Where should we begin with the events of the past few weeks? Maybe with the murders of the people who were intentionally run over by “Palestinian” terrorists. Maybe it should be with the murders of those who were stabbed to death by other “Palestinian” terrorists. Maybe we should start with the murders of those who were killed while praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem and of the Israeli Druze police officer who was shot and killed while protecting the Jewish worshippers. Maybe we should start with the very vocal attempts by “Palestinian” politicians and clerics alike to incite their people to rise up and kill Israelis. Maybe we should focus on the “monkey see – monkey do” behavior of European countries, who want to join the bandwagon to proclaim, officially or unofficially, that they recognize the existence of “Palestine” as a state. Maybe we should start with the question “What lies ahead for the State of Israel now that the Knesset is set to vote for the final vote to dissolve that is scheduled for the beginning of this coming week”?
Surviving the collapse of the coalition government
All of the above are stories that have occupied the media here for the past couple-three weeks. But, what is uppermost on the discussions of the politicos and would-be politicos this week is the real possibility that the motion to dissolve the present Knesset – which passed its preliminary and first readings this past Wednesday – will, in fact, pass its second and then third readings at the beginning of this coming week. But, politics being what politics are, no one can say that this will definitely happen. A political rabbit could still be pulled out of the hat at the last minute, if contacts with the ultra-Orthodox parties progress to the point that they could join the still existing, coalition government and prevent another general election only two years after the last election took place.
The “name him (or her) and blame him (or her)” game has once again reared its disgusting, political head. The left blames the right and the right blames the left for the failure of the present coalition. The target of the left is, and has always been, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its goal is, and has always been, his removal as Prime Minister.
|Being let go from the coalition they are trying to stop; Israel Hayom-3 December, 2014
It started earlier this week, when Netanyahu fired Yair Lapid (head of the Yesh Atid [There is a future] party and the now former Treasury Minister) and Tzippi Livni (head of the Tnuah [Movement] party and the now former Minister of Justice), stating, in part, as follows: “In recent weeks, ministers Lapid and Livni attacked harshly the government I head … I will no longer tolerate an opposition within the government. I will not tolerate ministers who, from within the government, attack government policies and the person who leads the government.” Following the elections at the beginning of 2013, Netanyahu said that the then coalition was broad and “one of the best and most stable” in Israel’s history. But, because his cabinet was “adversarial”, it was unworkable from the outset.
As expected, there were harsh words coming from the persons and camps of those who were fired and rebuttals from the Likud party and Netanyahu. No beneficial purpose would be served by repeating the accusations of any of the parties involved, so I won’t refer to them here. Feelings were hurt, egos were wounded and pride was brought low. Yet, before the ink was dried on the preliminary motion to dissolve the present Knesset, plans were already being made for the campaign for the next elections.
The center-left and left parties will undoubtedly make every effort to join forces against the Likud and Netanyahu, as well as Jewish Home and Yisrael Beytenu, both rightist parties. Indeed, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On is urging every party leader not to join a Netanyahu-led government and to unite against him under the message “Anyone except Netanyahu”. Both the political right and the political left are upset with Netanyahu for different reasons. More on this in future posts. As of now, Lapid has already stated that he is “competing to be the prime minister .. [and that] Yesh Atid will win these [upcoming] elections”. He certainly has his work cut out for him, as preliminary polls indicate that both Lapid and Livni would lose Knesset seats in favor of the Likud, if the election were to be held today, with Lapid losing almost half of the present seats. So he has a long way to go to realize his goal of being the political head of Israel. But, joining the boasting is Labor Party leader, Isaac Herzog, who has also declared that he would be the next prime minister. There will be more additions to the “I will be Israel’s next prime minister” competition, before the race narrows down to 2 or 3 front runners.
In the meantime, if the Knesset does dissolve, as it is expected to do, all pending legislation will come to a halt and will have to be reintroduced after the new Knesset is sworn in. Of course, at that time, many of the Knesset Members will have changed, with some faces going out and others coming in.
On March 16, 2013, this blog posted the following statement
: “P.M. Netanyahu demonstrated his ability to retain control of the cabinet, despite tremendous pressures from the emerging parties of Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) and Habayit Hayehudi (Naftali Bennett). But, the makeup of the coalition is a recipe for disaster. The combination of those two parties (whose leadership worked hand-in-hand through almost the entire period of coalition negotiations), coupled with Hatnuah (Tzippi Livni), is enough to stymie any decision that Netanyahu may choose to make. He may have control of the cabinet, but he clearly does not have voting control of the coalition members. It is a disaster waiting to happen and it will be a miracle if the coalition survives for Netanyahu’s entire term, even for half a term.”
Here we are, less than halfway into the present four-year term, and the present Knesset is about to become part of the history books.
