Will Israel and the US Hold Elections at the Same Time?
August 7th, 2020 – 17th, Av, 5780
Violent riots have swept America in recent months. At the same time, there have been more and more protests in Israel. In both countries there is a huge distrust of their governments. And because of the riots, protests, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the application of sovereignty in Israel’s heartland seems to have been all but forgotten.
July 1st, 2020 was a much anticipated date here in Israel. It was the first possible date when Israel could move forward legislation for the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. When nothing happened, there was great disappointment here in Israel. Then a second wave of COVID-19 hit, and since then, the government has been very preoccupied. Even though many Israeli politicians are eager to move forward with the issue of sovereignty in accordance with the United States peace plan, they have also been reluctant because there has been little word from the American Administration. Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to make sure that he has the full approval of the US before moving forward. Since America has been swept with riots, protests, a declining economy, and COVID-19, it’s no wonder that there has been little word.
Israel’s current government is not stable either. After going through three election cycles in the course of one year, Israel’s leaders managed to form a very shaky coalition and convene the current Knesset. With bizarre stipulations, such as an alternate prime minister, the current government is on thin ice. Because the coalition was formed with right-wing parties and the center-left Blue and White party, they’re already having trouble agreeing on issues.
A most basic issue is the budget. To date, the new Knesset has not been agreed on a budget, and the clock is ticking. Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party and alternate prime minister, wants a minimum of a two-year budget, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister and leader of the Likud party, wants a one-year budget in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. If they cannot agree to and pass a budget by August 24th, the current Knesset will be dissolved. That means new elections.
What does this mean for Israel, the biblical heartland, the application of sovereignty, and the United States?
If the current Knesset is dissolved, Israel will go to new elections, a process which takes several months. The United States is also headed towards presidential elections in November. Firstly, there are no guarantees that the right-wing parties in Israel will retain power in a fresh election, especially since support for Likud and Netanyahu has been dropping according to recent surveys.
There’s also no guarantee that Donald Trump will be reelected in November, and it’s clear that a liberal American president would not be good for Israel, especially on the issue of sovereignty and a Palestinian state in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
Let me put all of this in a nutshell.
Israelis expected an announcement from Israel’s government on moving forward with the application of sovereignty on July 1st, 2020. Nothing happened.
Violent riots have been sweeping the US. Protests, mostly non-violent, broke out in Israel over the last month. In both countries there is a lot of distrust for their governments.
After three election cycles, Israel formed a coalition government earlier this year, but to date, they have not approved the state budget. Their deadline to form a budget is August 24th, or the Knesset will dissolve and the country will go to new elections.
The United States will be headed toward elections at the same time.
If a liberal party is elected in Israel, and/or a liberal president is elected in the US, it could be disastrous for Israel. Any hope of sovereignty in Israel’s heartland would disappear. A terrorist Palestinian state could actually be a horrific reality.
These are tumultuous times. I encourage you more than ever to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and remember that peace in Jerusalem is prophesied to spread peace throughout the entire world.
In the meantime, Israel announced that they’re working on a plan to reopen their skies on August 16th! There are no details yet on which countries their borders will open to, and what the process will look like for foreign travelers coming into Israel. We can only watch and pray.