Israel News for September 18, 2015

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Bus Stoned
An Egged bus driving through the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amud yesterday was stoned and later torched. The driver escaped unharmed. In another incident a bus driver was lightly wounded by shattered glass after stones were thrown at his vehicle near the Hizma checkpoint, at the northeastern entrance to Jerusalem.

Also that day, molotov cocktails were thrown at the Ofrit army base near Mount Scopus causing a fire, but no injuries.

In an attempt to prevent more violence on the Temple Mount during Friday prayers, the police will only be permitting men over the age of 40 to enter the area.

The general police presence will also be increased in East Jerusalem. Over 800 officers have been added to the existing force.

Let’s pray for peace in Jerusalem.

Electricity Arrears
Talk about falling behind on your electric bill. According to the chairman of the Israel Electric Company (IEC) General (res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal, the Palestinian Authority owes the electric company around 1.7 billion shekels. That’s a shocking amount (excuse the pun), and the IEC is getting close to turning off the lights in the PA.

Ron-Tal made it clear that he intended to limit the flow of electricity to the PA soon, as has already happened before, saying, “As a government company, we have to coordinate what we do with the government, but I intend – already in the coming weeks – to again limit the flow of electricity to the PA until it pays, or until the problem is solved by government decisions. This will not continue at the expense of the citizens of Israel; it’s a scandal.”

Israeli Nukes
Everyone knows that Israel has nuclear weapons, but Israel has never publicly admitted to or denied that assumption. At this year’s annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN agency responsible for monitoring nuclear arsenals, nineteen predominantly Arab states wanted the agency’s member states to express concern over Israel’s nuclear capabilities, call on it to join the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have the agency regularly report on Israel’s nuclear program. That would not be good news for Israel.

Yesterday, 61 countries voted against the Arab-drafted resolution, 43 in favor and 33 abstained. Among those voting against the resolution were the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, all European Union members, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, as well as South American countries such as Uruguay and Panama. Kenya and other countries in Africa and the Pacific also opposed the resolution. Many others abstained, including Brazil and India.

Russia, China, Turkey and South Africa joined the Arab countries in backing the resolution.

Last year, 58 countries voted against the initiative.

Nice to see that Israel still has a few friends out there in the world.

Iceland Warms Up
Yesterday we reported that the Reykjavik city council passed a motion to boycott Israeli goods. Well, the government of Iceland came out against the decision saying that it isn’t in line with the country’s foreign policy and doesn’t reflect Iceland’s relationship with Israel.
Iceland rocks!

Tel Aviv Tops List
Israelis love coming out on top (who doesn’t). Well, they’ve done so again, but this time they aren’t too happy about it. According to a report just released by UBS bank, Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East. Second place went to Dubai.

Tel Aviv was rated as the 22nd most expensive city in the world. But when it comes to wage levels, Tel Aviv is down in thirty-third place, meaning that salaries don’t keep up with what Tel Avivians have to pay for goods and services.

On average, a worker in Tel Aviv has to work 21 minutes to buy a Big Mac, 12 minutes to buy a kilo of bread, 12 minutes to buy a kilo of rice and 75 hours to buy an iPhone 6.

On the bright side, rents in Tel Aviv are 40% lower than those in New York City. But since NYC boasts the highest rents (and high salaries), that discount might not be so bright after all.

Hey, let’s not forget the awesome beaches!

Sick Chicks
According to the testimony of the senior veterinarian at the Shufersal supermarket chain to a Knesset committee, most of the chickens sold in Israel have salmonella. That certainly ruffled the feathers of some Knesset members. The Ministry of Health agreed with his claim. So everyone agrees: make sure you cook your chicken really well in Israel.

Art Exhibitionists
A group of Spanish artists decided to demonstrate their solidarity with Palestinians and their opposition to the security wall separating Israel from the PA by posing for photographs in front of the wall in Jerusalem. Did I mention that they were naked and wearing clown noses, with their pants and underwear around their ankles? Yup, it’s true.

Well, the Palestinians were not pleased, to say the least. They considered it an insult to Islam and their cause. You try to do something nice and that’s the thanks you get. That’ll probably be the last time those Spaniards drop their pants and bare their souls (and other stuff) for the Palestinians.