Highest Voter Turnout Since 2015
Israel’s third election in less than a year, which took place last week, had officials expecting a low number of voters coming out to the polls. In spite of fears that apathy and the coronavirus would keep voters away, turnout was very high, with an estimated 71 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. This is higher than the April 2019 election (67.9 percent) and the September 2019 election (69.4 percent). In an effort to accommodate those with concerns about coronavirus, sixteen special voter stations were set up for the more than 5,600 Israelis in home quarantine to be able to cast their votes in a safe and sterile environment. Almost 4,100 people came out of their isolation to cast their vote.
Please pray for Israel’s political situation.
Winner of the Israeli Elections?
With all votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party won thirty-six of the sixty-one seats needed to form a Knesset majority—more than any other single party. If you include all of the parties in Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, they have fifty-eight seats, still falling short of “winning the election.” The Israeli Arab Joint List won an unprecedented fifteen seats, gaining more seats than in either of the two previous elections and becoming Israel’s third largest party. Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan won thirty-three seats, with their bloc coming in at fifty-five. Now the negotiations begin to see if Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu will join the right-wing bloc or if he will push for a coalition with the two largest parties. The Joint List could sit in a majority government for the first time if they are invited to sit with the left-wing bloc. Unfortunately, it seems that Israel is in the same place as following the previous elections.
Please pray for negotiations and mediation during this difficult season of forming a government.
Israeli Scientists Close to Vaccination Against COVID-19
Israeli scientists are working hard on a vaccination against the latest coronavirus (COVID-19). The Galilee research team had already been working on a process of vaccine development that has allowed for the rapid creation of a vaccine. They are anticipating that they are within a few weeks of a successful vaccination. Once the vaccine is created, it may take up to ninety days for clinical trials and mass production before it will be available for distribution.
Please pray for these scientists and others like them across the globe to effectively produce a vaccination against this virus.
This week, our Ministry Center in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, will host its fourth annual children’s Purim party. Purim is a wonderful time for kids to dress up as superheroes, princesses, doctors, and even food! It is a holiday to remember the story of Esther and how God helped to save His people in Persia. We retell the story (and make a lot of noise for each character!), eat triangle-shaped cookies, and have a lot of fun. At our Ministry Center, we will rejoice, eat, and dress up. We will also have a young adult’s Sabbath dinner (in costumes, of course). We expect many people to attend. There are those who are not yet believers who come for every event, and it is an excellent time to sit back, relax, and listen to their spiritual questions and have an open and honest conversation about the Lord! The opportunities the Lord is bringing us are really amazing!
Please pray for our Purim events, that the Lord will reveal Himself through this holiday to those who do not yet know Him.