News Highlights May 2013

 

Contents

 

1. The Second 100 years.

2. The Israelis.

3.    Israeli Cities.

4.   Integration in Israel.

5. Private Power Station.

6.  Beijing Dance Company.

7.   The Navy's Female Brigade.

8.   Army forced to make cuts.

9.  Improve schools, rid poverty, make peace.

10.   Customized Physicians.

11. U21 European tournament.

 

 

 


The Second 100 years


 After many years of declining numbers Israel's kibbutz movement is staging a revival, with many potential members wanting to join the unique form of collective living.

The total kibbutz population of about 143,000 is the highest in its 102-year history. More people are now joining kibbutzim than leaving and the addition of working-age adults and young children is helping to redress the balance of an ageing population.

Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms so as to become commercially viable. Privatization with differential incomes and home ownership has increased the attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.

Increasing numbers of families are attracted to kibbutz living by the quality of education, environment, space and security. The kibbutz enterprises also provide thousands of job opportunities.

 

President Shimon Peres recently hosted a delegation of the kibbutz movement, including the secretary general, Eitan Roshi and his attorney Michi Drury (legal department) and Rinat rolls (Director of Social and Community).

The meeting lasted about an hour and presented details of economics and community.
The delegation asked the President to assist with and to settle in a short time the question of land and building on a kibbutz.

Back in 1952 Ben Gurion asked a dairy worker to get permission from his kibbutz to take up the position of Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Defense. The dairy worker was just 29 years old but Ben Gurion believed that he was important for the country. The worker approached his kibbutz and a vote was held at a general meeting whether or not to allow a kibbutz member to work outside the kibbutz. That was the way the kibbutzim operated in those days. The members of Alumot voted in favor and the dairy worker, Shimon Peres, was granted leave to serve the country as Deputy Director General of Defense. Shimon Peres was instrumental in building Israel's Defense industry including its nuclear capacity. He also served in numerous ministerial posts including that of Prime Minister. He is of course Israel's current President.

The kibbutzim formed the backbone of the country before Israel gained independence in 1948 and during the first few years after independence. There was an established infrastructure in place because of the kibbutzim and many notable persons from kibbutzim took part in the political and defense organizations as the new state came into being. The kibbutzim were also the bread basket of Israel providing a large percentage of the country's food needs. Kibbutz enterprises diversified over the years and now cover almost every type of business and account for about 8% of Israel's economy.

The Israelis – Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija

 

Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija has become the first Israeli Arab woman to be appointed a professor at an Israeli research university.

This is a real breakthrough and a great accomplishment, saidFadia Nasser-Abu Alhija, who is also head of the department of curriculum planning and instruction at Tel Aviv University's School of Education. It is greatly important for other Arab women to have a role model to follow. We need more educated women to contribute their share in the development of our community. There are already nearly forty male Arab Professors at Israeli Universities but for cultural reasons it is much more difficult for Arab women to reach such high positions.

Nasser-Abu Alhija, who earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology with a concentration in research, evaluation, measurement and statistical methods in 1997, was appointed last month about 30 years after she began her teaching career at a high school in the Israeli town of Tira.

The UGA faculty at Georgetown University and my two dissertation mentors provided me with state-of-the-art professional knowledge, skills and training in the domain of research, evaluation, measurement and statistics, she said. Being trained at UGA was a key factor in getting a position at an Israeli university.
 

Joseph Wisenbaker, professor emeritus of educational psychology, served on her doctoral committee and was her major professor.

Fadia came to our college reputed to be one of the finest science educators in Israel, said Wisenbaker. I think that her career represents the kind of focus on education and measurement in education about which our college can be most proud!
 

Nasser-Abu Alhija said there was a growing awareness among Arab women in Israel of the need and benefit of higher education.

While this trend still needs to be systematically studied, I can suggest several reasons for it, she said. Access to modernization has brought Arab families to the realization that education increases girls' chances to achieve a better life, economically and socially. Arab girls realize that education is a powerful tool by which they can cope with and overcome their inferior status in their own community compared to men and in Israeli society as a minority group. They are also being influenced by role modeling women in their community and from all around the world due to extensive access to media.

 

Israeli Cities - Haifa

Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of nearly 600,000 in the metropolitan area. Haifa is a mixed city: 90% are Jews, more than a quarter of who are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, while 10% are Arabs, predominantly of the Christianreligion. It is also home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site and the world headquarters of the Bahai religion.

Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the history of settlement at the site spans more than 3,000 years. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: It has been conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Persians,Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders,Ottomans, British, and the Israelis. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; the city has been governed by the Haifa Municipality.

Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel'sMediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square kilometers (24.6 sq mi). It is located about 90 kilometers (56 mi) north of Tel Aviv and is the major regional center of northern Israel. Two respected academic institutions, the University of Haifa and the Technion, are located in Haifa, and the city plays an important role in Israel's economy. It is home to Matam, one of the oldest and largest high-tech parks in the country.[7] Haifa Bay is a center of heavy industry, petroleum refining and chemical processing. Haifa was formerly the western terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq via Jordan.[8] The city is considered to be the Israeli equivalent of San Francisco because of its sloping steep streets, proximity to a bay and liberal atmosphere.

A small port city known today as Tell Abu Hawam was established Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). During the 6th century BCE, Greek geographer Scylax told of a city "between the bay and the Promontory of Zeus" (i.e., the Carmel) which may be a reference to Shikmona, a locality in the Haifa area, during the Persian period. By Hellenistic times, the city had moved to a new site south of what is now Bat Galim because the port's harbor had become blocked with sand. About the 3rd century CE, the city was first mentioned in Talmudic literature, as a Jewish fishing village and the home of Rabbi Avdimi and other Jewish scholars. A Greek-speaking population living along the coast at this time was engaged in commerce.

Haifa is served by six over ground railway stations which are connected to the national railway network. There is also a subway system. The Haifa underground railway system is called theCarmelit. It is an underground train on rails, running from downtown Paris Square to Gan HaEm (Mother's Park) on Mount Carmel. With a single track, six stations and two trains, it is listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's shortest metro line.

Haifa is one of the few cities in Israel where buses operate on Shabbat Bus lines operate throughout the city on a reduced schedule from late Saturday morning onwards. Haifa is also the only city in Israel to operate a Saturday bus service to the beaches during summer time.

A tunnel has been cut through Mount Carmel to connect North and South Haifa and greatly reduce travelling time.

Haifa Airport serves domestic flights to Tel Aviv and Eilat as well as international charters to Cyprus, Greece and Jordan. The airliners that operate flights from Haifa are Arkia and Israir. There are currently plans to expand services from Haifa. Cruise ships operate from Haifa port primarily to destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Europe and Black Sea.

Haifa has two major universities and several other academic institutions. The city has several Museums, Art Galleries, Concert Halls and a wide variety of restaurants and pubs.

Haifa has been twinned with Shenzhen, St Petersburg, Marseilles, Odessa, Cape Town and others.

Integration in Israel

Israel is very proud of its system of integration. No organization is allowed to discriminate against a person on ethnic, color, religious or cultural grounds. It is very common in Israel to be treated in government and private hospitals and clinics by Arab doctors and nurses. Also a very large number of Pharmacists are Arabs. Israel is one of the only a handful of non Muslim countries that allow Sharia Law and Sharia Courts are financed by the Israeli government. It is very common to see religious Jews and Religious Muslims together in government offices and in public places and on public transport.

The Israeli government does not tolerate any attempt of segregation of any group of people for any reason. This policy and practice has been in force since the first day of independence in 1948.

Peoples of the world have been brainwashed to believe that Israel practices a policy of segregation but nowhere in Israel is such a policy allowed or practiced. Visitors to Israel are often surprised to find that Israel is such a democratic country with such a high level of integration of the many distinctive people and races that make up the population of Israel.

People in Israel are allowed to live, work and study anywhere in the country regardless of their ethnic, color or religious origins or backgrounds.

Naturally in such a vibrant democracy there is often disagreement and this can be seen in the political system when at any election at least thirty parties contest the elections.

In a recent announcement' Dalit Stauber, Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Education, announced on prime-time Reshet Bet public radio, the decision to place 500 unemployed Arab-Israeli math, English, science and Arabic teachers in all Israeli schools over the next four years. The plan was described as nothing less than “revolutionary” and the Director-General stressed its educational, social and economic advantages for Israel.

