Israel News for April 20, 2016

US Response
In response to PM Netanyahu’s declaration on Monday that the Golan will remain a part of Israel forever, the US declared that it considered the Golan to be part of the territory occupied in 1967, and not part of Israel. US State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters, “Every administration on both sides of the aisle since 1967 has maintained that those territories are not part of Israel.” However, Kirby acknowledged the difficulty in negotiating the return of the Golan to Syria at the present time. You think?

Security and Vacation
Yesterday you might have noticed a Google warning at the top of this email. That’s because was infected with malware on Monday (maybe it was the Iranians??). But have no fear. We removed the malware on Monday and there was no danger in the email. In any case the malware was gone already yesterday, but it took Google a while to review and approve the site again. We’ve taken extra security measures to prevent this from happening again.

On a happier note (for us), we’ll be taken a Pesach hiatus — tomorrow morning will be our last email until after the holiday.

Soldiers Attacked
Early today Israeli security forces began demolition of the home, in the Qalandiyah refugee camp, of the terrorist who murdered Shlomit Krigman in an attack in the town of Beit Horon in January. A violent protest erupted during which Palestinians threw fire bombs, cinderblocks and improvised explosives at the soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal means, controlling the scene until the demolition was completed. Two soldiers and eight Palestinians were wounded.

For further reading click here.

Rally for Soldier
About 2,000 people rallied last night in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for Sgt. Elor Azaria, the IDF medic who was indicted for manslaughter for shooting and killing a wounded terrorist in Hebron last month. Azaria’s supporters shouted slogans including “He’s a hero” and “Release the soldier.”

Ahead of the rally, PM Netanyahu said, “The IDF defends its soldiers. I am convinced that the investigation of the event in Hebron will be done responsibly and rationally. Our soldiers are not murderers. They operate against murderers, and I hope that a way will be found to find a balance between the act and the overall context of the event. In the meantime, I suggest we all lower the flames.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog urged the soldier’s family “not to turn this difficult and complicated incident into a campaign against the IDF.” He said, ”This is a protest by the far right with the aim of weakening the IDF’s values. It’s not for nothing that no cabinet member is attending the event.”

For further reading click here.

Diamond Trouble
There seems to be big trouble brewing at Israel’s iconic diamond exchange in Ramat Gan. Police are investigating allegations that diamond dealer Hanan Abramovich stole close to $65 million worth of diamonds. He hasn’t yet been arrested, but that should happen soon. The theft could potentially drive up to a dozen diamond companies into bankruptcy.

No “mazal and bracha” for Abramovich.

For further reading click here.

Startup – Law
If you’re an attorney, you might not be so happy to read about this Israeli startup that just raised a $2.5 million round of financing.

LawGeex allows consumers to upload any type of contract to its platform and receive, within 24 hours, an in-depth report of what’s good, bad and even missing from their contract. Currently reviewing over 20 types of contracts, the free solution begins with employment agreements, with more contract types to be offered for free in the near future.

LawGeex cofounder and CEO Noory Bechor said, “The driving force behind LawGeex is the belief that no one should sign a contract that they don’t fully understand. An astounding 33% of Americans need a lawyer every year but do not hire one, either because they can’t afford to or did not know where to turn. This ultimately leads to one-sided negotiations and unfair results. LawGeex has already earned the trust of thousands of users while ensuring quality and transparency, leveling the playing field when it comes to contract negotiations. Our machine learning platform has already reviewed over tens of thousands of contracts, many of which are employment contracts from some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook. We make sure all employees get a fair deal.”

Lawyers, beware.

For further reading click here.