Category Archives: Other


Praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem


No Israel Update later this week as I’ll be away; however,  these items commemorate the Yom Yerushalayim Jubilee in the Hebrew calendar, 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967:


Chief Rabbi Mirvis sent this video message for Yom Yerushalyim:

“Jerusalem is the centre of our spiritual existence, a symbol of our people” (2 minutes 15 secs)


A video message from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

“As we approach Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) on the 23rd / 24th May, and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of our beloved city, here are a few thoughts about what Jerusalem means to me.”

VIDEO: 7 mins 15 secs.


HISTORICAL CONTEXT – some salient points:

  1. Since 1004 BCE, when King David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism.
  1. Jews have constituted the largest ethnic group in Jerusalem since 1820.




  1. During the 19 years when Jordan occupied eastern Jerusalem and its holy sites (1948-1967), Jerusalem was divided. Jews were expelled from eastern Jerusalem and barred from visiting their holy places. Fifty-eight synagogues—some hundreds of years old—were destroyed, their contents looted and desecrated. Some Jewish religious sites were turned into chicken coops or animal stalls. The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps.


  1. In 1950, Jordan illegally annexed the territories it had captured in the 1948 war—eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.


  1. In direct contravention of the 1949 armistice agreements, Jews were denied access to the Western Wall and all religious sites in eastern Jerusalem. The armistice lines were sealed as Jordanian snipers would perch on the walls of the Old City and shoot at Israelis across the lines.




  1. During the 1967 war, Israel appealed to Jordan to stay out of the war, but despite this appeal, Jordanian forces fired artillery barrages from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Although Israeli forces did not respond initially, not wanting to open up a Jordanian front in the war, Jordan continued to attack and occupied UN headquarters in Jerusalem. Israeli forces fought back and within two days managed to repulse the Jordanian forces and retake eastern Jerusalem
  1. In a statement at the Western Wall, Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan indicated Israel’s peaceful intent and pledged to preserve religious freedom for all faiths in Jerusalem:

“To our Arab neighbours we extend, especially at this hour, the hand of peace. To members of the other religions, Christians and Muslims, I hereby promise faithfully that their full freedom and all their religious rights will be preserved. We did not come to Jerusalem to conquer the Holy Places of others.”

 8. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol met with the spiritual leaders of different faiths in his office and issued a declaration of peace, assuring that all holy sites would be protected and that all faiths would be free to worship at their holy sites in Jerusalem. He declared his intention to give the spiritual leaders of the various religions internal management of their own Holy Sites.

  1. The religious freedoms enjoyed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the reunified Jerusalem had been unheard of during Jordanian occupation of the city, prompting even a former Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations, Adnan Abu Odeh, to acknowledge that “the situation in Jerusalem prior to 1967 [under Jordanian rule] was one of … religious exclusion” whereas post-1967, Israel seeks “to reach a point of religious inclusion …”

These religious freedoms continue to this day.




Daniel Pipes:  Nor were Jordan’s rulers alone in ignoring Jerusalem; the city virtually disappeared from the Arab diplomatic map. Malcolm Kerr’s well-known study on inter-Arab relations during this period (The Arab Cold War) appears not once to mention the city. No foreign Arab leader came to Jerusalem during the nineteen years when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, and King Hussein (r. 1952-99) himself only rarely visited….Perhaps most remarkable is that the PLO’s founding document, the Palestinian National Covenant of 1964, does not once mention Jerusalem or even allude to it.



According to a forthcoming statistical abstract from the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (formerly the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies), the Jewish population of Jerusalem has grown by 174% in the last 50 years, while the Arab population grew at twice that rate – 374% – in the same period.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem’s population has grown from just 84,000 in 1948 to 883,000 in 2016. Around 10 percent of Israel’s population resides in Jerusalem



The photograph of three paratroopers standing in silent awe in front of the recaptured Western Wall after the battle for Jerusalem in 1967 has become the defining image of one of the most significant moments in Israel’s history.With the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War approaching, Zion Karasenti, Haim Oshri, and Dr. Itizik Yifat returned to the Old City recently to remember the moment. They described how they, as 20-something reserve duty soldiers, inadvertently became the symbol of a nation fulfilling a 2,000 year old dream.


Israel Update: 18 May 2017

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Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., and Israeli intelligence officials have been conducting talks since Tuesday with White House and U.S. intelligence operatives to determine if intelligence supplied by Israel to the U.S. regarding a planned ISIS attack was leaked by President Trump at his meeting last week with the Russian Foreign Minister. An Israeli official said that Israel’s assessment is that even if Trump passed on Israeli intelligence, no one is in danger, nor is the incident expected to have any significant influence on Israeli-American intelligence cooperation.




Opposition Zionist Union party leaders including Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, together with five other Knesset members, visited the settlement blocs of Ma’ale Adumim and Gush Etzion on Thursday.”Ma’ale Adumim was built by Yitzhak Rabin in his first term as prime minister,” Herzog said: “A month before Rabin’s assassination, he promised at the Knesset that Ma’ale Adumim will be part of Israel in any agreement…”


Yair Lapid, chairman of the Israeli opposition Yesh Atid Party, said Sunday, “Israel has been looking for an opportunity to separate from the Palestinians for years and years now. We have offered three times to the Palestinians more than 90% of the territories in order for them to build a country of their own, and three times they refused…Take, for example, the disengagement in 2005. We left Gaza, we dismantled the settlements, the army left, we even left them with 3,000 greenhouses for them to build an economy for themselves, and instead of doing so, they fired 15,000 missiles on our children and women and elderly.” “The question is not how you draw the map. The question is the seriousness of the players involved… We’ve been serious for many, many years now, and the Palestinians were playing games.”




A Jordanian citizen stabbed an Israeli police officer in the neck and head in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday and was shot dead by the policeman


Jordan on Saturday said an Israeli policeman’s shooting and killing of a Jordanian assailant as he stabbed him repeatedly was “a heinous crime,” … The Israeli government called the Jordanian reaction “outrageous,” saying it appeared to be backing the “terror attack” in Jerusalem. Security camera footage showed the stabbing attack.


Israeli President Rivlin met with a delegation of Jordanian sheikhs representing different tribes across Jordanian society who were in Israel for a five-day visit to meet people from different parts of Israeli society and strengthen ties.



Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT) announced that Palestinian tour groups coming to visit Israel must be accompanied by an Israeli security representative. The move came in response to a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in April, by a Palestinian who had entered the country on a permit issued at the request of Natural Peace Tours, a tourism service for Palestinians.


A Fatah member of the PA parliament was caught on camera throwing rocks at IDF soldiers near Ramallah last weekend.

About 200 Palestinians participated in a protest-turned-riot, blocking roads and throwing rocks at passing Israeli vehicles when a settler—who claimed that his life was in mortal danger and that he shot into the air—opened fire killing a rioter and injuring a news photographer;  the shooter’s wife said that the  mob encircled their vehicle and tried to drag them out.,7340,L-4963987,00.html




The IDF broke up a Palestinian cell that made pipe bombs from fireworks and used them in several attacks in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank.

The Israel Security Agency announced Tuesday the arrest of a terror cell associated with the banned northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel that was planning a shooting attack against IDF soldiers in southern Israel. The cell members had purchased a Carlo Gustav submachine gun and electronic transmitters to set off improvised explosive devices.



Former Israel Prison Service Commissioner Lt.-Gen. (res.) Orit Adato said in an interview that it was simply not true that Palestinian security prisoners suffer inhumane conditions saying that they were supplied  ” with all their needs”…. She pointed to Yahya Sinwar, the hard-line Hamas leader in Gaza, who, she said, is alive today only because of brain surgery he received while imprisoned in Israel.




All 50 U.S. governors have signed a pledge to reject the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. At least 16 states have passed legislation banning state entities from investing in businesses that boycott Israel.



President Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked installed Hana Mansour Khatib the first ever female judge, or qadi, for Israel’s Sharia Court system on Monday in Jerusalem, along with three other regional qadis




Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria, Guy Feldman, cancelled the embassy’s Independence Day reception and with the money saved set up a week-long soccer league for 225 Nigerian refugee children who were displaced by the threat from Boko Haram terrorists.,7340,L-4961987,00.html




Israel in recent years has become an unlikely centre for automotive innovation as it has no car manufacturing to speak of. Over 200 local companies working in transportation technology will be at the EcoMotion Conference in Jaffa. Among them, Tel Aviv-based StoreDot claims to be developing an electric vehicle battery that can be recharged in five minutes – compared to the hours that are typically required today. The company says a single charge would run a car for about 480 kilometers (300 miles) — farther than almost any electric vehicle now on the market and nearly as much as a gasoline-powered car.




Israeli researchers and a cosmetician say they have made a breakthrough in fighting wrinkles and sagging skin by finding a way to insert a water-absorbing acid into deep layers of skin without the need for injections. The product, called Prophecy, will start marketing in Israel in the next two weeks and globally in September



Re-live the dramatic events of the Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967) between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries through the lens of 12 short videos released over four weeks.



AVI MAYER: The long history of Arab rejectionism and the consistent refusal to countenance the notion that Jews might have national rights in their homeland have served only to perpetuate a conflict that should have ended eighty years ago. Likewise, the cultivation of a fantasy of “return” to homes that no longer exist is an act of cruelty. That a unique definition of refugeedom is applied to Palestinians, enabling refugee status to pass from one generation to the next in perpetuity, is scandalous. That the great grandchildren of Palestinian refugees remain trapped in refugee camps in Lebanon, denied citizenship and barred from seeking employment in a vast range of fields, is outrageous. These are all part of what one UN official called an Arab desire to “keep [the Palestinian refugee] as an open sore [and] as a weapon against Israel.


Gerald Steinberg: The combination of six decades of war and terror, Iran’s shrill threats of annihilation, and discriminatory boycott campaigns reinforce the dismal lessons of Jewish history for Israel. For most Israelis, the main obstacles to peace include terror and the Palestinian rejection of Jewish historical claims and the right to sovereign equality, independent of border concerns. The “average Israeli” pays close attention to the widely heard chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which leaves no place for the Jews. But the problem is more than words: the rhetoric is accompanied by rocket attacks from Gaza and terror from the West Bank.
Israelis have also not forgotten the mass terrorism that occurred in the wake of the 1993 Oslo agreements that created the Palestinian Authority. Viewing the massive violence in Syria and Iraq, the presence of ISIS in Sinai, and the strengthening of the Iran-Hizbullah regional alliance, Israelis – including those who support a two-state solution in theory – perceive withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as a dangerous fantasy.
Israeli policies with respect to Palestinians and the West Bank will continue to be framed by history and perceptions of vulnerability. This will only change when the Palestinian side – and the wider region – address them directly.


Israel Update: 11 May 2017

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The Lancet, a leading UK medical journal, has published a series of papers outlining Israel’s achievements in health and health care.


The May 8th edition of The Lancet features ten articles  which range from showcasing Israeli lifesaving medical devices and detailing groundbreaking genetic research among the country’s diverse population to highlighting Israeli efforts to treat Syrian refugees injured in the civil war.


Israel’s public healthcare system is a model of genuine co-operation between Arabs and Jews. Arabs fulfill 12.4% of jobs in the government healthcare system, 42% of nursing students are Arab, and 38% of druggists are Arab. In 2015, 16% of all medical students were Arab; at the Technion medical school, Arabs were 38% of students and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 31%. Prof. Ahmed Eid, head of general surgery at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital was one of this year’s Independence Day torch lighters



Israeli President Rivlin met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Jerusalem on Monday.  Warmly welcoming him, Rivlin said, “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing.”…    Referring to recent comments made by the president of Turkey, Rivlin noted, “For the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Israeli sovereignty, we continue to build Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people…and we will continue to ensure freedom of religion for all faiths.”,7340,L-4959666,00.html



As well as basic rights to receive medical treatment and basic living conditions (such as hot water, showers and sanitation), prisoners receive education and regular visits from the Red Cross. They can receive newspapers, send and receive letters and read and keep their own books. They can buy goods from the prison’s canteen, which is run by the inmates. Relatives can deposit money for prisoners. Prisoners receive family visitations, television watching hours and electrical appliances, such as kettles and mosquito killers. Many security prisoners receive monthly salaries, which can sometimes reach up to 12,000 NIS a month, from the P.A. for carrying out their (frequently) murderous crimes.


The Israel Prison Service released a video on Sunday that appears to show Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti (serving five life sentences for terrorism convictions) eating in his prison cell on two occasions while supposedly leading a hunger strike.


A senior PLO official said “whoever you ask will tell you on record that the (Barghouti) video is fake, but behind closed doors people are admitting that it’s authentic. We were incredibly angry when we saw the recordings.”,7340,L-4959571,00.html


A Palestinian armed with a knife ran screaming toward Israeli Border Police forces on Thursday (4 May) near the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron and was shot and taken to hospital for treatment.

Security forces arrested three Palestinians suspected to have been behind 10 shootings last month, and found an M-16 assault rifle used in the attacks hidden inside a secret compartment in a child’s Dora the Explorer bed. “That’s the last place that we as a military want to go into and search,” a senior intelligence officer said.Security forces also found two handguns,



Two Israeli men with serious mental health conditions who crossed separately from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, neither of whom has been heard from since, have apparently been held by Hamas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. Hamas refers to the men as soldiers, but an HRW investigation indicates that the men were not combatants or affiliated with the Israeli government when they entered Gaza.


A senior Hamas leader said Wednesday that a document published by them last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction. “The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,” he said. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’] position.



In April, the Palestinian Authority stopped paying Gaza’s electricity bill. This means sewage treatment plants are receiving 3-4 hours of electricity a day, not enough to process Gaza’s sewage. Gaza municipalities are now dumping 70,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage into the Mediterranean daily and the pollution has started reaching Egypt and Israel.




“Moona, a Space for Change,” is a nonprofit technology incubator in the Galilee that aims to build bridges between Israeli Jews and Arab youth through space technologies.



A fleet of high-powered “spy drones” have been bought by the Irish Army from an Israeli defence company for 1.9M euros. The Defence Forces stress the primary objective is to provide the “greatest possible force protection” to Irish troops. They also emphasize that they tendered internationally to get the best possible deal.


Dublin City councillors have voted to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall for one month. An alternative proposal, to fly both the Palestinian flag and Israeli flag for one week, was voted down. Lord Mayor Brendan Carr chose to abstain from the final vote, explaining that he met with young Palestinians and Israelis who said they did not want Irish people taking sides as they tried to establish peace.





U.S. Air Force Gen. (ret.) Gary North, vice president for customer requirements at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said Thursday in Tel Aviv, “There’s a part of Israel in every F-35 that’s ever been built.”
Lockheed has already contracted more than $1 billion worth of structures, subsystems, and components with Israeli industry.





The Condor, developed by two Israeli defence companies, is a drone that can operate in extreme weather conditions, cover an area of 5-8 kilometers, and provide information about the precise location of lost hikers or wanted terrorists, even if they are hiding inside buildings or tunnels…In Peru a local rescue company used the Condor to locate and rescue a missing hiker.



Bassem Eid (A Palestinian activist): The BDS movement, which claims to be our friend, is determined to blame Israel for all our problems, and refuses to acknowledge the true issues. Instead, they are engaged in a self-serving narrative aimed at making them look like heroes who are supposedly helping the Palestinians. If they truly were our friends, they would open their eyes and help resolve the real issues….If so-called pro-Palestinian activists truly want to help the Palestinians, then they should demand freedom, human rights, democracy, and justice for the Palestinians. They should demand that the incitement of Palestinians stop. They should assist Israel in creating jobs in the West Bank for Palestinians. They should assist Palestinians in developing an economy while ensuring that the money is not used to enrich the terrorists’ rule or to augment the terrorists’ arsenal. They should encourage Palestinians to live in peace with Jews.


