The world is shocked, and many disappointed, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been re-elected despite attempts to discredit him in the media. Israel is moving away from a two state solution a viable reality, ensuring Jerusalem remains the undivided capital, and Judea and Samaria are settled with God's people, in accordance with the word of God.
This week saw the re-election of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Haaretz, Israel’s leftist newspaper ran the headline “Netanahu’s magic act” and had the following to say:
No one expected this election's startling drama; certainly no one envisioned the numbers that have emerged. Not the pollsters, who need to thoroughly reexamine their conclusions, not the polished political players who painted a completely contradictory reality from the one that arose Wednesday morning. Not even the veteran analysts could translate their experience and seniority into more accurate figures. The truth is that not even sworn optimists among Likud supporters could have predicted the election results. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say Wednesday morning what Menachem Begin said when he rose from his sickbed on the eve of his surprising 1977 election victory: I have been resurrected.
Netanyahu was has undergone a massive media assault as Haaretz conceded:
This amazing achievement is mainly a personal one for Netanyahu. He endured massive attacks in the press in recent months and not only survived them, but apparently was boosted by them.
To the world Netanyahu’s victory is magic because it was not expected, especially with all the negative media he was receiving. Obama certainly didn’t want him to win.
The Most High Rules
What the world and its politicians, media “spin doctors” and public opinion manipulators fail to understand is a fundamental biblical principle:
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
While forces of mankind go through all kinds of contortions to swing power into their hands, the angels are at work. When God decrees the path of human history, mankind is powerless to prevent his will being accomplished:
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, But it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
It is the angels that are the king makers, not the media, not the opinion polls, not the politicians.
“…They are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:10)
Forming a Government
The Jerusalem Post reported voter turnout was the highest since 1999:
After the polls closed on Tuesday night in the election for the 20th Knesset, the Central Elections Committee reported voter turnout at 71.8 percent, the highest turnout since 1999 and 4.1% more than the last election in 2013.
As exit polls came in Netanyahu declared victory to his supports at his election night headquarters:
“Against all odds, we achieved a great victory for the Likud, I am proud of the people of Israel, who in the moment of truth knew how to distinguish between what is important and what is peripheral, and to insist on what is important.”
Netanyahu will be prime minister for the fourth time, the third time in a row. Only David Ben-Gurion accomplished this before him, and if Netanyahu serves a full term he will surpass Ben-Gurion as the country's longest running premier.
However, forming a government in Israel is not as easy as wining the most seats in the election. There are 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and the one to be successful will have to cobble a government together from the different fractured factions that make up the political landscape. Canada’s National Post reported,
“With nearly all votes counted, Likud appeared to have earned 30 of parliament’s 120 seats and was in a position to build with relative ease a coalition government with its nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies.”
Nothing is certain in Israel. When the Kadima party, headed by Tzipi Livni won the 2009 election with 28 seats, it failed to form a coalition and Likud ended up being the ruling party lead by Netanyahu.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
The premier said that he had already spoken with the heads of parties that he plans to invite into his coalition, including Bayit Yehudi chief Naftali Bennett, Kulanu's Moshe Kahlon, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, Shas leader Aryeh Deri, and United Torah Judaism representatives Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni.
"The prime minister plans to immediately begin forming a government in order to complete the task within two to three weeks," he said.
A Step to the Right
While we wait to see the political alliance that will be sewn together, what is perhaps the most significant in this election is the swing toward the right by the Prime Minister to secure his return to power. Arutz Sheva reported,
Netanyahu… vowed not to allow a Palestinian state to be founded in Israel during his watch, as opposed to Labor head Yitzhak Herzog, who previously revealed he intended to divide Jerusalem in establishing such a state.
Netanyahu told Arutz Sheva that he had changed his position from the 2009 Bar Ilan speech, in which he declared support for establishing a Palestinian state. Netanyahu cited a change in the realities of the Middle East as being behind his shift.
Netanyahu’s announcement of no longer supporting the establishment of a two-state solution came on Monday night, two days before the election. This move, whatever political motives may have prompted it, starts a new era in Israeli politics if Netanyahu forms a government.
Canada’s National Post reported:
Netanyahu, who already has a testy relationship with President Barack Obama, took a sharp turn to the right in the final days of the campaign, staking out a series of hard-line positions that will put him on a collision course with much of the international community.
