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 ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

Well, that was one helluva week! 

Let's do the highlights:

American embassy was opened in Jerusalem to huge fanfare. All went quite smoothly. Some theatrical protests from arab members of Knesset, but nothing real. No protesters were killed or even wounded. Guatemalan Embassy was also opened in Jerusalem. No problems. Not even theatrical. 

Jerusalem Day was celebrated. Huge parade through center of town and the Old City and massive concert/dancing at the Western Wall. Again, no injuries or anything more serious to report. Some theatrical protests, but nothing more. 

Ramadan started this week, so far, so good. Its the very beginning, but peace reigns. 

A week ago, Iran finally retaliated for Israeli attacks on their forces in Syria. They shot 20 rockets at Israel. We shot down four and 16 landed in Syria. Not too shabby.

So you're probably saying to yourself: yeah, yeah, yeah, but WHAT ABOUT GAZA?!!! 

Yes, its true that some arab terrorists have been killed at the Gaza border in the last few days, but only between 50-60. That means that most Gazans didn't even show up. And of those that did, almost all of them avoided trying to cross the border and to harm Israeli soldiers and civilians. Virtually all of those killed are active members of terrorist organizations. 

What does all this mean? I'll tell you what it means. Its all one big bluff. 

Let's use an old fairy tale metaphor - The 3 Pigs. The arab wolves threaten to huff and puff and blow our whole house/country down. Well guess what, our house is made out of some seriously strong bricks and we got machine guns mounted in the windows. We saw what happened to our ancestors in Europe before and all the other tragedies that happened while we were in exile and lived in "straw houses". They can yell and scream, but when they get too close, it don't go so well for them. 

The whole world, except for America and President Trump, can bitch and moan about our strength and the arabs' weakness all they want. Doesn't matter. We going to keep making our house stronger and stronger. All the huffing and puffing in the whole world won't be able to do anything to us. The smart ones will steer clear and won't get burned. 

Don't forget that Shavuos is this coming Sat night and Sunday (and an additional day in the Diaspora). Unfortunately, many Jewish people don't celebrate Shavuos, the holiday that commemorates the receiving of the Torah, at all. Maybe that explains their Jewish continuity issue. 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,

Ben Packer