Bassam Tawil: PA President Mahmoud Abbas may soon be known for his sense of humour, after telling President Trump, “We are raising our youth…on a culture of peace.” The Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, gave the Palestinians media outlets, including television and radio stations, which were then used to amplify hatred against Israel and Jews on a daily basis… Abbas continues to use non-existent threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque to incite Palestinian youths against Israel. He talks about “herds of settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque” – in reality, peaceful routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. In September 2015, Abbas stated that he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem,” and soon after, Palestinians began waging a campaign of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis. Is this the “culture of peace” to which Abbas is referring?

Kate Havard, &Grant Rumley:Hamas’s outgoing political leader Khaled Meshaal recently announced the release of a new political document. Contrary to reports, this new document neither replaces the charter nor abrogates the group’s founding document. While it is a departure from the faction’s 1988 manifesto, it is not a sign of moderation. Rather, it is an effort to ease international isolation and appeal to the rival Fatah party’s base of support.


An Israeli veterans’ organization has released a hard-hitting new video attacking “Breaking the Silence” – an NGO that publishes what it says are the anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers who participated in “abuses against Palestinians”. Soldiers who served with Dean Issacharoff of “Breaking the Silence” saw a video featuring him making an outrageous claim and had to respond. Critics say that Issacharoff’s story besmirches the IDF. His organisation regularly tells stories that are distorted, missing vital details, or quite simply are shocking lies. Far from working to bring about peace, these stories create a narrative that blames Israel while totally exonerating the Palestinians.

VIDEO: (1 minute 35 seconds)

Israel Update: 21 April-2 May 2017

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Within one week Israelis commemorated Yom HaShoah  (Holocaust Memorial Day, April 23/4), the date coinciding with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and mourned on Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day, April 30/May 1) the country’s 23,544 victims of war and terrorism.,7340,L-4956006,00.html



After the solemnity and sadness of these days, the nation rejoiced on Yom Ha’Atzmaut (May 1/2) celebrating the modern State of Israel’s 69th birthday.,7340,L-4956161,00.html






Jacques De Maio, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation to Israel and the P.A. said:
”Israel gives us – unlike the security establishments in many other countries, including Western ones – quick access to senior officials in the IDF, the Prison Service, and other security services. We have useful, productive and professional dialogue with them. We clarified with them the issue of shooting assailants who carry out terror attacks and we reached an unequivocal conclusion that there is no IDF order to shoot suspects to kill, as political officials tried to convince us. The rules of engagement haven’t changed, and have actually been made stricter.”
 “We respond to anyone who makes the argument that Israel is an apartheid state: No, there is no apartheid here. There isn’t a regime here that is based on the superiority of one race over another; there is no disenfranchisement of basic human rights based on so-called racial inferiority.”,7340,L-4953648,00.html





On Tuesday, Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon wrote to UN Security Council President Nikki Haley regarding Hezbollah’s continued violations of UNSC resolutions. The terrorist organization has amassed over 150,000 rockets & missiles in the midst of South Lebanon’s civilian population.



UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the WJC on Sunday 23/4 , “A modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist. As secretary-general of the United Nations I can say that the State of Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.”



All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter asking the UN Secretary General to address entrenched bias against Israel, stating (inter alia) “Continued targeting of Israel by the UN Human Rights Council and other UN entities is unacceptable.”…
”Since it is rare for all 100 senators to agree on an issue, this letter sends a powerful bipartisan message to the UN that its anti-Israel bias must end,” said an AIPAC spokesman



UNESCO passed yet another resolution ignoring the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Ten countries voted against: US, Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.




Hana Khatib was appointed the first-ever female judge to serve in Israel’s sharia court system. Her unanimous appointment, hailed by some Arab lawmakers as “historic”, was made by the Committee to Elect Sharia Judges, headed by Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.


Muslim clerics slammed Khatib’s appointment.


Israel’s police officers will reportedly be required to learn Arabic as part of an effort by the Israel Police to improve policing among the country’s Arab population. According to a report, the aim of increasing the number of Arabic speakers in the police force will be to help combat the higher levels of crime among Israeli Arabs, by improving both intelligence and relations with Arab communities.





Nucleix of Rehovot,(Israel)  has received the CE Mark of approval to market Bladder EpiCheck in the E.U. Based on epigenetics, the inexpensive, noninvasive Bladder EpiCheck urine test helps urologists to better monitor their bladder-cancer patients.






A Palestinian Arab wounded four people in Tel Aviv on Sunday 23/4. The assailant was apprehended. He had an entry permit issued at the request of Natural Peace Tours, a travel and tourism service for Palestinians which is supposed to forge relationships between Palestinians and Israelis. The victims were identified as a man in his 70s, as well as two men and a woman in their 50s.



A female Israeli soldier was wounded on Monday 24/4 when a Palestinian Arab woman stabbed her at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem.






After shots were fired at Israeli troops operating on the Israeli side of the Gaza security fence on Thursday, an IDF tank destroyed a Hamas position in central Gaza. Israel holds Hamas as ultimately responsible for any attack from Gaza.



The IAF destroyed around 100 Syrian missiles in its attack last month on weapons in Syria – many of which were to be delivered to Hizbullah






IDF troops shot a Palestinian Arab who attempted to stab them at a bus stop near a junction outside Nablus. He took out a knife and ran at the troops.



IDF soldiers thwarted a second stabbing attack in two days at the same place near Nablus.,7340,L-4954197,00.html




Labour Friends of Israel chairman Joan Ryan MP urged the government to seek assurances from PA leader Abbas that the murderer of British student Hannah Bladon will not now be paid a salary by the PA for his act of terrorism. The letter also called on the British government to request that the PA publically condemn the murder.






According to this IMPACT-se report, the Palestinian elementary school curriculum for 2016-17 is significantly more radical than previous curricula…the curriculum teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a “return” to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.Children are taught to be expendable (“I shall sacrifice my blood to saturate the land”). Maths books use numbers of dead martyrs to teach arithmetic.






Nir Barkat the Mayor of Jerusalem said that Arabs lived better in his city than anywhere else in the Mideast. He regards all of the capital’s diverse residents as “his children”.



Hugh Bonneville (star of Downton Abbey, Twenty Twelve and W1A) is in Jerusalem for two weeks, filming a documentary, “Countdown to Calvary,” about the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.






The story of Yahya Mahemed, an Arab-Israeli whose extraordinary journey led him to question the anti-Israel propaganda he experienced in his childhood and who now as a ‘Zionist Muslim,’ is working to help others experience the same revelation.






Einat Wilf: Israel came into being after World War II not ‘thanks’ to the Holocaust, but thanks to Britain’s imperial dissolution. Just as India and Pakistan required no Holocaust to attain their independence and come into being, so too Israel. To think that only the act of absolute evil against the Jews could legitimate a state for the Jews is to deny the Jews what is taken for granted for all others. The Jewish people would have achieved their state sooner or later as part of the wave of liberation of peoples around the world. Their vision, determination, industry and willingness to fight for their state would have ensured it.         To portray Israel as the outcome of the Holocaust is to engage in Zionism Denial. It robs the Jews of their agency, their history, their historical connection to the land of Israel and their yearning to return to it. It erases all that was dreamt, written, done and achieved by the Zionists before World War II. It turns Israel into a colonial project of guilty Europeans rather than a national liberation project of an indigenous people reclaiming their homeland…

Israelis do not ‘revel’ in the Holocaust as a source of legitimacy for their state. They mourn a vision of a state that could have been home to so many more…



Jack Schwartz: The Jewish state owes its creation to a string of contingencies which either predated, or were independent of, the destruction of Europe’s Jews between 1941 and 1945…


Israel Update: 20 April 2017

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(The Israel  Update is taking a break for one week – hopefully will return on 3 or 4 May)



Jillan Farmer, the medical director of the United Nations, will lead a seminar to Israel next month to meet with medical professionals as the global body seeks qualified people to fill the ranks of its peacekeeping forces. The UN has a particular interest in Israeli doctors because of their field and medical experience, Last November, the UN’s World Health Organisation recognised the Israeli army’s field hospital, which is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites, as “the number one in the world.”…Israeli disaster relief delegations have been some of the first and largest to arrive at the scenes of natural disasters. Teams from the IDF Medical Corps and Home Front Command provided rescue and medical services after an earthquake in Turkey in 1999, an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a typhoon in the Philippines in 2013 and, most recently, an earthquake in Nepal in 2015.



