News From Israel

No. 74, April 4, 2018

Mark your Calendars

Donniel Hartman: Global Judaism and Israel. Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman will discuss “Global Judaism and Israel: Navigating Democracy in the Jewish State.” The event will take place at APJCC in Los Gatos, 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, on Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.

Inside Israel

WATCH: The Western Wall gets cleaned for Passover. In preparation for the Jewish holiday of Passover cleaners removed written prayers that visitors to the Western Wall traditionally stuff into its crevices.

Over 200,000 Israelis tour the country during Passover. Many Israelis take advantage of the nice weather during the intermediate days of Passover to visit nature reserves and national parks across the country, the main sites being Gan Hashlosha (Sachne), and national parks Qumran and Caesarea.

Israeli hospitals are models of Jewish-Arab coexistence. Rambam hospital in Haifa is one of Israel’s largest and most renowned centers. Like all Israeli hospitals, it’s an example of true coexistence between Arabs and Israelis. From treating injured Syrians suffering in that country’s civil war to educating thousands all over the world about the latest medical innovations, Rambam hospital never ceases to amaze us!

US military aid could cost Israel 22,000 jobs. Under the 10 year agreement on the US military aid to Israel signed in 2016, Israel will not be able to use 25% of the aid for procurement from domestic defense companies. A comprehensive analysis by the Ministry of Defense of the effect of this agreement on Israel’s defense industries concluded that it will cause 22,000 layoffs and cost Israel NIS 7 billion in GDP.

Israel reaches deal with UN to resettle asylum seekers in Western states. Israel announced that it reached an agreement with the United Nations to allow the deportation of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Israel to Western countries. According to the announcement, Israel could immediately deport some 16,250 people while a similar number will be allowed to stay and given temporary residency



Jason Greenblatt: Abbas must choose between ‘hateful rhetoric’ and peace. After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman as the “son of a dog,” American Middle East peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt said “The time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity.”

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi heads congressional delegation to Israel. U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) landed in Israel, heading a delegation of 11 Democratic lawmakers on a five-day visit to Israel and Jordan. “There is no greater political accomplishment in the 20th century than the establishment of the State of Israel,” Pelosi said.

U.S. approves record $705 Million in missile defense aid to Israel. The U.S. Congress has approved a record $705 million to support Israeli missile defense programs in 2018, an increase of $148 million for Iron Dome and Arrow 3 development. “I thank our great friend the United States, which has invested $6.5 billion to defend the skies of the State of Israel,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said.

Palestinians engage in riots along Gaza border on ‘Land Day’. An estimated 30,000 Palestinians moved towards the Israeli security fence along the Gaza Strip on Friday Passover eve, with attackers and rioters throwing gas bombs, Molotov cocktails, rocks and burning tires. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 15 demonstrators have been killed and more than 1,100 were injured by Israeli rubber bullets, tear gas and some live fire. At least 10 of the 15 Palestinian men killed were members of terror groups, the IDF stated. Israeli Defense Minister said that 90% of the Palestinian protesters on Friday were paid Hamas activists and their families.

Culture and Lifestyle

Meet the Arab Israeli who buys all of Israel’s hametz. Each year Israel is confronted with a problem ahead of Passover — what to do with the state’s hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of leavened goods. Enter Hussein Jabar. On Thursday before Passover, the 57-year-old Arab Israeli hotelier from Abu Ghosh, outside Jerusalem, met with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to buy all of the hametz.

WATCH: The life and legacy of Golda Meir. Golda Meir was the world’s fourth and Israel’s first and only woman to hold the office of Prime Minister. Here are just a few of the life lessons that she taught us.

Mayim Bialik: I am happy to take public bullet for Israel. Speaking at the Global Conference on Antisemitism in Jerusalem, the ‘Big Bang Theory’ star said: “I am devoted to my people, to this country, to my faith and I hope to take advantage of my position to combat even in small ways, the ignorance and hatred that continues to bring antisemitism, even only one follower at a time.”

Science and Technology

Israeli start-up Orbotech sold for $3.4 billion. Israeli electronic firm Orbotech is being bought up by California’s KLA Tencor for $3.4 billion. Based in the central town of Yavne, Orbotech specializes in developing and manufacturing electronics, including printed circuit boards, flat panel displays and semiconductors. The company was established in 1981 and employs around 2,500 people.

Israeli firm says it can turn garbage into bio-based plastic. Hoping to make landfills obsolete, UBQ, says it can take trash “banana peels, the chicken bones and the hamburger, the dirty plastics, the dirty cartons, the dirty papers” and convert all that into a bio-based plastic-like composite material.

In Depth

The revival of the kibbutz: A uniquely Israeli institution. A radical communal experiment, the kibbutz aimed for equality, where everyone shared everything, earned the same wages (the manager of the farm earned the same as the dishwasher, etc.) and every decision was made collectively as a group. Today there are some 260 kibbutzim and as this experiment evolved over the last century and longer, they seem to be experiencing some sort of a revival.

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