Nearly two months after Israel’s recent election, and just eighteen minutes before his mandate expired, Benjamin Netanyahu placed a call to Israel’s President Isaac Herzog and informed him that he had succeeded in forming a coalition government. This means that Israel’s new Knesset will be sworn in as early as next week, and no later than January 2nd, 2023.
As this has been Israel’s fifth election held in the last three years, this is exciting news for Israeli citizens. Contrary to rhetoric you may have heard from the media, this new coalition promises to be one of the most conservative that Israel has seen in decades and possibly, since their founding. Let me explain.
The new government will be made up of the Likud (right of the political center), several Ultra-Orthodox parties (moderately right-wing), and two strong right-wing parties, Otzma Yehudit, headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir; and Religious Zionism, headed by Betzalel Smotrich.
Itamar Ben-Gvir is slated to receive the position of Minister of Internal Security, and has been running on a platform of strengthening Israel’s police sector and empowering the IDF to be able to properly deal with terrorism and violence. Many oppose Ben-Gvir, calling him a racist who is anti-Arab and anti-Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth. Speaking to Christians at the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem recently, Gvir said:
“Those that want to hurt us also want to hurt you. It may be that they wish to start with us, the Jewish nation, but you are, God forbid, the next stage.”
Regarding the Arabs, Ben-Gvir is already taking steps to stop crime and violence within the Arab cities of Israel.
Since Israelis had to deal with large-scale riots and violence within Israel during the May 2021 war with Gaza, it is clear that they are fed up, and many voted for Itamar Ben-Gvir because they are done tolerating violence against their own people.
Although Betzalel Smotrich is slated to become the Finance Minister in the new government, he only agreed to join Netanyahu’s coalition if he also received much of the control over governing Judea and Samaria. This may mean abolishing the power of the Civil Administration, which for years has governed Israel’s Heartland in place of sovereign law. In addition, Netanyahu and Smotrich have agreed to regulate the young settlements in Judea and Samaria within a period of 60 days after the new government is sworn in. This is massive, as many Jewish communities that have been considered “illegal” for years will receive official recognition by the Israeli government.
Also, Betzalel Smotrich has promised to begin working to improve the roads and infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, better organize the border crossings at the Green Line, and upgrade the cell phone reception in these areas.
All of this means that the areas that have long been ignored by the government will finally receive the attention that the rest of Israel’s population receives. Instead of being treated like second-class citizens, the half a million residents of Judea and Samaria will begin seeing their homes and communities treated as they should. It does not mean that sovereignty will be applied to Israel’s Biblical Heartland, but in my opinion, it’s nearly the next best thing.
As we close out 2022 and look forward to 2023, Israel and the pro-Israel community has much to be thankful for.
Israel is putting in place a strong, conservative government that has promised to do the right thing for its citizens. We believe that those who support Israel, especially the Christian community, owe it to this new government to give them a chance. They just might find that they’ll be surprised.