The Members of Knesset are supposed to act for the benefit of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. They have allowed personal peeves to get in the way of taking care of the affairs of the nation. The coalition was formed with different personalities having different perspectives. Nevertheless, they agreed to become members of a coalition headed up by Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party. All knew that they needed to compromise somewhat for the sake of the general good. And so, while the politicos play they games for position, power and prestige, the people are left with a government that will not be able to make needed decisions regarding economy, health, construction and housing and defense, as well as just to name a few, for the next 3 months until elections and then, perhaps, another month and a half to form another coalition government. The nation continues to be divided. Does it really matter who points an accusing finger at whom? Unless there is a real change in perspectives, the next government will continue to suffer from the same problems of governance as the present government that is about to become part of history. “Our leaders remain blinded by their own ambitions. There are threats from within and threats from without. Political positions change along with the way that the wind is blowing. There is only One authority for what should take place in Israel, but He is being ignored. He is the Lord God of all creation, the Holy One of Israel, Who does not change. He has chosen Israel and kept her and promises blessing for her and through her. Yet, the type of ruler whom the Lord seeks for Israel is “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam 13:14; 16:7). None of the present “players” seems to fit the bill and we are left to reap the consequences of the games played by power-hungry politicians, who sacrifice the good of the people for the sake of their own ambitions.
Joining the bandwagon of “Palestinian” recognition
Earlier this week, the French National Assembly, the lower-parliamentary house of the country, passed a non-binding vote in favor of recognizing a “Palestinian” state. In doing so, it joined Britain, Spain and Ireland in approving non-binding motion favoring recognition. On October 30th, Sweden became the first Western European country to actually recognize “Palestinian” statehood.
Recognition of “Palestine” is becoming a growing trend, much like the countries which are trying to pressure Israel to giving up historic territory. Israel is becoming more and more isolated in the international community and many target Netanyahu and his policies as the basis for their opposition towards Israel. But, even if the focus wouldn’t be Netanyahu, it would be someone else for some other reason. Western countries want to help “Westernize” the Middle East, but are willing to sacrifice the only existing democracy in the Middle East in the process. There is a intentional blindness that grows out of ancient anti-Semitism that pervades the thinking and politicizing of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The argument is simple, yet flawed: If Israel allows the establishment of a “Palestinian” state, the primary problem of the Middle East would disappear. However, it fails to take into account the growing movement among Islamists to subject the entire world to Islam and to establish a world-wide Islamic caliphate. None of the terrorist organizations has subscribed to the scenario that they will given up their religious struggle if the state of “Palestine” is established. The reason is that most of them really couldn’t care less. They have their own agenda and the establishment of a “Palestinian” state will only help in one small measure, namely their push to remove the Jewish people from this tiny stretch of desert sand, which is considered to be “holy unto Islam”.
Reason to despair? Only if we lose hope.
A review of the headlines and stories that occupy the focus of the main stream media are enough to cause many to feel frustration and despair. Those are natural responses, given the dire circumstances existing in the Middle East and the world itself. But, we need to recognize that Israel is in the center of God’s plan for the world. Whatever happens here affects everyone else everywhere in the world, directly or indirectly. We need to consider the eternal words of encouragement, not allowing the affairs and concerns of this world to dampen our faith or extinguish our hope.
It is often said that everything in and concerning Israel is difficult. But, like most things, the difficulty usually stems from how we relate to the situation and not necessarily from the situation itself. The one who doubts sees the obstacle, but the one who hopes sees the way to overcome it. Our hope and our faith are constantly being tested, as we face the challenges relating to our existence.
During one of the most difficult times in the history of the people of Israel, the prophet Jeremiah sent a notice to the Jewish people who were in the diaspora and encouraged them, among other things, with these words: “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope’.” (Jer. 29:11). If we take these words to heart, we will never allow the difficulty of the situation to deter us from pressing on. The Psalmist gives us the same message, time and time again: “O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.” (Psalm 131:3) and “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” (Psalm 146:5)
For a small country, Israel is facing lots of problems. Security issues loom large, as Iran continues to press on toward its goal of becoming nuclear. The “Palestinians” are gaining friends internationally, while Israel is becoming more and more ostracized. Our economy could use major revitalization, as the Shekel is losing value against other currencies. We are surrounded by hostile forces, who want to destroy us as a nation, so that the name of Israel would be no more. Our political establishment could use a major overhaul, not just in structure, but in thinking. Our concerns are for our children and grandchildren, whose futures we cannot guarantee. If all we do is look at the world and lament over our situation, we will despair, and our attitude of despair will inevitably be passed on to the generations who follow us.
Our values and attitudes should be in keeping with our beliefs. If we truly believe that God has chosen Israel for His eternal honor and glory (Deuteronomy 7:7-8), if we believe that He has chosen Israel to be a blessing for the world, then our hope should rest in Him, that He will accomplish His purposes, irrespective of how the situation may look from a worldly point of view. Even Jeremiah, who suffered so much during his ministry of half a century, said “‘The LORD is my portion’, says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’.” (Lamentations 3:24) If our hope is truly in the Lord God of Israel, Whose Word is true and Whose promises do not fail, then we ought to show it, speak of it and proclaim it. “Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever .’ Thus says the LORD, ‘If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 31:35-37) Let the world do what it will, Israel will remain, will be blessed and God will use her as a blessing for the world. His faithfulness to His promise should give us hope for the future. And that hope does not disappoint. There is a Blessed Hope and we would do well to look forward to His appearing.
And THAT was The Week That Was.
Have a great week. Bless, be blessed and be a blessing,