Israel News Roundup: Attempts to Make Unified Government Have Temporarily Failed

  • The possible indictment of Netanyahu is interfering with making a unified government.
  • Israel has cut power supplies to Arabs living in the West Bank.
  • Water scarcity is a big problem in the region of the Middle East.

Israel has completed its elections and is on the way to making a new government. The elections were a standoff like in the previous elections. The attempt of President Rivlin to bring the two parties together has temporarily failed. Likud and the Israel right parties received more mandates than Blue-White.  President Rivlin has called upon Benjamin Netanyahu to make an attempt to reach the majority of 61 mandates.

If he fails then Benny Gantz of Blue-White will have its opportunity to reach a majority.  If not there will be a third election. One of the reasons for the delay in making a united government is the possibility of the indictment of Netanyanu.  The pre-indictment hearings are set for next week and Netanyahu has made a special request that they be televised. The Attorney General Mandelblit is considering his request.

Since January 2017, Netanyahu has been investigated and questioned by Israeli police in two cases not previously made public, “Case 1000” and “Case 2000”, that were named this way by the police due to the link between them. In the first case, “1000”, the prime minister is suspected of allegedly obtaining inappropriately large-scale benefits from businessmen, including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and James Packer. The second case involves alleged attempts to strike a deal with the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronot newspaper group, Arnon Mozes, to promote legislation to weaken Yedioth’s main competitor, Israel Hayom, in exchange for more favorable coverage of Netanyahu by Yedioth.

The Oslo accords have left Israel divided and the Palestinian Authority ruling over Arab cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza.  President Trump has not yet revealed his Deal of the Century two state solution. He is waiting for Israel to finalize a new government which may take longer than expected.

Palestinians in the West Bank are unfazed by election results. They feel that both sides are equally bad.  Both sides are talking about annexation of the Jordan Valley.  This is even after the Arab Parties United to receive the third highest number of mandates of all the Israel parties.

In the meantime Palestinians are trying to develop economic independence from Israel.  They have met obstacles in development one of which is the lack of networking opportunities.  They held this week the 3E International conference on Entrepreneurship in the city of Bethlehem to empower new windows for trailblazers in its ecosystem.

Due to corruption among Arab politicians in the West Bank, investigative journalism is becoming more important to counteract these abuses. Even in Gaza there have been protests of its people against corruption.

A poll was taken and 61% of all Arabs living in the West Bank are tired of Abbas and looking for him to resign. They claim there is large scale corruption in his government.

Israel has cut power supplies to Arabs living in the West Bank and are under attack for doing this by the Palestinian authority.  Israel justifies do this since they have not paid their taxes. They have contacted several international parties to complain about these actions which they call “collective punishment.”

Israel was attacked for stopping a Gaza soccer football team from competing in the West Bank. The winners of the Gaza league play the West Bank champions in a two leg final, one in Gaza and a second game in Nablus in the West Bank which was cancelled. Israel denied travel permits to Gaza players.  The Palestinian Football Association chief claimed that this action is cruel just like the Israeli occupation. They appealed to Israel Courts to cancel this decision but Israel courts upheld the decision.

The Trump peace plan, also known as the Deal of the century, is an American peace proposal intended to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The plan was authored by a team led by Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner. The plan is divided into two parts, an economic portion and a political portion. On June 22, 2019, the Trump administration released the economic portion of the plan, titled “Peace to Prosperity”, containing two pamphlets of 40 and 96 pages each that are filled with financial tables and economic projections. The political portion is yet to be released.

President Trump made a statement that the Mideast understands the need for normalization of ties with Israel. He did this at his speech this week at the United Nations General Assembly.

King Abdullah of Jordan on the way to the United Nations General Assembly meeting said that West Bank Annexation will harm Israel ties with Jordan and Egypt.  Netanyahu mentioned West Bank Annexation shortly before elections.

The understandings between Israel and Gaza have been proceeding and developing despite Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warnings that he will soon undertake a significant military operation against Gaza. Humanitarian aid is regularly entering Gaza through Israel and a field hospital funded by private American money will be provided in Gaza for treatments which people once had to travel outside the strip to receive.

The Minster of Palestinian affairs was arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly breaking a law prohibiting political activity by the Palestinian authority in East Jerusalem. These arrests the Palestinians claim is to stop social and cultural activities in the holy city.

Water scarcity is a big problem in the region of the Middle East. Israel has agreements with Jordan giving them water from the Sea of Galilee which flows into the Jordan River. Israel is also a leader in technology in desalination of water from the sea. Almost 50% of the water in Israel comes from these desalination plants. Although oil is a big issue in relations between nations in the world; without water there is no life. There is no substitute for water while nuclear energy, solar energy, are substitutes for oil and gas. The nations surrounding Israel Egypt, Jordan, Libya, have shortages of water and Israel technology is one of their answers for this problem. Water is a vehicle for peace in the Middle East which are dry lands. Drought and continuous use of underground sources of water are creating a big problem and Israel’s desalination technology is the answer.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites. www.progressivejewishspirituality.net
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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