Gil Hoffman starts a series on Inside Israel Today in which listeners will get to meet new candidates for Knesset from across the political spectrum. His first guest in the series is Yesh Atid candidate Tehila Friedman, a research fellow at the moderate religious Zionist Hartman Institute and a program director at Shaharit, a think tank promoting a new social partnership between all segments of Israeli society. She is the outgoing chair of Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah, a modern Orthodox movement promoting pluralism and democracy and a founding board member of the Yerushalmit Movement, a non-profit promoting a pluralistic Jerusalem. Friedman explains how she intends to advance those ideals in the Knesset. She also ambitiously vows to also represent Diaspora Jews from around the world as an MK.

Gil Hoffman talks about why several recent steps of politicians indicate that they are preparing less for the current election and more for the more exciting race that will take place in the post-Netanyahu era. He then laments that two of Israel’s most historic parties, Labor and the former National Religious Party, could be approaching their demise. Lastly, he speaks about the prospective power of the 250,000 immigrants to Israel from English-speaking countries as a political force and expresses disappointment that their latest candidate decided to start her political career by insulting her predecessors.

Gil Hoffman speaks to The Jerusalem Post’s legal analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob, who says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be making a grave legal mistake by running a very public campaign against Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and that chances are slim that Netanyahu will emerge legally unscathed. But politically, Hoffman and Bob agree that Netanyahu could be smart in building up his political base that is angry at the legal establishment. Hoffman also analyzes the strategy of other parties.

Gil Hoffman records his show immediately after covering a dramatic press conference of Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay in which Gabbay shocked a room full of Knesset members when he announced he was breaking up the Zionist Union partnership that nearly defeated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four years ago. Gil takes listeners behind the scenes at the event, describing the reactions of the Knesset members in the meeting and afterwards. He ends the show by lamenting the departure of Knesset members who have served the English speaking community in Israel well and whose political future is in doubt.

Gil Hoffman interviews International Christian Embassy vice president David Parsons on his adventures celebrating Christmas in Jerusalem, and why it is so much more meaningful than in his native North Carolina. Gil speaks to him about the diversity of Christians in Israel and their complicated relationship with the Jewish majority in the Jewish state.

Gil Hoffman talks about why only seven percent of Israelis are very satisfied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance as defense minister, according to a recent poll. Gil then explains why the attempt at revenge of a backbench MK is causing Netanyahu problems. The show concludes with Gil praising the first Israeli in the NBA, Omri Casspi, for getting revenge against his former team, the Golden State Warriors.

Gil Hoffman takes listeners behind the scenes at the swearing-in ceremony of new Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion and reflects on the challenges that lie ahead for the new mayor and the successes of his predecessor, Nir Barkat. He then speaks about the United Nations failing to condemn Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians in the Gaza periphery. Gil singles out and questions countries who abstained and voted against a resolution that they should have had a moral obligation to support. He ends with praise for Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN for putting up with those countries.

Why do nearly half of Israelis believe that their political leadership is corrupt and that their democracy is in danger? Gil Hoffman asks Israel Democracy Institute President Yohanan Plesner, a former Kadima MK, whose think-and-do tank has just published the findings of its annual comprehensive study, the Israel Democracy Index. Plesner explains why Israel is actually in good shape compared to other countries and how his study found that Israelis are very proud of their country, Israeli Arabs included. At the end of the show, Gil discusses the political impact of Israel’s operation on the Lebanese border, how special Hanukkah is in Jerusalem, and his pride in winning the annual Nefesh B’Nefesh Hanukkah Panoply Quiz Night.

Gil Hoffman returns from a speaking tour in eight American states with new insight into Israeli politics and the relationship between Israel and progressive American Jews. He speaks about whether the growing divide can be resolved now and prescribes the opposite treatment that Haaretz recommended: No taking a break in the relationship but spending more time together to get to know one another better. He also recommends encouraging people to listen to The Land of Israel Network.

What is happening to the complex and sensitive relationship between Israelis and American Jews in the wake of the massacre in Pittsburgh and the handling of the situation by Israeli government officials? Gil Hoffman gets very different points of view from the former ambassador of the United States in Israel, Dan Shapiro, and from Jason Pearlman, the foreign affairs adviser to Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett. Pearlman just returned from Pittsburgh with Bennett and believes negative reactions to the visit were very exaggerated. Shapiro believes Israeli politicians need to be more sensitive. Shapiro also analyzes the impact of Tuesday’s mid-term US elections on Israel’s future.

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