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Candle light and doughnuts: Israelis celebrate Hanukkah
29 December 2019 - As sun set on Sunday [29 December], Jews across Israel marked the last night of the Hanukkah festival of lights. (more)

Remains of 9,000-year-old Neolithic settlement unearthed outside Jerusalem
17 July 2019 - A huge Stone Age settlement unearthed outside Jerusalem may have been home to 3,000 people, the Neolithic equivalent of a large city, according to details released by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Tuesday [16 July]. The findings also provide evidence of sophisticated urban planning and farming, which may force experts to rethink the region's early history, said archeologists involved in the excavation. (more)

Israel social impact bond to help Bedouins in maths studies
15 July 2019 - Social Finance Israel (SFI) has launched a social impact bond to improve maths performance for high school students in the country's Bedouin community. Though still small, Israel's impact investment market more than doubled in two years to over $260 million in 2018. Its first bond, for 8 million shekels, aims to reduce the drop-out rate among higher education computer science students. (more)

Plants can 'hear' way better than we thought
19 January 2019 - Scientists have found evidence that plants can actually hear the buzz of passing bees and produce sweeter nectar in response to entice the flying insects in. And flowers are technically their 'ears'. Based on observations of evening primroses (Oenothera drummondii), the team behind the new study discovered that within minutes of sensing the sound waves of nearby bee wings through flower petals, the concentration of the sugar in the plant's nectar was increased by an average of 20 percent. (more)

Israel to stop electricity production from coal by 2030
17 December 2018 - Israel said on Monday (17 December) it would stop the use of coal by 2030, joining a host of other countries in an alliance that aims to transition to cleaner sources of energy. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said his ministry was 'working to accelerate the entry of clean and renewable energies into Israel and would continue to act to reduce air pollution'. (more)

Israel bans Juul e-cigarettes citing 'grave' public health risk
21 August 2018 - Israel on Tuesday (21 August) outlawed the import and sale of e-cigarettes made by Silicon Valley startup Juul Labs, citing public health concerns given their nicotine content. The Israeli move was consistent with similar restrictions in Europe, the Health Ministry's statement said. (more)

Israel's ancient underwater treasure
9 November 2017 - In 2015, divers discovered a hoard of more than 2,000 gold coins on the ocean floor off the coast of Caesarea -- the largest stash ever found in the region. On an overcast morning in February 2015, Zvika Fayer was scuba diving off the ancient Israeli port town of Caesarea when he saw a glimmer on the sand. He'd gone diving in the area dozens of times before, and loved it for the teeming fish and scattered remains of shipwreck cargo and pottery that he sometimes glimpsed on the ocean floor. Many of Israel's underwater archaeological zones are open to divers, and Caesarea was one of Fayer's favourite spots. (more)

Ancient Hebrew manuscripts to go online in Israel-Russia deal
7 November 2017 - One of the most treasured collections of ancient Hebrew manuscripts and books will be digitized and available for public view online under an agreement by the state libraries of Russia and Israel announced on Tuesday, 7 November. Israel has long sought the transfer to its national library of the 14,000-item Guenzburg collection in the Russian State Library in Moscow, and the digitization compromise effectively shelves a century-old ownership dispute. (more)

Israel National Library launches digital manuscript archive
2 August 2017 - Israel's National Library launched an online database on Wednesday (2 August) aggregating tens of thousands of digitized Jewish manuscripts belonging to collections from across the globe. Scholars and laypersons can access almost half of the known handwritten Jewish texts from Spain to Afghanistan, which have been digitized and catalogued online. (more)

Israeli minister advances plan to take in Syrian war orphans
26 January 2017 - Israel's interior minister has approved a plan to take in 100 Syrian children orphaned by the civil war. If carried out, it would be the first time Israel absorbs refugees from the ongoing war. According to the plan, first reported by Israel's Channel 10, Israel would initially house the orphans in boarding schools, and would seek Arab families in Israel to adopt them. The orphans would eventually receive permanent citizenship, and first-degree relatives would be allowed to join them in Israel. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Joining hands to create peace in Israel and the Middle East
29 September 2015 - 'Transcendental Meditation in Israel, adopted by one or two per cent of the population of the country, and the attitude of the enemies around will change.' In a 1976 interview for Israeli TV, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi referred to recent research showing reduced crime rate in '1%' cities in the US. Now 50 demonstrations and 23 studies published in peer-reviewed journals have confirmed that group practice of TM and its advanced programmes by the square root of 1% of a population reduces violence and conflict and creates coherence and peace for the whole society. One study, published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, was conducted in 1983 at the peak of the Lebanon war. On days when the number in a group in Israel practising these peace-creating technologies of consciousness was high, war deaths in neighbouring Lebanon dropped by 76% and other indicators of social stress declined in Israel. (more)

