ayelet shaked

Israel News for December 28, 2015

Terror Attacks
Yesterday, two Palestinians approached IDF soldiers at the Huwwarah checkpoint, south of Nablus in the West Bank, and began stabbing a soldier in the face. The other soldiers shot and killed both terrorists. The soldier was lightly wounded and another soldier was accidentally wounded in the shooting.

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Brazil Crisis
Back in August the PM appointed former settlement leader Dani Dayan as ambassador to Brazil. But Brazil has refused to accept his appointment, a necessary diplomatic requirement, because Dayan lives in Ma’aleh Shomron, which is beyond the Green line, and because he was the former head of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of the Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria.

In an interview Dayan compared Brazil’s refusal to accept his appointment with the EU’s discriminatory labeling regulations. He said, “I think that just as Israel reacted sharply about labeling products, it has to react to labeling people. Labeling people is worse than labeling goods.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely sharply reprimanded Brazil, warning that not approving the ambassador would lead to a diplomatic crisis between the countries. The former Israeli Ambassador returned to Israel last week, so there is currently no Israeli Ambassador in Brazil. Hotovely said that Israel has no intention of replacing Dayan and that Israel will simply be represented by its number two diplomat in the country.

One unlikely supporter of Dayan’s appointment is the Brazilian military. A Brazilian newspaper quoted a senior Brazilian army official as saying that continuing to hold up the appointment showed a “lack of geopolitical vision and objectivity of action. For the armed forces, it is a very sensitive situation, since our partnership with Israeli hi-tech firms is huge.”

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Full disclosure
Israel’s cabinet gave preliminary approval to a bill proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked that requires nonprofit organizations that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments or entities to disclose the sources of their funds in reports and in parliamentary discussions. In addition, their activists will be required to wear special tags when working in the Knesset.

The bill will primarily affect left leaning organizations, which tend to get significant funding from European governments or government funded organizations. In contrast, right wing groups tend to rely on wealthy private donors, who are exempt from the measures under the bill.

Critics of the bill say that besides harming the left wing groups, the bill will also further strain relations with the EU, that have already suffered as a result of the new EU labeling regulation.

Israel’s Army Radio said Sunday that it had obtained an internal European Union document quoting the EU ambassador as telling Shaked that her bill would undermine Israel’s image as a democratic and pluralistic country. The ambassador was reported as saying the bill is better suited for despotic regimes since it aims to discriminate against government critics.

Peace Now, a left wing antI-settlement group, said,”If the Minister of Justice is truly interested in transparency, she must first and foremost promote legislation requiring right wing organizations to expose the millions they receive from private donors abroad and from the state budget.”

Proponents of the bill say that foreign governments that fund Israeli nonprofit groups are basically trying to meddle in Israeli affairs. Matan Peleg, director of the right wing Im Tirtzu group, said European organizations “give small organizations in Israel super power.”

The bill is expected to pass in the Knesset.

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Security Breach
Yair Ramati, the head of the Defense Ministry’s Homa Directorate and responsible for high profile projects such as the Iron Dome and the Arrow missile defense system, has been fired for storing classified materials on his personal computer. The Defense Ministry is investigating whether any damage was caused to national security as a result of the security breach.

The decision to fire Ramati came as a shock to many in the Defense Ministry, mostly due to his reputation as a world-renowned expert in the field of rocket engineering and for his long-standing service in developing the field of Israeli aerial security. The timing of the firing is also sensitive: Ramati just led successful testing of the Arrow 3 and of the David’s sling missile defense system.

Sailing Slam
Last year Israelis won gold medals in both the boys and girls World Sailing competition. This year they will not. That’s because they won’t be attending the competition being held in Malaysia.

It seems that the Malaysians have placed conditions on the Israeli team that are clearly unacceptable. They stipulated that Israeli competitors would not be allowed to compete under the Israeli flag and wouldn’t be allowed to use or wear any symbol identifiable with Israel. In addition, the Malaysians haven’t yet approved visas for the Israeli team.

Israel filed a complaint with the World Sailing association. The organization is investigating. In a statement their spokesman said:

“World Sailing is committed to ensuring participation in our sport by competitors from all nations, and is taking this issue seriously. A member of the World Sailing Executive is on route to Malaysia to investigate this issue and is seeking clarification from the Malaysian Organizing Authority. World Sailing expects the organizing authority of its events to allow sailors from all nations to compete on an equal basis. This expectation is made clear in the bid process and is set out in the contractual documentation governing our events.”

Are the Malaysians going to get away with depriving Israel of the gold they deserve? Probably.

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Name Game
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has released its first ever report on baby names. According to the report, “The most common name among those born in 2014 was Mohammed.This name was very common among the population because it is given to one out of every seven Muslim boys. In comparison, the most common names among Jews and Muslim girls were given to one out of 40 children.”

There were 2,650 Mohammeds born 2014 vs. 2,000 Noams, 400 of which were girls. Other popular Jewish names were Ori, David, Yosef, Eitan, Ariel, Daniel, Yonatan and Moshe. Some of the names are not gender specific, for example, 1,300 boys and 500 girls were named Ariel. Ori and Daniel (or Danielle – in Hebrew they’re spelled the same) were also names given to both boys and girls.

For the fifteenth year in a row the top Jewish female name was Noa. Tamar came in a close second, followed by Shira, Maya, Yael, Adel, Talia, Avigail, Ayala and Sarah.

Name popularity depended on geographic location too. In Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, cities with huge Haredi populations, the most popular Jewish girls’ names were Sarah and Esther, with Noa not even cracking the top ten. Adel was number one in Ashdod, Bat Yam, Netanya, Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon for girls. Maya was first for girls in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Letzion and Ramat Gan. The most popular Arab girl’s name was Maryam.

Yosef was the most common in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, while Noam was first in Ashkelon, Bat Yam, Holon and Be’er Sheva and Ori was the winner in Tel Aviv and Modi’in.

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