This Week Today: Current Events from Israel

Ben Packer,

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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

Obviously the big news this week is the Israeli election results, so let's get right to it.

The Results:
Bibi won. Kindof. Despite the Prime Minister being indicted and his trial date set for 2 weeks from now, his Likud party did better than the last round of elections (and every other one) and picked up at least 4 more seats for a total of 36. This put them solidly ahead of their closest rival, the Blue and White Party, who received 32 seats. With 99% of the vote counted, it appears that the right-wing has 58 seats, the left wing has 40 seats, the arabs have 15 seats and Avigdor Lieberman's uncommitted, but totally crazy, party has 7 seats.

In short, the same problem now exists after the 3rd election that existed after the first and second - neither side has a clear path to forming a sustainable coalition government of at least 61 seats (out of 120 Knesset seats total). Assorted politicians have claimed that they will do anything to prevent the need for a fourth election. I guess we will see just how serious these people are. Netanyahu will now try to entice some of his not-so-natural partners in other parties to jump on board and help form his governing coalition. This is totally possible, but he has already failed twice before in this exact same challenge. Maybe third time is the charm.

Some other small bits about the elections:

-The three parties that make up Yamina each brought in approximately 2 seats. Yet because Smotrich and Peretz are bad at this game, Bennett's "new right" receives 3 of those 6 seats despite not earning anything near that electorally. Otzma didn't make it in because they were not included in the partnership and the right-wing probably lost 2 seats over it - AGAIN!

-The arabs did really well and have gained another 2-3 seats (right now the results say they have 15, but they might lost one when the soldiers' votes are finished being counted. They normally do and it should be obvious as to why.)

-This whole 58-55 (right vs. left) that is often reported in the fake news mainstream media is very, very misleading. As stated earlier, at least 15 of those "left" seats are the arabs. They have never been part of any coalition government in Israeli history. The real count is 58 to 40 to 15 + 7 (right-left-arabs + lieberman)

-In the event that a new government cannot be formed and new elections are declared, it remains unclear if the current caretaker government will be able to advance President Trump's "Deal of the Century" as well as to annex some or all of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. It would seem that the electorate strongly supports such a move, but the leftist courts certainly do not. Alot to be determined in the next few days.

In other Middle East News
Full-scale war broke out this week between Turkey and Syria. Great potential for tremendous violence with possible ramifications throughout the Middle East and Europe. Just when you thought that one was over...

Because of Coronavirus, all events in Israel are cancelled until further notice.

Yes, I ignored AIPAC, just like President Trump does!