Israel News for August 29, 2016

Solidarity Visit
The six year old boy who was the sole survivor of the Duma arson attack, in which Jewish extremists were accused of causing the deaths of his parents and sibling, was taken by his grandfather to pay a “solidarity visit” to the demolished home of a Hamas terrorist in Hebron who killed three Jews, including American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz.

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Swedish Rally
Hundreds attended a pro-Israel rally in the Swedish capital of Stockholm yesterday. The rally was held in a square named after Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary during World War II.

Yesh Atid Chairman Tair Lapid spoke at the rally and referred to Wallenberg in his remarks saying, “Wallenberg saved my father from being murdered by the Nazis. He had the courage to love and protect the Nation of Israel. Your government, especially your foreign minister, stand on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of morality.”

Referring to past comments made by Sweden’s Foreign Ministry accusing Israel as being the cause of Islamic extremism, Lapid said, “if the Swedish foreign minister is concerned about human rights in the Middle East, she needs to talk about the use of children as terrorists or human shields, about the discrimination against the LGBT community in the Palestinian Authority, about the incitement going on there against Jews, about the exploitation of Women in Gaza, and about the human rights situation in Iran.”

Also attending the rally were Swedish government officials and members of parliament, as well as Jewish communal leaders.

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Teacher Shortage
With the beginning of the new school year just days away, many principals are frantically seeking more teachers to fill thousands of empty positions. The shortage is for teachers in core subjects such as math, English, Bible, physics, chemistry and biology.

As an example of the results of the shortage, one Tel Aviv high school has closed its physics, chemistry and biology departments. Students must now be transported to a different school to take those subjects.

In order to fill the gap, administrators have begun hiring teachers without proper training or certification. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and head of the Parents Caucus, MK Meir Cohen, warned of the serious damage to the younger generation, saying “There is a massive shortage that has sadly gone unnoticed by the Ministry of Education and it is leading to a compromise in the quality of teachers at the expense of the students. The fact that administrators are willing to accept full-time teachers without proper certification, is the most difficult part of the reality affecting classrooms.”

Why is there a shortage of teachers in Israel? Mainly because the salaries are so low and the profession is looked down upon in Israeli society, at least among the younger generations. The severely overcrowded classrooms in Israeli schools make the job even more difficult and less attractive.

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Hasidic Arms Dealer
For the past 25 years, Eli Cohen, a 66 year old Hasid (of the Premishlan sect) has been purchasing surplus military equipment in the US, bringing it to Israel for repair and refurbishing, and then selling it to Iran via Greece. That’s illegal according to American law, which outlaws arms sales to Iran.

Cohen has been indicted in the US and an extradition request has been made to the Israeli government. Yesterday Israel’s Supreme Court ruled to permit the extradition.

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Israelis Leaving
Over a million and a half Israelis will have left Israel for vacations abroad by the end of this summer season. A third of those travelers have used El Al, whose profits have doubled this quarter. Partially due to the recent terror wave in Western Europe, Israelis have been favoring the Greek Islands, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. Price probably also plays a big role in those choices. On the flip said, travel to Eilat has dropped between 10% and 15%.

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