Israel news: Fourteen Days

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Moshe, “Your story continues to inspire everyone. It is one of miracle and hope overcoming tragedy and immeasurable loss.”

Moshe Holtzberg, (photo credit: CHABAD.ORG)
Moshe Holtzberg,
(photo credit: CHABAD.ORG)
MAZAL TOV! Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents – Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg – were murdered in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, celebrated his bar mitzvah in the northern Israeli city of Afula on November 31. The next night, the grandparents who raised him held a party for him in Kfar Chabad, at which a video was played showing Moshe at the graves of his parents on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, making a pledge to walk in their footsteps. In a letter to the bar mitzvah boy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “Your story continues to inspire everyone. It is one of miracle and hope overcoming tragedy and immeasurable loss.”
HEBRON NEIGHBORHOOD Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced the establishment of a new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron on December 1, drawing praise from settlers and condemnation by Palestinians. The Defense Ministry said that the neighborhood of apartments and stores, to be built at the site of a former Palestinian wholesale market, will double the number of Jewish residents in the city (currently around 700), and create Jewish “territorial continuity” between the Avraham Avinu neighborhood and the Tomb of the Patriarchs while “preserving the rights of Palestinians on the ground floor.”
TRUMP SPEECH In an address to the Israel American Council in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, US President Donald Trump said, “We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more.” As he discussed his choice of David Friedman as US ambassador, Trump said, “We have to get them to love Israel more because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people – they don’t love Israel enough.” Saying he is the best friend Israel ever had in the White House, the president said that if his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner can’t achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, “it can’t be done.”
FRENCH VOTE France’s National Assembly voted on December 3 in favor of a resolution equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism. The motion, presented by lawmaker Sylvan Maillard of President Emmanuel Macron’s party, passed 154-72. “Anti-Zionist acts can at times hide antisemitic realities,” it stated. “Hate toward Israel due its perception as a Jewish collective is akin to hatred toward the entire Jewish community.”
LONE SOLDIERS The IDF announced that in February, it will open a new support center at the Tel Hashomer base for lone soldiers from abroad. The decision came after a Haaretz investigation revealed failings in the lone soldier program – and that those recently discharged had stopped receiving their monthly stipends because the Defense Ministry was not authorized to transfer the money to them. “Apparently we live in a country where politicians and people with high salaries in the government get their money like a Swiss clock every month, while people who serve in the army can’t get their 1,000 shekels to pay their rent. Lone soldiers should be the last to see the consequences of a political crisis,” said Shimon Abraham, a newly discharged lone soldier from Mexico.
DANIELLE PRIZE Prof. Nehama Linder, 70, a Jerusalem pediatrician who teaches at Tel Aviv University, was one of 12 primary physicians who received the Danielle Prize at a ceremony at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on November 26. More than a quarter of a million Israelis participated in the vote for the Danielle Sonnenfeld Healing With A Heart Prize, established by Brazilian-born philanthropist Moti Sonnenfeld in memory of his daughter, Danielle, who was studying to be a doctor when she was killed at age 20 in a car accident in Ra’anana in 2015.