Israel News for September 16, 2016

Terror Attack
A terrorist in his 20’s drew a knife and charged at Border Police officers near the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem today. The officers shot and killed the attacker before he could cause any harm. The terrorist was a resident of Jordan.

For further reading click here.

Aid Deal Slammed
On Wednesday Israel and the US finalized the largest ever military aid deal ever offered to Israel by the US, totaling $38 billion dollars over 10 years. But not everyone in Israel is satisfied with the aid package.

Yesterday former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak slammed the deal in several interviews and in an op-ed in the Washington Post. In the op-ed Barak wrote, “The damage produced by Netanyahu’s irresponsible management of the relations with the White House is now fully manifest. Israel will receive $3.8 billion a year — an important contribution to our security but far less than what could have been obtained before the prime minister chose to blatantly interfere with U.S. politics.” 

Barak continued his critique of the agreement in interviews with various news outlets, claiming that Israel could have gotten $45 billion if Netanyahu had stayed out of American politics.

The Likud, Netanyahu’s party, responded to Barak’s criticism by accusing him of attempting to make a political comeback saying, “publishing an article ridiculing Israel’s policy in the American media on the day the largest aid agreement in the history of the United States was signed is only more proof that what Barak cares about is not the good of the country and not Israel’s security, but only Barak’s good.”

For further reading click here.

UN Chief Blasts PM
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon blasted PM Netanyahu’s Facebook video in which he accused the potential eviction of all Jewish settlements from the West Bank by the Palestinians as “ethnic cleansing.” The UN chief called the remark “unacceptable and outrageous,” and reiterated his position that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are in violation of international law and are an obstacle to peace.

Ban also condemned rocket fire toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, and criticized the Palestinian Authority for incitement against Israel and for its hero-worship of terrorists. He called on the Palestinians to stop this “shameful behavior.”

Finally, Ban wished Shimon Peres a speedy recovery and praised him for his work in trying to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

For further reading click here.

Kotel Poll
A recent poll commissioned by the Jerusalem Post found that 61% of Israelis favor creating a separate egalitarian prayer space at the southern part of the Western Wall near Robinson’s Arch, while 39% are opposed. While 83% of Orthodox respondents oppose creating the site, 82% of secular Israelis and 59% of those who define themselves as traditional support it.

Polls in general show that younger Israelis tend to be more conservative on matters of religion and state and more right-wing on diplomatic issues. This could reflect a higher birthrate in religious families.

For more of the poll’s findings click here.

Afghan Treasure
The National Library of Israel recently purchased a large collection of 250 documents from the 11th century that were found in a cave in northern Afghanistan. The documents in the collection, called the “Afghan Geniza”, were part of the personal archive of a Jewish family of traders that lived on the Silk Road in the Afghan city of Bamyan (that’s where the Taliban blew up 2 huge statues of Buddha).

The collection includes private letters, business documents and religious text, including pages of the Talmud, and reveals important information about Jewish life in Afghanistan in the 11th century.

The National Library is working to digitally scan all the manuscripts and upload all of them to the internet.

For further reading click here.