Israel News for February 18, 2016

Syrian Strikes
According to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian army outposts south of Damascus were hit by three Israeli rockets last night. It did not detail the amount of damage caused. A Pro-Assad military source denied the report, claiming that there were no Israeli strikes inside Syria on Wednesday. The Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar also denied the report.

Israel had no comment, which is what usually happens after reports of Israeli strikes into Syria are reported by Arab media or groups. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

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Eisenkot Remarks
During a meeting with high school students in Bat Yam who are preparing to join the army, IDF Chief of Staff LT. General Gadi Eizenkot was asked whether he intends to change the strict rules of engagement to permit soldiers to open fire sooner than they are currently permitted to.

Eizenkot responded by citing (and dismissing) a famous Talmudic dictum saying, “The IDF cannot speak in slogans like ‘when someone comes to kill you – kill him first.’” The Talmudic dictum was recently quoted by Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef last October, when he praised soldiers who kill attacking terrorists and lauded them for performing a mitzvah. Other rabbis have also used the phrase to permit soldiers and civilians to kill terrorists rather than capturing them alive.

Eizenkot also said that the IDF cannot follow the slogan, “everyone holding scissors must be killed.” That statement infuriated senior Jerusalem police officers, who took it as referring to an incident in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market where two teenage girls who stabbed a 70 year old man were shot by two police officers. One of the officers was later accused of using excessive force.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon today supported Eisenkot’s remarks saying, “I give my full backing to Eisenkot’s remarks vis-à-vis the rules of engagement. We can’t allow our senses to get dull and our finger to be quick on the trigger.”

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Popcorn Problem
Earlier this week the Knesset Economic Committee approved a bill that, if passed by the Knesset, will hopefully solve one of the biggest problems facing Israelis these days: popcorn at the movies.

You’re all familiar with that little scam, where movie owners charge five times as much for popcorn and other snacks and drinks at their theaters, and there’s not much you can do about it. Well, Kulanu MK Tali Ploskov has had enough. She’s proposing giving movie goers the right to bring their own popcorn and snacks to theaters in the hope of forcing theater owners to lower their prices to normal levels.

The Knesset already tried to solve this vexing issue back in 1981 when they passed a consumer protection law called the “popcorn law” that was meant to prevent theater owners from selling food and allow people to bring their own. But theater owners simple hired outside vendors to sell the food, which apparently was sufficient to circumvent the law and prohibit people from bringing in their snacks.

But enough is enough. No one should have to pay those insane prices for popcorn, soda and snacks! Can the Knesset finally destroy one of the most hated monopolies to ever exist, anywhere?

Let’s hope that Israel can lead the way in the fight for freedom of popcorn expression.

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Kippah Tool
If you wear a kippah and use a clip to hold it in place, you might want to look at a new product developed in Israel that recently hit the market. It’s called Clippa and it’s a hair clip commonly used as a kippah clip, that has been modified to do all sorts of things like cut boxes, open bottles, file nails, serve as a screwdriver and all sorts of other useful tasks.

The clips look like ordinary clips but are reinforced with steel to prevent them from breaking. They come in black, pink and silver. The Tel Aviv inventor, Yaakov Goldberg, said that despite its cutting functions, the clips are totally safe. “The knife can cut ‘all sorts, from fruit to rope’, but it won’t cut your hair while wearing it.”

So whether you’re a woman looking to keep your hair in place or a man looking to keep your kippah in place, the Clippa might open up new possibilities for you. The clip is available for purchase online via Amazon or the website “Monkey Business” where it sells for between $6-7 dollars a piece.

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Mazal Tov PM
Mazal Tov to PM Netanyahu on the birth of a new granddaughter. The baby girl was born to Netanyahu’s daughter Noa Roth, 36. Noa is the PM’s daughter from his first marriage, to Dr. Miriam Weitzman (Haran). The PM has two other children with Sara.

By the way, Noa has five other children, is married to Daniel Roth, a Chabad businesses man originally from America, and recently moved to Mea Shearim, the historic Ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem enclave.

Mazal Tov!

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