Israel & Christians Today: Weekly Update (April 5)

editor - 5 April 2019

In this week’s update we focus on the upcoming elections in Israel, in light of Israel’s changing role in the international community.

The restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland, as prophesied in the Old Testament (See eg. Ezekiel 36), is a fascinating and complicated process.

Now that about half the Jews in the world are living in Israel, we are seeing new dynamics evolve. As the Jewish people come home, their position in the world community shifts dramatically, as does the often-fraught relationship between the various Jewish communities in the world.

This changing dynamic is one of the elements in the current election campaign in Israel, as new contender Benny Gantz (former head of the IDF, the Israeli army) seeks to contrast his experience in the army with the luxurious lifestyle of former diplomat Netanyahu (the current Prime Minister was Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. in New York from 1984 to 1988). As dr. Asaf Romirowsky notes, Gantz’s comments reflect the changes taking place in the relationship between those Jews who live in Israel and those who live in the “diaspora”. Who are the “real Jews”?

Read more: Israeli Attitudes Towards American Jews

While in the past Israel was the underdog on the World stage, Israel is now a world super-power – at least economically and militarily. Under PM Netanyahu Israel has taken a much more assertive role in the international diplomatic arena than any previous Prime Minister. David Lazarus at Israel Today writes about Netanyahu’s recent visit to Moscow. No doubt Russia’s role in Syria and the continuing threat posed by Iran will be at the top of the agenda. All this is further evidence that Israel will not allow itself to be vulnerably exposed to the interests of other powers.

Read more: Analysis: Netanyahu Meets Putin

Similarly in the Middle East, the traditional rejection of Israel by Arab leaders seems to be waning. Moderate states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are seeking increasing economic and diplomatic ties with Israel. This is a very positive development.

Read more: Is There a Shift Towards Arab-Israel Normalization?

Despite the improvement of Israel’s position internationally, however, Israel remains in a very precarious situation. It is subject to many external threats. And internally, Israeli society is fragmented and divided. There is a long way to go before God’s name will be glorified in His people in the land (Ezekiel 36).

Let us continue to pray for the elections next week in Israel. Let us intercede fervently that the Israeli people will elect a leadership that is capable of leading the nation in God’s paths.

Shabbat shalom.

Andrew Tucker
Chief Editor
Israel & Christians Today

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Andrew Tucker is International Editor of our bi-monthly newspaper Israel & Christians Today. The goal of Israel & Christians Today is to help Christians to take God’s Word seriously, and study current events in the world in the context of the Bible. Click here to subscribe.

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