A former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, passed away a few days ago. He had been a courageous fighter for Israel’s freedom in his youth in one of the underground movements during the British Mandate, which was not appreciated by all at the time, but he lived long enough to bring forth that valor again as its prime minister. May his memory be blessed.
There have again been a number of forest fires lately, and last week there were two serious ones in the woods surrounding Jerusalem on the same day. The fire fighting department examined their source and came to the conclusion that they had been deliberately set and a couple of days ago, two Arab youths were arrested on suspicion for this and one of them confessed to this deed. We now have the hot summer ahead, and hope this deliberate fire setting won’t continue – it causes so much damage and waste of man-power.
In politics there is now much unrest and difference of opinion concerning a law about the army service (or national service) of the Haradi (ultra religious) population, who up till now have only served in very tiny numbers in the army. Many Knesset members want to to change this, and have everyone serve from the age of 18 for 3 years, and Natanyahu is having difficulty with this as he needs to keep his coelition government together and for this the religious parties are necessary. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of this, as other parties are threatening to leave the government.
Unemployment is again up this month. In April it was 6.8 percent and in June it went up to 7.1%. Evidently both men and women are unemployed in nearly the same numbers, but about 30% of those working only have part time jobs. Doesn’t sound very encouraging, especially as some areas in the country, mostly in the north are more affected.
Will close now. Shalom from Irene