No end in sight for Israel’s political stalemate

The numbers from Israel’s unprecedented second round of elections are representative of the gridlock and tension the Jewish people in Israel are facing in the weeks ahead.

Benny Gantz and his “Blue and White” party won the most seats in Knesset, edging out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “Likud” party by a slim margin of 33 to 31.

But the Prime Minister received more endorsements from other lawmakers than Gantz.

Both candidates, and both parties are deadlocked. And neither have the majority needed to form and lead a government coalition.

 

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What’s next?

Last week, President Rivlin presided over a series of meetings between Netanyahu and Gantz in an attempt to negotiate potential terms for building a unity government.

While the details of a unity government are unclear, it would likely involve a rotation of power between Netanyahu and Gantz.

While it’s been reported that the dialogue between both of the leading candidates has been significant, neither has consented to lead together.

As a result, late last week President Rivlin, following the endorsements of lawmakers, has given Netanyahu the official mandate to begin forming his government coalition.

Here’s what that means …

Prime Minister Netanyahu has 28 days to come up with a majority cabinet representing 61 Knesset seats. There have been indications the 28-day deadline could be extended an additional 2 weeks.

If Netanyahu is unable to form a majority of 61 seats (he has 55 right now), President Rivlin will pass the task to Gantz and the “Blue and White” party.

If the deadlock remains unbroken, then any lawmaker who can form a majority coalition within 21 days becomes Prime Minister. After that, there’s potential for a third election – which sources believe will only be more or less the same stalemate we’ve seen since the September 17 elections.

We must stand with Israel in this hour of uncertainty

We must stand together for Israel and her people – and pray for God to move in the hearts of the leaders, lawmakers and citizens.

The continued stalemate benefits no one, except Israel’s enemies who might be inspired to take advantage of a perceived moment of indecision and weakness.

While this process drags on, it erodes confidence in Israel’s government and leadership further divides Israeli citizens along party lines and opens the door for radical parties – including some that don’t believe Israel should even exist – to take a bigger role.

Please join me in prayer for unity in Israel – among peoples of every background, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation or any other type of division.

We pray for the election of God-fearing leaders who will seek Him in all their decisions. And for Israel’s non-Godly leaders, that God would work through their decisions to bring blessings on His people.

We pray for God’s continued protection on His people as they are surrounded by many enemies during a vulnerable time.

Finally, we can thank God that, while Israel’s immediate future is clouded from us, His plan for the salvation of the Jewish people – and then the rest of the world – is always certain and cannot be thwarted. And I am also thankful that you and I have been given the opportunity to join Him in that plan.

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As Believers in Yeshua (Jesus), we have an obligation to stand with and support the Jewish people – in Israel and around the world.

In addition to prayer, your gift today will support the Jewish people and their neighbors – by providing dental or eye care to Holocaust survivors, as well as support for dozens of ministries in Israel that meet critical needs.

More than that, your generosity will also help share the Good News of Yeshua.

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