Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2016
Orthodox Rabbis Embrace Jesus
More than 50 Orthodox rabbis worldwide have called for Jewish people to embrace Jesus as a Law-abiding Jew and to work with Christians for the betterment of society.
The “Orthodox Rabbinic statement on Christianity” is groundbreaking in light of the centuries of persecution Jewish people have suffered at the hands of organized Christendom and the distrust it fomented.
“The real importance of the Orthodox statement is that it calls for fraternal partnership between Jewish and Christian leaders, while also acknowledging the positive theological status of the Christian faith,” said Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who founded the interfaith organization that published the statement. The statement declares,
Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations. In separating Judaism and Christianity, G-d willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.
However, the “significant theological differences” center on the identity of Jesus. The rabbis correctly identify Him as a good, Law-abiding Jew. But since Jesus identified Himself as God and Messiah (Jn. 4:26; 8:57–58), He is either who He claimed to be or a liar. Who He is remains of utmost importance.
The rabbis’ statement is available online at tinyurl.com/ jhcrlbq.
Compiled from news reports
Israeli Consulate Opens in China
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced it will close its Philadelphia consulate in the United States and open a new consulate in Chengdu, China. This is a significant move since Philadelphia represents the sixth largest Jewish community in the United States, with an estimated Jewish population of 214,000.
Israel is reshaping its political relationships and economic focus. China is Israel’s third largest trading partner (after the U.S. and Europe) and its largest business partner in Asia. Chengdu is the fifth largest city in China and has become the economic engine for western China. Thus this shift in embassies may represent a larger shift of Israel’s geopolitics from West to East and its expanding political and economic relationships with other countries.
Send Them to Gaza!
An Israeli woman whose daughter-in-law was recently among the many Israelis being knifed by Arabs has come up with an idea for dealing with the problem: Deport the terrorists to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
“It is very clear to me that until the families of terrorists are expelled from here to Gaza, [the terror] will not stop,” Rebbetzin Hadassah Froman told Arutz-7. Her pregnant daughter-in-law, Michal Froman, was at work in a clothing store in Tekoa, southeast of Jerusalem, when she was stabbed. She underwent surgery and will recover.
The day before, an Arab broke into the Otniel home of Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old Israeli mother of six, and brutally stabbed her to death in front of her 17-year-old daughter. Mrs. Meir was a nurse at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, The Jerusalem Post reported. He fled when he couldn’t pull the knife out of her body to use it on someone else.
“I examined the international media today,” said Israeli politician Yair Lapid. “How is it that Dafna’s face is not on the front page of every newspaper? How did we get to a point when the world looks at us and doesn’t care that a woman was stabbed at the entrance to her home?”
This was the first time terrorists have executed a fatal attack inside an Israeli West Bank town since March 2011, when Arabs stabbed to death five members of the Fogel family inside their home, including the Fogels’ 3-month-old daughter, whom they decapitated.
Compiled from news reports
Israelis Find New Cure For Blood Cancer
Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers have developed an innovative system that may treat an incurable blood cancer called mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
Led by professor Dan Peer of TAU’s Department of Cell Research and Immunology, the research team found that using RNA therapy can successfully stop the reproduction of cancer-related protein in white blood cells in both animals and samples from human MCL patients. MCL is the most aggressive blood cancer, affecting 3,000 Americans every year.
Ariel University Wins Case Against Spain
The Spanish government recently compensated Samaria-based Ariel University (AU) for barring AU students from an international academic competition in 2009.
Under pressure from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, the Spanish Housing Authority banned the Jewish students because they studied in territory located beyond Israel’s 1949 armistice lines.
AU responded via a five-year legal battle, demanding the housing authority compensate the school or overturn its decision. In 2014 the Spanish government officially admitted that disqualifying the Israeli students had no legal basis and was unjustified, and recently the university officially accepted the housing authority’s offer for compensation.
Robotic ‘Locusts’ May Boost Security
Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have designed a small robot inspired by locusts that may significantly aid surveillance and emergency response.
Lead developer, professor Amir Ayali stated, “The locust, being a large insect that has wonderful jumping performance, had offered itself as wonderful inspiration for this specific idea of a…miniature jumping robot.”
Made from carbon rods, steel springs, and 3D printed plastic, the robots are powered by a lithium battery and can reach up to 1,000 jumps per charge. They will be used for surveillance and for entering situations and locations hazardous to humans, such as oil spills.
Germany Builds New Israeli Submarine
Israeli leaders recently celebrated the arrival of the Jewish state’s newest Dolphin-class submarine, the INS Rahav, the fifth submarine in its class. Germany built and partially funded the INS Rahav, which costs $406 million.
Submarines give Israel a powerful defensive strategy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained, “Our submarine fleet serves as a deterrent to our enemies who seek our destruction….Israel is capable of hitting with very great force anyone who tries to harm us.”
The Dolphin-class submarines are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and provide Israel with second-strike capability, a necessary asset for responding to nuclear attacks with nuclear retaliation.