- President Trump's Deal of the Century looms large over next month's Israeli elections.
- Israel made an airstrike Thursday on Iranian-backed militias in Damascus.
- The UNHRC released a list of over 100 companies which are operating in against international law in the settlements.
Israel elections are scheduled for March 2, and each citizen has already received notice of wherein this election he will vote. The presentation of the Deal of the Century is a big factor in the new elections. Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu have both received the proposal with favor, but the other parties, who will be important to complete the required coalition, have different opinions about the Trump Plan.
Gantz has made public that he will not include in his government the United Arab List. This will limit Blue and White, and to complete the required 61 mandates, they may need to unite with Likud. Netanyahu has support for the Deal of the Century from members of Yamina, the right-wing religious Zionist party. Ayalet Shaked, one of the leaders of Yamina, wants even to begin annexation of the Jordan Valley before the elections. She has almost complete support from her members to accept the Deal of the Century and initiate it immediately after the elections.
This will mean approaching peace without consent from Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, which can cause Intifada III. The Palestinians accepted the Oslo Accords, which gave them autonomy and a foot in the door in Judea and Samaria, even in Gaza. They have control of these areas and the leaders are satisfied that they have control without completing the peace agreement. Now U.S. President Donald Trump wants to complete the peace agreement, which began with Oslo. Abbas does not want it, using the language “no a thousand times.” He wants a weak Israel, and the Deal of the Century makes Israel strong with national security.
Avigdor Lieberman, leading the right-wing secular Zionist party, which has deserted Likud, considers making a national unity government impossible, and is already preparing for fourth elections. He attacked Gantz for negotiating with the Agudat Yisrael, the religious Ashkenazi party, and Shas, the Sephardic Orthodox party. Lieberman is vehemently against the influence of Orthodox Judaism in the secular, Zionist State of Israel. He will not join Gantz with the religious parties.
Netanyahu has given up on obtaining immunity from the Knesset, but it is still possible that he will attempt to pass a law granting a serving Prime Minister immunity, known as the French Law. If elected, Gantz can reach his mandate if Blue and White will receive their requests. A national unity government can be reached with Netanyahu and the religious parties. Netanyahu may have to give Gantz the Prime Minister position. They don’t need Lieberman at all.
Without a new government, Israeli policy about not allowing Iran to penetrate Syria continues. Israel made an airstrike Thursday on Iranian-backed militias in Damascus. Seven people were reported killed. The missiles were fired from over the Golan Heights and Syria claims to have intercepted several of them.
The UNHRC released a list of over 100 companies which are operating in against international law in the settlements. This is their first attempt to pinpoint and name these offenders. The United States has rejected the anti-Israel UN database of companies in the settlements. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that it hurts efforts for Middle East peace.