Israel in the News May/Jun 2015
Arab Oversaw Israeli Election
The world accuses Israel of being an apartheid state, but it was Arab-Christian Israeli Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran who oversaw the recent elections in Israel.
Jubran is the same justice who has publicly refused to sing “Hatikva,” Israel’s national anthem, and was supported by fellow Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who wrote that non-Jewish citizens should not feel obligated to sing words that do not speak to their hearts.
Eventually, even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not expect an Arab-Israeli to sing “Hatikva,” which includes the words a Jewish soul yearns.
It was Justice Jubran who decided to halt funding for a pre-election right-wing rally in Tel Aviv. Now, what kind of democracy gives a minority Christian Arab authority to prevent government support for an all-Jewish, settlement-supporting political party? Only in Israel.
Israel Today (israeltoday.co.it)
U.S. Betrays Israel’s Secret
The Pentagon has declassified a top-secret 1987 document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, which every American government until now has kept silent about.
The timing came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama before Netanyahu addressed Congress on March 3, warning against the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program.
Though the Pentagon betrayed Israel, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified by blocking them out.
The 386-page report, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” details how Israel advanced its military technology and developed its nuclear infrastructure and research in the 1970s and 1980s.
Israel Helps Rebuild Gaza
Consuls general from Britain, Italy, France, Spain and Germany met recently with senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official Alon Ushpiz to tell him they approve of Israel’s work in rebuilding Gaza. They complimented Israel’s cooperation with the UN reconstruction apparatus, the fact that Israel has doubled its water supply to Gaza, and Israel’s recent easing of export restrictions from Gaza.
Meanwhile, Hamas, which runs Gaza, continues to brag that it has successfully rebuilt military bases and is ready for war with Israel again.
The Palestine Power Generation Company has pulled out of a 20-year, $1.2 billion deal to buy natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan field off the coast of Haifa, according to The Times of Israel.
The Times said the Palestinians were concerned about “the failure of Leviathan’s owners to obtain approvals from the Israel Antitrust Authority for production, as well as other development holdups.”
The Times reported that an even bigger deal with Jordan collapsed after the Antitrust Authority voided an agreement that allowed Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group “to develop the Leviathan and Tamar gas sites in the Mediterranean on grounds that the arrangement constituted a cartel.”
According to The Algemeiner, however, Egypt is considering importing natural gas from Israel. “The Israeli company Delek Drilling has estimated that if an agreement is signed, gas can begin flowing from Israel to Egypt in 2017.”
Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post has reported that subsidiaries of Delek and Noble Energy “are suing the state for some $15 million, claiming the government has collected more royalties than permissible on natural gas sales.”
The firms submitted a complaint to the Jerusalem District Court, according to reports filed with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Noble has invested $6 billion in developing Israel’s oil and gas sector, with full approval of the government, the Post reported.
Compiled from news reports
Knesset Gets Solar Panels
Advancing the Knesset’s mission to become the greenest parliament in the world, the installation of photovoltaic panels on the house of the legislature’s roof got under way in March after a ship filled with 1,406 solar panels arrived in Israel from China.
Integrating and connecting the solar roof is the epicenter of a comprehensive program launched in January 2014 that aims to overhaul the parliament into a sustainable building.
Combined with other energy efficient measures that have been integrated since the project’s beginning, the solar roof is expected to reduce the Knesset’s electricity bills by one-third by the end of 2015 and provide 10 percent of the building’s electricity needs.
The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Uganda Parliament Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga have signed a cooperation agreement.
The two parliaments will share their experiences and knowledge in areas of legislation, gender equality, women’s empowerment and advancement, science and technology, health, education, the economy, and energy.
The agreement also promises that both will act to promote mutual interests within international events, such as assemblies and parliaments.
Others that have recently signed such cooperation agreements with the Knesset include Ethiopia, Kenya, Romania, and Albania.
Welcome to Europe
Filmed by a hidden camera, Jewish journalist Zvika Klein silently walked the streets of Paris, France, in February, wearing a yarmulke and visible fringes from a prayer shawl. His goal was to see what life is really like there for Jews. He was spat on, called a dog, and threatened.
So Jewish reporter Jonathan Kalmus decided to walk in England wearing a yarmulke. His experience was even worse, the UK’s Daily Mail reported in March. “It took me just one minute…in Manchester before abuse was flung at me,” Kalmus said.
“Fight the Jewish scum” was among the threats hurled at him. “No one could accuse me of targeting Muslim neighborhoods to provoke a reaction.
This was the center of an ordinary English city and I was minding my own business,” he added. He wore a hidden camera.
Both videos are available on YouTube. Klein also wrote an article for the Israeli website nrg.co.il where he said, “Soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution, and…keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner. Walking down one Parisian suburb, I was asked what I was doing there. In modern-day Paris, you see, Jews are barred from entering certain areas.”
Klein decided to take the walk after the January 9 attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris where four people were murdered simply for being Jewish.
He said the tourist areas were relatively calm; but the Muslim neighborhoods were like “downtown Ramallah.”
An estimated 15 percent of Paris’s population is now Muslim. France has the largest concentration of Muslims in Western Europe: an estimated 6.5 million, constituting 10 percent of the country. France also has the largest Jewish population in Europe: 550,000.
There was one bright spot on Kalmus’s walk at the Bradford City Park’s branch of Starbucks, wrote the Daily Mail: “Kalmus said as soon as he walked into the shop, [a] man, who was ‘sporting traditional Islamic dress and a heavy black beard, raised his eyes from his drink,…stood up, raised his hand and said “Shalom, Shalom.”’”
“Whatever was the reason for this man’s gesture and insistence that I shake his hand, it was warm and hopeful,” Kalmus said.