Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-20-2019

Big Government
Israel’s cabinet has voted to allow the expansion of the number of ministers allowed in the government. The move is likely to make the PM Netanyahu’s job of forming a coalition a bit easier, as he will be able to dole out minister portfolios to his partners. The number of ministers is expected to increase from 18 to at least 26, which will cost Israel an extra 100 million shekel a year.

The PM advised his potential coalition partners to manage their expectations and come “back to reality”, in order to form a government before the deadline of May 28. He has yet to sign a deal with any party.

One of the PM’s demands for coalition partners is for them to commit to supporting a law that would grant a sitting prime minister immunity from being indicted. This has drawn criticism from members of his own Likud party.

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Peace Move
The White House said yesterday that the US will hold an international economic “workshop” in Bahrain in late June to encourage investment in the Palestinian areas as the first part of President Trump’s soon to be released peace plan. The conference will bring together government and business leaders to help jump-start the economic portion of the broader US peace initiative.

White House officials have expressed the hope that the potential of significant economic benefits could convince the Palestinians to be a partner in the peace plan.

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Polish Delusion
Poland’s PM Marek Magierowski said yesterday that the demand for the Polish government to pay restitution to Jews who survived the Holocaust would equate to “Hitler’s victory after his death” and doesn’t comply with the demands of international law.

He said, “We are told that Poland has to pay restitution, but we will not agree to it as long as we are in power. We are being unjustly treated. We are the victims and we are the ones who should be compensated.”

The United States has recently begun applying pressure on Poland, after President Donald Trump signed Act S.447 a year ago, which demands justice for uncompensated Holocaust survivors. Magierowski said if Washington was to demand restitution payments from Warsaw as part of Act S. 447, the Polish government would “redirect that demand to Berlin.”

[Am I missing something here? The Polish government stole Jewish (and non Jewish ) property after WWII and it refuses to return it to its rightful owners, or at least compensate the owners for their properties. What part of this are the Poles not understanding?]

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The Winner Is
The Netherlands won the 2019 Eurovision song contest which was held in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Italy finished second and Russia third. Israeli representative Kobi Marimi came in 23rd. [You can’t win ‘em all]

During the week long competition, a special anti-drone unit of the Israel Police downed 80 drones that entered the restricted airspace around the competition.

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Tunnel Busting Rabbis
According to a report just released, the IDF reportedly used two Kabbalists, Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Moshe, to locate Hamas terror tunnels back in 2014. The rabbis were able to discover 31 tunnels, which the IDF destroyed several months later during Operation Protective Edge. The IDF officers who were involved in using the rabbis to find the tunnels have remained anonymous, for fear of being seen as to mystical or spiritual.

For further reading click here.