Israel News for August 13, 2015

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Jews and Arabs Demonstrate
Members of Women Wage Peace, an organization formed a year ago to advocate for the advancement of the peace process, have been on a hunger strike (in shifts) in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem for the past month. The group includes Jewish and Arab women. A few days ago some of the activists met with the PM’s wife Sarah inside the residence for about two hours. She told them that, “”It is Abbas who is responsible for the stalled process. Let him work to renew negotiations instead of trying to promote boycotts of Israel.” The women are still fasting in front of the residence. They apparently feel that doing so in front of Abbas’s residence wouldn’t be such a good idea.

Meanwhile, in Ashkelon about 40 Arab Israeli lawyers, including Arab members of Knesset, demonstrated against the continued detention of Palestinian terror suspect and hunger-striker Mohammad Allaan. Some of them raised Palestinian flags and chanted, “the occupation is terror, free Allan.” They were met by a counter demonstration of about 60 Jews (definitely non-lawyers) who called the Arabs terrorists, yelled various unsavory phrases and demanded that the flags be lowered. Some Jews threw stones at the Arabs while others prevented them from returning to their cars. Mounted police cleared the way for the Arabs to reach their vehicles and used a water cannon to control the Jewish demonstrators. Three Arab and two Jewish demonstrators were arrested.[source]

Police southern district commander Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevi said: “We will not allow disturbances of the peace, stone-throwing or the flying of the PLO flag with the goal of inflaming the situation. Violence will be met with zero tolerance.”

Hamas Kidnaps Drone
Hamas announced on Al Aqsa TV yesterday (check your TV listings) that they had captured an Israeli Skylark 1 reconnaissance drone, dismantled it and then rebuilt it. It’s unclear whether this was a threat or just a shout out to their tech guys. The IDF denies losing any drones, and doesn’t seem concerned about the tech competition coming out of Gaza.

Speaking of drones, a Brussels Airlines plane that was landing at Ben Gurion Airport reported a near miss with a drone that passed in front of them. Police are searching for the drone operator. It wasn’t the Skylark 1. [source]

Perhaps the Hamas announcement should be viewed as a warning of potential plans to use drones to sabotage planes taking off from and landing at Ben Gurion?

PM Fighting Back
PM Netanyahu has announced that he is considering taking legal action against the person responsible for posting images of him, President Rivlin and Chief Justice Naor in Nazi uniforms looking like Hitler. The latest incident contained a video of Naor dressed in a Nazi uniform and speaking German. The Attorney General confirmed that he is already on the case. Now all they need to do is find the guy…or girl. [source]

War Crimes Petition
A petition calling for the arrest of PM Netanyahu, uploaded to the United Kingdom Parliament’s official website a few days ago, has garnered over 41,000 signatures. The government must respond to any petition that gets more than 10,000 signatures. They have yet to respond. Netanyahu is due to visit Britain in September. By the way, the petition to legalize cannabis has close to 200,000 signatures. [source]

Torahs Dedicated at Kotel
Seventy six Torah scrolls were dedicated yesterday at the Western Wall in memory of the casualties of Operation Protective Edge and the three Jewish teenagers who were abducted and murdered last summer by Hamas terrorists. The ceremony was attended by the families of the fallen, President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the head of the Shin Bet, the two Chief Rabbis of Israel, the Chief Rabbis of the Kotel and of Jerusalem, army generals and many others.

Among the Torah scrolls dedicated was the Torah carried by the then IDF Chief Rabbi Goren after the liberation of the Western Wall in the 1967 six day war. At yesterday’s ceremony the historic scroll was carried by the IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister.

The Torahs were escorted in a joyous procession that brought tears to the eyes of all who witnessed the event.

Alphabet Soup
A day after Google announced the formation of a new holding company called Alphabet, an Israeli company has called foul. The company is an architectural firm named AlephBet, which is Hebrew for alphabet. It claims that Google is infringing on their trademark and is demanding that Google back off and choose a different name. Yes, this is a true story. Alphabet. AlephBet. Get it? I doubt Google’s non Hebrew speaking attorneys will either.