Its been a very hectic week in the Middle East and especially in Israel. So its Purim tonight and by tomorrow and if you’re celebrating correctly then you won’t remember anything, so let’s get right into it.
In Syria, things continue to get crazier and crazier. Turkey is doubling-down in Afrin (northwest Syria) and now sending in special forces. The Kurds continue to hold tough and now have some help from Syrian Government forces. Meanwhile, in the northeast of Syria, America went for the full Purim attack on Russian mercenary forces and Syrian/Iranian forces, killing at least 200 and wounding something like 200 more – out of a force of approximately 500. The short story is that the US and their primarily Kurdish allies have carved out an autonomous region east of the Euphrates River. For some reason, the Syrians/Russians/Iranians decided that now would be the right time to try and seize some of those areas, especially where there is oil. It turns out that now was not the right time. Remains to be seen if there will be further effects from this incident that reverberate throughout Syria. Important to keep in mind that Bashar Assad, the President of Syria, still only controls about 50% of Syria, the rest being held by rebels and Kurds (with US backing). This one ain’t nearly over. Over 600 people killed near Damascus (the capital!!) in just the last week and a half!
Turning to Israel. Everything fell apart and then it didn’t, but it still could.
-The FOUR investigations against the Prime Minister continue with no end in sight. The fourth investigation (“case #4000”) was reported to be quite serious and then the judge and investigator were proven to be secretly coordinating their efforts. Big legal no-no. This one may be a dud as well. Too soon to say. Endless.
-Coalition trouble. Big fight between the Haredi parties and Avigdor Lieberman and his goons. The reason – a new draft law. When the Haredi parties joined the Government it was on condition that a new draft law be passed (previous one was struck down by the Supreme Court) that would protect yeshiva students from having to go to the army. Lieberman thinks the army should decide the perameters of the law. So far, no one has quit, or even threatened to quit, the Government. Theoretically, the Haredi-proposed law can pass without Lieberman and his party’s support and that’s likely what will happen.
-The Supreme Court today ruled to delay the destruction of the 15 houses in the Jewish Community of Netiv Ha’Avot in Gush Etzion (Judea/Southern West Bank) for another 3 months, giving time for temporary houses to be built for the families to live in until permanent houses are built nearby. How many permanent houses will be built? A new government decision has ordered the legalization of Netiv Ha’Avot and the building of 350 more homes there. The point of the “Peace Now” lawsuit was to destroy the Jewish Community there but it was switched around and the Community will now (legally) thrive! Coincidence that it happens near Purim – not bloody likely.
Finally, just tonight reports are coming out supposedly revealing details of the Trump Administration’s soon-to-be-released peace plan. Already there are those condemning it and those saying the reports are not accurate. Could go any which way. Who knows at this point. Nothing new in the plan, at least how’s its being reported. More of the same and will most likely end up the same as well – dustbin of history.
And as it was then, so should it be now:
“Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;” (Esther 9:1)