Israel in Review: 2018

In the month of January, many of us get reminiscent about the previous year. With American politics as crazy as they now are, let’s take a look at how 2018 treated the state of Israel.

The year didn’t start off too well for the Israeli government. Amid allegations of corruption, the government opened an investigation into Prime Minister Netanyahu’s affairs in February. No more news was announced about this investigation until December, when Netanyahu called for early elections to be held in April of 2019. This is most likely an attempt by Netanyahu to push for re-election before the possibly disastrous results of the investigation are released, which would drop his chances for re-election to near impossible.

In March, riots began at the Gaza border and were soon found to be backed by Hamas. Because of the left-wing media’s anti-Israel agenda, many reporters claimed these riots were peaceful protests against the human rights-violating Israeli government, but major questions were brought as to the force of the Israeli soldiers against the protesting Palestinians. As more rioters were killed, more reports came in about women and children being murdered by Israeli soldiers. Interestingly enough, this situation bears a striking resemblance to a certain migrant caravan attempting to cross a different southern border. In any case, the situation seems to have died down after a ceasefire was agreed upon in November.

On a more positive note, the United States embassy was opened in Jerusalem on May 14, on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment. The event was a proclamation by the Trump administration that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel, refreshing the long-standing alliance between the United States and Israel. The embassy was previously located in Tel Aviv to avoid the debate over the international status of Jerusalem, but moving the embassy into that city announces that the United States sides with Israel not only in naming Jerusalem the true capital, but in Middle Eastern crisis as a whole.

The site of the new American Embassy in Israel, located in the Amona neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Speaking of the Middle Eastern crisis, the Israeli army had its hands full for all of 2018 in fighting against Syria and Iran. Missiles were fired back and forth on a regular basis. In May, after Israel lost a fighter jet in an airstrike, many believed that a war was eminent between these Middle Eastern powers. Since then, both sides have been moving further away from war, with attacks becoming less and less frequent on both sides.

As Israel prepares to enter into the heart of 2019, many wonder what will become of the Jewish state. Will an ever-growing friendship between Israel and the Trump Administration be halted by a Knesset overhaul? Will Israel be able to withstand consistent UN critiques? Only time will tell.

Micha Bayever is the Student Life Editor of the Valley Torah Scroll.

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