UPDATES 4 pm Israel time Sunday:
**A new coalition government will likely be announced tomorrow–with Yair Lapid becoming Finance Minister. The final meeting of the current government was held a few hours ago. Shas, which along with United Torah Judaism will not be in the new government, boycotted the cabinet meeting.
**Islamic Jihad test fired a new rocket in the Sinai this afternoon. The missile struck just 45 km from the Israeli-Egyptian border. Of course this testing was done under the nose of the Egyptian government–which is supposed to be “controlling” the Sinai.
**IDF forces were put on full alert on the Syrian border along the Golan Heights this morning as the situation there continues to degrade. As Assad’s forces have dwindled, Islamist rebel groups have moved in and are now actively announcing that they they will “liberate” the Golan Heights after they overthrow Assad.
**A worrying statistic:
Combat requests for the IDF recruits continue to decline. A mere 71.6% of all IDF recruits for March have asked to serve in ground infantry units. Though still a large percentage, this is much less than the 85 to 90% percentage that has long been the norm.
The Central Bureau of Statistics has reported that 16,577 new immigrants came to Israel in 2012–down from 16,892 in 2011. Among these were 3,545 Russians, 2,432 Ethiopians, and 2,290 Americans.
Overall there were 2.1 immigrants per 1000 residents between 2000 and 2012. In the previous decade of the 1990s, the number of immigrants per 1000 residents was 17.
The simple fact is that immigration to Israel has slowed to a trickle–seemingly as a result of many factors. Whether it be the perception that Israel is not a safe place to live, or that a better job can be had elsewhere, or some other reason, Jews are not flocking to Israel as they once did.
Your humble servant finds this fact severely disturbing–and attributes at least some of the responsibility for this decline to successive Israeli governments over the last few decades, none of which has made any effort at all to convey the quintessential truth that Israel is only place in the world where a Jew is truly free to be a Jew.
Your humble servant would like to sincerely thank those of you who expressed condolences over the last week. Those expressions were sincerely appreciated.
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