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

Just got back from my trip to the America and my first time ever visiting the great State of Texas! The big news in Austin is the incredible work being done on campus by Rabbi Moshe Trepp and his wife - never saw anything like it! Was blown away. Speaking of being blown away....

Iran Moves from Damascus to Aleppo

After their various headquarters in Damascus were repeatedly destroyed by Israel, it was reported this week that Iran has recently decided to relocate their command centers to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The idea seemed to be that because of the greater distance and Russian anti-aircraft defenses it would be harder for Israel to strike there. Wrong! Israel bombed the hell out of the place and killed at least 7 iranian goons. Israel is currently discussing the new situation with Russia so that they don't have to shoot down any more Russian plans like Tom "Maverick" Cruise in Top Gun. 


Nothing really happening - as predicted in the update last week

Final Israeli Election Update (Obviously, there will be a post-election update)

Its neck and neck in the always wrong polls between Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party and the "Blue and White" Party to see which party will win the most seats. The real results will only start after the election to see who can actually put together a coalition - that's the real challenge. Election is this coming Tuesday! 

And of course the supreme court ruled against Otzma changing their candidate to replace the one kicked out by the same court. (As predicted in the update last week) That was the whole point of their ruling, so, yeah. 

Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) Continues to Rise! 

As was mentioned in a previous update, the Kinneret continues to rise! With much rainfall from the last week and snow eventually melting on Mount Hermon (now officially part of Israel according to President Trump), the Sea could get within 2 meters of being totally full. Prior to this winter, the experts had said to expect another year of drought, but its "a land the Lord, your God, looks after; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  (Deuteronomy 11:12). "And if loving the L-rd is wrong, I don't want to be right" ("Reverend Brown": Coming to America) 

Lack of Sovereignty Causes Problems in the Judea and Samaria

Two troubling incidents occurred in the last week that highlight the problems of the lack of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (There were many, many other problems as well, but we will just note these two for now.)

1) A terrorist attempted to enter an Israeli civilian's car and stab the occupants today in Huwara (near Shechem, in the northern "west bank"). Thankfully, the driver was armed and he was able to kill the terrorist. This is a happy ending but could have been very different. The Israeli government has promised for years to build a bypass road around Huwara and has not yet begun construction. Everyone knows that building the bypass road would make travel much safer and more efficient, but would also lead to a spike in growth of Jewish Communities in the area and this is the real reason the Government is dragging its feet. 

2) It was reported today that ancient (Second Temple) Hasmonean (the relatives of the people from Hanukah) graves near Jericho had been severely damaged and looted by local arabs. This has happened at numerous sites where Israel voluntarily lacks the proper oversight and enforcement capabilities. How many more times will this happen? Probably continuously until Israel applies real sovereignty to the area. 

Breaking News: Body of Israeli Soldier Returned to Israel

In absolutely wild news, Israel has just recovered the body of an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Zachary Baumel, hy'd, killed in Lebanon by Syria 37 years ago.  The body was brought to Israel and positively identified. Baumel's family has been informed and details of burial have not been announced yet. The funeral will undoubtedly be a major event. There remain other Israeli soldiers' bodies that are still missing, as well as that of famous Israeli spy, Eli Cohen, hy'd. Russia supposedly helped in the recovery and hopefully Putin can come through for a few more as well. At this point it seems like the two biggest leaders in the world are competing to help the Jews. Maybe this is the real collusion!!! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem