Monday October 21, 2019
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Israel Moves Towards Election Rerun

The 66 to 44 vote set a tentative date of September 17 for a new election

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Israel, New Elections
An Israeli man casts his vote during Israel's general elections in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 9, 2019. VOA

Israel moved closer to new parliamentary elections Tuesday as lawmakers voted in favor of the first of three procedural moves necessary to dissolve the current parliament.

The 66 to 44 vote set a tentative date of September 17 for a new election, if the measure makes it through the final two rounds of voting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been unable to form a new government since his party won the most seats in an election last month.

He has until Wednesday to reach a coalition deal with other parties or risk having Israel’s president give someone else a chance to form a coalition government. Netanyahu is unlikely to allow that to take place, preferring to take his chances in a new election.

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Israel’s former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks during his Yisrael Beitenu party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem, May 27, 2019. VOA

His prospective coalition has been thrown into turmoil by former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, sometimes a Netanyahu ally and sometimes a rival.

Lieberman has demanded passage of a new law mandating that young ultra-Orthodox men be drafted into the Israeli military, like most other Jewish men, while Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox allies have called for the current draft exemptions to remain in place.

In a statement late Monday, Netanyahu called for his potential coalition partners to put “the good of the nation above every other interest” to avoid what he said would be “expensive, wasteful” elections.

​The Israeli leader said he was hopeful that a compromise could be forged before the late Wednesday deadline for him to form a new government.

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But he acknowledged, “Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to convince Lieberman to avoid another election. The reality is that we must be responsible and form a government immediately.”

Netanyahu cannot form a government without the five seats of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Israel, Election rerun
Israel moved closer to new parliamentary elections Tuesday. VOA

“The draft law has become a symbol, and we will not capitulate on our symbols,” Lieberman said, vowing to press for new parliamentary elections if his demand is not met.

Ultra-Orthodox parties consider military conscription a violation of their religious beliefs, fearing that military service will lead to secularization. But such exemptions from military service are widely resented by other Jewish Israelis.

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Some Likud adherents say that Lieberman is motivated by his personal spite for Netanyahu, but Lieberman says he will not give in to religious coercion.

“I will not be a partner to a Halachic state,” he said, using the word for Jewish law. (VOA)

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Find out The Must-Try Dishes In Israel

The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian

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Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian. Wikimedia Commons

If your travel itinerary is based on your taste buds, then Israel is your dream destination. The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian.

This food is blessed by the Mediterranean sun and topped off with garnishes of crisp fruits, nuts and vegetables. The fresh dairy products and meats are a great reason to feast upon.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Falafel is a vey famous Israeli dish. Wikimedia Commons

IANS Life picks out some must-try dishes in Israel :-

Challah – A Jewish ceremonial bread, braided and brushed with egg white and baked to perfection

Sabich – Pita pockets stuffed to the brim with crispy fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, creamy hummus and tahini, along with salad and pickles. The sandwich is an absolute favourite among locals and a top pick street food, when you’re in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Bagel – Unlike typical bagels, this one is elongated, soft, slightly sweet and similar to regular bread. Vendors sell freshly baked Jerusalem Bagels all over the streets of the Old City, usually accompanied with some za’atar

Bourekas – Similar to the Indian samosa, potato, cheese or spinach stuffed triangles of filo-dough, topped with toasted sesame seeds. Head to Leon and Sons in Jaffa for a taste of this flaky treat.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Early-Morning Scene in Mahane Yehuda Market – Jerusalem – Israel. Wikimedia Commons

Khachapuri – This traditional Georgian dish in Mahane Yehuda Market is made with eggs and cheese is combined in an eye shaped dough. Dip the outer crust in the rich and oozing centre of egg and cheese.

Rugelach – Made with chocolate, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts or fruits. Head to Marzipan Bakery in Jerusalem to dig into this oozing chocolate filled delight.

Sambusak – Mashed chickpeas, onions and spices wrapped in a triangular dough pocket. For an Indian style sambusak, visit Tandoor in Tel Aviv.

Shakshuka – Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers and is often spiced with cumin and topped off with freshly cut herbs. Head to Dr. Shakshuka and swipe your bread across the pan to pick up the runny egg drenched sauce.

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Halva – Israel is known for its incredible variety of halvas made with sesame.

Ash Tanur – A sourdough flatbread, made without yeast and sugar and best eaten with some fresh local herbs and spices.

Fresh juices – From the juicy pomegranates to citrusy oranges, Israel prides itself on serving fresh and flavourful juices. Tamara is one of the many popular juice stands in Tel Aviv. (IANS)