Posts

us embassy tel aviv

Israel News for May 10, 2017

Embassy Staying
According to senior US officials, President Trump has decided to extend the order which prevents the US Embassy in Israel from being transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That means despite his campaign promises, the embassy will not be moved to Jerusalem. PM Netanyahu has reportedly already been informed of the decision.

Apparently both governments came to an agreement that now would not be the right time to move the embassy. Trump will be visiting Israel on May 22. Last week, Ambassador David Friedman was instructed to hold official embassy events at the ambassadors residence in Hertzliya, even though Friedman will be living in Jerusalem.

For further reading click here.

Terrorists Stopped
A Palestinian teen carrying two pipe bombs hidden in his clothes tried to enter a military court in the Jenin area today. He was stopped at the court checkpoint and when he didn’t have identification, Border Police searched him and discovered the bombs. The explosives were neutralized.

In an unrelated incident, a 30 year old terrorist was firing a gun towards Highway 60 in the Hebron area and was caught on video by a security camera in the area. An hour later security forces identified and arrested him in his home. No one was injured as a result of the gunshots.

For further reading click here.

Pilots Arrested
On Israel Independence Day last week, the Israeli Air Force staged many fly-over exhibitions. During one of them, involving Hercules transport planes flying over the Tel Aviv coastline, the wings of two of the planes touched momentarily. That could have potentially caused a crash. The incident was captured on video and aired by Channel 2 news. As a result the two pilots flying the planes have been arrested and several other crew members have been grounded.

For further reading click here.

Alzheimer’s Breakthrough
Researchers at Ben Gurion University have identified a protein called SIRT6 that is almost completely absent in Alzheimer’s disease patients. They claim that the protein deficiency is likely a contributing factor in the onset of the disease.

The researchers determined that SIRT6 is a key component in the DNA repair process, while low levels of SIRT6 enable DNA damage accumulation.
The body’s failure to implement processes to repair accumulated DNA damage is widely thought to be the cause of conditions associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Deborah Toiber of the BGU Department of Life Sciences, and the lead author of the research paper, said, “If a decrease in SIRT6 and lack of DNA repair is the beginning of the chain that ends in neurodegenerative diseases in seniors, then we should be focusing our research on how to maintain production of SIRT6 and avoid the DNA damage that leads to these diseases.”

Toiber’s lab is one of only a handful worldwide looking at the effects of SIRT6 in the brain, and its connection to neurodegenerative diseases.

For further reading click here.

Israel News for May 9, 2017

Wild Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul last night. The meeting came after Erdoğan admonished Israel for its attempt to pass a bill curtailing the Muezzin calls to prayer via loudspeaker, and called for Muslims to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the hundreds of thousands to show solidarity with the Palestinians and protect the site’s Muslim character.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, Hamdallah updated Erdoğan on the Palestinian political situation with Israel and about “Israeli violations.” He also provided details on the ongoing hunger strike of Palestinian security prisoners.

Hamdallah said that Erdoğan “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of judaization,” and that he called on Muslims to increase their visitation to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Erdoğan stressed that the only solution to the Israel Palestinian conflict was to pressure Israel to establish a Palestinian state in the “occupied territories”.

He slammed Israel saying, “Israel keeps getting away from punishment which leads it to escalated aggression against Palestinians,” and that all peace making attempts will fail “unless Israel is held accountable for its crimes.”

After the meeting, Erdoğan spoke with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem and Turkish Amassador to Israel, Kemal Okem to “clarify” his comments.

Israel issued an official statement in which it said that it was “worried” about Erdoğan’s anti-Israel statements that, “we don’t want an escalation. We can end this crisis.”

Don’t forget, Israel and Turkey signed a reconciliation agreement last year, normalizing diplomatic and economic relations.

For further reading click here.

Embassy Omission
The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia posted a State Department video on its website highlighting President Trumps upcoming Middle East trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel. But then it apparently removed the video and posted an edited version which left out any mention of Israel.

Representative Elliot Engel (NY), a senior Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson complaining. In the letter Engel wrote, “At a time when the United States should be encouraging the governments of the region—and their people—to promote tolerance, respect and mutual recognition this video implies that the US accepts Saudi Arabia’s public rejectionist position toward Israel.”

He also wrote, “This video plays into a rejectionist narrative and thus has no place in any social media—or any other form of communication—associated with the United States government.”

The video was subsequently taken down and the original video, including Israel, was reposted.

