Israel Update: 25 January 2018

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The number of Israeli Arabs studying at Israeli universities and colleges climbed 78.5% in the past seven years, the Israel Council for Higher Education reported. At the University of Haifa, 41% of students are Israeli Arab, followed by 22% at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.



Sanaa Mahameed is the first female Muslim volunteer EMT in the United Hatzalah of Israel voluntary first-responder network United Hatzalah, together with the government’s Office of the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, recently trained 13 Bedouin women, all religious Muslims from Shibli and Umm al-Ghanam, to be EMTs.






20 young people with disabilities have been recruited into the IDF and trained as dog handlers. They will be stationed at military and police bases, working with guard dogs, detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs.



After years of decline, the number of Bedouin men volunteering to enlist in the IDF in 2017 increased to 420, up from 300 in 2016. According to a senior military source, the positive turnaround is partially related to changes and adjustments to their service recently adopted by the IDF.






Israeli Border Police thwarted an attempted stabbing attack at a West Bank junction on Tuesday. As two Palestinians advanced toward the police and one drew a knife, a Border Police officer shot and wounded the two. This was the third successful prevention of an attack by Christian border policeman Major N.,7340,L-5075755,00.html






Returning to the U.K. after 5 months working in Israel at Maccabi Tel Aviv former England manager Steve McClaren said: “Tel Aviv was beautiful. Modern, but with history, too. Mediterranean. Multicultural, fantastic restaurants, great beach, the job looked interesting. “I came back and said… ‘Honestly, I felt safe, secure. I think this might be a good idea.’…two of my boys came over and had a great time. The experience was revelatory. “I visited the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Nazareth at Christmas — fascinating. I saw the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It’s got that feeling of spirituality, whatever your beliefs. It’s the epicentre of three religions and all of them believe God will descend in that one spot. And they call Tel Aviv a country within a country because it’s different to the rest of Israel.”






Visiting USA Vice President Michael Pence spoke at the Knesset on Monday. He was interrupted by several Arab-Israeli M.K.s who were ejected by security personnel.



Former British chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks helped US Vice President Mike Pence write his speech.






Both leaders (Modi & Netanyahu) see Israel’s technology-oriented economy as a natural fit for India’s, which needs innovation to improve everything from farming to healthcare. Israel has more than 30 agricultural training centres in India, where locals learn Israeli water-conservation and energy-efficiency techniques. Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General said, “We are engaging on all fronts, beyond the military and diplomacy. We are creating links in the movie industry, oil and gas, cyber and more.”



India’s Tata corporation signed a memorandum of understanding during Israeli P.M. Netanyahu’s visit with the Israeli firm Watergen that specializes in extracting drinking water from the air to create a joint venture in India to manufacture Watergen units.






Researchers in Israel pieced together 60 tiny fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls over a year to decipher one of the last remaining undeciphered texts. The 900 scrolls, dating to at least the 4th century BCE, were first discovered in a cave in Qumran in 1947, and contain the oldest copy of the Hebrew Bible ever found.






Dana Weiss of Israel’s Channel 2 news tweeted that the PA has purchased a $50 million private jet for its president Mahmoud Abbas, all while asking for aid from the Europeans.






Over 113,000 Chinese travelled to Israel in 2017, up 41% over 2016, according to the China director of the Israel Government Tourism Office






National Geographicpublished an interview on Bethlehem with Nicholas Blincoe, a novelist. Among Blincoe’s numerous falsehoods are claims that Bethlehem is the source of water for Jerusalem (it isn’t), that there were no tourists in the city for ten years after an Israeli incursion (that decade included record-setting years in tourism to Bethlehem), and that “Palestinian cities got wiped out” during Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 (not a single city was “wiped out”).






Lord Dannatt ( former Chief of the General Staff of the British Army).: On Thursday,(today) the House of Commons will debate the proscription of Hizbullah in its entirety. Abandoning the false distinction between the organization’s “political” and “terrorist” wings would go a long way toward assuring our national interest.
A few months ago, I completed a study of Hizbullah’s military capabilities with a number of senior colleagues drawn from across Western militaries. The terrorist group has gone to great lengths to expand and enhance its offensive capabilities, most notably through the acquisition of advanced rockets from Iran.
Worse, in the south of the country*, village after village has been turned into a permanent military compound, complete with tunnels, munitions holdings, and armed personnel. UNIFIL, the international peacekeeping force designed to prevent this outcome, is thoroughly outmatched. Moreover, the independence of the Lebanese Armed Forces has been eroded through infiltration by and co-operation with Hizbullah.


* near Israel’s border with Lebanon



Moshe Arens: It has become clear that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian representatives…    The major stumbling block to an agreement, the issue for which there seems to be no solution in sight, is making sure that any Israel military withdrawal will not result in rockets being launched against Israel’s population centres from areas that are turned over to the Palestinians. Israel cannot allow a repetition of what happened after the withdrawal from Gaza. There is little support in Israel for the view that it is better to have rockets on Tel Aviv than a continuation of Israeli military control over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Those who support that position in the world are not particularly concerned for the security of Israel’s citizens. Until such time as this issue is laid to rest, there will be no meaningful progress.



Amb. Gary Grappo: (former U.S. Ambassador to Oman and Deputy Chief of Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.)

The Palestinians need a major overhaul in their leadership, and then a new approach to negotiations. In elections for a new PA leadership, all candidates should be required to subscribe to the Quartet’s principles: recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of all previous agreements, and renunciation of violence. Hamas would not be eligible to participate unless it formally accepted the same principles.

A new Palestinian leadership should commit itself to building genuine institutions of democracy and to raising the economic well-being of the Palestinian people, regardless of the progress of negotiations with Israel.



Rabbi Meir Soloveichik: Vice President Mike Pence’s address was one of the most Zionist speeches ever given by a non-Jew in the Knesset. The vice president is a devout evangelical Christian and threaded his remarks with references to Scripture. His speech was a window into the heart of many American Christians who observe Israel’s emergence with wonder and reverence… For many centuries the Jewish people received little love and much hate from the nations of the world. Today, tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans share Mr.Pence’s sincere affection for Israel.