Israel’s new national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir briefly visited the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem on Tuesday – the 10th of Tevet in the Hebrew calendar, a Jewish fast day mourning the events that led to the destruction of the First Temple… An official in Israeli P.M. Netanyahu’s office said the premier was fully committed to the site’s decades-old status quo allowing only Muslim worship there. An Israeli official said the 15-minute visit complied with an arrangement that allows non-Muslims to visit but not pray, and that ministers had visited the compound in the past in keeping with the status quo.The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, a vestige of two ancient Jewish Temples. It’s also referred to as the Al-Aqsa compound which is Islam’s third holiest site. Read more here
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Wednesday denounced the Security Council debate on an Israeli visit to the Temple Mount as “ridiculous and unnecessary.” Erdan recalled that he himself had “visited the Temple Mount as internal security minister, and I will make it clear again, in the debate, that Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are not a violation of the status quo. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading [the public] and causes security and stability to be undermined.”
A Foreign Ministry official said Israel took the UNSC meeting very seriously since it dealt with the sovereignty of the Jewish state over its capital, Jerusalem. Israel views the UNSC meeting as part of its battle for recognition of its historical and current ties to its holiest site. Read more here
The UNGA on Friday asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an opinion on the legal consequences of “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem”. 87 countries voted in favour, 26 voted against, while 53 abstained. Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said, “No international body can decide that the Jewish people are ‘occupiers’ in their own homeland. Any decision from a judicial body which receives its mandate from the morally bankrupt and politicized UN is completely illegitimate.” Read more here
45% of the UNGA’s 193 members voted in favour of the Palestinians on Friday. 55% either voted against, voted to abstain, or did not show up to vote. Of the 87 countries that voted for the Palestinians, 43% are classified in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual democracy index as being authoritarian regimes. Only a quarter of the states that voted for the Palestinians were democracies. By contrast, 62% of the countries who voted for Israel were democracies. The UK and US voted against the proposal. 7 EU countries voted against Israel: Poland, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg and Slovenia. Read more here
The UNGA passed more resolutions critical of Israel than against all other nations combined in 2022, 15 as against 12 resolutions criticising other countries. Russia was the focus of 6 resolutions condemning its invasion of Ukraine. North Korea, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Iran and the US were each criticised with 1 resolution. Since 2015, the UNGA has adopted 140 resolutions criticizing Israel and only 68 resolutions against all other countries. Read more here
Israel’s new foreign minister, Eli Cohen, said “Palestinian hypocrisy was…manifested during the vote at the UN”…”It is the Palestinian leadership that should be standing trial, the only place in the world that rewards murderers of Jews solely because they are Jews. Read more here
The career of Ella Waweya, 33, the first Muslim Arab woman to become a major in the IDF, who is its deputy spokesperson for the Arabic media. Read more here
An article about women serving in the Israeli Air Force Read more here
The late Israeli singer Ofra Haza has been named one of the best 200 singers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
“Inspired by her Yemeni-Jewish ancestry, Haza combined traditional vocal conventions with modern technique to create something that felt at once ancient and ahead of its time…” Read more here
Ofra came second in the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest with “Chai” Video here
French Imam Hassan Chalghoumi praised Israel’s atmosphere of religious plurality, tolerance and co-existence during a recent visit to Jerusalem, saying: (In Jerusalem) “there is a magnificent mosaic of people,” he said. “Jerusalem [is a] link for the three religions, from the past to the future.” Read more here
The Israeli EROS-C3 observation satellite successfully launched in the U.S. on Dec. 30. is one of the most advanced observation satellites in the world employing pioneering technology.Read more here
Israel’s largest supermarket chain Shufersal has signed an initial deal to set up a chain of stores in the country for the Dutch-owned international supermarket SPAR, vowing to compete and bring down rising food prices. Read more here
In an international event held in Brussels, students from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and from Turin, Helsinki and Madrid worked to design and develop new, shelf-stable processed-food products that support health. Technion-Israel teams won gold and silver medals respectively for the “Omeletofu”, an instant tofu-based vegan omelette and “Proteinchick” a vegan, gluten-free, low-sugar, savoury protein snack made from chickpeas and lentils with a cashew-based filling. Read more here
Ben & Jerry’s Israel and Magen David Adom have begun a joint project to raise awareness and encourage young people to join MDA’s regular pool of blood donors in Israel, by setting up ice cream carts at 4 donation stations offering free ice cream to blood donors. Read more here
MovingLife’s ATTO mobility scooters are designed to unfold and be ready for use in less than 10 seconds and can be folded easily to the size of a compact trolley suitcase. Read more here
Following years of aggressive cancer treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, Ayelet Rosenberg, 35, gave birth to her fourth child after cryopreservation of her eggs. The Fertility Preservation Centre at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan has performed 750 ovarian tissue cryopreservation procedures, more than any other hospital or clinic worldwide. Read more here
Israel’s Mediwound has received FDA approval for the use of its burn treatment Nexobrid for eliminating eschar in adults with deep partial-thickness and/or full-thickness thermal burns. Read more here
Three other Israeli companies have developed products which are expected to receive FDA approval in 2023:
Gamida Cell for a product designed to improve the success of stem cell transplants to treat blood cancers.
