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THE WEEK AHEAD: Judicial reform bills move to first reading, UN Security Council to discuss Palestinian terror and settlement expansion, Israel and Saudi Arabia to develop closer ties, and Russia-Ukraine war anniversary

Here are the stories we are watching...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Minister of Agriculture Avi Dichter during a vote in the Knesset assembly hall in Jerusalem, Feb. 15, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Judicial reform

  • UN Security Council

  • Israel and Saudi Arabia to develop closer ties

  • Bennett in Miami

  • Blinken travels to Turkey

  • Russia-Ukraine war anniversary

  • Interest rate hike

  • ‘People of the country’ summit


Public pressure is mounting for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after seven weeks of mass protests against his government’s plan to pass a reform bill that would overhaul Israel’s judicial system. The coalition was already scheduled to begin the process of voting on reform clauses last week but decided to delay the first reading of judicial bills to this week.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog expressed deep concern about the rift that the fierce public debate is creating within the society. He called on the government to freeze the reform until there is wide agreement on how to proceed and offered to broker a compromise between with the opposition, which so far has rejected his offer. “It must be done for the sake of the people of Israel, who must be placed above all this conflict,” Herzog said in a televised speech.

U.S. President Joe Biden has also weighed in on the highly-charged proposed reform, telling The New York Times in an interview that “building consensus for fundamental changes is really important.”


The relationship between the United States and Israel could be facing a test on Monday, when the United Nations Security Council holds its monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinian Authority is seeking to convince members of the council to condemn Israel for its recent decision to expand West Bank settlements, either in a resolution or an official statement. Should an anti-Israel resolution be presented for a vote, the U.S. will likely be compelled to decide whether to use its veto power to torpedo it.

The Biden administration said it was “deeply troubled” by the Israeli Cabinet's move to authorize the construction of new housing units in settlements and legalize nine outposts in response to a wave of deadly terror attacks. Ahead of the meeting, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan sent a letter to member states, urging them to condemn the terrorist attacks that killed 11 Israelis in 19 days.


Russia's invasion of Ukraine will reach its first anniversary on Friday. Israel’s stance on the war has shifted throughout its first year from ostensible ‘neutrality’ in the early months of the invasion to outright support for Ukraine as the fighting progressed. The Jewish state has contributed strategic materials worth millions of dollars to Ukraine, including generators following Russia’s bombardment of energy infrastructure, body armors and helmets for first responders, humanitarian supplies and a field hospital. Nevertheless, Israel has faced criticism for not supporting Ukraine’s military with ammunition.

This week, Biden will visit Poland and deliver a speech to mark the war’s first anniversary. The U.S. president is expected to talk about “the importance of the international community’s resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year,” according to John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council.


The Israeli government is reportedly intensifying its correspondence with Saudi Arabia in talks backed by the United States, according to a Bloomberg report. The two countries are exploring ways to cooperate on the security level against a shared regional threat they are facing from Iran. The report said the Jewish state and the Saudi kingdom are working on developing closer military and intelligence ties. Exploratory discussions are expected to continue this week in Prague, coinciding with the Munich Security Conference, according to unnamed officials quoted in the report.


Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been traveling back and forth between Israel and the United States lately. This week will bring him to Florida, where he is expected to speak at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's annual event, celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary on Monday.

Bennett will engage in an on-stage conversation with ALL ISRAEL NEWS Senior Correspondent Tal Heinrich to talk about his tenure as prime minister, a potential return to the forefront of Israeli politics, as well as his agenda for handling foreign affairs and relations with the Jewish diaspora. Bennett recently urged the Jewish community in New York not to give up on Israel, “even if we’re going through a midlife crisis.”


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to arrive in Turkey on Sunday, the U.S. State Department announced last week. Blinken will visit the Incirlik Air Base to see firsthand U.S. efforts to assist the Turkish authorities responding to the devastation caused by the earthquakes, according to the statement.

Blinken will then travel to Ankara, where he will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to discuss continued U.S. support for the Turkish people and thank the government for its cross-border aid to affected areas of Syria. Blinken’s trip abroad will also include stops in Greece and Germany, where he will attend the Munich Security Conference.  


Following in the footsteps of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Israel is expected to announce yet another raise in the interest rate when its monetary committee will convene this week. Early expectations predicted a 0.25% hike, but in the wake of the recent weakening of the shekel against the dollar, the raise is likely to go higher – perhaps to 0.5% – according to estimates. While depreciation of the Israeli currency is increasing the price of imported goods and commodities, another rate hike will increase the cost of borrowing and result in even higher monthly mortgage repayments.


Israel's annual conference celebrating the "people of the country" is set to take place on Monday in Jerusalem. The festive event, initiated by Yediot Ahronot newspaper, honors Israelis from various sectors who have made significant achievements in the past year. This year’s guest list includes President Isaac Herzog, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the mayors of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and the creators of the Netflix hit series ‘Fauda,’ among others.

This week, we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:

  • ... How come we know how to cry anti-Semitism, but fail to welcome all Jews to Israel?

  • ... Israel stopped Syrian and Iraqi nuclear ambitions. Is Iran next?

  • ... IS A REVIVAL COMING? Super Bowl ads, Hollywood movie, signs in Kentucky indicate that something exciting is stirring

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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