Cliff Savren reports for the Cleveland Jewish News on Israel and the Middle East from Ra’aana, Israel.

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Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, whose role as head of state is largely ceremonial, stepped into the political limelight and tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government, following last month’s Knesset election. Netanyahu was tapped for the task a day after his criminal trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust began in earnest, as the first witness against him took the stand.

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When my family moved to Israel from Cleveland more than 20 years ago, on many Saturday mornings during the winter, I would take my two daughters, who were 5 and 6 years old when we arrived in the country, to the Mediterranean beach at Herzliya. The beach is about a 15-minute drive from our T…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminds me of the story of the guy who killed both his parents and then pleaded for the mercy of the court because he was an orphan. As he heads into the witness stage of his trial on corruption charges, the prime minister is objecting to his trial b…