Political Turmoil Continues as No New Israeli Government Formed

Photo by Andy Frank

Photo by Andy Frank from the 2012 Jewish Voice Israel Tour.

January’s elections in Israel produced a sharply divided government. With eleven different political parties having seats in the new 120-member Knesset, reaching a majority coalition is proving to be extremely difficult. The deadline for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who received the most votes for Prime Minister even though his party saw a steep decline in representation in the Knesset, to form a new government is next week—March 15. So far he has been unable to put together a program that will attract enough members to reach a majority.

If the government cannot be formed by a week from tomorrow, Netanyahu can petition President Shimon Peres for additional time. Peres also would have the option of giving one of the other party leaders—most likely Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party got the second highest vote total in the new Knesset—a chance. Lapid is some distance to the left of Netanyahu on economic and security issues, and it is unclear what type of coalition he would lead and how that government would function.

The unrest is viewed as a sign of weakness by Israel’s enemies.

  • The first rocket strikes from Gaza against Israeli civilian targets since last year’s major outbreak of violence have landed in recent days.
  • Iran continues its nuclear program unchecked.
  • The civil war in Syria threatens to spill across the border, although Israel has not (at least publicly) taken any further military action since the airstrikes of a few weeks ago.

Israel and the Jewish People greatly need our prayers today. I am feeling a special urgency in my spirit regarding the situation in Israel and the Middle East. I know that you love and care for the Jewish People, and I ask that you increase your prayers for Israel right now. I would also ask for your financial help as we increase our efforts to work with more than two dozen ministry partners inside Israel to meet the needs of the Jewish People and share the Good News of Yeshua with them. Thank you so much for being a friend and partner with us in the work. God bless you.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

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