Arrest after yeshiva student stabbed; Democrats visit Israel: Israel Update

August 9, 2019

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Israeli security forces arrested a suspect on Friday during searches for the killers of Dvir Sorek in a stabbing attack in the West Bank, according to Palestinian reports. Sorek’s body was found early Thursday with stab wounds outside the Migdal Oz settlement, where he studied at a seminary as part of a program combining religious study and military service. He was last seen Wednesday leaving Migdal Oz for Jerusalem to buy a book for a teacher. Hours after Sorek’s body was found, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to guarantee Israeli sovereignty in “all parts” of the West Bank as he participated in a cornerstone-laying ceremony for 650 new housing units in the settlement of Beit El. “These vicious terrorists, they come to uproot — we come to plant. They come to destroy — we come to build,” said Netanyahu.


US House Majority leader Steny Hoyer arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday at the head of a delegation of 41 Democratic representatives, despite efforts to pressure congresspeople not to join the trip. The tour, meant primarily for freshman representatives, is organized in August of each non-election year by the American Israel Education Foundation. The fact that so many Democrats decided to join the fact-finding mission, despite intense efforts to the contrary at the grassroots level, is viewed in Jerusalem as a sign that the Democratic party leadership is keen on showing that the party remains strongly supportive of Israel.


The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) thwarted a major Hamas terrorist attack in Jerusalem after an explosive charge and laboratory were uncovered in Hebron. The cell was operating under direction from Hamas’s military wing, who instructed members to establish teams for carrying out kidnapping, shooting, and stabbing attacks; to purchase weapons and to recruit others, the Shin Bet said.  


Netanyahu vowed Wednesday that he would not establish a unity government after the September 17 election. He was quoted as saying that he must establish a right-wing government because it is his "obligation to Likud voters." Israel's Blue and White party leader, Benny Gantz, reacted with disbelief, saying that Blue and White would not join a coalition with Netanyahu due to the pending corruption charges against him. He said they expected the Likud to elect a new leader after Netanyahu loses the September 17 election, who will take the party into a government led by Gantz. 


An ethnic studies curriculum proposed by the California Department of Education is “inaccurate and misleading” and reflects an “anti-Jewish bias,” Jewish members of the state’s legislature wrote to the head of the committee writing the curriculum. The California Legislative Jewish Caucus says that the curriculum “effectively erases the American Jewish experience,” “omits anti-Semitism,” “denigrates Jews” and “singles Israel out for condemnation.” A law passed in 2016 ordered the state’s board of education to create a curriculum that would highlight the contributions of minorities in the development of California and the United States. The board has put the model curriculum up for public comment and is expected to approve it next year. 


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC

Shep Englander, CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati 


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Facilitated Discussions Begin

Join the Cincinnati Public Library, the Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Community Relations Council for book club discussions of Yossi Klein Halevi's New York Times bestselling book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. It's one Israeli's powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians.


Next discussion: Symmes Township Branch, Tuesday, August 13

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The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.