On Monday, Israelis go to the polls for the third time in about a year, and the gloves have come off as the two major candidates go at it. Here are some thoughts, and a few prayer points.
Netanyahu has done more to put Israel on the world stage than any other Prime Minister. Israel is prosperous, mighty (8th most powerful military in the world), a leader in innovation, and has become a nation with whom others want to do business. Even Arab nations have befriended Israel beyond what most could ever imagine.
Yet, serious indictments hang over his head. Will the accusations cost the most prominent Israeli leader ever his position as Prime Minister? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, mired in America’s version of chaotic politics, US Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders referred to Netanyahu as racist at a political rally in South Carolina recently. With all the allegations regarding Russia meddling in the US elections, why is it okay for an American to meddle in Israeli elections?
Israel is on the verge of action in the Gaza Strip, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists continue menacing the Jewish people near the Gaza border. Gantz, former Chief of General Staff of the IDF, believes he is better equipped to take on the challenge presented by Hamas and IJ. He is challenging on that front, while Netanyahu touts his successes in keeping Israel safe. Which man is the best for the job, when it comes to Israeli security? Each has an argument. Netanyahu has a pretty strong resume when it comes to the current status of Israel in the Middle East and on the world stage. Gantz made a career of it.
Until recently, Israeli polls were showing Gantz’s Blue and White party slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud party. However, as election day draws near, Likud seems to have rebounded to pull even or, in some polls, slightly ahead. But will it matter? In Israel, voters vote for a party, of which there are 10-12 who will receive enough votes to surpass a threshold. Parties with the most votes get the most representatives in the Knesset. The winning party typically gets first crack at cobbling together a majority (61 or more) coalition, which forms the government. If the top vote-getting party is unable to form a coalition, Israel’s president passes the opportunity to another party (usually the second highest vote-getter). If they, too, are unable to form a coalition, the parties must decide to cooperate in a unity government, or go to another election. That is the path taken in Israel over the past year. Will election #3 yield a winner? Perhaps we’ll know after election day!
All this is a distraction while Israel limps along without a government in place. Please pray for the people of Israel to participate in their electoral process, and pray God’s hand of mercy brings forth the candidate who will seek the Lord and follow His ways. Netanyahu, despite his troubles, does indeed reference Scripture and seems to understand Old Testament prophecy. Less is known about Gantz’s position Biblically. My hope is the Lord will miraculously bring victory to Netanyahu, that a coalition will be formed, and that through him, the Lord will lead Israel with a strong and mighty right hand.
Israeli politics are just as crazy, if not more so, than American politics. As strongly as ever, we need the Lord’s guidance and direction upon the leaders in Israel, as well as America and around the world. This is a very pivotal point in Israeli history. Please pray as Israelis go to the polls on Monday.