Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the prominent and influential leaders of religious Zionism, declared that "until there is a complete separation between men and women in the IDF—it is forbidden to enlist." Aviner, the rabbi of the settlement Beit El and the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva, is known for his controversial rulings, including his efforts to "convert" LGBTs, calls on women not to run for political office because it is immodest, and barring use of some emojis because they constitute "idolatry." Pray that all Jewish people will long for the wise rule of Messiah and seek His will while they wait.
A controversial bill, which will allow the interior minister to strike down municipal bylaws allowing some businesses to operate on Shabbat was passed with a narrow majority. Meretz leader Zehava Galon petitioned the High Court of Justice, claiming that "the law is unconstitutional as it disproportionally hurts the Israeli citizens' basic rights for freedom, freedom of religion and freedom from religion by allowing a religious minister to force his own lifestyle on the general public." Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded to the reservations on behalf of the government reading out parts of Israel's Declaration of Independence that deal with Israel's identity as a Jewish state. Pray for God's kingdom to come.
Palestinian Leaders Call for Suspension of Recognition of Israel
Palestinian leaders called for the suspension of recognition of Israel in a move with potentially deep implications as they met in response to US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The vote ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend its recognition of Israel until it "recognizes the state of Palestine," cancels its annexation of east Jerusalem, and stops settlement activity. Pray that God will show mercy and bring understanding and salvation to those who stand against Him and His people.
The United States will give the UN agency for Palestinian refugees $60 million in aid but will withhold a further $65 million for future consideration. In keeping back some of the aid, Washington appeared to carry out a threat made by President Donald Trump: "We pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel." In 2016, the USA gave $368,429,712 to UNRWA. Pray that God will give wisdom and courage to President Trump and other leaders.
Terror Victims Urge PM to Stop PA Salaries to Terrorists
Two-hundred terror victims—both those wounded in attacks and those who lost loved ones—sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to advance a bill freezing the transfer of money Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority until it halts financial aid to terrorists and their families. The proposed bill was tabled in April and passed in a preliminary Knesset reading, but has since been sluggishly advancing through the legislative process. Pray that Israel's government will act wisely as they relate to their enemies.
Despite efforts by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement to impose an academic boycott on Israel, Israeli business schools continue publishing over 200 articles annually in leading international peer-reviewed journals, with some the result of cooperation with counterparts in top universities around the world.