israelam news

Israel News for 2-14-18

PM in Trouble
The Israel Police announced Tuesday that there is sufficient evidence to indict PM Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases against him. In one case the PM allegedly received bribes from business moguls Arnon Milchan and James Packer. In the other, he is accused of talks with Yedioth Ahronoth owner and publisher Arnon Mozes regarding the rival Israel Hayom daily newspaper.

The recommendations now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will review the material before deciding whether to file charges. Netanyahu can remain in office during that process, which could drag on for months.

According to reports, Yeah Atid leader Yair Lapid testified as a witness in the investigation.

Netanyahu denied all allegations against him declared that he would not resign as Prime Minister, and vowed that his coalition government would serve out the remainder of its term, set to end in November 2019.

He said, “I feel that it is incumbent upon me to continue leading the State of Israel. Citizens of Israel, you know that all the work that I have done was with the good of the State of Israel in mind. Nothing will distract me from this sacred duty. Today isn’t any different from so many other days. Our government will finish its term.”

For more details about the cases against the PM, click here.

Pot Exports
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman joined Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in opposing the export of medical cannabis. Litzman said, “It’s shameful that the State of Israel exports cannabis because it’s a drug.”

Litzman added, however, that he would remove his objections if a significant portion of the export revenues will be transferred to the health system in Israel and significant manpower will be added to monitor possible leakage of medical cannabis to unauthorized persons.

On the other hand, Minister of Agriculture Ariel and Justice Minister Shaked both support exporting medical cannabis. Shaked said, “medical cannabis is important to medicine, and to date, there have been 0 indictments concerning spillover from the farms for criminal purposes. Israel is the only country in the world that can grow cannabis with a breakthrough clinical method. There is no reason why we should not act for both global medicine and the Israeli economy.”

It is estimated that if Israel approves exports of medical cannabis, it will be able to generate NIS 1 billion to NIS 4 billion a year in profits.

For further reading click here.

Torah Study Law
Senior rabbis in the religious Zionist community, including Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Tzfania Drori, and Rabbi Dov Lior signed an appeal to PM Netanyahu to promote a new Basic Law that would classify Torah study as a “basic value” for the State of Israel, thus alloying for army deferments for full time yeshivah students.

The appeal included the following excerpt, “We have no doubt that strengthening the status of the Torah of Israel and its students in the Basic Law will greatly contribute to the State of Israel, deepen our national recognition of the importance of the Torah, and be an additional important element in raising our prestige and the sprouting of our redemption.”

The new Basic Law proposal was drafted by haredi MKs following the Supreme Court’s nullifying of a law extending draft deferments for full-time yeshiva students.

For further reading click here.

Close Call
A Jewish mother and daughter were supposed to be on the doomed Russian airline that crashed on Sunday killing all 71 passengers and crew. The pair had flown to Moscow from their hometown of Orsk to participate in a Chabad run Torah seminar over Shabbat. They were supposed to fly back on Sunday but the rabbi heading up the program convinced them to stay the entire weekend to participate in a tour of the Moscow Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. They agreed and, thankfully, missed the doomed flight. There were apparently no other Jews on the flight.

For further reading click here.