As mentioned in the previous article about the Election Review in Israel, this is the next installment of information to help Christians understand the election stalemate and extenuating events unfolding in Israel.
Brief Review Of Parties: There are over a dozen different Jewish party factions in Israel which does not include the Arab parties. Parties however that do not muster the benchmark of a nationwide electoral threshold of 3.25% of the votes, cannot sit in the government. When several parties did not break that barrier in April, they merged with other parties before the September election to ensure votes were not wasted. That resulted in eleven political parties running in this last election.
The Party Divide: While each party is distinct and has its own a particular mandate or vision, the difference in platforms of all the parties can essentially be distilled down into two distinct categories. The dividing line upon which the populace is polarized is that of faith and religion, between the secular or non-religious vs those who remain faithful to even the basic elements of faith and the Jewish biblical heritage.
This conflict was voiced succinctly in a Times Of Israel article[i] by Yamit Dulberg who runs a small family-run jewelry business. She was quoted as saying; “We are a Jewish state, but not a religious state.”
Jewish Identity: To the greater population of the world who have even a basic understanding of the Jewish people - and especially to us as Christians whose foundation of faith is established upon the bible, this statement is a complete unreality, an oxymoron. How can this statement be a true and viable representation of the Jewish people’s identity both historically and biblically? To be identified as Jewish is to be true to the God of Abraham and the Torah given the Jews at Sinai.
These are the points that define the very characteristic of what it is to be a Jew and defines even the very location and property Jews were given to live in. Thus, to deny the God and creator who called and separated the Jews for His divine purpose, and to separate their lives from observance of the bible, is to both deny a Jewish existence and the Jewish homeland because both are inseparably linked and born out of holy scripture.
But that isn’t stopping Jews like Dulberg from trying to “reform” or be “liberated” from their biblical roots. In this same article she went on to state; “…no one should force anything on the other,” she said. “Just like I wouldn’t drive a car through their neighborhood on the Sabbath and park in front of their synagogue, they should stay out of my life.” [ii]
In the same article another Jewish woman who made Aliyah from Argentina stated the following about what she discovered upon taking up residence in Israel; “In Israel being Jewish means being religious. To me, being Jewish means being open-minded, progressive and tolerant.”
Jews like this and the many others in Israel who have and are abandoning their religious roots and identity are caught between a constantly changing world - and an unchanging God. As one said; “The world has changed but religion hasn’t. That’s a problem.” Is it really? Or is the real problem a matter of personal convenience and preference?
The Biblical Answer: For an answer we turn to the very bible that records the thoughts of God. In the prophet Isaiah’s writings [45:9] we catch a glimpse into the very heart of God concerning His creation, be it the Jewish people or anyone/anything else; “…How horrible it will be for the one who quarrels with his maker…Does the clay ask the one who shapes it, “What are you making?”
By this we see that the true crux of the problem in Israel and of why we, the citizens of the world and especially as Christians must encourage the unity of the Jews. What kind of unity? The unity of the Jewish people in following and keeping the Word of God. Only then will they be blessed in their land and of being the chosen people to bring “light to the gentiles”. [Isa 49:6]
So the heart of the issue in Israel today is that there are Jews who do not want to be obligated to their biblical responsibilities entrusted to them by God. These secular Jews are waging “war” with the countless millions in Israel who have a longing to not only serve the Great Creator of the Universe, but who also long for the return of His Shekinah glory in the Temple. It is the sovereignty over the Temple Mount that is at stake in this hotly contested debate, the very House that He had chosen to place His name located in the one and only city and country of the world that carry His Word and name. While most Jews in Israel are desperate for this return, many do not want this.
As with every election, each side trys to make the “optics” appear as though they have a majority. The minority of non-observant Jews were using slogans such as; “liberal, nationalist, wide” unity government” to create the impression that the “left” or secular voice had a more noble desire and was carrying the vote for forming the government. The truth of the actual number of votes tell a very different story and prove an astounding point. Consider these figures;
The Left Vote
- 25% voted for the Blue & White party (liberal, secular, non-religious)
- 5% voted for a near-defunct socialist Labor Party (liberal, secular, non-religious)
- 4% voted for an even more-leftist Meretz
Summary: 1/3rd or just 35% of Israelis did not want a unity government. These Jews wanted a leftist Government.
The Right Vote
- 25% voted for a Likud that campaigned unequivocally on a platform of right-wing politics
- 6% voted even more right-wing for Yamina headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked.
- 7% of others voted for the Sephardic Haredi equivalent, Shas
- 2% voted for the Otzma party that is even more to the right – though their votes were spoiled
- 7% voted for Avigdor Liberman, though he won’t join a coalition, Liberman is so politically right wing that he will not sit with Arabs.
Summary: The population in Israel voted 54% to 34% for a right-wing government and not a “unity – secular” government under Gantz and Lapid. Marginalized by disunity in the past election, the Arab’s joined together to garner a record 13 seats for the Knesset.
These facts prove the unequivocal truth that Israelis in general, and especially a majority of Jews in Israel do not want a “national unity government” but rather desire a right-wing government that favors the biblical model of Israel.
Please pray for the restoration of biblical unity within Israel among the Jews. Their and our redemption depends upon it!
Rev Anthony Abma
CEO; Return O' Israel