Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Violent riots and pogroms continued this week. We’re about half way through the soul-enriching month of Ramadan and let’s hope the next half is the better half, but don’t count on it. And now I will explain the mystical reason why the violence is happening.



PA Elections Delayed?

The Palestinian Authority is scheduled to have elections soon for the first time in about 15 years. Last time it held an election, Hamas – as old people may or may not recall – won. Fatah, the party led by current terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas, pulled some shenanigans and stayed in power, except in Gaza, where Hamas violently took control after being denied its democratically-won victory.

That’s when they were throwing folks off buildings and Fatah people ran to Israel to be rescued. Life is funny sometimes.

There has been pressure ever since to have another election, but Abbas has been consistently able to delay… and delay… and delay. Now he needs to find a way to delay even more or he might lose again and actually lose power this time.

Therefore, he fomented the current riots in Jerusalem. Of course, Hamas had to “campaign” as well, so it started launching rockets from Gaza. Both sides are not seeking an actual conflict, just to score some electoral points. This is what a campaign looks like when both sides are actually terrorists. They don’t just put their candidate’s name on a corona mask.

As a (perceived) result of the riots, there is no way that Israel will allow Arabs in Jerusalem to vote in the potential election. Therefore, there won’t be an election and the problem is solved. To quote Hannibal from the A-Team: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

It’s expected that an announcement will be made in the coming days to “postpone” the elections. Poor Hamas. Must be very frustrating. Enough to strap on some explosives… hopefully alone in an empty field.


Government Coalition Negotiations Update 

The situation with forming a coalition government is quite fluid and changing by the hour. Currently, Prime Minister Netanyahu (29 seats) continues to be unable to form a coalition. His mandate to do so expires in about a week.

The most recent reports have him offering Gideon Sa’ar of the New Hope party (6 seats) the option of him taking over as acting prime minister for a year or so before the job returns to Netanyahu. There have been no public statements from anyone about any of this.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue between Naftali Bennet, Gideon Sa’ar, and the left-wing parties about trying to form a coalition with Bennet (7 seats) as the prime minister.  This is certainly not what the electorate voted for. However, it’s unlikely anyone will be thrown off a building.


Mikki and the Wiley Arab

Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu suffered what seemed like a severe political setback. The parties seeking to replace him, with the support of the Arab Ra’am party, formed a majority on a strategic Knesset committee. It was expected that this would lead to legislation banning Prime Minister Netanyahu from being allowed to continue in that role.

However, this week, Netanyahu ally Mikki Zohar and the Ra’am party reached an agreement to create an Arab affairs committee that Ra’am would chair. And just like that, Netanyahu was safe again. Don’t underestimate this man. This is the business he has chosen, and he’s darn good at it.


No Justice Minster, No Peace

There was a whole hullabaloo (I’ve been dying to use that word) in a cabinet meeting this week over the appointment of a justice minister. The post is currently vacant due to previous political agreements and the lack of a new government.

The Blue and White party doesn’t want a Likud member to get the position. However, a majority of the cabinet think it’s just fine. So they voted in a Likud member, Ofir Akunis, to be the new justice minister.

Attorney General Mandlespit to the rescue! He has declared the appointment illegal. Why? Why not? So now, of course, like everything else in Israel, the Supreme Court will decide. It recently ruled that a justice minister must be appointed immediately.  Now let’s see what happens when it doesn’t like the guy who was appointed. Got to love judicial tyranny.


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Rabbi Ben Packer is the director of the Jerusalem Heritage House.