“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
(Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
Shalom, my friend.
As the verse above makes clear, our God is full of compassion, and He is the very definition of faithful. In this we take heart.
I believe it’s more important than ever for us to show Jewish people that we stand with them. We’re seeing a wave of anti-Semitism in North America, and there is simply no place for this.
Instead, we must serve as examples to the rest of the watching world. We must show compassion and mercy among those who’ve suffered unspeakable loss and trauma. We must show God’s pursuant love in the bond shared between Jewish people in our country and our brothers and sisters in Israel.
Please take a moment to read the stories below about a new government on the horizon in Israel and the man prepared to take office as its 11th president. Please also read about last month’s fighting in the Gaza Strip and pray about the future. Even as the concerning news transpiring in Israel and the Middle East reaches us, we remain confident in our sovereign God.
As always, thank you for your continued prayers and support for Jewish Voice, Israel and Jewish people around the world.
ISRAEL’S GOVERNMENT UP FOR VOTE THIS WEEKEND
After four elections in two years and four failed attempts to create a stable government, a new unity government led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid will be brought to a vote of confidence and sworn in during a special session of the Knesset on Sunday, according to The Jerusalem Post.
If the unity government gets the expected 61 votes, it will end Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking 12 years as Prime Minister. Neftali Bennet of Yamina will take over as Prime Minister for two years before giving up the position to Yair Lapid in 2023.
The unity government consists of eight parties, some of which are normally opponents. Particularly the Yamina party, which traditionally aligns with Netanyahu’s Likud party, backs the new government. Several Yamina representatives were on the fence until the last minute but have now signaled their intention to vote for the unity government.
Missing from the coalition are any ultra-Orthodox or right-wing religious parties. However, Ra’am (United Arab List) signed on as the first Arab party to enter a coalition deal.
In announcing the forming of a new government to President Reuven Rivlin, Yair Lapid said, "I commit to you Mr. President, that this government will work to serve all the citizens of Israel including those who aren't members of it, will respect those who oppose it, and do everything in its power to unite all parts of Israeli society.”
ISRAEL’S NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT RECEIVES MOST VOTES EVER
Last Wednesday, Isaac Herzog, the chairman of the Jewish Agency and former head of the Labor party, was elected as Israel’s eleventh president. He received 87 votes, the most a presidential candidate has ever won.
Herzog won over Miriam Peretz, who received 26 votes. Peretz is a social activist who survived the loss of two of her sons in battle and became an Israel Prize-winning educator.
Herzog is the son of Israel’s sixth president, Chaim Herzog, and the grandson of Israel’s first chief rabbi. Herzog’s term will begin when Reuven Rivlin’s ends on July 9
Israel’s president is largely ceremonial but plays a key role in deciding who gets the mandate to form a government following elections. The president also has the power to pardon people and grant clemency.
CONFLICT WITH HAMAS: WAS LAST MONTH’S GAZA BATTLE ONLY THE FIRST?
In May, Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day battle. It began when the terror group launched an intensive attack at Jerusalem. During the fighting, Hamas fired more than 4,300 rockets and mortar shells at Israel, and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) launched some 1,500 strikes on the terror group’s targets in the Gaza Strip.
Many are eager to move forward, to put the fighting in the Strip behind. However, the head of the IDF’s Southern Command said last week that he anticipates more fighting in the future.
According to The Times of Israel, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano sees last month’s conflict as a part of a wider campaign. “The operation ended, or at least its first stage did. The next stage will happen if we see that the security situation has changed,” he said.
He emphasized, “It’s all contingent upon the security situation. If we succeeded with this first stage, that’s great. If we didn’t, we’ll have to continue.”
Let us pray together
Please pray with me for:
- A peaceful transition for Israel’s government and God-given wisdom for Israel’s leaders
- The ceasefire to hold and for peace to continue throughout Israel
- Protection for Israel and her people from Iran, Hamas and other terror groups, as well as for Jewish people around the world from anti-Semitic attacks
- Wisdom in the process of rebuilding and sending humanitarian aid to Gaza
- Jewish people to recognize that true and lasting peace can only be found in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah