Sunday, April 26, 2020

From Ian:

Israeli death toll hits 200, cases reach 15,398 as conditions eased
The coronavirus death toll in Israel reached 200 on Sunday afternoon, with one woman dying since the previous evening, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 15,398, an increase of 250 over the previous 24 hours.

The woman died at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, outside Tel Aviv.

Israel has registered 23 deaths per million citizens, according to the Worldometers tally on Sunday early afternoon, which places it at around 40th in the world, slightly better than the world average of some 26 deaths per million.

The Health Ministry said 132 people were in serious condition, 100 of whom were on ventilators, and 93 people were moderately ill.

There have now been 6,602 people in Israel who recovered from the coronavirus, according to the announcement, which came a day after the World Health Organization said it could not guarantee that people can’t be reinfected after recovery.

Most stores, hairdressers and beauty salons were allowed to resume operations from midnight Saturday, if hygiene regulations related to the virus were adhered to.

In addition, restaurants and food shops were allowed to sell products for takeaway, not just home deliveries, if a physical barrier is placed between the cashier and the customers.

However, hundreds of large businesses were set to remain closed, despite approval to reopen, in protest against the government and as they demand compensation for the recent closures and ongoing restrictions.
Terror victims' families to collect NIS 500 m. from Palestinian Authority
The Jerusalem District Court has ordered that around NIS 500 million be collected from the Palestinian Authority in civil damages for a series of terror attacks carried out mostly during the Second Intifada.

Despite the significant diplomatic implications, there was no sign from the Foreign Ministry or the Justice Ministry that anyone would stand in the way of collecting the funds from the PA.

Though the decision was handed down late Friday, it was announced by Shurat Hadin, which led the charge, on Sunday.

Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori had ruled that the PA was liable back in July 2019, but since then Shurat Hadin, on behalf of eight victims’ families and relating to 17 complaints, had to prove their damages.

Although the damages may total as high as NIS 1 billion, due to the complex diplomatic implications, Judge Moshe Sobol (Drori has retired) ruled on Friday that, at this stage, the collected damages will be around NIS 500m., and that even that collection will be spread out and into multiple components.

Some of the collected funds will be by an offset of funds paid by the PA to terrorists in prison and their families, while some of the collected funds will be collected on a spread-out monthly basis. The monthly basis funds will be collected from the more than NIS 500m. which Israel transfers in customs taxes on a monthly basis.

The idea is that only a fraction of the customs funds will be used each month to steadily pay down the new judgment, while most of the funds will still go to the PA so as not to cause a financial crisis.
Netanyahu: I’m confident annexation will happen in a couple of months
Israel will be able to apply its laws to the West Bank in a couple of months following a pledge from US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

“Three months ago, the Trump peace plan recognized Israel’s rights in all of Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said. “President Trump pledged to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jewish communities there and in the Jordan Valley. In a couple of months from now, I’m confident that pledge will be honored, that we will be able to celebrate another historic moment in the history of Zionism.”

The Trump peace plan would allow Israel to annex 30% of the West Bank, including all settlements and the entire Jordan Valley, while providing the Palestinians with a massive economic-aid package to support their establishing a demilitarized state, if they meet certain conditions, including stopping incitement, payments to terrorists and instituting civil rights.

The coalition agreement between Likud and Blue and White, signed last week, states that annexation can be brought to a vote in the cabinet or Knesset on July 1 at the earliest.

Netanyahu spoke in a video message at an online conference of the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) in honor of the 100th anniversary of the San Remo Conference, in which the Allied powers in World War I divided up territory that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.
Jordan said to urge foreign ministers to discourage Israeli West Bank annexation
Jordan last week approached a number of foreign governments and urged them to pressure Israel not to annex parts of the West Bank, Channel 13 news reported, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz signed a coalition agreement saying the move could potentially go ahead as early as July.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has reportedly approached counterparts in a number of countries including Russia, Germany, Egypt, Japan, Sweden and Norway.

Jordan was said to have warned that a possible annexation would have a “devastating effect,” marking the end of a two-state solution, and having potentially explosive consequences for the Middle East.

According to the report, the overtures made by Safadi were in coordination with the Palestinians, who themselves have launched a campaign against annexation.

In addition, the Arab League is due to hold an emergency meeting on the matter, Channel 13 reported.

The Netanyahu-Gantz deal stipulates that any Israeli action would need US backing, and must take into account Israel’s peace treaties with neighboring Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab states that have formal peace treaties and diplomatic relations with Israel.

