Israel News for 7-11-17

Terror Attack
A terrorist rammed his car into an IDF roadside station at an intersection in Gush Etzion yesterday. He then got out of the car with a knife and attempted to stab soldiers. He was shot and killed by security forces at the scene. One soldier was lightly injured by a pole that fell on him as a result of the ramming.

For further reading click here.

Labor Leader
The Labor Party has elected Avi Gabbay as its new leader. Gabbay beat favorite Amir Peretz in a runoff election last night. Gabbay is the former CEO of Bezeq, Israel’s premier telecommunications company. In 2014 he formed the Kulanu party with Moshe Kahalon, and was appointed to serve as the environmental protection minister in Netanyahu’s government. During his tenure, he promoted the “Bags Law” requiring customers to purchase plastic bags at supermarkets, worked to remove the ammonia tank from the Haifa Bay and also to reduce the emission of pollutants from the Israel Electric Corporation’s power plants. 

In 2016 Gabbay resigned from his post and party in protest over the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister. Shorty after, he joined the Labor Party.

Gabbay, in his victory speech, said, To all those who mourned the Labor Party as not being an alternative to the government, to all the citizens of Israel who lost the hope for change—the answer is tonight. Our path is going to lead us to a new administration in Israel…I call on citizens of Israel to join me.”

Israel’s next general election is scheduled for 2019.

For further reading click here.

Fast Day
Today, the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, is observed as a day of fasting to commemorate and mourn five events recorded in the Talmud that occurred on this day:

1. Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf.

2. The walls of Jerusalem were breached by both the Babylonians (First Temple) and the Romans (Second Temple). Three weeks later, on the 9th of Av, the Temple (both 1st and 2nd) was destroyed.

3. Apostomos, a Roman or Greek general, publicly burned the Torah.

4. An idol was placed inside the Temple.

5. The daily offering in the Temple was discontinued as a result of the siege of Jerusalem.

Ashkenazic Jews observe various customs of mourning for the next 3 weeks, culminating in the fast of Tisha B’av.

To read more about this day and the customs associated with it click here.

New Member
Kibbutz Eilon, located just south of the Lebanese border in the western Galilee, has just accepted a Bedouin family as full members of the kibbutz. This is probably the first time that an Arab family has been granted membership in a kibbutz. The family of five got 116 votes out of 124. The family had previously been renting on the kibbutz.

Mahmoud, 49, and Hadil, 32, are both nurses by profession and have three sons, Yazan, Adam and Amari. Hadil works at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, while Mahmoud works for the National Insurance Institute and Clalit Health Services.

Mahmoud related, “My father actually grew up on a kibbutz from age 10 as an adopted child of a Polish family on Kibbutz Matzuva and to this day he is known by the name Asher. He was a shepherd for the kibbutz and lived there until he was 30. Our decision to move to the kibbutz was completely accepted by our families and my mother even congratulated us. We are totally involved in kibbutz life.”

Mahmoud’s first project for the kibbutz was the establishment of an emergency medical center staffed by doctors and nurses, including him and his wife. Hadil also took a project upon herself and established a recreation center for kids and their parents.

They said, “We believe in coexistence, love the sense of togetherness and the level of love, warmth and compassion. Our grandparents always supported kibbutzim in the area and the village always had a connection with them, even supplying flour and food.”

They added, “There is a pool here, a gym, friendliness, support to mothers, peace of mind, communal meals on Friday nights and most importantly, accepting others as people.”

For further reading click here.

Silent Dance
Students at the Belzer hassidic yeshiva in Brooklyn figured out a way to party without disturbing the neighbors. To watch how they accomplished this click here.