Hannah Bladon, an exchange student from Birmingham University, who was on a study programme at the Hebrew University, was stabbed to death last Friday on the light-rail by East Jerusalem resident Jamil Tamimi, 57, a Palestinian Arab with a history of mental problems. She was standing by the exit doors of the train, near to Tamimi, because she had given up her seat to enable a woman who was holding a baby to sit down.Tamimi told investigators that he attacked her because he wanted to die and hoped the soldier who was standing next to her on the train would kill him, Channel 2 reported, describing the killing as “an attempted suicide attack.” The murderer was on his way from a mental hospital in northern Israel when he carried out the fatal stabbing.

Derby County soccer club held a minute of silence before the start of its game against Huddersfield Town on Monday evening in honour of Hannah Bladon, who had been a fervent Derby County supporter.



A 60 year old Israeli man suffered a head wound in a car-ramming attack near the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank on Wednesday. The assailant was shot and fatally wounded by IDF troops on the scene.




Two Gazan women were caught trying to smuggle explosives into Israel using tubes labelled for medication, taking advantage of an entry permit issued for one of them to seek cancer treatment in Israel. The explosives were “sent by Hamas and it is believed that they were meant to be used to carry out attacks in Israel in the near future,” according to the Israeli security officials. The explosives were hidden inside tubes labeled “medical materials” and were to be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices.
”Unfortunately, this is more proof that terror groups in Gaza are continuing to take advantage of humanitarian channels to export terror into Israel,” said Defence Ministry Crossings Authority Director Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Kamil Abu Rokon

Two Palestinian Arab residents of Nablus were arrested near the village of Silwad Tuesday after they were discovered armed with M-16 rifles.,7340,L-4950822,00.html



On the eve of Passover, Israeli security forces at a checkpoint arrested a Palestinian planning an attack inside Israel who was armed with a knife and a stun grenade. His interrogation revealed that he had planned to carry out the attack with another person who subsequently turned himself in to security forces.,7340,L-4948899,00.html



Using the internet and monitoring social media, the Israel Security Agency and IDF Military Intelligence have stopped 2,200 Palestinians at various stages of planning and preparing terror attacks, mostly stabbings and car-rammings, in less than a year. More than 400 Palestinians were arrested by Israel and similar number by the PA, while the rest received warnings.






The New York Times’s public editor Liz Spayd on Tuesday criticized the paper’s op-ed department for its failure to list the terror crimes that earned Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti five life sentences in prison, saying such skimping on opinion writers’ biographical information is a repeated fault that discredits the paper. Barghouti had written wrote a NYT article published Sunday defending  the mass hunger strike by Palestinian security prisoners he initiated on Monday. The op-ed’s tag line described Barghouti as a “parliamentarian and leader” but did not mention the terror attacks for which he was convicted.




In the West Bank, teenagers from Gush Etzion and the  nearby Arab village Al Khader  meet and learn photography together under the auspices of the Roots coexistence programme.






With near-nonexistent inflation and low unemployment, Israel is no. 3 on a list of the world’s most stable and promising economies in 2016 published by Bloomberg, following Hong Kong and South Korea.






A tiny satellite built by Israeli high school students was launched Tuesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre  on its way to study the atmosphere as part of an international research project. The Duchifat-2 is one of 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries participating in the EU’s QB50 thermosphere research programme.




Sixty percent of the 6.8 million litres of daily sewage sludge generated in Brazil gets dumped back into nature untreated. Now Brazil is poised to clean up its sewage problem using an Israeli invention for transforming human waste into odour-free, sterilized farm fertilizer. Incorporated in February, Lodologic was established by a group of Brazilian companies in partnership with Israeli company Paulee CleanTec.






Yair Lapid MK (Chairman of Yesh Atid party): A New York Times opinion piece identifies its writer, Marwan Barghouti, as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” That isn’t an error, that is an intentional deception. Marwan Barghouti is a murderer. He was convicted in a civilian court on five separate counts of murder of innocent civilians. He was involved in dozens of attempted terror attacks. He caused people to lose their families and led to people being maimed. He destroyed lives.
Barghouti is in prison not for his views, nor for his desire for a Palestinian state. He chose the path of terror, murder and violence.



Reuven Ben Shalom: Barghouti is a murderer who inflicted pain and suffering on many innocent victims. He refers to “dark [prison] cells.” But I’ve visited Barghouti’s prison. Not only is his cell well lit, but the abundance of books supplied by the Israel Prison Service enabled him to complete a PhD in political science within his prison cell.



Amos Harel: A hunger strike by Palestinian security prisoners in Israel that began on Monday has as much to do with intra-Palestinian power struggles as it has with the struggle against Israel. The Palestinian Authority leadership, which is officially supporting the strike, in actuality is concerned about any outcome that could advance the standing of Marwan Barghouti, who initiated the strike and who is not especially liked by President Abbas.



Daniel Pipes: So long as rejectionism runs rampant, debates about one-, two-, and three-state solutions, or about electricity grids and water supplies, are for naught. There can be no resolution so long as most Palestinians dream of obliterating the Jewish state.…they (Palestinians)will greatly benefit from throwing off the burden of anti-Zionism. Finally, they can begin to build their own polity, economy, society, and culture. All will gain when this proud people turns its attention to creating the institutions of civil society and to teaching children skills rather than hatred.

Israel Update: 13 April 2017

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The “Islamic State” affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula took responsibility for firing a rocket into southern Israel on Monday. The missile damaged a greenhouse in Yuval near the Egyptian border. A 50-year-old man who was nearby when it struck suffered an anxiety attack.




Last week, the Israeli army provided medical treatment to seven Syrians wounded in their country’s civil war. The man, four women and two children, were wounded by shrapnel from explosions in villages near the Syrian border with Israel. Among them was a 2-year-old girl who sustained a severe head injury. Over 3,000 wounded Syrians have been treated by the I.D.F. medics and in Israeli hospitals since 2013. (Syria is an enemy state at war with Israel)


Most Israeli politicians were outraged at reports of last week’s deadly chemical attack on Idlib with the exception of the Joint (Arab) List. This 13-member amalgamation of convenience of four very different Arab-led factions has not condemned the gas attack, and members of one of its constituent factions, Hadash, have expressed some support for the regime of President Assad.




Hamas on Monday said its forces arrested a Palestinian for the assassination of one of its commanders Mazen Faqwa in the Gaza Strip last month. Hamas had accused Israel of being behind the killing, and vowed “divine punishment” for Faqha’s assassins. Israel’s Defence Minister had said that Hamas was responsible for the killing and that it came as a result of an internal dispute.


The 2011 Shalit deal saw the release of 1,027 prisoners collectively responsible for the murder of 569 Israelis. This infused Hamas’ leadership with new blood, including its new leader, Yahya Sinwar. (Israeli) Defence officials today believe that 50% of those released in 2011 are currently involved in terrorist activity.


IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of (Israeli) Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), contacted international aid organizations last week to warn that the Gaza aquifer has been destroyed by years of excessive pumping and 96% of the water is now unfit to drink. In January, UNICEF finished construction of a desalination plant in Khan Yunis, but Hamas won’t allow the plant to be connected to the electric grid. Israel has offered to double its supply of water to Gaza, but the PA is not rushing to implement the offer


IDF Combat Intelligence Corps soldiers stationed along Israel’s borders combine infantry combat capabilities with advanced intelligence-gathering skills…the Bedouin troops who patrol Israel’s borders are highly respected for their tracking skills. Maj. Tamir Sawad said that because he knows every inch of the land, he was able to spot two IEDs that had been placed on the Gaza border fence last month.



Families of Palestinian terrorists receiving monthly payments from the Palestine Liberation Organization are pushing for an increase, amid growing pressure from the United States and other donor countries on the Palestinian Authority to end the practice. Relatives of ‘martyrs’ want the allowance they are paid to be linked to the cost of living.