Recent months have seen Amman recall its ambassador to Israel, no joint ceremony marking the quarter-century anniversary of the peace agreement between the two countries, and the termination of special arrangements that allowed Israeli farmers to easily access plots of land inside Jordan.



ECI to mark 100 years since San Remo Conference in Jerusalem
This weekend marks 100 years since the San Remo Conference, during which the formerly-Ottoman Middle East was split up by the European powers.

The European Coalition for Israel (ECI) and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy will host a live-streamed event from Jerusalem starting at 4 p.m. IST featuring senior Israeli diplomats and greetings from world leaders to mark the centennial.

During the conference, Great Britain was given the mandate for Palestine and it was decided that the Balfour Declaration would be incorporated in the Treaty of Peace with Turkey.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 recognized the need of the Jewish people to have a "national home" in Palestine. However, the declaration was a purely political statement with no legal binding.

At San Remo, the declaration became law as Great Britain was granted the Mandate for Palestine as a "sacred trust of civilization” in respect of “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people,” according to European Coalition for Israel (ECI). The ultimate purpose of the mandate was intended to be the "creation of an autonomous commonwealth."

The mandate was approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922.

An article about the San Remo Conference in the New York Times from April 26, 1920, was headlined "Zionist Rejoicings: British Mandate for Palestine Welcomed."


Barry Shaw: The consequences of the San Remo Conference - 100 Years Later.
San Remo hosted world leaders to decide the future of Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia in April 1920. The Ottoman Empire was no more and the four major World War I Allied Powers - Britain, France, Italy and Japan - met to divide the spoils.

Syria and Mesopotamia (Iraq) were to be given to the Hashemites, as was Transjordan. As far as the Jews were concerned, it codified the Jewish People's rights to the Land of Israel into international law according to the terms and policy of the Balfour Declaration, namely that “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” and that Britain “will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

This event was celebrated in Jewish communities worldwide and treated as if it was a Jewish national holiday.

The Arabs, of course, objected. Feisal and Abdullah saw themselves as Hashemite rulers of the Middle East until the House of Saud engaged them in fierce battles during this time of history.

As is usual in the Arab world, both hated each other with a passtion, but were united against allowing Jews to gain any ascendency in the Middle East.

For them all, it was a stain on the Arab tradition of conquest to allow a non-Arab, non-Muslim, presence to take hold in the region.

The 400-year-old non-Arab Ottoman Empire had been accepted with silence by the impoverished local Arabs in the barren district of Palestine, but that was in deference to the Islamic rulers of Constantinople.

Not long after the San Remo Conference, Britain began to view their geopolitical interests in the Middle East differently.

The British realized, prompted by the Americans, that the Arabs had something valuable under their feet. Oil. This greasy liquid would be necessary for Britain’s motorized and industrialized future prosperity.






The EU has failed to manage the pandemic
Belgium, whose capital city Brussels is also the capital of the European Union, aptly reflects the difficult situation in which the EU finds itself, and which has only become more desperate in the wake of the coronavirus. With nearly 7,000 dead since the onset of the pandemic, the country of 11.5 million people has the worst mortality rate in the world in relation to its population size.

Worse than the US, Italy, and Spain.

Over the past two weeks, Belgium's daily coronavirus death toll is similar – often higher – than Israel's total coronavirus death toll since the beginning of the crisis. The heart of Europe is sick, very sick.

The reasons the coronavirus is ravaging Belgium are manifold. First among them: The collapse of the country's federal system of government in recent years. The nursing homes, which were entirely unprepared to cope with an emergency health situation, became "houses of death." This systematic failure and the consequent chaos led the authorities in Belgium to respond far too late an ineffectively to the pandemic. Additionally, Belgium is a primary transport hub in Europe, a fact that helped the virus spread.

Belgium's systematic failure is reflected in the EU's approach to the pandemic: A misunderstanding of the danger, slow responses, and lack of coordination between the various bodies.

The EU failed miserably in coping with the pandemic in its early stages and is now facing the next test, which could prove fateful – preparing for the challenges posed by the harsh new economic and social reality in several leading EU countries, chief among them France, Italy, and Spain, with countries such as Belgium alongside them.

Hypothetically, the EU's preoccupation with its own current state of affairs should make it less inclined to interfere with Israel's affairs. Increasing Israel's ability to carry out its plans to annex the Jordan Valley and settlement clusters this summer, in accordance with the Trump administration's "deal of the century."
Survey: Israeli Arabs, Haredim feel more connected to Israel than ever
Israelis, including Israeli Arabs, feel more connected to Israel and its challenges than ever before, a survey by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute found.

