Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs shared a kosher Iftar meal (the evening feast taken to break the Ramadan dawn to dusk fast) in Hebron on Monday. The event was organized and sponsored by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a joint Israeli-Palestinian group that wants to strengthen economic ties between Palestinians and Jews in the West Bank.
Yoseph Haddad, an Israeli Arab, reflected on last week’s Memorial Day: “Memorial Day is the time to put all our baggage aside. All of us, no matter who we are, we must honour IDF soldiers who died defending Israel. That’s because first and foremost, we’re all Israeli citizens… it’s especially important that the Arab public shares Israeli grief. Memorial Day isn’t a Jewish event. It’s an Israeli event, and as such, it also belongs to us.
A new report has found that Israelis are increasingly suffering from symptoms of traumatic stress, particularly in the south, which is frequently targeted with rockets by Gazan terrorists. A major factor has been the often-violent riots on the Israel-Gaza border, which began on March 30, 2018, and have at times seen the participation of tens of thousands of Gazans. More than 1,000 rockets have been fired at Israeli communities over the past year — more than 20,000 have been launched since 2001 — and many incendiary balloons carrying arson devices have started fires destroying large swaths of land. Read more here
Israeli authorities will expedite construction of a protective wall to shield trains travelling near the Gaza border from attack, and plans have also been drawn to protect roads in the area from anti-tank missile fire. On May 5, 68-year-old Moshe Feder was killed when an anti-tank guided missile fired from Gaza struck his car.
The majority of Gazan fatalities during the recent escalation were terrorist operatives or members of terrorist organizations. This time, the IDF attacked weapons caches and operations rooms located inside operatives’ residences. Before the houses were attacked the IDF warned their occupants so they could leave, preventing many civilian casualties.
Criticism from the Arab world: A Lebanese Shi’ite journalist tweeted: “How many meals for breaking the [Ramadan] fast could be purchased with what the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza cost?
Israeli firefighters dealt with nine fires caused by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza on Wednesday (yesterday)
At least three brush fires started Thursday in forests near the Gaza border, sparked by incendiary balloons. Read more here
Short (2.18) video mashup of the “postcards” showing the performers in various parts of Israel.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra plays the Eurovision Theme with a Middle Eastern twist (1 minute)
A journey down several decades of Israel’s greatest Eurovision successes. One hour podcast.
Madonna has signed a contract to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest final, ending uncertainty after repeated delays.
Israel’s Shalva band, made up from musicians with disabilities, will perform as guest artists at tonight’s (Thursday’s) second semi-final.
The BBC has been accused of “playing down” anti-Semitism after the Arabic word for “Jew” was mistranslated to “Israeli” in the English subtitles for a documentary on Gaza border clashes broadcast Monday on BBC Two. Among the Palestinians interviewed, Bader Saleh, 24, said in Arabic: “The revolutionary songs, they excite you, they encourage you to rip a Jew’s head off.” But the English translation offered by the BBC refers to an “Israeli,” not a “Jew.” This was one of five instances of the Arabic word for “Jew” (Yahud) being mistranslated.
The operational experience acquired by the Israeli Air Force in recent months is of great interest to other countries that operate the F-35. Israel plans to share its experience with the U.S. and UK in an upcoming exercise. it was confirmed that Israel will join the RAF’s Cobra Warrior exercise in September along with aircraft from Germany and Italy.
Former Iraqi MP Mithal Al-Alusi said in a recent TV interview on that he has no problem visiting Israel and putting “an end to the great Arab and Islamist lie” surrounding Jerusalem, which he said he does not view as an Arab capital.He is more concerned with helping Iraqis and with Iraq’s food security, which he said would improve if he travelled to Israel and built a “bridge between the half-a-million Iraqi Jews and Iraq.”
Read more here
In 2018, 72,109 citizens of Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia visited Israel, an increase of 15% from 2017.
The German Foreign Minister wrote: “Germany stands, also in the UN, shoulder to shoulder with Israel, whose security and right to exist must never be called into question by anyone anywhere. Nevertheless, Israel is still being denounced, treated in a biased manner and marginalized inappropriately in UN bodies to this day. This state of affairs is painful and unsatisfactory.”
The IDF on Sunday arrested a Gazan carrying a knife who crossed the border fence and entered Israeli territory. Read more here
Attempts to smuggle military, scuba diving, and communications equipment into Gaza by mail were foiled on Wednesday. yesterday)
Two East Jerusalem residents were charged on Sunday with planning to carry out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on behalf of Hamas.
