With a Former Chief Rabbi in Jail, It’s Time for Israel to Rethink the Institution

Yona Metzger, whose term as Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel ended in 2013, accepted a plea bargain earlier this week on charges of corruption and is now headed to prison. He stood accused of accepting bribes in exchange for conversions and the pocketing of money meant for charitable purposes; his other alleged crimes include breach of public trust, theft, money-laundering, tax violations, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Marc Angel reflects on the implications:

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Read more at Jewish Ideas and Ideals

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Chief Rabbinate, Judaism, Religion and politics

 

Benny Gantz Should Be Praised for Compromising, Not Condemned for Capitulating

March 30 2020

After three inconclusive elections in a year’s time, Israel’s political stalemate seemed to come to an end last week when the leaders of the two largest parties—Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu—agreed to form a governing coalition together with some of the smaller parties. According to the deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for eighteen months, after which he will be succeeded by Gantz. This compromise, paradoxically, has led to the breakup of Gantz’s Blue and White party, as two of its three constituent factions have refused to join the unity government. Their leaders have denounced Gantz for supposedly crumbling before Netanyahu, but Jonathan Tobin argues that he has acted bravely:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Moshe Yaalon, Yair Lapid