The survey found that 90% of Israelis (92.5% among Jewish Israelis and 77% among Arab Israelis) said they feel that they are a part of Israel and share in its problems. These are the highest results for this question in the past decade. Between 2014 and 2019, the rate of Arab Israelis answering the same question positively ranged between 35% and 62%, and Jewish Israelis varied between 83% and 87%. Most noticeable was a surge in among the ultra-Orthodox to 93.5%, from 68.5% a year earlier.

In evaluating Israel's successes and failures over its 72-year history, 63.5% of Israelis (67% of Jewish Israelis and 44% of Arab Israelis) said that the country's success rate exceeds its failure rate, compared to only 8% who think more failures can be counted. 22% claim that there is a similar degree of successes and failures.

“The coronavirus epidemic, with all the restrictions and difficulties it imposes on us all, seems to also have a positive impact on Israeli society," said Dr. Or Anabi, a researcher at the Guttman center at the Israel Democracy Institute. "Today, a few days before Israel celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, a majority of the public feels part of the State of Israel and shares in its problems. The level of cohesion in Israeli society is at the highest rate we have measured in the past decade.”

The results were part of an ongoing survey IDI is doing to track the mood of the country as the coronavirus pandemic crisis unfolds. Anabi noted that many of the variables he had intended to track were stable over the first month.

"Each survey we have done has shown that the level of trust in public officials is about 44%, trust in government health officials is about 66%, and trust in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is around 55%, with fluctuations of a few points here and there," Anabi said. There has been an overall decline in peoples' stress levels, with the average Israeli rating his stress level at 5.1 on a scale of 1-10, compared to 5.64 at the beginning of the month, he noted.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Human rights group urges Abbas not to extend state of emergency
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) has urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to extend the state of emergency he declared in early March after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The commission also expressed concern over the activities of “local emergency committees” that have been operating in Palestinian villages and cities since the first cases of coronavirus were discovered in Bethlehem last month.

In a message to Abbas, the ICHR said it had followed the declaration of the state of emergency since March 5, “which came in light of difficult health conditions that required exceptional measures to confront and prevent the spread of the virus.”

The commission appreciated Abbas’s directives “that contributed to curbing the spread of the pandemic and protected our people from the threat of the virus.” It further praised the efforts of the PA government and medical and security teams involved in the effort to combat the disease.

The ICHR, however, called on Abbas not to extend the state of emergency upon its expiration and emphasized the need to “respect the provisions of the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003, which explicitly stipulated that such a move must be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).”

On April 3, Abbas issued a presidential decree extending the state of emergency for an additional 30 days.

“The authorities shall continue to take all necessary measures to tackle the risks arising from the pandemic outbreak, protect the public health and bring about security and stability,” Abbas stated in his decree.
Palestinian teacher posts lesson hailing terrorist in 1978 attack that killed 38
An Arabic-language teacher at a Palestinian school in Hebron posted a grammar lesson for students to review at home during the coronavirus pandemic that glorifies the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre that killed 38 Israeli civilians, along with a female terrorist who took part in the attack.

Nasser al-Rajabi uploaded the reading comprehension and grammar lesson to YouTube on February 28, and it was twice shared on his Wasyah Al-Rasoul elementary school for boys’ Facebook page early last month. The video has since racked up over 11,000 views.

The lesson is based on a 2019 Palestinian Authority Arabic-language textbook for fifth graders, according to an Israeli watchdog that analyzes Palestinian textbooks, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se).

In the 1978 attack, several Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70.

In the lesson, al-Rajabi includes a graphic of one of architects of the terror attack, Dalal Mughrabi, standing in the hijacked bus, pointing a rifle at the Israeli passengers inside and what appears to be a murdered woman on the bus floor next to a Palestinian flag. Below the image is a sentence taken from the textbook that reads, “She took the flag of Palestine out of her bag, kissed it and then hung it inside the bus.”


Saudi TV show for Ramadan sparks outrage with Hebrew opening monologue
A new Saudi Arabian TV series sparked a storm of controversy among Gulf states as the opening monologue of the first episode was spoken in Hebrew, N12 has reported.

The series, Umm Haroun – meaning Mother of Aaron – which deals with relations between Muslims and Jews in 1940s Kuwait, premiered during Ramadan – the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar.

Many new TV series debut during Ramadan as people are spending time fasting. This year many of the shows were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, but Umm Haroun had already been filmed beforehand and was thus not affected by the cancellations, N12 reported.

