The following article by Amir Tsarfati expands upon what I reported this week in my Prophecy Update on the chaos that has overtaken Israel:
History of the Crisis
This situation in which Israel finds itself is not an overnight development. Despite it seeming as if the nation’s struggles have only come over the past couple of years, the foundations of this divide have been laid over the previous three-and-a half decades. It was at that time that the Israeli judicial system began to go through a revolution. The Supreme Court took more and more powers to themselves to the point that they began making various laws and overturning others.
The justification for this judicial overreach was found in the “reasonableness doctrine”. When a case or law is brought before the Supreme Court, they are allowed to ascertain whether or not it could be considered “reasonable” by their own arbitrary standards. This is a lot of leeway, particularly for a liberal, activist court, such as the one that exists in Israel today. The result, according to one pundit I respect, has been that our nation is now ruled by a judicial oligarchy. But if this has been building up for 35 years, why has it suddenly blown up now? It is because Benjamin Netanyahu ran his latest campaign on a platform of judicial reform, and the majority of Israelis voted him back in. Once in office, he sought to fulfill his pledge. The reform bill that he put forth seeks to correct five very obvious problems:
1. Remove attorney general overreach. Right now, rather than simply advising the government, the attorney general has the authority to dictate. This corrects his role from boss to adviser.
2. Currently, the judiciary has veto power over judge nominations. This has led to generational leftism amongst the judges wherein liberal judges beget liberal judges. The reform will limit the authority over judicial appointments.
3. As mentioned above, the “reasonableness doctrine” has given the judiciary the power to arbitrarily override any decision coming out of the administration or the Knesset. Judicial reform will require there be more solid reasoning for striking down a decision than just “we don’t agree with that.”
4. Israel does not have a formal constitution. Rather, it has an incremental constitution based on 13 Basic Laws. Judicial reform says that the Supreme Court cannot strike down any of the Basic Laws.
5. Judicial reform says that the courts can use Basic Laws to strike down new laws, but only under certain conditions. Those conditions require that all 15 justices must participate in the decision, there must be a supermajority of the justices voting against the law, and the Knesset must have the opportunity to override the decision. It is the third in that list that opponents to reform say will bring the end of democracy in Israel.
But don’t let yourself be fooled by the narrative. This is not primarily about Netanyahu’s reforms; it is about Netanyahu himself. The first of his three stints in office began back in 1996. Since then, he has spent more than 15 of the next 26 years in office. Liberals in Israel absolutely loathe Bibi. Think of the level of vitriol the American left feels for the 45th president. Now imagine the absolute meltdown that would take place if he were reelected in 2024. That is what happened in Israel this past November. When the majority of Israelis tossed out the disastrous, liberal “government of change” and instead brought back in conservative Netanyahu, the Left slipped into emotional breakdown. They vowed that one way or another they would bring Netanyahu and his government down, and from day one they were on the attack. Opposing judicial reform is not a root cause for the elite left; it is simply a tactic.
As the judicial reform began the process of working its way through the Knesset, the Left, funded by billionaires both domestic and foreign, unleashed their well-organized and well-funded resistance troops. The media began a campaign of disinformation that insisted that passing judicial reform meant an end to democracy and an end to Israel. People began buying into it. And it wasn’t just the masses. It was business leaders and people of influence. Generals began saying that they would not support the legislation. Military reservists said that if the reforms passed, they would not obey a call-up in case of national emergency. These included officers and air force pilots. The nation was beginning to erode from within.
Then Defense Minister Yoav Gallant took the opportunity of Netanyahu being on a state trip to the UK to announce his opposition to the reform bill. He made the announcement on a Sabbath, when Netanyahu was unable to respond right away, and he did it after promising the prime minister that he wouldn’t. When Netanyahu returned to Israel the next day, he justifiably fired Gallant.
Israel exploded. Protesters took to the streets by the tens of thousands. As I mentioned above, I was in Tel Aviv at the time, and watched out my window as they blocked main arteries and brought the city to a standstill. Then, the next day, Monday, the Histadrut union announced an unprecedented and illegal strike that saw 700,000 workers walk off their jobs shutting down airports, hospitals, museums, national parks, malls, government offices, and many more places. The promise was that the strike would continue until the judicial reforms were shelved.
One of the signs of strong leadership is to know when you have lost. Israel’s economy has already taken an intentional beating due to actions by the Left, and a protracted fight would only drag it down more. Emotion says to keep fighting to the last man; wisdom says to retreat and regroup. Monday night, Netanyahu accepted a tactical defeat and paused the legislation.
In an odd coda to the week’s insanity, US President Joe Biden weighed in on the protests saying that he was concerned about the path Netanyahu’s government was taking with the judicial reform and that he would not be inviting the prime minister to the White House anytime soon. The unusual part was that this statement was made the day after Netanyahu had pulled back the legislation making the president’s words irrelevant and unnecessary. But the sentiment is not surprising. This administration is simply an extension of 44’s, and carries on the antipathy for Israel of that previous president.
Where does this leave us in Israel? As a nation, we are damaged, possibly irreparably. Internally, we are weakened. The identity that once united us together no longer exists. This is intentional, as the liberal agenda pushes its strategy of globalism and ethnic diversity. They don’t want a Jewish state; they want Europe along the Eastern Mediterranean coast.
We are also weakened economically. This too is according to plan. A weakened economy will damage Netanyahu’s government, and when it comes to the Left the ends always justify the means.
Finally, we are weakened militarily. The homogenous mindset of the Israeli armed forces is now fractured and its purpose has been politicized. Once the generals and officers said they were willing to put their political agenda over national security, a line was crossed that cannot be uncrossed. And our many enemies have seen it.
That leads us to the external ramifications, which are possibly the more dangerous of the two. Every Middle Eastern nation was excitedly covering the protests. They have seen that we are fractured, and it fills them with glee. Iran is now faced with a difficult decision. Do they finally reveal their nuclear program and attack while we are weak? Or do they hold back and simply let us destroy ourselves?
Russia, too, sees our debilitated state. Their influence continues to grow in Syria through their blossoming relationship with Iran. Will this be the time that they finally decide to eliminate their primary competitor for the European natural gas market?
This is not something that Israel can just bounce back from. Now that Netanyahu has paused the judicial reform, both the Left and the Right are angry. As much as I want him to remain in power, I am afraid that the days of his administration are numbered. And I fear for the government that a pendulum swing away from his conservative agenda might bring.
As I watched the protesters outside my hotel window in Tel Aviv, I couldn’t help but think how ready these people were for the coming of the Antichrist. The spirit of delusion is so powerful in this nation. Mentally and spiritually, they are ready for someone to come in promising them peace, telling them that he’ll bring them into the European Union, and assuring them that they are going to be just like every other nation in the world. They’ve forgotten that, historically, every other time Israel has desired to be like all the other nations, it has ended very poorly for us. In Ezekiel 36-37, God promised that He would physically restore the land and the people. However, Israel is not spiritually restored yet, as this last week has so clearly proven. According to Zechariah 13:8-9, two-thirds of the population of my beloved nation will not survive the years ahead. However, to those who do, He promises, “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘this is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
So, there is a blessed hope for Israel. Not one based on government or a prime minister or our military or America or Europe. It is a hope that is grounded in the love, grace, and mercy of the one true God and the promises He has given His people in His Word. So, while I mourn what my country has become, I rejoice in what I know it one day shall be.