Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-29-2023

News Update

Talks regarding judicial reform began last night between the coalition and the opposition in the President’s Residence. This comes after Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Monday night that he was pausing the reform process. According to the latest survey, just 41% of Israelis believe there is a realistic chance the talks will yield a compromise agreed upon by both sides. Fifty-two percent believe there is no chance whatsoever for a compromise.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, US President Biden said he hopes Prime Minister Netanyahu “walks away” from the judicial reform initiative. In response Netanyahu tweeted, “Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends. My administration is committed to strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government, which we are striving to achieve via a broad consensus.” And then, “I have known President Biden for over 40 years, and I appreciate his longstanding commitment to Israel. The alliance between Israel and the United States is unbreakable and always overcomes the occasional disagreements between us.”

Florida Governor DeSantis will visit Israel at the end of April, for Israel Independence Day. For more, click here.

Israel’s Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich today signed an order canceling the tax on sugary drinks introduced by his predecessor Avigdor Liberman. Smotrich tweeted, “Ahead of Pesach and as part of the fight against the cost of living we have cut the tax on sweetened drinks. We are talking about a significant reduction in the public’s shopping basket.” It turns out that the Arab population is, by far, the largest consumer of sugary drinks and, therefore, stands the most to gain from the tax cancellation. The second largest sugary drink consumers is Israel’s Haredi community.