An Israeli Chief Rabbi’s Incendiary Comments Are Bad for Israel, and Worse for Its Relationship with the Diaspora

Jan. 10 2020

Following a verbal attack on ultra-Orthodox Jews by a Soviet-born politician, Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi, Yitzḥak Yosef, described immigrants from the former Soviet Union as “religion-hating Gentiles.” A recording of this and similar impolitic remarks was then circulated in the press, sparking controversy. Such comments don’t become a public figure, and have a corrosive effect on public discourse in the Jewish state, argues Jonathan Tobin, but they have an even worse effect overseas:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Chief Rabbinate, Israeli politics, Soviet Jewry, Ultra-Orthodox

The Knesset Has Resumed Its Business, but Both Sides Have Broken Unwritten Rules

March 27 2020

Yesterday, eleven months of political stalemate in Israel appeared to have come to an end as the sitting prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his main rival, Benny Gantz, agreed to form a unity government together with some of the smaller parties. This development has fractured Gantz’s Blue and White party into its constituent factions. Meanwhile, the resignation of Yuli Edelstein as interim Knesset speaker—a position meant to be occupied for just a few hours, but which he has held for nearly a year—has allowed the Knesset to resume business as usual.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Knesset