A State Department official said that the embassy had taken the video from the social media account of a private Saudi citizen without realizing that Israel had been edited out. He said,“Upon learning this, the U.S. Embassy immediately corrected the error, took down the video, and loaded the correct version to its social media accounts. The Embassy expresses its regret for this inadvertent mistake.”

For further reading click here.

Abbas Willing
PA President Abbas told reporters in Ramallah today that he would be willing to meet with PM Netanyahu if the meeting was organized by President Trump. He said, “We told him [Trump] that we were ready to collaborate with him and meet the Israeli PM under his auspices to build peace.”

For further reading click here.

IDF Shabbat
According to Israeli law, the IDF must observe the laws of Shabbat and Kashrut (kosher), unless there is a pressing military reason not to do so. Religious soldiers on a tank base in the Golan have complained that two weeks ago, on Shabbat, a group of tourists led by an influential tour guide arrived at the base. The base commander, after speaking with the tour guide, ordered a tank to maneuver outside of the base as a show for the tourists. This violates the Shabbat rules.

Also on the same base, all of the Shabbat food was negligently left out and spoiled. So the kitchen staff entered the kitchen, locked the door, and cooked new food — on Shabbat (cooking on Shabbat is prohibited).

One of the religious commanders on the base complained to the base commander and to the base rabbi. The IDF is investigating the incidents.

For further reading click here.

Fidget Peace
If you have young kids you know what a fidget spinner is. For those who don’t know, it’s a small propeller-like spinner that kids hold with two fingers and spin. And spin…and spin. Pretty simple concept. The toy is said to apparently reduce stress. It turns out that the inventor, Catherine Hettinger, came up with the idea during a trip to Israel in the 1980s, during the First Intifada, as a way to distract the “young boys throwing rocks at police officers.” She first considered designing a “soft rock that kids could throw,” saying that, “It started as a way of promoting peace.”

Maybe the fidget spinner is the answer we’ve been waiting for to bring peace to the world?

For further reading click here.

Israel News for May 8, 2017

Terror Attempt
A 16 year old female Palestinian terrorist, brandishing a knife, charged at security personnel at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City last night while yelling, “Allahu akbar.” Security forces shot and killed the terrorist.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a knife was recovered from the scene together with a farewell letter from the teenager to her family quoting a verse from the Koran that signed off with the word “shahida”—Arabic for “martyr.” Her wish was granted.

For further reading click here.

Hamas Lies
In response to a new charter document released by Hamas last week which implied that Hamas was willing to “agree to a state within the 1967 borders”, PM Netanyahu posted a short video on Twitter dismissing the document as “fake news”.

He said, “The new Hamas document says that Israel has no right to exist, it says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians, it says there is no acceptable solution other than to remove Israel… they want to use their state to destroy our state.”

Netanyahu concluded his clip by saying that, “Hamas murders women and children, it’s launched tens of thousands of missiles at our homes, it brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps.”

The PM then crumpled up the document and tossed it in a wastebasket.

To watch the video, click here.

Prisoner Snacking
Palestinian terror leader Marwan Barghouti has been leading a highly publicized hunger strike inside the Israeli prison where he is serving 5 life sentences for the murder of 5 Israelis. He launched his hunger strike 3 weeks ago with an op-ed in the NY Times. Hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners joined him. In a video released yesterday, taken by hidden prison cameras, Barghouti is seen eating in his cell.

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said in a statement, following the release of the video, “As I said from the very beginning, this hunger strike was never about the conditions of the convicted terrorists, which meet international standards. It is about advancing Marwan Barghouti’s political ambitions to replace Abu Mazen [Abbas].”

He added, “Barghouti is a murderer and hypocrite who urged his fellow prisoners to strike and suffer while he ate behind their back. Just like he lied to the world when he wrote in the New York Times that he decided to strike in order to protest ill-treatment, he lied to the Palestinian public when he claimed to be striking. Israel will not give in to extortion and pressure from terrorists.”

For further reading click here.

Lebanon Monument
A cornerstone has been laid for a new monument honoring the members of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) who operated in southern Lebanon in cooperation with the IDF until the IDF withdrew in 2000.

The monument will be erected next to a gate in “the Good Fence” through which IDF soldiers entered Lebanon. The SLA’s fallen will be memorialized there both with a monument and a heritage site with information about it and the cooperation between its members and the State of Israel. Many SLA fighters were given asylum in Israel after the SLA fell and Hezbollah took control of south Lebanon.

Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Yair Golan said that one of the reasons for the monument is “to learn that Jews and Arabs, out of a relationship of equality and dignity, can live together, participate in each other’s family events, and do it with friendship, fraternity and great love.”

The SLA was a Christian militia. That might explain the Jewish-Arab love.

For further reading click here.

israel terror attacks

Israel News for April 26, 2017

Terror Attacks
Early today two Palestinian terrorists (cousins) charged at soldiers with a knife near the IDF’s Samaria Regional Brigade headquarters near Nablus (Shechem). Soldiers managed to shoot and neutralize them. Yesterday, at the same location, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab soldiers but was shot several times and wounded. All three terrorists were taken to an Israeli hospital in Petach Tikvah for treatment. No soldiers were injured.

For further reading click here.

Missiles Destroyed
The IDF announced that it destroyed over 100 Hezbollah missiles in an attack on Syria last week. The attack was in retaliation for three stray mortar shells that fell in Israel. The mortars caused no damage, but providing the perfect excuse for getting rid of a whole load of missiles that would probably have been aimed at Israel one day.

For further reading click here.

Undercover Bust
Two police officers dressed up as Haredi IDF soldiers walked down a street in a radical Haredi neighborhood in Beit Shemesh. A crowd gathered around them, shouting abuse. Then two Haredi men began physically assaulting them. That’s when other undercover officers, dressed as haredim, sprung into action and arrested the attackers.

The police said that this is just one part in a series of operations in which police officers disguise themselves as Haredi soldiers to elicit attacks, following a series of recent violent incidents against Haredi soldiers wearing their uniforms in certain Haredi neighborhoods.

The incidents are few and far in between, but still disturbing and unacceptable.

For further reading click here.

Fighting the Scam
One of the most notorious international financial scams existing today, Binary Options, is centered primarily in Israel. Many of the employees that work for the companies to scam people of their savings are American immigrants to Israel. The PM has condemned the industry and the Knesset is in the process of attempting to create legislation to shut it down. In the meantime the Israeli based scam is stealing billions.

Recently, some American Olim who were once employed in the industry have started a company to help scam victims recover their money.

To read about this new company and the entire scam, click here.

No Apologies
According to Palestinian Authority government sources, the British Government has refused their demands for an apology for issuing the 1917 Balfour Declaration that recognized the Jewish People’s right to a state in the land of Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the apology in an address to the UN General Assembly in September, but Britain plans to hold celebrations along with Israeli officials, including PM Netanyahu, to mark the Nov. 2 centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to Britain, said that unless Britain apologized, cancelled planned celebrations and recognized the state of Palestine, the Palestinians would go ahead with plans for a lawsuit. There was no immediate comment from Britain’s Foreign Office.

For further reading click here.

Balfour Petition
The Israel Forever Foundation is working on a monumental drive to to collect 1 million signatures by the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 2017 to be presented to world bodies, organizations, and heads of state, to remind the world that Israel was established with the full backing and support of the international community.

To sign this important petition click here.

So Israeli
Check out this music video about the things that are so very Israeli — it’ll make you smile and get your feet moving! Thanks to ForeverIsrael.org for posting and adding the translated lyrics.

To view the video click here.

Israel News for April 24, 2017

Terror in TA
An 18 year old Palestinian terrorist from Nablus stabbed 3 men and 1 woman at the Herod’s Hotel on Tel Aviv’s seaside promenade yesterday. The terrorist was overpowered by hotel staff and police.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai has frozen all daily permits to enter Israel after investigators found that the terrorist had a similar permit. All permits will remain frozen and no new permits will be given until further notice.

This morning a 41 year old Palestinian mother of nine stabbed a female soldier in the shoulder at the Qalandya checkpoint near Jerusalem. The woman was arrested and under questioning revealed that she was attempting to commit suicide because of a domestic dispute. The female soldier was only lightly wounded.

To view security footage of the TA attack click here.

Chinese Workers
Israel and China have signed an agreement to allow 6,000 Chinese construction workers into Israel. However, reports say that the workers will be prohibited from working in areas considered to be across the “Green Line” (West Bank). The Israeli government is hoping that the workers will help alleviate the housing shortage in the country by facilitating more and quicker construction.

China considers Judea and Samaria to be occupied territories. But, business is business.

For further reading click here.

Holocaust Commemoration
Last night, Israel ushered in the beginning of the annual Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day with a state ceremony at Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.

