Netanyahu said that either way, his government would bring a reform that will “return the balance that was lost between the branches,” while “safeguarding and even strengthening individual rights”

Netanyahu suspends judicial reform: I will not lead Israel to civil war
Eliav Breuer
March 27, 2023

Prime Minister Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday evening that he was temporarily freezing the bill that would alter the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee and was willing to give a “real opportunity to real dialogue” over the government’s judicial reforms, which have thrown the country into turmoil and unprecedented civil unrest. The statement came after hours of tense negotiations as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir threatened to quit the government if the legislation did not proceed on schedule, and as tens of thousands of judicial reform opponents protested outside the Knesset. Netanyahu ended up ensuring Ben-Gvir’s approval after pledging that the cabinet in its coming meeting on Sunday would approve the transfer of Israel’s National Guard to Ben-Gvir’s ministry. READ MORE

TIMES OF ISRAEL Ben Gurion departures halted as Histadrut declares ‘historic’ strike against overhaul Union chief says labor action meant to ‘stop the madness’ after Netanyahu’s firing of defense minister; doctors, local authorities, students and universities also strike

JEWISH CHRONICLE Netanyahu sacks defense minister after he called for pause to judicial reform Galant called for the judicial reforms to be paused earlier this weekend

ARUTZ SHEVA Netanyahu considering retracting dismissal of Defense Minister Gallant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering announcing the cancellation of the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on the condition that the latter announces that he will resign from the Knesset and that he will not be allowed to return to the Knesset under the Norwegian Law if he is dismissed a second time.

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NSC spokesman John Kirby tries to play down the tension between US and Israel; “President Biden said he will not invite PM Netanyahu to Washington soon”

ISRAEL HAYOM (by agreement with JNS)
US dismisses notion of crisis with Israel, says in ‘deep friendship you can be candid’
AP and ILH staff
March 29, 2023

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday brushed aside criticism of his judicial overhaul plan from President Joe Biden, saying the matter was an internal Israeli issue and would not be influenced by outside pressure…Following especially heavy protests, Netanyahu this week froze the plan and launched negotiations on a compromise with his political opponents. The timeout prompted Biden’s ambassador, Tom Nides, to tell Israeli media that he expected Netanyahu to soon be invited to the White House. Asked about the legislation on Tuesday, Biden told reporters, “I hope he walks away from it.” He said Netanyahu’s government “cannot continue down this road” and called for a compromise. He also said there were no immediate plans for a White House visit, saying: “No, not in the near term.” READ MORE

NATIONAL REVIEW ‘Israel Is a Sovereign Country’: Netanyahu Fires Back at Biden after Judicial Reform Setback Netanyahu said in a third and final tweet in the thread: “Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends.

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#StandUpToJewishHate campaign designed to raise awareness for the fight against antisemitism, specifically among non-Jewish audiences

Billionaire Robert Kraft Launches Antisemitism Awareness Campaign
Dion J. Pierre
March 28, 2023

The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), founded by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has launched a $25 million multimedia campaign to raise awareness of rising antisemitism in the US. The campaign, for which supporters are asked to share the “Blue Square 🟦 ” emoji available on iOS devices, will feature a series of short films —”Tony,” “Son,” and “Isaiah” — each depicting forms of antisemitic incidents occurring in the United States. In “Tony,” for example, a mother and her daughter leave home and, as they’re about to enter their car, see on their garage door a swastika and graffiti saying “No Jews.” Tony, their neighbor, paints over the hateful message before they return home. READ MORE

JNS New York, New Jersey Jewish groups form new partnership to protect communities On Tuesday, eight Jewish organizations in New York and New Jersey announced the formation of the Jewish Security Alliance, a partnership that coordinates regional resources and information to combat rising antisemitism in the greater New York metropolitan area and beyond.

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Azerbaijan, which borders both Russia and Iran, chooses to increase its public alliance with Israel as Moscow and Tehran are strengthening ties

Azerbaijan opens Tel Aviv embassy, Israel seeks tighter anti-Iran ties
Tovah Lazaroff
March 29, 2023

Azerbaijan became the first Shia Muslim country to open an embassy in Israel on Wednesday, as the Jewish state looks to tighten military ties between the two countries against Iran. “Israel and Azerbaijan share the same perception of the Iranian threats,” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov when they met in his Jerusalem office, hours before the embassy’s opening reception…Azerbaijan and Israel have a strong history of military cooperation, the country is considered a possible landing site for IDF aircraft in any potential military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. READ MORE

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“Not only do Israel’s courts remain unfettered by any written constitution when evaluating a law — it is guided by such nebulous principles as “human dignity” and “liberty” — it’s also seized the ability to block any government act it deems “unreasonable”

Israel’s protesters are enemies, not heroes, of democracy
Erielle Davidson and Eugene Kontorovich
March 28, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu announced Monday night he was temporarily pausing his government’s judicial-reform efforts in the face of strikes by key industries, insubordination in some parts of the military and huge protests. While many within the international community, as well as on the Israeli left, will attempt to portray the announcement as a triumph of democracy, it is anything but. The reforms seek to introduce a modicum of checks and balances into Israel’s political system, where the “court” sits as a de facto unelected supreme legislative chamber that can exercise veto power over every single government action. The assault on the proposals, apart from the telegenic protesters, was actually rooted in the state’s bureaucracy, which remains highly sympathetic to the judiciary.For 25 years, Israel’s Supreme Court has operated entirely without democratic constraints. READ MORE

