Netanyahu fails to win enough seats for right-wing coalition. National unity government most likely outcome after Israeli elections, but many twists and turns ahead. Here’s the latest.


UPDATE: Here’s the column that I wrote for Fox News Opinion, an expanded and updated version of this blog.

(Jerusalem, Israel) — Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East. And we love elections so much we’ve had two in the last six months.

But Tuesday’s vote didn’t go well for Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, currently the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history. After pulling out all the stops to secure 61 or more seats to build a right-wing coalition government, Bibi fell well short. 

In fact, his main rival, Benny Gantz, founder of the Blue & White party, won more seats (33) than Bibi’s Likud party (31). Gantz previously served as a highly-decorated chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Israeli politics are cutthroat and labyrinthian, so there’s no point in going through all the possible permutations of what happens from here.

Short version: the most likely outcome is now a “national unity government” in which either Gantz serves as Prime Minister for the first two years and Netanyahu for the second two years, or vice versa. 

That said, here’s what you need to know:

  • Netanyahu faces an all-important court hearing on October 2, and it is very possible that he will be formally indicted in three separate corruption cases. Though Bibi deserves the presumption of innocence, many Israelis believe government officials should not forge a deal with Bibi because he will need to spend so much of his time on his own legal defense in the years ahead.
  • Gantz and his Blue & White co-leaders say they want to a form a “broad… national unity goverment.” They’re happy to form one with Likud, they say, but only if someone else leads Likud. They don’t want to make a deal with Bibi because he’s facing indictments
  • Avigdor Liberman — the former Defense Minister, head of his own political party, and former chief of staff for Netanyahu who is a now a fierce rival of Netanyahu — won 9 seats. This is nearly double from his previous 5 seats, and Liberman is widely regarded as the “kingmaker” whose support is crucial to anyone trying to create a majority coalition. Liberman today indicated that he will recommend Gantz, not Netanyahu — to be next Prime Minister, though he, too, supports a national unity government. 
  • If all this weren’t complicated enough, neither Blue & White nor Liberman’s party are keen on having ultra-Orthodox religious parties in the coalition, believing those parties already exert too much control over Israeli social policy and the budget. Will Likud be willing to join a national unity government only with Blue & White and Liberman, jettisoning their long-time alliance with the religious parties? That remains to be seen, and is likely going to be a major point of contention in the negotiations.

I’ll post more analysis in the days ahead, but for breaking news please follow me on Twitter @JoelCRosenberg.

(Photo: PM Netanyahu on the left, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in the center, and Benny Gantz on the right, shaking hands at an event today remembering the late-President of Israel Shimon Peres.)

NOTE: These are my own personal views. I’m not writing in my capacity as Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, as that organization is non-political and non-partisan.




UPDATED: Announcing 12-city book tour for #ThePersianGamble. Please make plans to attend one of the events, and be sure to pre-order your copy today.


On March 12th, The Persian Gamble will be released in hardcover, e-book and audio formats. I’ll also begin a 12-city book tour, including a very special event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on March 28th. 

The following is the book tour schedule, which you can also find posted on my website and on my public Facebook page (“Epicenter Team”). Please look for an event near you and make plans to join us. I’d love to answer your questions and sign a book for you.

Please also follow me on Twitter — @JoelCRosenberg — for updates on radio, TV, print and online interviews, and links to book reviews. I also post news stories and commentaries I’m reading on any given day, and my comments on current events and trend lines in the Middle East, Russia and around the globe.

March 12 — Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Appearance on Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” program
  • Appear on other CBN programs
  • Meetings at CBN Headquarters, Virginia Beach

 March 13-14 — Media appearances (TBD)

  • 10:00am — Appear live on The Glenn Beck Radio Show
  • Noon eastern — Rush Limbaugh endorsed the novel at the opening of his program
  • 2:00pm — Appear live on the Point of View Radio Show

 March 14 — Carrollton, Texas

  • 6:15pm – Iran Alive Ministries Fundraising Dinner
  • Registration required
  • Bent Tree Fellowship
  • 4141 International Parkway, Carrollton, TX 75007
  • Click here for details and to register: 

March 15  — Tyler, Texas

  • 5:00pm –One for Israel Fundraising Dinner
  • Registration required
  • Green Acres Baptist Church
  • 1607 Troup Hwy, Tyler, TX
  • Click here for details and to register:
  • Contact:

March 16 — Urbandale, Iowa

March 18 — Sanibel, Florida         

  • 7:00pm – Sanibel Community Church
  • Open to the public – free / no registration required
  • Sanibel Community Church
  • 1740 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL

March 19 — Washington, D.C.

  • 2:00pm — Tape podcast with Matt Lewis
  • 5:00pm — Meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Blair House
  • 7:30pm — Dinner with U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback

March 20 — Ft. Myers, Florida

  • 7:00pm – First Assembly Ft. Myers
  • Open to the public – free / no registration required
  • First Assembly Ft. Myers
  • 4701 Summerlin Road, Ft. Myers, FL

March 22  — San Diego, California

March 24 — Colleyville, Texas

  • Time TBD (evening) – First Colleyville Church
  • Open to the public – free / no registration required
  • First Colleyville Church
  • 3300 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, TX

March 28 — Simi Valley, California

March 29 — Irvine, California

March 30-31 —  Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Calvary Chapel Albuquerque
  • Open to the public – free / no registration required
  • March 30: 6:30pm
  • March 31: 8:00am, 9:45am, 11:30am
  • Calvary Chapel Albuquerque
  • 4001 Osuna Road, NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109

April 6-7 — Naples, Florida

  • Saturday evening service, and two Sunday morning services
  • First Baptist Naples
  • Open to the public – free / no registration required
  • First Baptist Naples
  • 3000 Orange Blossom Dr, Naples, FL

Most locations will include a book signing opportunity.



The Caliphate vs. The Kingdom. What is “the gospel of the kingdom” of Christ and why is it our hope in such dark times?

GospeloftheKingdomUPDATED: (Dallas, Texas) — This weekend here in Dallas, I taught Part #3 of a series of messages I’m delivering across the country this month on what Apocalyptic Islam is, why it’s a threat to us, and how the Church ought to respond.

Here are the links to my notes for the first two messages.

  1. Part #1 — What’s the difference between Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology & Biblical eschatology? And why does it matter?
  2. Part #2 — ISIS waging war of genocide against Christians in the Mideast. New UN report provides chilling details.

Here at Prestonwood Baptist Church, I spoke on “The Caliphate Vs. The Kingdom.” I explained why Iranian and ISIS leaders are so fervent about the coming of their so-called messiah (the Mahdi) and their Islamic kingdom (the caliphate), and asked whether Christians are anywhere near as passionate about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His actual, literal, physical Kingdom on earth.

Over the last several years, I’ve been doing a personal study in the Scriptures on the whole notion of “the gospel of the kingdom.” What is the kingdom, exactly? Why is it a matter of good news for believers? How can anticipating the coming of the kingdom be a source of great hope in dark times? I have to say this study has been especially encouraging as I’ve been studying the caliphate and Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology. There are some similarities, but the contrasts are striking, and important.

What’s more, as we begin 2016 — as we begin the process of choosing the next President of the United States and so many other national leaders — we also need to have a deeper understanding of Christ’s kingdom. We need to constantly remember that the Lord is sovereign over our electoral process, that He may not give us the candidates want to win, and in fact He may allow horrible, corrupt, even dangerous leaders to win control of the United States. I hope not. I pray not. But should this happen, all the more we will need to understand “the gospel of the kingdom” and live with the hope that our King is coming soon to make all things right.

As soon as I can, I hope to post a link to the video or audio of the message. But for now, here some of the notes I used, particularly the Scriptures that formed the basis of the message. Please print them out and study them yourself, and as a couple and with your kids and your small group Bible study. And please feel free to share these notes with others on social media. Hope you find them helpful. God bless.


  • As darkness falls over the world, and particularly over Middle East….
  • As the forces of freedom are in retreat….
  • As Iran’s Apocalyptic Islamic regime and its nuclear program is not neutralized but rather rewarded by the West and as the regime becomes even more aggressive….
  • As the forces of the Islamic State — also driven by Apocalyptic Islam

— wage a war of genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria in order to hasten the establishment of their Islamic kingdom or caliphate and the coming of their so-called messiah, the Mahdi….

  • As our religious liberties here at home are under relentless assault…..
  • As Americans murder 58 million unborn babies and there seems no end in sight….
  • As our faith and our values are constantly trashed by our nation’s elites….
  • As Washington seems unable or unwilling to steer the ship of state back in the right direction….
  • As the two presidential front-runners give us little confidence they can or will turn the country in the right direction either….
  • And as many in the Church turn their back on Christ and His Word and His people….

It is important for followers of Jesus Christ to remember, to study more closely — and to preach faithfully and without hesitation– what the Bible calls “the gospel of the Kingdom.”

The good news is that we have a King. He is coming. He adopted us into His royal family. And He will reign forever. He will establish justice and righteousness. He will make all things right, and all things new. This is our hope in an increasing dark world. And we must hold fast to it now as never before.


“One like a Son of Man was coming…up to the Ancient of Days….And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)

“Behold, a day is coming when….the Lord will be King over all the earth; in that day, the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.” (Zechariah 14:1,9)

“Behold the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and rigtheousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5)

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders…There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the hrone of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with Justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.”

(Isaiah 9:6-7)


“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” — John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2)


“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.” (Matthew 4:23)

“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)


  • “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'” (Matthew 10:6-7)
  • “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end shall come.” (Matthew 24:14)


  • “And he (Paul) entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:8)
  • “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:25-27)
  • “And he (Paul) stayed (in Rome) two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” (Acts 28:30-31)


  • “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’…..Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels….These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46)


  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again He cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
  • “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
  • “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:23)


  • “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will….In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:4,5,7,8)
  • “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” (Ephesians 2:19)
  • “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession…” (I Peter 2:9)
  • “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth….He has made us to be a kingdom.״ (Revelation 1:5-6)


  • “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
  • “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” (Matthew 13:11)
  • “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21)
  • “To these (apostles) He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
  • “Blessed are the gentle/meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
  • “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:11)


  • “Pray, then, this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)


  • Matthew 13:11 — “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”
  • NOW: The Kingdom of God came in a spiritual form when Christ arrived in earth the first time.
  • Luke 17:20-21 — “For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
  • Matthew 12:28 — “…if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
  • NOT YET: The Kingdom of God is coming in a physical form when Christ comes back to earth the second time.
  • Luke 19:11-12 — “While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So he said, ‘A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return….'”


  • The Messiah “will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5; see also Jeremiah 33:14-16)
  • “Judah will be saved.” (Jeremiah 23:6)
  • “Israel will dwell securely.” (Jeremiah 23:6)
  • “Then it will come about that any who are left of the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.” (Zechariah 14:16)
  • The Lord God “laid hold of the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and threw him into the abyss.” (Revelation 20:2-3)
  • The saints “came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years….They will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4,6)


  • “the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come….time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom” (Daniel 7:18, 22)
  • God will dwell (tabernacle) with His people (Revelation 21:3)
  • “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • “there will no longer be any death.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • “there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • “there will no longer be any curse” (Revelation 22:3)
  • “they will see His face” (Revelation 22:4)
  • “there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them” (Revelation 22:5)
  • “they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5)