Tomorrow June 13, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. Israeli time, the world changes. Israel will install a new government; the NEW Knesset will be sworn in.
On Friday, June 11th, all 8 parties signed their coalition agreements and divvied up the cabinet positions. After 12 years of leadership, Benjamin Netanyahu will no longer be prime minister of Israel. For the next 2 years Naftali Bennett will take the lead.
The new coalition of parties and the new leadership, which includes parties from the far right to the left, includes for the first time, a party from Israel's Arab minority. Think about that. Think about that LONG TERM.
This new leadership says it will focus on economic and social issues such as decriminalizing marijuana (making marijuana legal) and allow same sex marriage. The new leadership will not be as focused on diplomatic issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What does that do for Israel?
Many believe it makes Israel weaker...much weaker.
For the last two and a half years there has been political chaos in Israel. Now with the alliance of the political right and left, of Jews and Arabs, coming together, dedicated to achieve one goal: ending the Netanyahu era. This past fall it happened in America with President Trump and now it happens in Israel with Netanyahu. It seems the goal of overturning leadership was enough to unite groups that would not have been united.
But to reach a majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset, the anti-Netanyahu alliance, is doing something unprecedented in Israeli history. It is inviting an independent Arab-Israeli party to join the governing coalition.
Why is this such a big deal?
From the Israeli side, even though Arabs make up 20% of Israel’s population, Israel’s political parties, on both the left and right, didn’t see Arab parties as political partners in a Jewish state.
From the Arab side, they did not want to be seen as granting legitimacy to Jewish governments. So obviously policy positions between Jewish and Arab parties were vast.
Without Raam, the Arab arm of this new government, the enemies of Netanyahu would not have had enough seats to gain a majority and to dispose of Netanyahu. So now, for the first time ever, an Arab party will have an active say in Israel’s government.
The coalition is unified on the goal of ousting Netanyahu, but it’s divided on pretty much everything else. It will contain eight different political parties, but it will also have the smallest possible majority in parliament, so to get anything done, every single member will have to agree.
To reconcile the different factions, the coalition will have two prime ministers: Naftali Bennett, who heads the right-wing Yamina party, (which only has 17 seats), will serve for two years and change. Leadership to Yair Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, (which only has 6 seats) will take over for about the same amount of time.
Naftali Bennett is a staunch right-winger, even more right wing than Netanyahu. He opposes Palestinian statehood; he supports West Bank settlement expansion and has vowed to pursue an aggressive defense policy. He is also religious whereas Netanyahu was secular. Interestingly, Bennett has American parents and he lived in New York, working in the tech world before entering politics.
Michael Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, publicly wrote a profanity-laced letter, telling Bennett, “You care more about your own damn ego and your bitterness than you do the State of Israel.” Evans then accuses Netanyahu's opponents of trying to "crucify a man they hate and they’re willing to destroy the nation to do it.”
Evans' public rebuke did not receive public support but I do wonder how many in the evangelical world agree with his thinking.
Ron Dermer, Israel’s former ambassador said that Netanyahu saw the evangelical Christian community as more reliable than American Jews. “People have to understand that the backbone of Israel’s support in the United States is the evangelical Christians”.
Author Joel Rosenberg said “Remember, the Jewish community is only 2% of the American population and about half of the American Jewish community doesn’t feel passionately, strongly about Israel. But 25% of the American electorate are Evangelicals and they overwhelmingly are supportive of Israel.”
It’s unclear how long this coalition will last. Many feel it will fall apart quickly. Obviously, the question becomes… then what.
I believe many Christians, myself included, will continue to pledge their support of Israel regardless who the prime minister is. Change in leadership though does lead to some interesting scenarios.
Netanyahu strongly opposed the Iran nuclear deal. What will Bennett do? What will President Biden do?
Here’s what we do know…
There will be a day when …
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city”
When does that happen?
"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place - let the reader understand - then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains."
When does that happen?
Mid-way through the Tribulation. We are NOT there yet, but starting tomorrow, does the clock start ticking on the Psalm 83 war and ultimately the Gog / Magog war?
Tomorrow the dominoes are set in place. When will the first one fall? Only God knows.
We do know, because Scripture tells us, how the dominoes ultimately fall…
The church is raptured out.
Chaos covered the world.
The antichrist comes into power.
Israel lives in peace.
That peace pact is broken.
Armies surround Jerusalem.
Jews flee for their lives.
The Millennium is ushered in.
Ultimately the New Heaven and New Earth leads to Eternity.
Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Israeli time. the dominoes are set up….