The ceremony, the theme of which was “Restoring Their Identities: The Fate of the Individual During the Holocaust,” was attended by the president, prime minister, speaker of the Knesset and deputy president of the Supreme Court. Some 2,500 Holocaust survivors also attended, along with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, members of the Diplomatic Corps and IDF soldiers.
 
President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev spoke at the ceremony. Esther Miron, a Holocaust survivor, spoke on behalf of the survivors. Six survivors lit torches commemorating the six million. The Chief Rabbis recited psalms and kaddish.

In his address PM Netanyahu said, “We have to be able to defend ourselves on our own against any threat against any enemy. From a helpless people, we have turned into a robust nation. From a defenseless nation, we have turned into a powerful country that can defend itself with one of the strongest armies.”

Netanyahu also cited newly released documents from the United Nations showing that the Allies were aware of the Nazis’ systematic extermination of the Jews at least two years earlier than previously known, and that if they had acted on that information at the time could have saved some 4 million of the Jewish Holocaust victims.

He said, “If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps — and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps — had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people. When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces, the powers knew and they did not act.”

In a video message to the World Jewish Congress, US President Trump said, “On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.”

He continued, “The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”

Trump also said, “Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance. It’s a monument to unyielding strength. We recall the famous words attributed to Theodor Herzl: If you will it, it is no dream. If you will it, it is no dream.”

“We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of. To all of you tonight, who have come from around the world, let it be known, America stands strong with the State of Israel.”

At 10am this morning a two minute ling siren was sounded throughout the Israel, and people froze in place silently. All traffic came to a halt as people stopped and exited their vehicles for the moments of silence.

Remembrance ceremonies will be held at different locations throughout the day.

For further reading click here.

 
Survivor Stories
The stories of the the six survivors who lit the torches at the official Yad Vashem ceremony last night are displayed on the Yad Vashem website along with a video of each one.

To watch the videos and read their stories, click here.

How We Remember
In Israel it is almost impossible to not remember and reflect upon the horrors and tragedy of the Holocaust. Especially on this day of remembrance, the Holocaust permeates every aspect of Israel’s existence. But for those living in the US, it takes effort to remember. Even if you try, the sheer numbers — 6 million — are simply overwhelming. How can anyone possible even begin to try to understand the suffering, brutality and horror inflicted upon millions of Jewish men, women and children in homes, schools, hospitals, on streets, in forests and in ghettos and concentration and death camps? It’s impossible.

The only way to attempt this awesome task is to start with individuals. The Holocaust destroyed ordinary individuals — the kind of people you see in your own family and community.

Think of the accomplished woman dressed in her finest business suit (is it you or someone you love?) being marched to her gassing. Imaging the accountant, professor, musician, storekeeper, carpenter or plumber being suddenly torn from their daily routine, herded into a forest and gunned down into a mass grave.

The sun shone, the birds sang and the local gentile population looked on (for the most part) as the Jewish populations of entire towns (like Teaneck, Lakewood, Monsey, Houston, San Diego etc.) were hunted down, collected in a central square and then forced onto trains heading to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, etc.

Distinguished rabbinic sages with long white beards and young yeshiva students immersed in Torah study alongside secular university students and communist activists went to their deaths with dignity and shared their final resting places in mass graves or ash piles.

If you’re willing to go one step further into a place that is almost too painful to even consider [if you can’t then please stop reading here]— take a look at your own young children or grandchildren (or nieces and nephews) and imagine those pure and innocent souls marching to their deaths — and imagine yourself helpless to do anything to help other than watch them…

Now you can begin, in the tiniest sense, to fathom the Holocaust, remember the tragedy and strive to ensure that it never happens again.

May the souls of the millions that perished in the Holocaust be elevated and may they finally find some form of rest knowing that the Jewish nation can now live securely in the homeland they prayed and yearned for.

Israel News for March 30, 2017

Terror Attempt
A Palestinian woman attempted to stab Border Police officers with a pair of scissors outside of Jerusalem’s Old City’s Damascus Gate yesterday. Police shot and killed her before she could cause any harm.

The woman, Siham Nimr, 49, from the Shuafat refugee camp in eastern Jerusalem, was the mother of a man shot by police when the car he was a passenger in rammed through a checkpoint. The driver of the car was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Police assumed that the ramming was terror related.

