Israel Weekly News Roundup June 17, 2022
5 Things you need to know
Israeli Intelligence Services and Other State Security Agencies Issued a Strong Warning to Israelis Not to Travel to Turkey and for Those Who Are There to Return Home: The warning results from intelligence information that Iranian squads intend to execute a terrorist attack against Israelis in Turkey, mainly in Istanbul.
This is a strong statement, as a result the security agencies established a crisis center to deal with the situation. Turkey is a very popular tourist site for many Israelis, mainly because it is close and cheap. Unfortunately Israelis did not heed this warning seriously and thousands are still traveling to Turkey daily.
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The Bennett-Lapid Coalition Suffered Another Political Strike, and it is More Fragile: One more MK (member of Knesset) Nir Orbach, from Bennett’s party Yamina, announced that he will no longer be able to vote with the coalition. He promised Bennett that he will delay his departure from the coalition for another week. In addition to Orbach there is a member from Merez, Ghaida Zouabi, who declared a few weeks ago that she no longer see herself obliged to vote with the coalition, and that she will vote according to her conscience, These two are in addition to another MK from Yamina, Idit Silam, who already announced her departure from the coalition.
In addition, one of Bennett’s closest allies from the Yamina party, was recorded saying that if he could, he would push a button that would send all Arabs on trains to Switzerland to have a better life, but since that cannot be done, we are destined to live together and need to accept that. The first part of his idea caused a strong reaction, referring to trains and transporting communities, was seen as a reference to the Holocaust. He later apologized and explained that he only wanted to tell his listeners that cooperation with an Arab party is not a bad thing, as many claim.
Many political analysts predicts that the Knesset will soon vote in favor of general elections which may take place in the fall.
A Mysterious Explosion Caused a Complete Freeze at Damascus Airport: The explosion is attributed to Israel, which has not commented. According to foreign intelligence sources, Israel identified specific hostile military activities by Iranian squads that were targeted at Israel, and executed preventive action.
Russia, who sees itself as the security guardian of Syria, summoned the Israeli ambassador for clarification.
The tension between Israel and Iran is ratcheting higher in many different arenas.
The Olmert-Netanyahu Libel Suit Trial Reaches Testimony Phase:
Political discourse in Israel has hit a new low as the media reported from the court session in the Olmert-Netanyahu libel suit. This, following a defamation lawsuit filed by the Netanyahu family against former PM Ehud Olmert, who published a post where he referred to them as “mentally ill” and “in need of psychiatric care”.
In the testimonies’ phase, former advisors and senior officials who worked alongside Netanyahu were called to testify on the emotional and mental wellbeing of the Netanyahu family, and the influence of wife and son on the then Prime Minister. Some of the testimonies, as reported by the media, were quite graphic and disturbing, especially with regards to alleged pressure from son Yair to take a hard line on coalition partners, or PM Netanyahu’s insistence on including his wife in highly sensitive and top-secret discussions.
Judge Amit Yariv who is presiding over the case urged the parties to settle it outside the court and did not hide his discontent vis-à-vis the grotesque nature of the legal conflict. People coping with mental sensitivities and several journalists commented on the negative implications of the trial and the resulting media buzz surrounding it impacting on the stigma from which people with mental disorders are already suffering.
A.B Yehoshua, Writer Laureate, Dies at 85:
A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel’s most prolific and popular writers, died earlier this week in his home in Tel Aviv. Yehoshua was a writer, playwright, essayist and professor of literature, a passionate advocate for the Zionist project, and vocal supporter of the two-state solution. He was one of the prominent literary voices of what was referred to as “the generation of the establishment of the State of Israel”. Yehoshua was known for his candor, and for his open criticism of Diaspora Jewry, given his deep commitment to Zionism and Israeli society.
Yehoshua received numerous literary awards, including the prestigious Israel Prize (1995) and the EMET Prize (2016), and his literary works were translated into 28 languages.
Many politicians from diverse parties, journalists and social media influencers eulogized Yehoshua for his contribution to Israeli culture. President Isaac Herzog called him “one of Israel’s greatest authors in all generations” and said that “(he) gifted us his unforgettable works, which will continue to accompany us for generations. His works, which drew inspiration from our nation’s treasures, reflected us in an accurate, sharp, loving and sometimes painful mirror image. He aroused in us a mosaic of deep emotions,” Herzog added.