Compassion

Join us in standing with Israel

Friday, February 24, 2017

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Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

US Ambassador to the UN Slams Anti-Israel Bias

United States Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 | After years of encountering disproportionate anti-Israel criticism and bias at the United Nations [UN], the United States “will not turn a blind eye to this anymore,” new United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Thursday.

Haley described her first meeting of the UN Security Council:

“The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hizballah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades.

Haley proclaimed that the US is “determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias,” and will not “repeat the terrible mistake” of failing to veto anti-Israel resolutions, like the Obama administration did last year with Security Council Resolution 2334 which criticized Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

“Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs,” she pointed out. “Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran.”

The focus on Israel does nothing to advance the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Haley said. She reiterated that the Trump administration’s support for peace efforts that are “negotiated directly between the two parties.”

Haley said that she tried to get the Security Council to condemn a recent terror attack in Israel, but the statement was blocked. “The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country. But not for Israel,” she said. “And that’s downright shameful.”

Because of its obsessive focus on Israel, the UN was failing in its responsibilities, she stated.

“Israel exists in a region where others call for its complete destruction and in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. These are threats that we should discuss at the United Nations as we continue working toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Outside of the UN, though, Haley observed, things are improving for Israel, which “is building up new diplomatic relationships. More and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world. They are recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a troubled region and that Israel is at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological discovery.”

This is not the first time Haley has made her views known about the UN’s treatment of the Jewish state. At her confirmation hearing last month, she called the UN’s anti-Israel bias “outrageous.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 21 February 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Nikki Haley/ Facebook

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, as she represents the United States administration that has chosen to stand with Israel, bringing strong, vocal support for Israel to a biased organization. Pray for a brave heart, a spirit of endurance, wisdom and ask God to shelter her and the Trump administration, under the shadow of His wings as He orders their steps.

Scripture

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.


- Psalm 91:4

Second ISIS Attack on Israel in Two Weeks

by Ilse Posselt

Rockets fired on southern Israel during Operation Protective Edge (illustrative)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 | Less than two weeks ago, the screech of air raid sirens warned residents in Israel’s southern port city of Eilat that four rockets had been fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The next day, an affiliate of the Islamic State or ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack—and vowed to launch more in the future.

On Monday morning, ISIS made good on their threat, launching a further two rockets from Sinai towards civilian populations in the Jewish state. The rockets exploded in an open field in Israel’s northwestern Negev area close to Gaza, causing no harm or damage. The projectiles did not trigger the incoming rocket alert system, as the calculated point of impact was well beyond a populated area.

Yesterday, Sinai Province, the ISIS offshoot operating in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israeli media reports that Monday morning’s attack comes a day after the ISIS affiliate accused the Jewish state of killing five of its members in an airstrike.

The official media arm of Sinai Province, the Amaq news agency, claimed on Sunday that an Israeli drone conducted a strike on a car in which five ISIS members were traveling. The alleged strike took place near the Israel-Egypt border in the upper Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. According to the report, the Islamic State terrorists were part of a cell preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

In keeping with its policy of refraining to comment on allegations from nations pointing a finger at the Jewish state for activity outside its borders, the Israel Defense Force [IDF] neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the supposed strike.

The situation on Israel’s border with Egypt has been particularly tense since the ISIS attack earlier this month. The Iron Dome anti-missile system managed to intercept three of the four rockets fired by Sinai Province. The fourth landed in an open area. Sinai Province released a statement at the time, vowing continuous war against “the infidels” and threatening “calamitous” attacks in the future.

Sinai Province stands in violent opposition to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and has launched a number of attacks against the Egyptian military in the area, The Israel Project reports. Moreover, both Jerusalem and Cairo have expressed growing concerns over increasing cooperation between the ISIS affiliate and Hamas, the terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 22 February 2017)

Photo Credit: Isranet

Prayer Focus
Cry out against ISIS and Hamas as they continue to fire rockets into Israel. Thank God for His protection over the Land and for guiding the IDF and security forces who seek more intelligent ways to prevent terrorist attacks. Thank God for finances to keep the Iron Dome operational.

Scripture

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.


- Isaiah 54:17

Hezbollah Has “Game-Changing” Iranian Arms, Tunnels on Israeli Border

Israeli town of Nahariya, near the border with Lebanon and Hezbollah’s increasing threat

Monday, 20 February 2017 | Iran has sent “game-changing” weapons to its proxy group Hezbollah which has been actively building tunnels and fortifications along Lebanon’s border with Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported Wednesday, citing Lebanese media.

