Israel’s Airline About to Be Saved from Bankruptcy
El Al, Israel’s national airline, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic decrease in travel. The airline, which is about to go bankrupt, has caught the eye Eli Rozenberg, a wealthy Jewish businessman from New York who wants to buy the airline and save hundreds of jobs. Maintenance crews, cabin crews, and airline administration have already reached agreements with management for salary reductions and layoffs. The pilots’ committee is the last group to finish such talks. The overall goal is a reduction of more than 30 percent of the workforce. Even the board of directors, who took a 20 percent cut in March, will be taking additional salary cuts. Rozenberg’s purchase of the company is designed to help prevent the airline from falling apart and facilitate its recovery. The purchase is not without its obstacles, however. Because a large percentage of the stock is owned by the State of Israel, any sale of the airline will be very complex. It will require permits from the government, and approval from several ministries, including the Defense Ministry headed by Benny Gantz.
Please pray for those who have been laid off from their jobs, those who may still lose their jobs in this process, and for El Al Airlines to come through this crisis intact.
COVID-19 Research from Hebrew University
New research from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City has found that the use of a medication already approved by the Food and Drug Administration may be able to downgrade COVID-19’s severity. They have found that this novel coronavirus reproduces by entering the lung cells and preventing the burning of carbohydrates, the cell’s normal way of producing energy. Cells that are unable to burn carbohydrates will use fat as an alternative source, which results in large amounts of fats accumulating in the lungs. The virus reproduces in the presence of high amounts of fat. This also might explain why people with high cholesterol and elevated blood sugar levels are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. The medication they are now testing, TriCor®, is currently on the market as a treatment for high cholesterol. By reducing the amount of fat, the virus can be deprived of the resources it needs to survive. Since the drug is already proven safe, they are hoping to fast-track clinical studies. Currently in preclinical testing, a five-day course of treatment almost completely eradicated the virus.
Please pray for continued successful research and trials coming from Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Legal Trials
The courts have decided that January 2021 will be the start of Benjamin Netanyahu’s court case. He has been charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of public trust. Hearings will be held three times a week, and witnesses will be called each time. Several of Netanyahu’s lawyers have quit during the past year because of disputes over unpaid legal fees. Netanyahu’s lawyers have also argued that it will be hard to read the witnesses facial expressions if their faces are covered with a mask. Although the defense has requested more time for research and processing evidence, their appeal to the court to delay the start date to the spring of 2021 was denied. If the trial is still ongoing in November 2021, or judgment is entered before that time, some are concerned that it might affect Prime Minister Netanyahu from transferring premiership to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who is due to take over from Netanyahu in November 2021.
Please pray for wisdom during these court trials.
Wave of Protests in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
There have been large protests outside Prime Minister Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem and in main squares in Tel Aviv for a few weeks now. Thousands of demonstrators, from self-employed workers to small business owners, are unhappy with the way the government of Israel has handled the financial devastation caused by the coronavirus. The impact of COVID-19 has sent thousands into economic freefall. Many blame the government and its lack of monetary assistance. Israel had locked down the country—and the economy—severely for two months. They recently loosened restrictions, though critics say it was too fast. Currently, the virus is surging, more than doubling the spring numbers. The hardships of the lockdowns, the unemployment, and sickness have sent thousands into the streets in frustration, crying out against the government.
Please pray for those protesting, that they would be safe and healthy and that their frustrations would be met with results.
Because of Him, Our Workers in Israel Can Help Those in Need
As Israel is confronted with corporate bankruptcies, violent street protests, and governmental court hearings, things appear to be spinning out of control. As believers in Jesus, however, we know that the Lord holds all that is happening in His hands. Calm and peace in our lives can only truly come through our faith in Him. Things might be hard but, by His words and might, He will sustain us! Many are struggling and need an extra listening ear to talk through their struggles.
Please pray for our workers in Israel, who relay this message of peace to others, that we can listen and pray with people who need encouragement, words read from the Scriptures and prayer.
Please pray for our workers to be in the right place at the right time to continually share this message of hope and salvation to anyone who is ready to hear.
And please pray that we will be able to help those in physical need, as well. He will sustain and guide us through this season!