No. 175, October 26, 2022

Inside Israel

The inside story of Israel’s various political parties leading up to next week’s elections.  On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, Israel will have another national election. The party currently leading in the polls is Likud, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His allies include Shas, Religious Zionism, and United Torah Judaism, but it is unlikely these four parties will add up to a majority of seats.

The anti-Netanyahu parties include Yesh Atid, National Unity Party, Labor and Meretz. It’s also unlikely these four parties will add up to a majority.

In the final days leading up to next week’s elections, the various parties continue to strategize, each for their own ends. Current polling doesn’t give much insight about who might prevail.

This article gives an in-depth look at the various Israeli parties currently in the Knesset, what they stand for, and their current polling numbers:

After Tuesday’s election, if neither side is able to form a coalition of at least 61 seats, then another gridlock will result, and the current Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, of the Yesh Atid party, will retain the premiership until the next election.

Below the Threshold? For an interesting alternative viewpoint, this article offers an in-depth look at Netanyahu’s polling numbers, notes how close they are to potentially achieving a majority, and sketches a possible scenario for an unexpected outcome in which one of the anti-Netanyahu parties fails to meet the 3.25 percent minimum threshold for Knesset seats:


Free trade with South Korea. A free trade agreement (FTA) between Israel and South Korea goes into effect on Dec 1st. The FTA, signed by Israeli and Korean officials last May, has now been ratified by both parliaments. Over 95 percent of Israeli goods will be duty free. 

The trade agreement with Korea will be a boost to the Israeli economy, and will encourage Korean investment in Israel as well. The 7% exise tax on Korean cars imported into Israel is expected to be lifted. A trade agreement with Vietnam may be coming soon.
Helping hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, medical and psychological experts from Israel’s emergency medical organization United Hatzalah flew to the south of the island of Puerto Rico. They provided medical care to victims of Hurricane Fiona and the resulting floods.

Culture and Lifestyle

100 babies born at one hospital on Rosh Hashana. On a single day, Rosh Hashanah, one hundred babies were born at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem - 51 girls and 49 boys. Prof. Sorina Grisaru, Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, said "… there is no greater happiness than starting a new year with a new baby in the family.”
A day in the life of a Muslim EMT in Israel. Ramzi Batesh is a Muslim who works as an emergency dispatcher for United Hatzalah in Jerusalem, and doubles as a volunteer EMT and ambu-cycle driver. In Israel, United Hatzalah medics are first responders who provide lifesaving medical care on the scene, prior to the arrival of an ambulance, which typically arrive 8-15 minutes later. On the day in question, he and his colleagues saved a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian.
Top 18 activities to do for free in Jerusalem. Here is an up-to-date list of 18 free activities in Jerusalem. Old City, Teddy Park, Knesset, Supreme Court, Wohl Rose Garden, Bird Observatory, Yad Vashem, Mount Herzl, Gazelle Valley, Montefiore Windmill, Skate park, Ein Karem, First Station, Sacher Park, Machane Yehuda and more.

Science and Technology

Israel’s first-ever climate tech conference held in Tel Aviv. With an eye toward prospective investors and entrepreuners, Israel hosted its first-ever confab climate tech last month featuring a wide range of products and services from Israel’s fast-growing climate tech industry. Approximately one hundred climate tech start-ups were featured, including (weather intelligence software), SeeTree (tree intelligence network) Terra Space Lab (space-based wildfire detection system) Solato (ice cream with a seriously low carbon footprint), and Cellomat (refurbished smartphones).  

Compiled by volunteers from Beth David’s ‘News from Israel’ Team

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