Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  

Aug 4

The King of the Jews?

By Jim Fletcher

Jordan’s King Abdullah said the other day that if a deal isn’t struck between Israel and the Palestinians soon, the opportunity will be lost for generations.

He surely knows that’s false.

The international community is so addicted to pushing a pacifier into the collective mouth of the Palestinians that it’s quite likely the effort will continue for generations.

A pity that Abdullah doesn’t have the moral courage of his grandfather, who reached out to the Jews in reconciliation. He got shot for his efforts, in front of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. The Arabs haven’t had a leader of moral vision since.

With Ehud Olmert’s political exit coming up, Israel will look for a new premier. One senses that the people themselves are tired from the process. There is a sort of Jimmy Carter-like malaise infecting the country. Benjamin Netanyahu is thought to be in the lead, should there be general elections (which, of course, he is pushing for). But should Olmert’s Kadima party hold power and appoint a successor, Israel could find itself with its second female prime minister. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (a former Mossad operative!) has designs on the job. Whether she would be another Golda Meir, no one can say.

In modern elections, Israelis (especially the Zionist Likud Party) hail a new prime minister in almost biblical terms: “Hail, Bibi, King of Israel!” “Hail, Arik [Sharon], King of Israel!”

Then, of course, the term of office is riddled with corruption, foreign policy failures, and hubris. It has been easy for various commentators to pile-on Olmert: a failed strategy in Lebanon in 2006; the descent of Gaza into another terrorist nest; corruption. But I would argue Olmert is no worse than many of his predecessors.

The difficulty facing any Israeli prime minister is compounded by the fact that he/she must govern a country that is the joy of a jealous God. Although the Creator loves all people — and makes provision for them in scripture — it isn’t like Sarkozy of France, or even President Bush looks out their office at a biblical landscape.

God didn’t decide to make the Aztecs the apple of his eye. Nor the Russians. Ditto for the Albanians.

It is Israel that today must live between different worlds. On the one hand, an Israeli prime minister must do the same things all heads-of-state do: govern, set economic policy, handle diplomacy. On the other hand, there are constant reminders of the Bible, and the One who upholds Israel through daily, miraculous means.

I would argue that an Israeli prime minister must be a man or woman of enormous physical and mental stamina. Most countries do not face existential danger on a daily basis. Olmert does. Ben Gurion did. Peres did. Rabin did. Eshkol did.

Is it any wonder that Ehud Olmert constantly looks like someone just killed his best friend? It is a demanding job!

Netanyahu is unusually qualified to lead. His speaking gifts, combined with his intelligence, business experience, and combat history enable him to see things as they are, not as he wishes them to be (see Shimon Peres).

Yet, should Bibi Netanyahu become “king,” we should all pray more earnestly for him. His first premiership, a decade ago, elicited such psychotic rage from the Left that they eventually drove him from office. A man so hated must have a very strong center.

Let us hope that the next Israeli prime minister will continue to be lifted up in prayer, by Israel’s friends everywhere.