israelam news

Israel News for 3-9-18

Joint Exercise
The IDF and US Army are participating in a joint military exercise called Juniper Cobra 2018, which began March 4th and will last until the end of the month. The exercise is particularly addressing the scenario of Israel facing thousands of rockets launched simultaneously from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

Lt.-Col. Richard Clark, commander of the American force said, “This is the biggest, most important exercise held by United States European Command this year. it symbolizes our commitment to Israel’s security. For eight months we’ve drawn conclusions from the previous exercise and thought about ways to improve our ability to defend Israel.”

He said, “Some 2,500 American troops deployed across Israel, Europe and the US are participating in the exercise along with more than 2,000 IDF soldiers. In our operation centers, we have American service members sitting side by side with Israeli defense force members, and this is the glue that is going to hold the inter-operability and the integration together when it comes time for us to execute this mission.”

For further reading click here.

Sudan Aid
A team from the Foreign Ministry headed by Ambassador to South Sudan Hanan Godar distributed 20 tons of food to refugees affected by the civil war plaguing the country. Israel enlisted in a campaign to alleviate the suffering following an international appeal for urgent assistance. Goder also announced that Israel will accept 60 students from southern Sudan for agricultural training next year.

Goder’s announcement was widely covered in the local media where Israel is viewed as a giant contributor in foreign aid and is advancing many building projects in South Sudan.

For further reading click here.

Legalizing Pot
The Knesset is close to passing a bill that would decriminalize marijuana use and possession. Passing unanimously on its first of three legislative readings, the bill proposes a NIS 1,000 ($290) fine on first-time possession of marijuana for adults. Getting caught for a second time would result in a NIS 2,000 fine. A third-time offender would have to complete a community service program. Police would only proceed with criminal charges upon a fourth offense. So using pot would still be illegal, but not jail worthy until a fourth offense.

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, who introduced the bill, said policy should focus on education, prevention and drug rehabilitation rather than criminalization.

In explaining the bill, lawmakers wrote that getting caught with marijuana should not impact the future of “a normative person who does not lead a criminal lifestyle.”

Marijuana use in Israel has increased from 5.5% of those aged 18-40 in 2009 to 27% in 2016. Among teenagers, the reported rise is from 5% to 10%.

For further reading click here.

Jerusalem Marathon
About 35,000 runners from 72 countries participated in the 8th annual Jerusalem Marathon today. Kenyan runner Shadrack Kipkogey finished the marathon first in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 27 seconds. It’s his third consecutive win. Last month the Tel Aviv marathon was also won by a Kenyan runner.

For further reading click here.

Here’s a new song sung by Yonatan Raizel and composed by Israeli icon Motti Caspi. To listen click here.

Book Giveaway
IsraelAM is giving away 3 books to help you learn more about Israel.
The first two are historical fiction by bestselling, world famous Jewish writer Herman Wouk. The third is a non fiction work about Israel’s innovations in the field of water technology — and what Israel can teach the world in that vital area.

1. The Hope, by Herman Wouk
2. The Glory, by Herman Wouk
3. Let There Be Water, by Seth M. Siegel

Winner will be announced on Monday. After you enter, make sure you check your inbox for the confirmation email to confirm your entry.

Books can only be shipped within the US…sorry :(

To enter the giveaway click here.