Israel News – New Government Begins a New Challenge

  • The new government under the leadership of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid is in action.
  • Bennet is meeting the challenge of the India variant of Covid which has entered the country.
  • Israel has sent help to Surfside Florida to recover the missing people under the rubbish of the collapse.

The new government of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid has begun to meet its challenges. Yair Lapid said that the new government a unified coalition uniting the Left parties with the right party Yamina of Prime Minister Naftali Bennet has the job of cleaning up the mess left by former Likud leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jews in Florida praying for their loved ones buried under the building collapsed in Surfside.

Netanyahu served as Prime Minister from 2009. Even though he received a large majority of mandates in the elections, he could not unite his supporters to form a majority government of 61 mandates. Most of the supporters of Netanyahu were from the far-right religious party and Orthodox religious parties of Sephardic and Ashkenazi groups. These parties to date refuse to join the new government of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid.

Netanyahu received opposition from within Likud which formed the New Hope party which seriously damaged his chances to remain Prime Minister. The New Hope Party leader Gidyon Saar joined the left government of Yesh Atid to help this government avoid a fifth elections. Minister have been appointed from the parties supporting Yair Lapid including an Arab party which brought to Yair Lapid five mandates which were critical in helping him form his government. This was the first time in history that a coalition Israel government includes an Arab Party.

Israel went out of quarantine completely after vaccinating a large percentage of the population. All restrictions were removed including the wearing of masks. Like the rest of the world, Israel is now faced with the new variant from India. People coming in from abroad visiting from countries considered forbidden travel have brought to Israel this dangerous Covid variant which is by far more contagious than the British variant. Bennet still refuses to interrupt the summer vaccination by initiating again restrictions. The Corona cabinet met on Sunday to deal with the dangers of the new India variant.

Building collapsed in Florida. Israel has sent IDF representatives to help find the bodies of the missing people.

All Israeli passengers over the age of 16 will be required to fill out a form before leaving the country that they will not visit a forbidden country with high infection rates. Leaving for one of these countries will be penalized with a 5000 shekel fine. A special airport Corona minister was appointed by Prime Minister Bennet. Children under the age of 16 are being encouraged to vaccinate.

The collapse of the building in Surfside on Collins Avenue in Miami Florida has shocked the whole world mostly the Jewish world.  Surfside is a Jewish neighborhood enjoyed by Jewish people as a vacation resort and for retirement. There are many synagogues in the neighborhood.

The Jewish community in Surfside has organized to help those homeless and to provide lodging to Jews coming from outside Florida relatives and friends of those living in the collapsed buildings. There are over 150 people missing. Five bodies have been recovered. There is very little hope that people are still living under the rumbles and their bodies need to be recovered to have proper burial. The cause of the collapse of the buildings is still being investigated but engineers seem to believe that the collapse came from concrete deterioration in the underground parking garage where the buildings were sinking into the earth each year weakening their foundation.

Israel has sent to Florida personnel to help in recovery of the bodies and support for those homeless after the disaster.

There is tension between Poland and Israel over a new Polish legislation limiting World War II property restitution. This bill will danger Jewish the future of Jewish cemeteries and Jewish properties in the country from before the war.

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.

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