Protalix for a drug for treating the rare genetic condition Fabry’s Disease
BiolineRx for a product designed for patients undergoing transplants of their own bone marrow which saves hospitalisation and money in treating blood cancer.
A smart water bottle lights up and vibrates to remind users to stay hydrated. Impacx, the Israeli company behind the new product, develops, manufactures, and sells smart cap solutions for everyday items like vitamin pill bottles and cleaning packages.Read more here
A new device developed by Israeli company Inspira Technologies can boost patients’ oxygen levels immediately, reducing the need to induce comas and place them on ventilators. The machine is expected to raise the patient’s oxygen saturation to 95 per cent or higher in 60 seconds.Read more here
Griiip is an Israeli technology startup that has developed a cloud-based data platform making real-time racing data available to motorsport fans, media, the gaming ecosystem, and OEMs. RAMP ((Racing Media Platform) by Griip recently won the Best Start-Up Tech Company” category at the 2022 SportsPro OTT Awards in Madrid. Read more here More info here
Herb Keinon: Reasonable people can debate whether National Security Minister Ben-Gvir should have gone to the Temple Mount on Tuesday. But even his detractors must admit that the way he did it – in the early morning, without fanfare, after sending signals that he actually would not go through with the visit – was smart. It shows that he is aware of the signals such a visit sends and the dangers it could create.
Once threats and warnings were issued from Hamas and Islamic Jihad that such a visit would open the gates of hell and lead to a violent Mideast explosion, it became clear that neither Ben-Gvir nor the government could back down. To prohibit Ben-Gvir, a senior cabinet minister, from going to the site – a site he has visited on numerous occasions in the past – because of Hamas threats would send precisely the wrong message: that the new government could be intimidated.
Ben-Gvir briefly toured the Temple Mount, walked around for 13 minutes, and left before anybody took notice. He made his point. He asserted Jewish rights to the Temple Mount and demonstrated Israeli sovereignty there. But he did so in a way that was uncharacteristically low-key.Read more here
Yaakov Katz: (Extract) If anyone thinks that violence will erupt because Ben-Gvir visits the Temple Mount, then it is important to keep in mind that the Palestinian terrorist groups do not need an excuse to launch attacks against Israel. They can use the Ben-Gvir visit this week, and next week, they will find another reason.
The bottom line is that these are just excuses. That is exactly what Hamas did in 2021, when it used (a) Jerusalem parade to launch rockets at Israel. A terrorist group bent on Israel’s destruction does not need excuses to attack.
Which is why the questions we should be asking are different: Why is Israel under threat from a terrorist group for allowing Jews to pray at Judaism’s holiest site? Why is it OK for everyone else to pray there and not for Jews? And why do these Palestinian groups get away with making such threats? Read more here
Jason Greenblatt: In a world where people of good faith are attempting to fight against all sorts of discrimination, why is the discrimination against Jews and Jewish prayer at the holiest site for Jews still demanded? Read more here