BREAKING: Netanyahu Government Collapsing?

On Tuesday, a ceasefire brokered by Egypt and the UN between Hamas and Israel was officially ratified.  Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to the ceasefire has created a firestorm in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned, expressing his displeasure with “ongoing excuses” in failing to deal more strongly with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

He has called for an early election and current Education Minister Naftali Bennett has threatened to leave the coalition if he is not given the Defense Minister position.

For those wondering how government works in Israel, here’s a very brief explanation.  There are at least 20+ political parties in Israel and 120 seats in the Knesset.  During each election, each party presents a list of candidates and the number of elected representatives from each party is proportional to the percentage of support their party receives.  A majority coalition is formed by parties in general agreement with a common agenda. The remaining parties serve as check and balance to the power of the coalition.  The chairman of the largest party in the coalition is typically tapped as Prime Minister.  The honor of actually selecting the Prime Minister is reserved for the President, who may choose who he wishes.  After which, the President has much less political clout than the Prime Minister he selects.

In the current scenario, Yisrael Beiteinu (Avigdor Lieberman’s party) and Bayit Hayehudi (Naftali Bennett’s party) are both part of the Netayahu/Likud coalition, but are threatening to leave, which would cause the Netanyahu government to collapse.

Politics in Israel are often much more volatile than those in America.  Only recently, Benjamin Netanyahu was himself considering calling for early elections, and his party (Likud) was expected to win handily and form a stronger coalition.  Now, however, he may face a stiffer challenge.

So, what’s the point?  Much of the Israeli public, particularly in the south, is dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s “dovish” stance toward Hamas.  Could it cause a loss of seats for Likud and a splintering of parties typically favorable to Netanyahu and Likud?  Or, will Netanyahu’s stability as Prime Minister be regained by election time?  Only time will tell in the crazy world of Israeli politics.

More importantly, though, is the “big picture” of how God seems to be setting the stage for end time events. The Trump-Netanyahu partnership has had tremendous impact on stemming the rising tide of globalism, antisemitism and the dividing of land (which the Bible specifically warns against).  I continue to believe God has called two men, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump, for such a time as this. Ultimately, though, it appears animosity for each in their home countries could eventually lead to wide open doors for evil to swoop in to measures we have never seen.  I have consistently said I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the man.  But I firmly believe God has used him to bless Israel.  Once that blessing leaves, America could experience God’s hand of blessing removed for good, and we could find our nation either opposed to or uninterested in Israel.  At that point, Israel will stand alone…just as the Bible tells us she will.

But take heart, friends! This is only a “what if” scenario, but even if events happen as described (or worse), God is fully in control! The point is not to scare people. The point is to prepare people. That’s what Bible prophecy does! As believers in Jesus Christ, we know we could face difficult times, but we will never experience the wrath of God. He has promised to deliver us from it! (1Thessalonians 1:10, 1Thessalonians 5:9)  He is coming for us soon!

Check back later today for specific words of encouragement as we face the days ahead!  Shalom…peace!

Why is Gaza Such a Problem?

Following intense action over the past couple days in and near the Gaza Strip, questions such as these arise: “What’s the deal with Gaza, and why are they such a problem?”

Questions such as those are answered in a very timely article written by Susan Michael, Director of ICEJ-US branch.  Find those answers in Why is Gaza Such a Problem?

Enjoy!

Rockets Rain Down on Israel

Image result for gaza november 2018

IDF airstrike inside Gaza (Times of Israel photo)

Since Sunday night’s IDF special ops raid into the Gaza Strip, activity has ramped up in and around Gaza.  A top Hamas commander and several other terrorists were killed as a result of that mission, though it came at a cost.  Israeli sources have now confirmed that an IDF special ops officer was killed in that mission into the Strip on Sunday night, and another soldier was wounded.

Since then, Hamas has rained down at least 300 rockets on Israeli cities (perhaps the largest one day total ever), and the IDF has targeted over 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites (backed by Iran) in the Gaza Strip.  Air raid sirens have gone off almost continually in cities throughout southern Israel and the Gaza Envelope (areas surrounding the Gaza Strip).  You will find a timeline and several videos here.

Meanwhile, other interesting things relative to the region are happening elsewhere.  During an official state visit to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  It was the first meeting between Netanyahu and Putin since the Russian-made S-200 missile system (operated by Syrians, in Syria) shot down a Russian plane.  Israel was ultimately blamed for the incident.   Though no details of the meetings were reported, it is probable that Iranian influence in Syria and the region (including their backing of Hamas in Gaza) was a focal point in those conversations.

It is currently in the best interest of both Russia and Israel to cooperate at least to some degree militarily, in terms of not getting in each other’s way.  However, as we see events around the world, particularly in the Middle East, confirm Bible prophecy day-after-day, we know the stage is being set for end time events.  We see evidence suggesting the imminent destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), setting of the stage for the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), and the rise of the Antichrist out of Europe (Daniel 2, 7).

In fact, one cannot help but think the spirit of lawlessness, described in 2 Thessalonians 2, is already at work.  As I look at what’s happening in our world…and even America and evil things for which so many stand…I am reminded that our time is short.  What we see are signs of the tribulation,yet our rapture occurs before that terrible time of hell on earth.

As we see these things, we must be alert,  be about our Father’s business (as Jesus was in Luke 2:41-51), be watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33:1-6, Isaiah 62:6-7), sound the alarm (Joel 2:1, Jeremiah 4:5-6), and be ambassadors of Christ while still on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).

How are we doing?

PS: For a timely commentary on why Gaza is such a problem, check back later today.  Blessings!

Developing: Israeli Ground Attack Takes Out Hamas Commander

I’m following news out of Israel, indicating a top Hamas commander was killed Sunday night in the Gazan city of Khan Younis.  Several other lower-ranking Hamas terrorists were killed in the attack as well.

(Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Typically, Israeli strikes are in response to aggressive acts such as rocket launches, incendiary kites or border skirmishes from the Gaza Strip.  However, there are conflicting reports as to what led up to this attack.  Hamas and Islamic Jihad (often at the prodding of Iran) have consistently initiated terror activity at Gaza’s border with Israel, and some reports cite that violence as the initiating factor in this incident.

Reports on the opposite end of the spectrum are suggesting this was a planned assassination by Israeli special forces.  Facts remain to be seen.  Regardless, reports are that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is returning early from an official state visit to Paris.

Stay tuned…such activity could mark the beginning of the next round of birth pangs.