Senior Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub is currently undergoing treatment at an Israeli hospital, it was reported on Tuesday, Rajoub has repeatedly expressed his support for terror attacks and violence against Israelis…He was been admitted to Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv, despite the fact that two months ago the Palestinian Authority announced that they would end all medical care for Palestinians in Israel. Thousands of Palestinians have been treated in Israeli facilities every year.
European Commission Vice President Mogherini told the European Parliament recently: “It can be confirmed that an academic study on Palestinian school text books is planned…. Terms of reference for the study are currently being prepared with a view to identifying possible incitement to hatred and violence and any possible lack of compliance with UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance in education.”
The world’s third largest economy, Japan, is finding Israel an appealing destination to scout for innovation in manufacturing…hundreds of Japanese corporations have visited Israel over the past 5 years. Executives from the Israeli cyber intelligence firm KELA Group recently warned a large Japanese carmaker that hackers were about to launch an attack on automated processes the carmaker heavily relies on.
Read more here
In a letter to the International Judo Federation, Iran’s Olympic Committee and local Judo Federation agreed to “fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle.” This has been interpreted as meaning that Iranian judo officials have agreed to stop boycotting Israeli athletes, although Israel was not specifically mentioned in the statement. Read more here
Israeli judokas have won gold, silver & bronze medals in the recent Judo Grand Slam in Baku, Azerbaijan. Israeli Olympic badminton player Misha Zilberman won a gold medal in men’s singles at the 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) International Challenge in Brazil.Read more here
Israeli company Storedot is working on a 5-minute battery recharge for electric cars. Read more here
Israeli company Resmetrix Medical has developed a device to allow respiratory patients to monitor their condition at home so they can detect early signs of exacerbation, preventing deterioration as well as costly hospitalizations.. The device is a chest strap that connects wirelessly to a smartphone application with cloud-based analysis.
Israeli startup Bone Sci Bio Ltd. is developing a product, PeptOss that treats bones by promoting the formation and repair of their tissue, and which also allows the controlled delivery of drugs directly to the bone, for various orthopaedic and dental applications. Read more here
Prof. Alan Dershowitz: All decent people should be outraged at the terrorist groups in Gaza that fired 698 rockets at Israeli civilians, killing four, injuring 234 and traumatizing thousands of innocent children…. Yet Israel has responded with restraint. Many of the Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli efforts to stop the rocket rampage were terrorists or civilians who were put in harm’s way by the terrorists.Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, when Israel removed every soldier and settler from that area. Gaza could have become Singapore on the Mediterranean, with its port and location. But Hamas decided to turn it instead into a large-scale rocket launcher. To use the “occupation” – there is no longer any occupation – as a justification for why “rockets must be fired” is to show both ignorance and bigotry.The world should recognize that if Israel’s enemies stopped attacking its citizens, there would be peace. But if Israel stopped defending its citizens, there would be genocide.
Pierre Rehov: When you talk to Palestinians about the misappropriation of funds allocated by the international community, the first term they use is “corruption.” Many Palestinians no longer hesitate to blame their leaders for their miserable living conditions. In Gaza, luxury villas and 5-star hotels flourish by the sea, dealerships offer the latest Mercedes and BMW models, and if the population continues to suffer, it is much more the result of the perpetual embezzlement by a minority protected by the leaders, than by the security blockade set up by Israel and Egypt. In Ramallah and Hebron, interviewees noted that they often hear about international aid through the media and on the Internet, but that they themselves never benefit from it.
David Suissa:Firing rockets at civilians with the intent to maim and kill is not an act of resistance. It is a vile, evil, cowardly act. After Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 700 rockets at Israel last week, the fact that four Israelis were killed instead of hundreds or even thousands is not a function of enemy restraint, but of Israelis’ brilliance at protecting and defending themselves… But because Israel is so good at defending itself and Hamas couldn’t care less about protecting its people, casualty figures will always be higher on the Palestinian side. Activists who bash Israel because of those figures ignore the fact that they’re a direct result of Israel being attacked and forced to defend itself.
Read more here
Ophir Kariv: Regrettably, there is a small group of extremist activists who have tried very hard over the past year to prevent the Eurovision happening this year in Israel… These people like to call themselves “pro-Palestinian.” Actually, they are not. Their hatred, their calls for boycotts, and their aggressive intimidation of people who support Israel do not do anything to improve the life of a single Palestinian but show that their only agenda is an anti-Israel one.