When haredi Orthodox political parties Shas and United Torah Judaism entered Israel’s governing coalition, they vowed to roll back a raft of recent religious reforms. In turn, the secularist Yesh Atid party raised its voice in protest.
Netanyahu’s last-minute outcry to save Israel from Arab votes arguably won him the election. But it opened a deep rift in society that will take ages to heal, J.J. Goldberg writes.
Outside the Moriah Synagogue in this central Israeli city, boys in ritual fringes and girls in long skirts handed out fliers for the dozens of candidates running in the Jan. 14 primary for the Jewish Home party, a right-wing, modern Orthodox faction. Religious voters trickled in and out of polls in the synagogue lobby.
Bezalel Smotrich, who is ninth on Habayit Hayehudi’s Knesset list, in 2006 was involved in organizing the anti-gay Beast Parade in Jerusalem as an answer to the annual Pride Parade.
Hours before Israel’s Knesset voted Monday evening to disperse and head to elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the finance committee to approve an “emergency” $40M grant to settlements.
Netanyahu is planning a massive new wave of construction in the West Bank. It may calm his restive allies in the settler-backed Jewish Home party — but it’s sure to anger others.
Israel and the Palestinians are said to be near agreement on the terms for a long-term cease-fire for Gaza. J.J. Goldberg breaks down the demands on each side.