News from Israel October 4, 2017

“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.

News from Israel
No. 63, October 4, 2017

Inside Israel

Israel’s population numbers 8,743,000 on eve of Rosh Hashanah. 74.6% of the population are Jews, 20.9% are Arabs, and 4.5% are non-Arab Christians, members of other religious and those registered as having no religion. While Israel’s territory is relatively small, most of it is uninhabited. Only 5.6% of its area is built up. In general, 88% of Israelis said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their lives.

Three killed, one seriously hurt in terror attack near Jerusalem. Three Israelis were killed and one seriously hurt in a terror attack outside the Har Adar settlement near Jerusalem. The assailant was shot and killed by security forces at the scene.

Nine arrested in extremist ultra-Orthodox riots over IDF enlistment. Several hundred haredi protestors from the extremist communities in the capital took to the streets and blocked several junctions in the haredi neighborhoods. The riot is the latest in a long series of such protests against haredi enlistment to the IDF in general and in particular against the arrest of young haredi men from extremist factions for failing to perform the necessary paperwork to get their military service exemptions.

Haredi employment. The increase in employment of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men since 2000 has come to a halt in the past 18 months, according to the review published by the Ministry of Finance. Only half of haredi men aged 25-64 work for a living, compared with nearly 87.6% among non-haredi men. The policy aimed at including haredi women in the labor force has been very successful; the employment rate among haredi women has already exceeded the target set for 2020.


Trump, Netanyahu discussed countering Iran’s ‘malign influence’. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. Netanyahu said that the Iranian issue was dealt with in depth, and that both Jerusalem and Washington see the issue from a similar vantage point. Netanyahu said he expressed his position as “clearly as possible,” that if the nuclear agreement is not changed, “it will lead to the nuclearization of Iran.”

Netanyahu meets with Egypt’s Sissi in first public talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in New York in the first-ever public sit-down between the two leaders. The two leaders had “a comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region,” and Sissi “expressed his desire to assist in efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the region.”

Bahrain king denounces Arab boycott of Israel, says countrymen may visit. Bahrain’s King has denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and said his subjects are free to visit the Jewish state. The statement by the head of the Persian Gulf country, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, was revealed at a multi-national event in Los Angeles, hosted by the city’s Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Hamas agrees to dissolve its governing body in Gaza. In an overture to its rival Fatah, Hamas agreed to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip, allow the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority government to take over in its place and hold general elections. Some observers are skeptical that Hamas’s announcement would lead to a full-fledged reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

Iran pays nearly $1 billion to Hezbollah. Two years after the nuclear deal was signed by Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic is reported to have boosted its financial support to Hezbollah to $830 million a year, a dramatic increase from the $200m it was said to be giving its proxy when sanctions were in place.

New UN textbooks for Palestinians demonize Israel and Jews. New schoolbooks used in United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools in Gaza and the West Bank display extreme anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments and no hope for peace in the region, according to a study released by the Center for Near East Policy Research, The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Middle East Forum.

Culture and Lifestyle

11 Rosh Hashanah stamps that tell the story of Israel. Every year at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the Israel Postal Company (previously the Israel Postal Authority) issues a festival stamp series including a first-day commemorative cancel for the series. See the most interesting of them, starting with 1948…

A brief tour of Northern Israel. A two-minute glimpse of the Galilee, Golan, Hula valley, mountains, waterfalls and diverse wildlife.

IDF declares war on smoking. IDF will ban the sale of cigarettes on bases, limit the number of designated smoking areas on bases and enforce a strict disciplinary policy for those caught smoking anywhere else. The move comes as a response to recent studies showing that 4 out of 10 IDF soldiers start smoking by the time they finish their mandatory service.

Israel’s best Eurovision songs. Watch and listen here.

Science and Technology

Join the Technion’s Robot Rosh Hashanah Party! Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology wishes everyone a Happy New Year! Join the robot party!

A cotton that can kill germs and viruses on contact. The constantly intensifying battle against viruses and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” isn’t only about finding stronger drugs against infection. The focus is moving to preventing infections in the first place. Jerusalem-based Argaman Technologies’bio-inhibitive cotton is being made into facial masks, hotel linens, uniforms, active wear and much more.

Lightweight generator on the way for next natural disaster. Aquarius Engines, the Israeli company that’s working on a revolutionary alternative to the combustion engine for cars, is packaging the same technology into an exceptionally lightweight and efficient portable generator.

In Depth

The Golden age of Jewish-Christian relations. The relationship between Christians and Jews is long and complex, and a fascinating case study in how shifting theology correlates to changes in behavior. A short overview of some major shifts in Christian beliefs toward Israel can explain this new era of Christian Zionism marked by greater sensitivity and respect toward the Jewish People.

Edited by:

Alex Drukarev