Israel's next election; New executive order on antisemitism: Israel Update
December 13, 2019
Israel has scheduled its third election in less than a year, for March 2, 2020, after the Knesset passed its deadline to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister. Blue and White leader Benny Gantz attributed Israel’s electoral turmoil to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unwillingness to surrender his right to request immunity from corruption charges—a connection which Netanyahu has denied. Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman said he would back a deal in which Netanyahu is allowed to avoid jail time in exchange for an agreement to retire from politics.
Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar visited Bahrain on Monday, making him the first rabbi of his stature to visit the predominately Muslim country. Rabbis such as Amar are seen as representatives of the State of Israel. The chief rabbi was in the region to take part in a religious conference featuring religious leaders from all over the Middle East. Preceding the visit from the chief rabbi, the Bahraini and Israeli governments had, in recent months, been working towards normalizing relations with each other.