Israel news April 4, 2021- Still no new coalition government

  • The Arab party R’AM can join Netanyahu and make the coalition.
  • Right Wing religious parties are against including an Arab party in the coalition.
  • Palestinian elections in May can make changes in the Palestinian authority.

The Passover holidays have closed in Israel but Christians are celebrating Easter Sunday.  Though Israel has been successful through its vaccination campaign to open restaurants, hotels, and religious sites air travel is still restricted keeping away foreign pilgrims who usually throng to Israel during the holy week.

Palm Sunday in Israel.

As new corona cases drop, Israel hospitals begin closing their Corona wards. 50% of the population has been fully vaccinated, the infection rate is down to single units. Medical centers report that there have been no new virus patients admitted in the last few days. The vaccination campaign continues. Statistics have shown that vaccinated patients make up only 3% of Corona patients.

Elections took place on March 23, and there is still no progress at forming a coalition government with a majority. Likud represented by Netanyahu received 30 mandates by far the most mandates of any other party, but his coalition together with the other right-wing parties have only been able to reach 59 mandates two short of the required 61 mandates to make a government. The Arab party R’AM led by Mansoor Abbas receiving five mandates could possibly make for Netanyahu a majority coalition but until today he is undecided in which direction to go joining the left or the right. For an Arab party to join the right is unusual especially when the right includes the extreme religious Zionist party. Likud alone and the religious parties are compatible with the moderate Arab party R’AM.

Corona virus ward in Israel hospital.

The right extreme party on the side of Netanyahu are also against including R’AM in their government. Another way of making a right coalition is for Gidyon Saar of the New Hope Party a former Likud member to reverse his direction and join Likud. Gidyon Saar formed a new right central party to oppose Netanyahu being Prime Minister for another term. Netanyahu offered a deal for Saar to replace him in one year if New Hope Party would join his coalition. Saar vowed not to join Likud with Netanyahu Prime Minister and refused the offer.

Marwan Barghouti a Palestinian terrorist who served time in Israel jails has broken off from the Abbas Fatah party joining a line of politicians challenging the aging president. Elections will be held in the Palestinian authority in May. He is more militant than Abbas and more aligned with Hamas. Abbas turned down a telephone call from Anthony Blinken in Mid-Februrary. He says that he wants to talk directly to President Biden. America has transferred funds into the Palestinian authority which were sanctioned during the Trump Administration. America is seeking to rebuild trust with the Biden Administration and has allocated 75 million dollars for economic assistance for the West Bank as well as the Gaza strip.

 

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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