News From Israel

No. 60, August 23, 2017

Inside Israel

Corruption cases against Netanyahu. This article describes the corruption cases involving Prime Minister Netanyahu, which are currently pursed by Israeli police. Some 3,000 demonstrators protested what they view as slow progress in the corruption cases against Netanyahu. On the other hand, over 3,000 protesters showed up at a rally in support of Netanyahu. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in all of the cases and called the allegations “unfounded,” asserting that a political “witch hunt” is seeking to “unseat the government.

Social mobility in Israel is high. Two recent studies say that although discrimination remains, it has now become marginal. In fact, the dominant factor in Israeli socioeconomics is the overall high level of social mobility. Israel is succeeding on a socioeconomic plane far better than the public believes.

Former justice minister picked to resolve conversion debate. Former justice minister Moshe Nissim will head a government committee mandated with giving recommendations for solving the country’s contentious conversion issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Nissim’s “rich experience” will help “formulate recommendations on the issue of conversion, with broad agreement, to strengthen unity among the Jewish people and respect for Israel’s heritage.”

Volunteers from overseas join the IDF. Some 153 youths from 12 different countries arrived in Israel over the summer in order to volunteer for the IDF, the Defense Ministry reported. The new recruits, comprised of 122 male volunteers and 31 females, will begin their service in the July-August drafting period.

Teva’s share price collapse. Share price of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s largest generic drug maker and the largest company in Israel has fallen nearly 46% in the last few weeks. In its second quarter results, Teva reported a $6 billion net-loss, cut its guidance for the third quarter and cut its dividend by 75% and announced that it is in the process of laying off 7,000 people worldwide and shutting down 15 factories.

Can medical marijuana revive Israel’s kibbutz movement? Israel’s gold rush – or “green rush,” as some are calling it – took off after the government in February threw its support behind legislation that would allow the export of medical marijuana. Kibbutzim – and hundreds of local companies — seeking to join Israel’s new medical marijuana industry. After decades of stagnation, the collectives are betting that the move can revitalize their finances and even their way of life.


Seeing ‘opportunity’ to renew talks, Trump sends three envoys to region. With the Temple Mount crisis ended and calm largely restored, US President Donald Trump believes an “opportunity” has opened up to advance his peace initiative, and is sending three of his top envoys, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Dina Powell, to the region. Palestinian Authority rejected the renewal of negotiations.

Lavrov: Moscow to consider Israel’s security interests in Palestinian settlement. Moscow will take Israel’s security interests into account when discussing ways to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We 100 percent guarantee that in any circumstance, no matter what methods of settlement are chosen, we will 100 percent consider Israel’s sovereign interests in the field of security,” he said.

Israel ranked world’s 8th largest defense supplier. Israel was rated in eighth place among the world’s leading sellers of weapons systems last year. In 2016, Israel’s four leading defense companies – Elbit Systems., Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and Israel Military Industries had $8.6 billion in sales to the defense market.

Hamas trains 120,000 children to “liberate” Jerusalem. 120,000 children and teens attended Hamas summer camps in Gaza. This year’s theme was “Marching on Jerusalem.” Former Hamas education minister Osama Al-Muzaini said: “Jerusalem…is part of the Islamic faith, and its liberation is first a religious duty and then a national one.”

Culture and Lifestyle

10 top travel technologies to ease your journeys. Israelis love to travel. So it’s not surprising that travel technology from Israel is red hot right now – both websites and apps. If you are planning your trip anywhere in the world, check out these 10 top sites.

Here is my home, here I was born. “Kan” (“Here”), was the Israeli entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991, performed in Hebrew by Duo Datz. “Here is my home, here I was born… Here are the friends who I grew up with, and I have no other place in the world.” Enjoy!

Tel Aviv street food. The Tel Aviv food industry is truly the city’s heart and soul and while plenty of high-end eateries can be found throughout Tel Aviv, it is fresh local street food that has taken the city by storm. Take a look at this video.

Israel to shorten work week by one hour. Currently, Israelis work 43 hours a week, more than employees in most of the developed world. The new agreement will cut that to 42 hours per week.

Science and Technology

Weizmann Institute named top international research institute. The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot has been named the top research institution in the world outside the United States, and the sixth-best overall in an international ranking published by the website. Weizmann president Professor Daniel Zajfman credited the school’s approach to research for the ranking, saying “we recruit scientists who are among the best in the world and let them follow their curiosity.”

10 of the hottest self-driving technologies from Israel. How did Israel, a country that has no domestic car manufacturing industry, become a worldwide powerhouse for autonomous-driving technology (also known as self-driving cars)? Car manufacturing is not about tires or brakes anymore, but the technology inside the car – the sensors and algorithms. It’s a natural next direction for the expertise Israel has built over the years.

Innovative Israeli bandage. Israel’s Border Police will equip their medics in the Jerusalem area with Israeli-made Woundclot hemostatic bandages, which help save lives by making the blood flowing from wounds clot faster. The new bandages can stop bleeding from gunshot or stab wounds in 40 seconds or less, even in a wound to an artery or to the stomach.

In Depth

Why more Israelis are moving to the US. Six years ago, the Israeli government released a series of controversial ads to show its expatriates that they would never feel at home in the United States. But last year, Israeli Cabinet members lined up to address a Washington, D.C., conference celebrating Israeli-American identity. Here are four things to know about the Israelis who live in the United States.

Edited by:
Alex Drukarev

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