By Christine Darg
Jerusalem Channel
The world’s press describes 49-year-old Naftali Bennett as Israel’s first “practising religious Jew” as its Prime Minister — although many of his predecessors including outgoing PM Benjamin Netanyahu have been very vocal in their Jewish faith.
The razor-thin coalition managed a 60-59 vote of confidence combining left-wing, centrist, right-wing and Arab parties with little in common except for a desire to unseat Netanyahu, who continues to maintain that God himself is on his side. Meanwhile, who can accuse Israel of being an apartheid state when even the coalition government includes an Arab bloc?

Following are highlights of Bennett’s speech which ended with a prayer:

The State of Israel is not ‘just another country’. It is the dream of generations of Jews. . . .To the citizens of Israel I say: this is a sensitive moment, of political change. I call on all, to demonstrate maturity and restraint.. . . And yes, my friends, we will open a new page in the relations between the State of Israel and the country’s Arab citizens. The Arab community will be represented in the coalition by Mansour Abbas and his party. This is a process that I must give credit to Prime Minister Netanyahu who held a groundbreaking series of meetings with Mansour Abbas, who reached out a hand. This was the right thing to do. We understand the plight and needs of the Arab society. The fight against crime and violence, the housing crisis, the gaps in education and infrastructure – will be addressed. . . . .
“Heavenly Father, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first flourishing of our redemption, guard it in your abundant kindness, spread over it the shelter of Your peace. Send forth your light and truth to its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who guard our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in victory. Give peace in the land, and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.”
With God’s help, we will do and we will succeed. Amen.”
And for those wondering who is Naftali Bennett, the Haifa-born Israeli is a former chief of staff for Netanyahu. Bennett went from being a multi-millionaire high-tech businessman to Israel’s PM in under two decades. He is the son of American immigrants and describes his faith as “Modern Orthodox.” He has served in elite military units of the IDF.

The new government was formed by Bennett (Yamina leader) and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, who is slated to become the Alternative PM.

The 71-year-old Netanyahu had frequently been dubbed the “King of Israel” by his supporters, so nobody can expect him to retire without a fight. Netanyahu blasted Joe Biden in a “scorched earth” speech as he left office on Sunday, warning that Iran will be celebrating his defeat because Israel will be “weak.” In a scathing speech, Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic will celebrate his loss because “they understand that starting today there will be a weak and unstable government that will align with the dictates of the international community.”

Bennett vows to carry on Netanyahu’s policies concerning security and Iran. When I met Naftali Bennett in 2017, I felt he was the only leader who could replace Bibi Netanyahu when the time came. Nevertheless, the long election season has been tumultuous, and there has been much discussion of how this coalition government to unseat Netanyahu was ratified under the weekly Torah portion of Korah’s rebellion.

On the other hand, the Almighty rules supreme as expressed in Daniel 2: 20-22.

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Bible-believing evangelicals have always prayed for the sitting Prime Minister, and we certainly thank Bibi for his unprecedented long years of service. The Lord loves all the people of the region, and rough times are still ahead– the birth pains of Messiah. But we’ve read the end of the Book! The Lion of Judah will return and prevail!