This Week Today: So Who Really Won The War? We Will Soon Find Out

by Ben Packer

Current Events from Israel: Ceasefire! A ceasefire to the recent hostilities between Israel and Gaza was declared this past Friday. Since then, there have not been any attacks by either side. What were the terms of the ceasefire? Depends on who you ask. Hamas claims that Israel agreed to stop Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and to prevent the eviction of Arab squatters from a neighborhood in Jerusalem. Israel denies this. Meanwhile, someone should tell the social media-influenced violent anti-Semites roaming the streets of major US and European cities to return to the holes from which they recently emerged. One celebrity has already half-heartedly apologized for his role in the carnage, obviously more should, but all should be soundly punished. Will that actually happen? A lot of questions this week.

So who won? Probably still too early to tell. Hamas definitely suffered tremendous losses. Israel did not suffer many actual losses, but was unable to stop the missiles from being fired. However, that was likely only because Israel chose not to use ground troops. Using ground troops would have almost certainly resulted in more losses for Israel but would definitely have resulted in many more losses for Hamas. “Till we meet again”

As Hamas continues to dig out and bury their shahids, wounded Israelis continue to recover. The Israeli police have launched operation “Law and Order” to arrest those, overwhelmingly Arabs, but some Jews, who engaged in illegal violence in the past weeks. There continue to be somewhat sporadic, not well-planned terror attacks. Thankfully these are virtually all ending with minor injuries to those attacked and the death of those doing the attacking – the way it should be.

Abe Blinkin to the Rescue!
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin arrived in Israel this week in order to fix everything. Obviously that is not going to happen, but so far he hasn’t done too much damage either, which is pleasantly surprising. While certainly not on the level of the Trump Administration, so far the Biden Administration has not succumbed to the level of bigotry and anti-Semitism that has engulfed the far-left in the US and elsewhere. Let’s hope that doesn’t change. Breaking news is that Mr. Tom Nides will be appointed as the new US Ambassador to Israel. Another relative moderate.

Who won the war and how the new US Administration plans to approach Israel will both come into better focus in the aftermath of what eventually happens in the Shimon HaTzadik/Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. That will be the real test.

Political Situation
Yair Lapid has only one week left to put together a governing coalition. He spent this week inking deals with parties that everyone already knew were with him. However, he has so far failed to bring in any parties that are considered Prime Minister Netanyahu’s allies. Also, because of the recent conflict, the support from the Arab parties is not as nearly pronounced as it was before. In short, barring a big surprise, it ain’t going to happen. So what happens after that? Either the mandate could then go to the Knesset for 21 days to see if anyone can form a government or the Knesset can dissolve itself and call for new elections.

One interesting report which is not being very much publicized is that one member of Gidon Saar’s New Hope party stated that himself and a few others would not allow another round of elections to be held and, if Yair Lapid indeed fails to form a coalition, they would agree to join a government led by Netanyahu. This of course would give Netanyahu the required number to be able to successfully for a coalition. I guess we will have to just wait and see what happens after the upcoming deadline for Lapid on June 2.

Israeli Presidential Election
And then there were two: Isaac Herzog vs. Miriam Peretz. Of course, long-time, non-charismatic politician Herzog is the favorite to win, but the election (through the Knesset) is a secret ballot and most parties are allowing their members to vote for whomever they want. It may be wishful thinking, but I wouldn’t count out Ms. Peretz so quickly, I think she’s got a good shot at winning.

Tragedy in Italy
An extended family of five Israelis, including a 2 year-old toddler were tragically killed in Italy when the cable car they were traveling in became disconnected and fell to the ground. There were a total of 14 people onboard. The only survivor was the 5 year old son of the Israeli family. I think every parent thinks at some point how he/she would try to rescue their child in various dangerous scenarios, but in this particular case, the father actually did it. He totally saved his son, Eitan, by hugging him close and personally taking the brunt of the impact. He died a hero, but saved his son in a seemingly impossible situation. We should all pray that Eitan recovers from his injuries, which are extensive, and grows to proudly continue his family’s legacy of heroism.

Brit Milah in Lod
A festive circumcision ceremony was held this week in the central Israeli city of Lod. It took place specifically in one of the Jewish religious institutions that was recently attacked and set on fire by its Arab neighbors. This was a clear message to the local enemies of the Jewish People that their attempt to push out the Jews has completely failed. And it may even cause a further resurgence of Jewish life in Lod. Additionally, the celebration was partially sponsored by members of a synagogue in Atlanta, Georgia (Beth Jacob). This sends an even stronger message: The Jewish Community of Lod is not just resilient they also are not alone in their resilience. The Jewish World is backing them up. This is powerful and a look at the pictures from the Brit Milah shows clearly what Jewish victory looks like. #winning

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