Not so Fast Bibi

by Tal Shalev

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu informed President Isaac Herzog, 51 days after election, that he had succeeded in forming a government (just 18 minutes before the deadline).

Ben-Gvir squeezed into another political stronghold and was granted his last demand, a veto mechanism over the government’s legislative agenda; meanwhile, the ultra-Orthodox factions negotiated some last-minute wording changes.

And since they all share an extremely low level of trust in their interlocutor, they insisted on having everything written down. In ink, on paper.

By January 2, 2023 the last possible date for the new government to be sworn in, they will have to settle all of their demands. Netanyahu is aiming to hold the ceremony by late this week, eager to put the negotiations in the rear-view mirror and become prime minister again.

Well, actually, not so fast. Before Netanyahu reaches the Prime Minister’s Office safe and sound, he has two more urgent items still on his agenda. First, the coalition needs to conclude the authorization of the package of personalized bills, which were written at the coalition partners’ request. 

Arye Deri, Bezalel Smotrich and Ben-Gvir all preconditioned their agreements on preliminary legislation that will clear the path for their ministerial appointments.

And, Degel HaTorah chairman MK Moshe Gafni sent a letter to Netanyahu in which he demanded that negotiations be reopened on the grounds that the agreement was concluded only with the Agudat Yisrael faction and not with all members of UTJ.

At least some of the bills are likely in the future to be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Lastly, Netanyahu will finally attend to his own followers, assigning the remaining ministries and portfolios to Likud members.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Some people say, in an attempt to shift blame on Israel, “There's a deep-rooted problem on both sides”. I agree, the difference is that Jews want to live in peace with their neighbours on ancestral Jewish land, Eretz-Israel. On the other hand, Arabs and Muslim states are using their proxy, the so-called Palestinians, to destroy the only Jewish state! Yes, there is a problem on both sides – Jews must become bold in achieving their objective, that will leave the ‘neighbours’ no choice but recognise and normalise relationship with Israel. Nothing else will work!

Israelis Pessimistic about New Government

42% of Israelis believe that Israel will be in a worse situation at the end of the incoming government's four-year term - only 29% of respondents to a survey said that it will be improved. Among people who voted for Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, a surprisingly low 68% were optimistic about the coming four years. When asked which coalition party had the most impressive achievements in the coalition negotiations, a plurality of 30% said Itamar Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yehudit party.

Progressive Rabbis Becoming Irrelevant

more than 330 American clergy from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist progressive movements – “including some who occupy prominent roles in major cities” – have issued a Call to Action for Clergy in Protest of Israeli Government Extremists, pledging to ban members of the Religious Zionist alliance from speaking at their synagogues.

Apartheid 'Palestinian' Terrorist State

Palestinian terrorists rained bullets at the Shaked community, located 6 miles west of the Palestinian city of Jenin. The IDF has been carrying out ongoing counter-terror raids across Judea and Samaria in recent months, dubbed Operation Break the Wave. More than 2,500 terror suspects have been arrested and 170 Palestinians killed, most of whom were carrying out terror attacks or involved in clashes with Israeli soldiers at the time of their death.

Transfer Terrorists to Jordanian Prison?

According to a report in the Al-Arabi Al-Jadid newspaper, the Committee of Jordanian Prisoners held in Israeli prisons claims that the Israeli prison administration has offered Palestinian Authority terrorists with Jordanian citizenship the option to move to Jordanian prisons to serve the remainder of their sentences. 

Israeli-Arabs - Enemies Within

The mayor of the Arab Israeli city of Kafr Qassem attended the funeral on Saturday of a terrorist who was slain while attempting to shoot and run over several police officers.

Quote of the Week:

“We were apparently mistaken in thinking that racist, religious hatred of Jews and Israel was a thing of the past. It saddens us to discover time and time again that under the thin veneer of the EU’s civility and manners and the seeming concern for human rights, the same old blood libels can be found, along with the same flames of primitive hatred that seek this time to persecute - not the individual Jew, but the tiny Jewish state." - A group of former IDF senior officials slammed the EU in their own letter, calling the Area C development plan a “threat to national security” - European traditional Jew-hating has not died. It has temporarily went into hiding since WW2. Not anymore!

Divorcing the Palestinians!

by Victor Rosenthal

One of the favourite lines heard from Israel’s Left is that they want to “separate” from the Palestinians, or, lately, to “divorce” them. This may sound like a good idea, but it is a poor analogy. In the usual divorce, one of the former partners moves away. They don’t try to continue living in the same house.

The separation or divorce that they are talking about is the same old thing: they want Israel to withdraw from most or all of Judea and Samaria, and allow the creation of a Palestinian state. Whatever you call it, the consequences will be the same: the advancement to the next stage of Yasser Arafat’s “Phased Plan” for the destruction of Israel, and a return to what Abba Eban called “Auschwitz borders.”

...It wasn’t always thus. Right after the First World War, the victorious Western powers for a short time were prepared to set aside a portion of the former Ottoman Empire that had already been developed by Zionist immigration, and which just happened to be the historic home of the Jewish people, for settlement by the exiled remnants of those people. This was seen as a win-win situation for everyone involved: the Zionists would get their homeland, the Europeans would (ultimately) get rid of their Jews, and the British – who would hold the Mandate for the sake of the Jews – would get a convenient place to stand to protect the flank of the Suez Canal, and maybe to build a railroad from the port of Haifa to the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, India.

Almost immediately, the British began reneging on their responsibilities toward the Jews, limiting Jewish immigration and encouraging local Arabs in their desire to see the whole Mandate become an Arab state... (giving away 82% of the land designated to the Jewish state, trans-Jordan and the Golan Heights, to the Arabs.)

The 1948 War of independence and the 1967 Six Days war – a war of aggression intended to destroy the Jewish state – finally established Jewish control of the all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. The 1973 Yom Kippur war proved that even under the worst conditions, the newly expanded state was defensible...

There are spiritual and historical reasons that Judea and Samaria should be in Jewish hands. But whether or not they are important to you, there are also brute facts of geography: without control of the high ground of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, the state cannot be defended. We must not go back to Auschwitz borders.