Iyar 1, 5777
April 27, 2017
The News on the Israel Street Today
The population of Israel . . .
According to numbers released yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the current population of Israel is 8,680,000.
Of this number:
6,484,000 are Jews (74.7%)
1,808,000 are Arabs (20.8%)
388,000 (4.5%) are non-Arab Christians, and people with other or no religious affiliation
1. For years, the percentage of Arabs as a proportion of the total population was increasing whereas the percentage of Jews was decreasing. Those percentages have now stabilized and are slowing beginning to move in the opposite direction.
2. Depending on which numbers one uses concerning the total number of Jews in the world (variously estimated to be between 14 and 16 million), the number of Jews in Israel is rapidly approaching half the number of all the Jews in the world.
A very sad number . . .
As Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) approaches, the IDF published these official figures yesterday:
23,544 soldiers, policemen, and guards have fallen in defense of Israel (and the pre-Israel community that existed between 1860 and 1948).
The above number includes 97 added during the last year: 60 active duty who were killed, and 37 IDF veterans who died of wounds received in previous combat.
Will he or won’t he? . . .
A statement from a well-placed Congressman yesterday indicated that President Trump intends to announce the move of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 22, the day he visits Israel.
No confirmation or even acknowledgement of the Congressman’s statement has been forthcoming from the White House–though the timing would be perfect as it would occur just in advance of Jerusalem Day.
This morning, the Jerusalem Municipality announced that 15,000 new apartments will be built in eastern Jerusalem. Whether that has been discussed with the Trump Administration is anyone’s guess.
Speaking of new housing . . .
Largely overlooked this week was the fact that the Israeli government’s Settlement Division has returned from the dead after a two year freeze.
With an estimated budget of 200,000,000 shekels, the mission of the Division was expressed by Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (the Settlement Division is under the Ministry of Agriculture) in a ceremony at Sdot Negev:
“On this day we should recite the Shehecheyanu . . . And we are happy and committed to the Division’s rapid return to activity before the eve of Independence Day . . . The Settlement Division has proved that it is here to settle the land, and we have chosen to hold the ceremony in the Sdot Negev Regional Council near the Gaza border. Now the mission is to increase the number of communities in the Negev, the Galilee, and Judea and Samaria . . .”
Today’s Explosion of Violence in Judea and Samaria
There has been an explosion of violence in the last 24 hours with more than 100 terror incidents aimed at Israelis.
Some of the most egregious attacks and thwarted attacks:
*A Palestinian terrorist armed with knives was captured at the Qalandiya Checkpoint just as she was about to stab Israeli security personnel.
*A Palestinian terrorist was shot as he attempted to stab soldiers near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron.
*In the Sinjil area along Route 60, more than 10 Israeli civilians were wounded by “rocks” and Molotov firebombs. Another ten were treated for trauma by MADA.
*Terrorists attacked security forces at Nabi Saleh; some of the terrorists were shot and wounded.
*Terrorists also attacked security forces at Silwad, Madama, Qalqilya, Bil’in, Beit Ummar, Shuafat, Abu Dis, the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, Hevron, Tekoa, Rachel’s Tomb, Ofer, Awarta, Kadum, Naqoura, Huwara, Wadi Hermiya, Arub, Ma’ale Levona, Carmela, Jayyus, Rachlim, A-Ram, Anata, Issawiya, Beit El, Qot Hashachar, and other locations.
In one of the more bizarre episodes of the day, five Jews who were attacked by Muslims on the Temple Mount were arrested by the Jerusalem Police. Astonishingly, the five were being accompanied by police who did nothing when the attack began except call for reinforcements.
However, in the end, they decided to arrest the Jews. None of the Muslim terrorists were arrested.
If your humble servant has said it once, he has said it a hundred times. The violence in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem all has as its source the utter failure of the Jerusalem Police and Israeli government to protect Jews and enforce Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount.
When terrorists see weakness there, we find ourselves attacked everywhere.