Israeli Government Disbanded
Less than two months ago Netanyahu seemed to have won the Israeli elections with a strong showing both for the Likud party and the right wing in general. Then in the complexity of Israeli political maneuvering and because of the rather bizarre refusal of Avigdor Liberman to join the potential coalition, the time ran out, and Netanyahu was unable to form the government.
The normal procedure at that point would have been for President Rivlin to offer to the second-place party – Blue and White, under Benny Gantz, the opportunity to form an alternative government. Since Netanyahu did not want that to take place, he proposed disbanding the current Knesset and setting new elections for the autumn. This motion was passed, and September 16 was set as the new date.
The whole country is somewhat in shock, or frustration, or depression, at what seems like an incredibly dysfunctional political system. Even we as Messianics are somewhat bewildered in trying to understand God’s will in this situation. I would ask you to join us in urgent prayer in these next few months.
What could possibly be some of the moral, spiritual or political purposes behind the current paralysis and rearrangement of the government? Well, other than basically just humbling all of us for such an embarrassing failure, here are a few issues to pray about:
- Governability for Netanyahu – We have a word in Hebrew “meshilut” משילות which means ability for the government to function. Because of the dozen conflicting parties in this country, governability is almost impossible. Could this new election rally people around Netanyahu to an even bigger coalition to allow him to run the government more efficiently?
- Indictment for Netanyahu – The opposite situation could be that in the few months before the next election, Netanyahu could be charged for corruption, and thus drop his popularity or even legal eligibility, and so lose the government altogether. If this were to happen, it might be better for the change to take place before the next election, instead of causing disruption of a sitting government.
- Deal of the Century – With no government in place, there is a possibility that Trump’s peace plan will be delayed until after the next election, or become unfeasible without support from Netanyahu. Or just the opposite may take place: if the deal means compromises that Netanyahu would not make, a different government might be willing to approve it. Is it better with the deal or without it?
- Haredi Control – The two big ultra-orthodox parties, Sephardic and Ashkenazic, have disproportionately high leverage in the current Netanyahu government. There are pros and cons to these Haredi groups, but they certainly tend to be anti-Messianic, anti-Christian, anti-IDF, and just plain “anti”. Is it possible that a new coalition could lessen their exaggerated influence?
- Unity Government – Usually unity is a positive spiritual principle. Could this current stalemate cause the two larger parties of Netanyahu and Gantz to consider a larger unified mainstream coalition? A unified government might be the strongest and healthiest arrangement for Israel to face the challenges ahead of us in the years to come.
- Ayellet Shaked – The popular and highly conservative former Justice minister lost her seat in the Knesset as her new party with Naftali Bennett did not clear the minimum percentage. There is a possibility in this new round that she will join Netanyahu’s Likud party, which could bring an attractive dimension to right wing voters.
- Election Reform – It is also possible that the current dilemma will cause election reform to separate the executive from the legislative branch, to change minimum percentages to create larger voting blocks, or another solution. The cultural complexity of Israeli society makes this almost impossible, but the current situation might provide the impetus.
Israeli politics are so volatile that the situation is liable to change any moment. We’ll try to keep you updated. In any case, let’s take this new election as an opportunity to pray more and believe for a better and more righteous government to arise.