Worshippers thronged to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday earlier this week. Crowds gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and at the Mount of Olives one week before Easter



Teva Pharmaceuticals has found a new way of delaying drug metabolism and so slowing down the breakdown of active ingredients. By replacing some of the hydrogen atoms in a drug for the treatment of Huntington’s disease with the heavier isotope deuterium, the drug has been shown to remain unchanged in the body for longer. Slowing down drug metabolism means that doctors can prescribe lower doses of drugs to achieve the same effect, meaning that patients suffer fewer side-effects.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purchased 28 ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Systems to support an ongoing national clinical trial The first 20 systems were shipped to VA in the first quarter of 2017. ReWalk Robotics Ltd.(of Yokneam, Israel) develops, manufactures and markets wearable robotic exoskeletons for individuals with spinal cord injury.



Israel’s Holstein cows produce about 3,000 gallons of milk per cow per year, a figure that is among the highest in the world. More than 80% of Israel’s cows are registered in the Israel Herd Book, a computerized database that allows tracing the genealogy, history, milk yield and other factors for each cow. Special sensors measure cows’ daily body weight and milk composition for protein, fat, lactose and more.




At the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Indian Red Cross, senior first-aid instructors and paramedics from Magen David Adom – Israel’s national emergency-response organization – are spending two weeks in India training instructors within the Indian Red Cross to improve first response in India, a country prone to disasters and traffic accidents.



Israeli company “Unavoo” was founded and developed at home by Israeli entrepreneur Yuval Maimon, (diagnosed with diabetes at age 38) has produced a sweetener claimed to be sweeter and healthier and without the disliked aftertaste common to many other sweeteners. Israel’s sugar monopoly, Sugat, and its London-based parent company, ED & F Man, have invested in the product.


Last week, 28 Eurovision finalists planted trees in Israel representing their countries during a four-day promotional tour ahead of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, May 9-13, 2017. The contestants also performed their songs for local and international media in Tel Aviv.




A growing number of young black South Africans — including members of the ANC’s youth division — have visited Israel and now forcefully reject the parallels drawn between the racist regime under which their parents suffered and the current reality for Palestinian Arabs. Prominent among them is Nkululeko Nkosi, a 23-year-old member of the ANC Youth League… Nkosi argues that apartheid was about race, while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict encompasses both religious and territorial disputes. He said: “On my last trip to Israel, I found that unlike apartheid South Africa, there is no deliberate effort by the government to segregate a specific group in Israel,” he wrote. “In day-to-day discussions with ordinary Israeli citizens, I learned from Arabs and Jews, and I sensed their burning desire to live together as harmonious neighbours.”

And see: New African Perspectives on Israel and the Palestinians (Africans for Peace)


David Makovsky, Ghaith al-Omari and Lia Weiner: Any progress on trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must first address the lack of trust that exists between the two sides. For Israelis, Palestinian incitement to violence casts serious doubt as to whether the Palestinians are serious about peace. Despite Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, official PA pronouncements still refer to Palestinians who murder Israelis as “martyrs.” The egregious practice of making payments to families of Palestinians who engage in clear acts of terrorism and to prisoners convicted of such acts stands out severely in this regard. Every year, the Palestinian Authority spends more than $300 million, or 7.6% of its total budget, in support of two foundations dedicated to assisting families of “martyrs” and Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

Dear Friends,

British Friends of Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Centre

Together with Kingston, Surbiton & District Synagogue


Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut 2017

Monday 1st May, 7.30pm

@ Kingston, Surbiton & District Synagogue, 33-35 Uxbridge Road, Kingston, KT1 2LL.
7:30pm Yom Hazikaron: Ceremony

Join us on Monday 1st May as we commemorate the many lives that have been lost and sacrificed for the state of Israel. Rabbi Landau will lead an inspirational and informative ceremony culminating in the lighting of memorial candles and the singing of Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem.

8:15pm Yom Ha’atzmaut: A taste of Israel!

As is the custom in Israel, once the sun sets the mood changes and we begin to celebrate Israel’s 69th Independence Day with our fantastic Taste Of Israel event.

Learn about and taste some special Israeli wines with our expert Danny Saltman.
Be entertained and impressed with our Live malawach demo and try some tantalising samples of this traditional Israeli dish.
Feast of our Falafel and Israeli Salads and enjoy the fun Israeli interactive station with master Pita and Falafel makers, Taboon.
Book now:
Alternatively, book via KS&DS’ administrator, Suzanne Phillips:

Early bird special (book by 21st April):
£12 for members, £14 for non-members.
(Children, young people and students free).

Bookings after 21st April / on the door will be £14 for members and £16 for non-members.

All welcome!

Israel Update: 6 April 2017

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The Israeli NGO IsraAID is helping teachers in Peru prepare to reopen their schools after more than two weeks of flooding and mudslides that have devastated areas of the country. Head of mission Naama Gorodischer said “The IsraAID team is offering water purification solutions….Our approach is relying on rebuilding the capacity of the community to respond to their own needs”



IsraAID said that it was also preparing to provide necessary assistance in neighbouring Colombia, which was hit by a similar disaster last  Saturday



Azerbaijan’s deputy prime minister since 1995, was flown to Israel last week after doctors in Baku determined his heart problem was life-threatening. In Haifa, Rambam doctors fitted him with a pacemaker and defibrillator to help manage his heart rate and treated him for a clogged artery



Water Gen an Israeli company whose technology produces drinking water by extracting it from the air has signed agreements with in India and Vietnam, two countries that have long faced water shortages. The technology is to supply drinking water to remote villages in India with solar power from Vikar Solar. The Vietnam project is to generate tens of thousands of litres of water a day for the people of Hanoi.





An Israeli soldier, Sgt. Elchai Taharlev, 20, was murdered and another wounded in a car-ramming attack at a bus stop in the West Bank on Thursday. His father, Rabbi Ohad Teharlev, is the head of MIdreshet Lindenbaum, an educational institution in Jerusalem. He is one of the leading rabbis who encourage religious women to enlist in the IDF. His mother, Avital Teharlev, is a psychologist. The Palestinian Arab attacker was arrested.,7340,L-4946163,00.html

A teenage Palestinian Arab  attacker stabbed two Israeli civilians aged 18 and 20 and a border policeman on Saturday in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was shot and killed by security forces.


A Palestinian Arab took a knife from the bakery in Lod where he worked and attacked a Jewish woman, Revital Kenino, a local school principal, in a parking garage on March 27.He was arrested the following day



The Palestinian Authority’s new textbooks for first to fourth grades demonize Israel and glorify “martyrdom,” according to a report published Sunday by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), citing an “alarming deterioration” since a previous study. The report says that the 2016-2017 elementary school curriculum in the PA “teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ‘return’ to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.” The IMPACT CEO cited phrases such as, “the volcano of my revenge, the longing of my blood for my land, I shall sacrifice my blood to saturate the land… and asked “are these suitable messages for a 9-year-old?”



Hamas is looking undersea, not just underground,for attack routes into Israel. An Israeli naval officer warned that the terrorist group is training and manufacturing weapons for naval warfare.

Israeli border security personnel at the Kerem Shalom crossing thwarted the smuggling of 30 diving suits apparently intended for terrorist elements in Gaza including the Hamas naval commando unit.The suits were concealed in a shipment of sports clothing imported from abroad.,7340,L-4944476,00.html




Ayala Shapira, 13, spoke last week in Brussels about the impact of a firebomb landing on the car seat next to her in December 2014, as she urged the European Union to stop the Palestinian Authority from funding terrorism. Ayala suffered horrific burn injuries and after six operations and several months in hospital she  must wear a pressure garment 24 hours a day and cannot be exposed to sunlight. She wears a special mask to protect her face, so that only her eyes and lips are showing.


On March 23, 2017, four Palestinian attackers drove up to the perimeter of the Jewish community of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, and began hurling firebombs toward homes there. Israeli soldiers fired at them, killing one – a 17-year-old – and wounding three others.



MedyMatch Technology Ltd. and the healthcare unit of Samsung Electronics will collaborate to integrate the Israeli startup’s artificial intelligence software with Samsung’s medical imaging hardware for emergency use. MedyMatch technologies will be integrated into mobile stroke units and specialized ambulances equipped with a Samsung CT scanner and will help clinicians to quickly and accurately assess patients in environments in which hospital specialists are not always at hand.


