Inside Israel

Election Update—Yair Lapid Drops from Prime Minister Rotation

Yair Lapid (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

There is still no progress in the formation of an Israeli government. Kahol Lavan (Blue and White) and Likud know that the best option is to form a coalition unity government where both leaders take a rotation as the prime minister. However, their mediating teams are having a hard time working out the details. Israel is also in the middle of celebrating the Jewish High Holidays, where work stops, creating additional delays in negotiations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed that he be prime minister first in the rotation. This would shield him while he appears in court on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. Kahol Lavan has said it will not sit together with a leader who is under investigation and has called for Likud to replace their party leader. Meanwhile, Kahol Lavan’s number two man, Yair Lapid, who was supposed to rotate with Benjamin “Benny” Gantz, had their party won the election outright, has said he will forgo his rotation as prime minister in order to speed up the formation of the unity government. He acknowledged that three people cannot rotate as Israel’s leader. Avigdor Lieberman says this is a noble and good decision for the best interests of the country. Lieberman said that if no progress is made with the unity talks, his party, “Israel is our Home,” would present its own proposal to President Rivlin, who is overseeing the unity talks. Please pray for Israel’s leaders to have grace and wisdom during these tense times of negotiating and mediation, that they would remember they are to help lead and guide the people in safety and stability, and to be above reproach.

Read more at YNet…

Israeli Population Increase

The Market in Jerusalem (Source: Unsplash)

During the Jewish High Holidays, Israel likes to produce statistical population data. This year, the population of Israel has grown to more than nine million inhabitants! Jewish Israelis make up 74 percent of the population, or 6.7 million people, 1.9 million are Israeli Arabs (21 percent of the population), and other minority groups are half a million (almost 5 percent of the population). There were almost 200,000 babies born last year, and 50,000 deaths. At this rate, Israel will have a population of 10 million in 2024 and, for Israel’s 100th birthday in 2048, there might be as many as 15 million people. Worldwide, there is a Jewish population of 14.8 million, with 5.7 million Jewish people living in the United States. Praise God for His blessing and growth in the Land.

Read more at Times of Israel…

Killer Banana Fungus

Panama disease harms the banana plant. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s banana farming is the largest agricultural sector in the country, with 150,000–170,000 tons of bananas picked annually. Plantations are mainly in Israel’s north—the Jordan valley and the Carmel region. Bananas are usually a stable and profitable crop upon which 4,000 people depend for their livelihood. Recently, however, Israel’s banana industry went on alert when “Panama Disease” struck several banana plantations. Panama disease is caused by a fungus that attacks the roots of the plant, which dehydrates the leaves, kills the plant, and has no known cure. This virus has the potential to devastate crops and will leave any infected plantation infertile for years—sometimes decades. The banana itself is still safe and edible, as only the roots of the banana plants are infected. Thus far, Israel has spent $700,000 to prevent the spread of the fungus by installing electric gates around plantations and chemical decontamination pits so vehicles do not take the fungus from one plantation to another. Six plantations have been totally lost and people’s livelihood vanished. Researchers are working hard to find both a cure for the fungus and a strain of banana that is resistant to its effects. Please pray for a solution and cure to be found so this fungus does not devastate more Israeli crops and others worldwide. Please keep those in prayer who have lost their crops and livelihood.

Read more at Times of Israel…

Israel’s Pact of Non-Aggression with Arab Gulf States

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz addressing the UN General Assembly last month (Photo: AFP)

During the recent United Nations General Assembly, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz presented a “non-aggression pact” to other foreign ministers of the Arab Gulf States, which are primarily Sunni. Signing the agreement would put an end to conflict and help facilitate civilian cooperation until a formal peace treaty can be drafted and signed. The main issue everyone agreed upon is the distrust for Shiite Iran and their threats of war and destruction. Please pray for continued talks and agreements among Israel’s neighbors.

Read more at YNet…

High Holiday Gatherings in Israel

Fall Feasts of Israel

Sukkot Booths in Israel

Chosen People Ministries in Israel recently celebrated Rosh Hashanah with 100 Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv. They were from four cities and enjoyed the time together, music, food, and encouraging words from the Scriptures. Please pray with us for their salvation! We will also be holding a children’s camp during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles). With permission from their parents, they will gather together to play games, get to know each other, and learn more about the Lord. Finally, for Sukkot, there will be a young adults’ holiday dinner at our Ramat Gan Ministry Center. We are excited for this time together, so please pray for the leaders who spent a lot of time in preparation and prayer for these events. Please pray for their time together, that it would be encouraging and uplifting for all. Sukkot is a wonderful time to celebrate God’s provisions in our lives.