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. 100, June 5, 2019 
The “Settlements”: Israel’s legal right or road-block to peace? Beth David Israel Action Committee presents a talk by David Meir-Levi “The “Settlements”: Israel’s legal right or road-block to peace?”, 2nd talk in the series “Myths and facts about Israel”. The talk will take place at Congregation Beth David on Tuesday, July 2, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm. RSVP
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Inside Israel
Israel will hold new elections after Netanyahu fails to form coalition. Exactly one month after the 21st Knesset was sworn in, a majority of the Knesset voted to disperse and initiate an unprecedented repeat election on September 17. It was the first time in Israeli history that a candidate for prime minister failed to form a coalition after being given the task by the president after an election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Likud faction ahead of the vote that he had not succeeded in reaching a compromise with Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on the controversial haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill, and that he had also tried unsuccessfully to woo MKs from the opposition to join his government.

Lag b’Omer: A night of rocking parties in Israel. There is nothing like the celebration of Lag b’Omer in Israel, as large bonfires are lit, people sing and dance and music is blasted until late into the evening. Families and friends often partake in festive barbecues while sitting around the campfire. Here is a small taste of the excitement.

Tens of thousands join Flag March to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim. Tens of thousands of flag-waving Israelis marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to mark the unification of the city’s eastern and western sectors in the 1967 Six Day War, with tensions heightened due to the holiday coinciding with the final days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Dozens of communities severely damaged in fires. Dozens of houses burned to the ground and at least 3,500 people were evacuated from their homes, after more than 20 fires raged across the state. Temperatures reached a sweltering 110º F in some areas between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and originally was thought to be responsible for the fires. Arab terror is also suspected in fires over the weekend

Israel’s economy booms at fastest pace since 2016. Israel’s economy expanded at itsfastest pace in three years as its gross domestic product rose 5.2% in the 1st quarter of 2019, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. This is a jump from a 3.9% gain in the 4th quarter of 2018.
US to hold economic ‘workshop’ in June as first part of Trump’s peace plan. The United States will hold an international economic “workshop” in Bahrain in late June to encourage investment in the Palestinian areas as the first part of President Donald Trump’s coming Middle East peace plan, the White House said. The participants in the June 25-26 conference are expected to include representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

NATO and Israel deepen ties. Israel is fast becoming NATO’s premier partner country. NATO can tap into over seven decades of counterterrorism experience, learn from a cyber powerhouse, and deepen intelligence ties with a tested and vibrant democracy perched on the shores of the Levantine powder keg. Living at close quarters with radical Islamist terrorists is business as usual for Israel.

German intel: Iran wants to expand to weapons of mass destruction. The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to a program of weapons of mass destruction, the domestic intelligence agency for the southern German state of Bavaria said in its May 2019 intelligence report. The intelligence report defines weapons of mass destruction as “the spread of atomic, biological, chemical weapons of mass destruction.”

Israeli medical NGO treats its 5,000th child from abroad. Save a Child’s Heart Foundation diagnoses, treats and operates on children with life-threatening heart diseases from developing countries, free of charge. To date, the organization has treated 5,000 children from some 60 countries at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. It also trains doctors from these countries at the hospital, and regularly sends out medical missions to many places across the globe.
Culture and Lifestyle
New terminal for pets set to open at Ben Gurion. Section of the airport will cater to the 80,000+ families traveling with pets annually. Enjoy this video that tells the story.

This year’s Israel Festival dares audiences to challenge artistic boundaries. The Israel Festival opens May 30 and with it arrives an opportunity to experience music, theater and other kinds of performances not generally available on the Israeli stage. The festival presents a chance to spend the early summer viewing works by European and Israeli artists, on stages and theaters throughout Jerusalem. And here are previews of some of the events to be seen at the Festival.

Israelis, Palestinians share Ramadan meal at SodaStream. Nearly 3,000 Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and international guests broke the fast together in a show of coexistence in the Negev-based factory. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended the event, which was the largest Iftar celebration in Israel and highlighted the company’s message of coexistence.
Science and Technology
Ford to open an Innovation Center in Israel. Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, is set to launch the new center during his planned visit to Israel in June. Ford, who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, will lead a delegation of Ford executives to Israel where they will scout for technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and cybersecurity.

Candy giant Mars to build food tech research hub in Israel. Mars, the $35 billion maker of M&Ms and Snickers, is teaming up with Jerusalem Venture Partners to create a research and development center in Israel dedicated to commercializing tech solutions in the food industry.

Every HP PC will have Israeli malware protection. HP Inc. will be installing malware protection software by Tel Aviv-based Deep Instinct Inc. on its newest line of personal computers, the two companies announced. While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, a person familiar with the matter said the deal is valued at $150 million over a four-year period
In Depth
The unsolvable puzzle of haredi enlistment. Yet again, the issue of haredi enlistment in the IDF has caused a major political upheaval, and Israel is going in an election over it in three months.

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