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....

Happy Lag B'Omer! Lag B'Omer celebrates some interesting historical dates and themes for the Jewish People. Important to keep in mind that resisting foreign oppression and imperialism is one of them! 


Speaking of imperialism, Iran continues to take shots at Saudi Arabia through their proxies in Yemen. Despite the continued attacks, hostile rhetoric between the US and Iran has somewhat stabilized. Could also be because its a very, very hot ramadan and the iranians are just really tired and thirsty. Mr. Trump, might be an opportune time. Just sayin'. 

Israeli Coalition Negotiations

Time is quickly running out for Prime Minister Netanyahu to form the next coalition government. With only a week left, ZERO agreements have been signed with other parties. With that said, the chances of it all coming together early next week are very, very high. There are probably a good number of folks who would like to see elections again. Undoubtedly, the left would get hit even harder and maybe Bennett and Shaked could even return to the Knesset. Anyway, not likely to happen. Probably all agreements get signed within 48 hours of each other and the real "work" begins. 

Netanyahu's and His Friends' Legal Saga

Prime Minister Netanyahu had a pretty good week legally. It seems that virtually all the parties potentially joining his coalition are cool with passing legislation that will prevent him from being indicted at least while in office. It was also pointed out in a few publications that the proposed "immunity" measure would help individuals currently under investigation in at least 3 other parties as well. "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"....

In more good news for Netanyahu, the Attorney General agreed to push off his pre-indictment hearing by 3 months. That should give him plenty of time to pass whatever legislation he needs to pass before actually being indicted. 


This week it was widely reported that there is actually a 6-month ceasefire in place between Israel and Hamas. Not sure if this is entirely true, but even supposed details of the agreement were reported. It was pointed out that exploding/flammable balloons fired from Gaza at Israel were somehow supposedly not prohibited by the the deal. Since then, dozens of such "balloon bombs" have been sent towards Israel and have ignited numerous fires. Like so many other things, this current charade will probably last as long as ramadan. 

Irony of Burial

So the bedouin congresswoman from Michigan recently made some kind of claim about how "palestinians" were very welcoming to Jews during the time period surrounding the Holocaust and provided them with a "safe haven". Also this week a mass pit of Jews killed in the Holocaust was found in Belarus and a special team was sent to retrieve the remains and bring them to proper Jewish burial. At more or less the same time, it was discovered that "palestinians," continuing the tradition of providing a "safe haven" for Jews, had destroyed and desecrated Jewish graves from the Second Temple period near Jericho. Once again, a special team was sent to retrieve the remains and bring them to proper Jewish burial. Not the same as killing people, but not so much of a "safe haven" either. 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem