News From Isael

“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. 108, September 25, 2019

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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth

Inside Israel
Central Election Committee (CEC) announces “almost final’” election resultsThe results gave Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party 33 seats and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud 31 seats. None of the parties achieved the majority needed for forming the government. Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said that as the head of the largest party it is up to him to put together the next government. President Rivlin started consultations with all parties represented in the new Knesset to decide which one should be given the first chance to form the government. He said, “The people of Israel want a government that will be stable. A stable government cannot be a government without both of the two largest parties.”

Majority of public want unity government with no ultra-Orthodox parties. According to a poll conducted by the Smith Polling Institute in August, 64% of Israeli Jews favor excluding the ultra-Orthodox parties from the next government, with 36% opposed to such a notion. Some 51% of Likud voters backed excluding the ultra-Orthodox, as did 90% of Blue and White (centrist) voters. The same poll, and others, have also demonstrated strong support for liberalization of the interaction of religion and state in Israel.

High costs mean many Israelis live beyond their means. Half of all adult Israelis have good credit scores, on paper. However, Israelis have on average a negative checking account balance of over $7,000, with some choosing to take out a loan repeatedly to cover the negative balance until the next paycheck. Israel is among the most expensive countries in the OECD, with food prices 19% higher than the OECD average, out-of-pocket preschool spending the most expensive of all OECD countries, and people spending on average 25% of their gross adjusted disposable income on rent.

Most Arab Israelis are satisfied with life in Israel. 71.5% of Arab Israelis are satisfied with their life in Israel, according to a recent poll. 65.2% believe they are generally treated equally, and 64.7% have an overall positive view of the state. But when asked to rate their sense of belonging in the country on a scale of 1 to 10, the average response was 4.

International
Netanyahu reveals site where Iran “experimented on nuclear weapons development”. In his latest dramatic revelation on Iran’s nuclear program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed the existence of a secret nuclear facility in central Iran in which he said the regime had conducted experiments in the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Once Iran detected that Israel had learned about the secret nuclear site the regime quickly destroyed it, Netanyahu said.

Israel and Japan signed historic defense agreement. Israel and Japan signed a historic security agreement that “will strengthen and deepen security relations between the two countries,” Israel’s Defense Ministry stated. Details of the agreement remain secret.

Poll: Most Palestinians oppose two-state solution. 56% of Palestinians oppose and 42% support the concept of the two-state solution, according to a Palestinian poll. 50% support a return to an armed intifada.  55% of Palestinians believe that Iran has a military capacity to defeat Israel in war. On the subject of Palestinian internal affairs, 59% of West Bankers said they could not criticize the PA without fear. In Gaza, 53% say they cannot criticize Hamas without fear. 

Anti-Israel activities on US college campuses on the rise. Anti-Israel activities on American college campuses are on the rise, a new report published by an anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA found. On US campuses across the country, harassment motivated by classical anti-Semitism actually decreased, and significantly so. At the same time, the number of Israel-related acts of harassment increased significantly. According to the research, incidents of “Israel-related anti-Semitic harassment” jumped by 70% last year.

Culture and Lifestyle
Israeli researchers identify biblical kingdom of Edom. The biblical kingdom of Edom has always been a significant puzzle for biblical archaeology. Although evidence is supplied in the Bible, the archaeological record has always had trouble interpreting the text, which said that it existed as a kingdom long before the kings of Israel. But research has uncovered the untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – that existed during the 12th-11th centuries BCE.

The Israeli town with the most kidney donors. The religious community of Yitzhar in Samaria has the highest proportion of kidney donors in Israel. The ten Jewish donors didn’t know any of the recipients, who included secular left-wingers. Their only regret was that they could only donate once. Incredible video.

Science and Technology
More investment into plastic recycling. The Israel Innovation Authority has approved the establishment of the CIRCLE consortium, and investment of NIS 30 million, to promote the development of recycling technologies, and the use of recycled materials in Israel’s plastics industry.

Four of top 50 entrepreneurial universities are Israeli. The Pitchbook Research Institute ranks the top 50 undergraduate programs globally that produce the most VC-backed entrepreneurs. Its latest list has Tel Aviv University (8), Technion Institute (14), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (34), and Ben-Gurion University (49).
9 brilliant books about Israeli innovation. Want to know the secrets behind Israel’s astonishing entrepreneurial and innovation success against all odds? Read on.

In Depth
Netanyahu’s push to annex the Jordan Valley, explained. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if he is re-elected, he’ll immediately annex a big part of the West Bank: the Jordan Valley. That’s kind of a big deal. On the other hand, it’s not really — yet.

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