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“Ignore Washington’s hypocritical talk about protecting democracy. They want a weak government that won’t make trouble when it comes to Iran, and they won’t stop until they get one”

Why did the Biden administration oppose Israeli judicial reform?
Jonathan Tobin
March 29, 2023

Washington is as determined as the anti-Bibi resistance not just to stop judicial reform but to oust a democratically elected government by any means possible. Biden’s interest in toppling him is disconnected from any purported concern about Netanyahu’s alleged shortcomings. What the White House and State Department want is a more pliable Israeli prime minister who will keep quiet about the nuclear threat from Iran and who can be intimidated into not acting to forestall that deadly threat to Israel’s existence. As to the substance of the American critique of the effort to reform Israel’s judiciary, as a JNS report described, the hypocrisy of Biden’s stand is epic in nature. READ MORE

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Likud MK Yuli Edelstein: “The State of Israel tonight began the recovery process from the deportation disaster” in reference to the 2005 expulsion of 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza and Samaria

ISRAEL HAYOM (by agreement with JNS)
Knesset repeals 2005 act on West Bank settlement pullout
JNS/ILH staff
March 21, 2023

The Knesset on Tuesday voted 31-18 to repeal articles of the 2005 Gaza Disengagement Law banning Israelis from entering and residing in four communities in northern Samaria. The Gaza disengagement led to the destruction and evacuation of the Israeli communities of Sa-Nur, Homesh, Ganim and Kadim in northern Samaria, as well as 21 communities in the Gaza Strip. In addition to rolling back the articles (23-27) banning movement into and out of, and residence in, northern Samaria, the amendment stipulates that Article 28, which canceled rights regarding real estate in vacated territory, will not apply to rights established there starting from the date of the bill’s approval. READ MORE

BLOOMBERG US Condemns Israel Over Reversal on West Bank Settlements Law The Biden administration condemned an Israeli parliament vote repealing a 2005 law that barred settlers from parts of the West Bank, calling the move “provocative and counterproductive.” The US is “extremely troubled that the Israeli Knesset has passed legislation rescinding parts of the 2005 Disengagement Law,” deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said. “We call on Israel to refrain from allowing settlers to return to the area.”

TIMES OF ISRAEL Knesset passes law shielding Netanyahu from court-ordered recusal 61-47 Final readings of Likud-sponsored bill, seen as tailored to save PM from potential legal trouble, approved after long night of heated debate; Lapid blasts ‘obscene, corrupt law’

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A former member of the United States Marines was shot in a Palestinian terror attack on March 19.

Former U.S. Marine Shot in Palestinian Terror Attack
Aaron Bandler
March 22, 2023

A former member of the United States Marines was shot in a Palestinian terror attack on March 19. The victim, American-Israeli weapons instructor David Stern, was shot in the head and the shoulder while driving with his wife Rachel on Route 60 in Huwara, a town in the northern West Bank, on their way to a class in Jerusalem. Stern, a resident of the Itamar settlement, was seriously injured but is expected to survive. In a video posted to social media from his hospital bed, Stern said, per The Times of Israel, he had stopped the car to allow the terrorist to cross the road, only to notice that “he was blocking one hand in a very suspicious way. READ MORE

TPS Shooting of Ex-US Marine Puts Spotlight on Palestinian Pay-For-Slay Program When Palestinian terrorist Leith Nazar opened fire on an Israeli car driving through the village of Huwara on Sunday, he had no idea who he was shooting at a former US Marine who is also a martial arts and weapons instructor and trainer. And because David Stern is a dual US-Israeli national, the attack is raising questions about the Biden administration’s commitment to the Taylor Force Act. 

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Proposed Knesset bill could spark “serious clash with Evangelical Christians in the US and around the world who are among the biggest supporters of the State of Israel”

Netanyahu: ‘No Law’ Will Pass in Knesset That ‘Harms Christianity’
Chris Mitchell
March 22, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Wednesday to a chorus of concern from evangelical Christians in the U.S. and from believers in Israel related to a bill introduced by two ultra-Orthodox of members of Israel’s Knesset would make it a criminal offense to persuade anyone to convert to another religion. In a tweet, Netanyahu declared in Hebrew and in English, “We will not advance any law against the Christian community.” The prime minister’s announcement allayed fears that the bill, proposed by two members of the coalition government, would become law. READ MORE

ALL ISRAEL NEWS Two Knesset members propose legislation to outlaw sharing the Gospel in Israel and send violators to prison – could it become law? Is it possible that the Israeli government this year could pass legislation making it illegal for people to share the Gospel message in the very land where Jesus was born, raised, preached, died, buried and rose from the dead? 

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What if Democrats were to condition aid to Palestinians based on their willingness to recognize a Jewish state rather than swearing to destroy it. Nah.

Democratic Senators Mull Legislation Conditioning US Aid to Israel
Andrew Bernard
March 17, 2023

US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Thursday said that he believes the US should condition aid to Israel based on the country’s support for a two-state solution. “I worry that we are at a moment in which we are watching a future Palestinian state be obliterated by the pace of settlements, by the legalization of outposts,” Murphy said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “And I think the United States needs to draw a harder line with this government. If we’re going to continue to be in the business of supporting the Israeli government, they have to be in the continued business of a future Palestinian state. READ MORE

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