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

July 1st has come and gone. The world did not end. Give it another few days. This show ain't over yet folks.

Much to almost everyone's dismay (definitely a few pro-Corona folks out there, always are), Coronavirus cases continue to spike throughout Israel (and other places around the world). Israel recorded their highest 24-hour total of positive cases this week and there are no signs suggesting things will slow down anytime soon. The number of patients in critical condition have gone up slightly. There is an opinion that many of these positives actually indicate people who have already recovered from the illness, but this is very much a minority opinion. So far, serious restrictions haven't been put back into place, but that seems like it will happen soon if things don't slow down. It's frustrating, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, the Corona show ain't over yet folks .

Iran Just Keeps Taking It on the Chin
Once again, some military force (probably Israel) struck pro-Iranian targets in Syria, killing at least 9 terrorists. Still no retaliation from Iran directed at Israel. Additionally, there were reports this week that the rebellion that led to the years long civil war is once again picking up steam in parts of Syria. The Syrian government currently only controls 60% of the total previous area of Syria. And with the Syrian economy on the brink of total collapse, that show ain't over yet folks.

Extending Sovereignty - Not Quite Yet
So July 1st came and went and no announcement from Prime Minister Netanyahu about extending any Israeli sovereignty to anywhere in Judea and Samaria. I don't think it was that surprising. First of all, July 1st was the first day, according to the coalition agreement, that something could be proposed and certainly not the last day. Also waiting a few more days, gives more irrelevant blowhards around the world more time to come out against it, so that when Netanyahu eventually does do something, his electoral base will be ecstatic. I mean what proud Jew doesn't want to poke Europe in the eye. Repeatedly. Forever.

Here's my take: The Trump Plan is very appealing on many levels - primarily that all Jewish communities are included in the plan and that the US will recognize the permanent application of Israeli sovereignty over all of them. Additionally, the conditions required of the Arabs in order to achieve statehood during the time frame proposed seem close to impossible - for them. However, with that said, I don't know if the formulators of the plan really took into account how much opposition there would be to isolating certain Jewish Communities into enclaves and trying to dry them out through voluntary evacuation. While of course there are those within the "settler community" that were totally ready to sell those folks down the river, a good number of others, prominent others, were just not willing to do it and were very vocal about that. And although many on the right are not surprisingly very opposed to anything that would lead to another arab state, I think the enclave and transportation issues on Road 60 have been real buzz killers.

Therefore, my prediction is that Prime Minister Netanyahu will insist that he can't go along with those two conditions of the plan and that President Trump will accept and allow him to proceed without them. Already there is tremendous pressure from the evangelical base in America and others on the right in US politics to make this work somehow. I think Netanyahu will wait it out another few days, but then make it happen. Either way, you'll hear about it next week because this show ain't over yet folks!