March 8, 2018

PM Netanyahu holds series of meetings on Capitol Hill following AIPAC speech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed his AIPAC speech Tuesday (6th) by holding a series of meetings on Capitol Hill.

The Prime Minister met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-NY), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-WI) and members of the House leadership including Kevin McCarthy (R.-CA), Steve Scalise (R.-LA), Cathy McMorris Rogers (R.-WA), Nancy Pelosi (D.CA), Steny Hoyer (D.-MD) and James Clyburn (D.-SC).



Jerusalem safe enough to move U.S. Embassy there, city’s mayor tells Congress – Dan Boylan

The Mayor of Jerusalem has assured the U.S. Congress that America faces no additional terrorist threat by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city.  “The importance of the move to Jerusalem is second to nothing else,” Nir Barkat told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Tuesday (6th). “God forbid, if there is a security challenge, I assure you we will not shy away from it.”  Barkat noted that Israelis deeply appreciate the historic significance of the White House decision to recognize Jerusalem as its capital.

From a security standpoint, Barkat noted that Washington has a murder rate 15 times higher than Jerusalem.  “So whenever I fly to D.C, I pray to come back to Jerusalem safely.”



USS Iwo Jima arrives off coast of Israel to train with IDF

The US Marine Wasp-Class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo JIma arrived off the coast of Israel on Tuesday (6th) to participate in the Juniper Cobra 2018 (JC18) air defense exercise.

The ship is manned by 1,400 Marines, 1.100 Navy sailors, 25 aircraft and three hovercrafts.

The American troops are in Israel to participate in a massive joint Israel-US air defense exercise.

The exercise simulates a scenario in which US forces deploy to Israel in order to aid the IDF Aerial Defense forces in the event of an attack on the Jewish state.



Iran says it has tripled production of missiles – Who’s the target?

While Iran has many enemies in the Middle East, none but Israel poses any real military obstacle to Tehran’s dreams of hegemony.

With that in mind, Iran’s government-controlled Fars news agency reported on Wednesday (7th) that the Islamic Republic has tripled its production of missiles.

A top officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards suggested that the nuclear deal with Iran had enabled this increase by removing strict international oversight of Iranian military activity.

“In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore,” said Brig.-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

Iran has missiles capable of striking Israel on the other side of the region.  But far more dangerous is Iran’s effort to establish missile bases in neighboring Syria.

With this increased missile production and a firm military foothold in Israel’s war-torn neighbor, the Iranian threat to the Jewish state has grown exponentially



Hamas: No normalization of relations with Zionist regime

Hamas issued a statement Tuesday (6th) saying: “We reject all forms of normalization [with Israel]…which includes all aspects of political, economic, cultural and sports life….Our people will not forgive anyone who normalizes relations with this enemy.”



The carnage in Syria shows that the international community cannot be trusted to protect anyone’s security – Prof. Eyal Zisser

News reports tell of the construction of a new Iranian missile base, in addition to the 20 other bases or outposts the Iranians have already built throughout Syria.  The all-out attack the Syrian regime is waging in eastern Ghouta, with the help of its allies from Tehran and Moscow, is merely a promo for what it plans to do in Idlib in the north, followed by the south and the Golan Heights.

The events in Syria expose the fact that the international community, the same one that often preaches morality to Israel, is fictitious and cannot be trusted to fulfill its promises pertaining to Israel’s security.

(The writer is a professor at Tel Aviv University)



In historic first, Air India cleared for Israel flights over Saudi Arabia

Air India confirmed plans for a direct route between Tel Aviv and Delhi Wednesday (7th), with the flight being given permission to fly over Saudi airspace – a first.

The ability to fly the route over Saudi Arabia is expected to cut the flight time by nearly two hours, and marks a significant achievement in Israel’s campaign to upgrade its ties with the Gulf.



IDF: Egyptian cyber warfare in Sinai causing cell disruptions in south Israel

The Egyptian Army’s use of cyber warfare against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in northern Sinai has caused cellular blackouts across southern Israel, the IDF confirmed Wednesday (7th).

While the disruptions, which have ensued for two weeks, will likely continue, the defense establishment “is dealing with the issue with their Egyptian counterparts,” according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.



Shepherdess uses modern sheep breed to revive ancient shofar sound

The piercing note of the shofar – a ram’s horn used in Jewish ceremonies – cuts through the mountain air of the Galilee.

In northern Israel, shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky is raising a flock of Jacob sheep as a religious calling.

With up to six horns on each animal, the breed is ideally suited for the manufacture of the horn traditionally blown during the Jewish High Holidays.

The spotted breed of Jacob sheep was bred in England in the 17th and 18th centuries and this flock was brought to Israel from Canada by Lewinsky in 2016.

Turning her flock’s horns into shofars is part of God’s plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a “traditional and God-fearing Jew.”

A ram’s horn made from the breed can sell for $500 to $20,000 or more, depending on its sound and quality, as it produces a wider range of musical notes than other shofars.



Israeli food-tech is booming – Simone Somekh

Israeli start-up companies are finding new ideas to change the way we think about, produce, and eat food.  Inno-Bev has created a plant-based drink that keeps El AL pilots awake during long flights.  Super-Meat is developing lab-made chicken meat.  Hargol runs a commercial farm producing grasshoppers as a source of protein.

Other companies are developing new solutions to check for food safety.  Inspecto is working on a portable device that detects contaminants in food, like residues of fertilizer.  Yarok has invented a microbiological test which allows to check for bacteria in food in 45 minutes; the tests in use now take up to 72 hours and the results are often inaccurate.