The People’s Discontent
A recent poll taken by an Israeli television station showed that Israelis are losing confidence in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party. Netanyahu and Likud won thirty-six seats in the March 2020 elections, but if a snap election were held today, Likud would only win twenty-six seats according to the poll. The Yamina (Right) party, led by Naftali Bennet, would come away with twenty-three seats, a very dramatic increase from the six seats they received in March. The Blue and White party, led by Benny Gantz, who will become the Prime Minister in a year under the coalition government agreements, would see a dramatic drop, only receiving nine seats compared to the thirty-three seats they won in March. All this shows the changing views of the Israeli public who are frustrated and dissatisfied with the way the government is leading during the pandemic and lockdowns. Protests have been held all over the country, with residents only allowed to travel a little more than a half mile (one kilometer) from their homes. Protestors are found along the side of the road, on overpasses, in plazas and gardens, at major intersections, and more. This past Saturday, despite government bans on public gatherings, tens of thousands rallied across the county. According to police, most were not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.
Please pray for wisdom for the Israeli government and peace and assurance for Israeli citizens.
Fires Raged in Northern Israel
Recently, regions in Israel’s north saw dozens of fires spark and rage, causing evacuations and property damage. Israel is currently experiencing very hot temperatures, while waiting for the autumn rains to fall. All the vegetation and land is dry from the summer and full of easily-sparked tinder. Dozens of fire crews worked hard over the weekend to gain control of the fires as well as using aerial support. The fires hit towns and villages in the north of Israel as well as in the West Bank, though some suspected that the fires in the West Bank may have been caused by arson and not the extreme heat.
Please pray for those who suffered smoke inhalation and damage to their homes, and for the firefighters who continue to battle the fires.
Army Hospital in Haifa
For the first time ever, military medical personnel will be treating civilians. “The IDF has never treated Israeli citizens, even during the country’s toughest years,” said IDF chief medical officer Alon Glazberg. As a result of the increase in coronavirus patients, the Rambam Hospital in Haifa opened a special coronavirus ward in their underground parking lot on Sunday staffed only by military doctors, nurses, paramedics, and medics. These medical professionals in the Israeli Defense Forces came from all over the country and were trained last week in procedures and protocol. The underground unit can treat up to 770 patients. There are already 70 COVID-19 patients in serious condition being treated in the ward. While the medical officers will be working alongside civilian healthcare professionals, the additional personnel will free up other hospital staff. Hospital units around the country are overwhelmed and medical professionals are exhausted, this measure will alleviate some of the stress and difficult working conditions. The military unit and medical professionals will stay there throughout the winter months when the virus counts might soar again.
Please pray for the medical professionals in Israel and around the world, as they have pushed themselves above limits to care for and treat the sick during this pandemic.
Thirty-Second Coronavirus Test
Israel and India have collaborated to develop a thirty-second coronavirus test called “Open Skies” in the hopes of allowing air travel to confidently resume. If approved, the person being tested would simply blow into a tube, and the results would be available in less than a minute. Not only is the test faster but is would cost much less since it does not need to be sent to a lab for processing. In July, Israel sent a large delegation to India to collect samples and to help treat those with COVID-19. The test focuses on four technologies: sound waves, breathalyzers based on terahertz waves, isothermic identification, and checking polyamino acids. Israel and India are thrilled with their cooperation in science and technology that should be able to help millions of people.
Please pray this test gets approved and will be helpful to many people.
After the Holidays
“After the holidays” is the phrase everyone in Israel uses to mean that life does not really pick up and settle into a schedule until after the Jewish high holidays are finished. You should not expect projects to get finished, reports and paperwork to come back to you, working hours to resume like normal, or school sessions to commence until…after the holidays. Now that the holidays are over, please pray for Chosen People Ministries—Israel as we keep moving forward reaching the lost, caring for those in need, and encouraging and praying for those who need the Lord’s help and comfort. These are not easy times, and definitely not normal, but we press on towards the goal as the Apostle Paul encourages us to do in Philippians 3:14! More than ever, we are reaching people through online media such as special seminars, Bible studies, times of prayer, and worship. We even are planning a cooking class and other useful ways to gather on Zoom. During the holidays, we had a surprising Facebook advertisement about Isaiah 53 that received hundreds and hundreds of clicks. It was extraordinary!
Please pray for our conversations, creativity and care we can give to others during these difficult times.