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THE WEEK AHEAD: Speaker McCarthy leads a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Jerusalem, judicial reform negotiations continue and TV series on Anne Frank from a unique perspective makes debut

Here are the stories we are watching...

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during an event to mark the first 100 days of the House Republican Majority, at the U.S. Capitol, April 17, 2023. (Photo: Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)
  • Knesset returns 

  • McCarthy’s speech at Knesset

  • Judicial reform

  • Mini-series debut: A Small Light

  • Dairy price increase

KNESSET RETURNS

After a month-long break in legislation due to holidays and ongoing discussions over the judicial reform, the Israeli parliament is set to reconvene on Monday. The Knesset will continue its session up until the summer hiatus in July. There are two major pieces of legislation the right-wing majority is set to complete by the end of the current month. The first is the state’s budget for 2023-2024 which was already approved by the government. The second bill is the Arrangements Law, which is presented to the Knesset each year alongside the state budget and incorporates the government’s economic plan. Traditionally, once these two bills are passed, an Israeli government can take a sigh of relief, in hopes that it can sustain its tenure.

MCCARTHY’S SPEECH AT KNESSET

California Republican Kevin McCarthy will become the second U.S. House speaker ever to address the Israeli parliament at a full session of the Knesset. The only other U.S. House speaker to make a speech before the Knesset was Newt Gingrich 25 years ago, in 1998.

McCarthy accepted an invitation from Israel’s parliament speaker, Amir Ohana, and will lead a bipartisan delegation of 20 Republicans and Democratic Congress members, who will be arriving in Israel on Sunday, April 30, to join the State of Israel’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.

JUDICIAL REFORM

Teams of negotiators continue to seek a potential agreement that will bring an end to the biggest dispute among Israelis these days over a reform to overhaul the judiciary branch. Discussions have been ongoing for weeks at the Israeli president’s residence, ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to put a halt on the reform’s legislation process. According to local media reports, should the talks not lead to significant progress soon, the two sides reportedly won’t hesitate to set a deadline date a few weeks from now.

Meanwhile, protests on both sides don’t appear to be losing their steam. On the contrary, last week saw the largest rally to date in support of the judicial reform with hundreds of thousands of protesters in Jerusalem. Anti-government protests are also back in their rhythm, now that the holidays are over.

ANNE FRANK MINI-SERIES DEBUT: A SMALL LIGHT

The highly-anticipated National Geographic mini-series that tells the story of Anne Frank from a unique perspective is set to debut on Monday, May 1. The powerful series, produced by ABC Signature and Keshet Studios, is based on an inspiring real-life story.

It follows Miep Gies (Bel Powley) who was a young, carefree woman when Otto Frank (Liev Schreiber) asked her to help hide his family from the Nazis during WWII. Without hesitation, Miep agreed. For the next two years, she and her daring and devoted husband, Jan (Joe Cole), with several other everyday heroes, watched over the Franks, as well as the van Pels and Pfeffer family, who were all hiding in their secret annex.

DAIRY PRICE INCREASE

Israel's Ministry of Agriculture announced that Israel will see a sharp increase in the price of dairy products this week. Starting Monday, May 1, one liter of milk in Israel will cost 7.23 NIS. That is about $2 for 0.2 gallon of milk.

For decades, the Israeli government has been regulating the prices of certain commodities, while also restricting competing imports. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has blamed the former government for the 3% milk price hike. Controlled dairy products have seen a 16% price increase over the past six months.

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

  • ... Is Israel the new Iowa? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis paid a visit to Jerusalem, here’s what he said.

  • ... As Israel turns 75, why aren’t young Evangelicals as pro-Israel as their parents and grandparents?

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

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