For the second time in 7 months, Israelis head to the polls tomorrow (September 17, 2019) for what could be one of the most important elections in her brief history as a newborn nation. However, if you are not familiar with Israel’s voting process, you are likely wondering why another major election so soon.
In a nutshell, here is how it goes:
- Voters vote for a party, not an individual. (Unlike America, Israel typically has well over a dozen different parties vying for power.)
- Votes determine the number of seats each party will occupy in the 120-seat Knesset. (Israel’s parliament, similar to our US Congress.)
- Each party has a list of members who will fill Knesset seats, based on the percentage of votes gained in the election. (Parties must pass an electoral threshold of 3.25% of the vote.)
- The leader of the victorious party is usually given the mandate to put together a coalition, meaning a group of cooperating parties to total at least 61 (over half) seats in the Knesset. (Once formed, the government stays in power until the next election, or as long as it maintains at least 61 members in coalition.)
- Assuming a coalition is put together, the leader of the victorious party becomes Prime Minister, having usually offered powerful ministry positions to other party leaders in order to entice them to enter the coalition.
Given those basics, it is easier to understand why there is a second election in only 7 months: Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the party winning the most seats in April (and current Prime Minister), was unable to put together a coalition of at least 61 Knesset members.
Thus, Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. Regardless of your political stance, it seems very far-fetched that anyone else in Israel, other than Benjamin Netanyahu, has the foreign policy experience or international respect to guide the Jewish state diplomatically or militarily through all it likely faces it in the next few years.
Nonetheless, it is God who appoints rulers, then uses them to accomplish His purposes. (Need proof? God used Cyrus, king of arch-nemesis Persia, to free His people from Babylonian captivity!)
So, as Israelis go to the polls tomorrow, my prayer is that Benjamin Netanyahu will be victorious, and successful in putting together a coalition. PM Netanyahu is not a perfect man, and he has legal challenges to face. However, he is a man who studies and understands the prophetic Word of God. No, I have not seen or heard evidence that he is a believer and follower of Yeshua (Jesus), but he studies the Hebrew Scriptures and has been known to quote prophetic passages.
Though I may not agree with him on every point, it seems God has put him in power for such a time as this. Yet, if his time is done, God will remain sovereign and in control!
Indeed, this election in Israel may be as important on the world stage as the US election in 2020. Now is the time to pray for God’s man in Israel. Will you join me?