Israel News for March 7, 2017

Terror Stabbing
A 40 year old Haredi resident of Betar Illit (located near Jerusalem in the West Bank) was getting his car fixed at an Arab garage in the area. When the repair was done and Arab man asked him for a lift. Thinking that he was a worker at the garage, the Haredi man agreed. Before reaching a checkpoint the Arab asked to get out. But before he left he took out a knife and stabbed the driver in the side. He then fled the scene. The Haredi man was treated by paramedics at the checkpoint and then evacuated to Sharei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. The incident is under investigation.

For further reading click here.

Military Appeal
The Military Advocate General has filed an appeal against the lenient 18 month sentence given to IDF soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter after allegedly shooting dead a wounded Palestinian terrorist in Hebron.

According to the appeal, “The prosecution will argue that according to the law, the respondent (Azaria) should receive a harsher sentence, and his punishment should be 36 to 60 months, or the punishment determined by the minority opinion at the military court (30 months).”

The appeal also noted, “In its verdict, the military court delivered a decisive and clear message about the sanctity of life and the purity of arms, and emphasized that the needless killing of a person, even if he is a terrorist, is illegal, morally wrong and goes against the IDF’s values.”
For further reading click here.

No Entry
The Knesset has passed a bill denying entry visas to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident in Israel, if he, or the organization or body for which he works, knowingly and publicly calls to boycott Israel or who participated in a boycott against Israel. The new law is a blow to the BDS movement.

The law passed despite vehement opposition. MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) slammed the bill as one “which opposes freedom of expression, serves as political censorship and is designed to silence dissent.” MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu), one of the MK’s who proposed the bill, said that “we can feel national pride and also believe in human rights. We can defend Israel’s name and honor, and there’s no shame in it.”

For further reading click here.

Israeli Baseball
Israel’s national baseball team (yes, you heard right) has qualified for the the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament in Seoul, South Korea , and it’s hitting the ball out of the park. Team Israel beat Korea 2-1 in ten innings on Monday and then smashed Chinese Taipei 15-7 today. Israel will take on the Netherlands tomorrow.

The WBC tournament is held every four years and includes 16 teams. The top two teams from each of the four groups in the tournament will advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic next week in Japan.

Team Israel includes several current and former Jewish American Major League Baseball players. World Baseball Classic rules state that players who are eligible for citizenship of a country may play on that country’s team.

In an article published on Sunday, ESPN described the Israeli team as “the Jamaican bobsled team of the WBC.”

For further reading click here.

Holy Graves
As the holiday of Purim approaches, you might be interested to know that the tombs of Mordecai and Esther are located in the Iranian city of Hamedan and are visited by Iranian Jews and Moslems. The tomb of the Prophet Habakuk is also located in the Iranian city of Shushan, the ancient Persian capital made famous in the Book of Esther.

There is a Chassidic rabbi from Israel who travels to Arab countries to inspect and pray at the graves of holy Jews located there. He has been to Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and even Gaza.

To watch a short video about this fascinating story click here.