish community during the war. The museum will occupy a plot close to the former Jewish neighborhood of Baron Hirsch, turned by the Nazis into a ghetto and transit camp. There are currently 1,300 Jews living in the city.

To view a video of Rivlin reviewing the Greek honor guard and the playing of the Israeli and Greek national anthems, click here.

Enough Already
Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Lau instructed the public to stop including the special prayer for rain in public prayers since, “Praise G-d, we were privileged and the heavens opened up.” People can still include the rain prayer in their own private prayers, since their is still a rainfall shortage in Israel.

Agriculture Minister Ariel attribute the recent rain storms that hit Israel to the prayers of the people. He said, “It’s thanks to all of our prayers—at the Western Wall, at synagogues, or any other place, spoken loudly or said in one’s heart, with a kippah and without.”

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Tu Bishvat
Today is Tu Bishvat (the 15th day in the Hebrew month of Shvat), which marks the new year for trees. It marks the time when the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. It also represents the idea that renewal and redemption begins even in the darkest times. Tu Bishvat is marked by eating fruit of the Land of Israel, such as dates, figs, pomegranates, grapes etc.

To read more about the holiday and the different ways to commemorate and celebrate the day, check out the tons of content offered by our partner The Israel Forever Foundation. Click here.