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Released
Haitham Faiz Muari, one of the terrorists convicted in the lynching of two IDF reservists in Ramallah in 2000, was released from prison yesterday and sent to Gaza. Muari had requested a retrial and his original murder conviction was converted to lesser charges due to new evidence which made definitive identification of Muari difficult at the level required in a criminal case.

Muari had been a Palestinian police officer who had arrested the two soldiers and beat them at the station. He was originally convicted of murder. Following the new trial he was convicted only of not preventing a criminal action and of attacking a soldier. Based on a new plea bargain agreement, his time already served was deemed acceptable, allowing for his release.

For further reading click here.

Hit List
Hamas has released a hit list video of seven Israeli leaders with targets over their faces. This comes after a senior Hamas commander was gunned down by unknown assailants in Gaza last Friday night. Hamas blames Israel for the assassination and has vowed to avenge the killing.

The seven Israeli leaders in the video are Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman; IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot; Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman; Mossad Director Yossi Cohen; IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi; Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan; and Oz Brigade Commander David Zini.

Meanwhile, Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman warned the the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier this month that Hamas and other organized terror cells will try to carry out attacks over the Passover holiday. IDF forces are on high alert.

For further reading click here.

Arab League Summit
The one day Arab League Summit in Jordan yesterday culminated with the Arab leaders relaunching their 2002 peace plan, which normalizes relations with Israel in exchange for Israel ceding territory captured in 1967 to a Palestinian state. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said, “The summit has ended with a message of peace.”

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt attended the summit as an observer and met with Arab leaders and other foreign delegations to discuss U.S. perspectives and policies. According to a White House statement “the dialogue at the meetings was open, frank, and helpful.”

For further reading click here.

New Ambassador
David Friedman was sworn in yesterday as the new US Ambassador to Israel by VP Mike Pence. Friedman’s wife, Tammy, their five children and most of their grandchildren watched. At the ceremony Pence said, “The president of the United States of America is a lifelong friend of Israel and the Jewish people and, under his leadership, if the world knows nothing else the world will know this: America stands with Israel.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump “is glad that Ambassador Friedman will be officially on board as we strive for a lasting peace in the Middle East,” and that, “Mr. Friedman’s strong relationships in Israel will be a tremendous asset to the president in furthering that mission.”

The Senate approved Friedman’s nomination last week by a vote of 52-46. He has resigned from the law firm that he founded to take on his new post.

For further reading click here.

Anti BDS
Thousands attended a conference opposing the BDS movement at the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday. The conference, sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and Israel’s mission to the U.N., focused on ways to combat the movement on campus and on social media. Israeli UN Ambassador Danon and US Ambassador to the UN Haley addressed the conference in the UN General Assembly.

For further reading click here.

Airport Carts
Starting in July, travelers at Ben Gurion airport will have to use their credit cards in order to use a luggage cart. The carts have always been free (unlike most other airports) but now will require a NIS 10 deposit, which will be credited back to the user after they return the cart to its designated place. So it’s still free, but now you have to clean up after yourself. No more leaving a mess!

For further reading click here.

Israel News for March 23, 2017

Cop Gone Wild
On Tuesday afternoon an Arab truck driver in East Jerusalem hit the bumper of a parked car while attempting to back out of his space. He then left the scene. Unfortunately for him, a security camera caught the event on video and the car belonged to a police officer in a special patrol unit.

Early Thursday morning the police officer showed up at the man’s truck and demanded he get out. When he did, the officer beat the heck out of him. Unfortunately for the cop, there were witnesses (some of whom the cop also assaulted) and the beating was captured on video.

The police officer was suspended and the Police Investigation Unit launched a probe.
 
The Police statement said, “This behavior is grave, abnormal and is not in line with the kind of behavior expected of police officers. When we received the video, the police officer was immediately put on forced leave and will be summoned for a disciplinary hearing at a later stage. The Police Investigations Unit is examining the matter.”
 
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised the decision to suspend the officer, saying his behavior “was very grave and worthy of condemnation. This kind of behavior hurts the entire police force.”

To view the video click here.

Lebanese Threats
According to the Lebanese media, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament Nabih Berri said that Israel’s intentions to annex an 860 kilometer maritime area claimed by Lebanon could trigger a war between the two countries.

Berri said, “This is a new assault by Israel on Lebanese sovereignty. What has been revealed by Israeli media was not arbitrary, but rather reveals a path taken by Israel in a bid to control Lebanon’s gas and oil wealth within Lebanese economic borders. Anyway, if the Israeli disposition is correct, which I tend to believe, it is tantamount to a war sparked by Israel. It is another maritime Shebaa Farms Conflict which opens the situation to many dangerous possibilities.”

