Israel Briefs: Yair Netanyahu Blocked by Facebook and More


First Ethiopian Pilot Starts with Israel Air Force

A man known as Lt. Y will become the first Ethiopian pilot in the Israel Air Force (IAF), The Jerusalem Post reported on Dec. 19.

Lt. Y will be a navigator on IAF jets.

About 140,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, but have had difficulties in integrating into Israeli society since arriving via Operation Moses and Operation Solomon in the mid-1980s to early 1990s.

Lt. Col. Dr. Avraham Yitzhak became the military’s highest-ranking Ethiopian in the military in 2016 after he was appointed the chief medical officer of the army’s Southern Command. He was also the first Ethiopian Israeli serving as a combat doctor.

28 Czech Police Dogs Arrive in Israel

Twenty-eight Czech police dogs, including Malinois and German shepherds, arrived in Israel on Dec. 19 to begin a six-month training program, The Jerusalem Post reported.

When those dogs are trained, they will join about 260 already working for the police. The dogs will be used in a variety of ways, such as locating missing persons and uncovering illegal drug shipments.

Israel Tour by Pink Floyd Tribute Band Back On

The cover band UK Pink Floyd Experience reversed course Dec. 18, two days after announcing that it was canceling an upcoming Israel tour because of pressure from original Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement proponent, JTA reported.

The band, which had scheduled shows in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba, said on its website that it was “obliged to fulfill our contractual obligation” and would “perform a one-off special concert together with Israeli Pink Floyd Tribute Band ‘Echoes.’”

The band also said its members regret “the upset caused by all of this, it was far from our intention to stir up all this anger and hatred, when the opposite was what was intended. In hindsight, it was very naive to think our motives would not be misunderstood and misrepresented.”

Yair Netanyahu Blocked by Facebook

The account of the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was blocked by Facebook after he shared “banned” content that called for the avenging of Israeli deaths by Palestinian terrorists, JTA reported on Dec. 17.

Yair Netanyahu called Facebook “thought police” in a post criticizing the removal of previous content and reposted some of that content with screenshots — circumventing the social media site’s controls.

A week earlier, a Yair Netanyahu post labeled the press, left-wing NGOs and politicians as “traitors.” He suggested that all Muslims leave Israel in another post.

Housing Starts Drop in West Bank

Housing starts in the disputed West Bank dropped sharply in the third quarter of 2018, according to statistics released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Housing starts dropped 52 percent between the second and third quarters. In addition, housing starts were down 17 percent during the first three quarters of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 — despite the right-wing government, which is considered pro-settlement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would accelerate settlement construction in the wake of several recent terror attacks.


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