israel news

Israel News for 11-21-18

Coalition Loses
PM Netanyahu’s coalition lost a vote in the Knesset yesterday. Even though the issue at hand was just an amendment on a bill that did not carry major significance, the loss still highlighted the coalition’s tenuous position with only a one vote majority. Many ministers are calling for elections, but the PM is apparently going to try and hold on to power for as long as possible. The opposition currently does not have enough votes to win a no confidence vote in the Knesset.

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Indictment Recommended
The Israel Police and the Israel Tax Authority have recommended that the State Prosecutor indict Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) for fraud and breach of trust, perjury, tax evasion and money laundering. According to the police, the investigation found sufficient evidence to charge Deri with fraud and breach of trust over his conduct towards a businessman while serving as a minister; tax offenses amounting to millions of shekels; money laundering; obstruction of justice; and perjury in the false written declarations he submitted to the State Comptroller and Knesset speaker about his assets and earnings.

Deri is the head of the Ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas party in the Knesset.

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Gaza Beware
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz are all calling for tougher military measures against Gaza including targeted killings of Hamas leaders and an all out invasion.

Erdan said, “Today, we’re closer than ever since the disastrous disengagement plan to being forced to recapture parts or all of the Gaza Strip. If that is the only way we can guarantee long-term quiet and security for our citizens, then that is what we will do. We won’t allow anyone to deter us.”

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Shorter Service
The IDF and Finance Ministry are looking into the possibility of shortening the mandatory 32 month military service for men to 2 years. In addition to saving money, the shortening of service would be a result of the larger pool of soldiers available due to Israel’s growing population.

The main concern in the military over shortening men’s service involves elite combat and intelligence units that require lengthy training periods of a year or more before a soldier is deployed operationally. The new plan would require such soldiers to sign on for an additional six to 12 months if they wish to enlist in those units.

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Airbnb Folds
Airbnb folded to anti Israel pressure this week and announced that it will remove all apartments in Jewish communities in the West Bank from its website. A statement from the company said, “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin called on Airbnb to reverse their decision calling it “shameful.” The minister said he was looking into taking action against the company’s activities throughout Israel.

Deputy Minister Michael Oren criticized Airbnb for blacklisting and singling out Israel while ignoring other regions involved in land disputes, such as Turkish Cyprus, Tibet, the Crimea and Western Sahara. He called on supporters of Israel to cancel their Airbnb accounts.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the decision anti-Semitic saying it stemmed from political, and not business, considerations. He said, “The BDS movement does not differentiate between the whole of Israel and Judea and Samaria, as far as they are concerned, Israel has no right to exist.” He also said that he intends to consult with officials in the US, where more than 25 states passed laws banning boycotts of Israel.

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