israelAM for July 24, 2015

< back to sign up

Judges Should Sing Hatikva
When the first Arab judge ever to serve on the Israeli Supreme Court, Salim Jubran, refrained from singing Hatikva at his swearing in ceremony, he provoked outrage in right leaning circles. Now that the right controls the Judicial committee responsible for appointing judges, he might be in trouble.

Robert Ilatov, the newly appointed member of the Judicial Committee from Yisrael Beiteynu, stated, “”In my view, a judge who is unwilling to sing Hatikva cannot be a judge in the State of Israel, which is the nation state of the Jewish people.” Justice Minister and committee member Ayelet Shaked fundamentally agree with his statement, but emphasized that Jubran’s job is not in jeopardy. “There are many excellent Arab judges in the judicial system,” she said. “A judge needs to stand during the national anthem, but I won’t be looking to see if he is mouthing the words to Hatikva or not. A judge needs to be selected first and foremost according to skills and criteria.” She added that Jubran is retiring in 2017 and that no new Supreme Court justices would be appointed until then.

Should judges be required to swear allegiance to the state that creates the laws that they are sworn to enforce? If so, is not singing the national anthem an expression of non alleigance?

Israel Arms Jordan
Israel has joined the fight against Isis, at least indirectly, by giving Jordan 16 US supplied Cobra combat helicopters for border security. Israel retired the Cobras some years back, preferring the more powerful US supplied Apache helicopters. The Jordanian air force currently has 25 cobras in service.

Avoid Waiting in Line at the Airport
El Al is launching a new premium service on Aug. 2 to provide at-home checkin and security inspections for a fee of 499 Shekels for up to 5 passengers. Passengers will receive their boarding passes at home, allowing them to proceed directly to passport control in the airport. The service area will cover the center of the country, from Hadera in the north to Gadera in the south and Jerusalem to the east. El Al hasn’t clarified whether the service would be offered in Arab towns, which has triggered accusations of racism. More likely, it’s a matter of security.

A Tragic Destiny
In a tragic twist of fate, 3 graduates of the same elite Israeli Air Force pilots training course have been killed in accidents while on separate trips outside of Israel. They were all 24 yrs old. Tamar Ariel, the first religious female fighter pilot, was killed last October in an avalanche in Nepal. Max Selah was killed in April in an “Omega” glider accident in Peru. Aviv Bromberg was killed just this week in a trekking accident in Peru. His funeral is taking place today in Kfar Saba.
No reasons. No Answers. Just sadness.

Deadly Roads
The Israeli Police have released highway safety statistics from June: 948 accidents, 1662 injured, 27 killed. The death toll since the beginning of the year: 195. Maybe some of the massive defense budget should be going to traffic safety?

National Day of Mourning
Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem almost 2000 yrs ago, will be observed this Saturday night and Sunday. The Talmud teaches that the reason for the destruction was baseless hatred and disunity among the Jewish People. Tisha B’av is a reminder that we haven’t fully corrected those flaws, and that we have to continue working on bringing love and unity to our people and to the entire world.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and an easy and meaningful Tisha B’av fast.