Welcome to Gilis Good Newsletter #94!

This newsletter puts together a little bit about what’s been happening in Israel over the last week. We try to keep it positive. That’s why it’s the Good Newsletter.

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Inflation, rising antisemitism, tumbling markets, and other bad news stories are easy to find. So, sit back and enjoy some good news.

Welcome to the latest and greatest newsletter about what’s happening in Israel.

The U.S. and Israel kicked off a massive war simulation exercise they call Juniper Oak 2023. The training will run from Jan. 23-27 and involve 180,000 pounds of live munitions and 6,400 U.S. personnel, 450 of which will be on the ground in Israel. Of the 142 aircraft participating, 100 are American, including four Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers to four Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The U.S.’s robust air presence includes specialized airborne early warning planes, surveillance assets, and electronic warfare aircraft, such as an Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane, Navy E-2D Hawkeyes, and EA-18 Growlers. In addition, the George H.W. Bush carrier strike group will also support six EA-18s, five E-2Ds, and 45 F/A-18s. The U.S. Air Force is also sending four fifth-generation F-35s, which are not generally based in the region, joining six F-35s from the Israel Defense Forces.

That’s not even the full list. This is a big deal!!

The new government is committed to reducing the power of the judiciary. There is a robust political divide on this, which could be very confusing from the outside. It’s even confusing from the inside. I’ll include a jpost interview with Knesset Member and architect of the proposed changes to the judiciary, Simcha Rothman. I thoroughly enjoyed an interview he gave in Hebrew with Kan 11. He’s very well-spoken and clear. On the flip side, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman was interviewed by the Marker and expressed sincere fears about the new legislation. Personally, I’m not sure what to think. What do you think? I’d love to know.

McKinsey & Co. has acquired Israeli real-time analytics startup Iguazio for an undisclosed sum of money. It’s the global consultancy firm’s first acquisition in Israel. The idea behind the investment is that by integrating real-time data with Artificial intelligence, they’ll be able to execute marketing optimizations automatically. Cool stuff.

Whispered in Gaza Part 2 has been released. Last week I presented Whispered in Gaza, an initiative to interview everyday Gazans about the difficulties faced living under Hamas. Part 2 is now up, and I’m seeing at least one video reaching 235k people in the last ten days. It’s almost unheard of to hear these perspectives. I encourage you to watch and share.

Finally, Ofrah Chazah made it onto Rolling Stones Greatest 200 Singers list, landing in position 186. If you’ve never heard of Ofrah, she’s the most famous Israeli singer of all time. She grew up the youngest of nine children in Schunat Hatikva, an impoverished neighborhood of Yeminite Olim in Tel Aviv. She joined a singing group at the age of 12. Betzalel Aloni, the group leader, noticed Ofrah’s talent and became her manager. It’s an honor to see her included.

As always, I hope to make you smile with some articles and nuggets from the past week.

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Shabbat Shalom and Good Shabbos.

*The views and opinions expressed in the articles linked in the articles below may not reflect the opinions and attitudes of Gilis Goodies

Israel, US kick off massive war games in apparent message to Iran

Exercise, dubbed Juniper Oak 2023, involves over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations drilling in Israel and Eastern Mediterranean

Rothman to ‘Post’: Judicial reforms to strengthen Israeli democracy

MK Simcha Rothman explained to The Jerusalem Post the next steps for the proposed judicial reforms.

Nobel laureate on judicial plans: ‘Not the Israel I want my grandkids to grow up in’

Economist Daniel Kahneman says overhaul marks ‘end of Israeli democracy,’ warns that in addition to financial harm, it will further isolate nation in academic world

‘Whispered in Gaza, Part 2’: When residents of the Strip tried to challenge Hamas

The second installment of an extraordinary three-part series of animated video interviews in which ordinary, courageous Gazans tell their own harrowing stories

The Israeli Singer who Made Rolling Stone’s Greatest 200 Singers

Honored by Rolling Stone years after her death, Ofra Haza blended pop and traditional Yemini music.

Recipe Of The Week: Basic Tahini Sauce

Last week we discussed Hummus. I hope I inspired one of you to make some fresh Hummus, and this week I’ll turn your attention to Tchina. Tchina is a staple of all Israeli cooking. It goes so well with almost everything. Eggplant, falafel, and meat are just a few examples of foods that are often combined with tehina. Here’s a recipe based on Michael Solomonov’s from the NYT.

Smiles Of The Week

Happy Birthdays

Sender Bree

Binyomin Levin

Irene Herman/Avital Pollak

Itay Schwartz

Sara Weinstein

Gil Goldstein

Ezra Rosenbaum

William Montag

Amit Bob

Rina Beer

Ariella And Daniel Stahl

Aliza Schwartz

Andrew Oberman

Yaniv Finkelshtein

Yerachmiel Neuman

Michal Reich

Love You

Osher, Chavi, and Super Baby Shoshana Chechik
Abigail Tyler

Thank You

Amanda Govrin
Josh Frisch
Chani Goldfeder