Researchers at  Ben Gurion University Israeli scientists have developed an improved model for detecting the polio virus before it spreads and causes an outbreak.


A new Tel Aviv University study published last month in Oncotarget discloses the role of three proteins in killing fast-duplicating cancer cells while they’re dividing… The researchers are currently investigating the potential of one of the Phenanthridine derivatives to treat two aggressive cancers known to be unresponsive to current chemotherapy: pancreatic cancer and triple negative breast cancer.



El Al Airlines won first place in the World Innovation Competition at the Hamburg International Airport Fair for its “wearable blanket.” The blanket has holes for the head and arms, allowing passengers to slip into it without it falling off as they sleep.,7340,L-4945320,00.html



The Israeli economy grew by 4% in 2016, double the U.S. growth rate and 2.3 times higher than the average growth among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members. Israel had a record $12.4 billion surplus in its current account balance of payments; unemployment dropped to 4.8%; and public debt dropped to an all-time low of 62.8% of GDP.




Rasha Atamny, Israel’s first female Muslim diplomat has been appointed  as the Israeli Embassy’s in Turkey’s first secretary.  Christian-Arab Rania Jubran was Israel’s first female Arab diplomat 2006-2009. Israel also has several male Muslim and Christian diplomats.




Alan Dershowitz: Intersectionality – the radical academic theory which holds that all forms of social oppression are inexorably linked – has become a code word for anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bigotry…   The linking of unrelated “victimizations,” despite their tenuous connections, leads to the forming of alliances between causes that at best, have nothing to do with each other. Their only common feature is that to join, they must demonize the nation-state of the Jewish people.



Jonathan S Tobin: Rather than advocate a surrender of the disputed territories in order to create a Palestinian state as soon as possible, the two (Israeli) opposition leaders agree peace is nowhere in sight. Their reason is that Palestinian intentions toward Israel are such that all Israel would be doing is attempting to trade land for terror, rather than for peace.
In a remarkable demonstration of a broad consensus, Netanyahu, Herzog and Lapid all understand that until a sea change occurs within their political culture that will render peace acceptable to most Palestinians, Israel has no alternative but to hold its ground.



Benjamin Pogrund: What the BDS movement calls the “apartheid wall” – in fact, mainly a wire fence – was erected between Israel and the West Bank for security reasons, primarily to keep out would-be suicide bombers. Suicide bombings and murders by ramming pedestrians with vehicles never happened in South Africa, yet Israel has had them aplenty. Security concerns have dictated Israel’s precautions and responses, not an ideology of apartheid racism.(The author is a South African-born journalist)



Ben-Dror Yemini: An Open Letter to Richard Gere,7340,L-4942727,00.html



Richard Kemp rejects the “contemptible accusations of Sayeeda Warsi.

“She would also condemn the hundreds of thousands from her parents’native Pakistan who served in the British Army….including both her grandfathers”



Marc Goldberg: Time after time British fringe politicians have attempted to use the Jewish connection to Israel as a stick to beat the community with. Warsi’s comments serve only to show that this kind of attitude exists among prominent politicians on both sides of the House of Commons, in all political parties. It should be stamped out.

Israel Update: 30 March 2017

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At many hospitals in Israel, children from both the West Bank and Gaza are treated with the best care available. Road To Recovery is a 1,000 strong group of Israeli volunteers who come to checkpoints and use their own cars to make about 100 trips daily to the key hospitals able to provide pediatric care.  Palestinian surgeons and other medical staff are now being “upskilled” in Israeli hospitals so they can bring this new knowledge back to their own people…



With Israel’s border area with Jordan at high risk for earthquakes, Israeli institutions are collaborating with the Jordanian Red Crescent and Hebron’s Greenland Association to train local residents as first responders, in a joint project conceived by Ben-Gurion University, the European Union and Magen David Adom. The collaboration, which began with training the first Jordanian paramedics a decade ago, continues with the establishment of local emergency-response teams over the past three years.


Thirty years ago, after farmers in the Hula Valley in Israel realized that poison used to control rodents was killing the local barn owl population, some 100 Israeli Jews, Jordanians, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs began to collaborate to help the barn owls and making friends in the process.






Hamas has acquired dozens of large, high-explosive rockets that could be used to devastating effect on the area in southern Israel adjacent to Gaza. Each rocket contains hundreds of kilograms of explosive material, far beyond other missiles and mortar shells in Hamas’ arsenal.






The UNHCR adopted five resolutions critical of Israel last Friday, despite opposition from the US and an unprecedented critique from the UK. Britain supported two of the five resolutions, but threatened to vote against any future such motions against the Jewish state because of the “bias” by the UN body The UK broke with the other European countries, voting “no” on one resolution condemning alleged human rights abuses in the Golan Heights. It voted in favour of two of the resolutions …and abstained on two others. The United States and Togo consistently voted against the five resolutions.



The UK mission to the UNHCR also questioned why Israel was still a standing agenda item while “Syria’s regime butchers and murders its people on a daily basis.”



Boris Johnson (UK Foreign Secretary) said on Tuesday that it was “absolutely preposterous” that there should be a motion condemning Israel’s policy in the Golan Heights “when after all in that region of Syria we have seen the most appalling barbarity by the Assad regime.”



In response to the anti-Israel resolutions passed in the UNHCR, Israel will cut $2 million from money it has allocated to the UN and give it instead to programs in developing nations that support it in international organizations






A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab a soldier with a screwdriver at a bus stop. IDF troops overpowered the attacker without opening fire,7340,L-4941079,00.html


A female terrorist who attempted to stab a border police officer near Jerusalem’s Old City was shot.





Israeli troops shut down three workshops, part of an ongoing crackdown on the illegal weapons trade in the West Bank.  Soldiers confiscated equipment and gun parts from the workshops, before sealing the doors. So far in 2017, the army has located and shuttered 12 such workshops and seized over 110 guns according to the I.D.F.






11 soldiers with developmental disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome to autism to cognitive delays were sworn into the IDF on Monday. The 10 young men and one woman were all graduates of a special needs school in Ramle.






During his state visit to Vietnam, Israeli President Rivlin toured a model cow dairy established in 2013 by MASHAV (the international development programme of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The dairy acts as a centre of excellence for the local area, and the staff regularly travel to other dairies to help farmers utilize Israeli methods.,7340,L-4939877,00.html



Vietnam attaches importance to the friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Israel in the cause of peace and development, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said Monday as he received Israeli President Rivlin in Hanoi expressing satisfaction with the sound development of bilateral ties, particularly in trade, hi-tech agriculture and defense technology.






The Cambodian Agriculture Ministry plans to establish an advanced agriculture training centre funded by Israel with model farms for Cambodian students to study the latest techniques. Cambodia has a long history of sending agriculture students to Israel, considered a world leader in agricultural technologies.With an Israel-backed centre in the country, the students would be able to continue with advanced studies upon their return home.






Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame became the first African leader to address AIPAC Washington’s biggest pro-Israel forum hailing the Jewish state as an inspiration for his own country’s rebirth after genocide.






Israel Innovation Showcase in Washington, DC featured technology to extract water from air; an Arab-Israeli business accelerator; a touch-free smartphone; a user-friendly security system for public venues; and a dance programme breaching barriers between Jews and Arabs in northern Israel.






A new waste collection plant has begun processing half the trash in Tel Aviv, turning much of it into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) which  is sent to Israel’s main cement factory, where it is burned instead of petroleum, a less environment-friendly fossil fuel.





Israeli-made Spike missiles have been sold to Germany, India and the Phillipines.






Ron Prosor: (In the UNHCR), Human rights in every other country are debated under “Agenda Item 4″; only Israel has an entire agenda item of its own :”Agenda Item 7,” a structural, institutionalized mechanism singling out Israel at the council. The result, noted Britain’s Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, is that of 135 country-specific resolutions adopted by the council, 68 have targeted Israel. This partly explains why in the past decade, although more than 300,000 civilians have been killed in Sudan, 55,000 children killed in Syria and more than 3,000 people executed in Iran, Israel has received more condemnation than those countries combined.



