Airbnb reverses policy on West Bank listings

Airbnb no longer will remove West Bank settlement listings from its website as part of a court settlement, JTA reported. The settlement on April 8 was forged between numerous American Jewish plaintiffs and the vacation rental company and reverses a 2018 Airbnb policy announcement. 

“All listings for accommodations located in the Affected Region will at all times be permitted on its platform, subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations,” the court settlement reads.

Airbnb has said in November that it was removing 200 West Bank listing because the settlements “are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians,” although it never did remove them.


Study: Most Jewish grandparents committed to transmitting Jewish values

In news that probably qualifies as unsurprising, the first-ever national study of Jewish grandparents concludes that most are committed to transmitting Jewish values, reported.

The study of nearly 8,000 people was commissioned by the Jewish Grandparents Network, which partnered with 17 national organizations and Jewish Federations. Five segments of Jewish grandparents were identified. About 20 percent are “joyful transmitters,” who believe in transmitting Jewish values and beliefs, while 16 percent are “faithful transmitters” who want their grandkids to marry Jews. Another 23 percent are “engaged secularists” who are involved with the grandchildren, but don’t model Jewish involvement, and 20 percent are “wistful outsiders,” whose involvement is hindered by family dynamics.

The final 20 percent are “non-transmitters” who aren’t Jewishly engaged.


Florida governor to visit Israel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will visit Israel in May — his first international trip in office, reported.

“I promised to be the most pro-Israel governor in America, and that the first delegation I would lead would be to the state of Israel,” DeSantis said. “I’m pleased to report that I’m keeping that promise.”


Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon

The Israeli Beresheet spacecraft crashed onto the moon on April 11, ending a disappointing sequence that saw the main engine cut off before being restarted — but communications were cut off, The New York Times reported.

“Well we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried,” said Morris Kahn, a president of SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit that undertook the mission. “I think we can be proud.”

Israel was aiming to be the fourth country to land on the moon. Beresheet was a $100 million joint project between SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries. It launched Feb. 22 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and repeatedly orbited the Earth. It moved into lunar orbit on April 4 after being captured by the moon’s gravity, reported.

Once on the moon, Beresheet was going to take photos with high-resolution cameras then measure the magnetic field of Mare Serenitatis, the area where it landed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said other attempts at a moon landing were likely to follow.


Foreign investment in Israel climbs

Between 2015 and 2017, foreign investment in Israel increased from under $100 billion to $129.1 billion, according to an April 7 report from the Central Bureau of Statistics, reported.

The biggest chunk came from the United States ($21.1 billion), which was followed by the Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, Canada, China, Luxembourg, Singapore and Switzerland.

About 60 percent of that investment in 2017 went to the trade and services field, with the rest divided between high-tech, industry and advanced technologies.

Statistics also showed that Israelis abroad were increasing investments outside the country — $100.3 billion went into foreign ventures, about two-thirds of that into industry. JN

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