News From Israel

“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. 91, January 9, 2019
Coming Events
Obstacles and Opportunities: Israel, the Palestinians, and the United Nations.  Featuring Dr. Einat Wilf, former Member of Knesset, Labor and Independence Parties. Dr. Wilf is considered one of Israel’s most articulate representatives on the international stage, with her opinion articles regularly published in international publications and frequent interviews for television and radio programs around the world. Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 7:00 pm. Congregation Beth Am, 6790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022. The event is free, but registration is required. Register here.

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Inside Israel
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth

Inside Israel
Israel going to the polls: early Knesset elections to be held April 9. Decision to dissolve parliament was taken after it became clear that the coalition government could not pass legislation on drafting ultra-Orthodox into the army. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision to hold April elections. The latest polls appear to predict another solid victory for Netanyahu, though an indictment over mounting corruption charges could still trip him up.

Israelis voice support for non-Orthodox, but do not want Diaspora Jews to interfere. According to a survey carried out by the Israel Democracy Institute, 57 percent of Israeli Jews polled indicated that Reform and Conservative Jews should be able to offer their own religious services in Israel. At the same time, fully half of those polled stated that the State of Israel should not take Diaspora Jewry into account when making these decisions.

Poverty, inequality decline in Israel. The National Insurance Institute published its report on poverty in Israel in 2017. The report stated that the number of children living in poverty declined during the year for the first time in many years, and the incidence of poverty among haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) and Arabs fell. Israel still leads the developed countries in the per capita poverty rate, despite the reduction in the dimensions of poverty and income inequality.

More Arab-Israelis in hi-tech. New data from Israel’s Innovation Authority show that Israeli-Arabs fill about 3% of high-tech R&D positions – up from under 1% in 2015. There are now 50% more Arab-Israelis studying hi-tech subjects at Israeli universities and colleges than five years ago.

23 police hurt, 300 settlers removed in violent evacuation of Amona outpost. Twenty-three police officers and three civilians were wounded as Israeli forces evacuated some 300 Jewish settlers who have recently returned to the illegal outpost of Amona. They returned to the outpost last month in protest of a recent outburst of Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of two soldiers and a prematurely born baby.

Netanyahu in Brazil. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Brazil, and met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Netanyahu and Bolsonaro agreed to tighten the Israeli-Brazilian relations in economy, security, water irrigation systems, technology, and other areas. Bolsonaro presented Netanyahu with the highest national decoration for visitors in Brazil, granted in the past to former US President Dwight Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth.

Palestinian-American sentenced to life in prison by PA for selling properties to Jews. A Palestinian court in Ramallah sentenced a Palestinian-American to life in prison with hard labor, after finding him guilty of selling a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli organization. The court ruling is part of the PA’s campaign to deter Palestinians from selling properties to Jews – a practice that is punishable by death in accordance with Palestinian law.

U.S. and Israel officially quit UNESCO. The United States and Israel officially quit the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural agency, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias. The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.

Culture and Lifestyle
Famed Israeli author Amos Oz passes away at 79. The author of 40 books, Oz was one of the most recognizable Israeli voices worldwide. His short stories and novels served as models for generations of Hebrew authors, and through the translation of his works into dozens of languages, Oz also left a deep impression on writers around the world. He passed away after short battle with cancer.

Israel Is third most educated country in the world. Israel is the third most educated country, according to 2017 data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 50.9% of Israelis between 25 and 64 have a higher-education degree. Canada was No. 1 (56.7%), Japan No. 2 (51.4%), and the U.S. No. 5 (46.4%).

Hebrew Language Day. December 27 was Hebrew Language Day. Its aim is to advance the modern use of the ancient language, both in Israel and around the world. Many events were scheduled to mark the occasion, including in Israeli schools. This year’s theme is “Hebrew – an innovative language.”

Science and Technology
Sustainable ‘plastics’ on the horizon. A new study carried out at Tel Aviv University describes a process to make bioplastic polymers that don’t require land or fresh water — resources that are scarce in much of the world. The polymer is derived from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. It is biodegradable, produces zero toxic waste and recycles into organic waste

5 Israelis among Forbes lists of ‘Top 50 Women in Tech’. Five Israeli women were named among Forbes’ lists of “Top 50 Women in Tech”. In the fields of cybersecurity, software and media, cryptography, fashion design, and entrepreneurship, these Israeli women are rocking their roles as innovators and pioneers.

Israeli medical breakthrough may lead to elimination of 70% of cancerous tumors. Now going into clinical trials, an Israeli breakthrough technology has the potential to destroy solid cancerous tumors. A medical team at Tel Aviv University discovered a way to use alpha radiation to zap tumors. In the current trials, “we were able to eliminate more than 70% of the tumors entirely and to cause shrinkage of 100% of the tumors,” one of the inventors said.

In Depth
Indigenous rights and Israel: A historical perspective. Are Jews indigenous to Israel, and why does it matter today? Take this journey through history to find out.

Edited by:

Alex Drukarev

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