Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-22-2023

News Update

The Knesset voted passed the first reading of the controversial judicial reform bill by a vote of 63 to 47. The bill would limit the Supreme Court ruling on Basic Laws (similar to the Constitution), requiring the court to be unanimously on rulings related to the Basic Laws. It would also give the government the power to selects judges. Opposition leader Lapid met with Prime Minister Netanyahu to try to work out a compromise. President Herzog has called for the freezing of the bill and for the government and opposition to work out a compromise agreement. Protests against the bill continue throughout the country.

On Monday the UN Security Council met to criticize Israel’s decision to expand settlement building. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “These unilateral measures exacerbate tensions. They harm trust between the parties. They undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution. The United States does not support these actions full stop.” Israel’s UN Ambassador rebuked the council for castigating Israel while ignoring Palestinian terror against Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The UN Security Council has released a one-sided statement that disregards the Jewish people’s right to live in their ancestral homeland, ignores Palestinian terrorist attacks, turns a blind eye to the Palestinians funding terrorism and downplays the antisemitism that led to the Holocaust.”

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel Andrew Abir told “Bloomberg” that “political uncertainty” has affected the shekel exchange rate and equity markets but the Bank of Israel has yet to see any direct impact on capital flows. The shekel is at its weakest against the US dollar since March, 2020. For more, click here.

Security officials in the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan cut the leather straps of the Tefillin belonging to Dubai’s Chief Rabbi, Moshe Haliwa, as he was attempting to board a connecting flight to Abu Dhabi. The rabbi spent an hour trying to explain that the straps were just part of a ritual object, but the Jordanians insisted that the straps could be used to strangle someone on the plane.

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck about 70 km west of Beirut, Lebanon and was felt in Israel this morning.