Stephen N Flatow: Despite all the talk about Israel’s “military occupation” in the West Bank, in fact, the Israeli military governor of the territories left long ago. The Israeli army was withdrawn by Prime Minister Rabin, 22 years ago. In Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus you won’t see any Israeli soldiers. Instead, you’ll see Palestinian policemen and security forces.In the areas where more than 98% of the Palestinian Arabs reside, it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, which is the ruling power. The mayors are Palestinians. The judges in the courts are Palestinians. So are the folks who guard the jails, staff the hospitals and teach in the schools.



Wall St Journal Editorial: PA officials tell foreign audiences that they oppose terrorism, yet they pay generous rewards to Palestinians who carry out bombings, stabbings and other attacks against innocents in Israel. These payments are codified in Palestinian law, which dictates that the deadlier an attack, the richer the reward. Payments equaled $315 million last year, or 8% of the PA budget. The family of Bashar Masalha, who last year stabbed 11 people near Tel Aviv and killed Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran visiting Israel, now receives monthly payments equal to several times the average Palestinian wage.



Dr Alex Joffe: A striking aspect of Palestinian culture is its resistance to the realities of the past…The Balfour apology campaign is thus another element in the Palestinian wars against inconvenient historical facts that must be denied, attacked, rewritten, or otherwise assailed, rather than debated, conceded, or shared….At every turn, negotiations get to a stage and then stop because compromise would preclude full “restoration” of what never was…



Israel Update: 23 March 2017

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The flag of the United Kingdom illuminated the facade of Tel Aviv’s City Hall on Wednesday, in solidarity with the victims of the Westminster attack in London.






Israel shot down an incoming Syrian anti-aircraft missile with the Arrow defence battery early last Friday morning, the first reported use of the advanced system



The Syrian SA5 missile carried a warhead with 200 kg. of explosives and would have landed in the Jordan Valley. Israel’s aerial defence forces had less than a minute to decide to launch the Arrow as the missile posed a threat to Israeli citizens.,7340,L-4938142,00.html



The I.A.F. carried out two strikes against the Assad regime and Hizbullah targets in Syria on Sunday and Monday. The Israeli Defence Minister stressed that Israel was “neither for nor against al-Assad,” and had no desire for friction with the Russians in Syria. Israel’s “main problem is the transfer of game-changing weapons from Syria to Lebanon,” which would reach Hizbullah. “Therefore, every time we identify such a transfer, we will act to destroy these equilibrium-breaking weapons.”



BBC Radio 4‘s Tim Samuels spent 24 hours in Ziv hospital in northern Israel where Israeli doctors tend to Syrians who have been smuggled over the border for life-saving treatment in a country with which Syria is technically still at war.Several thousand Syrians have been treated in Israel.In the children’s ward, a mother who has brought her son for treatment describes how her trip to Israel must remain a secret – or she could be killed when they return.






According to Hizbullah sources, the group intends to fire long-range missiles at Israel from mountain ranges, within areas under its control on both sides of the Syrian-Lebanese border. This coincides with other reports that Hizbullah has transferred its longer-range rockets to Syria, as they require launching pads too large to be hidden in Lebanon from Israel’s aerial surveillance. With the dispersal of Hizbullah’s missiles across these mountains, Israeli jets would have to cover a much larger area to locate and destroy them, while also worrying about Syrian and Russian air defences



IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Sunday, “Hizbullah continues to arm itself and grow inside Lebanon. We will continue to act decisively to thwart these efforts and will continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hizbullah….Hizbullah continues to violate UN resolutions and prepare themselves for war.”





An Israeli-American teenager suspected of being behind dozens of bomb threats against Jewish community centres in the US was arrested in Ashkelon on Thursday…His attorney said that the teenager has a nonmalignant brain tumour that leads to behavioral issues…






Israel Aerospace Industries recently revealed a new foliage penetration radar capable of identifying targets traveling through heavily wooded areas.






The head of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), said that the ISA foiled over 400 potential terrorists last year before they could execute their plans. “The infrastructure of Hamas and global jihad is constantly trying to mount attacks in Israeli territory. Sadly, during the last year, 16 people and one foreign national were killed by terror attacks in Israel.”






Rocket sirens broke the Sabbath calm for Israeli communities throughout the Gaza periphery last Saturday morning, as two projectiles were launched from the Strip.. One rocket exploded near the Ashkelon. The second apparently fell inside Gazan territory. The I.D.F. responded with tank fire and air strikes at several Hamas targets



IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Tuesday: “The egotistical Hamas terror organization has robbed funds that are meant for the needy of Gaza from international organizations. Hamas prospers at the expense of the residents of the Strip and uses donations meant for them to finance terror.” Hamas routinely plants its operatives in key positions in international organizations, with the purpose of seizing resources and redirecting them for terror activities.





The newly restored shrine surrounding what is believed to be Jesus’s tomb was unveiled at a ceremony in Jerusalem Wednesday following months of delicate work Religious leaders opened the ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.






Rasha Uthmani is the first Muslim woman to take part in Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s cadet course; She has previously represented Israel at the UN Human Rights Council and is currently nominated as spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Turkey.,7340,L-4939352,00.html






Israel ranks in 9th place out of 163 According to the Bloomberg Global Health Index, countries.






Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian diplomat, executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (representing 18 Arab countries), resigned after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres insisted that she withdraw the commission’s report describing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign.” She praised Guterres for his “decision to distance his good office from it.”



The U.S. on Monday boycotted a Human Rights Council session focusing on Palestinian areas, saying the council’s “long-standing bias against Israel” threatens the credibility of the UN body. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley denounced how Israel was the only country that is a permanent fixture on the HRC’s calendar.



The annual World Happiness Report published on Monday by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network has ranked Israel as the 11th happiest country in the world in 2017 for the fourth year in a row.






Israeli archaeologists excavating an area near Ramla prior to the construction of a new highway were expecting to find ancient artifacts but instead happened upon hundreds of liquor bottles belonging to British soldiers from the First World War. Which are at least 100 years old.



AFRICA (VIDEO – 3 min)



Israel is transforming lives across rural African villages with innovations in water, solar power and agriculture. Innovation:Africa, a non-profit organization founded in 2008 has installed Israeli innovations on over 130 villages reaching over one million people in 7 African countries. (Thank you QFI)






Einat Wilf: Any Israeli effort to end the military occupation in a manner that would bring it peace and security. ..clashes with the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian view that no place for compromise and agreement exists that would grant legitimacy to Zionism and the State of Israel and that would accept its permanence…It is necessary to demonstrate to the Muslim-Arab world that… Israel is the sovereign state of an indigenous people who have come home. This can only be achieved if those who truly seek peace support the Jewish people in sending the message to the Arab world that the Jewish people are here to stay.



Efraim Inbar: It is odd to offer carrots to the Palestinians before they have committed to returning to the negotiations table they left in March 2014…The art of negotiation requires a carefully calibrated mix of carrots and sticks. The cumulative failures since 1993 suggest that the right balance between carrot and stick has not yet been reached…The carrots awarded the Palestinians indicate that their intransigence and unwillingness to compromise have no correlation to the level of support they receive. The PA was subjected to hardly any sticks at all after the terrorist campaign was eventually put down. The Palestinians’ choices will never change if their poor decisions never exact a cost.



CAMERA: Israel’s new law restricting access to the country for some of those advocating a boycott of the Jewish state bars entry to anyone who “supports” BDS. In fact, the law is worded much more narrowly, and refers not to supporters but rather anyone “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.”
The U.S. has long had similar restrictions. Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act says that an alien “whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible.” That’s much broader than Israel’s language. It also bars those who would break laws for the purpose of “opposition to…the United States.”


Israel Update: 24 November 2016

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by Hazel Green



The fires that have burned across Israel since Tuesday continue to rage, with new areas threatened by flames as other blazes have come under control.

The Israel Security Agency and Israel Police announced Thursday afternoon that they have detained a number of suspects on suspicion of arson.

60,000 residents have been evacuated from the Haifa area.


