Another Possible Israeli Election Looms
When the current coalition was formed after the last general election, there was an understanding that a two-year budget would be passed. To date, no budget has been approved as a result of a political stalemate since the summer. Citing the priority of the coronavirus emergency, the budget vote was postponed to the end of December. Defense minister and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz has sided with a faction in the Knesset to dissolve the government rather than wait for a vote that may or may not come this month. If the no-confidence bill is passed, Israel will be forced to hold its fourth general election in two years. If the current government passes the 2020–2021 budget, the bill will be withdrawn. If a long-term budget is passed, Prime Minister Netanyahu will turn over the position to Benny Gantz next year in accordance with the unity government agreement. In the event that budget talks are delayed and new elections are to be held, current polls show that Netanyahu’s Likud party would lose some seats in the Knesset but would still be the majority party.
Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s leaders and for them to put the people’s well-being as top priority over political aspirations.
Israeli Embassies on Alert
Israeli embassies are on high alert after last week’s assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist. The Islamic State has called for revenge, and Tehran is pointing fingers at Israel. The director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to all Israeli diplomatic missions calling for “the highest possible level of preparedness and vigilance for any unusual activity in the area of the mission, at the homes of families and at Jewish and Israeli community centers.” According to one report, the assassination was carried out by remote control, including the truck bombing and a remotely operated machine gun attached to a nearby car. No agents were on the ground.
Please pray for peace and protection for Israeli diplomatic agencies around the world as well as Jewish community centers and synagogues.
Israel Wins Gold Medal
Recently, Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram won the gold medal in the individual rhythmic gymnastics category at the European Championships in Kiev, Ukraine. It is the first time in decades that a country other than Bulgaria or one of the former Soviet Union nations took the gold medal. Linoy will go on to represent Israel at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. Israel also won the group rhythmic gymnastics gold medal with performances in hula hoops, clubs, and balls.
Please pray for safety for Israel’s athletes as they travel around to competitions.
Serving the Needs of the Holocaust Survivors
Our dear friends who are Holocaust survivors in Sderot and Jerusalem have enjoyed meeting in groups of ten for fellowship. The repercussions of the pandemic include loneliness, boredom, and loss of vitality. In order to be allowed to meet, we rotate small groups, wear masks, and socially distance. In spite of the restrictions, everyone who comes is blessed! Their physical, mental, and spiritual being is awakened, and they leave with a lighter step. Some of our meetings involve a warm, nutritious meal and spiritual discussion led by our team. At some of our meetings, we have even held engaging art classes! The seniors love the challenge to design, draw, and paint beautiful work. Praise God for the opportunity to serve these special people and to build up their lives in so many ways!
Please pray that the Holocaust survivors draw close to the Lord and see His hand of love and protection on their lives.