Dear Friends of Israel
All Israel was prepared for new elections. The date was the only thing left to decide. Suddenly, overnight, an unexpected development exploded in the news. The opposition party, Kadima, under the new leadership of Shaul Mofaz, agreed to join the coalition government. Shortly before this development, Mofaz had called Netanyahu a liar. What happened?
The mandatory, new elections would have led to enormous, unnecessary costs for the state. Government business would have been crippled for a long period, during a time when Israel is in a very precarious position. Only once before has Israel had such a broad coalition government, in the mid-1980’s, when the nation’s economy was in an extremely difficult situation, with an annual inflation rate of several hundred percent. The nationally unified government at that time was able to modernize the Israeli economy and save it from collapse. This shows that seemingly impossible successes can be achieved when central parties come together to find solutions to burning, national problems that are acceptable to everyone.
Currently, one of the most pressing problems is the existing system of elections and government that absolutely needs to be improved. Additionally, the fair sharing of the compulsory military service among all citizens is an important platform for Shaul Mofaz and his Kadima Party. Orthodox Jews, among others, are presently exempted from service under current law.
Some of the most important steps needed to improve the system of government are that future government ministers should not simultaneously be members of the parliament and the number of ministers should be reduced to 16. The Israeli system of government has never had a real separation of powers. That was evident just recently during a disagreement over houses in a settlement near Beth-El. The High Court determined that the ground on which the houses were built had not been legally purchased, thus still belonged to Palestinian Arabs. That meant the houses had been built illegally and needed to be torn down. Now some interest groups, who are also members of the government, are trying to pass a law that will circumvent the decision of the High Court.
Many in Israel, who have joined an organization called “Israel’s Hope,” or “Yesh Sikuy” in Hebrew, are concerned that the democratic and Zionist character of the country could be lost. Their hope now is that the new, national, unified government will be able to institute the necessary changes in the law that will maintain Israel as a democratic and Zionist nation.
It is noteworthy that Benny Begin, the son of Menachim Begin, is of the opinion that the decision of the High Court should not be circumvented by a new law. In 1977, his father, as Prime Minister, turned down the appeal to annex the West Bank. He knew that this would not be possible unless the Arabs were given full, democratic rights, which in turn could have meant the end of Israel as a Jewish nation. This fundamental fact has not changed to this day.
Amir Peretz of the Labor Party criticized the settlers for portraying anyone who doesn’t support them as a hater of Israel. It’s wrong to teach the younger generation that anyone with a different point of view is a monster.
Isaiah 1:26-27 contains a profound truth, in light of the current events. It says, “Zion will be redeemed with justice,” and then God announces that he will make the judges and counselors such that the city will be called the “City of Righteousness.”
May God give grace to the government to do what pleases Him.
In the name of Him who loves justice,