Photo Credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Since Finance Minister and adjunct minister in the defense ministry Bezalel Smotrich is an Orthodox Jew, he must submit an inquiry to his rabbi regarding the frogs he has been fed over the past two weeks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The first frog was delivered in the Or Haim outpost in Samaria, established in memory of the late Rabbi Haim Drukman by his grandson. Five hours after the Or Haim outpost was established, large Police and Border Guard forces, accompanied by inspectors of the Civil Administration, arrived at the site and began evacuating the settlers and demolishing the structures.


This was done even though according to the coalition agreements between Likud and Religious Zionism, Smotrich was in charge of the civil administration in Judea and Samaria. Smotrich urged Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to suspend the evacuation until the following Sunday (it was Friday). Gallant ignored him.

Smotrich boycotted the next cabinet meeting, and his faction boycotted Monday’s Knesset session, so Netanyahu couldn’t pass any laws that day. Netanyahu read the warning and ordered his defense minister––who wasn’t happy about it, not even a little––to transfer the authority over the civil administration to Smotrich.

On Wednesday this week, after eight previous postponements Israeli governments requested the Supreme Court regarding the demolition of the Illegal Arab Settlement of Khan al-Ahmar, situated right in the middle between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem, hindering the development of a sprawling suburb connecting the two, Netanyahu’s government showed up in court and sheepishly requested a ninth Postponement.

This time it wasn’t PM Yair Lapid’s “Muslim Brotherhood government” asking for postponement, it was Netanyahu’s “fully-right wing” government. What a shame.

Here comes the second frog, bringing into question Bezalel Smotrich’s adherence to kashrut laws: according to Kan 11 News, Netanyahu did not confirm the request to postpone the demolition with Smotrich, in another violation of their coalition agreements.

Remember, I told you long ago that all of Bibi’s promises are carved on blocks of ice and immediately placed in an open area for the sun to start its blessed effect. Even when you think you’re signing real documents on real paper – it’s all ice.

The heads of Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit were promised there would be a meeting before the government’s representative submits its response to the court. Netanyahu even pledged to form a ministerial team that would include Ben Gvir, Smotrich, and several Likud ministers – but no such meeting took place.

See, Bibi makes promises, but he doesn’t promise to keep them.

Smotrich met with practically every single head of municipality in Judea and Samaria, Feb. 2, 2023. / Courtesy

On Thursday, Smotrich met with practically every single head of municipality in Judea and Samaria – his office published the list, it’s huge. Also huge: the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria, not counting eastern Jerusalem, has surpassed half a million. As of January 1, 2023, it’s 502, 991. This represents a 2.25% demographic net growth since January 1, 2022, when the Jewish population stood at 490,493.

The heads of municipalities supported Minister Smotrich on the clauses in the coalition agreement concerning the separation of the Civil Administration, and on his making sure they and their residents are not pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities in Bibi’s latest government.

See, they’ve been around, they know what to expect from Netanyahu. In fact, you may recall that just before the last election, a secret recording was leaked to the media where Smotrich called Netanyahu, “Liar, the son of a liar.” It was embarrassing, Smotrich apologized, and Bibi said he forgave him. In the end, everybody knows that nothing has ever been leaked about Smotrich without his initiation.

In the government’s request to postpone the Khan al-Ahmar demolition until June 1, it stated that “the political echelon remains firm in its position that the rule of law requires that the demolition orders be implemented, but given the complexity of the issue at hand and its sensitivity, as well as the great interest it arouses among various parties in the international community and its implications for the foreign relations and security of the State of Israel at the present time, the state’s professional officials have been instructed to complete the work required to formulate the exact response to the court’s order” against the illegal settlement.

And that’s the part where a small cage was brought into the room, PM Netanyahu opened it, dug out a cute little bullfrog (Jeremiah?), shook it a couple of times, and let it slide into Smotrich’s gullet.

Bon Appétit.

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