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. 104, July 31, 2019 

Shtisel. Beth David Israel Action Committee presents 2 episodes of “Shtisel”, one of the most popular Israeli TV shows with English subtitles. The event will take place at Congregation Beth David on Tuesday, September 19, 7:30 pm. Cost: $5/person. Sign up link coming soon. 

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Inside Israel
Culture and Lifestyle
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In Depth

Inside Israel
Recent survey. The recent monthly survey conducted by the Tel Aviv University revealed that the top concern of both the Jewish and the Arab public was the social-economic consideration, followed by the security-political consideration. Among Jewish voters, 34% preferred a government led by the Likud, 31% preferred a national unity government including Blue-and-White and the Likud. For more data, visit this site.

Rabbis making it harder for Israeli immigrants to prove they’re JewishA studyrecently released warns that over the next two decades, hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union or of Ethiopian descent may need to validate their Judaism. For a somewhat different take on this, read “Conversion in Israel: The real story

Netanyahu becomes the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister. Netanyahu exceeded the record time in the office as a PM achieved by the first Israeli PM David Ben Gurion. Here aresome facts about his tenure in the office.

Thousands riot at Gaza border every week. The army said some rioters hurled rocks and explosive devices at the border fence and that troops were responding with less-lethal means as well as live fire in several cases where suspects attempted to sabotage or break through the border.

Funds for Bedouin Arab education. “Momentum,” a program developed by non-profit Social Finance Israel, aims to boost the number of high school graduates from the Arab Bedouin city of Rahat. NIS 14.8 million worth of Impact Bonds have been sold, to help benefit 50% more students than the 1,200 in the current scheme.

US House overwhelmingly passes anti-BDS resolutionThe resolution rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. It says that the BDS campaign “undermines the possibility for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demanding concessions of one party alone.” Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib were among the few who voted against the resolution. Meanwhile Omar who has become a focal point of anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiment, put forth a new pro-BDS resolution in CongressOmar’s resolution is cosponsored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia).

Israel, Bahrain foreign ministers talk about Iran in groundbreaking public meet. Foreign Minister Israel Katz met his Bahraini counterpart for talks on Iran in Washington and the two posed for a rare photograph, marking what Jerusalem said was a boost in ties with the Gulf nation. Katz said the public meeting with the Bahraini minister was “another example of our growing diplomatic connections.”

Israel ranked 10th most innovative country. The annual Global Innovation Index ranks 129 world economies on 80 parameters including research, technology and creativity. Israel placed 10th in the latest rankings. Israel was 11th in 2018, 17th in 2017, 21st in 2016, and 22nd in 2015.

Palestinians have “halted” all agreements with Israel, says Abbas. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that the Palestinian leadership has decided to “halt” all agreements signed with Israel. Abbas reached out to Hamas, offering to end the dispute between the movement and his ruling Fatah faction.
Culture and Lifestyle
Israeli national baseball team takes first step in qualifying for 2020 Olympics. Team Israel, which overcame the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Irish and Russian teams to take first place in its group, will now advance later this month to a three-game playoff series against the winner of the second Pool B group: Lithuania.

Back in a blaze of glory, Bon Jovi rocks Tel Aviv. “Good evening Tel Aviv, I told you we’d be back!” Jon Bon Jovi said as he took to the stage at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon. Giving 45,000 Israeli fans one wild night, the iconic band delivered its greatest hits in an electric show that closed their two-month world tour.

The birthplace of Goliath. Archaeologists have discovered remains more ancient and impressive than those previously discovered at the Philistine city of Gath, where the giant Philistine warrior Goliath was born and once lived. “Gath was the largest city in the land of that time, and seems to have had very, very impressive architecture,” the lead archeologist said. “The memory of this dominance … inspired the tradition that the inhabitants of Gath were giants”.

Science and Technology
Breakthrough pancreatic cancer treatment phase III trial opens in Israel. Rafael Pharmaceuticals launched a phase III clinical trial for pancreatic cancer at eight sites throughout Israel. The treatment targets cancer metabolism. The approach, called cell metabolic therapy, is based on the observations that tumors could be treated by disrupting their source of energy, hindering cancer cells from growing and spreading.

Israel installs first AI traffic light. Israel has approved the installation of its first artificial intelligence (AI) -based traffic light at a busy intersection near Ben-Gurion Airport. The system relies on a network of cameras installed along the road leading to the intersection. It calculates the expected load level at the junction and schedules the traffic activity accordingly.

Major study shows gut microbes may impact course of ALS. A trailblazing study by Israeli researchers suggests that intestinal microbes may have a direct effect on the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the incurable, fatal neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The findings suggest that in the future, various means of altering the microbiome may be harnessed for developing new therapeutic options for ALS.

In Depth
The F-35 has already changed everything in the Middle East. No conversation about the world’s massive political and economic changes since 2015 is complete without mentioning theF-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Israelis working on F-35 prototypes had managed to double the jet’s flight and stealth capacity. It wasn’t lost on anyone that the extension meant Israeli Air Force pilots could use the F-35 to fly from Israel to Tehran and back without detection — and without having to refuel at U.S. air bases in Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

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