President Obama, PM Netanyahu, military leaders urged to adopt Invincible Defence Technology: The Daily Mail International (Pakistan)
27 March 2015 - 'According to US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress did not offer any ''viable alternatives'' regarding the ongoing negotiations with Iran concerning their alleged quest to obtain nuclear weapons,' writes Dr David Leffler in The Daily Mail International (Pakistan). Actually, he explains, 'neither leader's current strategies offer a scientifically-validated, field-tested means to solve this immediate crisis. Nor do they offer such an approach to rapidly dissipate the rapidly growing perilous instability in the Middle East.' Dr Leffler urges government and military leaders to quickly implement a proven, practicable, non-violent alternative, verified by extensive peer-reviewed research and military field tests: Invincible Defence Technology (IDT), which includes daily practice by specially trained military units of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes to dramatically reduce social stress throughout the region. 'If the US military and/or Israeli military or any other organization intervened with this proven advanced military solution, rising tensions in the Middle East could be rapidly reduced.' (more)

Potential for creating stress-free schools stirs deep interest in Israel
7 January 2015 - The idea that education should be for enlightenment, and promote full development of the brain, met with great enthusiasm among people in Israel who attended a series of presentations on Consciousness-Based Education this past year by Dr Ashley Deans, an international expert in this field. Israelis deeply appreciated learning about stress-free schools--a welcome concept, almost incomprehensible in a country where many experience high levels of stress in daily life. People were moved to hear about the success of Consciousness-Based Education in hundreds of schools throughout the world, Dr Deans said--especially that it is a system backed by scientific research which can create world peace. (more)

Connecting with the 'deep soul'
23 June 2013 - In an insightful new essay Dr Craig Pearson describes the life and work of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), a renowned Torah scholar, 'a powerful leader, a profound thinker, a force for progress, peace, and unity'. In his writings Rabbi Kook repeatedly emphasizes the value of reconnecting with the 'deep soul' within, which he describes as a realm of bliss, equanimity, peace, truth, and liberation. When we experience the 'deep soul', he says, we discover who we really are--and when we emerge, our thoughts and actions are bold and joyful. This is the experience that the Transcendental Meditation technique leads us to twice each day, Dr Pearson writes. (more)

Creating peace in the Middle East with Transcendental Meditation: 'Not a matter of hope, we know how to do it'
21 March 2013 - Recently a leading newspaper in Israel, Yediot Ahronot, published an extended article by an Israeli journalist who attended the Third Annual Middle East World Peace Assembly in Turkey. The journalist, Moshe Ronen, wrote about the 150 participants from 13 countries who came to practise Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes together every day--a programme designed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to reduce violence and war, and create peace and harmony in the world. 'One thing is certain,' Mr Ronen wrote, 'the atmosphere here is good. ''There is no point in just sitting and hoping for peace to come between us,'' a member of the Lebanese delegation explains to me. ''Once it was like that, we were hoping and praying for peace. Today we know how to do it. It is all a matter of doing, not of hope.'' ' (more)

Israel: Violent school found peace with Consciousness-Based Education and Transcendental Meditation
12 May 2012 - Consciousness-Based Education was introduced to a high school in Israel as a last resort, said Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, commenting on a recent visit to the country. 'The principal introduced [it] when he found that his school was about to be closed because of all the violence in the school. After he had introduced Transcendental Meditation to his children he found that they changed from inside, so now they were actually able to follow the directives and the rules of behaviour' and became happier and more at peace within themselves. (more)

How Israel can have an 'invincible' military
27 March 2012 - Over the years Iranian leaders such as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel--raising fears about security and lasting peace for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other world leaders. Nearly 60 are attending the second Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Seoul, South Korea, focusing on the threat of global terrorism and how to keep atomic materials safe from rogue terrorists. However, there is new hope, writes Dr David Leffler--if these leaders act quickly now, and implement Invincible Defense Technology (IDT)--a scientifically field-tested brain-based technology to prevent crime, terrorism, and war. (more)

Peace-creating technologies of consciousness support harmony and positivity in Israel
6 September 2011 - Several days ago, over 400,000 people demonstrated for 'social justice' in Israel. The authorities feared vandalism by the huge crowds, but the events surprised everyone by turning out completely peaceful and harmonious. An administrator of the Transcendental Meditation Programme in Israel explained that six special Vedic performances have been organized for Israel and are taking place during this key period, to create peace and harmony in the nation. (more)

Supporting peace and harmony in Israel
17 July 2011 - In the last year there have been several initiatives to support peace and harmony in Israel. Hundreds of people learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and hundreds more attended peace-creating assemblies. (more)

New Maharishi Vastu blog in Hebrew
30 January 2011 - A blog page in Hebrew has been established for Maharishi Vastu (Vedic architecture) news. The blog began around the new year, and was started by one of the Maharishi Vastu Coordinators who completed the recent Phase 2 training programme in Europe. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

58 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move
15 May 2018 - In a jarring contrast, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests Monday (14 May) along the Gaza border, while just a few miles away Israel and the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (more)

Israel's water worries return after four years of drought
23 October 2017 - It was a source of national pride -- technology and discipline besting a crippling lack of water. But four years of drought have overtaxed Israel's unmatched array of desalination and wastewater treatment plants, choking its most fertile regions, and catching the government off-guard. The Sea of Galilee, technically a lake near the border with Syria, is forecast to hit its lowest level ever before winter rains come, despite the fact that pumping there was massively reduced. Underground aquifers, the other main freshwater source, are nearing levels that will turn them salty. How to cope with the crisis is becoming an increasingly touchy subject in Israel. (more)

Tens of thousands evacuated as Israeli wildfires rage
28 November 2016 - France, Russia, Turkey, and Cyprus are to send firefighting planes to Israel as the country battles fierce forest fires that have triggered the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, including 11 neighbourhoods in Haifa. Strengthening east winds on top of warm, dry weather have helped spread the blazes in several areas of the country for a third day, including outside Jerusalem, where fires temporarily closed the main motorway linking the city to Tel Aviv. The fires are the worst since 2010, when Israel suffered its single deadliest wildfire. (more)

Israel says con men stole millions from global companies
7 June 2016 - The scam had all the trappings of a major con. Working from a dingy office building just a short drive from the glittering Mediterranean Sea in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel, eight immigrants from Europe formed an unlikely team that allegedly conspired to dupe major multinational companies out of millions of dollars. Most of them spoke French, the others Italian. They telephoned employees at some of Europe's biggest companies, identified themselves as top executives, and tricked workers into transferring large sums of money to bank accounts in their control, police said. It was a classic 'fake CEO' or 'fake president' scam, a scheme used by various criminals worldwide that has robbed companies of some $1.8 billion in just over two years, according to the FBI. Most of the eight suspects in the latest case are either jailed or under house arrest. But not the man who boasts of creating the scam, which has inspired copycats like these around the globe: French-Israeli con artist Gilbert Chikli. He mysteriously remains a free man, living in luxury in his villa in a seaside Israeli city as French authorities try to bring him to justice over a massive con for which he was previously convicted. (more)

Four Israeli cities, citing security, ban Arab workers from schools
18 October 2015 - At least four Israeli cities, including the commercial capital Tel Aviv, have banned Arab labourers from their schools, struggling to calm public fears fuelled by the worst surge of Palestinian street attacks in years. Israel's Interior Ministry, which oversees municipalities, declined immediate comment on Sunday on the decision, condemned by a party representing the country's Arab minority as racist. Forty-one Palestinians and seven Israelis have died in recent street violence, which was in part triggered by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound. (more)

