In The News, July 2024 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

In The News, July 2024

Ancient cargo found off Israeli coast 

The most ancient shipwreck ever found in the deep seas was discovered 90 kilometers from northern Israel’s coast on the Mediterranean Sea floor last week, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.  

Archeologists believe the ship and its cargo are about 3,300 to 3,400 years old. 

The cargo, with hundreds of intact vessels, was found during a standard survey executed by the natural gas company Energean, according to a news release.  

“The discovery of this boat now changes our entire understanding of ancient mariner abilities,” said Jacob Sharvit, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit. “It is the very first to be found at such a great distance with no line of sight to any landmass. There is tremendous potential here for research.” 

The vessels will be shared with the public in the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel. The organization plans to host a limited series of tours.  

AEPi offers virtual chapter 

Alpha Epsilon Pi International, a major Jewish college fraternity, has started a new virtual fraternity chapter called “Chapter Without Walls.”  

The goal is to provide Jewish leadership opportunities to those who do not have an AEPi chapter on their campus, according to a news release. 

“Our mission – to develop the future leaders of the Jewish community – is more important than ever at this time of rampant antisemitism and anti-Israel activity,” said Rob Derdiger, AEPi’s CEO. “Jewish communities on college campuses – no matter their size – need leadership, and AEPi can provide it.” 

The group meets virtually regularly, and members have access to AEPi’s leadership and advocacy programs offered to all chapters. For more information, email AEPi’s Chapter Without Walls at aneiberg@aepi.org

Muslim population in Israel growing 

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics last month released new data on the Muslim population in Israel.  

The new data found that at the end of 2023, the Islamic population made up 18.1% of Israel’s population, an increase of 35,000 people since the end of 2022. This made the total growth rate of the Muslim population 2.0% in 2023, according to a news release. 

The Central Bureau of Statistics collects information that is used by government agencies for policies and planning, according to their website

Hadassah demands condemnation of rape 

Hadassah, a women’s Zionist organization, wrote to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres along with 53 other organizations. The letter demanded that he condemn Hamas for its weaponization of sexual violence towards Israeli women and girls on and after Oct. 7, according to a news release.  

The letter was delivered on June 19, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict created in 2015 by the United Nations.  

“Until a legitimate, unbiased investigation is undertaken and completed, and Hamas is held fully accountable, Hadassah and its partners will continue to speak out and demand justice for the victims of Hamas’ systematic weaponization of sexual violence,” said Hadassah National President Carol Ann Schwartz. 

Hadassah and the other organizations previously wrote to the Secretary General around International Women’s Day calling for an independent and impartial investigation of Hamas’ use of rape as a weapon of war.  

Netanyahu criticizes coalition partners 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement on June 19 calling for his coalition partners to “get a hold of themselves.”  

This comes after multiple spats between his Likud party and Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, whom the Likud party accused of leaking “state secrets,” according to The Times of Israel.   

“This is not the time for petty politics or for legislation that endangers the coalition, which is fighting for victory over our enemies,” Netanyahu said, according to an Israeli government news release.  

“We must all focus solely on the tasks at hand: Defeating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and returning our residents securely to their homes, both in the north and the south,” said Netanyahu, whose remarks were translated into English.   

Netanyahu meets hostage families 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara met with families of hostages who have died at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on June 20. 

“We are committed to returning everyone, all 120 hostages – living and deceased. Even if this is in stages, we will not give up on anyone,” said Netanyahu, whose remarks were translated into English.  

Netanyahu will meet again with additional families of deceased hostages, according to a news release. 

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