Ibrahim al-Amin, chairman of the pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar, wrote in an editorial on January 24 that “a vast supply of advanced, state-of-the art weapons of various kinds, including weapons provided by Iran” have flown into Hezbollah’s depots since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. He also asserted that while Israel targeted convoys transporting sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, “dozens if not hundreds of convoys managed to [get through and] bring the necessary [weapons] to the resistance bases in Lebanon.”

“Israel reads the map and realizes that Hizbullah’s weapons arsenal has steadily grown and is now several times larger than it was in 2006, and that the kind of weapons that the enemy tried and is still trying to prevent the resistance from acquiring—namely, what Israel calls ‘game-changing’ weapons—is available to it in great amounts,” al-Amin claimed.

Al-Amin observed that Hezbollah fired 4,300 rockets into Israel during the 2006 war between the two. Now, Israel estimates that Hezbollah would be able to fire 1,500 rockets at it each day, but “these are the enemy’s estimates, and they are surely wrong,” he wrote.

A separate report on Hezbollah’s preparations for another confrontation with Israel appeared several days earlier in Al-Mustaqbal, which is owned by Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’d Al-Hariri, a rival of Hezbollah. The paper confirmed that Hezbollah was operating in southern Lebanon, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701. “Hizbullah has concealed forward positions on the international border [between Lebanon and Israel], including tunnels it dug over 10 years ago, especially in the Al-Labouna area, south of Al-Naqoura. [This area] overlooks the Palestinian coast and the [Israeli] towns of Shlomi and Nahariya,” Al-Mustaqbal noted. This seemed to corroborate earlier reports by the pro-Hezbollah Al-Safir newspaper, which claimed in May that members of Hezbollah are “conducting observations, preparing, and digging tunnels that cause the settlers and enemy soldiers to lose sleep.” The report also claimed that Hezbollah has shared its tunnel digging expertise with Hamas.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that the terrorist group could use its advanced rocket arsenal to attack Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.

Hezbollah’s growing military capabilities, especially due to increased Iranian support, have been an Israeli concern for years. Nasrallah admitted last June that “Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and insisted that his group “will not be affected” by new American sanctions. “As long as Iran has money, we have money… Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it,” he added.

Nasrallah’s acknowledgement of Iranian aid seems to confirm a public assurance given to him in August 2015 by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that the nuclear deal Iran reached with global powers presented “a historic opportunity” to confront Israel. Iran announced in June that its defense spending would increase by 90% in the following year.

According to a July 2016 report published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Israeli officials believe that any future war with Hezbollah has the potential to cause “thousands of civilian deaths” in Israel. Hezbollah has, among other things, threatened to attack ammonium tanks in Haifa  which could kill tens of thousands of people.

The think tank’s vice president for research, Jonathan Schanzer, explained that Hezbollah’s widely-reported tactic of hiding military assets in civilian areas would also lead to mass casualties. Reports emerged two years ago that Hezbollah was offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes. An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah bolstered the Israeli assessment.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 17 February 2107. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for His protection of the land and people of Israel. Pray that the government, security forces and IDF will trust in God as they face all threats against the nation and especially the reality of Hezbollah that claims to be ready for a historic opportunity to confront Israel.

Scripture

Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.


- Isaiah 26:4

Israel and Saudi Arabia: A United Front Against Iran

by Ilse Posselt

Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany (Feb. 17, 2017) (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley/ Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 | At first glance, the nations of Israel and Saudi Arabia share little common ground. The majority of residents in the Jewish state ascribe to the culture, religion, values and principles of Judaism while the lives of those who call Saudi Arabia home are governed by Islam. Moreover, since the birth of the modern State of Israel in 1948, there have been no formal diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Riyadh. There is, however, one aspect on which Israel and Saudi Arabia see eye-to-eye: the danger that Iran poses to the region and the rest of the world.

According to Reuters, Jerusalem and Riyadh presented a “united front” against the Islamic Republic over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference where both nations issued “almost identical warnings of caution against Iranian aggression,” and called on the international community to act against Iran “for a myriad of activities undermining regional stability.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (Photo Credit: Glen Johnson/ U.S. Department of State from United States/ Wikipedia)

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reportedly “closed ranks” to reject a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for Sunni Gulf Arab nations to unite with Tehran in a bid to “reduce violence across the region,” Reuters reports.

“Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world,” al-Jubeir told the audience at the conference. The Islamic Republic, he assured, serves as a destabilizing force in the Middle East, pointing to Iran’s active role in the propping up President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the Syrian civil war, its development of ballistic missiles in contravention with United Nations resolutions and funding Shi’ite rebels in Yemen.

Al-Jubeir told the conference, the Islamic Republic is “determined to upend the order in the Middle East … (and) until and unless Iran changes its behavior it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this.”

Al-Jubeir continued to call on the international community to set “red lines” to stop the Islamic Republic’s dangerous course of action and suggested “banking, travel and trade restrictions aimed at changing Tehran’s behavior,” Reuters reported.

For his part, Lieberman explained that Iran’s ultimate goal was to undermine Saudi Arabia and urged for a dialogue between the Jewish state and Sunni Arab nations in the Middle East to stand against “radical” elements in the region.

“The real division,” Lieberman explained to the conference, “is not Jews, Muslims… but moderate people versus radical people.”

Turkey also spoke out against Iran, adding its voice to the “united front” against Tehran presented by Israel and Saudi Arabia. Admonishing the Islamic Republic’s “sectarian policy” geared towards undermining Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “Turkey is very much against any kind of division, religious or sectarian. It is good that we are now normalizing our relations with Israel.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 21 February 2017)

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for His will to be done in the Middle East in the negotiations taking place between Israel and other Sunni Arab countries as they unite against Iran. Ask God to prepare the way and give wise counsel to Israel’s leaders as they spearhead these initiatives.

Scripture

For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.


- Proverbs 24:6

Iran Calls Palestinians to “Holy Intifada” to Destroy Israel

Iran sits in the center of the Middle East as pictured in this topographical map

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 | Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” and called for a “holy intifada” to destroy the Jewish state.

Khamenei’s latest threat came in a speech introducing the regime’s sixth conference in support of a Palestinian intifada, or violent uprising against Israel. The conference was held in Tehran and had seats reserved for the heads of the terrorist groups Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah, according to The New York Times. All three groups have received funds, intelligence and weapons from Iran.

The creation of Israel “is another dirty page in history which will be closed with the permission and assistance of Allah the Exalted, just like other dirty pages in history,” Khamenei said in his speech, according to a translation posted on his website.

“The illegitimate entity of the Zionist regime will continue to exist only if it is founded on the ruins of Palestine’s identity and entity,” he added. “That is why protecting Palestinian identity and guarding all the symbols of this truthful and natural identity is a necessity and a holy jihad.”

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs observed in a report published last week that the nuclear deal has not stopped Iran “from propagating Israel’s destruction.” Khamenei has been quoted describing Israel in July as an “illegal and filthy Zionist regime,” and long-range ballistic missiles tested by Iran in March had the phrase “Israel should be wiped off the map/face of the earth” written on them in Hebrew.

“The combination of an extreme Islamist ideology that repetitively preaches the destruction of Israel, boasts of its advanced missile program and seeks to return to the bosom of the Western world makes Iran all the more dangerous,” the report noted.

In 2015, the report noted, Khamenei shared a timeline for Israel’s destruction on social media. Numerous Iranian generals and top officials offered particulars on how Israel will meet its end with Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, ground force commander of the Iranian army, saying in October 2015: “If Israel makes any move, we will react with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s long-range missiles.” Purdastan said his wish was “see Israel make a move to put the supreme leader’s remarks into action as soon as possible.”

Ahmad Karimpour, a senior advisor to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) elite Quds Force, said in May: “With the facilities and equipment we have, we can raze the Zionist regime to the ground in less than eight minutes if we ever decide to act, based on the supreme leader’s orders.” This was a reference to Khamenei’s 2013 promise to “raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground” if Israel ever attacked Iran.

Khamenei’s senior military adviser, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, likewise said in July, “The unity of Muslims, support for the Islamic Resistance and the continuation of armed jihad [sacred war] is the main strategy for the liberation of Palestine …Strengthening jihadist groups, particularly arming the people of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria], with its 3 million-strong population, is one of the duties of Muslims…The arming of the West Bank will make the Zionists lose control (of the West Bank).”

This is the latest in a series of reports by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs cataloging promises by Iranian leaders to destroy Israel. The first report was produced in 2008, prompted by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2005 comment that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” A follow up report was issued in 2012, covering the threats issued against Israel by Iran’s leaders during the subsequent four years.