Starting with the then “revolutionary” (but by now already “pretty normal”) integration of Arab-Israeli teachers in schools to teach Arabic, this has been a journey to normalize the integration of the best teachers in Israel’s schools, irrespective of background. It represents a systematic effort to build a more cohesive society, to specifically improve Jewish-Arab relations and to create equal employment opportunities for Israel’s estimated 8-10,000 unemployed Arab teachers.

Israel is a tiny country, one of the smallest in the world, so small that it cannot be seen on a regular map of the world unless enlarged. It is only the size of Wales in Britain, The Kruger Park in South Africa or New Jersey in the USA. Yet it attracts the attention of a mega country.

Private Power Station


The 870-megawatt natural gas power station is the project of Israeli firm Dalia Power Energies and will be located near Kibbutz Kfar Menahem at Tzafit, where the Israel Electric Corporation operates another power station.

Slated to be fully completed and connected to the grid in summer 2015, the future power station is expected to supply between 6 and 7 percent of Israel’s electricity needs.

Operating and maintaining the site will be the French firm Alstom, which will be providing two combined cycle natural gas units to the site, each with a 435-megawatt capacity.

“I wish you all that this power station will be another escalation in the development of the State of Israel,” said President Shimon Peres at the ceremony.

While Dalia will become the largest private facility in the country, it will not be the first to come online. Israel’s first large private power station, the 440-megawatt OPC Rotem plant near Dimona, is scheduled to be complete by July. Meanwhile, a few of the turbines at the eventually 812- megawatt Dorad private power facility in Ashkelon may also be ready in August.

The additional electricity generated by the private power suppliers will be critical to making proper use of the country’s natural gas supply and to maximizing the electricity reserve during the hot summer months.

The introduction of private power plants into Israel’s electricity sector is expected to reduce prices as the existing monopoly in the industry decreases.


President Peres praised the Dalia and Alstom team for their commitments to generating electricity without polluting unnecessarily and “without violating the balance on planet Earth.”

The success here at Tzafit, he added, is a testament to Israel’s strength in moving forward with far-reaching scientific endeavors.

“This economy is based and founded on science that soars with its possibilities,” Peres said.

 

 Beijing Dance Theater


The dancers will soon arrive in Israel for their inaugural visit.

They will perform Haze by artistic director Wang Yuanyaun at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center.

The piece is danced by a cast of 19 performers and offers a taste of contemporary Chinese movement.

Wang is an unusual character in the Chinese dance world. For one, she is one of the only women at the helm of a major company. She is also several years younger than most of her fellow choreographers. Her energy, clarity and ambition have undoubtedly spurred her career, first as a dancer and now as a choreographer. Her pieces give commentary on the reality of life as Wang sees it.

In 2008, the Sichuan earthquake claimed the lives of tens of thousands of locals. For Wang, this event only emphasized a growing sense of danger in China.

The pollution, the overpopulation and natural disasters had turned her home country into what felt like a minefield.

“The premiere of Haze was in 2009,” explained Wang in a recent interview. “It was in the same period as the earthquake in Sichuan that I started the piece.

Many people died at that time, and it caused me to think about life. Around that time I was reading a work by Chinese writer Lu Xun that was written over 100 years ago. The novel led me to think about the people’s situation in China and how it is so similar to a century ago. It seems really dangerous for us not only for living in a really bad environment – the pollution in China but also the economy, which is another kind of pollution. There are so many people living in a dangerous place.”

In the years since the creation of Haze, the haze in China has only intensified.

“It’s really happening this year in Beijing,” said Wang. “In the spring, there are entire months covered by haze. I think about how we can make this pollution happen as human beings. We are the ones doing this. We have to clear something inside. We have to clear the system to save the world. I think about how to help people to save the world. It’s about the relationship between the inside and the outside.”

Wang, lighting designer Han Jiang and set designer Tan Shaoyuan formed the Beijing Dance Theater in 2008. Wang had honed her talents in New York and returned to China with a mission to carve out a niche for herself at home.

Five years after establishing her company, with countless performances under her belt, Wang still gets nervous before each show.

“I love to sit in the audience and watch my dancers,” he said.”Every time, I feel like the performance is new. Even if the piece has been done many times, each time feels like the first. I get especially nervous when I take the company outside of China because I don’t know what the audience thinks about my piece and about China.”

 Israel Navy’s female controllers

 

THE MAIN mission of the controllers is to single out hostile boats.

