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

Before we start with the news from Israel and the Middle East, I couldn't help but notice all the hoopla this past week in the US concerning certain celebrities and athletes supporting Louis Farrakhan, yemach shmo. I certainly don't think these folks should be given a pass (they should all certainly be banned from Israel and all Jewish institutions and events), however, I think it's important to point out how incredibly cognitively challenged they all are. It's like a who's who of stupidity. Ice Cube and Madonna - with a combined IQ of 7 and not sure which of them has the 4. There are a ton of Jewish comedians out there, where they at right now? It's time to mock these morons unceasingly. Happy to do my part. On to the news!

Not just in Iran

As seemingly cyber-activated explosions continued to rock Iran for the past few weeks, there were at least 3 presumably Israeli attacks on Iranian allied targets in Syria last night. Tons of damage was caused and it appears somewhere between 5-10 Iranians/Iranian allies were killed. Most of those killed are reported to be Syrian, but Hezbollah has announced that one of their members was killed and unconfirmed reports have an Iranian general being killed as well. A little different than what was going on during "The 3 Weeks" period a few thousand years ago.


The only thing seriously attacking Israel right now is the Coronavirus. The number of newly infected continues to grow, but some experts say that it's leveled off and things will start getting better soon. Others say the opposite. Unfortunately deaths continue to climb as does the number of seriously ill. Of course many people are recovering as well. It's very confusing.

There is a solid game of tug of war going on between Prime Minister Netanyahu and some of his fellow Likud Knesset members over which restrictions should be employed to stem the spread of the virus. An announcement will be made that restaurants are closing, but then the Knesset committee will vote to reopen them right away. Same with gyms and pools. It's pretty funny and so Jewish. Pretty confusing times. Some good news is that it was announced this week that Jewish students from the Diaspora will be allowed into Israel to study at Yeshivas and Seminaries. This is very important for their Jewish identity and also for the Israeli economy.

Extending Sovereignty

Nothing. Continued silence. I still think it's going to happen. As Winston Churchill said, "I'm an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

Chevron - No, not that Chevron

Chevron, not the biblical city, but the energy superpower company, has purchased a large share in the natural gas rigs off the Israeli coast from the Noble Energy company. It's a multi-billion dollar deal and has the potential to advance Israel's now vast natural gas holdings to new markets around the world. Some nice economic news during some generally rough economic times.

Protests Continue

Protests against Prime Minister Netanyahu have continued. This week the protesters have been more honest about their political leanings - very left - and even raised a "palestinian" flag at one point in Paris Square in Jerusalem. If Netanyahu doesn't get moving on extending sovereignty, there might start to be some "right-wing" folks out there as well.