To help Israel contain the fires, four firefighting aircraft arrived from Cyprus and Greece, while additional aircraft are also expected to arrive from Russia, Italy, Croatia and Turkey.,7340,L-4883634,00.html



This is a developing situation and The Times of Israel is liveblogging events:




The Royal Navy assault ship HMS Bulwark arrived in Haifa Port on Tuesday. It is the second largest ship in the British fleet, with a company of 560 men and women. A Royal Navy statement said the Bulwark’s docking “demonstrates the growing relationship between the Royal Navy and the Israeli Navy.” Capt. Parkin said “We have Israel Navy colleagues on board right now, learning, getting presentations, and exchanging ideas about operations. We have a great relationship with the Israel Navy…I am very proud that I am in Haifa for the second time in my naval career.” The ship’s company challenged the “Israeli Barbarians” rugby team to a match, will watch Beersheba vs Inter Milan in the Europa League and is taking time to see some of the historic sights in Israel.




A dedication ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Dead Sea Research Institute, in which Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority scientists will work together to study the Dead Sea in order to find ways to rehabilitate it and the region around it (on both shores). The institute would coordinate the work of four separate research institutes in Israel and Jordan which are carrying out advanced studies for the benefit of the local population and neighbouring peoples.


Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), set up the Facebook page Al-Monsiq (The Coordinator) in March 2015 to improve communications with residents of Gaza and the West Bank. Recently, Al-Monsiq’s 80,000 Palestinian followers were asked to send in questions for him.Throughout the 30-minute chat, hundreds of participants reacted with “likes” and openly addressed the security, diplomatic and economic situation. Mordechai responded to them in Arabic.
One of the main messages Mordechai sought to deliver was that “if you are asked to pay someone for an exit permit [from Gaza or the West Bank] to Israel, don’t pay.” He thereby sought to counter the flourishing industry of fake documentation and extortion by Palestinian middlemen who charge high fees for obtaining entry permits. Mordechai noted that “the number of Palestinians working in Israel these days is the highest since the year 2000 [when the second intifada broke out]. Some 75,000 permits have been granted.” He added that Israel has an additional quota of 10,000 permits that can be issued immediately, and urged the Facebook users to apply through the PA.




A Palestinian man armed with a knife was shot and killed by Israeli security forces as he attempted to stab a guard at a crossing outside Jerusalem on Tuesday


IDF forces apprehended two Palestinians armed with hand grenades on Thursday night, not far from the Gaza border fence with Israel.




Portuguese chef Jose Avillez along with at least 11 other chefs from renowned dining establishments around the world  participated in the Round Tables festival in Tel Aviv this month.  Subsequently Anti-Israel activists vandalized his restaurant in Portugal. Several other chefs participating in Round Tables have been targeted by BDS activists, including Stéphane Jégo, head chef of L’Ami Jean in Paris. Following picketing outside his bistro, he hit back at his critics, calling them “an affliction [of] people who are, at best, misinformed, mix everything up or at worst biased and dishonest.”




For the first time, Israel has enforced environmental regulations against Palestinian charcoal plants that cause clouds of polluting smoke to waft over Jewish and Palestinian communities in the northern West Bank….Israeli officials said they were taking action after having issued several warnings to the Palestinian Authority that it would enforce anti-pollution regulations if the authority failed to shut the plants down. Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai of the Civil Administration said, “We intend to open a dialogue with the charcoal producers to find technological solutions to lower the risks of charcoal production for workers and residents


Rejecting Palestinian claims at a UN climate conference, that Israel damaged the Palestinian environment, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin gave an example to demonstrate how the PA is actually polluting the local environment. “A cement factory has been set up in a nature reserve which endangers the surrounding population and the reserve itself. The local population has turned to Israel for assistance as the cement factory is being promoted by the PA through two of Mahmoud Abbas’ sons.”




Sesame Enable, a Caesarea-based company that allows people to control their cellphones without using their hands, has reached more than 1,200 customers globally, including in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, in the three years since it was set up. The startup allows disabled people to control their Android smartphones by using voice and head movements.


The sleep inducer 2breathe Technologies, has won the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation award in the fitness, sports and biotech product category. 2breathe, an Israeli invention, is a smart device and mobile app which induces sleep via guided breathing.


Bank Leumi, one of Israel’s largest banks, announced that its credit card subsidiary, will introduce the first-of-its-kind integration of a mobile security product based on behavioural biometrics. Based on the cutting-edge technology of Israeli startup SecuredTouch, the solution embedded in the Leumi Card app will provide an advanced layer of security to its customers and will eliminate the need for complex passwords.




The UN Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved on Friday an Israeli-sponsored resolution for encouraging entrepreneurship by a vote of 123-30, with 8 abstentions, despite opposition from the Arab bloc.




Lt. Col. Dr. Avraham Yitzhak has been nominated to take over as chief medical officer of the army’s Southern Command, putting him on the path to becoming the first Israeli of Ethiopian heritage to hold the rank of colonel in the IDF… Among six women also heading for promotion, Lt. Col. Carmel Wahabi, a Druze Israeli, will preside in the army’s judiciary, as head of the army’s Special Court and Court of the General Staff and Home Front Command.  She will be the first Druze Israeli to head an IDF court.




With the long-ruling Palestinian Fatah faction torn by rivalries, fierce shootouts between Palestinian security forces and Fatah-aligned gunmen have erupted in recent months, plunging the Balata camp into unrest and lawlessness.  “I no longer want to fight Israel. I’m not willing to die for these officials who are only taking care of their families and letting us suffer,” said Abu Riziq, 30, who spent nearly seven years in an Israeli prison for assisting in a suicide bombing.




In an article in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat, Dr. Salman Masalha, a Druze Israeli-Arab intellectual, discussed an Israeli bill seeking to ban the use of loudspeakers by houses of worship, which would prevent mosques from using them to broadcast the call of the muezzin (i.e., the call for prayer). In contrast to the prevailing response to this bill in the Arab and Muslim world, that this is a declaration of war against Islam, Masalha noted that the mosque loudspeakers disturb many people, both Jews and Arabs. Moreover, he said, even in Arab countries there have been calls to ban the use of loudspeakers, and fatwas have been issued justifying such a ban. He called not to consider the bill from the populist perspective of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but to consider it objectively from the perspective of the public good.


Yair Lapid (Chairman of Yesh Atid party) The Palestinians need to work on building a state for themselves instead of focusing on terror and death… the PA has existed for over 20 years and Israelis do not have a presence in Palestinian cities except when there are security needs. The Palestinians have built a corrupt governing system without an effective judiciary or modern industry. Palestinians did not use the resources Israel left behind in Gaza, and instead they voted in Hamas, who shot rockets at Israel. In addition, the “Palestinian education system poisons the minds of six- and seven-year-olds, every single day, with anti-Semitic propaganda of the worst kind….Instead of building something, instead of creating something, they choose a culture of murder and destruction.” He said “self-pity is not an efficient policy,” and called on the Palestinians to “free [themselves] from the past and go build a future. If you do that, we will be the first to help you.”


Miriam F Elman: On Oct. 25, Dr. Mohammed Dajani spoke to LIME, an Israeli-Palestinian student dialogue group that I mentor at Syracuse University. Dajani garnered international attention in 2014 when he was vilified for taking a group of Palestinian students to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. After an assassination attempt, Dajani was forced to resign his Al Quds University position. Now he speaks to university audiences about his family history, the radicalization of Palestinian society, and his transformation from an Israel-hater into an admirer of Israel’s pluralistic democracy. Dajani also voiced his opposition to the BDS campaign.


Ziva Dahl: he 1993 Oslo Accords established Palestinian self-rule over 98 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.  Since then, the PA has received an estimated $25 billion in financial aid from the U.S. and other Western countries, the highest per capita assistance in the world. Instead of creating the independent and robust civil institutions necessary for good governance, promoting peace with Israel and improving the lives of its people, the billions of dollars of international aid were used to create a corrupt dictatorship focusing on enriching its elites, inciting its people against Israel, advocating terrorism and waging a massive international campaign to demonize, delegitimize and destroy the Jewish State




Sheree Roth: Robert Kennedy, reporting from Palestine for the Boston Post in 1948, also noted the influx of Arab immigration into Palestine: “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944 came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no Arab state.”