May 15, 2016


Will Arab faction leader Ayman Odeh start receiving classified security briefings? (Jerusalem Post, 5/15/16)

Should Zionist Union join the coalition, the Joint List, which is made up of Arab parties, would be the largest opposition party, meaning Odeh would become opposition leader, and the first Israeli Arab to ever hold the position.

By law, the prime minister must update the opposition leader on "matters of state" at least once a month. Traditionally, these meetings include classified security briefings, though the law does not specify what "matters of state" would mean.

Odeh was skeptical about the monthly meeting's impact, speaking on Sunday.

"I meet with the prime minister already. I meet him almost once a month, anyway, to try to promote things. It's not a matter of access, it's about what will happen for the good of the citizens, and I see an opaque prime minister. He is an ultranationalist, there is no doubt of that...he very simply harms the weaker sector and Arabs, and even if I will be opposition leader, I don't think I'll be able to get significant things for those populations through Netanyahu," he stated. 

Likud MK Oren Hazan bemoaned the prospect of Odeh - whom he called the head of the "Palestinian List" - becoming opposition leader.

"It's stresses me out," he lamented. "An Arab sweet-talker who represents a different nation, not the Jewish nation, will be one of the symbols of the government and hold a sensitive role. He'll sit with the prime minister once a month to receive updates on the situation.

"How can you run a country with [Odeh] as head of the opposition? He represents almost the worst of our enemies," Hazan posited.

Israel's soaring population: Promised Land running out of room? (TOVA COHEN AND STEVEN SCHEER, 9/25/15, Reuters)

The number of Jews in the Holy Land is now roughly equal to the number of Palestinians - each around 6.3 million.

In the case of the Palestinians, that includes 1.75 million who are Israeli citizens and 4.55 million in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem. The occupied territories are also home to half a million Jewish settlers.

Palestinian population growth easily outpaces Israel's, with the average woman in the Palestinian territories having four children.

Posted by at May 15, 2016 10:00 AM