First: PM Netanyahu Piloted by Orthodox Jewish Woman

For the first time ever, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was flown for a state visit to Greece by a pilot who is an Orthodox Jewish woman.

The pilot, Nechama Spiegel-Novack, is a married mother of four and member of an Orthodox congregation in Jerusalem. “This is another first for Israel,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, the official welfare fund of the IDF, to Breaking Israel News. “Israel not only has the most advanced army and technology, it is also the most advanced country in the world for giving opportunities to women to fulfill their dreams, including religious women.”

According to a report in Israel’s Yediot Ahronot, Spiegel-Novack attended an Orthodox day school in Jerusalem in her youth. She is quoted as saying that “her dream of life has always been to be a pilot, and my husband helps me a lot.” Her family says it is proud of her accomplishments.

Spiegel-Novack began training as a pilot in the US when her urge to fly took hold.

She received her pilot’s license and applied to Israel’s El Al pilots’ course in 2005. Though technically qualified, she did not have sufficient hours in the air to enter the program.

“Most candidates for the El Al pilots program gain flight time while serving in the Israeli Air Force,” explained Grossman. “Therefore, Spiegel-Novack continued flying in the US until she could garner enough hours to be accepted to the El Al program.”

Spiegel-Novack began the El Al program in 2015. During this training, she gave birth to her fourth child, which extended the time it took her to gain her wings. She completed the program several months ago.

PM Netanyahu’s plane was flown by two pilots: Captain Yinon Hadar and Spiegel-Novak. Netanyahu is attending a two-day summit in Thessaloniki, alongside leaders from Greece and Cyprus.

“We are seeing an increase in women breaking the glass ceiling through Israel’s increase in opportunities to serve in its army and now with this praiseworthy accomplishment of Spiegel-Novack,” reflected Grossman. “Now, all we need is a new opportunity for a lasting peace.”

IDF Calls for Politically Neutral Terminology As Israel Celebrates 50 Years Since the Six-Day War

In a move that lovers of the Holy Land applaud, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, has instructed the IDF to only refer to Jerusalem as the “unified” city rather than “liberated” or “occupied” city.

Additionally, IDF Radio Commander Yaron Dekel ordered his staff to refrain from using the term “West Bank” on air, a term used to describe land returned during the war, as it is a term “adopted by Palestinians and the Left.”

“As we celebrate the miraculous feat of Israel’s fighters during the Six-Day War, it is a refreshing sign that leaders are taking initiative to correct a historical flaw, the use of derogatory terms for parts of the Land of Israel,” stated Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, the official welfare fund of the IDF

The Biblical terms for the “West Bank” are Judea and Samaria. These areas include Jerusalem, Shiloh, Beit El, and Hebron. Eizenkot hopes that by cracking down on terminology, the IDF will be able to sidestep politically charged terms during the army’s Jubilee ceremonies. These events include celebrating the liberation of eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria from the illegal Jordanian occupation that began in 1948 through the Six-Day War.

Veteran journalist Yaron Deckel, who has served as the IDF station commander since 2012 and is credited with moving IDF radio from leaning politically left towards the right, ordered his broadcasters to use the word “territories” (“shtachim”) to describe West Bank, though many believe that this is still a politically charged term. However, the Jewish Orthodox news outlet Kikar HaShabbat reported that the army does generally use “Judea and Samaria” and not the “West Bank” or “territories”.

“West Bank” refers to land located west of the Jordan River, which was returned to the hands of the Jewish state during the Six-Day War. The international community, including the vast majority of journalists, generally use the term “West Bank”, in part to disconnect the Land of Israel from the Bible.

“Words have power and create a reality,” continued Grossman. “Choosing the most accurate terms for the Land of Israel can only clarify the Biblical and Jewish connection to the land as well as strengthen our army.”