9 Tammuz 5777
3 July 2017
The News on the Israel Street
The disgraceful blocking of the Jerusalem bill yesterday . . .
What happened yesterday in the government was nothing more than an unmitigated disgrace.
For weeks and months, Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home Party have been announcing their plans to bring a proposed “Jerusalem Law” before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. That law would make it virtually impossible to divide Jerusalem in any future negotiations because it would require the consent of 80 Knesset members.
During these weeks and months, PM Netanyahu said nothing.
So what happened when Bennett brought the bill to the Committee yesterday?
PM Netanyahu blocked it.
Yes, you read that correctly. PM Netanyahu, who makes a living running around talking about how Jerusalem will never be divided, blocked the bill that would make it impossible to divide our eternal capital.
The reason given was that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (a member of Jewish Home) would not agree to include a clause in the bill stating that the law needed the approval of Netanyahu and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Elkin to advance through each of its three readings in the Knesset.
The real reason is that the blocking was nothing more than a nauseating political power play. Netanyahu could not stomach the idea that Bennett and Jewish Home would get credit for the bill, and he could not stomach the idea that he would be unable to stop it once it gets to the Knesset.
What is the final result? Jewish Home and Likud (read: Bennett and Netanyahu) will hammer out a new draft of the proposed law and bring it to the Cabinet next Monday.
Everyone is talking about the heat and trying to stay cool . . .
Nearly 200 Israelis were treated by MADA teams yesterday for heat-related health problems–including 75 people who fainted and 14 more suffering from intense dehydration.
Today is supposed to be even hotter.
Temperatures are expected to hit 46 C (114 F) in Eilat this afternoon and 34 C (93 F) in Tel Aviv. The rest of the country will be somewhere in between.
Yesterday, the continuous running of air conditioners pushed the megawatt usage up to 12,438 megawatts thereby eclipsing the all time record for a day in the summer.
Another record will probably be set, a deadly one . . .
Last year (2016), 377 Israelis died in automobile crashes on the country’s highways.
According to the National Road Safety Authority, during the just finished month of June, 45 Israelis died on the roads bringing the total so far this year to 192.
Part of the problem is the ever increasing number of cars. A small glimmer of hope is that monthly car sales in June declined by 1000 compared to June of last year.
There were only 25,500 sold.
The coming Amazonization of Israel . . .
In the last 24 hours Amazon has rented 12,000 square meters of office space in Haifa and another 25,000 square meters in Tel Aviv (the latter space includes 11 floors in the newly built Sarona Tower and 300 adjoining parking places).
Given the massive problems with the mail here which make it difficult to order anything online not to mention the exorbitant price which must be paid for everything, the appearance of Amazon is a welcome sight indeed.
Good news on the natural gas front . . .
A report released yesterday confirms that the amount of gas in the offshore Tamar field is actually 15% more than at first thought.
The field, located in the Mediterranean 50 miles west of Haifa, already had proven reserves of approximately 8 trillion cubic feet.
Just when you thought you had heard everything . . .
Check out this announcement from Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi yesterday (with apologies for the slightly blurry picture):
Israelis cannot even get a visa exemption waiver, and Muslims in Abu Dhabi can now clear U.S. immigration in the Abu Dhabi airport.
Thank you PM Netanyahu. Thank you for nothing.
Try to wrap your minds around this dear reader.
Back in October 2015, PM Netanyahu personally placed a ban on all Knesset legislators from going up to the Temple Mount. The ostensible reason was that the visit of legislators had provoked Muslim “violence” (read: terrorism).
Last year in 2016, the Jerusalem Police said that there no reasons to continue the ban.
Earlier this year, PM Netanyahu indicated he had changed his mind; however the ban stayed in force.
Finally, exasperated, Temple Mount Activist, Knesset Legislator, and a member of Netanyahu’s own Likud Party, Yehuda Glick petitioned the High Court of Justice to overturn the ban. In considering the petition, the Court demanded a government response.
Yesterday, PM Netanyahu instructed the Attorney General to tell the Court that he will lift the ban for a five day trial period, from July 23 to July 28. During this time, Netanyahu said he will evaluate if the presence of legislators on the Mount will provoke violence. If it does, the ban will be reimposed.
Can you believe any of this?
Can you believe that PM Netanyahu wields dictatorial power over the Judaism’s holiest place, imposing and suspending bans at his personal whim?
Can you believe that members of the Knesset were barred by Netanyahu from the Temple Mount in 2015–which is supposedly under Israeli sovereignty–because of Muslim violence?
Can you believe that Netanyahu has continued the ban for almost two years because of the threat of Muslim violence?
Can you believe that it took a petition by Yehuda Glick to Israel’s High Court to force Netanyahu’s hand?
Can you believe that Netanyahu has publicly announced that he will rescind approval if Muslim violence takes place between July 23-28?
It is all just plain unbelievable.
Even a kindergartner can tell you what will happen now. There will be violence Muslim protests against the legislators which will culminate in stabbings, shootings, bulldozer attacks, and who knows what else.
And once again, the Temple Mount will be closed to Jews.
Thank you PM Netanyahu. Thank you for nothing.