We are Modern Orthodox and are affiliated to the United Synagogue  

January 2

Happy 2019 to my readers!

Aid to Indonesia

Volunteers from Israeli NGO IsraAID flew to Indonesia (a Muslim-majority country having no diplomatic relations with Israel) to provide safe water and psychological support in the wake of the tsunami disaster. Some IsraAID workers had been there since the last earthquake.
Watch the video on Youtube

Hisbullah tunnel threat

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said last Thursday that material pumped into a Hizbullah attack tunnel by the IDF to block it has come out in several places connected to the tunnel, including residential homes in the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila from where the tunnel was dug. “This fact indicates Hizbullah’s use of civilian structures in the heart of an urban area in southern Lebanon,”
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The IDF on Friday released footage of people in the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila reacting when an unspecified “liquid,” pumped by the Israeli military into a Hezbollah attack tunnel, flowed out of the opening and into the street. (see embedded video)
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Gaza periphery

A balloon rigged with incendiary materials – was discovered near a kindergarten in an Israeli community near the Gaza border on Friday.
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Solar-cell printing technology start-up Utilight is planning to construct two manufacturing plants in Gaza border communities, with the intention of boosting the struggling economy of a region hit hard by recent escalations of violence.
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IDF annual report

1,000 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel over the past year, a dramatic rise from the past three years when there were 71 in total. 250 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system and 45 fell in urban areas. The IDF destroyed 15 terror tunnels which infiltrated into Israeli territory from Gaza this year, and completed 27 km. of an underground barrier designed to block tunnels.7 soldiers and 9 civilians were killed and 199 injured in 87 terror attacks in 2018,
https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/IDF-1000-rockets-fired-at-southern-Israel-from-Gaza-over-the-past-year-575871

Rocket attack

An IDF spokesman said that Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket at Israel overnight Saturday. In response, the IDF attacked a Hamas post in the strip using an IAF helicopter.
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Tourism

By mid-November, the number of incoming tourists in 2018 surpassed last year’s record of 3.6 million and Israel’s Tourism Ministry expects entries to exceed four million…in addition to marketing efforts made by the ministry and the Open Skies Agreement, award-winning licensed tour guide Samuel Green of MyIsraeliGuide.com also attributes the growth in tourism to the relatively calm security situation, businessmen extending their stays for tourism purposes, and even the success of Israeli chefs abroad.
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Eire

The 2 million cows in Eire (Republic of Ireland) have polluted the land and water reservoirs. So, the Irish Government-backed Ireland Ag-tech Fund has funded Israel’s CropX to use its soil measurement system to identify where to place Eire’s cows to do least damage.
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Christians

Israel is the only Middle East country whose Christian population is growing – by 2.2% in 2017. Today they number around 175,000. In Gaza less than 1,300 remain of the 30,000 before Hamas took over. Israel issued 700 of them (over 50%) with Christmas permits to visit Israeli holy sites. Meanwhile, Israel welcomed an estimated 150,000 Christians from overseas for the festive season.
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Defence

Israel Aerospace Industries has announced that F-35 stealth fighter components for the outer wings to make them invisible to radar have entered production.
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Fake news

A Twitter account called Free Gaza Team published multiple graphic photos of “Noor from Gaza,” a young girl whose arm had been sheared off…When I performed a Google image search, Noor’s image appeared. The girl publicised by the Free Gaza Team was in fact a Syrian child from Deir ez-Zor, injured as a result of airstrikes.
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Melanoma

Israeli startup Scade Medical has patented a prototype scanner, to diagnose early stage melanoma. BlueSky is based on DOSI (differential optical spectro-polarimetric imaging) technology invented by Ofir Aharon, whose mother contracted melanoma. It has already saved seven lives.
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Food technology

Graduate students at the Biotechnology and Food Engineering Faculty at Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed the Algalafel, a new kind of falafel that enriches the traditional ingredients with spirulina — a biomass of blue-green algae which in its dried form contains about 60 per cent protein and is seen as a solution for food insecurity and malnutrition…The students won first prize in the EIT Food Project (European Knowledge and Innovation Community)
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Amos Oz

David Grossman paid tribute to his friend Amos Oz, a giant of Israeli literature, who passed away last Friday: ‘one of the greatest writers of Hebrew literature and one of the greatest literary figures in the world,’ who ‘describes like no other the great story of our lives here in Israel.’
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Comment & opinion

Peter Lerner (a recent guest speaker in Kingston): Anti-Israel activists have claimed that as Israel once again heads for elections, millions of Palestinians are disenfranchised. That claim is false. Ever since the Oslo Accords, 98% of the Palestinian population in the territories enjoys self-governance. They have a Palestinian Legislative Council with 132 elected officials. This is the body the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are supposed to vote for, not for the Knesset. The last election took place in 2006, with Hamas winning the election, resulting in an unbridgeable internal Palestinian deadlock. Israel’s Arab population is a vibrant, vocal element of Israeli society and is expected to have the third largest party in the next Knesset.
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NEW YORK POST Editorial: (Last) week IDF forces uncovered the fifth in a series of surprisingly sophisticated tunnels built by Hizbullah and designed to sneak terrorists into Israel from Lebanon. Built in urban areas, they were surprisingly large and reached at least 80 feet underground. All of them terminated near Israeli population centers. This week the UN Security Council debated the tunnels but took no punitive action, leaving Israel to counter the menace alone
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Bassam Tawil: Palestinian leaders and various political and military groups are not seizing the opportunity of the arrival of a new year to reach out to their Israeli neighbors with message of conciliation, peace and coexistence. Palestinian leaders are not offering their people a better life, prosperity, security and stability. Instead, the leaders and groups are promising Palestinians more suffering, violence and misery, and are pressing their people to continue the fight against Israel. They are urging Palestinians to continue hating Israel and the US. They are urging Arab countries not to make peace with Israel: they consider normalization with Israel an act of treason…A cartoon published on Fatah’s official Facebook this week depicts “Palestine” as a single entity, the exact shape of Israel, while making no mention of the existence of Israel.
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