David Ben Gurion, our legendary first Prime Minister, said once “in order to be a realist in Israel, one has to believe in miracles.” The saying was not only true during the turbulent pre-state era, but remains true to today as the reborn modern State of Israel goes through “growing pains” economically, socially, politically and in many other ways.
The miracle of Israel, for those who have eyes to see, is not only predicted and promised in many biblical prophecies, but is also anchored and finds daily expressions in modern dynamics that span across the width and breadth of our national life. As part of the international family of nations and a member of the 193 states forming the United Nations, Israel appears to be just another people group who emerged from a challenging background to finally reach national self-determination during the 20th Century, as have many other nations. However, through the eyes of faith, we recognize Israel’s survival during 2,000 years of exile and her national resurrection in recent history as an act of God which was predicted, foretold, and is strategically designed to bring attention and glory to Him and Him alone.
Politically, Israel is a parliamentary democracy in which the Prime Minister is the head of government and leader of a multi-party parliament (Knesset). The government exercises executive power, the legislative power is vested in the Knesset, and the Judiciary is independent of both. The political system of the State of Israel and its main principles are set forth in 11 Basic Laws, since Israel does not have a constitution.
Israel’s electoral system is based on proportional representation in which the whole country is a single constituency. Such a system fosters the development of many political parties with diverse platforms, often advocating a wide variety of interest groups, which means that the smaller parties can have strong influence disproportionate to their size when forming ruling coalitions, thereby using this power to block legislation or promote their own agendas.
The 2013 “Freedom in the World” annual survey and report (by U.S.-based Freedom House), ranked Israel as the only free country in the Middle East and North Africa. As a free and democratic society, we may see up to 14 different parties vie for the public’s support as the Knesset elections near the April 9, 2019 date. In Israel, every citizen 18 years and older is eligible to vote, and the way the system works, the people vote for the different parties (and their platforms) and not for the running personalities. The winning parties then fill the Knesset seats that they have won with the party leaders in proportion to the votes they gained.
The Israeli political landscape today stretches from the far right to the center, center socialist, socialist democratic, left wing, far left, and even all the way to anti-Zionist and Arab Nationalist platforms (the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish and the Islamic parties historically win roughly ten percent of the Knesset seats). With new political leaders rising and newly created parties occupying the headlines, the arena is very dynamic, fluid, and changing daily. No doubt, there will be many surprises ahead during the next month and a half until Election Day, and God alone knows the future makeup and leadership of Israel’s next government and 21st Knesset.
Nevertheless, one thing we do know with certainty, and that is that “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” as David sang in Psalm 121:4. Many governments, ministers, generals and Parliaments have administered modern Israel’s incredible 70 years’ history, and most of them have done so with good intentions and at personal sacrifices. Yet, people of faith worldwide trust that it is the hand of God that guides and guards this national miracle. It is God who brought the people of Israel back to the land against all odds, and it is He who is building up the national life as He has promised to do, including the present political cycle which is leading us forward and a little closer to God’s government manifesting on earth with peace and justice for all.
The Hebrew prophet Isaiah declared long ago, “ For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7.
Thank you for praying for Israel’s coming elections. God’s will be done!
We are looking forward to have you join us here in Israel during these exciting times.