14 Days: Terror wave

Israeli news highlights from the past two weeks.

 Eitan and Ariela Wertheimer (photo credit: SHLOMO SHOHAM)
Eitan and Ariela Wertheimer
(photo credit: SHLOMO SHOHAM)
Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)


A terrorist shot dead three people and wounded 10 others at the Ilka Bar on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street on April 10. The victims were Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, two childhood friends both aged 27, and Barak Lufan, 35, a father of three and former kayak champion who coached Israel’s Paralympic team and the national kayak team. The gunman was later killed by security forces in Jaffa. A terrorist killed five people in a shooting in Bnei Brak on March 29: Police officer Amir Khoury, 32, who managed to kill the terrorist before succumbing to his own wounds, Ya’akov Shalom, 36, a father of four, school teacher Rabbi Avishai Yehezkel, 29, and Victor Sorokopot, 38, and Dimitri Mitrik, 23, foreign workers from Ukraine. Security forces launched a joint operation to stem the tide of terror dubbed “Break the Wave,” targeting terrorist operations in the northern West Bank


Coalition chairman and MK Idit Silman (Yamina) announced her resignation from the government coalition on April 6, causing the current government to lose its 61-MK majority in the Knesset. Silman said she chose to resign due to feeling that she “cannot take it anymore” and will instead work to form a new government. She accused the government of damaging Israel’s Jewish character, referred to a disagreement she had with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) over allowing hametz into hospitals over Passover.

 MK IDIT SILMAN, chair of the Knesset Health Committee, sits alongside Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz at a committee meeting in February. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK IDIT SILMAN, chair of the Knesset Health Committee, sits alongside Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz at a committee meeting in February. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Deborah E. Lipstadt was finally confirmed by the US Senate as US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism on March 30, after an eight-month delay. President Joe Biden nominated Lipstadt for the role in July, but the Senate vote was required because the position was elevated to the rank of ambassador. Lipstadt, an Emory professor, has taught about the Holocaust and antisemitism for 40 years and published several books on the subject.


The seven immigrants from English-speaking countries announced in March as winners of the 2021 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize are: Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, president of Ben-Gurion University (Education); Dr. Jonathan Rieck, director of Emergency Medicine at Barzilai Medical Center (Science and Medicine); David Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn (Community & Non-Profit); Micha Odenheimer, founding director of Tevel B’Tzedek (Global Impact); Josie Katz, singer & actress (Culture, Art & Sports), Rabbi Dr. Daniel Tropper, founder of the social impact organization Gesher (Lifetime Achievement), and Michal Berman, founder of Tel Aviv Art Studio (Young Leadership).


Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat, 24, won a gold medal in the floor routine at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cairo on April 2, securing his place in this year’s World Gymnastics Championships, which start on October 29 in Liverpool. Dolgopyat also won a gold on March 4 during an earlier stage of the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, after winning Israel’s second-ever Olympic gold medal in Tokyo last year.


Top Israeli industrialist Eitan Wertheimer, who managed Iscar Metals for many years before selling it to Warren Buffett, died at the age of 70 on April 4. The son of industrial titan Stef Wertheimer, he inherited the family business and enhanced the family fortune further, and as of 2021, the Wertheimers ranked 7th on Forbes’ list of Israel’s richest people, with $6.2 billion to their name. He was also a top philanthropist, founding the Atidim program to help youth from the periphery enter higher education institutions in Israel, for which he received an honorary doctorate from the Technion. He is survived by his wife, Ariela, five children, six grandchildren, his father and three siblings.