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Netanyahu has become a liability!

On Tuesday, the 17th of September, Israel went to the polls.  And today, 10 days later, we still do not know who the prime minister will be and what our next government will look like.  Normally, I would have written something just after the elections but I was waiting for clarity, some understanding or basis for prediction as to who would lead our country and on what political and ideological foundation.  We still don’t have that answer.  But I wanted to at least bring you up to date and explain what is happening, why, and what the options are.

Israel’s is a parliamentary system but unlike other similar systems, Israeli voters don’t vote for an individual member of Knesset but rather cast their votes for an entire party list.    The number of Knesset seats of each party is determined based on the percentages of the total vote that each party receives, provided that the party passes the threshold of a minimum of votes that translates into four Knesset seats. Therefore, no one has actually voted for Netanyahu or Gantz, the two leading contenders for prime minister.  They have voted for the Likud or the Blue and White parties, respectively.

In addition to those larger parties, there are many smaller parties, generally more ideologically committed to a given political direction than the larger parties.  On the right of the political spectrum, the Yemina party represents the Religious Zionist population of Israel and the settlement movement more specifically than the  Likud party.  And on the far left of the political spectrum is the Joint List, a coalition of three Arab parties who are anti-Zionist and do not accept the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

In recent years, Israel has become a decidedly right-wing country, with the overwhelming majority of its Jewish population identifying with center to right -wing political values and identifying themselves as religious or traditional.  Even most of those who define themselves as secular, would actually more accurately be defined as traditional.

With those words of introduction, let us take a look at the election results.  The largest party was Blue and White with 33 Knesset seats, followed by Likud with 32 seats.  However, the block of right-wing parties is larger than the left.  Those parties who support Netanyahu’s bid for prime minister and who will join a coalition government headed by him, comprise 55 Knesset seats, whereas those who would join a Gantz-led government comprise only 44.  That is a total of 99 out of 120 MK’s.

There are 13 Arab party MK’s who refuse to enter into any “Zionist” coalition and 8 MK’s in Avigdor Lieberman’s  Yisrael Beteinu party which, despite being a clear right-wing party, refuses to support either candidate for prime minister.  Leiberman has developed an antipathy for Netanyahu that stands in the way of his supporting him as prime minister.

The result of this is chaos.  Both Gantz and Netanyahu recognize that their only chance at forming a government is to join forces in some constellation. However, Gantz ran a campaign that pledged not to enter a government headed by Netanyahu.  “Anything but Bibi” was his most popular campaign slogan.  He is having trouble retracting that approach.  In the meantime, on Wednesday night, the President of Israel selected Netanyahu as the preferred candidate to try and form a government because he does bring a larger number of MK’s to the table.  But at this point, no one candidate can command 61 MK’s to back his bid for prime minster.  Stalemate.

There has been talk about a third round of elections which would be a colossal waste of money and time.  If nothing changes, there is no question that this stalemate would remain.

Netanyahu is a talented leader with an ideological position that represents the majority of the country. But Netanyahu has become very problematic.  He has driven many talented leaders away from the Likud or from leadership positions because he saw them as political rivals.  He is mired in corruption scandals and will probably stand trial for some of his actions.   Clearly, his left-wing political rivals have manipulated this to their advantage.  But the most telling result of this is the Blue and White party.  At least one-third of their Knesset members are actually right-wing people who were once in the Likud or affiliated with Netanyahu in one way or another.  Their ideology has not changed. They are right-wing, pro-settlement and some of them are religious.  But they have developed an antipathy for Netanyahu, the blame for which lies squarely on Netanyahu’s shoulders.  It is tragic but Netanyahu has squandered his enormous political talent and has fallen into petty political scandal and  probably some level of corruption.

There is one way out of this mess.  Netanyahu must resign.  There is no question but any other leader of the Likud would succeed in creating a government.  Blue and White would join this government and it is even possible that Blue and White would split and it’s more right-wing members rejoin the Likud or at least create their own party that is more closely aligned with the right.  And Lieberman would join as well.

Netanyahu has done so much for Israel and we owe him a great deal. But power has damaged him.  He can still lead, advise, assist the country in so many important ways.  But his days as prime minister are numbered.  I hope he does the right thing.  For the sake of the country.