A complementary report was published in 2013 following the election of Hassan Rouhani, the current president who was reputed to be more moderate than Ahmadinejad, and another was released after the conclusion of the nuclear deal in 2015.

The 2013 report noted that threats to destroy another country are prohibited under international law:

“The 1948 Genocide Convention lists incitement to commit genocide as a war crime. Much of the Iranian language regarding Israel can certainly be legally defined this way.

A common motif of incitement to genocide is the dehumanization of the target population. The Nazi weekly Der Stürmer portrayed Jews as parasites and locusts. In the early 1990s in Rwanda, Hutu propaganda described the Tutsis as “cockroaches.” Before Saddam Hussein’s operations against the Iraqi Shia population in 1991, his Baath Party newspaper characterized them as “monkey-faced people.” Similarly, former President Ahmadinejad has called Israeli Jews “cattle,” “blood-thirsty barbarians,” and “criminals,” while Iranian state-owned websites have explained why the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its population would be justified. Dehumanization has also appeared in other forms, such as demonization, in which the target population is labeled “Satanic”—a theme repeatedly used by Iranian leaders to describe Israel.

In fact, according to Prof. Gregory Gordon, who served as a legal officer for the first post-Nuremberg prosecutions for incitement to genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Iranian calls for Israel to be wiped off the map are “even more direct than much of the language from the Rwandan cases.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 21 February 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Map created with Generic Mapping Tools/Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Declare war in the heavens against God’s enemies and proclaim His scriptural promises to Israel, the land and her people. Praise God that He is in control and is bringing His everlasting covenant to pass for His name’s sake.

Scripture

Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.” Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.


- Psalm 83:12, 17–18

Bringing Jewish People Home

by Janet Aslin

North American immigrants who arrived in Israel in August 2016

Friday, 24 February 2017 | Scripture contains many references to aliyah, or the immigration of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Today we are seeing prophecy fulfilled as Jews from the four corners of the world are returning to the land of their inheritance. Deuteronomy 30:3–4 anticipates this day as we read these words: “If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess it.”

When Israel declared its statehood in 1948, there were fewer than 800,000 Jews living in the land. The most recent figures (2016) show roughly 6.5 million Jews or approximately 40% of the Jewish population worldwide, live in Israel. The majority of Jews living outside the land of Israel call North America home. New York City alone boasts a Jewish population of more than one million.

There are many organizations working to help new immigrants in all phases of the process. One that is specifically focused on reaching the Jewish population in the English-speaking countries of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom is Nefesh B’Nefesh. The organization provides information to Jewish enquirers and helps them during all phases of their aliyah. This coming Sunday, Nefesh B’Nefesh will be hosting an Aliyah Fair in Manhattan and expects a significant crowd. Artuz Sheva reports, “The event will be the largest ever of its kind, expecting some 1,500 potential olim [immigrants], aimed to accommodate a record-high interest in aliyah from the United States.” Similar events are planned for Montreal, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 24 February 2017)

Photo Credit: Ashernet/GPO/Mark Neyman

Prayer Focus
Pray for attentive hearts and ears as God reminds His people all over the world about their inheritance, their homeland. Pray for successful meetings and seeds sown as the Aliyah Fair educate Jews on the process of coming back home. Ask the Lord to bless all those who invest and take part of what He is doing.

Scripture

I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased. I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember Me in far countries; they shall live, together with their children, and they shall return.


- Zechariah 10:8-9

Action
Bridges for Peace offers practical assistance to many new immigrants once they have arrived in the Land. Be a part of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy by contributing to our New Immigrant Fund.

Netanyahu Heads to Singapore, Australia to “Open New Markets”  

by Ilse Posselt

PM Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu boarding an international flight

Monday, 20 February 2017 | On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boarded a plane for the third time in three consecutive weeks to embark on a diplomatic international trip. This time, Netanyahu’s destination is East Asia where he will meet his counterparts in Australia and Singapore, becoming the first-ever sitting Israeli prime minister to pay these two countries a visit.

Ahead of yesterday’s departure, Netanyahu briefed Israeli lawmakers at the weekly opening of the Knesset (Israel’s government) regarding his pending trip. “We will strengthen security, economic and other ties with these countries,” he explained. “In Australia I will, together with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, hold a meeting with business people from both countries in order to increase trade between Israel and Australia. What we are doing to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world is to open new markets.”

