Ep 389 Mon. July 11th, 2022
How is Israel’s President’s office preparing for U.S. President Biden’s visit? Sa’ar and Gantz to join forces for November election & save the sea turtles! Hear how these little guys are being watched from afar.
Listen to the podcast.
Today is Monday, July 11th, 2022 in the Gregorian calendar and the 12th of Tamuz 5782 in the Hebrew calendar.
- The Blue and White party and the New Hope party have joined forces for this upcoming election, announcing last night they will run on a joint slate. Defense minister Benny Gantz heads the Blue and White party, and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s leads the New Hope party. The two said at a press briefing they aim to serve the “wide, patriotic, center-right,” and hope to offer a middle ground to voters trying to avoid extremes. Gantz says this merger will “say no to racism, no to extremism, and yes to unity for all parts of the country and all types of citizens… ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, secular; Muslims, Christians, Druze and Jews.” Gantz will take this party’s top slot, with Sa’ar as number 2. They are reportedly trying to recruit former Israel Defense Force’s Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for third slot on the party list, however, Eisenkot is also being recruited by interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid for the Yesh Atid party. Eisenkot is thought of as a person who can attract voters from the left and the right because he is very popular and has a high profile.
- Yamina party defector Amichai Chikli is expected to resign from the Knesset in a deal that would allow him to run again with an existing party in the upcoming November elections. To be a defector is to leave your party or swap your values and cause for another one. Chikli constantly voted alongside the opposition in the last government, so much so that he was ejected from Yamina in April and declared a defector. He opposed his party’s running with a diverse group of factions, in paticular the Islamist Ra’am party, and rumor has it, he is set to receive a reserved spot on the Likud party slate, which is former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party. Chikli submitted an appeal to his defector status in June, saying it was unfair and undemocratic. He asked the court whether a Knesset member should be required to show allegiance to party leaders or voters themselves, suggesting his votes better represented his voter base than that of his party’s leaders. According to current law, Chikli had to resign immediately in order to evade his defector status and run in the next election. If this tactic doesn’t work, he will be forced to create his own party if he wants to run this November.
- A court decision has changed the future of marriages in Israel. The Lod District Court ruled that the Authority of the Interior Ministry is required to register marriages conducted through online civil marriage services. This means Israelis can get married without having to leave the country. One place that does this service is the State of Utah, in the United States of America, which offers a program where you can officiate your marriage using an online program. This decision did not go without backlash. Orthodox politicians say it undermines the Jewish religious state. At the moment, Israeli law only allows marriage through established religious organizations such as the Rabbanut or Sharia Courts, posing an obstacle for interfaith marriages and other unions that are prohibited by religious barriers. Couples were able to avoid roadblocks by marrying in civil ceremonies abroad — many Israelis go to Cyprus for example, and then they come back later and register with the Population Authority, but this can be challenging and even costly. Now, Israelis can marry through online services like the one that Utah offers for example instead of having to appeal in person.
- Hadas Klein, a witness in the corruption trial of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu filed a police complaint after a Netanyahu supporter posted a photo of her home on Twitter and berated the woman calling her manipulative, a liar, and other negative comments. Along with his son, supporters of Netanyahu have been rude and aggressive toward witnesses and the prosecution on social media. This week, Klein testified twice against Netanyahu about the lavish gifts that her boss, Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, gave to Netanyahu and his wife. During her testimony last Tuesday, Klein was accompanied by police at all times and spoke about how difficult the last six years of her life have been following the interview she gave police. Klein was interviewed because she is the personal assistant to an Israeli Hollywood producer and also represents an Australian billionaire here in Israel. Both of these men apparently gave Netanyahu and his wife hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of gifts in exchange for personal and financial benefits in Israel. Klein told investigators about expensive cigars, champagne, and jewelry that apparently the Netanyahu’s requested. Klein says her legal team told her she would lose her job and livelihood, but she wanted to do the right thing.
- Israeli actress Shira Haas is starring in an upcoming Netflix series, “Bodies.” The show is a murder mystery based on a graphic novel, and Haas will play a detective named DC Maplewood. The plot follows four detectives investigating the same murder throughout four different time periods. Haas stars alongside Jacob Fortune-Lloyd from “The Queen’s Gambit”, Stephen Graham from “Boardwalk Empire”, and Kyle Soller from “The Inheritance”. The actress gained international fame in 2020 for her role in the hit show “Unorthodox”. Filming for “Bodies” is currently taking place in England and will land on Netflix sometime next year.
- Fifteen rescued sea turtles are successfully released back into the Mediterranean. The marine animals went through months of rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Mikhmoret, which is a beautiful beach city south of Haifa. These 15 Loggerhead and Two Green Sea Turtles suffered some physical injuries, and had been brought to the facility throughout the winter. The species is considered endangered and is protected under Israeli law. After several months of intensive care, starting with antibiotics and fluids, the turtles were nursed back to complete health. Scientists are monitoring their locations with satellite tags that were glued to their shells to check up and make sure they’re doing okay.