 

Comments

Jan

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Thank you for this Sondra. Tragic indeed. We have been praying for his success but will now pray for G-ds choice. So much chaos in both our countries

Gillian Atkinson

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

A brilliant condensed insight. May the right person, with strength to stand, step forward, and be properly supported.

Joyce

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Sondra, Many thanks for this update. We are praying !

Denis Paterson

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Thank you for clarity. I also support Bibi and consider him one of our greater pm's, but so much is now against him. Maybe, his resignation would be the best service he can give to his country? He would leave with much kudos.

Verrie Grant Pearce

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

What has happened is 2 fold, first Prime Minister Netanyahu became filled with Pride and Haughtiness. He than passed a bill called the Jewish state bill for their constitution. He turned his back on the Torah as given by G_D for the Nation. This has resulted in his need to repent. He has not repented instead he has lied and deceived his own. I am sadden G-D is deeply displeased with him.

Gloria Pearl Matthews

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Thanks Sondra for such clarity of the election situation. Indeed it’s a shame. I pray he will do the right thing for the sake of Israel. Definitely praying for God’s divine outcome for His people and His nation. God richly bless you. Shana Tokva 5780. Shalom.

Bobby Roberts

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Thank you for shedding light on a very complex government entity. Being in the United States and following the politics of Israel, this has helped tremendously. This is God’s land and his people. He is in control. We will just have to wait this out and see how He will handle this. We really have our on problems here in the United States also.

Leah Mthembu Dube

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Sad news, but I believe Hashem is in the Israeli situation for reasons only know to Him alone. I am Benyamin' supporter and follower simple because as you mentioned about, he has done much goodies for the State of Israel. He deeply loves his fellow Jewish people and the land of Israel. However, we all have weaknesses but forgiving others becomes hard. Let's pray and believe the outcome will come soon. Leah Dube Mthembu

Leviah Yehudah

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

We were hoping and praying for the right thing to be done by both parties. Pride goes before. destruction and it brings unrest to many. Power is not to be taken lightly as it tends to destroy a persons perspective on the important things. God does the choosing and we will just have to wait for his move now to see the outcome.

Carol Cassady

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Thank you Sondra! My Question? How can 3 Arab parties be allowed REPRESENTATION when they REFUSE to accept the State of Israel as a JEWISH STATE? Jewish Citizens should ASAP vote on this primary question with majority ruling! In a way similar to the Brits & Brexit?

mark jonas

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

Rush Limbaugh said recently that the left is out to destroy the right in both our countries. prime minister Netanyahu has been so great for Israel making friends with some of the Arab countries, and others. He has been in my daily prayers - as if my own p.m. I will still love him. Who of us never did some wrong things in life

Kathryn C Durfee

Date: 1 Oct, 2019

I never read Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" myself, but I did hear the term, The Artful Dodger. Now The Artful Dodger in the novel was a pickpocket. Now it gets personal: I envision he only picks the pocket of Arabs. It is wrong of course, to be a pickpocket but let us never forget this is politics we are talking about and that is one of the worst professions one can engage in. I agree with Mr. Jonas: "Who of us never did some wrong things in life." Never fear: Almighty You-Know-Who is in charge of everything and he will prevail. We little teacup brained humans just have to struggle to trust him every day. Every day!!!

Brad Thompson

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

HaShem, El Elyon, your will is done always. Take an extra interest in Israel and it's leaders at this time. You are are champion, do what is necessary to place your leaders in positions of authority within Israel. Let it be so.

Peter de Vries

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

Thank you, Sondra. This was really helpful, giving us greater insight in our beloved country. I think the best thing Mr. Netanyahu could do is to turn to G'd, especially now, when we're in this season, being in between Yom Teruah and Yom Hakippurim. We keep praying for G'ds will to be done. Many blessings!

Lisa

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

I absolutely agree with Sondra Baras. Appreciating what Netanjahu did but seeing also the need for resign. To bring the country in a new time government. Especially now when Netanjahu has some court problems.

Linda

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

Shalom Aleikhem, Sondra! Thank You for these insights into the status of your Election process. A group in Tacoma, WA, meets weekly to pray Psalm 122 and declare Job 42:1-2. May all of our hearts surrender to the will of Adonai through the leading of Ruach HaKodesh! Psalm 123 applies, too! We have a King. We need righteous leaders here and there. With love ~ L'ShanaTova!

