These past two days it has been depressing to be an Israeli. It started with the police recommending to indict Interior Minister Aryeh Deri for a series of financial crimes. This is the same Aryeh Deri who served time in jail fifteen years ago for accepting bribes. Deri joins Minister Haim Katz, and Prime Minister Netanyahu to make three members of the cabinet who the police have now recommended be indicted.
Next, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel was pulling out of the UN treaty on refugees. According to Channel 10’s Barak Ravid, the decision was reached after Austria, Hungary, and the Trump Administration requested that Israel do so. Netanyahu proudly stated that “we will always fight against job seekers”, not daring to use the word in Hebrew for refugees. It should be noted that the original UN agreement was written after World War II as a direct response to the Holocaust. Israel has been active in the drafting of the newest version. But I guess our new friends are more important than the values we claim to have.
As that was not enough for one day — President Trump released his embarrassing statement on why the United States was not going to take any action against Saudi Arabia he used Israel as one of the reasons.
All that was yesterday- today was not quite as bad, with only two really embarrassing events at least that I can remember. A bill to recognize the genocide of the Yazidi was voted down in the Knesset along party lines. MK Yehuda Glick of the Likud voted against the bill after saying how embarrassed he was to do so, but he had to maintain coalition discipline. For those who think Israel has an independent parliament, think again. Its only true power is to approve a government or vote it down, in between it is merely a government rubber stamp.
Finally tonight the Supreme Court allowed the far right Ateret Cohanim group to go ahead and evict 700 Arab residents of East Jerusalem from their homes in Silwan, that the organization was able to purchase under mysterious circumstances.
One final comment on the Airbnb controversy. They did not remove places in East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, two places that we annexed and Israeli law is the law of the land. As much as the settlers try to make people believe that the laws of Tel Aviv should be the laws of Ofra, under Israeli law Ofra is not part of Israel, just administered by the military. There is a difference. For many reasons, I do not think it was a good or smart move to boycott the settlements, but it is not the same thing as boycotting Israel.