Israel News for January 18, 2016

Terror Attacks
Michal Froman, a pregnant 30 year old Israeli woman, was stabbed and wounded by a 17 year old Palestinian in the settlement of Tekoa, in Gush Etzion today. The attack occurred in a warehouse, and the terrorist was shot and wounded by another Tekoa resident. Froman is the daughter-in-law of the former chief rabbi of Tekoa, who died several years ago. Her unborn child was not harmed in the attack.

For further reading click here.

Yesterday, a Palestinian terrorist broke into the settlement of Otniel in Samaria, and stabbed Dafna Meir, a 39 year old nurse and mother of six, to death in front of her home. Meir fought with the terrorist to protect the three of her children who were in the house at the time. The terrorist succeeded in fleeing the scene and the IDF is searching for him. Palestinian workers are being banned from the area.

Meir was survived by her husband, Natan, and six children, two of whom they raised as adoptive parents. Meir was a licensed nurse who specialized in various aspects of gynecology, including the pertinent Jewish law. She operated a clinic in Otniel, and was a nurse at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

Hundreds attended her funeral this morning including Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and opposition leader Isaac Herzog. May her memory be a blessing.

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Netanyahu Bargains
Last week we reported on PM Netanyahu’s support of the NGO transparency bill sponsored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked that would require NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to report that fact and for their representatives to wear identifying tags while in the Knesset. The law has been criticized by the U.S. and EU countries as being undemocratic and discriminatory against left-wing organizations, which are the primary beneficiaries of foreign governmental funding.

Yesterday the PM stating in a cabinet meeting that, while he continued to support the law, he thought that the tag wearing requirement was unnecessary and should be dropped. He did, however, propose to make the law apply to NGOs who receive even 1 shekel of foreign government funding — not just more than 50% of their funding.

The Ministry of Justice released the following statement in response: “The proposal brought forth by the prime minister that transparency would be imposed on NGOs receiving funding from foreign nations from the first shekel in exchange for dropping the provision requiring the wearing of identifying tags will be looked into positively by the Minister of Justice.”

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Messianic Editing
Students and parents in the Givatayim suburb of Tel Aviv got a taste of the messianic age this weekend when the municipality distributed to schools a poster-sized photo of the Western Wall, which did not include the Dome of the Rock in the background. The Moslem shrine was evidently edited out of the photo.

One angry mother of a high school student posted the photo on Facebook. That caught the attention of the mayor, who ordered an immediate investigation into the matter. Meretz MK Michal Rozin denounced the poster’s distribution in schools on her own Facebook page and promised to demand an explanation from Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

The image of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount without the Dome of the Rock has stirred controversy in the past. Slightly over four years ago, the military rabbinate published materials for Hanukkah that included the doctored photograph. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said at the time that the educational packet included a photo meant to illustrate Jerusalem during the period of the Second Temple, when the golden dome had not yet existed.

It’s ok to dream once in awhile, no?

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More Gas
An Israeli exploration group reported on Sunday that it has discovered another large natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The field is in deep water about 60 miles off the coast and near the border with the economic waters of Gaza. Confirmation of the existence of the gas will require drilling at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

Added to the existing offshore gas discoveries, the overall energy outlook for Israel is looking pretty bright. So maybe choosing Israel over Saudi Arabia wasn’t such a bad move after all?

For further reading click here.

Found Money
Last week, a Belz yeshiva student found a small bag containing 130,000 shekels (over $32,600) in cash at a bus station in Haifa. He decided to stay put and wait for the owner so he could return it to him. He waited for almost a half hour until the owner, who happened to be secular man who wasn’t very fond of Haredim, arrived. Surprise!
The man wrote on Facebook, “Until the moment I finished counting, I could not believe I had found my money and had it all back (I ‘was’ so ‘anti-Orthodox’ up until now). I wanted to give him a nice sum, but he absolutely refused to accept, and said that it was his mitzvah.”

Kiddush Hashem, big time. Who says we don’t report nice stories?

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