israelam news

Israel News for 1-26-18

New Peace Plan
PM Netanyahu seems to be taking advantage of the US government’s favorable position towards Israel by offering a not so new idea of how a peace deal with the Palestinians should look.

Speaking at a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Netanyahu declined to endorse a “two-state solution” favored by the Palestinians and most of the international community. He said the Palestinians can have “the whole trappings” of self-governance, while Israel should maintain responsibility for security in the region.

The Palestinians pretty much govern themselves already via the Palestinian Authority, while Israel maintains military control over the PA’s borders and can enter PA territory in pursuit of terrorists. So it’s unlikely that the Palestinians would see this situation as an acceptable peace deal. But Netanyahu could be betting that the US might support some form of his idea.

Meanwhile, speaking in Davos yesterday with PM Netanyahu, President Trump threatened to withhold aid money from the Palestinians until they return to peace talks with Israel.

For further reading click here.

Religious Freedom
The government is attempting to get the support needed to pass the Muezzin Bill, which restricts mosques from blasted their calls to prayer over loudspeakers at inappropriate hours. But the bill looks like it will not garner sufficient support from the coalition members to pass. The opposition to the bill from within the coalition is coming from an unlikely source: the Haredi parties.

Haredi MKs have promised Arab MKs that they will in no way support the bill. The reason for the unlikely alliance is that Haredi ministers fear that the law impinges on religious freedom and could at some point be extended to effect Jewish religious institutions or activities.

Even PM Netanyahu, who initially supported the bill, has not done anything to promote it as a result of the opposition from the religious sector.

Zionist Union Chairman and Opposition Coordinator MK Yoel Hasson wrote on his Twitter account, “We can save some precious parliamentary hours and radio and television airtime by announcing that the muezzin bill will not be going up to a vote for the simple reason there’s no majority for it.”

For further reading click here.

Croatia Deal
In a meeting in Davos yesterday, PM Netanyahu and Croatian PM Plenkovic agreed to move forward with a deal by which Israel will sell 16 of its F-16 fighter jets to Croatia for around $500 million. Not bad for used merchandise.

For further reading click here.

Arafat Kill
Remember Yasser Arafat, infamous leader of the PLO and terror godfather? There’s a new book about to be released called “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations,” that details some of Israel’s attempts to liquidate him. Unfortunately, Israel never did succeed at getting Arafat, who ended up dying of an illness at age 75. But they apparently tried quite a few times, which should provide an interesting read.

To read more about this click here.

Rebbe Vacation
This week has been dubbed “Yeshiva Week” in the US, since yeshiva day schools and high schools have the week off and many families have headed to warmer locations. Well, it turns out that the Satmar Rebbe is doing the same. The rebbe is in Palm Springs, California, getting some much needed R&R. Believe it or not, he’s also taking advantage of the local Chabad house, where he goes for morning prayers. Who knew?

To view photos of some of the rebbe’s activities in Palm Springs click here.