News Highlights 2
1. 70 years after Liberation.
2. Lucy Aharish lights Independence Day Torch.
3. Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar.
4. Discrimination in Israel.
5. How Israel Will Become a Foodtech Nation.
6. IsraAID to help Kenya.
7. Company Buy-Back Program.
8. Israeli Media and Culture and Heritage.
9. Israel is one of the Least Religious.
70 years after Liberation
A very high percentage of Jews from around the world came to fight against the military might of Nazi Germany. A massive Jewish army of approximately 1.5 million soldiers fought the Nazis and were drafted into the regular Allied armies. This Jewish army was three times the size of the modern Israel Defense Force and in many cases the percentage of Jews fighting was greater than the percentage of Jews in the population of the countries they represented.
About 500,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the Red Army during World War II. Some 120,000 were killed in combat and in the line of duty and the Germans murdered another 80,000 as prisoners of war. More than 160,000, at all levels of command, earned citations, with over 150 designated “Heroes of the Soviet Union”— the highest honor awarded to soldiers in the Red Army.
Approximately 550,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the US Armed Forces during World War II. They served on all fronts in Europe and in the Pacific. Some 10,000 were killed in combat, and more than 36,000 received citations. Many Jewish soldiers took part in liberating the concentration camps.
Approximately 100,000 Jew soldiers fought in the Polish army against the German invasion. They made up 10% of the Polish army, commensurate with the percentage of Jews within the general population. Approximately 30,000 Polish Jews fell in battle, were taken captive by the Germans, or declared missing during the battles defending Poland, 11,000 in the defense of Warsaw. Thousands of Jews later served in various Polish armies fighting against the Germans in the Allied Forces.
About 30,000 Jews served in the British army in 1939-1945, some in special units such as the Jewish Brigade of Jews from Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and from other cities and from the kibbutzim.
Lucy Aharish lights Independence Day Torch
Lucy Aharish is blasted both by the Jewish radical right and by the Palestinian radical right. The coalition of extremists has once again expressed a uniform stance. For the former she is too Palestinian, supporting the struggle for equality, reconciliation and peace. For the latter she is too Israeli, because she chose the road of integration.
There was strong opposition to Lucy Aharish for the honor she received in lighting the Independent Day Torch.
Aharish is avant-garde because she refuses to play by the rules of the herd. The herd demands hatred and incitement. The herd is against giving the Palestinians rights or giving the Jews rights. The herd has a lot of power in the Arab sector, and it's also strong among part of Israel's Jewish elites, where Aharish has already been attacked too.
The good news is that Aharish is not alone. We are witnessing the development of a generation of young Arabs who have decided to become an integral part of the State of Israel. They refuse to identify with Hamas. They refuse to be part of the hatred campaign. They have decided to do rather than incite.
Some of them have even been integrated into the Foreign Ministry. The number of young Arabs integrating into the high-tech industry has increased in recent years, and there has also been a significant leap in the participation of Arab women in the labor market.
Aiman Uda, the head of the Joint Arab List, was one of the main opponents of the integration of young Arabs by joining the IDF or communal service. Others on his list turned the Arab recruits into villains and also threatened Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf, who encouraged enlistment.
What is happening in Israel isn't much different from what is happening in Europe. There is a minority which preaches integration, opposes hatred and incitement and supports women's liberation, and there is a radical or Islamist minority which chooses the opposite way. The problem is that the former sometimes need bodyguards because the latter are violent and much more influential.
Aharish is avant-garde because she had the courage to come out strongly against the flow and against the herd. As any avant-garde, she belongs to the minority. But this is the minority which gives hope for equality and prosperity.
For her sake, for the sake of Israel's Arabs and for the sake of the State of Israel, we should hope that this avant-garde wins.
Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar
Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar founded a hundred years ago is in the Upper. The kibbutz which is located on the northern border is a major transit point and served immigrants from Syria and Lebanon to Israel. There are approximately 1,500 residents on the kibbutz.
The kibbutz residents had to fight many battles with the forces of the neighboring countries.
In 1930, a school was built on the kibbutz.
During the War of Independence, the kibbutz suffered heavy shelling and aerial bombardment by the Syrian Army, especially during Operation Cypress. The kibbutz defenders held firm and succeeded in holding off the Syrian army. Some of the remains of the battles can be seen on the kibbutz.
The kibbutz economy is mainly agricultural based on deciduous orchards, and livestock industries: barn, chicken coop, beehives and aquaculture.
The Kibbutz operates a large absorption center for new immigrants.
The kibbutz was privatized a decade ago and some service industries have become small businesses, including carpentry, garage, electricity and more.
Discrimination in Israel
There has been an undercurrent unwritten form of discrimination in Israel for at least seventy years. This form of racism exists in all countries in the world but Israeli’s thought that they could avoid it by making laws against racism. As in other countries whiter looking Israelis have always discriminated against their darker fellow citizens who came from Yemen, Morocco, Ethiopia and others or were born in Israel.
The Knesset’s first female Ethiopian MP will aim to advance her community from outside the Knesset after she narrowly missed out on getting reelected in the March 17 election.
“I have a lot of work left to do,” Tamnu-Shata said in an interview. “It doesn’t depend if I’m in or out of the Knesset.
This issue is my life. I can’t live in a country in which the color of me and my community means facing a glass ceiling and racism.”
“We are a diverse society but the immigrants are among the weakest sectors, because it’s hard to acclimatize to a new country,” she said. “It was important to them and for me to speak for them and work very hard for them in the parliament.”
As evidence of progress made in her community, Tamnu- Shata said the IDF recently told her that the percentage of Ethiopian soldiers jailed for insubordination fell from 20 percent to 10%. She said that was obviously still way too high considering that they are only 1.5% of the general population.
She also noted that Ethiopian immigrants are no longer automatically barred from giving blood. The Health Ministry set up a committee that changed a policy intended to prevent the spread of AIDS from a higher-risk community after Tamnu-Shata was prevented from participating in a Knesset blood drive.
Tamnu-Shata said there is still racism in Israel and not enough affirmative action.
She complained about American- style police violence against Ethiopian immigrants and neighborhoods dominated by Ethiopian immigrants, calling them “ghettos only for black people.”
“I intend to promote these issues from outside the Knesset,” she said. “We have a lot of challenges that still need progress"
How Israel Will Become a Foodtech Nation
As the Chief Scientist assigns Strauss to establish a technological innovation incubator in the field of food in Israel, Prof. Eyal Shimoni, Chief Technology Officer of Strauss Group, explains why Israel is the right place to do so and how it will practically take place.
Today, more than ever, advanced technology plays a key role in the food and beverage industry. This is mainly evident in the impact on cutting production costs and increasing profits, while creating consumer value.
Up until this decade, food companies worked primarily to increase their volume of activity in response to constant population growth and the resulting increase in food consumption.
In recent years, we have seen growing awareness of health and well-being (for instance, awareness of obesity problem); stricter regulation in the developed world; diminishing natural resources and raw materials; and awareness of sustainability. In addition, there is growing demand for products that possess considerable value and adapt to current trends in quality of life (health and well-being, convenience and sustainability, and considerations of an aging population).
In light of these trends, a viable solution over time can only be found with the use of innovative and groundbreaking food technologies in all technological dimensions of the value chain.
FOODTECH pertains to those technologies that have food-related applications through the entire value chain – from growing agricultural raw materials through various processing stages to packaging. Companies that employ such new and advanced technologies will be able to manufacture improved-value products for their consumers.
Our vision is to create here in Israel the “Silicon Valley of food technologies”. A FOODTECH incubator, led and supported by Strauss Group, including the Alpha Strauss venture, will create the suitable ecosystem for developing food technologies and groundbreaking food production technologies that have relevance for the entire world.
IsraAID is assisting Kenya
Following the horrific massacre by the radical Muslim terror group al-Shabab from Somalia which killed over 150 Christian students in Kenya, the Israeli relief group IsraAID is helping Kenyan government officials deal with the tragedy.
Were basing it on the Israeli model, IsraAIDs focus would be to provide post trauma training and treatment to help the affected community and service providers cope with their grief.
Attackers reportedly separated the Muslim students from the non-Muslims and killed approximately 147 Christian students, injuring an additional 79.
The Israeli organization plans to build a plan with local authorities on how to equip government authorities with how to deal with the stress and grief on the families that were killed.
In order to help the Kenyan government obtain the tools to help their community going through crisis, IsraAID hopes to deploy a full Israeli team to the area. They currently have two Israeli volunteers dealing with the crisis, as well as a full team providing aid in the northern part of the country.
“The short term goal is to deal with the trauma.” Zachvai said. “The long term goal is to have a group of Kenyan professionals who are able to respond to such emergencies and crises in the future.”
Israeli television can and should reflect our national values. We have a rich, 3,000-year history which could be a limitless source of inspiration for historically based entertainment and education.
However, Israel’s media is driven and guided by American and European culture. The reality shows, even with their high ratings, represent low culture. Other symptoms of sickness include the growing practice of replacing hard news with infotainment and creating media icons who are employed for their good looks and quick tongues. Our newspapers no longer separate between news and views, as the last election campaign amply demonstrated.
It does not have to be this way. The time has come for our media to make its own “exodus from Egypt,” from the superficiality and the emptiness too often reported abroad.
A central challenge our forefathers faced upon their exodus from Egypt was adapting to a new culture, one which no longer emulated the practices of the center of the civilization of that age, Egypt. The people of Israel succeeded and the ethics and morality they accepted strove for justice, empathy with the downtrodden, care for the poor and for the orphan.
Israeli science is excellent because it does not emulate the United States. Basic science is valued in Israel. Our scientific community understands that fundamentals drive scientific progress. Our colleagues abroad look at us with envy. Increasingly, they are forced to turn toward applied science, otherwise they do not get funding.
Company Buy-Back Program
Kibbutz factories’ income includes reciprocal purchases of $ 95 million per year.
Foreign companies that sell to the Israeli government commit to make reciprocal procurements amounting to 20% -35% among Israeli companies. The beneficiaries are some kibbutz industrial enterprises that sell to these companies totaling some 95 million per year of raw materials and products in a variety of fields of transportation, security, energy, computing, medical equipment and more.
Kibbutz Industries Association decided on the operation of increased buy-back program in order to boost sales in this area and contribute to increasing exports. Until now only 80 kibbutz enterprises have enjoyed reciprocal procurement and the potential is to double the number of factories and exports in this area.
There will be close monitoring of several plants until the signing of export transactions includes all the steps along the way. Foreign companies' investments in Israeli factories are considered reciprocal procurement and kibbutzim will be able to benefit from increasing international investment in kibbutz industries.
Israel is one of the Least Religious
According to Gallup, 63 percent of respondents across the globe identified themselves as religious.
While the Middle East was determined to be the most religious region on earth, with 86% of those polled describing themselves as religious, in Israel 65% “said that they are either not religious or convinced atheists, compared to just 30% who say that they are religious,” Gallup reported.
Gallup’s findings seem to directly contradict a 2009 study by the Israel Democracy Institute which found that while religious observance in Israel declined in the decade following the influx of Soviet immigrants after the end of the Cold War, it has since risen and “to a great extent” there was actually an increase in those who observe Jewish traditions.
More than 60% of respondents in the IDI’s study indicated that “tradition is ‘very important’ or ‘fairly important’ in their choice of a spouse,” while 80% affirmed their belief in God, either wholeheartedly or with occasional doubts.
According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 9.4% of Israelis define themselves as ultra-Orthodox while 10% are Orthodox, 13.6% are traditional religious, 22.6% are traditional nonreligious and 43% are secular.