"Before our footsteps go missing and our lives fall into memory, we will be lost to time," a Jewish character says in the opening monologue. "We are the Gulf Jews who were born in the Gulf lands," she declares.

The series was made by Saudi Arabia's state-owned channel MBC, the most popular TV channel in the Arab world, and boasts a star-studded cast of Saudi and Kuwaiti actors including the famous Kuwaiti actress Hayat al-Fahd, 71, who plays the titular mother of Aaron.
Foreign Ministry: Egyptian TV show predicting end of Israel ‘unacceptable’
An Egyptian television series depicting a future in which Israel was destroyed by Arab states is unacceptable, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The first episode of the Ramadan drama titled The End, features a scene of children in a classroom in the year 2120 learning about "the war to liberate Jerusalem."

"America was the central supporter of the Zionist state," a teacher says, while a holographic map of the US appears in the front of the classroom. "When the time came for the Arab states to get rid of their sworn enemy, a war broke out that was named the war to liberate Jerusalem."

The teacher added that "the war ended quickly and brought about the destruction of the Zionist State of Israel less than 100 years after its establishment."

According to the teacher, "most of the Jews in Israel ran away and returned to their countries of origin in Europe."
Most Jews in Israel are Mizrahi, meaning they are of Middle Eastern or North African – not European – origin.


Denmark: Fake Bible Must be Revoked
Unperturbed, in 2020, the Danish Bible Society (DBS) published a complete and revised Bible with the same anti-Israel New Testament version intact, plus a translation of the Old Testament, replacing the word "Israel" with "us", as in Psalm 121:4 ("He who watches over Israel [DBS: 'us'] will neither slumber nor sleep"), as Jan Frost reports.

As in this case, trading "Israel" for "us" is not simply replacing one word for another; it switches the concept. DBS pretends that we get the divine watchfulness. It has been stolen. The original recipient, Israel, has been replaced and robbed of its privileges.

DBS seems to be attempting to discard Israel. The Society appears to be emulating the current social attitude that develops from the anti-Israelism of Muslim immigrants and that is picked up by other Danish parts of society. Who commissioned this Bible edition? Who paid for it? Who profits from a fake Bible? Who stands for the truth of the Christian faith in Denmark?




Irish Times’ Abysmal Attempt at a Correction
On April 23, we called the Irish Times to task for an interview with Juliet Casey “originally from Walkinstown, Dublin, but now lives in Palestine, where she teaches ballet.”

It became quite clear, however, that Casey lives not in Palestine, but in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, and teaches in Nazareth, also in Israel, seriously compromising the accuracy of the article and ensured a nasty politicized anti-Israel bias in the piece.

Following an email from HonestReporting to the Irish Times editor, an asterisk now appears at the top of the article with this “correction” at the end:
* This article was amended on April 24th, 2020

The first thing to point out is the lack of transparency on the part of the Irish Times. A proper correction in any media should include some brief description of what and a reason for why something has been changed. Instead, the Irish Times leaves no record for the reader.

As for the textual amendments:
Before: “Juliet Casey is originally from Walkinstown, Dublin, but now lives in Palestine, where she teaches ballet”
After: “Juliet Casey is originally from Walkinstown, Dublin, but now teaches ballet in Palestine.”

Before: “I live in Palestine with my fiancé Fadi, who is from Jerusalem.”
After: “I live in Haifa with my fiancé Fadi, who is from Jerusalem.”
Financial Times amends headline to remove “segregated” Israel smear
Last week, we posted about an April 17th Financial Times article (pay wall) which was full of smears and inaccuracies about the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens – and, in fact, peddled a lie in the very headline:

There was nothing in the article to back up the apartheid-related smear of a “segregated” Israel, save one quote by an Arab doctor falsely claiming that Arab citizens are barred from certain professions – a lie that wasn’t challenged by the journalist.

We complained to editors, who refused to correct most of the misleading claims, but did agree to revise the headline, removing the word “segregated” and replacing it with the unproblematic word “divided”.

An addendum at the bottom of the article noting the change was added.
Terrorist sympathiser group branded ‘disgrace’ for selling branded clothing
A TERRORIST sympathiser group has been branded a “disgrace” for selling branded clothing.

CAGE — which called IS’s Jihadi John a “beautiful young man” — is flogging a fleece jacket for £44.95.

There are also polo shirts for £9.95, hoodies for £19.95 perfume for a fiver, a Cage trolley coin for £1 and baseball caps from £9.95 — alongside books on terror prisoners.

CAGE were labelled terror sympathisers in 2015 after research director Asim Qureshi hailed IS executioner Jihadi John, real name Mohammed Emwazi, as “extremely kind and gentle”.

Last year they said jihadi bride Shamima Begum should be “counselled by her community and not punished”.

CAGE was set up by Moazzam Begg, a former British terrorist suspect who was held at Guantanamo Bay.

Security expert Prof Anthony Glees, of Buckingham University, said: “My guess is it’s not just cash they’re after but supporters.

“Selling cheap tat is a way of recruiting, especially amongst students who may be getting bored not able to go to school or college.

“It brings CAGE into contact with prospective buyers. This is far from good news.”

Former Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp said: “Anyone wearing Cage branded clothing can be immediately identified as opposed to British values and a supporter of terror apologists.”
Neo-Nazis hack online Torah lessons by German rabbis
The growing use of digital platforms to observe social distancing directives during the coronavirus pandemic has not escaped the attention of various radical groups, which are using it to target the objects of their hatred.

This week, which saw Israel and Jewish communities worldwide mark Holocaust Remembrance Day Memorial Day, neo-Nazis crashed two separate events hosted on the Zoom video conference app.

In one incident, Neo-Nazis activists hacked online Torah lessons given by Rabbi Avichai Apel, the Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt, as well as lessons given by Rabbi Mordechai Bala, the Chief Rabbi of Leipzig, Rabbi Raphael Evers, the Rabbi of Dusseldorf, and Torah lessons conducted by the Morasha organization.

The neo-Nazis called out "Heil Hitler" and other derogatory cries while sending out photos of Nazi symbols, atrocities and swastikas, Israel National News reported.

According to the report, the rabbis immediately shut down the live broadcast, instating a private registration mechanism for future lessons, to avoid another incident.

German police in all relevant cities have been alerted to the hacks.
Thousands of NY Orthodox Jews donate blood plasma to help beat COVID-19
Orthodox Jews from New York communities hit hard by coronavirus are turning their curse into a blessing, by donating the antibodies present in their blood plasma to help cure other Americans of the disease.

More than 3,000 Jews have already donated blood plasma at blood banks around the New York area, with another 6,000 tested on Wednesday to see whether they have the correct antibodies.

Chaim Lebovits, a shoe wholesaler from Monsey, New York, who has been masterminding the operation, says he hopes that in total around 45,000 Orthodox Jews from the New York area will take part in the plasma drive in total, according to the Forward.

“The plasma isn’t just used for frum people or Jewish people, it’s for people in general,” Lebovits said. “We as observant Jews have an obligation to preserve life, and save life, and help as many people as we can.”

Lebovits became involved in organizing the drive when he was contacted by Dr. Shmuel Shoham, an expert on infectious diseases in transplant patients at Johns Hopkins University. In March, Shoham realized that convalescent plasma – antibodies retrieved from the blood of people who had COVID-19 and recovered – could be the key to combating the disease.

Lebovits has no formal medical training, but for years has been helping connect friends and fellow hassidic Jews with medical professionals, including Shoham. Consequently, when Shoham realized that he needed access to a large amount of blood plasma, he reached out to Lebovits.

“I had no idea that he would drop everything and completely immerse himself in this,” Shoham said, adding that Lebovits “is giving his community members a chance to do something, now that they have this power in their body to make a difference.”
Israeli startup helps docs keep up with Covid-19 science
After a long day treating patients in corona isolation wards, the last thing doctors want to do is catch up on professional literature. And even if they did, they couldn’t – medical papers on the global pandemic are sprouting at an astonishing rate.

This is where Kahun, an Israeli digital health startup, steps in. It started operating in 2018, long before phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” became part of our daily lives. But once the coronavirus crisis emerged it shifted its focus.

Kahun analyzes medical data found in some 30 million articles in databases accessed by research engines such as PUMBED.

Its algorithms and AI capabilities search for ties between symptoms and possible diagnoses, for example, or insights from blood test results. Then the info is structured into a machine-readable “knowledge graph” complete with links to the relevant data sources.

Because coronavirus has already spurred around 4,000 medical papers, Kahun decided to launch a free website where medical teams and laypeople can research the topic.
Israel's IAI tests UV light solution to sterilize passenger aircraft
An innovative robotic system to rapidly sterilize passenger aircrafts using powerful UV light technology is being tested by leading Israeli aerospace and defense firm Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Widely used to purify water, Lod-headquartered IAI has adapted UV-C (short-wavelength ultraviolet) technology in recent weeks to successfully disinfect coronavirus facilities at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) and Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center.

Now, engineers at IAI's aviation division are adapting the technology for the efficient and autonomous sterilization of passenger aircraft between flights, boosting airline efforts to restart operations in a safe and clean manner.

The UV-C technology is based on electromagnetic radiation emitted with a wavelength of 254 nanometers – a frequency that kills all germs and viruses and is more effective than traditional chemical cleaning for cabin surfaces.

"Our system consists of a robotic system that operates autonomously inside the airplane," said Avi, the IAI aviation division project leader, whose surname cannot be disclosed for security reasons. "We can give the robot a plan of the airplane or any large space, and the system will operate automatically."

The system is being tested on an aircraft that is currently being modified by IAI engineers in the company's facilities, Avi said. The system has proved to be faster than traditional interior cabin cleaning and sterilizes everything in the proximity of the system, including aircraft seat upholstery and other fabrics.

"The usual cleaning solutions require a lot of time, and involve chemicals, water and liquids. Passengers cannot board the airplane until it has dried out," said Avi, adding that the system is "much more affordable" than existing cleaning methods. "When you use this system, you can immediately board passengers after completing the cleaning process."
Ahead of 72nd Independence Day, Israeli population stands at 9.2 million
Israel’s population now numbers nearly 9.2 million, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced ahead of the country’s 72nd Independence Day, which begins on Tuesday evening.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s population grew by 171,000 people, or 1.9 percent, since last Independence Day and is projected to reach 11.1 million in 2030. By 2048, when Israel turns 100, the CBS predicted a population of 15.2 million.

Over the course of the past year, 180,000 babies were born, 44,000 people died, and 32,000 people immigrated from the Diaspora.

The CBS described Israel as having a “young population,” with nearly 950,000 children under the age of 4 currently living here. Around 28% of the population is aged 0-14 while 12% is aged 65 or older.

There are currently 6.806 million Jews, accounting for 74% of the population, while the 1.93 million Arabs in Israel make up 21% of the population. Another 454,000 people defined as others account for the remaining 5%.

Among the Jewish population, 78% are native-born. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, 3.3 million people have immigrated to the country, 44% of them arriving since 1990.

In 1948 only six percent of a global Jewish population of 11.5 million lived in Israel. Today 45% of the world’s 14.7 million Jews reside in the Jewish state.
Israelis can virtually bring Rivlin to their home this Independence Day
Israeli company Tetavi is allowing Israelis to bring President Reuven Rivlin into their homes for Independence Day via alternate reality (AR) on their cell phones.

Millions of Israelis remain in their homes due to the coronavirus outbreak, unable to attend the various ceremonies and parties throughout the country that would occur on Independence Day.

Thanks to Tetavi, however, it's now possible to hear Rivlin's Independence Day address personally through AR without the use of a smartphone app.

In order to accomplish this, Tetavi programmer Nimrod Shapiro used artificial intelligence and dedicated software to create holograms and 3D models.

Like many images on mobile, the size of the hologram can be adjusted by users.

Rather than using an app, users can access the program through their web browsers, with Tetavi recommending Google Chrome for Android devices and Safari for Apple devices.

In addition, Tetavi advises that the AR program will work best on iPhone 7 and up, Samsung S8, A50 and up and LG G5 and up.


One dayMatisyahu to join Jewish Agency’s (online) Independence bash
When singer Matisyahu performs for the Jewish Agency’s virtual Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, it will be the first time the homebound singer has performed in weeks.

“Doing something like this can potentially bring people together, and that’s awesome,” he said. “If feels like the right time and place to do something that will help people.”

The singer, who will be performing at 3 p.m. EDT, from his home studio in Nyack, New York, plans on singing his famed mashup of “One Day” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” along with versions sent in by audience members.

“I was thinking about maybe changing the lyrics for ‘One Day’ and doing something cutesy, but I don’t need to,” said Matisyahu. “This song really works for this moment in time.”

His appearance is part of a six-hour broadcast featuring personalities from Israel and Jewish communities worldwide, including actor Joshua Malina and Broadway star Ben Platt with Platt’s brothers Jonah and Henry, as well as an Israeli barbecue cooking class with chefs Haim Cohen and Adeena Sussman.

The broadcast will wind up with a two-hour party featuring the performance by Matisyahu and a global dance party hosted by Galgalatz, Israel’s pop music radio station, including call-in requests from Jewish communities around the world.




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