Joint anti-Iran drill
U.N. partition plan anniversary
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
FIFA World Cup Qatar
Benjamin Netanyahu is the final stretch of forming a new government comprised of his Likud party and three other – Religious Zionism, Shas and United Torah Judaism.
According to the latest reports of the coalition talks, Netanyahu is expected to keep the defense portfolio in Likud, while far-right Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich is on tap to become Israel’s next finance minister and the ultra-Orthodox Shas leader Aryeh Deri is likely to take the interior and health ministries and switch to treasury two years into the government, according to some reports.
The position of national security minister – which will have more power than public security minister – was created for far-right Jewish Power chairman Itamar Ben Gvir.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer – who slammed U.S. President Joe Biden’s policy on Iran – could become Israel’s next foreign minister.
JOINT ANTI-IRAN DRILL
Israel and the United States will hold a joint air exercise this week to simulate scenarios against Iran and its Shia militia targets in the Middle East. The drill comes on the heels of a meeting last week between Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Miley.
The two generals also began promoting practical plans to combat the threat from Tehran, according to an IDF spokesperson statement. Kochavi, who will soon complete his term, was awarded a special honor – the Legion of Merit – during his visit.
UN PARTITION PLAN ANNIVERSARY
The historic partition plan to divide the territory of British Mandatory Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state was adopted by the United Nations 75 years ago this week, on Nov. 29, 1947. At the time the Jews embraced it, the Arabs rejected, and the rest is known as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Ironically, in 1977, the U.N. General Assembly called for the annual observance of the date as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan regarded this decision as “outrageous.”
“The U.N. has the audacity to hold a solidarity event for the Palestinians on the anniversary of the Palestinians’ own decision to choose violence. And on the day that the Palestinians chose violence, the U.N. also dares to advance… the outrageous, the false ‘demand of return,’ a demand that would lead to the total obliteration of the Jewish state,” Erdan said last year.
JEWISH EXODUS FROM ARAB LANDS
In an effort to push back against this false narrative at the U.N., the Israeli parliament chose Nov. 30 to mark the expulsion of Jews from Muslim countries. The memorial day – commemorated since 2014 – aims to recognize the trauma of Jews forced to flee their home countries for various reasons.
According to estimates, some 850,000 Jews fled Muslim nations during the 20th century, most of them North African counties: 259,000 from Morocco, 140,000 from Algeria and 100,000 from Tunisia. Others emigrated from Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.
FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR
The first-ever World Cup held in the Middle East is underway in Qatar and, this week 32 teams are competing in the group stage. In one memorable moment, Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina and Lionel Messi with a 2-1 win, prompting King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to declare a national holiday. In another auspicious moment, the Iranian national team remained silent during its national anthem before a game against England, in a show support for anti-regime protests back home.
Though Team Israel only participated in one World Cup, in 1970, Israelis are huge fans of the popular sport and as many as 10,000 Israelis are expected to attend the World Cup in Qatar. Israel and Qatar don’t have official diplomatic relations, but the two countries have made a temporary allowance for Israelis to attend the event. The facilities are providing kosher food on site and even direct flights are available. The Cyprus-based TUS Airways is operating a flight from Tel Aviv to Doha, albeit with a layover in Cyprus.
This week we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:
...Is a nuclear deal with Iran completely off the table? Not according to U.S. ambassador to Israel
... Could Israel and Saudi Arabia make peace? The U.S. is still working tirelessly towards this goal
...Will Hebron once again become a flashpoint for violence?
... Are the members of the Jewish Power party radicals, activists or ideological diehards?
...Will ongoing protests in Iran turn into a revolution that could topple the regime?
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.