israelAM for July 21, 2015

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Streamlining the IDF
The Locker Committee, headed by Reserve General Yohanan Locker, has released it’s recommendations for streamlining the IDF. They include cutting pensions for officers, reducing the period of regular service for men from 3 to 2 years, discharging 2 thousand servicemen, and several other budget cutting measures.

The IDF isn’t happy, especially about the pension cutting since it could dissuade talented personnel from becoming career officers. They have presented their own budget plan and cutting measures, which are much less painful.

Whether the IDF can win this battle isn’t certain, but they usually come out on top. Game on.

US and EU vs. Israel
The EU and the US are calling on Israel not to destroy illegally built Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Sussia. The plan is to move the inhabitants to the nearby village of Yatta. Sussia is an ancient Jewish archeological site and is adjacent to a Jewish settlement of the same name. It’s complicated, to say the least.

PM Spending Under Fire
Israel Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered a criminal investigation into spending at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem and his private home in Caesarea. The chief suspect is Ezra Saidoff, the deputy director general for material and operational resources in the Prime Minister’s Office. The PM and wife aren’t personally under investigation. The issues under investigation include the hiring of an electrician, refunds on recycled bottles, and garden furniture. Seriously.

Red Meat to Eat and Purify
The Ramat Negev Regional Council has received funding from US donors to import frozen embryos of Red Angus cows to Israel to raise for meat. One of these future red calfs could actually turn out to be the biblically prescribed Red Heifer, a prerequisite to rebuilding the Third Temple in Jerusalem. That’s why the Temple Institute reached an agreement with the owner of a Negev cattle farm where the cows are being raised to allow them to check the cows to find a holy candidate (holy cow?). The US donors are furious. The rabbis are hopeful. The saga continues.

Israeli Teens Higher Than Ever
According to the latest study, more Israeli teens and university students are smoking pot than ever before, mainly because they just don’t see it as being dangerous. Marijuana use in Israel is still relatively low. The country ranks 23rd out of 29 European countries, which could explain the high stress level of most Israelis. Think about it.

Secret Affairs Revealed
An anonymous hacker group has hacked, a website that lets married people find extramarital affairs. The group claims to have stolen the personal data of 37 million users including 180,000 based in Israel. They are threatening to reveal names unless the site is taken down. Lots of nervous folks are holding their breath.

Beware of Your Bartender
A female Israeli detective is revealed to be responsible for the arrest of at least 30 drug dealers in Rishon Letzion. She worked undercover as a bartender in a popular local pub for several months. You never know.