News From Israel

“News from Israel” presents a compilation of news stories from major Israeli and other publications. To see the source and to read the full story behind a headline, click the hyperlink in the corresponding news item.

No. 95, March 6, 2019 
Events 
Myths and facts about Israel: The question of “occupation”. Beth David Israel Action Committee presents a talk “Myths and facts about Israel: The question of “occupation” with David Meir-Levi, at Congregation Beth David on Thursday, March 14, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm.RSVP at IsraelNews@beth-david.org 

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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth
 
Inside Israel
Israel’s historic lunar mission. Israel’s first lunar-bound spacecraft named Beresheetsuccessfully blasted off early Friday morning, February, 22, embarking on a seven-week trip to land on the moon. If the privately funded project is successful, Israel will become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon. The spacecraft carries a Tanakh, an Israeli flag and the writing ‘Am Yisrael Chai‘ [the People of Israel Live]” to the moon. 

Attorney-General seeks Netanyahu indictments for bribery, fraud, breach of trust. AG Mandelblit recommended charges in all three investigations into the prime minister, pending a hearing, after High Court had rejected Likud bid to prevent release until after April 9 elections. The decision can decisively impact the elections.  Furious Likud denounced the decision as ‘political persecution’. Learn the details of the charges here.

Gantz and Lapid form joint Knesset list. The leaders of Israel’s two largest center parties, Israel Resilience chairman Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, have agreed to run on a joint list for the Knesset elections on April 9. Polls suggest that the new unified centrist party could win around 30 seats in the new Knesset and perhaps even more mandates than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

New polls put Gantz-Lapid ahead of Netanyahu. Three surveys show Blue and White (the name of the Gantz-Lapid joint Knesset list) surging ahead in April 9 elections, with 35-36 seats to Likud’s 26-32. The Labor party, once the dominant party in Israel, shows only 5 to 8 seats in the surveys.

What do Israelis think? According to a recent public opinion survey, most of the Jewish public think that Netanyahu should resign from the leadership of the Likud if an indictment is issued against him before the elections. A majority of the Jewish public favors a government of a right-wing nature after the elections and also believes such a government will be formed. More than half of the Jewish public favors a military operation to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza. A decisive majority of the public thinks the Ethiopians suffer from discrimination. Read more here.

Jewish-Arab partnerships in Judea & Samaria. The Judea Samaria (West Bank) Regional Development Financing Initiative encourages joint entrepreneurship between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. Initial projects include technology, industry, tourism, the environment, energy and infrastructure.
 
International
Black police in Southern US applaud exchange program with Israel, blast BDS. A national group that primarily represents African-American law enforcement executives has endorsed a Georgia-based exchange program with Israeli officers, which has been targeted by far-left activists affiliated with the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state.

IDF reservists describe to EU how Palestinian terrorists use children. For the first time, Israeli NGO Reservists on Duty addressed the European Union Parliament in Brussels. Four reservist combat soldiers shared emotional testimonies, emphasizing the difficulty and shock they’ve experienced when confronted by Palestinian terrorists using human shields – mainly women and children.

WATCH: Hamas vows children will ‘liberate Palestine with their blood’. In Gaza, a leading Hamas member called on Palestinian youth to cleanse the land of the “filth of the Zionist enemy” and stop “only at martyrdom or victory.”

Osem CEO dreams of Bamba in every US supermarket. Bamba is Israel’s most popular “snack-in-a-bag”, produced by the company Osem. “Our dream is for every US supermarket to offer Bamba,” Osem-Nestle CEO Avi Ben Assayag said at the opening of the group’s new factory in Kiryat Gat. He added that Osem-Nestle had begun selling Bamba this month to US chain Walmart, and hoped to expand to other retail chains in the US and Europe.
 
Culture and Lifestyle
Hezbollah leader appears on Israeli recycling ad. An eye-catching satirical billboard in Tel Aviv featuring Hassan Nasrallah encourages Israelis to recycle. Above his head is the caption: “I don’t recycle bottles.” Beneath him, the poster says: “Nasrallah has been stuck in a bunker for 12 years. What’s your excuse?”

CultureBuzz Israel. For Facebook users who are interested in Israeli culture (music, art, films etc.), here is the link to CultureBuzzIsrael.   

Israeli director Guy Nattiv wins Oscar for short film. Israeli director Guy Nattiv won an Oscar for the best live action short film at the 91st Academy Awards. Nattiv took home the prize for his film Skin, a rare win for an Israeli director at the prestigious ceremony.  President Reuven Rivlin and Culture Minister Miri Regev congratulated Nattiv for his win.

40,000 participate in Tel Aviv marathon. Israelis of all ages are running through the streets of sunny Tel Aviv along with several thousand foreigners who traveled to Israel to participate in the marathon. The smiling faces of the runners racing down the streets of Tel Aviv Friday morning were greeted by thousands of excited onlookers waving to the participants and handing out water bottles as the 2019 Tel Aviv marathon got underway.
 
Science and Technology
Ben-Gurion University unveils AI platform for predicting ALS progression. There is currently neither a cure nor an effective treatment to halt or reverse the progressive disease. BGN Technologies, the tech transfer company of Beersheba’s Ben-Gurion University, has unveiled an artificial intelligence-based (AI) platform to monitor and predict the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Israeli scientists develop blood test that may detect fetal genetic disorders at 11 weeks. Israeli scientists developed a new blood test that could detect prenatal genetic disorders as early as 11 weeks into a pregnancy, allowing for a move away from more invasive methods to diagnose fetal diseases and genetic flaws. The method could allow doctors to predict mutations with at least 99 percent accuracy – depending on the type – with a single blood test.
 
In Depth
Hebrew origins of Palestinian towns in Judea-Samaria. Given the recorded history from the Bible and other recognized sources, a well-known phrase from Shakespeare is instructive: “What’s in a name?” When it comes to Eretz Yisrael, plenty. The place names verify the absurdity of accusations that Jews are colonizers, strangers to this land and “occupiers of” these areas.

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