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The Daily TIP: IDF Announces Plans to Place Female Combat Soldiers on Naval Warships

Posted by Tip Staff - November 29, 2018

IDF Announces Plans to Place Female Combat Soldiers on Naval Warships
Jewish Group Sues Airbnb over West Bank Boycott Citing Religious Discrimination
Report: Egypt, Saudi Arabia Seeking to Encourage Arab Economic Ties to Israel
Sodastream Uses Celebrities to Raise Awareness of Plastic Pollution

IDF Announces Plans to Place Female Combat Soldiers on Naval Warships

The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that it has launched a pilot program to place female combat soldiers on navy warships, just months after the Armored Corps completed its own successful trial of having women serve in tanks, The Times of Israel reported.

“In the framework of the November 2018 enlistment, five female soldiers were recruited for the first time to serve as naval fighters on the Sa’ar 6 missile ships,” the army said in a statement. The female sailors began the navy’s basic training program last week at its Haifa Base in the northern port city. A sixth female soldier will join the other participants at the end of basic training.

According to Lt. Col. Avi Avsker, who is responsible for training the female sailors, “They will be operating some of the most advanced weapons systems that are used not only in Israel, but in the world.” He added that, “They are also serving at sea. This is not trivial,” referring to dangerous weather conditions and other maritime threats.

Until now, female sailors could only serve on smaller patrol boats, but were not permitted for placement on the larger Sa’ar class. The recruits will begin their service on the Sa’ar 5 INS Lahav and will eventually move to the Sa’ar 6 INS Magen next year, when the ship becomes operational.

“The arrival of the ships will significantly change the face of the navy,” said the head of the Israeli Navy Maj. Gen. Eli Sharvit. “The navy will operate vessels with new capabilities that we do not currently possess,” he added.

In a historic move, four women officially finished tank commanders course and became the IDF’s first female tank commanders after a 16-month grueling pilot program in June.

Jewish Group Sues Airbnb over West Bank Boycott Citing Religious Discrimination

A group of American Jews has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb, the online vacation marketplace, for its recent decision to stop listing Jewish properties in the West Bank, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The plaintiffs include Israeli-Americans who own or rent property affected by Airbnb's new policy. They filed the suit in federal court in Delaware, where Airbnb is incorporated, asserting that Airbnb was "redlining" Jewish properties while allowing Muslims and Christian to rent there.

The suit, the Jewish News Syndicate explained, accuses the rental company of violating "the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, a federal statute that safeguards against discrimination in housing sales and the rental market, in accordance with the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act."

“Airbnb has made a religion- and nationality-based decision about who can list,” Robert Tolchin, an American attorney representing the plaintiffs, told Reuters. “It decided in the United States, ‘We will not list for Jews in the West Bank.’ It should be equal access for all.”

Last week, a separate lawsuit against the company was filed in Jerusalem.

In explaining the purpose of the U.S. lawsuit, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat Hadin, the Israeli legal organization that is supporting the litigation, told Reuters, "Airbnb is violating Americans’ rights, and this can’t be argued in an Israeli court under Israeli law."

Airbnb sparked outrage, when it announced last week that it would remove home listings in Jewish communities in the West Bank. 

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren characterized the decision as “the very definition of anti-Semitism,” and observed, "Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria – not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, not in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea.”

Report: Egypt, Saudi Arabia Seeking to Encourage Arab Economic Ties to Israel

The leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are reportedly working together to convince Arab states to initiate a fresh start with Israel and develop economic relations with the Jewish State in accordance with the yet-to-be released peace plan of the Trump administration, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

According to a report in the UK-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who met Monday in Cairo, are trying to persuade as many Arab nations as possible to seek normalization with Israel, “or at the very least, a state of no war.”

Egyptian sources, quoted in the account reported by The Jewish Press, said the two leaders discussed the possibility “as part of a broader effort to promote acceptance of US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century,” which the Palestinian leadership has boycotted from the outset. Sisi and bin Salman, the sources said, want to increase pressure on Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to accept the deal.

According to the report, Egypt proposed a summit to be held with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority to discuss the United States peace initiative. The two leaders also discussed a possible formation of a quartet of Middle Eastern Arabic states, consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority – a proposal Abbas has rejected in the past as he fears the PA would be pressured into making concessions.

Sodastream Uses Celebrities to Raise Awareness of Plastic Pollution

Standing on a plastic bottle-littered beach, a group of earnest young people led by Sarah Catherine Hook holds plastic water bottles and sings a silly song about harmony with the environment. Onto this scene strides Game of Thrones’ Thor “The Mountain” Bjornsson carrying a singing sea turtle — voiced by Rod Stewart – to re-educate the well-meaning group.

This video from SodaStream International garnered 10 million views in the first 48 hours after it went live on November 15.

The campaign clearly is promoting the Israel-based maker of countertop sparkling water machines with reusable bottles — recently acquired by PepsiCo — sold at more than 80,000 retailers across 45 countries.

But in tandem with the new SodaStream-sponsored FightPlastic.com website, the video also is promoting awareness of the massive marine damage caused by single-use plastic bottles. That’s a cause celebrities are comfortable promoting.

“I have a great love for our oceans and marine life and was happy to lend my voice and support to this campaign,” said Stewart. “If it helps raise awareness and effect simple changes like switching to reusable bottles, then I’m honored to be a part of it.”

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum noted that more than 8 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year, and close to 1 million plastic bottles are sold each minute.

“This plastic doesn’t disappear. It breaks up into tiny particles, floats in the ocean, endangers marine life and ends up in our food chain,” he said.

(via Israel21c)

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