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. 97, April 24, 2019 
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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth
 
Inside Israel
Final election results: Likud wins most seats, one more than Blue and White. Likud has earned 36 seats and Blue and White 35, Central Elections Committee chairman Judge Hanan Melcer announced. Shas received 8 and UTJ 7, followed by Labor and Hadash-Ta’al tied with 6 each. Yisrael Beytenu and the Union of Right-Wing Parties each got five seats, and Meretz, Kulanu and UAL-Balad each have four.

Netanyahu vows to be prime minister for ‘Jews and non-Jews as one’. In a lavish event celebrating his election victory, the prime minister vowed to be a leader for those who voted for him and those who did not. “I want everyone in Israeli society, Jews and non-Jews as one, to be part of the success story called the State of Israel, and I want everyone to enjoy the prosperity and the progress,” Netanyahu said.

Israeli Druze officer appointed military secretary to President Rivlin. Abu Rukon was appointed following a decision by Rivlin together with Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Aviv Kochavi. The 47 year-old Druze resident of Usfiya holds a PhD in Middle East Studies from Bar-Ilan University, has served in the IDF for the past 25 years and is a married father of four children.

Anti-terrorist activities. In response to shooting at Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border on Friday, Israeli aircraft and a tank attacked two Hamas targets in Gaza. IDF arrested two Palestinians with knives who crossed Gaza border Sunday. Israeli border police thwarted a stabbing attack at the Tapuah junction in the West Bank on Saturday. Israeli Police foiled weapon smuggling from Jordan.
 
International
Israel ranked as 8th most influential country in the world. US News & World Report has ranked Israel as the world’s eighth-most influential country in the magazine’s 2019 version of its annual list. The report describes Israel as “the only Jewish nation in the world… a small country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea” that has had a large influence on global affairs. Israel came in ahead of several influential countries including Canada, Australia and India.

Arab writers: Palestinians must stop rejecting every proposed settlement with IsraelAhmad Al-Tawwab wrote in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram: “We must reassess the bizarre belief that has prevailed for many years among many Arab politicians and intellectuals, especially Palestinian ones, that time necessarily works in our favor…and that Israel’s demise is a forgone conclusion….This outlook is one of the reasons that the Palestinians have repeatedly missed opportunities [to resolve the conflict].”

Reform and Conservative movements join letter asking Trump to oppose Netanyahu bids to annex territory. Nine Jewish groups, including five associated with the Reform and Conservative movements, wrote to President Donald Trump asking him to preserve the two-state solution in the face of a pledge by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex West Bank territory. The letter is unusual, if not unprecedented, in mainstream Jewish groups pleading with a U.S. president to take steps to restrain an Israeli prime minister.

Freshman Democrat Ocasio-Cortez says cutting aid to Israel ‘on the table’. Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that cutting US aid to Israel should be a policy consideration on Capitol Hill following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection, drawing rebuke from Jewish Democrats.

Democratic senators call to restore aid to Palestinian Authority. Six Democratic senators, including Diane Feinstein, have introduced a resolution to restore US aid to Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza. The Trump administration has not distributed the money because of perceived intransigence on peace talks by the Palestinian Authority and payments to the families of terrorists who have attacked and murdered Israelis.
 
Culture and Lifestyle
Things to do in Israel at Passover 2019. Events take place across Israel during the Passover holiday, and with spring in the air, and families out enjoying the time, the demand creates an incredible array of events from the cities to nature reserves and parks across Israel.

10 things you didn’t know about Passover in Israel. From traffic jams and chocolate-spread matzah to the largest Seder night in the world, check out these fun facts about Passover Israel-style.

Growing up under threat of rockets, teens speak out as they prepare for military service. From infancy, and for the past 18 years, life was a cycle of rocket attacks and out-right war; as they head into adulthood, teens are sure calm will continue to elude the area.
 
Science and Technology
Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashes during moon landing. The spacecraft lost power in its main engine after sending a selfie from 22 kilometers (nearly 14 miles) above the surface of the moon, then went into a free fall toward the surface. The main engine reignited several kilometers above the surface before losing communication with the control room. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. He vowed that Israel would attempt the moon landing again in the future. Morris Kahn, president of SpaceIL, said: “Israel arrived on the moon and there’s an Israeli flag on the moon. Beresheet’s journey hasn’t ended here.’

SpaceIL launches Beresheet 2 to try another lunar landing. With lessons learned from the crash on the moon, and a $1m prize, Israeli nonprofit will build 2nd unmanned craft and give it another go.

Israeli radar system to protect Beijing airport. Beijing Capital International Airport has selected foreign object detection (FOD) technology from Israel’s Xsight Systems. The system will be installed on the airport’s east runway, protecting take-offs and landings from debris, birds, and other hazardous objects.

Israeli scientists ‘print’ world’s first 3D heart with human tissue. “This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers, using a patient’s own cells and biological material” said Prof. Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology. This technology may lead to creating heart implants in the future.
 
In Depth
Why did Israelis vote for Netanyahu? In discussing the results of recent elections in Israel,many commentators in the US expressed the opinion similar to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough. He recently lamented, “Some of us don’t understand why [Israelis] would keep reelecting Netanyahu. I certainly don’t … Because you think they would want a lasting peace, and he is certainly not ever going to do that.” Although there are many reasons why many secular Israelis support right wing parties, this article lists some of the major ones.

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