Israel News for June 21, 2016

Terror on 443
Terrorists threw rocks and firebombs at vehicles traveling on a stretch of route 446 near Modiin at around 1am today. They also dumped on oil on the highway, which connects the center of the country to Jerusalem. One Israeli on a bus and two tourists in a car were injured.

Shortly after the attack an officer and soldiers of the Kfir brigade passed through and launched a hunt for the terrorists. According to initial reports the soldiers apparently spotted a Palestinian vehicle, which they thought belonged to the terrorists, and opened fire on it. A 15 year old boy was killed and two adults were wounded. Two suspects were arrested and taken in for interrogation. The IDF spokesman released a statement saying that the 15 year old was probably not a terrorist.

Also last night, Israeli forces destroyed the house of Bashar Massalha, the terrorist who killed American tourist Taylor Force and injured ten others in an attack in Jaffa earlier this year. The house was located in the village of Kafr Haja near Nablus.

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Lieberman in DC
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington on Monday to discuss the military aid deal currently being negotiated. An Israeli source related that, “the conversation was good and practical, and there is a willingness to reach an agreement on aid for Israel’s missile defense system, regardless of the presidential elections in the United States. The goal is to reach an agreement as fast as possible.”

The Pentagon released a statement after the meeting saying, “Secretary Carter and Minister Lieberman reaffirmed the strength of the US- Israeli defense relationship and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. They also discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and areas of mutual defense cooperation.”

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Divorce Rate
Moving to Israel must be help you stay married. According to a recent survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s divorce rate is only 13 percent. That ranks Israel 25th out of 39 developed countries. Denmark, the US and Sweden have the highest rates. Mexico, Ireland and Chile have the lowest.

The Israeli cities with the highest divorce rates are led by Eilat, with 25%, and followed by Bat Yam (22 percent), Upper Nazareth and Kiryat Yam (20 percent each), and then by Arad, Sderot and Acre (19 percent each). Most of those cities happen to have a predominantly lower income population with high proportions of Sephardim and Russian immigrants.

The places with the lowest divorce rate, all ultra Orthodox, are Rechasim (5 percent), Elad (4 percent), Betar Ilit (3 percent) and Modi’in Ilit (2 percent).

Now we need a survey that indicates the happiness level of married couples vs. those who divorce.

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Sheep Aliya
If you’re planning to fly El Al to Israel from Canada this summer, you might find yourself sitting next to sheep. That’s because El AL announced that will be flying a flock of 113 sheep to Israel — biblical sheep.

The sheep, which are owned by Gil and Jenna Lewinsky (related to Monica?) of British Columbia, Canada, are apparently the only ones in the world to look like the ones described in the bible that belonged to Jacob (when he worked as a shepherd for his uncle Lavan). They have speckled skin, spots on their wool, and bands on their ankles and knees.

The Lewinskys are heeding the advice of Rabbi Amram Vaknin, a kabbalist living in Sderot, who claims that the sheep of Jacob must return to the Holy Land to hasten the redemption. They believe the animals came with Jacob through Canaan to Egypt, then with the Exodus to North Africa, and from there to Spain, England and then to North America. Quite a journey.

The deal was brokered by Israel’s embassy in Ottawa, which last month publicly offered its support to the effort. In February, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Rafael Barak, visited the family’s farm in Abbotsford, about 40 miles east of Vancouver, and reportedly witnessed the birth of a lamb.

The sheep are currently extinct in Israel. Is this the breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for?

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Yoga Pics
American art photographer Robert Sturman photographs yoga practitioners in poses throughout the world. He’s now added Israel to his portfolio. To see some of his amazing Israel based yoga photos, click here.