For further reading click here.

Men Only
In light of the move by the IDF to integrate women into combat units, the IDF told a group of religious-zionist rabbis that it will create gender separate officer training courses starting this summer. Religious soldiers who wish to will be able to serve in the all men companies while others will be able to remain in co-ed units.

The change is expected to be minor. The IDF’s co-ed battalions— Caracal, the Lions of Jordan, Bardelas and the new 47th Battalion—only have a handful of religious soldiers, while there are also very few female cadets in the co-ed companies at the IDF officers’ training course.

For further reading click here.

Coke Fined
The Israel Antitrust Authority slapped a NIS 62.7 million on the Central Bottling Company Group, which manufactures Coca Cola in Israel. In addition to owning the Coca Cola brand in Israel, the company also owns brands like Kinley, Fanta and Sprite as well as full ownership of the Tara dairy, Neviot mineral waters, Prigat fresh juices and the license to brew the Tuborg, Carlsberg, Stella Artois, Guinness and other beer brands in Israel.

The company allegedly offered discounts on its monopoly soft drink products like Coca Cola to retail chains, institutional customers and cafes prepared to buy Tara dairy products. At the same time, the company allegedly threatened institutional customers that if they did not buy Tara dairy products, they would not receive discounts on Coca Cola products. Such cross-marketing involving a monopoly product is a criminal offense.

For further reading click here.

Yemenite Images
New photos have been released of Yemenite immigrants to Israel in the 1950’s. See view some of the photos click here.

Israel News for January 4, 2017

Soldier Convicted
After a nine month trial in a military court, IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter this morning for shooting a seriously wounded terrorist in the head last year in Hebron. The terrorist had just committed a stabbing attack and was shot and wounded by soldiers. As he was lying on the ground face down, surrounded by soldiers, Azaria approached and shot the terrorist in the head, allegedly killing him.

On the one hand the defense attempted to claim that the terrorist was already dead before Azaria shot him. On the other hand the claim was made that Azaria saw the terrorist move and thought that he was still a threat. In any case, the judges wrote, “He opened fired in violation of orders, the terrorist did not pose any threat.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed regret at the verdict but urged everyone to respect it. “We are all obligated to show restraint. What is important is that despite the verdict, the security apparatus will assist the soldier and his family in any way possible.”

Hundreds of protesters rioted outside of the courtroom in front of the IDF military headquarters in Tel Aviv directly before and after the verdict.

Education minister Naftali Bennet and Culture Minister Miri Regev both called for the government to grant Azaria immediate amnesty.

Azaria’s legal team said that it will appeal the verdict.

For further reading click here.

Motorbike Attack
Palestinians on four motorbikes attempted to break through a checkpoint near Jenin yesterday. One of the bikes rammed into two Border Police officers, injuring them. The other three motor bikes escaped through the checkpoint.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Casualty
Over two and a half years after Operation Protective Edge (Gaza War), an Israeli soldier critically wounded in the operation has died. Major Hagai Ben Ari, a highly regarded paratroop officer, was shot in the head by a sniper in Gaza on July 21, 2014. Over the next 2 years he remained unconscious. Ben Ari leaves behind a wife and 3 young children. He is the 68th IDF soldier killed in Protective Edge.

For further reading click here.

PA Austerity
The Palestinian Authority is planning to implement some deep spending cuts as a result of a huge budget deficit. The reason for the deficit is a sharp drop in foreign funding, primarily from Saudi Arabia and the US and EU.

Saudi Arabia normally pays about $20 million a month into the budget, but it stopped making regular contributions last April – in part to apply pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas to implement political changes. The EU and the US have also reduced direct budget support, preferring instead to fund specific development programs.

More than half of the PA budget goes for paying salaries of government employees. The PA also pays stipends to families of terrorists.

For further reading click here.

Underwater Lighting
Even though Hanukkah is over, we thought you had to see this video, in which two Chabad emissaries light a huge menorah under the shark infested waters of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. Chabad really does go everywhere! To watch video click here.

Israel News for December 14, 2016

Terror in Jerusalem
A terrorist approached police officers in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and stabbed a 35 year old police officer in the head with a screwdriver. Another officer shot and wounded the terrorist, neutralizing him. A 12 year old male resident of East Jerusalem was brought to paramedics at the scene with a head injury that he claims he got from the terrorist, but the exact cause of the injury is still not clear. The wounded police officer, terrorist and boy were all taken to Hadassah Hospital.

