European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 03/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 03/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Violent fracas breaks out at Western Wall

Violent skirmishes broke out on Wednesday morning at the Western Wall as Reform, Conservative and Women of the Wall leaders and activists brought Torah scrolls into the site in defiance of administrative regulations, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Although security guards from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation allowed the protest prayer group of some 200 people to enter the main site, orderlies of the foundation fought physically, but unsuccessfully, to prevent them bringing the Torah scrolls into the women’s section.

Orderlies manhandled the Progressive Jewish leaders and activists bearing the Torah scrolls and those protecting them, while Haredi protesters grabbed hold of the scrolls and fought with the activists. 

Yizhar Hess, director of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel, was himself knocked to the ground by orderlies and protestors but was unharmed. Eventually several Torah scrolls made it into the women’s section for Women of the Wall’s monthly service, while a pluralist prayer service was conducted in the upper plaza of the site.

The prayer protest rally was staged to protest the failure of the government to implement a government resolution approved in January to create a state-recognised pluralist prayer section at the southern end of the Western Wall.

Following the events of Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement.

“The unfortunate events that happened today at the Western Wall plaza do not contribute to advancing the agreed-upon solution for prayer arrangements at the site,” stated the PMO. “The prime minister and the Knesset speaker emphasised yesterday in front of the non-Orthodox leaders that this is the time for dialogue and not friction.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Knesset passes first reading of 2017-18 budget

The Knesset approved a first reading of the budget for 2017-2018 on Wednesday night, with a majority of 60 MKs supporting it and 51 voting against, the Times of Israel reports.

It will now pass on to the Knesset Finance Committee for review.

The two-year budget must clear the Knesset plenum in its second and third readings by the end of the year. If it fails to pass, new elections will be called.

The transition to a two-year budget was approved by the cabinet in August over fierce opposition criticism. Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu has touted the measure as a means for increasing the stability of the government.

Addressing the plenum, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon listed what he said were some of the government’s economic achievements over the past year, including raising IDF soldiers’ wages and increasing the incomes of pensioners, single parents and Holocaust survivors. The economy, he said, has grown over the past two quarters, Israel’s import-to-export ratio is a source of “envy” in other countries, and unemployment is the lowest in years.

“We are taking advantage of the growth for the benefit of social budgets,” he noted. “We are campaigning against the high cost of living.”

MK Zehava Galon, leader of the opposition Meretz party, said that while her faction would not oppose a budget that addresses social issues, the current plan did not qualify as such.

“What has been brought to us at the moment is a budget we will need to vote against, to my regret,” she said. Rather than address the needs of weaker segments of society, the budget “reflects submission to three extortionate institutions: the security establishment, the settlement establishment, and the ultra-Orthodox establishment.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Israeli research successful in finding possible cure for HIV and AIDS

Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have identified a protein called Gammora that they say can reduce HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, in infected patients by 97 percent, the Jerusalem Post reports.

This sexually transmitted retrovirus, which is the precursor to the deadly Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is currently treated with drugs that slow its progression; however, as of yet, there is no cure for HIV positive patients.

“The virus is smart and it is ever changing so there are patients who resist the drugs,” Hebrew University Prof. Zev Sthoeger, head of Internal Medicine Department A at Kaplan Medical Centre in Rehovot, which will host clinical trials of Gammora in the future, told The Media Line.

“We want to invent new mechanisms we hope will help us cure the virus,” Sthoeger added.

Working in a laboratory and using vials of blood from HIV positive patients, Professors Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler, both researchers at the Hebrew University identified and tested a protein they call Gammora to see its effects on killing HIV infected cells.

When a person is exposed to HIV, which can happen through sexual intercourse and exposure to infected blood, the virus immediately attacks the immune system, which is the body’s natural defence, by destroying certain infection- fighting cells, known as CD4 cells. These cells ward off infections and viruses like the flu, and, without them, leave the body helpless.

Gammora essentially forces multiple copies of the HIV DNA to enter the cell, causing the cell to go into overdrive, resulting in the cell “committing suicide,” according to Sthoeger.

Currently, the only treatment available to HIV positive patients are drugs that must be taken daily to suppress the virus and lower the chances of transmitting it to other people. While it is possible to take a drug called PrEP, which is produced and available generically in Israel by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, to lower the chances of becoming infected, the chance of transmission is still high.

Sthoeger and his team are optimistic that clinical trials at the centre testing the efficacy of Gammora should begin within a year.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Thursday, November 03, 2016
More News
Israel Press Review of 03/02/2017
- Israel and Turkey renew strategic dialogue - Israel and Ukraine healing rift from Security Council vote - Ryanair launches 15 new flight routes between Israel and Europe
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
  • IDF declares war on smoking
    IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has approved new measures to combat smoking in the military after new data revealed smoking during army service rose by 40 percent.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 IDF declares war on smoking
  • Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
    Thousands of participants took part on Friday in a race to commemorate the 421 Druze fighters who fell in all of Israel's battles and terror attacks.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
  • Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
    The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Tamar for girls and Mohammad for boys, the two favourites remaining at the top of their lists for the third consecutive year, according to figures released on Sunday by the Interior Ministry.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
  • Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
    Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country's ongoing violent civil war.

    On Thursday, September 14, 2017 Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism