News From Israel

No. 83, September 20, 2018

Inside Israel

Rosh Hashanah greetings from Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. President Rivlin sentthis video greeting to Jews around the world ahead of the Jewish New Year. In his greeting, President Reuven Rivlin stressed the importance of the bonds between the Jewish people. “From the heart of the Jewish world and the capital of the State of Israel, I wish you and your families – Shana Tova u’Metukah, and may we all be blessed with many happy and sweet years ahead,” he said.

Ahead of Jewish New Year, Israel’s population at 8.9 million, largely content. On the eve of the new Jewish year, Israel’s population has reached 8.907 million. Israel’s Jewish population numbers 6.625 million people — 74.4% of the country’s population. Some 44.3% of Israelis define themselves as secular, while 21.4% are traditional, 12.3% are traditional with religious leanings, 11.5% are religious and 10.2% are ultra-Orthodox. 90% said they were satisfied with their lives as a whole

Survey of Israeli opinion. The most recent survey of public opinion in Israel conducted by the Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute showed that 69% of Israeli Jews and 63% of Israeli Arabs do not believe that talks between Israel and the PA will lead to peace in the coming years. 50% of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinians deserve an independent state. 66% of Israeli Jews and 57% of Israeli Arabs believe that most of the Palestinians have not come to terms with Israel’s existence and would destroy it if they could.

Gaza border erupts againViolence erupted on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip over the last weekend, with over 13,000 rioters in six locations along the border fence and a Palestinian claim of three fatalities. The rioters threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, and at least two grenades at Israeli forces. An IDF officer was lightly wounded by shrapnel from a pipe bomb. Israel responded to the grenade attacks with tank fire and air strikes.

Prominent Israeli murdered by terrorist. Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American national and a father of 4, murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Gush Etzion, was a well-known social media personality and Israel advocate. Well-known in Jewish communities around the globe, Fuld was assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports IDF soldiers. He was an outspoken defender of Israel in the media and online, regularly engaging with Israel’s critics through his Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Paraguay reverses Jerusalem embassy move. Less than four months after Paraguay ceremoniously opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, the South American country said it wouldreturn it to its original location in Tel Aviv, sparking Israeli anger over the surprise decision. In response to the reversal, Israel announced that it was closing its embassy in Paraguay, saying Asunción’s decision cast a cloud over bilateral relations.

Hamas leader admits Marches of Return were staged to avert internal crisis. Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar openly admitted that the weekly “March of Return” protests staged on the Gaza border in recent months were intended to avert an internal crisis between political factions in Gaza and divert pressure onto the Israelis.

Trump administration closes PLO DC offices. The Trump administration ordered the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization offices in Washington, broadening its pressure campaign on Ramallah to return to peace talks with Israel. The fate of the offices has been in limbo ever since the administration discovered it was congressionally obligated to close the diplomatic facility should Palestinian officials target Israel at the International Criminal Court. Palestinian Authority officials have said they plan on doing just that in the coming weeks.

Israel has helped the U.S. eliminate threats on American soil. In a recent interview, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said: “Israel is a tremendous friend to the United States. It provides the United States with assistance that, in some respects, no other country can provide… There are things that I can’t talk about specifically, but things where Israel has identified threats and helped us to eliminate those threats that would have struck on our own soil. On American soil.”

Palestinian public opinion poll. According to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, both Fatah and Hamas lose popular support and more than 60% demand the resignation of president Abbas, half of the public views the PA as a burden on the Palestinian people, 59% say people cannot criticize the PA without fear, while 77% perceive corruption in PA institutions. 90% view the Trump Administration as biased in favor of Israel.

Culture and Lifestyle

Jerusalem prepares for New Year. In Israel’s capital, people are extremely busy. Activities include an update for Sacher Park, musical events in the streets and synagogues. One “unique” photo shows the candidates for position of the next Mayor of Jerusalem dancing together. And the first Sukkah.

Israeli athletes will compete in United Arab Emirates under Israeli flag. For the first time, Israeli athletes will compete in Abu Dhabi under an Israeli flag. A judo competition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been reinstated after organizers promised equal treatment to Israeli athletes, who will compete under their flag and not that of the International Judo Federation.

In first, man who has refused to grant divorce for 29 years to stand trial. An Israeli man who has refused to grant his wife a divorce for the past 29 years was indicted over his refusal, on recommendation of rabbinical court. It is the first time the state has launched a criminal prosecution against a man for refusing to grant his wife a divorce (“gett”) under Jewish law. But women’s justice group says move aims only to undermine its own private annulment of the marriage.

Science and Technology

Tel Aviv U. climbs on list of top 10 undergraduate programs for entrepreneurs. Tel Aviv University came in at eight place, up from ninth last year on a list of global undergraduate programs ranked in terms of producing venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, according to a report published last week by Seattle-based market research company Pitchbook. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem made the top 50.

Good results for colon capsule scan. Israeli biotech Check-Cap announced positive interim results the study of the “C-Scan”, an ingestible capsule-based device. Check-Cap’s capsule detects polyps (cancerous or precancerous) in patients without them having to undergo a colonoscopy or even any preparation.

Teva boosted by FDA approval of migraine drug. Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AJOVY (fremanezumab) injection for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. “With limited availability of preventive treatment options, AJOVY provides physicians with an important new option for their patients,” said the Executive Vice President, Global R&D at Teva.

In Depth

Seven decades of Israeli art. To mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, Moment magazine asks curators from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Ben-Gurion University to choose outstanding works of art from each decade.

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