News from Israel (Demo)

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. 114, December 18, 2019
Arabs in Israeli Society. Israel Action Committee presents a talk by Matan Zamir, Israel’s Deputy Consul General to the Pacific North West, on 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.

Inside Israel
Israel is going to third elections. There will be unprecedented third Knesset elections in less than a year on March 2 after the deadline passed with no faction able to form a government. But polls project that the political stalemate will not be resolved by the new elections.

Construction permits, investment in settlements dramatically up. Building permits in settlements in the Samaria district have increased by 50% over the past five years. At the same time, the Jordan Valley Regional Council has launched a political campaign to get the Blue and White Party to join the effort to annex the West Bank region.

Muslim major-general in the Israeli National Police speaks at UN. Maj.-Gen. Jamal Hakroosh of the Israel Police, a Muslim Arab, addressing the UN World Conference against Discrimination and Racism in Geneva, said, “Not only did the Israel Police open doors to Arab citizens, but also my friends and colleagues of my generation can now be found among directors of medical wards in Israeli hospitals, and lecturers in Israeli universities.”

Police probe hate crime after cars, buildings vandalized in Arab Israeli town. Some 20 cars in the Arab village of Manshiya Zabda had their tires slashed overnight and Hebrew-language anti-Arab graffiti was found sprayed on the walls of buildings. Police said they were investigating and condemned “any nationalistic hate crime.” They vowed to use all means to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Israel welcomes US Executive Order to combat anti-Semitism. Israel’s Foreign Minister welcomed President Donald Trump’s signing of an Executive Order that aims to combat anti-Semitism at US universities and colleges and to withhold federal funding from institutions that do not prevent anti-Semitism on their campuses. Furthermore, the Trump Administration is expected to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism that declares anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism.

Israel ranked among top 10 most powerful countries in the world. The State of Israel ranks as the eighth most powerful country in the world, despite its relatively small size and population, according to the Best Countries ranking of 2019. Israel beat countries with vast natural resources such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey as well as richer countries such as Canada and Switzerland.

Jerusalem chief rabbi visits Bahrain for interfaith event, meets king. Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar concluded a rare visit to Bahrain, where he met the Arab kingdom’s king, as well as religious leaders from Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Russia, the United States, Italy, India, and Thailand. Though Israel has ties with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, there has been an opening with Bahrain and other Gulf states in recent years amid their shared antipathy toward Iran.

Israel aids Syrian Kurds. In November, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told the Knesset, “We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds [in Syria], and we are assisting them through a range of channels.” Nonprofit Israeli Flying Aid has been providing covert support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons since 2011.

Gaza solidarity rally in Times Square: We will start an intifada in every classroom, college campus. On November 15, 2019, a pro-Gaza rally was held at Times Square in New York, NY. Husam Kaid of the City College, NY, branch of Students for Justice in Palestine called for an Intifada in every classroom and in every college campus. See video here

Culture and Lifestyle
BBC’s “Good Food” magazine ranks Tel Aviv 7th in top destinations for foodies in 2020. “With vegan dishes at the heart of Tel Aviv’s culinary tradition, it’s always been a great destination for lovers of plant-based food,” reads the magazine entry, in reference to Tel Aviv’s reputation as the “vegan capital of the world”. But the street foods, hummus, falafel and shakshuka, “steal the show,” according to Good Food.

Study: Majority of Israeli adults are overweight. A majority of Israelis aged 20-64 are overweight or obese, according to a new study. Obesity rates are also on the rise. About 25% of women in Israel and about 22.3% of men suffer from obesity. Israel’s obesity statistics are in line with those of other OECD nations.

Science and Technology
Scientists discover molecule that destroys pancreatic cancer cells. A little molecule named PJ34 can cause cancer cells to self-destruct, according to an Israeli study published recently in the biomedical journal Oncotarget. Israeli breakthrough study shows 90% reduction of pancreatic cancer cells in mice after treatment with PJ34.

Increasing US-Israeli medical cooperation. 21 bipartisan US lawmakers have requested that the US would establish an FDA office in Israel to facilitate collaboration in life-saving research. They wrote that Israel’s world class medical research programs have positively impacted the global health system.

In Depth
Luxury alongside poverty in the Palestinian Authority
. In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society exists.