20 Apr 2020

New Israeli Theme Park

If the Knesset is a theme park, then the most popular ride is “Bibi’s Rollercoaster!”

Seriously, the negotiations between Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz have taken more twists and turns than a Turkish cab driver in downtown Istanbul.

One week, it looks like Bibi’s political career is over (he’s also under indictment on corruption charges), the next week it is clear Gantz will never be prime minister and the incumbent will survive.

In the last two months, various experts have claimed a definitive outcome, only to be outdone by the wily Netanyahu, surely the shrewdest politician in recent memory.

What we know is that through three (3!) election cycles, Gantz can’t get across the finish line.

Now, at this point, we should note that it’s almost incomprehensible that in the 10 years Netanyahu has been back in office—a remarkable accomplishment in itself, given the revolving door among prime ministers the previous decade—the country would want new leadership. Netanyahu’s almost supernatural achievements economically and strategically are the stuff of legend. Israel, while still surrounded by implacable enemies, is relatively safe. Iran has been neutralized to some degree, the country outlasted the menacing Obama, and the US Embassy sits in Jerusalem.

Stunning resume, to be sure. And yet, also in these last three elections, Netanyahu could not quite get over the threshold. His enemies are the same in essence as the ones trying to bring Trump down. They hate a strong Israel and a strong US.

It looked like last week that Gantz would never become prime minister. President Reuven Rivlin gave him the mandate to form a government and he couldn’t…again.

The wizard Netanyahu had looked to be back in complete control (pending his legal challenges, of course).

Now comes word that the two sides are negotiating a unity government, and Netanyahu has dropped his demand of new legislation that would allow him to continue as prime minister even if the High Court of Justice rules against him.

Gantz served in the IDF with distinction, yet it is galling (to some of us) that he would want to unseat the man that has kept Israel safe and prosperous for a decade. I think this comes down to one thing: In his years in power, Netanyahu has made many political enemies. Gantz is one of them.

Unless a new prime minister goes by the name, say, of Naftali Bennett, I am not impressed with any new leadership in Israel. Gantz would be weak in foreign policy. We shall see.

Remember, 30 years ago Israel formed a national unity government, with Yitzhak Shamir rotating the prime minister slot with Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin of course “guided” Israel into the disastrous Oslo Accords, and I’m concerned Gantz would do similar things.

As we’ve said many times in different ways, if we didn’t believe God is in control (and I do), then it would be time for concern or despair.

There is imperfect justice in this world today, and we just have to put up with it. Just like in America today we have to put up with insane attempts to put Trump out of office (or we must listen to Media claim that Joe Biden leads in the presidential race; Biden vs. Trump is like a fourth-grader going up against Joe Louis, and everyone knows it).

Continue to pray for Bibi and for the marvelous country he still leads.