Israel News for June 24, 2016

Brexit and Israel
Last night the UK voted to leave the EU. Will that affect Israel? It’s unclear. On the one hand, Britain serves as a relatively pro-Israel influence in the EU, so its leaving could make dealing with the EU harder for Israel. On the other hand, the UK’s departure will probably weaken the EU and reduce its importance and influence on the international stage. So basically, we’ll just have to wait and see how things develop.

Abbas Libels
In his speech to the EU Parliament yesterday, which was followed by a standing ovation, PA President Abbas remarked that, “Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians. Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?”

He did not mention anything about plots by Jews to use the blood of Palestinian children for their Passover Matzot, but he might as well have. It probably wouldn’t have effected the standing ovation.

In his defense, Abbas was just citing media sources including the Turkish state news agency Anadolu and the Gulf News, who “reported” the libel over the weekend. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry posted the libel on its website. So how was Abbas supposed to figure out that the story was false?

As for the standing ovation by the EU lawmakers, well…let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they missed the part about the “blood libel”.

The speech was condemned by PM Netanyahu’s office and the European Jewish Congress. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau also condemned the speech saying, “The Israeli Rabbinate and the thousands of rabbis serving the cities of Israel, from all ethnic groups and circles, love peace and pursue peace. This is our way of life, we are guided by the Torah of Israel, the Torah of life. Israeli rabbis see the supreme value of human life; we believe in the concept ‘love every individual created in the image of God’”.

For further reading click here.

Muslim Recruits
The latest batch of recruits to the IDF’s Desert Reconnaissance Battalion were sworn in yesterday in a ceremony at the Memorial Monument to the Bedouin Warriors. Most of the recruits are Bedouin, along with some Muslim and Christian Arab volunteers. All of the soldiers swore allegiance to the State of Israel.

For further reading and photos, click here.

Ikea Israel
Ikea, the furniture giant, has announced that it will open branched in Jerusalem, Beersheva and Tel Aviv. The new stores are set to open in two years. Ikea currently has stores in Rishon LeTzion, Netanya, and Kiryat Atta.

For further reading click here.

Bible Google
Herzog College in Alon Shvut has launched a website project called Google of the Bible. The website, which is currently in Hebrew and English, includes the entire Bible (tanach) text, a comprehensive search engine, biblical-era maps that can be compared to contemporary satellite pictures, thematic cross-references, an exhaustive terminology index, biblical idioms and contextual information, various commentary, articles, videos, teaching curriculums, literature and artwork.

To check out this fantastic new resource click here.