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. 116, January 22, 2020

Events
Arabs in Israeli Society. Israel Action Committee presents a talk by Matan Zamir, Israel’s Deputy Consul General to the Pacific Northwest. Tuesday, February 11, 7:30pm, at Beth David. Ages 13-21: free, ages 22+: $5/person. Reservations are required. RSVP online or call the office at 408-257-3333. Refreshments will be served.

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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
In Depth

Inside Israel
2019 Israel Democracy Index. President Reuven Rivlin was presented with the 2019 Israel Democracy Index by the president of the Israel Democracy Institute. This is the 17th annual report, outlining the Israeli public’s perception of the state of Israel’s democracy, the faith it places in state institutions, and its views regarding the public sector. See details here.

Israel breaks 50-year record for most rainfall in the North, 76 years in the South. Israel broke a more than 50-year record for the highest amount of rainfall in northern Israel, as the heavy rains have swept the nation over the last few weeks. Emergency services remain on high alert across the country, and municipalities have put special measures in place, from positioning sandbags in key areas to clearing drainage systems, in an effort to prevent further casualties or damage.

Coexistence in Israeli mixed cities. In every Israeli mixed Jewish-Arab city there is close cooperation between Jews and Arabs at every level of municipal administration and activity. 81% of Jewish residents said relations with Arab residents were good and 89% of the Arab residents said relations with Jewish residents were good.

Poll: 70 percent of Israelis have confidence in the United States. About seven in 10 Israelis have confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump and, compared to other countries, Israel gave the United States the most favorable rating, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Although 94 percent of Israeli Jews view the United States positively, only 37 percent of Israeli Arabs concur. In other Mideast and North African countries, attitudes towards America are mostly negative.

Blue & White consolidates lead in latest polls. Channel 11 projected Blue & White winning 36 seats and Likud 31 but the gap was much narrower in the Channel 12 poll 34-32, while Channel 13 projected 34-31. Despite the variations, all three polls have one thing in common, they predict that the stalemate will continue with neither the Likud nor Blue & White able to form a government without each other, or unless Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu climbs off the fence.

IDF sees chance to halt Iranian entrenchment in region with Soleimani gone. Israeli Military Intelligence believes the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani represents a significant opportunity to counter Tehran’s growing aggressiveness in the region. In its annual intelligence assessment, the Israel Defense Forces relate to Iran as its primary enemy, albeit one that is both increasingly weakened by internal protests in the country and by the recent loss of one of its main leaders. Yet, potential for unwanted conflicts abounds.

International
Pro-Israel students at conference gain knowledge, confidence in combating hate on campus. Pro-Israel students from 30 university campuses across the United States and Canada gathered in New York City for a conference to learn about defending Israel effectively at their schools. The conference was hosted by Student Supporting Israel, a nonpartisan campus group. Gathered at the conference were 90 Jewish and non-Jewish students from a wide range of backgrounds, including South American, Bangladeshi and South Korean.

IDF attacks Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire. The IDF attacked targets in the Gaza Strip on January 15 in the evening, hours after four rockets were fired into Israeli territory from Gaza. The IDF reported that two of the rockets fell in open territory and two were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Culture and Lifestyle
Gaza nurses train in Israel. Five nurses from the Gaza Strip and 11 from the West Bank were in Israel this week for four days of medical training at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. “I could not imagine how this country would be or how it works,” Akram Abu Salah, a nurse from the Gaza Strip said. “It’s different than I thought. The people are very nice. You have Jews and Palestinians working together. It minimizes the gaps between us.”

Israelis take the Gold, defeat 750 people, at World Debate Championship. Two Israeli students, Hadar Goldberg and Maya Saveliev, won the gold medal at the final event of the 40th World Universities Debate Championship held in Thailand. The two competed in the category of debaters who speak English as a second language.

IDF approves new nail polish colors for female officers. The IDF is extending its hand to female officers and NCOs, and has altered its dress code to allow a wider range of nail polish color options for women who stay in the army beyond their compulsory service. Sparkles are still a dress code violation.

Science and Technology
Three Israeli inventions named among “most important new weapons of the decade” by Forbes. Forbes listed the most important new weapon systems deployed or developed during the decade, naming three Israeli inventions among the top 12. The listed Israeli systems included Stuxnet, the computer worm that targeted Iran’s advanced computer systems and caused substantial damage to their nuclear program, the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, and the Trophy Active Protection System for tanks. The Trophy System uses a shotgun-like blast to destroy incoming missiles, rockets, and other projectiles.

Israel unveils breakthrough laser to intercept missiles, aerial threatsThe technology is expected to take down a variety of aerial threats including rockets, drones, anti-tank missiles. Speaking about this new addition to the existing tools of war employed by Israel, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said that “we will add a laser sword when dealing with threats from the North or the South…The enemies of Israel better not test our resolve or our abilities.”

Israeli water-from-air technology named “Energy Efficiency Product of Year“. An Israeli-made machine that creates fresh drinking water from air was named the “Energy Efficiency Product of the Year” in the 2020 Smart Home Mark of Excellence Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Presented annually during CES, the Mark of Excellence Awards recognize the technology industry’s top smart-home innovations.

In Depth
Corruption: A major cause of Palestinian suffering – documentary. For decades, to divert the attention of the media, the international community and their people, all they had to do was accuse Israel of all their ills. But when you talk to Palestinians about the misappropriation of funds allocated by the international community, the first term they use is “corruption.” This is what emerges from the short documentary we made that involved two film crews: one in Gaza and the other in Judea-Samaria.

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