rip·ple ef·fect: The repercussions of an event or situation experienced far beyond its immediate location.
Israel is a small geographical place around the size of New Jersey, yet the eyes of the world are upon her. The “Apple of God’s Eye,” He looks upon Israel and sees her significance. He has given her a mandate to be a blessing to the nations. With a call to be a template and the sending place of the Word, the stance Israel takes for purity and righteousness has the potential to be an effective influence that ripples out to the world (Isaiah 2:3).
Exodus Cry recently took a team to Israel, as the nation is in a Kairos moment regarding their stance on prostitution. We wanted to witness firsthand what was happening in the nation related to the issue of sexual exploitation, to offer support to those laboring for justice and change, and above all else, pray. The act of prostitution is currently legal in Israel. It is estimated that the industry generates over 2.4 billion NIS annually, most of which goes directly into the pockets of organized crime syndicates. With one million visits monthly to those exploited, and an estimated 15,000 in prostitution, the heartbreaking effects could be seen — drug use, homelessness, disease and despair were evident. It does not take one long to be confronted with the easy accessibility of lives for sale on the streets of Tel Aviv. Passing cars and cyclists drop call girl cards, littering the streets with their advertisements.
In the midst of a nation that fuels such a high demand for prostitution, arising simultaneously is a generation of advocates for justice and righteousness. Emerging in positions of influence in media, social work and government, their voices and prayers have caused movement in the waters and a ripple has begun. Within the past six months films like Zona, created by Project NOA (Not Objects Anymore), which reveals the devastating effects of prostitution, was shown to the Knesset. Collaborative efforts of Knesset member, Mk. Orit Zuaretz, and advocates such as Jerusalem Institute of Justice, have worked to bring awareness to both Knesset members and the Israeli public. Due to the media attention given to the issue of sexual exploitation and prostitution, there was a rapid decrease in the purchase of sexual services. Through these efforts, along with the powerful prayers given to see the eradication of prostitution in Israel, the Knesset committee voted unanimously in favor of “The Prohibition of the Purchase of Sexual Services” bill to make the purchase of sexual services illegal and the first official voting rounds in the Knesset were also in favor of the passing of the bill. Yet, opposing voices are arising. A total of three votes are necessary, so it is important that we pray. The Knesset will be in discussion and review the bill to prepare for a second vote during the summer session. Economics play a large role in this as the cost to build shelters, rehabs, recovery programs, as well as job training and welfare for 15,000 women is vital.
It is critical that we continue to stand with Israel to see the bill passed. This bill sets the criminal responsibility on the client, thus attempting to eliminate the demand for purchasing sexual services. Isaiah 2:3 declares, “For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” In order for a law to go forth, it must first be established. Israel is on the verge of a watershed moment that could set a precedent for the nations. If passed, this law will be a quantum leap in ethical legislation. Let us contend for Israel during this critical moment in time to take her place in regards to prostitution and sexual exploitation. Breakthrough has taken place with the passing of the bill in its first official voting rounds. Let us pray for breakthrough again, that ultimately, the purchase of sex would be deemed illegal in the nation of Israel. Let us stand for justice to see the historic event and the rippling of righteous law go forth from this place to all the nations.