Israel News for April 7, 2016

Sanders Stumble
Looks like US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might need to brush up on foreign policy matters, especially relating to Israel. In an interview with the NY Daily News, Sanders estimated that 10,000 Palestinian civilians were killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. He said, “I’m just telling you that I happen to believe…anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?”

No Bernie, it doesn’t. The actual number of casualties in Operation Protective Edge is about 2,125, of which lost half were armed terrorists.

He added, “My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.” Well, he’s right about not being alone in his beliefs.

Where does Bernie get his information about Israel from? He should subscribe to this email :)

In any case Sanders did say that he lived in Israel, has family there, and believes in Israel’s right to exist without being threatened by terror. But…

To listen to the entire interview click here.

Terror in Disguise
Security guards in the Beersheva central bus station got suspicious when they saw a 17 year old and a 19 year old trying to enter the station. Both were wearing kippot and tzizit (Jewish religious garments). They were also speaking Arabic. Big mistake. The guards alerted nearby police who took the teens in for questioning. Why do you think two Arab teens were trying to enter the bus station wearing kippot and tzizit? Any ideas?

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Garden
Yesterday Jerusalem police destroyed a garden in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood that had been planted in memory of 47 terrorists killed during the recent wave of terror. An olive tree sapling was planted for every one of the 47 terrorists commemorated in the garden, alongside a placard with a picture and the name of the terrorist, as well as graffiti on a nearby wall praising these terrorists’ actions.
A ceremony to establish the “martyrs’ garden” took place three weeks ago, whereby members of the community were invited to bless the memory of these terrorists and plant an olive tree sapling in their name.

Police destroyed the garden after confirming that it was built on public land without the required permits (the terrorist angle wasn’t sufficient cause?). The police is now searching for those responsible for planting the garden.

For further reading click here.

More Gas
Despite Israel’s substantial gas reserves, the Israel Electric Company (IEC) has just signed a deal with British Petroleum (BP) to import liquified natural gas to help the electric utility cope with excess demand for gas during peak periods. Why aren’t they just using gas from the local Tamar gas reserves? Because it’s cheaper to import.

The IEC pays $5.70 per BTU for Tamar gas. The BP gas, which originates in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago costs $4.80 per BTU. You do the math.

For further reading click here.

Knesset Safety
Last week a group of Knesset members (MKs) went on an official visit to Georgia and Armenia. However, Deputy Prime Minister Yaron Mazuz (Likud) refused to cross the border into Armenia following reports of war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is an ethnically Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan. Although the fighting was happening far from the minister and the delegation’s location, Mazuz still requested to be returned to Israel.

Mazuz claimed that he wasn’t feeling well. Then his office released a statement that he was advised by the Security Directorate of the Prime Minister’s office not to cross the border due to the security situation in the region. Apparently, non of the other MKs got the warning.

Maybe Mazuz is in the wrong line of work?

For further reading click here.

Health News
According to a study released yesterday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Israelis are generally getting healthier. The life expectancy of Israeli men has gone up 3.6 years since 2000 to 80.3 and the life expectancy for women has risen 3.2 years to 84.1.

The mental health picture is a bit less cheery. Almost a third of Jewish Israelis suffer from depression, with men more likely to suffer than women (39% vs 27%). Almost half of all Israeli Arabs admitted to suffering from depression.

So people are living longer, but are not happy about it?

For further reading click here.