Last week Washington announced that they were selling a large package of weaponry  estimated at $60 billion dollars to Saudi Arabia, which would include as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets, helicopters and other gear. This was said to be  a way to reinforce the Gulf  against Iran. Well I hope these weapons will only be used for Gulf protection and not against Israel, because only two days after the United States unveiled this arms deal with Saudi Arabia, one of Riyadh’s leading figures blasted the US for not living up to its commitments in the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and not doing more to reign in Israel.
And talking about weapons, a report in the French daily Le Figaro a few days ago, told about the military wing of Hizbullah’s structural make-up in Lebanon, and gave new information on the guerrilla group’s 10,000 operatives and 40,000 rockets. According to the report, which quoted anonymous officials in the French Defense Ministry and Western intelligence sources, Hizbullah has three units dedicated to the transportation and maintenance of its rocket arsenal. Doesn’t sound so good for us if hostilities break out again.(Hope they don’t for any reason whatsoever).

Natanyahu is again having some difficulties keeping his coelition government together. The religious parties want more money for ultra-religious Yeshiva (religious study centers) students and threaten to leave the coelition if they don’t get this.  Most people think the allowance they already get is not fair – these students don’t serve in the army, they don’t work, so why should they get the taxpayers money. Students at universities don’t get this. Natanyahu has in the meanwhile not refused the request, but is putting it off for later, wants to establish a team to examine the various changes within two weeks. The prime minister said,” The new thing that we are trying to do, at this opportunity, is that if we are already legislating on the matter, is to include provisions that would encourage the ultra-orthodox public, and ultra-orthodox yeshiva students, to integrate into the workforce” . (So far no signs of that). As a result of the prime minister’s decision the cabinet vote regarding the bill will be delayed by three weeks. Meanwhile, United Torah Judaism head Menahem Eliezer Moses told Israel Radio on Sunday that his party will leave the coalition if the law proposed isn’t passed by the end of the year.

And now for something more pleasant, a new Israeli record will be written in the Guinness World Record book. Israeli chess grandmaster Alik Gershon broke the Guinness World Record in Tel Aviv early Friday morning for simultaneous games played, a title previously held by an Iranian chess player. The thirty-year-old  chess chanpion played 527 concurrent games, winning 87% of them. These lasted over 19 hours – surely needed great physical effort, apart from the mental one.
Shalom from Irene



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