Former Israeli supreme court president dies

Former Israeli Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar has died at 94, JTA reported.

Shamgar began his legal studies by correspondence in an Eritrean prison. He was born in 1925 in Danzig, (now Gdansk), Poland. He moved to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1939, but was arrested five years later for his role in the Zionist paramilitary organization known as Irgun or Etzel. While in prison, he studied law by correspondence with the University of London. He later studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Shamgar joined the high court in 1975 and headed it from 1983 to 1995. 

As president, he was known for lifting the limitations on who could petition the court. He also headed the committee of investigation looking into omissions exposed in the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Shanmga “had an important role in shaping the foundation of Israeli jurisprudence, including legal policy in Judea and Samaria,” using the biblical terms for the West Bank.

Israeli cave housed world’s oldest leftovers

Researchers found leftovers in an Israeli cave that may be 200,000 to 420,000 years old, JTA reported, citing an article in “Science Advances.”

The deer bone remnants were found in Qesem Cave about seven miles from Tel Aviv. Humans saved the bones to eat the marrow, according to the researchers from universities in Israel, Spain and Switzerland. They said the remnants are “the earliest evidence for storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow,” according to the researchers.

The researchers said the marrow could be stored for nine weeks with only a low rate of degradation, 

Israeli Olympic contingent largest ever

Israel will send 85 athletes to compete in 18 sports at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, “The Jerusalem Post” reported.

That’s a sharp increase from the 47 athletes in 17 sports at the 2016 Olympics.

“This is a crazy number by Israeli standards,” said Vered Buskila, vice president of the Olympic Committee of Israel.

Along with qualifying in baseball, Israeli athletes have qualified in equestrian show jumping, shooting and rhythmic gymnastics. 

Buskila said additional qualifying athletes are likely on the way. 

The Olympic Committee of Israel also aims to double the number of athletes in the finals.

“In Rio, we had five,” Buskila said. “We want to double it. We aim to win two medals. We never had more than two medals at the same Olympic games, so maybe this will be our year.”

Israeli national part of first all-female spacewalk

Jessica Meir, who is a Jewish woman and citizen of Sweden, participated Oct. 18 in the first all-female spacewalk, JTA reported.

Meir and another astronaut, who were at the International Space Station’s Quest airlock, were replacing a failed power control unit.

Just 14 women, compared to 213 men, have carried out spacewalks. 

Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who completed three spacewalks in 2010, called the landmark spacewalk “significant.”

“As much as it’s worth celebrating, many of us are looking forward to it just being normal,” she told “The Guardian.” JN

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