New Law Officially Makes Israel Jewish Nation-State



Headlines from Jerusalem, 19 July 2018

“‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’ Isaiah 41:10


New Law Officially Makes Israel Jewish Nation-State

Israel’s Knesset, by a vote of 62-55 with two abstentions, passed the contentious “Jewish Nation-State” bill into law Thursday morning, making it the 14th Basic Law. “122 years after Herzl published his vision, we have stated by law the basic principle of our existence,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said from the Knesset podium. Arab MKs denounced the new law as “racist” and declared that it heralded the “death of our democracy.”


Russia Worried About War Between Israel and Iran

Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan told Russian daily Kommersant on Wednesday that “we are naturally concerned about the possibility of military confrontation between the Iranian and Israeli forces in Syria. We do everything possible to prevent…the escalation of the conflict.” He also frankly admitted that the Kremlin’s ability to persuade Iran to pull its military forces out of Syria was limited. Meanwhile, Iran brought a lawsuit against the US at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week over Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Europol Signs Cooperation Agreement with Israel Police

The international effort to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat this week when Europol signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Israel Police, following a unanimous vote in favor of the move by law enforcement representatives from the 28 EU governments. In a related development, German airline Lufthansa announced this week that it is adding two new routes from the cities of Frankfurt and Munich to the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, to begin operation in October.

Progressive Jewish Groups Endorse BDS Movement

A public letter endorsing the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel was signed by the leadership of 39 Progressive Jewish groups in several different countries around the world and released this week on different media platforms. The letter said in part that “The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate critique of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”

Sexual Harassment Scandal Rocks Zionist Union

Israel’s main opposition party, the Zionist Union, suffered an embarrassing scandal this week when it was revealed that MK Eitan Broshi had inappropriately touched a female colleague, Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, during a recent work-related trip to Kibbutz Be’eri in the Gaza periphery. The incident, which some ZU insiders said had been blown out of proportion, nonetheless has caused a storm of internal arguments within the party and harmed its public image.


Have Putin and Netanyahu Struck a Grand Bargain?
Prof. Hillel Frisch, BESA

On July 8, Israel allegedly conducted an airstrike in Syrian territory that struck once again at the T4 base near Homs. Interestingly, Israel did not conduct any airstrikes to stop the concurrent advance of Syrian and Hezbollah forces southward. This might suggest that a grand bargain has been offered by Russia to Israel – one in which Moscow assures Jerusalem of an Iranian withdrawal in return for Israel’s acceptance of the consolidation of the Syrian state. This might explain Israel’s passivity, but it is by no means certain that Moscow will prevail on Tehran to withdraw from Syria.


Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of MASHAV

MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation has long been a leading partner of the US in development cooperation. MASHAV’s commitment to multi-level collaboration with international partners, coupled with its integrated and sustained approach to humanitarian capacity building, has yielded tangible results in addressing the challenges of food security, water scarcity, and more in priority countries across Africa.


ICEJ Homecare-A Heart Connection

Rosa’s life book includes poverty, discrimination, professional achievement and menial work.  It also contains a rich Jewish heritage and finally immigration to her ancient Homeland.  Homecare has the privilege many times of hearing similar stories from aging Russian immigrants who have lived through war and repression. As trust grows, the stories come.
Today’s news was written and compiled by Aaron Hecht.

ICEJ News is a free email service providing news and comments on Middle East affairs compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and supported by donations from subscribers.

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