The IDF’s female controllers sit in the large, darkened Arena Command Post at Ashdod Naval Base, their eyes glued to their screens.

To the left of each controller was a screen showing a feed from a heat-sensitive camera. To the right was a high-quality color image. On the other side of their panel, a radar screen.

These soldiers represent the front line of Israeli’s coastal defenses. For the duration of their eight-hour shift, they cannot remove their stare from the screens, for fear of missing a hostile vessel – a mistake that can cost lives.

Up above them, a large map is projected on the wall showing dots of various colors. It provides real time information on all vessels sailing on the Mediterranean and the locations of Israel Navy vessels, as well as the movements of the air force and ground forces.

“We call this our tactical map. It is available to the whole of the navy network, from submarines and missile ships, and to navy headquarters in Tel Aviv and senior command level,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Gal Mor, commander of the Ashdod Command Post.

The controllers do not have an easy job, but what they do have, explained Sgt. Hanna Plotkin, a shift manager, is each other’s company and support.

“We talk to each other, and sometimes sing. It helps us bond as a crew,” she said. “These girls are incredible.”

Sitting behind the first row of controllers is a second layer of soldiers, responsible for communicating with the navy’s boats and directing them to suspicious vessels. These young women are tasked with making a decision to intervene and send out patrols to unusual ships if necessary. They sit at panels with headphones and a microphone for communications.

In the third row are more senior officers overseeing the entire operation.

“It’s amazing, the level of responsibility they put on these girls’ young shoulders,” a senior navy source said. “A charming girl, aged 18, can tell a navy boat commander where to go.”

Israel’s Navy has divided the country’s coastlines into three arenas. A southern arena is located around Eilat, and covers the Red Sea. Each arena is also subdivided into regions. One example is the Erez Regional Post, which monitors the Gaza Strip coast.

The bottom line is that the navy keeps a close eye on the entire coastline, 24 hours a day.

“All of the navy’s vessels are available for response, like pieces on a chessboard,” said Mor. “We move them around on the board. Every vessel needs to know its function, and is moved by the controllers.”

The main mission is to single out the hostile boats hiding in the midst of all of the commercial ships heading into Israeli ports.


“We’re at the battle information center. Here, the whole naval defense picture is put together, and sent on to higher command levels,” Plotkin explains, as the colored dots on the wall map shift.

The cameras and radars are mostly planted on power station chimneys in Hadera, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon. The cameras are remotely controlled, and can zoom in on any ship approaching the coast. The radars can detect ships far past the camera’s range of sight.

Every commercial vessel that enters Israeli waters must send over its details 48 hours ahead of its arrival, to a boat unit center, which is operated by the Transportation Ministry. A shipping agency in Israel must also approve the ship’s arrival and provide guarantees to the ministry.

The navy is then given access to the details, and when the ship appears on radar, it is contacted via the international shipping radio frequency to ensure that the details are correct.

“This is about cross-referencing data,” Mor explained. Whenever a boat requires extra inspection, heat-sensitive cameras allow the controllers to spot unusual activity in the underbelly of the vessel.

The navy gets suspicious if a ship does not respond to radio calls, and begins to assume it is a hostile vessel.

Operators dispatch a Dabur-class patrol boat to inspect it, Plotkin added.

The navy can also dispatch planes carrying naval patrol officers to examine the suspicious vessel from above. It is believed to also have drones that can carry out the same function.

Asked how the navy got the controllers to be so focused on their task, Mor said, “We explained to them the importance of the mission, to protect the large population centers on the coast. Just one look away can result in a controller missing a target, and that can lead to a terror attack. We’ve studied past attacks.”

Although the navy’s monitoring system is increasingly automated, there’s still no replacement for the human eye and judgement, Mor argued. “Computers are not yet able to separate a commercial vessel from a terrorist boat pretending to be one,” he said.

The Dabur is one of the newest vessels in the navy. Traveling at 48 knots, “it’s an experience to ride in it,” a senior navy source said.

The boat is equipped with a Typhoon cannon in the front and MAG machine guns at its sides. At its rear, the Dabur has a .05 machine gun capable of piercing armor.

Speaking about the controllers who direct the boats, the source said, “I totally trust them. What they are doing there is securing the Israeli people.”

IDF cancels all operational duty for reserves

After cuts to the defense budget, the army has to reduce training. The Army has to take calculated risks because of the economic situation and fill gaps caused by cuts.

