This Week Today - Current Events from Israel

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

This week everyone began cleaning for Passover! Doesn't get much more exciting than that! But boredom set in and so it became apparent that we needed some manufactured excitement, so....

The President of the "Palestinian Authority" Abu Mazen called the American Ambassador to Israel a "son of a bitch". That doesn't happen everyday. But in fairness to Abu Mazen, America has never had such a proud Jew as an ambassador before. The last few have been quite the sellouts. Abu Mazen probably loved them! David Friedman, not so much. 

However, this just wasn't enough excitement, so... Israel officially revealed that they bombed a nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007. Now that is exciting! Most folks were already pretty aware of this, but now we had details. This, predictably, started a whole war of words (luckily not a real war with Syria) between different Israeli political and security figures. They argued like bickering children over who should get the credit, how the strike happened, how war was avoided and whether or not this information should have been released now. Somehow Netanyahu will get the credit (despite not being in power at the time), he's just that good at this. 

Many think this is a message to Iran not to mess. With the new and improved Trump Administration potentially poised to negate Obama's nuclear deal with Iran in the next few months, Iran needs to know its place. Showcasing Israel's ability to blow up nuclear facilities would be a nice warning. Additionally, as the Syrian government creeps closer to winning the civil war in their country, they also need to know that messing with Israel is never a good idea. I like to think of the whole thing as an early Happy Ramadan message to the entire muslim world, and don't mess. 

Very unfortunately, there have been victims of terror attacks in the past week in Israel. Two soldiers were killed (and two injured) in the northern Shomron and an Israeli civilian was killed in the Old City of Jerusalem. These attacks appear to have been carried out by individuals and not so premeditated. One attacker was captured and one killed. The terrorist who killed Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal was also captured this week in Shechem. They never get away. They know this, but they do it anyway. Something to ponder. 

Remains to be seen how/if Israel will respond to these attacks. Will keep everyone posted. 

In some good news, it looks like former residents of the destroyed community of Amona will move into houses this week, before Passover, in the new community of Amichai - near Shiloh. Rarely does Israel meet deadlines, but Passover is Passover. Hopefully the large families will experience a sense of "freedom" from the small dormitory rooms they've been confined to for the past year. Looking forward to those pictures. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to be questioned about something next week. At this point, even the left seems bored with this. Makes more sense for them to go through the Haggadah to be ready for the Seder(s)! 

Happy cleaning and Shabbat Shalom! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem



More Arutz Sheva videos: