President Biden Likely To Visit Israel
President Biden is planning a trip to the Middle East with Israel as one of his stops. Although the visit to Israel was originally on Biden’s schedule for a few weeks from now, the administration decided to postpone the trip to July. The exact nature of his trip and planned destinations remain unclear. Though he had planned to visit Saudi Arabia, Biden now says he has no direct plans to go there. Additionally, if Israel’s fragile coalition government does not stay in power and a new election is needed, President Biden will likely not make the trip to Israel. American presidents have generally avoided Israel during election times. Biden has not yet visited Israel as president of the United States.
Please pray for wisdom and planning for this key visit to the Middle East.
Israel’s Teachers Protest for Higher Pay
More than 20,000 teachers protested last week for higher pay and better working conditions. The Teacher’s Union led the effort. Israel’s government is negotiating a new salary package as part of the upcoming state budget. “Our gathering together—teachers from Metula to Eilat [north to south], Jews and Arabs, right and left—is nothing short of a sound of alarm. The education system is bleeding to death. It is on the verge of collapsing,” said Teacher’s Union head Yaffa Ben David at the protest.
Israel also currently lacks 8,000 teachers and assistants, mainly in the kindergartens and elementary schools. Ben David insists that Israel’s teachers are paid two-thirds less than the average teacher in OECD countries (an economic index of wealthy nations). An analysis by a public broadcaster differs, though. When one accounts for bonuses and extra pay for experience, Israelis earn as much or more than the average teacher in OECD countries.
Please pray for Israel’s teachers to have wisdom as they seek better conditions while teaching and training Israel’s future generations.
Israel to Use Lasers for Aerial Defense
Israel has developed a laser-based air defense system that will take out enemy rockets and drones. This new system should be in service by early 2023. The Iron Beam, or “Light Shield,” will use lasers to overheat and disable the aerial threats. Currently, Israel uses the innovative Iron Dome system that launches interceptor missiles to track and destroy incoming aerial threats. The Iron Dome is incredibly effective. However, it costs tens of thousands up to millions of dollars to destroy each enemy rocket via the Iron Dome. The Iron Beam, in contrast, only costs two dollars per interception. These savings will, in effect, bankrupt the enemy, who pays thousands of dollars per weapon they launch.
“This is a game-changer, not just because we are striking at the enemy military, but also because we are bankrupting it,” Prime Minister Bennett said during a visit to the system’s state-owned manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
Praise God for this innovative and financially smart way to defend Israel against her enemies.