Joseph Shalant

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

I very much appreciate your excellent, informative explanation of Israel’s complex political situation. One comment follows about your description of the three Arab parties which you describe as “anti-Zionist and do not accept the State of Israel as a Jewish state.” Isn’t the issue with these Arab parties that they want greater recognition of the fact that they are also citizens of Israel and, thus, believe that their country should be recognized and run as a state consisting of both Jewish and Arab peoples and that each group should be recognized and respected? If this concept eventuates, there will obviously be problems with how the state presently functions. El Al will not be restricted from flying on Shabbat, food served in the military may not have to be kosher, the ultra-religious may have to serve in the army and no longer be entitled to be paid for studying Torah, and other issues will arise. If this is all accurate, can these matters somehow be resolved so that both Jews and Arabs receive due respect and each group is able to live free and devoted lives in accordance with their beliefs? For example, the state can still fund Jewish institutions but will have to also support Arab institutions that fully accept the State of Israel and are committed to its wellbeing and existence. As a deeply committed secular American Jew, the grandchild of a very long line of distinguished Orthodox rabbis in Lithuania, I believe this version of Israel is perfectly compatible with my values. Maybe some of my above assumptions are inaccurate. Your comments?

Graham Wood

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

Wow This is a call to pray Pray for Israel and The Jewish people Pray for The Peace of Jerusalem The Capital of Israel Pray That G-D will put the Right person in To rule protect Israel and His people Graham

Joseph Shalant

Date: 2 Oct, 2019

Pray that all the people of Israel accept each other and agree to work together to jointly enhance their lives AND try to help the Palestinians have their own state, with encompassing and agreed security arrangements

allyn whitbread

Date: 3 Oct, 2019

Thank you Sondra for your update

Patricia Taylor-Robinson

Date: 4 Oct, 2019

"Woe to those who enact unjust decrees and draft oppressive legislationto deprive the impoverished of justice and rob my people’s poor of their rights, looting widows and preying on orphans!What will you do on the day of punishment, when calamity comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth,so as not to squat among the prisoners or fall among the slain? Even after all this, his anger remains, his upraised hand still threatens." - Isaiah 10:1-4 I agree that if the former prime minister, Netanyahu, has become a stumbling block and corrupt, he needs to resign or be removed for the sake of Yisrael.

Joseph Palmateer

Date: 4 Oct, 2019

Funny isn't it??? Many say on here... "It's God's Choice" Hummm... Dear Lord-God of AvRaHam, Yitzak, Yaccov and Yosef... May the people forgive me if they find my rebuttal to this unpleasing... But you Oh Lord... lay it upon my heart to be said. Is the Lord to be mocked now??? Has humanity and the house of HIS people, become so arrogant, that they choose not to see??? Was not the Lord the KING of our people in the days leading up to the Prophet Samuel??? yet I say to all of you... Who dethroned HIM in that day and age??? I surely tell you all the truth.... IT WAS NOT HIMSELF!!! But you... Our ancient House of Israel... We are to blame for that. Yet you say today... it is the Lord's Choice??? When has the Lord received our peoples apology for the first round??? Yet You Oh Israel say... The Lord shall make the Decision now??? The Lord sees it not as such... Shall the Lord make a decision and choice so you then can point the finger at Him - The Holy One??? And say... "It's Your Fault!" You O'Israel - Our House! We had chosen in the day of our ancestors of old... to strip The Lord of HIS title as our King, and bestow it on mortal men. Now millennia later, we live in the age of Apology... To restore the Lord as King of the Ancestral Land HE blessed us with. The way has already been provided... and placed in Israel... A Monarchy System. Yet... Where is the apology??? Where is the invite??? A House Divided... Is a House that cannot stand, and no House can stand on a foundation of slipping sand... The Lord is the Rock of stability Our House "Should" sit on. But no one stays where they are unwelcome... and no one returns without a proper invite... and if necessary... a proper apology. No one builds a house in a land where they are not welcome, Until the day comes when you Oh House of Israel, Lament over what you have done... then the lord shall provide only our needs, but will not overly bless us with honorable - justified - appropriate and wanted blessing. As long as the people do not turn their entirety to wards the Lord Of Hosts, calling upon HIS NAME, IN PRAYER... He shall satisfy the needs of only the humble and open hearted... who have made Him apart of Their Family and Their Life.

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