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....

Its Ramadan, its almost Yom Yerushalayim, its almost Shavuos - but everything in Israel right now is about the forming of the coalition government or NEW ELECTIONS!!!


It has come down to the wire! For the past weeks, Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to put together a governing coalition government. There have been many challenges but all were believed to be easily able to be overcome in time for the deadline - 12:00 Wednesday night! 

At the end of the day (literally), the only real issue of contention, and what took down the previous government, is the draft law. It appears evident that the ultra-Orthodox parties and Avigdor Lieberman's party cannot be in the same government. At least not when they both control the balance of power. 

In the last election, the "right-wing" lost 300,000 votes to parties that didn't pass the minimum threshold to enter the Knesset. Its hard to believe that such a thing could happen again, so new elections, in some sense, do make the most sense and are very democratic. If the "correct" numbers emerge in the next election, then Avigdor Lieberman's days of electoral blackmail will probably be over. We'll find out come Sept. 17! 

Other News:

-Syrian forces shot at an Israeli Air Force plane over Israel this week. The Syrian missile landed in Syria and the Israeli Air Force destroyed the launcher and those manning it. 

-Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently in Israel on an official trade mission and he is cementing his "most pro-Israel Governor in America" credentials. Yesterday he visited the Samarian community of Ariel and today he was in the Judean area of Gush Etzion. He is the first acting US Governor to visit either region. Additionally, the Governor held an official cabinet meeting at the US Embassy in Jerusalem. The dude is all in. 

-Another hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon into Israel was found and destroyed. It was reported to be 22 stories deep. That's pretty deep. Almost makes you sad that it was all so easily destroyed by Israeli forces after all that hard work. Not even close. It would only be better if we had video of them digging it and broadcast it into lebanon continuously. 

-Sara Netanyahu reached a plea bargain agreement after illegally ordering nearly $100,000 of food to be delivered to the Prime Minister's house. She will have to pay $15,000 in fines. Seems like a good deal to me. Well played Mrs. Netanyahu. 

-Jared Kushner has arrived and will solve all of our problems! Yay! If he had just come a few days earlier, maybe we'd already have a government! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem