15 Tevet 5778
2 January 2018
Interesting Quote of the Day
“[Ayelet Shaked] is a walking provocation [who] supports Hebrew discrimination [and] is trampling the Supreme Court . . . Her words will not disappear into our collective memory’s unconscious. They become facts, laws, and a way of life, which will influence our future as a Jewish state continuing to seek its identity.”
Former Labor Knesset Member Uzi Baram writing in the ultra-left wing Haaretz newspaper and declaring that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is “the most dangerous person in the government.”
The most dangerous person in the government? Yes, indeed, if you are a member of the left wing in Israel. During her nearly two years in office, Shaked has made major inroads into wresting power away from liberal left through the enacting of laws which protect Israel’s Jewish character and the promoting of judges who have a more center-right ideology.
Three cheers for Ayalet Shaked!
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
Palestinian terrorists fired at least one missile into the Eshkol region. The IDF responded by targeting two boats that supposedly belonged to the Hamas Navy.
Palestinian terrorists targeted Israelis with “rocks” and Molotovs at numerous places throughout Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem including: at the T-Junction in Gush Etzion, Elon Moreh, Beit Dajan, at Yitav in the Jordan Valley, Sinjil, Shechem, Halat al-Amud, Hawara, Au Dis, Hevron, and Hizma.
Egypt is concerned . . .
As we all know by now, the IDF will go to any length to avoid attacking Gaza. As frequently reported here, the usual targets are empty sand dunes, empty observation posts, empty buildings, and (last night) empty boats.
What is more, the IDF looks for any excuse it can to avoid retaliating for terrorist missile fire into southern Israel.
Yesterday, the IDF came up with a new one. The IDF is now restraining itself because Egypt is concerned that if Israel retaliates, it will spoil Egypt’s reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah (PLO).
Can you believe this? Why in the world do we want to facilitate the joining of two Palestinian terror organizations?
As for Egypt, your humble servant wonders what Egypt’s reaction would be if more than 30 missiles had been fired into Egypt in the last month. Of course, we really don’t have to wonder; the Egyptians would retaliate with full force.
The number of orthodox Jews going to the Temple Mount increases . . .
In what can only be considered a good sign, 25,628 orthodox Jews went to the Har HaBeit last year. This compares to 14,626 in 2016; 11,001 in 2015; and 5,658 in 2009.
This increasing number reflects the fact that an increasing number of orthodox rabbis are giving their blessing to Mount visits. As you may or may not know, many orthodox rabbis forbid their followers from going to the Temple Mount because they say that it would be sacrilegious to walk in an area where no one knows exactly where the First and Second Temples stood and where the Holy of Holies may have once been.
The value of the dollar continues to slide . . .
The exchange rate this morning is 3.458 shekels per dollar–the lowest the dollar has been in the last year.
At the beginning of 2017, the rate was 3.769. The net effect of the strengthening of the shekel is that Israeli exports will cost more.
Normally when the value of the shekel strengthens, the Bank of Israel buys dollars, but it has not done so recently. The Bank currently holds $110 billion in dollar reserves.
The Iranian situation deteriorates . . .
The latest news is that more than 30 demonstrators have been killed and 450 detained after six days of protests. Full-blown street battles are now taking place between demonstrators and the infamous Basenj police.
Likud Supports Annexation, Jerusalem Law Passes
Following the vote in the Likud Central Committee to support annexation of the Jewish communities to Israel two days ago, the hammer dropped again last night when the Jerusalem Law passed the Knesset.
Significantly, the “Unified Jerusalem” Law was an amendment to the Basic Law–meaning that it cannot be overturned by the Israel Supreme Court. It specifies that any decision about Jerusalem in any future peace negotiation must be approved by a super-majority of 80 Knesset legislators.
The Jerusalem Law was sponsored by the Jewish Home (Bait Yehudi) party led by Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Shuli Mualem.
Bennett said this after the vote:
“We’ve assured Jerusalem’s unity. The law safeguards Jerusalem, whose status will now not be changed unless an enormous 80 MK majority is reached. The Mount of Olives, the Old City, the Temple Mount and the City of David will remain ours forever more. No political stunts will rip our capital asunder.”
Well, yes and no. As wonderful as the Law is, it comes with two significant loopholes: the law can be annulled with a simple majority of 61 Knesset legislators, and neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem can be removed from the Jerusalem municipality (however they will remain under Israeli sovereignty unless the 80 vote threshold is met).
Similarly, as wonderful as the resolution passed by the Likud Central Committee was, it is bizarrely non-binding on the Likud leadership.
Such is the price one must pay today for getting anything done in Israeli politics. Two steps forward, and one step backward.