The IDF has canceled all reserve operational duty for the remainder of the year due to a cut in the defense budget for 2013 and 2014.

Reserve soldiers from four battalions who received call-up notices in the past two weeks will soon be notified that their duties have been canceled for the remainder of the year.

The government decided last month to cut the defense budget by NIS 3 billion in 2014, and by NIS 1.5b. this year, as part of a wider attempt to deal with a NIS 40b. deficit.

The coming months will also see a significant reduction in reserve training. The priority in advanced training will be placed on the infantry and armored corps reserve forces that are expected to take part in a land maneuver during a future potential war. The rest of the reserves will undergo basic battle fitness training only.

Slashes in training activities for regular soldiers will also be felt, among units belonging to the Home Front Command, the Engineering Corps and the Artillery Corps. Training programs for the Armored Corps will be cut by a number of weeks.

The IDF is also expected to cancel General Staff exercises this year, including one set for the air force and the Central Command.

Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the IDF needed the resources to be able to keep to a multi-year force building plan.

“In talks about the budget, it was clear to me that the security forces have to shoulder their weight in dealing with the deficit, but this should be done wisely, and with a multi-year program,” Ya’alon said.

“There are heavy and immediate implications to the defense budget. The situation is fragile. To get through 2013 and 2014 successfully, we’re being forced to cut reserve days, to decrease training and operational duties of the reserves, and as a result, to load more onto the regular forces, who take up the reserves’ place.

In terms of air defense, the budget cuts will not impact the production of Iron Dome batteries, which are continuing at an increased rate, Ya’alon said, but the development of the David’s Sling system, which intercepts medium- range projectiles like Hezbollah’s arsenal of katyushas, will have to be “stretched” unless a new arrangement is made.

Ya’alon lashed out at what he described as inaccurate claims about the salaries and pensions of career soldiers. He said an IDF engineer “serves, rather than works.”

“The engineer is at the IDF’s service 24 hours a day without overtime,” he said. “There’s nowhere else where one is available 24 hours a day. In past two years, the servicemen and pensioners have been seriously hit by budget cuts - not everyone reaches high ranks, and the criticism is therefore unwarranted.”

MK Nachman Shai (Labor) praised the IDF’s decision to cut reserve training as opposed to funding for regular soldiers, calling it “measured and balanced.”

“The need to cut the budget puts the IDF in an impossible situation,” he said. “This decision creates a long-term problem, but at the moment it is the only way. The State of Israel and the IDF are taking a calculated risk.”

At the same time, Shai pointed out that instability in the Middle East could create new situations in which the IDF will have to change its plans yet again and ignore the difficult budget cut.

Improve schools, rid poverty, make peace

In the final Knesset Finance Committee meeting before stepping down, Bank of Israel governor highlighted challenges facing Israel.

Stanley Fischer on Monday highlighted the need for improved education, lowering poverty rates and seeking peace with the Palestinians, among six other challenges Israel faces going forward.

During his tenure as governor, Fischer said, the local economy had made strides, bringing its debt-to-GDP ratio down from 93.9 percent in 2005 to 73.1% last year, even as other economies racked up debt. It brought unemployment down to among the lowest levels in the Western world and racked up a high level of reserves. Average economic growth was robust at 4.3% or 2.5% per capita, especially in comparison with other countries weathering a recession.

Inflation remained in the middle of the 1-3% target range.

“Thirty years ago we wouldn’t have believed we could get to this state, but we got to this state,” Fischer told the committee.

Yet despite Israel’s economic achievements, Fischer said that Israel faces nine specific challenges going forward: reducing poverty, improving education, easing red tape on businesses, reducing market concentration, increasing productivity, reducing housing prices, adding competition for banks, reducing defense spending and seeking peace with the Palestinians.

Compared to 2005, Fischer said, “there’s not a big difference in the poverty line,” and Israel’s inequality remains among the highest in the developed world.

A major part of Israel’s poverty problem lies in the Haredi and Arab populations, which combined make up almost one-third of the population. If those groups were excluded, the poverty rate would drop from 21% to about 10%, below the OECD average. Only 40% of working-age Haredi men and 20% of Arab women are employed.

“What’s clear to everyone is that in Israel, the poverty level in these two population groups is very high,” said Fischer, adding that education was a key factor to including them in the labor force. While those groups had below-average education levels, cultural barriers to working and discrimination played a role in leaving them out of the labor market.

The need for an educated population, however, spreads beyond the confines of Israel’s marginalized communities.

Israel, he said, scored lower than average in all categories on the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment tests which evaluates 15- year-old students’ scholastic performance in mathematics, science and reading In terms of bureaucracy, Fischer said that Israel dropped from 26th to 38th in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” survey, a situation he termed “dangerous.”

“We’re dropping not because the situation here is deteriorating, but because in other nations they’re advancing quickly,” he said.

Finally, Fischer turned to the topic of defense and peace.

Though the percentage of GDP spent on defense was the lowest in 50 years, having come down from nearly 30% in the early 1970s to just 6%, it was still the greatest drag on the budget each year.

“The defense budget is a burden on the budget and the economy and our quality of life,” he said. If Israel could direct just a few percentage points of its GDP to other causes, he said, quality of life would improve tremendously.

“It’s clear that this economy and this public and the people in Israel live in a very, very insecure region, in a neighborhood with a lot of uncertainty,” he said, but “spending more money on defense isn’t the only solution.”

Israel could seek arrangements with its neighbors, including the Palestinians.

“If there’s no partner, it means you’re not willing to find them,” Fischer said. “We need to work more actively, that is more proactively, to bring to an end the conflict that exists in this region.”

Working toward a credible peace goal would improve Israel’s economic standing in the long run.

Customized Physicians

IDF chief of staff praises Hebrew University military track that specially trains doctors for army service.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz is pleased by the Hebrew University Medical Faculty’s Tzameret “military track” to produce doctors specially trained to serve in the IDF, he said on a visit to the campus facility in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood last week.

Gantz praised the initiative and progress in the training of military physicians and researchers of the future with excellence as the common goal.

The seven-year academic program, established by Hadassah Prof. Shmuel Shapira and run on the Ein Kerem Campus, was launched at the end of 2010 with 50 men and women, mostly Jews and a minority of Druze students.

The need for the military medicine track became apparent from the serious lack of IDF physicians.


Gantz told his hosts from HU, the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Council for Higher Education (which approved the track) that Tzameret “showed foresight” in preparing medical students for leadership. In addition, the students deal with medical problems and situations unique to military service.

Prof. Emanuel Trachtenberg, chairman of the council’s powerful planning and budget committee, said the IDF “has distinguished itself over the years not only because of its military achievements but also because of its capabilities for protecting its fighters.”

He noted that the shortage of physicians in the military had existed for many years and that a solution to this problem required an extraordinary effort.

“Tzameret is an excellent example of cooperation between organizations [to achieve common goals]. Considerable effort has been made to work out the agreement with the university. The current accomplishments are, it is hoped, only the first of many cooperative achievements to follow in the future,” Trachtenberg said.

Gantz held a 30-minute discussion with Tzameret students and affixed a mezuzah on the doorpost of the new Institute of Research in Military Medicine.

The U21 European tournament

It was not until 1975, 27 years after Israel independence, when a player of Arabic origin first wore the shirt of the Israeli national team at senior level. It was Rifaat Turk, a midfielder who at that time was active in the Hapoel Tel Aviv.

The following year, Turk became part of the Israeli Olympic combined participated in the Montreal Games, somehow breaking the taboo about Arab players and their inclusion in Israeli national teams. Many Arab players have since represented Israel in the international arena in football and many other sports.
The under 21 European Football (known as soccer in some countries) which is being held in June in Israel can advance the message of integration and peaceful coexistence usually advocate these great competitions.

Six players of Arab players will be part of the Israel National team during this prestigious tournament. The six players are
  Taleb Tawatcha of Maccabi Haifa, Dabur Munas who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kiryat Shmona's  Abed Ahmad, Muhammad Kalibat of Bnei Sakhnin, Marwan Kabha of Maccabi Petah Tikva and the Chili Azam Awad of Nazareth.
It is the first time that Israel was chosen to organize and host the tournament.
The process of integration of the Arab-Israeli players and
  their selection is in the process of growth. There are seven players of Arabic and Muslim origin in the Israeli Under19 team.

During the championship football will return to highlight its important role towards integration and as a vehicle for understanding between different peoples, nations and cultures of the land.