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 (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

This Week Today
Current Events from Israel

Seems like things have calmed down in America, at least while Target restocks its shelves, just in time for potential drama to come here next week. More on that soon.

With the decrease in fear levels about Corona's actual effects, some Middle East conflicts have heated up - primarily in Libya and Yemen. Various Muslim countries have taken different sides in the conflict in Libya - with Egypt poised to possibly physically join if things get closer to their border. The Shiite Houthi rebels/rulers of Yemen have recently repeatedly fired at targets in Saudi Arabia, with limited success so far. If any side in these conflicts gets especially lucky, like an attack with mass casualties, then all hell could really break loose!

Take it Iran
It would appear that Israel has once again attacked Iranian-allied targets in Syria. At least 7 were reported killed in the strikes. Syria and Iran are clearly incapable of preventing these strikes. Some experts are saying that Iran is guaranteed to respond, but they've said that before and not so much.

Classic Terror
So there was a terror attack just outside of Jerusalem where a young arab veered dramatically and drove his car into a border policewoman at a checkpoint. He then exited the vehicle to continue the attack and was shot by security forces. The terrorist died from his wounds. Only afterwards did it come out that he was the nephew of Saeb Erekat - chief negotiator (read: liar) for the Palestinian Authority. Of course he decided to do what he does best - lie! Erekat accused Israeli forces of "murdering" his nephew for no reason. Other relatives chimed in as well. Lying must run in the family. Today, Israel released the video of the attack. Yea, so it won't no accident. There are few videos in life that you will see as clearly as this. But just to add to the fun, there is also a video that emerged from before the attack in which the terrorist declares what he's going to do. And now things are very quiet. Not as quiet as the dead terrorist, but close. Cameras are so problematic for Arab culture. Such a racist invention.

Corona Numbers Continue to Spike in Israel
The number of Corona infected people continued to dramatically climb this week, with one day seeing over 400 new positive Corona results. The number of seriously ill patients has remained stagnant. The Israeli government has decided to lockdown certain areas and are preparing to re-open Corona hotels to evacuate people with Corona from their areas of residence. The fine for not wearing a mask in public was also more than doubled. Despite this, the national train system was reopened this week and other events were permitted for the first time in months. However, tourists are still banned from arriving and it's doubtful they will be allowed before the end of the normally very busy summer season. On a bright note, a new treatment was used for the first time on a very critically ill Corona patient at Hadassah Hospital and so far the results are extremely encouraging!

Sovereignty
One week to go! Maybe. Its one week until the magic date of July 1st - the first opportunity, according to the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White Parties, when Prime Minister Netanyahu is able to present a proposal to the Knesset for the extension of Israeli sovereignty over all or parts of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Here are the most recent developments:

-Members of the Trump Administration were scheduled to meet today to discuss American support for unilateral Israeli moves in Judea and Samaria. The results of those meetings have not been publicized, but early in the day, Secretary of State Pompeo said that it was Israel's prerogative and a decision "for Israelis to make".

-The head of the UN, 1000 European Parliament Members, hundreds of Jewish studies professors, and some US Democratic Congressmen have all come out this week against any unilateral moves by Israel. (US Republican Congressmen published a letter in support of extending Israeli sovereignty). So if you're not sure about this, just look at who is for/against what, that ought to help.

-Israeli right-wing leaders continue to loudly oppose elements of the Trump plan, like the proposal of establishing a "palestinian state" and limiting transportation and development for specific Jewish communities.

-Reports emerged that neither Egypt nor Jordan have any plans of cancelling their peace agreements with Israel regardless of what happens. Oh and none of the other Arab countries really care either.

In short, what will or will not happen next week is still anyone's guess. Expect drama - the stage has certainly been set.

Speaking of drama, the legalization of cannabis passed its first vote in the Knesset this week. If it passes two more votes, it will become law and we will become Colorado. Not exactly.