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

As the Corona crisis starts to fade in Israel, everything else is getting more exciting around here. Its like Corona just extended winter through the spring and now the summer is bringing everyone out of hibernation. Now that Israel has largely succeeded in getting rid of Corona apparently its time to start kicking Iran out of Syria, so let's start with that. 

Go to Your Home Iran! 

In recent weeks, after Russian judo-master Vladimir Putin began hinting that he was withdrawing his previously strong military support for the Syrian Government, Israel intensified its attacks on Iranian targets throughout Syria, even as far north as Aleppo. The attacks have been reported to be devastating and Iran is now actively evacuating areas of Syria with some forces already returning to Iran. The most interesting part is that Israel is doing this totally publicly. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has even announced upcoming strikes before they happened. This is a real power move and Israel has now committed to completely remove Iran from Syria. If this mission is successful, with Iran and possibly Russia out of the picture, to where will Syrian President Dr. Bashar Assad turn to for assistance against his rebellious population? Turkey? Israel? Could get real interesting. 

Coalition Situation

Israel appeared to jump closer to an actual functioning government this week. The Likud/Blue and White unity team pushed forward with legislation to legally cement their agreements on how they would govern together over the next few years, including the rotation element for the position of Prime Minister. If this is all accomplished by Thursday night and at least 61 Knesset Members support Prime Minister Netanyahu forming the government, then he will have 2 more weeks to put it all together. If somehow this doesn't happen by midnight - then no fairy godmother will be able to prevent another election! 

Its important to point out that many aspects of the agreement between Likud an Blue and White had been legally challenged to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has rejected all the petitions and will not impede the deal.

Therefore, most folks are acting like this deal will go through and a government will be formed in the very near future, maybe as early as next week. There are a few more ministerial positions to be sorted out and whether or not the Yameena party will be in the coalition or not. However, the juicy aspect is the "Sovereignty" part! 


Possibly the most controversial clause in the coalition agreement is that there will be a vote on whether to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria (what the world refers to as the "West Bank"). This has not been done since Israeli sovereignty was applied in all areas of Jerusalem captured from Jordan immediately after the Six Day War in 1967. The minimal area to be considered for sovereignty is believed to be the strategic Jordan Valley, along the border with Jordan. The maximum would be on all Israeli communities throughout Judea and Samaria. Any combination in the middle is also possible, but unlikely, as it would isolate communities and make no one happy politically. 

There appears to be well over a majority in the Knesset in favor of at least applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. In addition to Netanyahu's "right-wing bloc", Avigdor Lieberman's party and some members of Blue and White also support the proposal. Is there enough support for all the communities? Could be.

As a result of these democratic realities and of the Trump Administration's past support for applying Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights and current statements, most notably by the Secretary of State and US Ambassador to Israel, in support of such moves, numerous former Obama/Bush/Clinton/Bush advisers have been whining all week about how terrible all this would be. Ignoring the fact that many of these pompous know-it-all's have worked for decades to try to achieve peace and FAILED REPEATEDLY!!! Not only have they failed to bring peace, but often their arrogant misguided efforts have lead to much bloodshed and death. Nobody should mistakenly think that just because the Times of Israel or the Jpost thinks a has-been, irrelevant viewpoint is important enough to publish in their rag that it means that Israeli politicians or the Israeli public care what these "luminaries" think. These folks certainly don't represent the current US Administration, but based on the recent results of the World Zionist Congress Election in America, they don't represent the viewpoints of the Jewish community either. This is regardless of their fake polls, fake facts and fake media connections. I could go on and on, but however long I could go on for won't be nearly as long as these enemies of the Jewish People should burn in hell for their crimes against the Jewish People and all the suffering they have caused. 

Jordan is also against the idea. As is ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the EU, Carol Baskin (just kidding, but she might be, she's clearly capable of evil). In short, this could well be the successful culmination of over 50 years of efforts since the Six Day War (and 2000 years before that) to officially re-establish a permanent Jewish Presence in the biblical heartland. Of course the forces of evil are going to line up to try to stop something that purely good from happening. When Joshua came to conquer the land and apply "Jewish sovereignty", G-d told him repeatedly to be "strong and courageous". We would be well advised to be the same. 

And after some unseasonable rain this week, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is now just 10 centimeters from being full.