Elections in Israel

Fredi Winkler

The thing that hardly anyone thought was possible has happened. For the second time, no one in Israel succeeded in forming a government. A third round of elections is scheduled to take place on March 2nd. It’s almost certain that no decisive different result will emerge. Why is that?

The population of Israel has created ideological-political camps that remain relatively stable. The decisive factor is still Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel Our Home”) party. Traditionally, it’s a more right-wing party which, among other things, fights against the one-sided privileges of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Because their demands went unmet by Netanyahu and his Likud party (out of respect for the religious coalition partners), it was impossible to form a government.

Merging the two major parties also proved to be impossible because the Kachol Lavan (“Blue and White”) party is unwilling to accept a government in which Netanyahu, against whom various charges have been filed, is the prime minister.

So, the chances for the third round of elections look bleak, because the obstacles standing in the way of a merger haven’t been resolved. Each round of elections costs the state over one billion shekels, a fact that frustrates voters, especially since there’s no solution in sight for another round of elections.

In a televised speech, Netanyahu enumerated all of his achievements as Israel’s Prime Minister. As the last and largest, he named the development of gas discoveries in the Mediterranean by way of the recently-completed and commissioned gas pipeline to the coast. He proudly continued to tell how Israel rose to eighth place among the world’s most powerful countries. It’s possible that this promising wealth, having fallen into Israel’s hands through its gas discoveries, is one of the reasons for the power struggle.

An Israeli politician once said, “We can thank God that we haven’t found any oil in our country. Otherwise we’d rely on our wealth, and our spirit of invention and innovation would die.”

When Israel entered the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership, God instructed them to go first to Mount Ebal and Gerizim, to choose between obedience and blessing, or disobedience and curse. And before Joshua died, he called the people together once more to repeat the crucial question: “Choose this day whom you will serve,”after which he said the familiar words: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).

The Israeli people did indeed miraculously return to the land of their forefathers, just as God had foretold through the prophets. A Jewish state has once again come into existence. But that isn’t God’s real purpose. As the Bible clearly states, He has more in mind for Israel. The Israelis like to watch other nations because they want to be like them, which is completely understandable. However, they also readily appeal to the Bible where land rights are concerned. Having said this, when it comes to the obedience demanded by God to guarantee their blessing, they’d rather be a nation like others. This is basically the biggest choice facing Israel today. The same is true of all other nations.

Recalling Joshua’s choice, which decided everything (“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”).

News from Israel - 02/2020

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