News from Israel – November 23, 2016

No. 41,  November 23, 2016

Inside Israel
Israel’s incomes gap narrows. Monthly gross income from all sources showed a 2.5% real increase, compared with the preceding year. The Central Bureau of Statistics also reported that 96.9% of households in Israel have at least one mobile telephone. 80.3% have a computer, 40.9% a tablet, and 74.3% an Internet connection.

Israelis head home from Silicon Valley. According to estimates, there are currently about 100,000 Israelis in Silicon Valley. It began with a trickle, but in the past year a growing number are returning.

Israeli submarine fleet. A new sonar system developed by the Israel Navy and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. significantly improves the detection capabilities of Israel’s fleet of Dolphin submarines. Two more submarines, supplied by Germany will bring the total number of submarines to six by 2019. Reports said that these submarines are capable of carrying missiles armed with nuclear warheads, thereby providing Israel with second strike capability, if it comes under a nuclear attack.

Israeli men could be jailed for refusing divorce. Under millennia-old Jewish religious law, only the husband may formally dissolve a marriage, by giving the wife a “get”. New directive from state prosecutor authorizes criminal charges against husbands who won’t grant their wives a religious divorce.

Christians successful in Israel. “The Christian society is one of the successful minorities in Israel. There are people in high positions in education, in hospitals, courts – everywhere you look you will find a Christian in a high position,” says a member the Christian Empowerment Council (CEC) in Israel.

To combat rampant crime on their streets, Israeli Arabs heed call to join police. Hundreds of young citizens have joined force in recent weeks, but critics ask why Jewish cops couldn’t get the job done. The crime rate in Arab communities prevents economic flourishing, which harms the state as a whole. The new policing drive is also imperative to the success of a $3.8 billion plan to integrate Israel’s non-Jewish minorities with the general population, through economic, educational and housing overhaul.

Netanyahu and Herzog congratulate President-elect Trump. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the opposition leader Isaac Herzog offered their congratulations to President-elect Trump. Netanyahu said: “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.” Netanyahu also phoned Hillary Clinton and thanked her for her support of Israel. Trump invited Netanyahu to a meeting in the United States at the first opportunity.

Double standard for Israel and for other countries. In a recent interview Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman emphasized that there is a double standard for Israel and for other countries, and the international community closes its eyes to the facts. He quoted a number of examples:  “Over 6,000 Palestinians were slaughtered two years ago in their largest refugee camp, Yarmuk in Damascus. Was there an international conference? A UN Security Council decision?… Almost 40% of the world’s donations to the Palestinians go to funding terrorists’ families“

Over 200 US-approved textbooks teach Palestinians to kill Jews. Over 200 US-government- approved textbooks used in hundreds of Palestinian UNRWA-sponsored schools are reportedly teaching Arab childrenbetween the first and ninth grades to kill Israelis, and sacrifice themselves as martyrs to drive Jews out of the country. The full text of the report can be found here.

Israel asks France to cancel peace parley, calls for direct talks with PA. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoys rejected a French call for an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will likely be held in December in Paris. Only direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to a final agreement for a two-state solution, Netanyahu’s envoys said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visiting Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Jerusalem, where the two discussed diplomatic and security issues, including Russia’s military involvement in Syria and in Lebanon. Medvedev described relations between the countries as “friendly.” The two also signed four bilateral agreements on the issues of agriculture, customs, technology, and construction and housing.

Beating BDS with facts.  Billed as the largest clearinghouse of its type, this new website has plenty of resources to counter the lies of those who want to boycott the Jewish State.

Culture and Lifestyle
The first black Miss Israel shares her immigrant story. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw immigrated to Israel when she was 12 and went on to serve as a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces. Aynaw made history in 2013 when she became the first black woman to win an Israeli pageant.

This is what it’s REALLY like to be a soldier in the IDF! This video shows 24 hours in the life of IDF soldiers. This wonderful inside look gives a glimpse of the tough work the young men and women of the IDF do every day as they protect life and stop terror.

Jewish-Yemeni culture comes alive in the music of Yemen Blues. Ravid grew up in Israel surrounded by Jewish-Yemeni culture and later discovered his love for African music and Balkan orthodox liturgy. His musicmerges all these sounds to create a completely unique style.

Science and Technology
Israeli “smart glass” firm Gauzy. The company, Gauzy has created a technology using unique liquid crystal film which can be embedded into glass to perform a vast array of functions including giving the users the ability to control its levels of transparency and opacity. This video shows what may be possible with this technology.

New treatment for cognitive impairment. Israel’s Therapix Biosciences has developed a unique tablet. A clinical trial of this tablet is anticipated to commence early 2017 for treatment of impairments in cognitive functioning, including mild cognitive impairment that could result in Alzheimer’s disease.

UN ranks IDF emergency medical team as ‘No. 1 in the world’. Israel becomes first country to earn World Health Organization’s highest ranking for its field hospital unit.

Israeli researchers make solar cells 70 percent more efficient. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a technology that could improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells by nearly 70 percent. The breakthrough could be a key for overcoming current technological limitations in harnessing solar power to meet the world’s energy consumption demands.

In Depth
Israel’s core security requirements in permanent-status negotiations. The core Israeli-Palestinian negotiation issues have been traditionally divided into ‘narrative issues’ – those topics such as Jerusalem, refugees, etc., and more ‘practical issues’ such as territory and security. But while some people believe these practical issues are more easily resolved, they are very complicated and we have yet to come to an agreement on them even 20 years on from beginning negotiations.