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....


Update is a bit late this week. Flights back to Israel got cancelled and re-routed through Germany. I guess causing the update to be late is probably the least bad thing they've done to the Jews in the last century or so as far as things go. 

Gaza, Gaza, Gaza:

Israel may or may not enter Gaza to attack Hamas in the coming days. But there is very little chance of anything of any significance happening. People often ask me: why is Hamas doing this? The answer: because they can.

Just as an example: today the Israeli Air Force destroyed a reported large Hamas headquarters building in Gaza. Guess how many terrorists were killed - NONE!!! Its a special kind of idiotic "morality" that enables the intentional saving of so many terrorists' lives. I guess we can always hope and pray. 

Tonight everyone is screaming because a rocket hit Beersheva. As if they are somehow more important than the other towns in the area. And after all, Beersheva? 

Draft deferment law deferred (how ironic is that?!):

So last year, as has been mentioned in previous updates, the Israeli "supreme court" struck down a law the enabled Yeshiva students to defer their army service as long as they are studying in Yeshiva. (This has been unofficial Israeli gov't policy since 1948). They gave the Knesset a year to come up with a new law or there would be no further deferments. So apparently a year just wasn't enough time, so this week the gov't asked for more time. They asked for 7 months and got 3. Therefore, either the Knesset will pass a new law in the next 3 months or go to elections. (or both). I'm betting that a new law will be passed in the next 3 months that pushes off the issue years into the future. 

Itamar and Meitzad - Serious Strategic Development:

New developments of dozens of houses are going forward in the Jewish Communities of Itamar and Meitzad, located in Samaria and Judea respectively. Both of these places consistently languished without any real development throughout the "oslo years". Both of these communities are very strategically located in areas that very practically prevent the establishment of a contiguous arab entity in the area. Adding hundreds of residents is no small matter. Hundreds of more people mean more schools, businesses, etc. As we've pointed out in the past, real numbers of "settlement construction" may be down, but they don't at all indicate the significance of what is being built and where.  
 

Crane in Itamar:

New Israeli Supreme Court Justice:

A new Israeli "supreme court" justice was sworn in tonight. Prof. Alex Stein is a candidate that was pushed very hard by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party. He is considered to be more right leaning and of course the dude he is replacing was solid left-wing. The parallels to the situation with the American Supreme Court are totally wild! 

Protests against that "Nationality Law":

Some folks are still whining about the new "Nationality law" in Israel. I guess as long as it pays, they'll keeping bitching. Its so incredibly fake, even for leftists. 

Saudi Arabia killed 29 children by bombing a bus full of kids today in Yemen. I bet they are thanking Allah tonight that they ain't Jewish, otherwise they'd be in so much trouble! 

Update is a bit late this week. Flights back to Israel got cancelled and re-routed through Germany. I guess causing the update to be late is probably the least bad thing they've done to the Jews in the last century or so as far as things go. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem