Israel News for March 1, 2016

Soldiers Rescued
In what could have become a tragic error, two non-combat IDF soldiers mistakenly drove into the Qalandiya refugee camp last night. They quickly came under attack by Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails, which set their vehicle on fire. The soldiers managed to escape the burning vehicle, but got separated. Luckily, they were able to call for help.

A huge force comprised of IDF, Shin Bet and Special Forces, supported by helicopters, surrounded and entered the camp to search for the soldiers. The troops exchanged gunfire with terrorists throughout the operation. One Palestinian was reported killed and several wounded, and five Israelis were wounded in the fighting. The soldiers were rescued.

The two soldiers will be double checking their Waze directions from now on.

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PM vs. Sharon
PM Netanyahu used a special Knesset meeting in memory of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as an opportunity to criticize the late Prime Minister’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza, which he said led to the rise of new terror groups in the strip. He said, “Unfortunately, giving the responsibility for governing (Gaza) to the Palestinians not only did not put us on the path to peace, but increased the armament of terror groups.”

Netanyahu praised Sharon for his military victories in the Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars, and his distinguished service as a politician and Jewish leader. He specifically highlighted Sharon’s role in supporting the building of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

On the other hand, opposition leader Isaac Herzog praised Sharon for the Gaza Disengagement and for standing firm against those who opposed the plan.

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BDS Success
A successful BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign that forced Israeli company Soda Stream to close its manufacturing plant in the West Bank resulted in local Palestinians losing 500 jobs at the plant. The company then relocated to a location near the Bedouin town of Rahat in the northern Negev, where they hired hundreds of Israeli Bedouin. The company retained 74 of the original Palestinian workers. Now those workers were forced to leave as well, since they could not obtain the proper work permits to allow them to stay in Israel. The company fought the government for those permits, but failed.

So now, as a result of the “successful” BDS campaign, there are no Palestinians working at Soda Stream and there are a few hundred additional jobless Palestinians in the West Bank. Way to go BDS.

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Surfers Denied Again
Israeli windsurfing champions Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan were denied the opportunity to defend their titles at the youth windsurfing World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia late last year because the Malaysians prevented them from entering the country. As a result, the World Sailing organization demanded written confirmation from all venues already selected and confirmed for forthcoming competitions that they will abide by the organizations non discrimination regulations. Oman, which is hosting the 2016 competition, just couldn’t do it, so they pulled out.

The Israel Sailing Association (ISA) welcomed the news after initial concern that its representatives would be barred from future competitions in Arab countries despite World Sailing’s announcements.

So a new venue will be found and the Israelis will finally be able to win their medals.

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Wedding Crash
If you’re planning a wedding but need more guests, consider holding your event in Israel. In the latest story of Israeli friendliness, as Israeli bride and American groom were having their wedding reception at a Haifa hall. Sadly, only twenty guests showed up (the couple had lived in the U.S. for the previous few years).

When a guest from an adjacent bar mitzvah in the same building saw the empty reception and found out that the couple had come all the way to Israel just to celebrate their wedding, she decided to take action.

The woman put the word out on social media and surprise: 150 strangers showed up to celebrate. The groom, Chad, was quoted as saying, “It was fantastic, perfect.” The bride loved it too.

Israelis come through with big hearts again. Mazal Tov!

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New Book
If you’re looking for a book to help you improve your life and your relationships that’s based on traditional Jewish values and teachings, here’s one that you must check out.

In We’re Almost There: Living with Patience, Perseverance and Purpose, Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen shares his experiences and immense wisdom about living a Jewish life in the world today. Readers at all stages of life will gain a friend, a mentor, and positive can-do attitude to life. The book has glowing reviews from Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger and others.

To buy the book on amazon, click here.  

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