I must say, this is a first for me. I’m not normally publicly asked what I pray for, but I think many of us hope and pray for the same things, i.e. – longevity, peace in Israel “sheket” (in Hebrew), prosperity, and no shortage of good luck!  My personal hopes for the upcoming year are rather complex, but having already reviewed them in my mind a number of times, I feel I can offer some of the more public ones in this Opinion piece here. In an effort to be as realistic as possible, my hopes and prayers generally combine with the way I foresee the upcoming year turning out to be.  And by God, we’re ready for a new year!

The first thing I can see happening on a political level is the Left will come more and more to the Centre as these terror attacks continue. Israeli’s everywhere will come to see that Oslo meant nothing more to our Arab neighbours than the paper it was signed on.  This might actually lead to more of a unified nation, as Jewish and Christians alike come to the same conclusions both here in Israel and abroad, that left to their own, the Arabs are highly volatile and any attempt at becoming a democracy is simply not in the cards. In other words, the Two-State Solution will finally turn out to be a thing of the past. My hope and prayer is that we find a proactive solution that will strengthen Israeli sovereignty for the long term.

Similarly, I believe that the American left-wing, liberal supporters of the Iran nuclear agreement will be taken to task as Iran continues to illegally test its inter-ballistic missiles without any clear objections from the US President, the UN, or the International Atomic Association for that matter.  To the point where other Arab nations like Sunni Saudi Arabia might have to force the hand of the US State Dept. to eventually face off against Shiite Iran (as per their military treaty of Sept. 4 at the White House last year).  In a similar vein, the UN ‘s role as peacekeeper in the Middle East will be seen more critically, a governing body that has been completely hijacked, like the UNESCO incidents in the West Bank that we all witnessed last year.

In short, this year more people will be calling a spade, a spade!  This is my personal hope and prayer as well.

The second thing I foresee happening is that Russia will fill the void of power left by the weakened US in the Middle East, most specifically Syria and Turkey. Putin will take advantage, as he so deftly does, of Obama’s weak resolve and try to build up his own presence there, perhaps even to the point of moving into parts of Turkey.  This also may play out well for Israel in the long run, and may just be one of the reasons that Turkey is all of a sudden making lukewarm gestures towards Israel.  They will need the added military protection!

I do have high hopes that a morally stronger US President will be elected (I personally would love to see a Cruz/Huckabee ticket), and by this year’s end there will be a new, more responsible White House, certainly in terms of foreign policy, that will solidify ties with Israel and other key allies.

Thirdly, and lastly, I believe that 2016 will be an eye-opener in places like France, London and Belgium vis-à-vis Israel.  Ironically, the places where the more hostile, anti-Israel Arabs live, i.e., Paris, and the capital of the EU – Brussels, are being hit the hardest by radical Muslims.  They are now experiencing what Israel has been living with for decades, to the point where last night’s New Year’s celebrations in Europe were severely dampened under tight security.  Wishful thinking, but the European media bias that is so prevalent against Israel has to eventually come around, slowly but surely, as all the amazing archaeological finds that are now miraculously happening in and around the Temple Mount can’t help but show the whole world that the Jewish connection to the Holy Land in general, and Jerusalem in particular was, and is eternal.

There is no doubt that we are living in Messianic times.  Things are so unstable from day to day in the world.  But far from the doom and gloom scenarios so often predicted at the End of Days, I prefer to hope and pray that this upcoming year be one step closer to revealing all the GOOD that awaits.  We have a great future awaiting here in Israel, replete with a brand new Temple in Jerusalem with all the trimmings and fittings (about to be found soon, no doubt!).

2016 – Bring it on…