News From Israel

No. 87, November 14, 2018

Inside Israel

Netanyahu wants ceasefire deal in Gaza, not ‘purposeless’ war.  A senior political source says Netanyahu is inclined to exhaust all diplomatic efforts before considering a wide-scale military operation in Gaza or reoccupation of the strip; adds prime minister is prepared ‘to absorb’ criticism in order to avoid war which will be applauded ‘only for the first two minutes.’

Israel thwarted 480 Palestinian terror attacks in past year. Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Director told the Knesset that ISA has thwarted 480 Palestinian terror attacks in the last year. He also referred to 590 potential lone wolf attacks that were prevented.

Vaccination campaign launched in Orthodox neighborhoods amid measles outbreak. The Health Ministry launched a campaign to increase vaccination rates in unprotected communities around Jerusalem to combat one of Israel’s worst measles outbreaks in decades. The low vaccination rates in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods have been attributed to a faulty perception that fervently religious Jews are protected from infection by the insulated nature of their communities, as well as discredited rumors that the life-saving practice is dangerous.

Israeli court indicts Jewish man for inciting murder of Arabs, leftists. A Jewish Israeli man was indicted this week for racist incitement on social media against Arabs and “leftists,” and sentenced to six months in jail. As part of the agreement, the accused admitted to publishing posts on his personal Facebook page that included calls to attack or murder Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs, praise for such violent acts, and encouraging discrimination against them.

Only 22% of Israelis commute on public transport. 60% of Israelis currently travel to work in a private car, compared with 31% in 1983, while only 22% use public transport, according to a new study. The study describes the background and characteristics of the heavy loads on roads and the traffic jams that have become very frequent in recent years


PLO ‘suspends’ recognition of Israel. The Palestinian Authority’s Central News Agency(Wafa) reported that the PLO Central Committee, headed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, had decided to cancel recognition of Israel until it recognized a Palestinian state on the 1967 border with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. It was also decided to revoke the validity of the Oslo Accords.

Poll: Palestinians reject a state along the 1967 lines. 55% of Palestinians reject, while 39% support, the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines borders as a final solution for the Palestinian cause, according to a recent poll. 75% of Palestinians reject the creation of a binational state for both Arabs and Jews.

Hizbullah has more firepower than 95 percent of world’s armies. According to a new report “Hizbullah possesses more firepower than 95% of the world’s conventional militaries, and more rockets and missiles than all European NATO members combined.” U.S. Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Michael S. Tucker expressed dismay over the current response by the international community, especially the U.N. Security Council, which oversees the peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, tasked with enforcing the disarmament of Hezbollah under Security Council resolution 1701.

Oman says time to accept Israel after Netanyahu historic visit. Oman publicly called on Middle East countries to accept Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a historic visit to the Arab Muslim state, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel. Omani Foreign Minister said, “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this. … Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same [as other states] and to also bear the same obligations.”

Egyptian leader says most Egyptians support “stable and permanent” Peace Agreement with Israel. Egyptian President el-Sisi hailed the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel as “stable and permanent.” Speaking at the World Youth Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, Sisi spoke optimistically about peace with Israel, which he said most Egyptians supported. “When Sadat raised his idea of peace, no one thought that this idea would be acceptable to the general opinion,” Sisi said.

Culture and Lifestyle

Jewish Ethiopians celebrate Sigd. Jewish Ethiopians celebrated the holiday of Sigd, amid renewed calls to end elements of racism in Israeli society. During Sigd, members of the community pray, fast and renew their covenant with God as well as express their longing for Zion. See the images of this colorful celebration.

11 ways to survive an Israeli weddingFollow these tips, and you’re bound to be the life of the party — or at least enjoy the party of a lifetime — as only Israelis know how to do.

A stretch of desert: Hundreds attend Arava yoga festival. Hundreds of Israelis and foreigners took part over the weekend in the ninth annual Yoga Arava festival, practicing throughout the southern Arava desert. Sessions were held in various villages of the Arava — the border region between Israel and Jordan that stretches from the Dead Sea to Eilat. See the amazing pictures of this event.

Science and Technology

VW, Mobileye to launch first electric, autonomous taxi service In Israel next year. German auto giant Volkswagen and Israel’s Mobileye, the advanced driver assistance systems firm acquired by Intel last year, announced this week that they are joining forces to deployIsrael’s first driverless, electric ride-sharing service by next year. The project will start in early 2019 and will “roll out in phases and grow quickly from several dozen to hundreds of self-driving electric vehicles,” aiming for commercialization by 2022.

6 top tomato innovations from Israeli experts. Israeli seeds are prized everywhere for growing tomatoes that taste better, last longer, resist disease and pack a stronger nutritional punch. “Regarding tomatoes, Israel is a powerhouse in breeding and development of knowledge,” says noted researcher Ilan Levin.

3D bioprinted lungs to be available for global transplants. CollPlant, an Israeli regenerative medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, signed a license, development and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation of Maryland for 3D bioprinted lung transplants.

New molecule kills brain cancer cells. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have developed a molecule to treat glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. The molecule blocks the ability of the MKNK2 gene to produce Mnk2b – a cancer-causing protein but increases the levels of Mnk2a – an inhibitor protein.

In Depth

Why, despite it all, Israelis live longer. Israel is among the top countries in longevity with an average lifespan of 82.5 years as of 2016. Other countries on the longevity list – Canada, Sweden, Italy, and Japan – are tranquil, wealthy and at peace. But for Israel, confronted over its 70-year history with war and perpetual conflict, and a seven-fold increase in its population including a large and diverse immigrant base, these findings may come as a surprise.

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