Israel News for 5-8-2023
Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policies last week, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said, “We have the interest and bandwidth to promote normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and in fact, it’s this administration that has produced the first tangible step of these two countries coming close together with the opening of the airspace over Saudi Arabia for civilian flights from Israel.” He added, “As a sign of my seriousness about how much we are focused on this and how seriously we are taking this, I’m not going to say anything further lest I upset the efforts we are undertaking on this issue.” Israeli officials are hopeful that relations with Saudi Arabia can be forged this year.
Israel yesterday released a Jordanian parliamentarian who was arrested last month at the King Hussein border crossing for weapons smuggling. The Shin Bet said that the Jordanian had, since February, smuggled goods across the border 12 times before he was caught. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir criticized the decision to release the Jordanian MP a “strategic and moral mistake.”
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir will speak at the EU’s “Europe Day” event on Tuesday. The Foreign Ministry had requested that Ben Gvir be replaced by another minister because European ambassadors have not agreed to meet with Ben Gvir because of his political views.
At his coronation ceremony on Saturday, King Charles III of England asked to speak with President Herzog and Mrs. Herzog, and spoke with them about the situation in Israel and the region. The king encouraged Herzog for his efforts to bring about a compromise on judicial reform. The President and First Lady also spoke with other world leaders during the coronation. They walked to the event from their lodgings in the area, in order to not desecrate the Sabbath. For more, click here.
Over 100,000 Jews are expected to visit Meron to celebrate the festive night and day of Lag B’Omer (tonight and tomorrow), which is the Yahrzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the holy Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the second century sage credited with authoring the Zohar, the cornerstone text of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Bonfires will also be lit throughout the country.