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. 96, March 20, 2019 
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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth
 
Inside Israel
Blue and White Party releases charter. The Blue and White Party released its political charter, outlining the party’s positions on social, economic and security issues. The party, which is led by a quartet headed by former chief of staff Benny Gantz, is currently polling at about 35 Knesset seats, the highest of any party. The party is trying to appeal to Right wing voters, ruling out any one-sided territorial disengagements and pledges to conduct a general referendum on any major diplomatic initiatives.

Poll: Right-wing bloc jumps to 66 Knesset seats. A new poll showed that if elections were held today, the Blue and White party would receive 33 Knesset seats while Likud dropping further behind with 26. The poll also showed the right-wing bloc growing, gaining a total of 66 Knesset seats while the center-left bloc would receive 54.

Three IDF soldiers convicted of abusing Palestinian detainees. The soldiers were accused of abusing and beating Palestinian detainees who had been arrested for possible involvement in the Givat Asaf terrorist attack in December.

Rockets fired at Tel Aviv form Gaza, IDF hits more than 100 Hamas targets. The Israeli strikes on the Hamas-run Strip came after rocket fire from Gaza at Tel Aviv. Sirens were triggered in central Israel, as two rockets from Gaza were fired at the heart of the country for the first time since a major conflict in 2014, signaling a possible dramatic escalation of violence by terror groups in the Strip just weeks before the Knesset elections
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Two Israelis killed in a terrorist attack. Palestinian terrorist stabbed 19 year-old Sgt. Gal Keidan at the Ariel junction (West Bank) and stole his weapon and shot him before he shot toward civilians at the junction, hitting three cars passing through. One of the wounded. Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, father of 12, later died of his injuries. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror groups welcomed the attacks, but did not claim responsibility.
 
International
Israel ranks as 8th most powerful country. Israel was ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world, according to the US News and World Report’s power ranking in 2019. The power ranking was based on leader, economic influence, political influence, international alliance and a strong military.

Omar’s remarks prompt US Dems to draft anti-Semitism resolution. Rep. Ilhan Omar said U.S. supporters of Israel are pushing people to have “allegiance to a foreign country.” Omar has made several statements in the past which the leading US Jewish organizations labeled anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.

Poll: Americans mostly pro-Israel. According to a recent Gallup’s World Affairs survey, the majority of Americans remain partial toward Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 59% saying they sympathize more with the Israelis whereas 21% sympathize more with the Palestinians. While still widespread, sympathy toward Israel is down from 64% in 2018 and marks the lowest percentage favoring Israel since 2009. 76% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats said that they sympathize more with Israel in the conflict.

Hamas faces harsh criticism for crushing Gaza protesters. In the past few days, Hamas security officers have used force to disperse hundreds of protesters in different parts of the Gaza Strip. The widespread protests are seen as a major challenge to Hamas, which violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

Ya’alon: ‘Israeli-Arab’ conflict over; ‘Israeli-Palestinian’ one remains. With Israel and a good part of the Sunni Arab world today sharing both common threats and opportunities, the term “Israeli-Arab” conflict is no longer applicable, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said.“Today – at the present moment, in the meantime – there is not an Israeli-Arab conflict: There is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Ya’alon said at a conference at the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute marking the 40th anniversary later this month of the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement.
 
Culture and Lifestyle
Israel’s 10 most inspiring women. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, thewebsite Israel21c brought together some of Israel’s most inspiring, trailblazing and absolutely fabulous women. 
Rivlin turns to Bible for lesson on democracy, political culture. The Bible Study meeting at the Jerusalem residence of Israel’s President was entitled “The Power of Disagreement and the Culture of Discourse”. President Rivlin said “There is nothing more Jewish than pointed disagreement… I believe in the strength of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel, and so I have no doubt that argument will flourish.”

Purim in Israel. This website gives the latest information on events happening in Israel to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim.  Kids shows, carnivals, games, workshops etc. Purim officially begins on the evening of Weds 20th March, but the fun begins two weeks earlier at the beginning of the Hebrew Month of Adar.
 
Science and Technology
Israeli spacecraft Beresheet takes first selfie. Israeli spacecraft Beresheet’s camera took aselfie photo for the first time, from a distance of 23,363.5 miles from Earth. Seen in the photo is the plaque installed on the spacecraft, with the Israeli flag and the inscriptions “Am Yisrael Chai” and “Small Country, Big Dreams.”

Israeli researchers produce sustainable bioplastics with seawater algae. The UN has been warning that by 2050 our oceans may contain more plastic waste than fish – a disconcerting outlook given our dependency on healthy ecosystems to survive. Now, Israeli researchers saythey have developed a process to make biodegradable plastics using the ocean’s own resources – algae.

Nvidia is acquiring Israel’s Mellanox Technologies for $6.9 Billion. Nvidia announced that it was acquiring Israel’s Mellanox Technologies, a leading supplier of end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand smart interconnect solutions for data servers and storage systems, for a value of approximately $6.9 billion. Nvidia said it intends to continue investing in local Israeli “excellence and talent,” calling Israel “one of the world’s most important technology centers.”
 
In Depth
Yehuda Kurtzer and Micah Goodman of the Shalom Hartman institute discuss Nationalism, Marginalization, and Jewish Peoplehood. As the long-term tensions between democracy and nationalism are accelerating in Israel and around the world, their conversation addressed questions such as: Are nationalist revivals in Israel and the US marginalizing American Jewry and harming its relationship with the Jewish state? How do Israelis perceive and respond to the rise of nationalism in the US and beyond? Watch this webinar recording.
 

Edited by:

Alex Drukarev

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