Prepare Your Heart for the Outcome

by Arthur Schwartzman

Right, left or center, yay or nay-Bibi, you have to prepare for the possibility of a stalemate in tomorrow’s election

| Topics: Elections
Israel's election is a divided affair
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

This is a call for believers living in the Holy Land to start preparing their hearts and minds for the outcome of tomorrow’s election.

I know people who are united in Christ but divided in their political opinion. I believe that to some degree this is a situation foreign to voters in America, where the number of parties is significantly fewer, and there’s an established consensus on who a Christian should vote for.

It is a topic I’ve written about several times because I believe it to be the least understood overseas. I think it is crucial for grasping the complexity of Jewish-Christian life in Israel. It’s not always plain and simple.

Those who are hoping to replace the current government and are tired of the long Likud-Haredi rule must be prepared for the possibility of another term with Netanyahu at the helm. The Likud is still at the top, and even with so many defectors fleeing the ruling party, the pro-Bibi camp maintains popularity among many Israelis. Those in this group should be prepared to accept the results of the political game. In a democracy, the majority elects the policymakers; that’s just the way it is.

The center-left hasn’t been great at accepting the results of the democratic process that they so love, cherish and propagate. It is hard not to notice the anti-Netanyahu “לך” banners spread across the country (לך meaning “go,” as in “go away”). When Benny Gantz joined the coalition alongside his rival he swore never to sit with, it broke the trust of the center-left constituency. Many of the disillusioned took to the streets to protest what really was a fair-and-square loss. But the majority picked Netanyahu to rule them, and a plurality of parties recommended him for the chief position. Those are just the facts, and like Ben Shapiro likes to say, “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

It may seem elementary that power shouldn’t remain in one set of hands for too long, as power corrupts even the most virtuous of men (and we are constantly reminded of that), but the fact is that there is no law in the State of Israel that limits such power. Moreover, there is no law to restrict an indicted prime minister’s authority. While such a law exists for regular ministers, for some reason, it doesn’t exist for the top position. Lawmakers can correct this discrepancy, lawmakers you vote for on the 23rd.

If you’re among those who are happy with the current government and tired of the factions trying to take down your favorite leader, you have to prepare for the possibility that this might be Bibi’s last term in office. Netanyahu will go down in history as one of the most prominent leaders of the modern State of Israel; his foreign policy and economic reforms in the 90s helped propel the state forward, especially in the international arena. Nevertheless, the indictment and trials eclipsed his successes. One could say policies limiting the prime minister’s power have been a long time coming. No king likes his crown taken away from him, not even King Bibi. According to the man in charge, everyone who opposes him, even his own party members and past allies, have become dangerous leftists. Regrettably, such rhetoric only helped tribalism take over the discourse in our nation.

Right, left or center, yay or nay-Bibi, you have to prepare for the possibility of a stalemate. According to the polls, the seats are again pretty even, and little likelihood is there to form the desired government, from any side’s perspective. Are we heading into another election right after this one? We’ll know soon enough, but whatever the outcome may be, you have to prepare your heart to accept the outcome prayerfully. And this is for two reasons:

  1. Respect for democracy and the democratic process. It’s a priority that the people’s interests be guarded, even if we personally dislike it. It may not be the best system in the world, but it’s the best we have.
  2. God’s sovereignty. Know in your heart and mind that God is sovereign over history; we can trust His judgment even when our party loses. God’s will doesn’t hinge on the ballot we cast in a blue box, and thanks be to God for that.

We tend to involve ourselves in politics so that it becomes an idol, and we need to keep in check where we deposit our time and energy. Is it in newspapers and social media, or in God’s word? Once again, my friends, prepare your hearts; whatever the outcome may be, know that God is in control. Have a happy election day.

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