In a dramatic policy reversal, he said he now opposes the creation of a Palestinian state — a key policy goal of the White House and the international community. He also promised to expand construction in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem, the section of the city claimed by the Palestinians as their capital.
Many Israeli governments have toyed with the idea of disengagement over the years with the Kadima party, led by the now disgraced Ehud Olmert, pulling out of the Gush Katif block, in a disastrous attempt to sell land for peace. The two-state solution is completely unworkable, but has been the only option “imposed” by outside forces such as Europe and America as the roadmap forward. It has proven to be a roadmap to a dead-end, and now Netanyahu will have to visibly take Israel on a new path. What that path looks like remains to be seen.
In the days immediately following the election Netanyahu clarified his position in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell:
"I haven’t changed my policy. I don't want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that circumstances have to change."
Mitchell questioned Netanyahu:
“But you were re-elected on a mandate, certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were re-elected on a mandate against a two state solution. That is the way the White house is interpreting. They are strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.”
His response was forthright:
“Well first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of a Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two state solution.”
Obama’s reaction is concerning for many. In an article entitled, “White House 'rethinking' Israel ties, peace process rules”, Neil Macdonald of CBC news had the following to say:
Repeatedly, President Obama's aptly-named spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters Thursday the U.S. is “rethinking” and “re-evaluating,” and “reconsidering” its decades-long, unwavering support of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The days of Washington automatically supporting Israel at the UN, striving to protect it from international isolation may be over: “That foundation has been eroded,” said Earnest. “It means that our policy decisions need to be reconsidered.”
And the president’s spokesman was happy to provide everyone with the reason for America's change of heart: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pre-election declaration earlier this week that shattered, finally, the idea of “the peace process.”
I use those quotation marks deliberately. The peace process has been a fiction for many years, if it was ever real at all.
But it was a fiction nearly everyone had an interest in perpetuating: negotiations leading to “two states, living side by side in peace and security.”
For the record, Earnest repeated America's abiding support for that ultimate objective Thursday.
But, he added, “now our ally in these talks has said that they are no longer committed to that solution.”
The loss of American support, while seemingly catastrophic may be necessary as a “coming of age” step for the state of Israel. It has found itself increasingly moving to quiet diplomatic relationships with Arab states with whom it shares common enemies such as Saudi Arabia. The Center for Research on Globalization posted an article on Thursday,
“A recent report by an Israeli TV station revealed that Saudi Arabia would allow Israeli jets to use its airspace to attack Iran, demonstrating the clandestine strategic alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel. As the Times of Israel reported in an article titled: Saudis ‘would let Israeli jets use their air space to attack Iran’:
“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary,” the TV report [from Channel 2] said. All that they ask is “some kind of progress” on the Palestinian issue. Being able to use Saudi airspace would allow Israeli planes a shortcut to reach Iran without having to fly around the Persian Gulf, taking up precious time and fuel.”
We know relationships between Israel and Saudi Arabia must improve as the prophet Ezekiel lists Saudi Arabia amongst the list of those who protest in the latter days:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Saudi Arabia and Yemen contain the area of ancient Sheba. Once again, the angels are at work, moving the pieces on the chessboard in accordance with the plan laid out in the ancient prophecies.
The Picture in the End
Regardless of Obama’s protests, we are told the end of the story in the prophets. Israel will be firmly planted in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – the mountains of Israel. This is sure and firm, because the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. It is against these areas that the forces of the Gentiles will come in the latter days, and be destroyed on the mountains of Israel when Messiah intervenes and re-establishes the kingdom of Israel.
The prophet Zechariah records the invasion, temporary success and then destruction of these nations:
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, And thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, And the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, As when he fought in the day of battle.” (Zechariah 14:1–3)
The prophet Joel also records the same:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, And will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1–2)
The prophet Ezekiel pinpoints the mountains of Israel as the flashpoint:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:8–9)
This is not a successful campaign, but a resounding final defeat for the anti-Semitic powers of Europe, when God will sanctify himself before all nations:
“And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:16)
God will respond to their arrogance:
“And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.” (Ezekiel 38:18)
He will intervene and bring divine judgment upon them:
“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:21–23)
So we can expect to see the further development of Israel upon the mountains of Israel because this is what the mouth of the Lord has spoken. It is His land and He has given it to His people Israel. All the nations will learn this…. Eventually.
For the Bible in the News this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.