Netanyahu’s first stop is Singapore where he is scheduled to meet with President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the presidential palace in the morning.

Today’s schedule also has a meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Netanyahu and Loong met in Israel during April 2016 when Loong became the first Singaporean prime minister to visit the Jewish state. During an address at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem made during his visit, Loong hailed Israel as a long-standing friend of his country. When Singapore obtained its independence in 1965, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) “helped up to develop the Singapore Armed Forces,” he said.

In the 50 odd years since, Loong continued, the ties between Israel and Singapore “have expanded much further beyond defense and security.”

Netanyahu’s itinerary for his time in Singapore also includes a meeting with the Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister and National Security Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Before leaving Singapore, Netanyahu will also visit the Magen Avot synagogue, which was built in 1878, where he will have discussions with representatives of Singapore’s Jewish community of some 2,500.

After two days in Singapore, Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Australia on Tuesday afternoon. Landing in Sydney early Wednesday morning, the Israeli prime minister has a full day of meetings scheduled for the day. His itinerary includes get-togethers with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as well as a joint press conference with Turnbull.

Netanyahu and Turnbull will also meet representatives of Sydney’s Jewish community at the city’s Great Synagogue as well as at Moriah College’s Jewish day school.

Discussing the upcoming visit, Australia’s ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma told The Jerusalem Post, “We have an incredibly close relationship. So we attach a great deal of significance to having an Israeli prime minister visit, spend time with the Australian political leadership, with the Jewish community and give Israel’s perspective on world affairs. There is a lot of symbolic and historic significance attached to this visit.”

This month has been packed with international diplomatic visits for Netanyahu. February started with a get-together with his British counterpart Theresa May in London. Then, two weeks later, the prime minister flew to Washington for a meeting with American President Donald Trump. This week’s trip will increase the tally to four international diplomatic trips this month.

Over the past year, Netanyahu has placed increased emphasis on strengthening Israel’s ties with various nations around the world. In September 2016, the prime minister told a delegation of World Jewish Congress leaders that regardless of the perception that the Jewish state is isolated, there has been an upsurge in relations with a number of countries, including those in the Arab world.

“There is a lot of talk about Israel’s isolation,” he explained. “I beg to differ.”

Netanyahu reiterated this belief during a visit to Azerbaijan in December 2016. “The claim that Israel is isolated is becoming comical,” he said during a press release in the Azerbaijan capital. “Most countries around the world are ‘courting’ Israel.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 20 February 2017)

Photo Credit: Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Offer petition to the Lord for PM Netanyahu as he visits leaders in Singapore, Australia and the nations. Pray for protection, favor, wise and influential speeches as he gives Israel’s perspective on world affairs and opening new markets.

Scripture

I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.


- Proverbs 4:11-13

Israel Helps Deaf Palestinian Children Hear for the First Time

by Dr. Itay Gal

Infant with cochlear implant (illustrative)

Tuesday, 21 February 2107 | “The operations posed quite a logistical challenge,” said Dr. Michal Kaufmann, the performing surgeon. “Many authorizations were required from the Defense Ministry. Some of the children arrived without a medical record and required extensive tests at Hadassah, alongside the emotional and psychological treatment.”

The cochlear implant is an implanted hearing device, which is surgically inserted into the inner ear, bypassing the damaged organ and directly stimulating the hearing nerve. It was intended for children who were born deaf or adults who lost their hearing during their lives, and it potentially has the ability to return one’s hearing.

The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is only the first phase of the procedure. About a month after the procedure, the first fitting with the external part takes place. This phase is done by a speech therapist and is followed by a months-long rehabilitation process. The entire procedure requires the collaboration of otolaryngologists, ear surgeons and speech therapists specialized in the field of implants.

“This is an amazing project that gives these children the opportunity to step out of their world of silence and live their lives normally and fully,” said Dr. Kaufmann.

“These children couldn’t speak prior to the surgery; they were bereft of any supporting environment, uncommunicative. The surgery opened up their world, the ability to communicate and spread their wings… We are happy to have been able to contribute to such a dramatic change in their lives,” she continued.

Source: (Ynetnews originally posted this article on 18 February 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Bjorn Knetsch from The Netherlands/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring these deaf children from Judea and Samaria before the Lord and pray for emotional healing as they journey back to a normal life. Thank Him for Israel’s heart to invest in their healing and ask God to bless Dr. Michal Kaufmann and every person who made this possible.

Scripture

I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah


- Psalm 3:4

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