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. 105, August 14, 2019
Shtisel. Beth David Israel Action Committee presents “Shtisel”, one of the most popular Israeli TV shows with English subtitles. The event will take place at Congregation Beth David onThursday, September 19, 7:30 pm. Cost: $5/person. RSVP online or call the office at 408-257-3333.
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology
Watch: Tisha B’Av, mourning the destruction of the Temple. Western Wall plaza was filled with worshipers who came to recite morning prayers and lamentations near the remains of the Holy Temple. Meanwhile, local Muslim leaders over the weekend called on Jerusalem’s Muslims to ensure that Jews could not visit the Temple Mount during Tisha B’Av. Riots eruptedon the site on Sunday, as Muslims attempted to prevent Jews from entering. Police ultimately pushed back against the protesters to allow more than 1,700 Jews to visit.
Israel approves plan to build 700 Palestinian homes in Area C. For the first time in years, Israeli government approves construction for Palestinians living in West Bank’s area under full Israeli civil and security control as part of a broader plan which includes 6,000 housing units for Israeli settlers. Sources said Netanyahu’s insistence to include hundreds of housing units for Palestinian residents of Area C appears to have stemmed from the pressure being applied on his government by the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
Israeli student, 19, found stabbed to death near Hebron. The Israel Defense Forces said that the body of a student, also serving as an IDF soldier, was found in the early hours of Thursday morning with stab wounds near the city of Hebron. He was identified as Dvir Sorek, 19, from the town of Ofra. The Israeli military arrested two Palestinians suspected of the murder of Dvir Sorek over the weekend.
Israelis see Netanyahu as strong on security, weak on integrity. A clear majority of Israelis believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has improved the country’s standing on the world stage and bolstered its military strength, but less than a half give him a pass on integrity or willingness to narrow societal gaps, according to data released by the Israel Democracy Institute.
The Israeli employment market. Israel consistently boasts a very low unemployment rate—4% for 2018—and even those low levels are mostly due to people who are temporarily unemployed while between jobs. Overall, 78% of people aged 25-64 were employed in 2018, above the OECD average of 73.7%. Most social groups have high employment rates, barring two: Arab women with an Israeli citizenship and ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jewish men, which stand at 38.2% and 50.2%, respectively.
Proposed anti-Israel ethnic-studies curriculum in California has Jewish community on alert. A new ethnic-studies curriculum under proposal by the California Department of Education is being widely condemned by pro-Israel and Jewish groups, California lawmakers and activists for its “blatant bias against Israel.” Club Z launched a Change.org petition, calling on the California state legislature and Newsom to not adopt the proposed curriculum.
Massive delegation of Democrats arrives in Israel. U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer arrived in Israel at the head of a delegation of 41 Democratic representatives. The trip – meant primarily for freshman representatives – is organized in August of non-election years by the American Israel Education Foundation, affiliated with AIPAC. The Democrats came despite the pointed refusal by high-profile freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to participate in an AIPAC affiliated trip.
Swiss suspend payments to Palestinian refugee agency. The Swiss foreign ministry has decided to temporarily stop payments to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) amid claims of misconduct among its top management. A confidential report by UNRWA’s ethics office claims that members of top management have abused their authority, with charges including nepotism, discrimination and sexual misconduct.
From Beijing: Israeli-Chinese relations heading towards exponential growth. Israel-China relations will continue to grow exponentially from the $14 billion trade level as they have since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s two visits to China in 2013 and 2017, as long as there is no major reorganizing geopolitical event. The Israeli media delegation, which also included officials from the Prime Minister’s, President’s and Foreign Ministry offices, visited China recently and was received as distinguished dignitaries with no expense spared and unending praise showered on both Israel’s innovation and its unique history.
Culture and Lifestyle
Who is the hoopoe? Israel’s national bird – watch. The hoopoe is rarely confused with any other bird because it has a special look with black and white wings that are clearly visible during flight. The hoopoe is known in Eretz Israel for millennia. It is mentioned in the Bible.
Most popular Jewish baby names in Israel in 2018: Tamar and David. Tamar has kicked Noa out of th e top spot for Jewish girls, and 6% of baby girls from Kiryat Ono and Kiryat Motzkin were named Maya. A total of 1,447 baby boys born in Israel in 2018 were named David. The single most popular boy’s name for the entire population of Israel was Mohammed.
Science and Technology
Hadassah rolls out non-invasive brain test to help prevent Alzheimer’s. Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem announced that it’s SRY subsidiary has contracted with General Electric to be the sole producer of Vizamyl, a radioactive diagnostic agent indicated for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of the brain. It estimates amyloid neuritic plaque density in adult patients’ brain with cognitive impairment, who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of cognitive decline.
Revolutionary blood test will detect stage 1 lung cancer. Of all cancers, lung cancer is the deadliest, largely because it is so difficult to diagnose early on. Israel’s Savicell says its test measures the metabolic ‘signatures’ of immune cells circulating in the blood in response to disease. Savicell’s blood test technique can identify lung cancer “with 91 percent sensitivity.”
12 revolutionary advances for your eye health. Eye drops for vision correction, corneal implants, new treatments for macular degeneration and amblyopia among many excitingophthalmic developments in Israel.
The Israeli gun culture and approach to preventing mass shootings. Look to Israel, which has significant experience in dealing with domestic terror and ways to control access to guns.