Israel’s Election Results
Last week, Israel held its fifth election in less than four years. This time, however, there is no need to spend weeks negotiating and mediating to form a Knesset majority, which requires at least sixty-one seats. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party came out with thirty-one seats and will easily form a coalition government of sixty-four seats in a 120-seat Knesset. Prime Minister Yair Lapid asked his staff to prepare for an organized transfer of power after calling Netanyahu to congratulate him. World leaders and ambassadors called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his win, including Tom Nides, American ambassador to Israel; Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary; Giorgia Meloni, prime minister of Italy; Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine; and Narendra Modi, prime minister of India. Leaders who signed the Abraham Accords also called Netanyahu to say they still support their agreements.
Netanyahu will likely form the country’s most right-wing government, as many of the other parties making up his sixty-four-seat coalition are ultra-Orthodox (eighteen seats). Some fear the apparent rise of far-right extremism through the Religious Zionism party led by Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich (who won fourteen seats, the third-highest amount of all the parties). Some world leaders and Jewish groups are concerned how much power Netanyahu will give to Ben Gvir, a controversial figure many consider an extremist.
Many Israelis who are secular, Reform Jewish, left-leaning, or believers in Jesus are watching and waiting to see what prominent changes might come. The Arab-Israeli tax-paying population is also worried there will be cuts to their education, infrastructure, and public safety. Religious Zionism, as a political party, has a reputation for racism and inciting aggression against Arab Israelis. One of their first agenda items is to lessen the authority of Israel’s Supreme Court decisions by giving veto options to the Knesset.
All in all, it was a very close election. The two highest-ranking parties were Likud (about 1.1 million votes) and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party (about 835,000 votes). In contrast, the centrist/left-leaning bloc did not do very well this time and made a tactical error in failing to merge. Israel’s most leftist party, Meretz, did not pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold for the first time in thirty years. Meretz required fewer than 4,000 additional votes to pass this threshold. Even if they did pass, they probably would not have come into power. Lapid’s centrist/left-leaning bloc seemed to have only around fifty-one of the sixty-one seats needed.
- for wisdom as Israel’s next government forms
- the new members of Knesset (MKs) will seek to put Israel’s best interests above their own
- for Israel’s physical protection, both inside and outside the borders, as tensions could get high
- the leaders would turn to the Lord, our Judge and Sustainer
Campfires at Young Adult Gathering in Judean Hills
Campfires, cast-iron pots of delicious-smelling food, worship, and guitars were prominent at our recent gathering of young adults in a Judean Hills forest. More than thirty young people met for an inspiring time of worship and fellowship under the stars. It was a blessed and special event. We pray it encouraged many in their faith! Our team in Ramat Gan planned the event, and young people came from different parts of the country. It is a joy to serve and build up this next generation of the body of Messiah!
Please pray our team will be able to organize many more young adult events to strengthen this generation.