[Israeli Politics 101] Who’s Running and What it Means for Israeli Messianic Believers
Kehilanews.com, Chava Stein
Dec 30, 2018
Not that long ago, there were two main political parties in Israel – Likud (“Consolidation”) and (“Avoda” )Labor. Likud was the more conservative and Labor was more left leaning. As time went on, more centrist parties began to pop up, among them – the now defunct Kadima (“Move Ahead”) headed by the late Ariel Sharon, Shinui (“Change”) headed by the late Tommy Lapid, father of Yair Lapid who himself established Yesh Atid (There is a Future)just a few years ago. Another hopeful was Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon who, in 2014, established Kulanu (“All of us Together”). Other smaller parties, of which there are many, joined one of the two major political parties to provide enough mandates (voices) in order to become the ruling party, but, it’s notable to recognize that, in recent years, most of Israel’s Prime Minister were elected from either Likud or Labor.
Now, as the decision of early elections scheduled for April 9th, has been taken, there has been the emergence of two new political parties – one called Hosen L’Yisrael (“Resilience”) headed by Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and another called Yamin HeChadash (the New Right) co-headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
What does all this mean for Messianic believers? Here’s what we already know. Under the Likud leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish believers attempting to immigrate to Israel have had to, for years, confront the ultra-orthodox party stronghold of the Interior Ministry who traditionally has been given control of that office of government. It has been unfriendly, antagonistic and unwelcoming to Messianics, blatantly and systematically denying them the right of return. That situation would likely not change under another Likud term.