For further reading and to view images and video, click here.

Amona Demonstration
Thousands of people gathered outside of the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem last night to protest the evacuation of Amona, which is scheduled to take place on December 25th. Protestors waved flags and held signs that read “the land of Israel is not up for debate” and “we don’t give up Israel!”

The government has presented a compromise agreement by which the 40 families residing in Amona would move to an adjacent plot of land on the same mountain, on the condition that they agree to evacuated their current homes. Residents will meet today to decide whether to accept the compromise agreement.

For further reading click here.

PM Diplomacy
PM Netanyahu signed a series of agreements yesterday with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev during Netanyahu’s official visit to the country, which has a Muslim majority.

Israel already exports $4.5 billion of military equipment to Azerbaijan and imports oil. Israel hopes to export more technology, particularly in the field of agricultural.

The PM and his wife met with representatives of Azerbaijan’s Jewish community at a Chabad school. There are less than 10,000 living in the country, with six synagogues and the Chabad center. There are 70,000 Azerbaijani Jews living in Israel.

The PM continued his trip with a visit to Kazakhstan today, where he met with the countries and president and urged him to support Israel’s bid to gain a non permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

For further reading click here.

Right to Remain Silent
The right to remain silent, part of the Miranda law, is a privilege of anyone arrested in the US. Now Israel might finally give its citizens the same right.

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked drafted a new law that would protect suspects from self-incrimination, giving them the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. The proposed law, called the Suspect interrogation Law, will be submitted for government approval next week.

The law includes wording saying, “before an interrogation of a suspect, an officer will be required to clearly state to the suspect—to the extent possible under the circumstances—the main facts concerning the allegations against the suspect along with general rights to avoid self-incrimination: ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be documented and used as evidence in court, but know that the court can take your silence into account. It is your right to consult with an attorney before your interrogation, subject to the restrictions prescribed by law, and it is your right to consult with a public defender if you are entitled under the law.'”

Included in the law are regulations relating to interrogations. The regulations stipulate that suspects have the right to sleep, eat and drink, take breaks during interrogations, communicate with loved ones and practice their religion.

For further reading click here.

Israel News for October 20, 2016

Terrorists Arrested
The Shin Bet and police have arrested 5 terrorists from the Palestinian village of Ni’ilin who shot at IDF soldiers on Yom Kippur. The arrests occurred just hours after the attack, but were only cleared for publication yesterday. No soldiers were injured in the attack.

Israeli forces also shut down a printing press in a-Ram that was publishing posters praising the terrorist that killed two Israeli’s in Jerusalem last week.

To watch a video of the attack and arrests, click here.

Women March
Last night thousands of women participated in a demonstration called the “March of Hope” outside of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem. The event was organized by Women Wage Peace, which includes both Israeli and Palestinian women and which has organized similar demonstrations in different parts of the country.

For further reading click here.

PM Warns Settlers
In a meeting with residents of Ofra and the outpost of Amona, which is meant to be evacuated by the end of the year, the Prime Minister urged them not to make any “mistakes” during the final weeks of the Obama administration that could provoke the outgoing President to support a UN resolution unfavorable to Israel.

The PM warned the settlers that other US Presidents have used the period just before leaving office to advance initiatives contrary to Israel’s interests.

For further reading click here.

Jewish Congressmen Protest
A group of Jewish US members of Congress signed a statement yesterday condemning the recent UNESCO resolution that denied any Jewish historical connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall. The group included Nita Lowey (D-NY), Sandy Levin (D-MI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

The statement concluded by saying, “Such brazen disrespect and failure to recognize the legitimacy of Jewish existence in the ancient Jewish homeland only serves to distort history, inflame tensions, and impede peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We commend the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, and Estonia for voting against and the 26 countries that abstained from supporting such a biased and counterproductive resolution.”

For further reading click here.

Seeking Blessings
Thousands lined up in Bnei Brak yesterday to receive a blessing from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most senior Haredi rabbinic leaders.

To watch a video and see photos of the event, click here.

Over 30,000 people visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron yesterday. Prayers services were lead by Assisted Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Dahan, who also addressed the crowd and reiterated the Jewish connection to all of the Land of Israel.

To watch a video of the minister click here.