A Delayed Government, Messianic Jewish TV, and Beating COVID-19
A lot’s happened in Israel over the past 48 hours. Here’s a brief digest of what you might’ve missed!
A delayed government
A new unity government including 72 out of 120 Knesset members was supposed to be sworn-in today. However, the formality was postponed until Sunday, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to complete the ministerial appointments of Israel’s largest-ever coalition in time.
Unexpectedly, the right-wing religious Zionist party, Yamina, led by Naftali Bennett, has decided not to join the new government and chosen instead to go into opposition. The religious Zionists are unhappy with the portfolios that Prime Minister Netanyahu offered them, even though the new government includes 36 ministerial positions, far above the 17 that is the normal and recommended number.
Yamina is livid, and are already threatening to bring down Netanyahu’s new government. For a more in depth look at the price Israel is paying for the new government see here.
Netanyahu thinks the unity government could be an opportunity to annex some of the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, as well as the Jordan Valley. US Secretary of State Pompeo is visiting Israel these days to discuss the Trump peace plan and annexation. European leaders are already preparing to fight against Israel recovering her biblical lands. Find out the real reason for Pompeo’s visit.
A new Messianic Jewish cable channel on mainstream Israel television has caused a stir across the country. Many Israelis see this as an attempt to convert Jews to Christianity, though the channel is run and hosted by Hebrew-speaking Messianic Jews.
Historically, Messianics have been prevented access to all forms of Israeli media, including newspaper, radio, or television. This is the first time a mainstream media company has agreed to broadcast openly Messianic Jewish content.
The media buzz over the Messianic station has drawn even more attention to the channel to the consternation of the those opposed to the Messianic broadcast. Even some Christians are trying to shut the channel down, claiming it is offensive to preach the Gospel to Jews. See a response to this from one of the station’s Messianic producers.
The Messianic channel called “Shelanu” (‘Ours’ in Hebrew referring to the Jewish Messiah) is being broadcast daily on the HOT cable service since March 28th. HOT is Israel’s largest cable service with close to a million subscribers.
Since the Corona pandemic, Messianics are reporting unparalleled viewing on their Internet sites and live broadcasts. For many in Israel, this has been their first introduction to Yeshua (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah, in the Hebrew language by Jewish Israelis citizens.
Beating back the coronavirus
On another front, Israel’s battle against the coronavirus has been spectacular. There are now just above 4,000 cases in the entire country, and 54 patients on ventilators. Israel is opening up the economy in phases and kindergartens and special needs children are back in class.
Israelis are pleased with the way Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading the country through the crisis. Tourism, one of Israel’s most important resources will still need to wait, and EL AL will go out of business without massive government support. Let’s hope Israel will be open for business to folks around the world for the Feast of Tabernacles and all the Fall Festivals.