News From Israel

No. 109, November 11, 2019

“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.

Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth

Inside Israel

Rivlin gives Netanyahu mandate to form government. President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government after a meeting with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz failed to bring about a breakthrough. The deadline will be Thursday October 24. Rivlin said he gave the mandate to Netanyahu, because he received 55 recommendations from MKs, compared to Gantz’s 54. He called upon parties to stop disqualifying each other and lamented that a unity government was not formed.

Majority of Israelis prefer a unity government. According to a recent survey, a majority of Israelis prefer a unity government, although the numbers are different between the Jewish (64%) and Arab (33%) Israelis. Additionally the majority of Israelis (52%) do not think the State should offer Benjamin Netanyahu a plea bargain.

Netanyahu’s pre-indictment hearings. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s series of pre-indictment hearings began right after Rosh Hashanah with his lawyers expressing confidence they could refute the corruption allegations, including bribery, leveled against him in a series of criminal cases.

Israel’s population reaches 9 Million. Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which 6.7 million – 74% – are Jewish, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported. There are 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% “others,” including Christians. 28,000 people immigrated to Israel in 2018. Israel’s current fertility rate is 3.09 kids per woman. In most OECD countries, the fertility rate is 1.4-1.9. 89% of Israelis are satisfied with their quality of life and 88% are satisfied with their jobs.

Israeli bargain hunters flock to the West Bank. From cigarettes to car repairs and dentistry, Israelis spend millions of shekels in Palestinian villages every year. For most Israelis hearing about the stabbing attacks in the West Bank, the very idea of dental treatment there would seem very strange as well as irresponsible. But when you discover the differences in price between the east of the separation fence and the west, you can easily understand why some people are prepared to take the risk.

International

UN releases “unprecedented” report that links anti-Semitism to BDS movement. Israeli, Jewish and pro-Israel groups all applauded the publication of an “unprecedented” United Nations report on anti-Semitism that, among other issues, links anti-Semitism to criticism of Israel and the BDS movement. The report also recommends that all member states adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism. So far, 18 of them have done so.

Gaza hospital funded by Americans nears completion as part of Hamas-Israel understandings. The field hospital is being funded by private American money and has been approved by the Israeli government.  It is part of the indirect understandings between Israel and Hamas, which were negotiated and have been implemented through the efforts of Egyptian and Qatari officials, reached in an effort to stop, at least for now, the massive rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.

Jerusalem Post interview with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. In a wide-ranging interview Ambassador Friedman said “Right now, there is no safe way for Israel to separate from the Palestinians. The Palestinians have no control over Hamas, over Islamic Jihad; they continue to pay terrorists; the Palestinian textbooks continue to contain highly inappropriate and inciting language, in some cases… The Palestinians have no record on human rights.”

UK Labour passes anti-Israel motion supporting boycott, right of return. In a conference with multiple speakers condemning Israel, the British Labour party passed a motion supporting an “ethical foreign policy” in terms of trade between the United Kingdom and Israel and supporting the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and “right of return.” Members of the audience cheered, waved Palestinian flags and gave the speaker a standing ovation as she left the stage after shouting “Free Palestine!”

Culture and Lifestyle

How to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot like a true Israeli. You’d think that with summer finally being over and the kids firmly placed back in school, life would be back on track here in Israel. If only. From overeating to offending the family and escaping the country, Israelis observe the chagim in a unique way.

Israeli baseball team wins historic spot at 2020 Olympics. For the first time in Israel’s history, the national baseball team qualified for the Olympics. Israel won four out of five games played at the 2020 Olympics qualifiers in Italy, beginning the tournament by defeating each of the three European Baseball Team 2019 Championship medalists: Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

First wine-drinking half marathon comes to Israel. Some 4,000 people took part in the first Beaujolais half marathon in Israel, stopping along the way at tasting stations featuring Israel’s finest wines. Participants showed up in a variety of costumes to run the festive race. Some of the tasting stations included raging parties with music and food.

Science and Technology

Israeli scientists: Cure for insulin-dependent diabetics within five years. Betalin Therapeutics has developed the first bio-artificial pancreas, composed of pig lung tissue and insulin secreting cells. The artificial pancreas would be implanted into the patient and connect with his or her blood vessels and then be able to measure the body’s sugar level and secrete an optimal amount of insulin needed to balance blood sugar. Currently Betalin is collaborating with clinics in Germany, Britain, the US, China and Italy which are testing the technology.

Non-invasive treatment to improve facial lines and wrinkles. Israeli company Sofwave Medical Ltd., announced that it has received a clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Sofwave system. The Sofwave device is indicated for use as a non-invasive aesthetic treatment to improve facial lines and wrinkles.

As attack drones multiply, Israeli firms develop defenses. Israel, one of the pioneers of drone warfare, is now on the front lines of an arms race to protect against drone attacks. Over a dozen Israeli firms presented cutting-edge anti-drone technologies at London’s Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition this month.

In Depth

Explainer: A look at the legal trouble facing Israel’s Netanyahu. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attempt to head off a corruption indictment at a series of pre-trial hearings, in which he will try to persuade Israel’s attorney-general not to press charges. Here is a guide to the criminal cases surrounding Netanyahu.

Previous post:

Next post: