JERUSALEM – The U.S. elections are just 22 days away.
Their outcome – not just at the presidential level, but with regard to control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and who will control the direction of the Supreme Court and who will fill hundreds of federal judgeships – will profoundly affect the future of American policy towards Israel, Iran, the Arab world and the advancement of peace, security, religious freedom and economic growth and opportunity in the region.
This is the number one matter I’m watching and praying about this week, and I will get to that in a moment.
But there are other critical issues I’m tracking, as well:
Tragically, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Israel is about to hit a new record high. As I write this, 1,993 Israelis have died from the virus. In a few hours, we will pass the 2,000 mark. Please pray for the Lord to comfort every Israeli who is grieving the loss of family members and friends.
Fortunately, the number of daily positive new cases reported in Israel is finally slowing – and slowing dramatically. Israelis continue to be in a full national lockdown. That said, the number of positive virus tests this weekend hit the lowest rate since August. Still, senior officials say we are still in a state of emergency and they are hesitant to make the same mistake this did over the summer, which was to reopen the country too quickly. Currently, Israel has 55,000 active cases and a total of over 292,000 cases since the start of the pandemic. This week, we will almost certainly top 300,000 cases. Please pray for quick healing and full recovery for all Israelis who have been infected, and for a quick end to this plague.
Sadly, two senior Palestinian officials have just announced that they have contracted the COVID-19 virus. One is Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and one of the closest and most trusted advisors to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The other is Hanan Ashrawi, a long-time senior advisor to Abbas, and previously to Yasser Arafat. Currently, 44,299 Palestinians have active cases of the coronavirus, and some 381 Palestinians have died from it. Please pray for quick healing and full recovery for Erekat, Ashrawi and all Palestinians who have been infected, and for a quick end to this plague in the West Bank and Gaza.
The good news is that on Thursday, Israel’s parliament – the Knesset – is expected to debate and vote to ratify the historic peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates. Today, the full Cabinet unanimously ratified the treaty. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that over the weekend he spoke to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in a phone call. The leaders, whom ALL ISRAEL NEWS can report have met at least one time secretly in the past, plan to meet together publicly “soon.” Meanwhile, Israeli and Bahraini officials are continuing to work on the details of their own peace treaty. Please pray that more Arab countries will forge peace treaties with Israel soon.
Now, back to the U.S. elections.
Nationally, the polls show a huge divide between Democrats and Republicans.
In key “battleground states,” however, most of the races are neck-in-neck.
That means that literally a few votes in either direction could have enormous implications and decide the direction of the country.
ALL ISRAEL NEWS is a non-profit, non-partisan website. I will not, therefore, tell you which candidate or political party for whom to vote.
I will encourage – indeed, plead with – all of you who are US citizens and are in the States to vote immediately, in-person, as in today or tomorrow at the latest.
Do not wait until Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Already, more than 6.6 million Americans have voted.
All signs point to this being the highest turnout election in American history, or one of them.
The lines on Election Day will be enormous.
When I was in States last month on a speaking and media tour, I made sure to get back to northern Virginia, where my wife and I are registered to vote. At that time, the only place where you could vote early and in-person was at the Fairfax County Government Center. The line was unbelievably long. I timed the process. It took me 3 hours and 2 minutes to vote from the time I arrived – and that was six weeks out from Election Day.
Now, there are many more in-person early voting centers people in Virginia can go to, and the same is true in all 50 states.
Go. Vote now. Don’t wait. Take the day off from work it you have to. Even if it takes you half a day, you’ll invest a lot less time than on Election Day. And you’ll have the assurance of knowing that you have done your civic duty and can focus for the next three weeks on persuading all of your family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers to get to the polls and vote, as well.
If you are overseas, fill out your absentee ballot today. Not tomorrow. TODAY. And then send it in by FedEx, DHL, or some other overnight delivery service that you can trust.
That’s what my wife, Lynn, did this weekend. She wasn’t able to travel back to the States with me. So she made sure she voted absentee and sent it by a secure and trusted delivery service.
The stakes in this election could not be higher.
If your preferred candidates, party and values lose on Nov. 3, and you did not vote – and did not do everything humanly possible to mobilize everyone you know to take the time to vote – you will have no one to blame for the outcome but yourself.
And then keep praying – continuously – for the Lord to bless and have mercy on the increasingly fractured, troubled and disunited states of America.