Posted by Rebecca Glanzer on October 13, 2013 @ 9:30 am
After West Bank Attacks, Opposition to Peace Talks Intensifies
Thursday’s fatal terrorist attack on Sariya Ofer, a retired IDF colonel, in the West Bank moshav Shadmot Meholaand, and last week’s attack on a 9-year old girl in Psagot have intensified opposition among Likud and Bayit Yehudi members to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. “This murder requires a diplomatic response that includes the suspension of talks [with the Palestinians], halting the release of terrorists and [changing] attitudes toward settlements”. – Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi).
Israelis Concerned as US Freezes Aid to Egypt
Israeli officials have expressed concern regarding the US’ decision to suspend military aid to Egypt in response to the Egyptian military’s bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters last weekend. The US will continue supporting Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai – critical to Israel’s security – but it is suspending $260 million in monetary aid to the government, and is delaying delivery of advanced helicopters and jets to the Egyptian military.
The US has provided $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt to reinforce the Camp David Accords that set the basis for the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in 1979. Israel views the aid as crucial to maintaining peace with Egypt; according to former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, US’s suspension of aid poses great “consequences for relations with Israel.”
Shas Party Weakened after Ovadiah Yosef’s Death
The recent passing of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, founder and spiritual leader of the Sephardic Shas party, has raised doubt among Israeli politicians regarding whether Shas can reinvigorate its ranks without its leader’s guidance, and not fall prey to fragmentation and loss of influence in the Israeli Knesset.
Foreigners Play First in Israel, then the NBA
Last year, Florida Gulf Coast University ruined many March Madness fans’ brackets with their upset over Georgetown. After not being picked in the draft, star player Sherwood Brown decided to take his talents to Israel– a “great place for a young player to kick off his European Career.” Over the course of the last decade, with the emergence of many phenomenal Israeli teams, including the famed Maccabi Tel Aviv program which won back to back Euroleague titles in 2004 and 2005, Israeli basketball has become a breeding ground for European League Stars.
African Jams Find their Way to Israeli Music Festival
The band “Black Guru” is bringing beats from Africa to its set in this year’s InDnegev music festival. The founders of the band–Ayalon and Yair–returned from their trip to Senegal with a love for the country’s musical heritage. They were determined to incorporate new musical elements, such as vibrant percussionist beats, into their own work.
Check out Black Guru this week at InDnegev!
Israel’s Brain Drain
Despite the announcements about Israeli Nobel Prize winners this year, a new study has demonstrated that Israel has the worst brain drain of any Western country. For every 100 Israeli faculty members living in Israel, there are 29 working in America. While the government’s Council for Higher Education committee has begun earmarking increased funds to universities and offering high salaries to top professors to deter them from leaving, it has yet to take on the comprehensive reform needed to plug the drain.