Israel News for December 2, 2015

IDF in Syria
Not that this should be news to anyone here, but now it’s out in the open.

Addressing a conference in Acre yesterday, PM Netanyahu said,”We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it from becoming a front against us, a second terror front against us. We are also acting to prevent the transfer of deadly weapons from Syria to Lebanon in particular and we will continue to do so.”

So now it’s on the record.

But why make the statement now? Because intelligence sources are reporting an increase in attempts by Iran to transfer sophisticated missiles to Hezbollah in Syria. Hezbollah could use those missiles to accurately target military bases and other strategic objectives in Israel in the event of a new war. That’s a scenario that Israel cannot accept, and will do everything needed to prevent. The PM is making that crystal clear.

For further reading click here.

The IDF announced yesterday that it will begin enlisting soldiers who are HIV positive. Although the move will only affect a handful of people, it will make Israel one of the most progressive countries in the world in the area of military inclusivity. The US Army does not allow HIV-positive individuals to enlist.

Col. Moshe Pinkert, the head of the military’s medical services department, said that the change came about as a result of new and better HIV treatments. He said that HIV-positive soldiers will be able to serve in many positions except for in combat, where they might be at risk for bleeding.

For further reading click here.

Chain Responds
Yesterday we told you that Channel 10 News reported that Galeria Kaufhof, one of Germany’s largest department store chains, removed Israeli products from its shelves because of EU labeling regulations. Well, the company has denied the report.

Galeria Kaufhof’s head of corporate communications Gerd Koslowski said, “Our company has not removed any of those products from the shelves. We import the goods via European importers who are responsible for correct declaration. We do not get involved in politics with our assortment. Our core customer’s demands set the standards for the products we sell.”

So it seems like the store’s suppliers stopped sending the merchandise to the stores. The most likely reason is that the importers of the products needed to relabel them before distributing. Maybe the shouts of “boycott” were a little premature?

For further reading click here.

High Court
Yesterday the High Court of Justice rejected an appeal by the state to demolish the home of the family of the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Almog Shiloni in 2014. The reason was apparently because the family didn’t own the house, but were only short term renters. The court approved the demolition of the home of the family of one of the terrorists involved in the Henkin murder.

Earlier today around 1,200 Israeli Police, Border Police and IDF combat engineers entered the Shuafat refugee camp and demolished the home of a terrorist who killed two Israelis last November.

For further reading click here.

Child Support
The rabbinic establishment might be moving towards egalitarianism, at least in one case.
The Chief Rabbinate has ruled that women who get divorced can be ordered to pay child support if they have a source of income. Until now, rabbinical courts have automatically assigned responsibility for child support to fathers when ruling on divorce cases. But under the new rule, proposed by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, rabbinical courts will have to consider the financial means of both parents before deciding who should pay how much child support.

Rabbi Shimon Yaakobi, director of the Rabbinical Courts Administration said, “It was necessary to provide an up-to-date interpretation of the regulation, so that it would accord with our sense of justice and the value of equality.” He also explained that the new rule might help reduce the number of cases in which men refuse to grant their wives a get, since it doesn’t automatically place the financial burden on the husband.

For further reading click here.

Housing Discrimination
A real estate video ad for a new housing development in Kiryat Gat targeting national religious (dati leumi) public has created a huge outcry in Israel for being blatantly racist and offensive. The ad features a national religious family, whose Chanukah candle lighting ceremony is interrupted by two rowdy Sephardic looking neighbors who proceed to toast marshmallows on their menorah. The ad ends with the tagline, “join the National Religious community in Karmei Gat today”.

In response to the ad, the Deputy Attorney General Erez Kaminitz announced yesterday that there could be illegal discrimination in the marketing of the homes which could lead to punitive action including cancellation of the tender (right to build). The Attorney General will investigate the matter further before reaching a decision.
The director general of BeEmuna, the developer responsible for the ad, apologized saying “we just wanted to show that it’s natural that people would want to live close to people similar to them – in a religious sense only”, a weak apology for a horribly offensive marketing gimmick.

For further reading click here.