Q and A: No end in sight for latest Israeli-Palestinian violence
12 October 2015 - For nearly a month, Israel has been dealing with a wave of Palestinian unrest that shows no signs of stopping. Beginning with clashes at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, the violence has spread throughout the city, across Israel and into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The violence comes at a time when prospects for negotiating an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear nil. (more)

Shrinking Dead Sea leaves trail of perilous sinkholes
29 July 2015 - The Dead Sea is shrinking, and as its waters vanish at a rate of more than one meter a year, hundreds of sinkholes, some the size of a basketball court, some two storeys deep, are devouring land where the shoreline once stood. Once a rarity, hundreds of new sinkholes are appearing every year, and the rate is expected to rise. The main reason the sea is shrinking is because its natural water sources, which flow south through the Jordan river valley from Syria and Lebanon, have been diverted for farming and drinking water along the way. Mining operations account for the remaining 30 percent of the deterioration, according to Israel's parliamentary research group. The sinkholes will only stop when the waters of the Dead Sea are restored, and that requires an international initiative, since it also borders Jordan and the West Bank. (more)

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli police in Jerusalem
8 September 2014 - Scores of Palestinians rioted in East Jerusalem on Sunday after hearing that a youth from their neighbourhood had died of wounds suffered in a clash with Israeli police last week. Protesters in the neighbourhood of Wadi al-Joz close to the walled Old City threw rocks, petrol bombs, and flares at passing cars, and riot officers responded with rubber bullets during an afternoon of clashes that lasted for several hours. Street clashes with police in riot gear, military-style raids on homes late at night, and stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles have marked the most serious outbreak of violence in Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago. The violent protests in the city have been raging almost nightly beyond the spotlight on the Gaza war, leading to a crackdown by Israeli police in which hundreds of Palestinians have been detained. The seething tensions have underscored deepening divisions in the Israeli-occupied part of the city that Israel claims as its 'indivisible capital'. Repeated damage caused by Palestinians to a Jerusalem light railway, which links Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods and was once hailed by Israeli authorities as a symbol of coexistence, had put a third of its carriages out of commission. (more)

End of Gaza war doesn't translate into peace
2 September 2014 - A week after the guns fell silent in the Gaza war, Israel and the Palestinians seem to have little appetite or incentive for a return to US-sponsored peace and statehood talks that collapsed five months ago. With conflicts raging in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria -- and the future of the Gaza Strip largely uncharted by a broadbrush Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal -- world powers also are not rushing headlong into the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate. The parties themselves, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bickering governing coalition and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, are on a collision course over threatened Palestinian unilateral moves toward statehood and exploration of war crimes prosecution against Israel in the absence of direct talks. Israel drew Palestinian and international criticism on Sunday by announcing a major appropriation of occupied land in the West Bank, the most significant such move in 30 years. As head of a governing coalition divided over trading territory for peace, Netanyahu is now speaking, in amorphous terms, of an alternative route towards ending decades of conflict -- a 'new horizon' -- or possible regional alliance with moderate Arab countries alarmed, like Israel, by radical Islam. Closer to home and with the Gaza situation still in flux, there is nothing on the immediate horizon as far as peacemaking with Abbas is concerned, Israeli government sources said. (more)

Israeli fire on Gaza town raises war crimes claim
31 August 2014 - The first of August dawned as a day of promise for the Mahmoum clan and thousands of other Palestinians stuck in United Nations shelters in Rafah -- thanks to a temporary cease-fire with Israel they could go home for three days. But the expected respite quickly turned into one of the deadliest and most controversial episodes in the recent war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. After just two hours, amid fear that Hamas had captured an Israeli soldier, the Israeli military sealed off the Rafah area and began shelling. By the end of the next day, 190 Palestinians were dead, according to a list of names compiled by two Gaza human rights groups, including 14 members of the Mahmoum family. The Rafah operation is almost certain to be a focus of U.N. investigators and rights groups looking into possible war crimes because it highlights a key concern: The treatment of civilians. A Palestinian rights group argues that the Israeli army violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force, and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. Unlike in many other Gaza battles, civilians were caught by surprise by the sudden fire and sealed exits. 'None of the rules of international humanitarian law was observed,' said Mahmoud Abu Rahma of the Al Mezan rights group. (more)


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