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Showing posts from October, 2019

Of Fires in California and Fires in Washington

I want to begin by giving you an update on the progress or lack thereof in forming a coalition government in Israel.  As I shared with you previously, Prime Minister Netanyahu was unable to form such a government.  President Rivlin then asked Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party, to form a government.  From reports I have read, he also is finding little success in creating partnerships that would bring his coalition numbers to the required 61 Knesset seats.  He still has three weeks remaining on his mandate from President Rivlin.  If he is unable to form a government, then in all likelihood President Rivlin will call for another nationwide election.  One wonders how this impasse will be broken with new elections.  Israeli politics are indeed very interesting.  Stay tuned.


Meanwhile, in California wildfires continue to burn out of control.  Properties have been destroyed.  Lives have been uprooted.  The major supplier of electricity has shut down delivery to thousands of…

Of Israel's Ongoing Election Struggles and the Middle East

I know that some of you are inquiring as to what is happening in Israel with regard to the election held in September.  If you remember, the results of that election resulted in political gridlock.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, along with those parties aligned with him, controlled 55 seats in the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.  Former Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party, along with those parties aligned with him, controlled 54 seats.  As a consequence, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin invited the Prime Minister to attempt to form a coalition government.  He was given 28 days to do so.  That four-week period concluded this week with the Prime Minister being unable to form that coalition government.  It seems that the main reason for this lack of success is the "Damocles Sword" of an impending indictment on corruption charges that hangs over the Prime Minister's head. 


Today, President Rivlin is expected to invite Benny…

Some Lessons Learned While in London

Last week I had the incredible opportunity of being in London with my two daughters.  Visiting London had been on my "bucket list" and what a privilege it was for me to be there with them.  Having been in London before, they knew their way around.  We had mapped out an itinerary for the five days we were to be there.  And, thanks to a very special nephew, Matt, who graciously allowed us to stay in his flat in central London, we were within walking distance of the Tube stations and other places of interest. 


We visited Westminster Abbey.  It was so much bigger than I had expected.  (I will say that a lot about what we saw in London).  I really appreciated the audio tour just so as not to get lost in all of its history.  We also attended an Evensong service there; the organ was powerful and the choir was amazing.  And I got to see many of the tombs of men whom I had read about and some whom I had come to admire down through Church history. 


We also had the opportunity of sit…

A Shana Tova and The Great Divide

The election saga in Israel continues.  A week ago, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued the challenge to the present Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to attempt to form a coalition government.  The reasoning behind his decision was simply that the Likud Party, of which the Prime Minister is the leader, held a slim one-seat majority in coalition partnerships over Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party.  The margin was 55-54.  Neither leader had a majority of the Knesset, which is 61 seats.  Thus, Netanyahu needs to find an additional 6 members to join his coalition.  Making this pathway difficult is the decision of those aligned with the Blue and White Party that they would not join a Netanyahu-led coalition. 


Of concern is the threat of an impending indictment against the Prime Minister for corruption.  This possible indictment should be handed down sometime in October.  Thus the difficulty.  If Netanyahu is unable to form a coalition government at the end of four-…