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....

This Week Today - Current Events from Israel

Trying to get the update out a little earlier this week so folks aren't too drunk to read/not remember it. Not that there is anything wrong with that. 


Unfortunately, even though its almost Purim, we have to start with some pretty bad news. There was a terrorist attack near the Israeli community of Ariel this week and 2 Jews were killed - one a Rabbi (with 12 children) and the other a soldier. A second soldier was shot and seriously injured, but after surgery, is thankfully now listed in moderate condition. The heroic Rabbi had already driven past the incident, but turned around to come back and tried to shoot the terrorist. He probably forced the terrorist to flee and may have saved many lives. 

Last night the terrorist was located and, after a firefight with Israeli forces, was thankfully eliminated. Two additional terrorists were eliminated last night as they attacked Jews praying at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem. 

Israeli Election Update

This week, for the first time in Israeli history, the supreme court disqualified a specific candidate from running for the Knesset. Dr. Michael Ben-Ari of the Otzma Yehudit party and previously #5 on the "United Right" Knesset list was prohibited from running for office because of previous Facebook posts that were determined by the court to have been racist. At the same time, the court overturned the election committee's earlier decisions barring an anti-Zionist/anti-Israel arab party and a leftist/anti-Israel candidate from running and instead permitted them both to run. Incredibly not surprising, but a first nonetheless. I guess desperate times call for pathetic, no chance of success, desperate actions. 

Otzma Yehudit has not taken the actions of the surpeme court lying down (also not very shocking) and now have a list of new demands in order to continue running with the United Right. Whether the rest of the United Right will agree to these demands and whether the all powerful attorney general will allow them remain to be seen. (Updated during this writing: the attorney general has just refused to allow any changes in the "United Right" list. Clearly he is continuing in his obvious attempts to damage that one specific party. Safe to assume he will not be the attorney general much longer nor that his children will get good shidduchim.)

The main challenger to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, apparently had his phone hacked by Iran. Still not clear how this happened and what was on the phone. One can only hope it can compete with Bezos....In the meantime, the "Blue and White" party of Gantz and Lapid and everyone else who hates Netanyahu has fallen below 30 seats in some polls (as kindof predicted in last week's update!!!) 

In other election news, Ayelet Shaked of the "New Right" party made a funny commercial of her spraying herself with a perfume called "Fascism". Oren Hazan verbally sparred with various leftist candidates - as is his way and sometimes using a megaphone. He also made a commercial in which he shoots a specific arab candidate. Got to love Israeli elections. 

Court Ruling on "Gate of Mercy"

This week a Jerusalem court ordered the muslim wakf to vacate the area of the "Gate of Mercy" on the Temple Mount until a further ruling is made on the matter. Shockingly, they have failed to do so. This from the same people who illegally broke into the place a few weeks ago. Its seems there is a disagreement over who is in charge of the site. Palestinian Authority official Adnan al-Husayni, announced that the court's ruling is "void, invalid and worthless". Refreshing. Haman also thought he ran the world. “For the Jews there was light (orah), joy, gladness and honor.” (Esther 8:16) So it should be for us! 

Happy Purim!