European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 10.05.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 10.05.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel’s population up tenfold since founding

Israel's population has grown tenfold in the 68 years since its founding, the country's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced on Monday, the i24 news website reports.

The statistics, released ahead of Israeli Independence Day, show that Israel has 8.522 million residents, compared to the 806,000 residents present in 1948.

The Israeli population saw a net gain of 182,000 over the past year, the CBS said, with 47,000 deaths being offset by 195,000 births and 36,000 immigrants. The bureau estimated that the population in 2035 would reach 11.3 million.

Figures showed that the Jewish population of Israel stands at 6.377 million, or 74.8 percent of the population, while the Arab population numbers about 1.771 million, or 20.8 percent. Another 374,000 people – 4.4 percent of the population – are non-Arab Christians, members of other religions, and people with no recorded religious affiliation.

Some three quarters of the population was born in Israel, with more than half being second generation. About 35 percent of the 1948 population was born locally.

Tel Aviv was the only Israeli city in 1948 to have more than 100,000 residents, while there are now 14, of which 8 have more than 200,000 residents.

Click here to read the full article in i24


  • Vanunu indicted for TV interview

Mordechai Vanunu — who 30 years ago revealed Israel’s nuclear secrets to a British newspaper — was indicted over an interview that he gave to an Israeli television station last year, in violation of the terms of his release from jail, the Times of Israel reports.

Vanunu was indicted at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court both for speaking to Channel 2 TV and for failing to report to police that he was moving home. He had moved to a different apartment in the same building.

Vanunu also met with two US citizens at the Jerusalem Hotel in East Jerusalem in breach of his terms of release.

In a wide-ranging interview in September, Vanunu spoke about leaking Israel’s nuclear secrets to The Sunday Times in 1986, and of being entrapped by the Mossad and brought back to the country to be jailed. Days later, Vanunu was questioned by police at the request of the Shin Bet security service. A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge then ordered him to a week of house arrest, and ordered him not to use the internet or talk to journalists.

Channel 2 said that while all the material broadcast in the interview had been approved by Israel’s military censor, the police had asked for the full, unedited footage of the interview, apparently because it was suspected that Vanunu discussed matters he was barred from talking about.

A former technician at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor, Vanunu was released from jail in 2004 after 18 years, but the conditions of his parole included significant limitations on his freedom of movement and banned him from giving interviews on various topics.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Netanyahu criticises IDF deputy chief of staff

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went on the offensive against IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, when opening the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Yediot Aharonot reports. Netanyahu focused his criticism on Golan’s controversial speech that linked Israeli activity to actions that took place in the period leading up to WWII.

On Wednesday, one day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Golan spoke at a ceremony at the Masua Holocaust Institute in Tel Yitzhak, saying, “The Holocaust must lead us to think about our public life, and more importantly, it must lead everyone who can, not merely those who want, to carry public responsibility. If there is something that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is seeing the abhorrent processes that took place in Europe, and Germany in particular, some 70, 80 or 90 years ago, and finding manifestations of these processes here among us in 2016.”

Netanyahu criticised Golan during the cabinet meeting. “Many things have been said recently about the State of Israel. There is no country that does not have displays of intolerance and violence, but Israeli democracy is strong. It condemns these displays and it deals with them according to the law and by other means.”

“The comparison that was made in IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan's remarks about processes that characterised Nazi Germany 80 years ago is infuriating,” continued Netanyahu. “The remarks are fundamentally incorrect. They should not have been made at any time, much less now. They do an injustice to Israeli society and belittle the Holocaust. The deputy chief of staff is an outstanding officer, but his remarks on this issue were utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me.”

Mere hours after Golan’s speech, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called Netanyahu and demanded that Golan retract his speech. At the same time, Ya’alon issued a statement in support of Golan, saying that his words were purposely twisted in an attempt to “politically damage the IDF and its officers.”

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Israel close to signing gas agreement with Turkey

Israel is closer than ever to signing an agreement to export natural gas to Turkey, Israel’s leading economic journal Globes reports.

Turkey wants to consume half of the quantity of gas in the Leviathan gas reservoir, starting in 2020. In the second stage, gas may be transported from Turkey to Europe through a pipeline.

"We have a strong connection with Israel, and importing Israeli gas to Turkey is a big deal for us," Zorlu Holdings CEO Omer Yungul said last week, adding that his company wanted to import 8 BCM of gas in the near future.

Zorlu is involved in the Israeli electricity sector, and together with Adeltech and Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline, is a partner in private power station Dorad Energy. Adeltech and Zorlu also plan to build two more private power stations in Israel, and last January signed a gas supply contract with Leviathan.

Yungul's remarks came on top of statements by Turcas Petrol CEO Batu Aksoy that 15 Turkish energy companies were joining forces to promote the importing of Israeli gas to Turkey. Aksoy argued that Turkey, not Egypt, would be the anchor customer for Leviathan, and would consumer half of the gas in Leviathan. "The main advantage in assembling a consortium is distribution of the risks incurred in such a major deal," Aksoy asserted, adding that Turkey, which consumes 50 BCM of gas a year, wants to decrease its dependence on gas from Russia, the supplier of 55% of the gas used in Turkey, with Iran accounting for an additional 15%.

The more Turkey succeeds in diversifying its sources of supply and reducing its dependence on a single supplier, the greater its energy security, so the prices it obtains will be lower, and the supplier's political power will also be weakened.

The heads of the Turkish companies mentioned another advantage importing Israeli gas will open a window of opportunity for Turkey to serve as a passageway to Europe. Europe is desperately seeking to diversity its sources of supply, since an average of 30% of the gas it consumes comes from Russia, and a large proportion of that is transported via Ukraine.

Click here to read the full article in Globes

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
More News
Israel Press Review of 03/02/2017
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