Rivlin Hoping for Unity Government

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ICEJ NEWS

Headlines from Jerusalem, 23 September 2019

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

TOP STORY

Rivlin Hoping for Unity Government

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began hosting delegations at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem from the factions which crossed the electoral threshold in the recent elections on Sunday, making it clear to all of them that he was sharply opposed to the idea of holding a third election this year and that he was very much in favor of a national unity government coalition. Two unexpected developments came from the Joint (Arab) List, which recommended that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz be the next Prime Minister, while Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Lieberman declined to make a recommendation, further complicating the electoral picture going forward.
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NEWS BRIEFS

Iran Increases Threats to Israel and the Region

The Syrian military loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad sent heavy weapons and reinforcements to the Israeli border region of the Golan Heights over the weekend without making an officials announcement explaining the reasons for the deployment. It came, however, amidst heightened tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbors, as well as Western nations particularly the US, which announced the deployment of additional forces in the region over the weekend, and the UK which announced that it is considering doing the same.
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Israeli Athletes Qualify for 2020 Olympics

Israel’s small but rapidly growing community of baseball fans were cheered on Sunday by the national team defeating South Africa to finish atop  the six-team Europe/Africa Olympic qualifying tournament in Parma, Italy, and earning a chance to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. It will be the first time an Israeli national team competes in an Olympic Games since 1976, when the national soccer team qualified. Elsewhere, Israeli rhythmic gymnast also qualified for the Tokyo Games over the weekend by winning a bronze medal in the all-around event at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Friday. Her teammate Nicol Zelikman also qualified for Tokyo by finishing in the top 16 at the competition, while Israel’s national team finished in second place overall.

Christian Artist Gets Baptized in Israel

The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat recently when Christian hip hop artist Lecrae visited the Jewish State to tour the Biblical sites and get baptized at the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. He posted several pictures of himself at popular Christian pilgrimage sites giving very positive reviews of Israel and recommending to his millions of social media followers to make a similar trip.

Israel Congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day

The Arabic Twitter account of Israel’s Foreign Ministry posted a message to Saudi Arabia on Monday, marking the first time for such a public message from the Jewish State to it’s large neighbor to the southeast. “We sincerely congratulate the Saudi people on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom. We ask God to keep you safe and secure and wish you more prosperity,” read the message, which was yet another sign of warming relations between the two countries amidst a growing threat to both from Iran and Sunni Islamic fundamentalism.

OPINION

The Decision is Rivlins, and He Wants Unity
Lahav Harkov, JPost

The law grants Israeli President Reuven Rivlin broad discretion when it comes to choosing a prime minister. It only says the president has to seek the factions’ advice. Rivlin is going to use that opening to try to get a unity government. He said in his meeting with Likud representatives that he plans to invite Gantz and Netanyahu for a meeting.
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SPECIAL FEATURE

In Depth Analysis – The Strategic Importance of Jerusalem

Israel’s national security requires control over Jerusalem and its environs. Strengthening Israel’s hold on Jerusalem – a cause which is an Israeli consensus – should be a high priority, with the government acting to bolster the Zionist majority in the city. Arab parts of the city should be governed firmly and fairly, encouraging greater integration of eastern Jerusalem Arabs through investments in infrastructure and education. Resolute action needs to be taken against radical elements who seek to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and against foreign elements who undermine Israel’s sovereignty in the Jewish People’s historic capital.
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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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