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Leading halachic authorities have reversed their position on IVF (in vitro fertilisation) babies, according to the Jerusalem Post. For two decades they have ruled that the bearing woman is the mother. We firmly held to the opposite opinion for simple biological reasons, and we were condemned for inflating our estimates of the number of non-Jews in Israel. Now the rabbis have embraced the same opinion: the egg-donor is the mother.

Since early 1990s, by far most egg donors in Israel have been non-Jewish. Many Jewish women underwent cheaper IVF abroad, where the eggs are 100% non-Jewish. Some of the IVF babies have already grown up and had their own non-Jewish children.

The anti-Kassam system has passed another successful test and will be deployed near Sderot this year—a sign that the government does not expect peace anytime soon. The Iron Dome expends a $200,000 rocket for each $100 Kassam projectile.

On one hand, the Iron Dome will provoke terrorists to shoot more rockets at Israel: they can both show activity to their sponsors and avoid irritating IDF with Jewish civilian casualties. Other other hand, the Iron Dome will make rocket launching futile and might eventually lead to the collapse of the Kassam industry.

The Iron Dome does not intercept shells, an increasing part of the fire from Gaza.

Important Western European rabbis object to security men in airports screening Orthodox Jewish women with body scanners.

The problem is only due to political correctness. Why screen Jewish women, none of whom have ever tried to blow up a plane? (Brave Nancy Hershkowitz tried to hijack a plane, though.)

The recent spike of security concerns began after another odd aircraft bombing attempt. Isn’t it strange that the terrorist prepared his bomb right on the seat instead of assembling it quietly in bathroom where he had been minutes before?

In 2009, about 2,000 haredim enlisted in IDF or National Service, a fivefold increase from the previous year. Their conscription mostly consists in vocational training or providing social services to the haredi community.

It defies understanding why the government insists on conscripting haredim without providing them with proper military training.

The government capitulated to the UN, which disseminated the libel that IDF deliberately bombed UNRWA installations in Gaza during the 2009 war. Israeli taxpayers will pay the UN $10 million to settle the bill. With construction costs in Gaza running about $12 per square foot, the amount grossly exceeds any realistic damage.

The UN won’t pay Israel for the damage inflicted by Palestinian terrorists who were hiding in UNRWA buildings and camps in Gaza.

Major Israeli banks have closed the brokerage accounts of their clients who are citizens or residents of the United States because foreign accounts might violate US tax laws.

The United States is not going to take the reciprocal measure of closing the bank accounts of Israeli citizens who likewise evade taxes.

The government has capitulated to human rights groups and allowed the “Bnei Menashe” Hindus to immigrate to Israel.

The bizarre part is that they will need to undergo conversion to Judaism before immigration, which means that they are not Jews as of now.

The “Bnei Menashe” claim their remote ancestors were Jewish. So also claim the Ethiopian Falash Mura Christians, some 4,000 of whom are also preparing to enter Israel.

January 2010
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