Possible Third Elections Looming
Benjamin “Benny” Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, returned the mandate to form a government to President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday, November 20, after he failed to form a government with 61 out of 120 seats in the Knesset. Elections were held on September 17, 2019 after the first election in April failed to produce a government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given the first opportunity to put together a government. When he was unsuccessful, the mandate was given to Gantz. Now, for the first time in Israeli political history, a 21-day grace period is required, during which time anyone in the Knesset with the backing of a minimum of 61 members can become the Prime Minister. Should that happen, the new prime minister would be given the task of forming a government. If these measures fail, the current Knesset must be dissolved and Israel will be headed to a third election within a year, probably taking place in March of 2020. This is a very hard and unstable time in Israel’s history. Please pray for grace and wisdom for Israel’s politicians to put the people and the country ahead of themselves and their ambitions.
Israeli Fighter Jets Aim at Iranian Forces in Syria
In response to a salvo of rockets fired into the Golan in northern Israel, the Israeli Air Force responded by hitting dozens of key Iranian targets in Syria. 23 people in Syria were killed during these strikes, of which at least 7 were believed to be Iranian foreign nationals. The targets housed the Iranian elite Quds force, and was where they stored their surface to air missiles, weapons warehouses, and military bases. Iran’s long-term stay in Syria threatens Israel’s security and stability in the Middle East. Iran has forces based in Syria and supports Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. In Gaza, it supplies Islamic Jihad with cash, weapons, and expertise. Please pray for peace and stability on Israel’s northern borders, as well as the Iranian people, who are experiencing civil unrest as the regime violently suppresses peaceful protests.
Sanctuary in Israel for 89-Year Old Italian Holocaust Survivor
Recently, Liliana Segre, an elderly Italian senator who is also a Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz, was invited to come to Jerusalem by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. There has been a massive increase in online antisemitic threats against Senator Segre, which has required the assignment of police escorts. In response, she called for “the creation of a parliamentary committee to combat hate, racism, and antisemitism,” which was approved, though several parties abstained from the vote. Meanwhile, Italy and most of Europe is facing a growing boldness of racist and antisemitic activities, recently demonstrated at an Italian soccer game where chants and jeers were aimed at a black player raised by adoptive Jewish parents. Please pray for protection for the Jewish people living in Italy and other European countries which are growing bold in their antisemitic ideology.
Praying for Israel During This Tense Time
Please pray for our staff to be able to encourage people, pray with them and help in whatever way they can during these unsettling and tense times. The southern and northern borders are heating up and we seem to be heading into another election. What will make this election different from the previous two elections—we do not know. But God is in control! Please pray for our current and future leaders to put the people and the country first and their political gains second. Please pray that our staff can continue to speak the truth of Jesus to so many people’s hearts!