Israel has had their elections and now the real work begins: to accomplish the seemingly impossible and form a coalition government. They have 28 days to do it; President Rivlin has vowed he will use every legal method at his disposal to avoid a Round 3 of elections.
A coalition of the various political parties must be formed with a minimum of 61 seats.
The political party with the most votes/(seats) offers the leader of their party to try to form a coalition. So here are the numbers:
If we add up the numbers for what would be a liberal, left leaning coalition, here is how it stacks up[i]:
Blue and White: 33
Israel Beytenu: 8
Democratic camp: 5
Not enough to form a coalition! (61 needed)
Israel has had their elections and now the real work begins: to accomplish the seemingly impossible and form a coalition government.
If we add up the numbers for what would be a centrist/right leaning coalition, here is how it stacks up:
United Torah Judaism: 8
Still not enough to form a coalition!
Another stalemate? What’s next?
Avigdor Liberman holds the key to the formation of the coalition. He has come out and said the following:
In order not to waste your time, I want to make it clear: Yisrael Beytenu, as we have said throughout the election campaign, will sit only in a broad liberal national government that will consist of three parties – Yisrael Beytenu, the Likud and Blue and White. “If Gantz and Netanyahu do not state that this is their intention, they should not even bother to call me. As far as we are concerned, there is no other option,” stressed Liberman.”
[i] Many thanks to Eddie Chumney for showing me the numbers!
Yair Lapid, of the Blue and White party, echoed the same sentiments:
“If Netanyahu steps aside, we’ll have a unity government,” Lapid added. “A government with all those who believe we need civil marriage and public transportation on Shabbat. “That’s what the majority of the public wants. That’s what they voted for. That’s why we’re the biggest party in Israel.”
So, there are several scenarios that could play out:
1. Netanyahu could step aside and resign or retire. Blue and White would then be able to form a coalition with Likud and Israel Beytenu, (31 + 33 + 8 = 72) and a coalition would be formed.
2. If further legal actions are taken on the charges against Netanyahu, that could take him out of the political game. Again, that would pave the way for a merger between Likud, Blue and White and Israel Beytenu.
3. If the 28 day time limit runs out on the clock, President Rivlin could step in and do some kind of legal maneuvers to insure that a leader and a coalition is formed. Recently, Rivlin said:
“For my part, I will do everything I can within the framework of the law and the authority vested in me by virtue of my position, so that an elected government will be established in Israel as quickly as possible, and to prevent another election campaign, God forbid,” he said.
However it plays out, it seems that the only possible coalition government that can form is one with Likud (minus Netanyahu), Blue and White and Israel Beytenu. That would be a total of 31 + 33 + 8, giving a robust coalition of 72 seats.
If, in fact, that is what Israel eventually arrives at…however they get there…what then?
That would be a secular government, one that is “live and let live”, one that minimizes and marginalizes a Torah based lifestyle. What happens to the faithful remnant? What happens to the Ultra Orthodox and what happens to the Orthodox Jews, many of whom are staunch biblical Zionists?
I have met many of them living in the heartland of Israel, in biblical Judea and Samaria (or the Shomron). These Jewish residents (I refuse to call them settlers) are living out their lives in faith and in obedience to the Torah. Many of them demonstrate a courageous and fierce faith by sinking their roots in the land. They build homes, schools, and synagogues. They create cottage industries, such as a soap factory, a chocolate factory, or a pottery shop. They sink their roots in the land by planting vineyards, olive groves and tending flocks of sheep. Their lives are in grave danger: in Gush Etzion, Hebron, Ariel, Har Bracha, and Itamar, there have been many terrorist attacks this year. The daily portraits of grief reminds us of who these terror victims were from 2019. Yet these brave Jewish Zionists stay, they remain, they press on, even though their lives are in great peril.
WHY? I was on recent trip to the Shomron and I met many of the Jewish residents of Shomron. I saw an amazing pattern: the Orthodox Jews living in biblical Judea and Samaria are planted there in the land because they are walking in the faith of Abraham. They are stepping INTO and living out the covenant that God made with Abraham:
And Hashem said to Avram, after Lot had parted from him, “Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west, for I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring too can be counted. Up, walk about the land, through its length and its breadth, for I give it to you.”
