cairo terror attack

Israel News for January 7, 2016

Pyramid Terror
Earlier today, two masked gunmen attacked tourists boarding a bus in Cairo, on route to the pyramids. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that there were two Israeli Arabs among the tourists. Sky News Arabic reported that the bus was full with Israeli tourists from Arab towns. Reports on the actual incident varied, with some claiming gunfire and other fireworks. No casualties were reported and the gunmen were apprehended by Egyptian security forces.

For further reading click here.

Manhunt Continues
As the search for the Tel Aviv terrorist continues into its seventh day, police now believe that he escaped to the West Bank, most likely through a hole in the security fence. The Shin Bet is continuing to interrogate members of the terrorist’s family.

For further reading click here.

Diplomatic Closures
The Foreign Ministry will be closing five of its 106 foreign representations as a cost saving measure. The Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia will be shut down, along with the embassies in Belarus and El Salvador and the consulate in Marseilles, France. Israel’s roving ambassador to the Caribbean nations, who is stationed in NY, will also be cut. The Foreign Ministry said it will allocate the freed up funds to strengthen existing representations.

For further reading click here.

Police Embraced
Yifat Ben-Ari, the widow of the Jerusalem man who was accidentally shot and killed when two female Border Police officers opened fire on a terrorist who was stabbing Israelis near the Jaffa Gate, met with Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and the two female officers yesterday.

Yifat embraced the officers and said, “I am not angry at you. You did exactly what you needed to do to save lives. I consider you my daughters. I want you to start anew and not look back, but forward. What happened to you could have happened to my daughters or anyone else.”

The meeting ended with Yifat, her two daughters and the police women embracing.

For further reading click here.

Stabbing Test
A reporter for Channel 1 News was filming a report on protective vests meant to stop stabbing attacks, when he decided to test one out for himself. Unfortunately, the test didn’t go so well and the reporter was stabbed. He was given first aid by employees of the vest manufacturer, FMS Enterprises Migun Ltd. He was then taken to the hospital where his wound was stitched up. He was sent home.

The manufacturer issued the following statement, “The knife did not penetrate the vest. The reporter moved during the demonstration, and the “stabber” missed the vest. The reporter was stabbed slightly above the vest. Our material has been tested in laboratories all over the world, and was found to have met the most stringent standards – far beyond the stabbing ability of a human being.”

The good news is that the incident was captured on film and will make for some exciting TV. Not sure what it will do for the reporter’s career.

Watch the video here.

Lawyers Blindsided
Lawyers who make aliyah to Israel need to pass a Hebrew proficiency exam in order to be allowed to practice in Israel. The exam has always contained three sections. The first section required writing an essay, in Hebrew, which has traditionally proved extremely difficult for many candidates, since it requires a high level of language proficiency. The second section required explaining 5 terms, something that even less proficient Hebrew speakers could manage to memorize. The same goes for section three, which required candidates to draft a standard lease document.

While many foreign lawyers still failed this kind of exam, many, even with mediocre Hebrew, eventually passed by virtue of scoring high on the second two sections which were known in advance.

This year, the legal test takers got a surprise. The second section of the exam was changed to an essay question and the lease agreement was substituted with an employment agreement. To make matters worse, the preparatory class that was given for the exam was based on the old format. Needless to say, the lawyers were not happy. Almost all of the 50 lawyers who took the exam left feeling that they had failed. The results are released in a month. Some of the lawyers said that they would probably go back to their countries of origin, given the career challenges thrown in their way.

Canadian born MK Sharon Haskel (Likud) slammed the Bar Association for making the change to the exam without warning the new olim, which flies in the face of “the value of integrating olim into Israeli society and the work force.”

Having a few more lawyers in Israel won’t hurt anyone, right?

For further reading click here.

Veggie Haul
In an attempt to keep Israeli salad and other veggies affordable for the average Israeli, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon signed an order yesterday permitting the import of 60,000 tons of various vegetables, all duty free. The extreme weather patterns in recent months have wreaked havoc with local produce, which has driven up prices.

Under Kahlon’s order, potatoes, onions, carrots, horseradish, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, parsley, and peppers can be imported all year without paying customs duties. Import restrictions will be even further reduced during the High Holiday period and Passover.

Kahlon said, “We won’t allow the shortage during the recent holiday period to repeat itself on Passover. Israelis deserve a regular supply of vegetables at fair prices during the entire year.”

Now Israeli salad lovers can breathe a little easier. Hey, what about fruit?

For further reading click here.

Big News
Netflix has announced that it is coming to Israel. Finally. The service will only be available in English (and Arabic) for the time being, but that shouldn’t deter Israelis from watching. Think about all the time that’s going to be wasted. On the bright side, this might be the factor that sways many potential American olim to finally make the move. Enjoy!