The Knesset approved a 2022 national budget on Friday by a vote of 59 to 56, in a big victory for PM Bennett’s coalition government. This is Israel’s first approved budget in 3 and a half years. The PM tweeted, “We’ve put Israel back on track.”
IDF soldiers arrested two suspects who infiltrated from Syria into Israeli territory in the southern Golan Heights this morning. It is unclear yet if the infiltrators were armed.
The US Senate has confirmed Thomas R. Nides of Minnesota to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. Nides is the managing director and vice-chairman of Morgan Stanley. He previously served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources under Hillary Clinton from 2011 to 2013. Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan tweeted, “I’m sure that you will further strengthen the special bond between Israel & the U.S.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Nides “cares very much about strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, so this will be a good day for that relationship.”
The economic ministers of Israel and Jordan met in Jordan on Wednesday and signed an agreement to increase caps on Jordanian exports to the Palestinian Authority. The Foreign Ministry said that the meeting was aimed at “enhancing civilian ties between Israel and Jordan, strengthening neighborly relations, and promoting cooperation between the two countries.”
The Health Ministry reported 513 new Covid cases on Thursday, resulting in a .75% infection rate. Out of 6,676 active patients, 176 are in serious condition, with 112 connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic is 8,112.
Israeli journalists interviewed Egypt’s Head of Intelligence, considered to be the second most powerful man in the country. To read about what he said, click here.
The newest controversy in Israel [as if there aren’t enough already] is related to Shufersal, the largest supermarket chain in the country. It turns out that in addition to its main online shopping site, the supermarket has another website targeting the Haredi community called Yashir Lamehadrin [which implies a higher level of Kosher supervision]. The prices on that ultra-kosher website were found to be significantly cheaper than the prices for the same exact items on the regular site. When this was “discovered”, there was a massive outcry accusing Shufersal of discriminatory practices in favor of the Haredi community. So Shufersal has shut down the site — and now everyone has to pay full price. But now that everyone knows about it, why didn’t everyone just buy from the cheaper site and let things continue as normal? The only thing this quest for “justice” has achieved is deprived a poorer community of an affordable way to buy their food, and prevent anyone else from doing the same. But in the Jewish state, apparently a good controversy is worth spending a lot more on groceries. Go figure. To read more about the details of the controversy, click here.