Genesis 13: 14-17, The Israel Bible
These brave Jewish families living in the heartland of Israel embrace, believe and are living out the covenant that God made with Abraham and instead of watching prophecy (which is what we Christians in the west tend to do), they are LIVING out prophecy by believing it, obeying it and DOING it. (It all goes back to the Shema, doesn’t it: Hear and OBEY!) Their faith makes my faith PALE in comparison!
So there is a decision to be made. If in fact, Benny Gantz becomes the next Prime Minister and if, in fact, a secular and left leaning coalition is formed between Likud, Blue and White and Israel Beytenu, then the Jewish Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox, who would be on the OUTSIDE of such a government, have a big decision to make. What will they do?
Now I come back to the verse that started this article off:
Multitudes upon multitudes In the Valley of Decision! For the day of Hashem is at hand In the Valley of Decision. Joel 4:14, The Israel Bible (Joel 3:14 in KJV)
What is this valley of decision? What decision is to be made in this “valley of decision”?
To discover the answer to this question we have to go back to Joel 3:2:
I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the Valley of Yehoshafat. There I will contend with them Over My very own people, Yisrael, Which they scattered among the nations. For they divided My land among themselves.
Joel 4:1, The Israel Bible. (Joel 3:2 in KJV)
So, in the opening of Joel chapter 3, we see a scene where the nations have gathered around Israel to divide the land… and this is now bringing down judgment from the God of Israel upon the nations.
Does this sound familiar? It should! This is the intentions of the United Nations: to divide the land of Israel and Jerusalem to form a Palestinian state. When that happens, God has warned that He will judge the nations…severely.
So what is this “valley of decision”? Now that we have context for what Joel 3 is about, I believe the decision is about this: Where do you stand with the Abrahamic Covenant? Do you embrace it, believe it, and trust God to fulfill it? Or, do you renounce it, repudiate it, rebel against it, and support dividing the land to make a Palestinian state?
It is beginning to look like Israel is going to wind up with a secular, left-leaning government. A government that would accept and embrace a two-state solution that will very likely be put forward by the Trump administration. (I hope I am wrong!)
So, I ask again, if a secular, left-leaning government emerges out of this election process and the Torah keeping conservative right are on the OUTSIDE of such a government, what will they do? If a two-state solution is put forward and then acted upon, what will the Jewish biblical Zionists do? It all comes back to: multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision and where do you stand with the Abrahamic covenant?
I wonder if the biblical Zionists living in the heartland of Israel, if they might consider separating from an emerging secular Israeli government? I wonder if they might consider declaring a “nation within a nation”: a biblical Zionist state, comprised of ALL of biblical Judea and Samaria? Annex it ALL! Is this too far-fetched of a fantasy? Maybe not. We see something about this in the scriptures:
Before she labored, she was delivered; Before her pangs came, she bore a son.
Who ever heard the like? Who ever witnessed such events? Can a land pass through travail in a single day? Or is a nation born All at once? Yet Tzion travailed And at once bore her children! Shall I who bring on labor not bring about birth? —says Hashem. Shall I who cause birth shut the womb? —said your God. Isaiah 66: 7-9, The Israel Bible
This has been partially fulfilled with the rebirth of Israel as a Jewish nation on May 14, 1948. However, I believe it has not yet been fulfilled in all of its fullness. Israel, today, is a secular nation-we don’t yet see “biblical Zion”. Yet, verse 8 indicates that the nation of ZION WILL be birthed. Perhaps the name of this “nation within a nation” will be….ZION! And, these verses indicate that it will happen with much travail, like a woman going through birth pangs! Finally, it will happen in a single day!
So, I am looking much farther down the road. This is not going to happen tomorrow, or next week, or even next month. This is farther down the road. But these are questions to ponder and to consider….what will the Jewish biblical Zionists, the Orthodox, the Ultra-Orthodox, the Torah keepers and anyone else who leans to right…what will they do if a secular government emerges out of this election process and they are on the OUTSIDE of that government? How will they respond? I raise the questions for consideration…. ..for prayer…and for possible future action. May they have much wisdom from the God of Israel as they stand in this “valley of decision”!