Israelis have now gone to the polls today in one of the strangest and potentially most significant elections in the country’s modern history. Where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also known in Israel by his nickname “King Bibi,” is standing for reelection.
And this entire event in Israel is bizarre, for this is a deeply strange election as a first-of-its-kind ever redo with a second election in the same year.
After Netanyahu became the first-ever prime minister designate selected (in the first election) who failed to build a government coalition. And then ignored Israeli law and parliamentary procedure to disband the just elected parliament and force a second election.
Israel is governed by a parliament which has 120 seats called the Knesset, and in the election Israeli voters cast ballots for the political parties, with the seats in the Parliament given to the parties proportionally based on the percentage of the vote each party receives.
If one political party were to win at least 61 seats, it would be entitled to determine the prime minister and form the government. But this has never happened in the Israeli elections.
So once the seats have been apportioned, the leader of the political party with the most elected seats and thought to have the best chance of forming a majority coalition government is named as the prime-minister-designate.
Who is given the opportunity to negotiate & cobble together a coalition that achieves a parliamentary majority of seats in the Knesset thus forming an Israeli government as Prime Minister. This is what Netanyahu failed to do previously after the first election this year.
The election results right now from today’s voting, its midnight now in Israel, is reported as too close to call.
The Israeli political system is now incredibly fragmented just as the exit polls in the current second election are showing with no one getting a clear majority.
So the next Israeli government will be determined by intense bargaining between the leadership of the various political parties who are voted by the public into parliament seats. Which means anything could happen as to potential outcomes for a governing coalition.
One is a “national unity” government that is a power-sharing agreement between Likud (hard right), which is Netanyahu’s party, and Blue and White (centrist), of Benny Gantz the former IDF general. They are the two largest political parties expected to get the most seats in the election.
But even a national unity government, could take a number of different forms: it could have Netanyahu or Gantz as the prime minister, or the two of them could decide to rotate power, taking turns being prime minister (it’s happened before in the Israeli system).
The reality is anything could happen in this election from the bargaining between the political parties which will take a while after the election, and no one knows how it will turn out except the Lord.
And experts from Israeli policy forums and think tanks are saying that this actually is one of Israel’s most momentous elections, all because of “King Bibi.” For the Israeli election to a significant degree has become a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu.
He has surpassed Israel’s founding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion as its longest serving Prime Minister by successfully focusing on security for Israel.
And he is credited by Israelis with bringing about a period of “relative calm” for Israel, although it never has a day without threat of war or terror.
For there has not been a major war with high casualties with the Israeli Defense Force unprepared and millions of Israelis impacted and evacuated. And there has not been buses and cafes getting blown up on a regular basis by suicidal Islamic jihadists.
Israelis view the threats as having been managed well under “King Bibi’s” watch. And as they say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
But at the same time, many Israelis feel its time for Netanyahu to go and it’s time for a change.
They say “King Bibi” has ruled so long that he has become abusive of the power of the office, with Netanyahu steadily doing things that eroded any sense of separation of powers inside Israel and that call the independence of state institutions into question.
Also, they say that the legal charges now hanging over his head of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three different cases, make it too unpalatable for him to continue. So Netanyahu is weakened with his tenure as Prime Minister in danger of ending.
And he knows it. And in this second election he became a Jewish politician saying anything and promising anything to grow positive sentiment for his campaign and get votes.
In this second campaign he promised that if he became Prime Minister again the Temple Mount would become regularly opened for Jewish prayer and worship upon the mount, with him saying that Israelis have the right to pray there.
And if the Jews start regularly worshiping there, the 3rd Temple is not far behind.
Additionally, during the campaign, Netanyahu released his proposal to annex the Jordan Valley, which runs along the eastern edge of the West Bank and marks its boundary with neighboring Jordan.
Some said it was empty campaign rhetoric but from his record on Jewish settlements it seems certainly plausible he would lean in to do it if elected.
But at a minimum with Netanyahu, a historic political figure, putting these positions out there as political signposts, it moves Israeli sentiment toward them. And the religious Zionists of Israel want their Temple and their Biblically defined land boundaries.
This unprecedented second Israeli election in the year is expected to draw lower numbers to the polls, especially among the political mainstream.
So this could give religious Zionist and Haredi parties who have the ground organization and strong communal identity, a chance for a stronger turnout in the overall election meaning their ultimate objectives (the 3rd Temple) could get more traction in Israel.
It’s unclear what will be the final outcome from this election in Israel, but when the normal course of nations and people are disrupted from their norm, the Unseen Hand of God can be at work. And Israel is a nation of Biblical prophetic destiny.
These events and conditions happening now are signs pointing to the nearing fulfillment of the Last Days prophecies at the end of this age revealing it’s time to prepare for the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ for His Church by being born again spiritually into the Kingdom of God as Jesus said we must (John 3) and His Apostles who were authorized (Matthew 16:19) described how (Acts 2).
Preparing those Biblically born again into the Kingdom of God to be ready to escape all the things that will come to pass, in the wrath of the tribulation of Revelation prophecy that comes upon the world of disobedience, as the born again Church is not appointed unto wrath but instead to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
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