News From Israel – June 28, 2107

No. 56  June 28, 2107

Inside Israel
Border Police officer killed in Jerusalem attack. The Border Police officer, Hadas Malka, 23, was killed in a coordinated stabbing and shooting attack in two areas in Jerusalem’s Old City on June 16. The three attackers, all of whom were members of Palestinian terrorist groups, were shot dead in the course of the attacks. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority issued a statement in which it called killing of three terrorist murderers “a war crime” and praised the murderers as “Islamic Martyrs”. The mother of the terrorist said: “I’m proud of him. I wanted him to kill … 100 of [Jews]”

Marking 50 years of rule, Rivlin calls on world to recognize Golan as Israel. As Israel marked the fiftieth anniversary of its military victory in the Golan Heights during the Six Day War, President Reuven Rivlin called for global recognition of Israeli rule there, saying the northern territory is “essential” to the survival of the Jewish State.

Help the 90% who aren’t part of startup economy, central bank chief urges. Ninety percent of Israeli employees do not work in high-tech industries, and reducing the gap between the old and new economies is essential in forging a unified society, Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said at a business conference in Jerusalem, as she proposed steps to accomplish that goal.

Government to offer 15,000 discounted price homes. Eligible homebuyers can register for lotteries for the housing units, most of which are in high-demand areas. Minister of Construction and Housing said, “Many young couples will benefit from this offer. Many of them are demobilized soldiers.” In October 2017, there will be another lottery with 10,000 apartments.

Former Shin Bet Director: No chance for peace any time soon. Yoram Cohen, former director of the Israeli Security Agency said that, in his view, “reaching an agreement with the Palestinian Authority is a national Israeli interest and should be sought,” however, “In light of significant gaps, lack of trust, and an absence of readiness for serious compromises from the Palestinian side, and the fact that the Palestinian Authority is unable to provide an effective response to terror threats, it is difficult for me to envision the possibility of reaching a political agreement in the coming years.”

Israeli government freezes pluralistic Western Wall agreement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet has frozen a government decision to create an official egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall. Work on the egalitarian prayer area erected at Robinson’s Arch, located on the southern edge of the Western Wall plaza, will continue. The government will formulate a new plan that will be acceptable to the religious parties.

Kushner meets with Netanyahu and Abbas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly greetedUS President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, who was visiting Israel and the Palestinian Territories on a one-day trip. They were joined by US Ambassador David Friedman and US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt. Kushner also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Reports said that the purpose of the visit was to listen to both sides; the Americans had no concrete proposals, details, goals or even a plan to get Netanyahu and Abbas in the same room.

Israel agrees to PA demand to cut Gaza electricity by 40%. Israel’s security cabinet agreed to cut the electricity it sends to Gaza by 40 percent, now that the Palestinian Authority has said it intends to only pay 60% of its monthly bill. The drop in electricity is part of the PA’s push to pressure Hamas to rescind its control of Gaza.

Abbas’ advisor: We shall not relinquish the Western Wall. “It can never belong to non-Muslims. No one but the Muslims may have sovereignty over it,” he said in the sermon, which was broadcast by the official Palestinian Authority TV.

Blair: Time to break from previous peacemaking “theology”. Former British Prime Minister and Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair advocated a wider regional approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “There exists today a new path to peace. It is based not only on conventional Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, but on the potential for a new relationship between the Arab nations and Israel,” he said.

Massive drop in US Jewish college students’ support for Israel. Support for Israel has dropped 27 percentage points among Jewish college students in the US since 2010, a study released by Brand Israel Group revealed. According to the research, in 2010, 84% of US Jewish college students leaned toward the Israeli side of the conflict with the Palestinians, but in 2016, only 57% did, believing Israel falls short with values such as human rights, tolerance and diversity.

Culture and Lifestyle
Israeli author David Grossman wins Man Booker International Prize. Grossman, nominated for his latest work ‘A Horse Walks into a Bar,’ is the first Israeli to win the prize, one of the most important annual literary awards. Nick Barley, the chair of the Man Booker Prize’s 2017 judging panel, said the book “shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality.

Montana, Brown and Staubach give Israeli football huge boost. Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Roger Staubach and Mike Singletary were among the 18 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who arrived for a weeklong visit to the Holy Land to meet some of the 2,000 active players in Israel’s various leagues and to learn about the growth of gridiron in the country.

Yoga in the land of shalom. Preschool yoga, prenatal yoga, workplace yoga, yoga for soldiers… yoga in its many forms has found its way into virtually every area of Israeli life. Today’s Israeli kindergartners know the “downward dog” and the “sun salutation” poses just as well as they know their nursery rhymes.

Discover Israel’s most bohemian neighborhood ‘The Florentine’. Considered the bohemian bastion of the Tel Aviv’s south end, the Florentine neighborhood of Israel’s most metropolitan city is a hipster’s paradise full of bars, restaurants and easy vibes.

Science and Technology
Hebrew unveil largest neurological center in Israel. More than 400 people from Israel and abroad were on hand for the dedication of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences in Jerusalem. Harnessing the extraordinary opportunities created by advances in technology and medicine, the Center will be shaping the next generation of researchers to advance the brain sciences and transform the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Change in gene adds a decade to the lives of men. A genetic mutation that contributes tolongevity in men has been discovered by University of Haifa researchers. “Now our aim is to understand completely the mechanism of the mutation so we can bring it to expression,” said Prof. Gil Atzmon, who heads the team. “This will make it possible to extend life while preserving quality of life.”

Women dominate Israel’s life science industry. Israel’s life sciences sector has been blossoming recently. In stark contrast to the general high-tech industry, women are a majority in the biomed industry, and it is not confined to the lower levels. 70% of employees are women.

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 is emerging.