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 19,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Fill out the form on the side if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.
- “Jerusalem Issue” the Rallying Cry for “Arab Storm”
- Palestinians Make Demands, yet Refuse Mutual Recognition
- US Criticism Is Pushing Peace Away
- Iranian Nuclear Talks Nearing Second Deadline
- A Resurgence of Jew-Hatred in Hungary
- Israel’s President: ‘We are losing our ability to speak with one another’
- Sinai Attack Reverberates Around the Middle East
- Israeli Teams Meet Ebola Crisis Head-On
- IsraAID Assisting Displaced Christians and Yazidis in Iraq
- 7 Soldiers, 7 Countries, 7 Days
“Jerusalem Issue” the Rallying Cry for “Arab Storm”
The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level; it is umbilically connected to the chaos in the Middle East and to the great struggle between the moderate Sunni regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to make the Jerusalem issue a rallying cry of the “Arab Storm.” The Brotherhood’s strategy hopes to unite all of the region’s Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque [located on the Temple Mount] as its hub.
The Brotherhood flaunted the banner “the siege of Gaza” to incite European Muslims to demonstrate in the streets with their leftist allies, thereby advancing the status of Islam on the Christian continent. Today, the Muslim jihadists use the “Save Jerusalem” campaign to again bring millions of agitated Muslims into the streets of Europe.
Before the recent hit-and-run terror attack on a Jerusalem light rail platform, Khaled Mashal [Hamas leader], published a special announcement calling “on our people to hasten immediately to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and on the Muslim nation to send a painful message of rage to the world ….” Thus, in Hamas’s view it is the Jerusalem issue that can place the Palestinians at the forefront of the revolution unfolding in the Arab world, and of the Muslim awakening in Europe.
Muslim Brotherhood jurist, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, when in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in February 2011, called for Al-Aqsa’s liberation. Subsequently, he published a book titled Jerusalem: The Problem of Every Muslim. In the introduction, he says, “O nation of Islam, arise, the hour has come, and the hour of danger beckons—to Jerusalem, to Jerusalem—Al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa!”
The leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, stated that “Jerusalem is the capital of the imminently approaching Islamic Caliphate.”
Presumably, Qatar tried indirectly to help the Brotherhood in Egypt by inspiring support for them on the Jerusalem issue. It is also evident that in Syria, Qatar has funded an attempt to establish terror groups that put Jerusalem at the top of their concerns, such as the “Al-Aqsa Army.”
The fact that Khaled Mashal is living in Qatar has helped the Qataris realize that by ratcheting up the Palestinian issue it can reignite the passion of the Arab masses throughout the Arab world in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. As we saw in Operation Protective Edge, Qatar dictated a tough line against a ceasefire in the hope of bringing the Arab masses out into the streets. Qatar failed in the Arab world—but succeeded in Europe.
On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar, the great financier of all the movements that are undermining regional stability, including in Israel. The large sums evidently being used by the websites of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to wage the Jerusalem campaign indicate that much Qatari money has already flowed their way, and Fatah is now waiting in line.
Yet everyone is competing for Qatar money—a fact that only spurs local groups towards greater levels of violence. Fatah’s joining of the Al-Aqsa campaign as a wagon hitched to fundamentalist Qatar may well herald a takeover of Ramallah by the radical Islamic movements—unless the Palestinian Authority regains its bearings in time.
Photo Credit: Godot13/www.wikipedia.org
Cry out to the LORD of hosts, asking Him to defend the city of Jerusalem from Islamic fundamentalists who seek to claim it as their own. Thank the Lord for the irrevocable, covenantal right of the Jewish people to their eternal capital.
Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.- Isaiah 31:5
Palestinians Make Demands, yet Refuse Mutual Recognition
At the opening of the winter session of the Israeli parliament Netanyahu said that, “the violence we are experiencing is not as a result of construction activities in Jerusalem. The violence is rather due to the desire of Israel's enemies, that we should not be here.” The Prime Minister criticized the Palestinian demands of their own state without guarantees of peace and security. “They demand our withdrawal, their right of return of Palestinian "refugees" and the division of Jerusalem. But they refuse the elementary prerequisite of peace between the two nations. Mutual recognition!”
Meanwhile, Jordan supports the Palestinian call for a special session of the Security Council. The Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that Israeli construction plans in the Palestinian territories are “a slap in the face of the international efforts to bring the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians back on track.”
Israeli diplomats are planning a counter-action by calling for official recognition of Hamas as a terrorist organization by the United Nations. Israeli officials are currently communicating with senior representatives of the world community, to inform them of the construction and purpose of terror tunnels, the crime of using the Palestinian civilians as human shields and the shelling of Israeli civilians by Hamas.
While politicians and diplomats are talking, masked Arab rioters continued their riots and unrest in Jerusalem and environs in against police and security forces the eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, Ras al-Amud and Isawiya.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat testified before the Knesset Home Affairs Committee that even before Operation Protective Edge, there had been about 200 stone-throwing cases against Jewish institutions and properties in Jerusalem. Currently about 5,000 incidents have been recorded during the last month. The stone-throwing at cars and the fire-bomb attacks are life-threatening actions.
Photo Credit: Gideon/GPO/Ashernet
Pray that the double-standard of the Palestinians would be clearly revealed to the nations of the world. Intercede on behalf of Israel’s diplomats and leaders, that they would seek wisdom and strategy from the Lord to defeat the lies of the enemy.
An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes…The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good.- Psalm 36:1, 3
US Criticism Is Pushing Peace Away
Responding to US criticism that settlement construction was pushing peace further away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Tuesday [Oct. 28] that it was criticism that was pushing peace away.
“We will continue building in Jerusalem, our eternal capital. We've built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and will continue building in Jerusalem,” he said.
“I heard a claim that our construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem is pushing peace away, it is criticism that is pushing peace away,” Netanyahu added.
The US State Department said Monday that recent Israeli actions are not reflective of an administration pursuing peace.
“We view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The State Department expressed concerns following reports of expedited construction beyond the Green Line [cease-fire line established in 1949 that separated Israel from the Jordanian-held West Bank].
“These statements, which are detached from reality, are the ones that foster false statements from the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said.
“When Abbas incites to murder Jews in Jerusalem, the (international) community remains silent, but when we build in Jerusalem they are angered. I don’t accept this double standard,” the prime minister went on to say.
“Just as the French build in Paris and just as the English build in London— Israelis build in Jerusalem,” he concluded.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Haas/Shutterstock.com
Beseech the Lord on behalf of His people who are unjustly accused and criticized. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the city God has chosen as His own. Ask the Lord to strengthen His people as they face increasing criticism from the world.
They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.- Psalm 109:3
Iranian Nuclear Talks Nearing Second Deadline
As the nuclear talks between the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France + Germany) and Iran near their November 24th deadline, the question is whether or not a deal will be reached. And, will it be a “good” deal for Israel and the rest of the world or a “bad” deal?
Is Iran’s nuclear program for peaceful purposes, as asserted by its leaders or is the country secretly developing nuclear weapon capability? This is the pivotal question. Iran has consistently denied access to the sites within the country and maintained the need for more centrifuges, which are used for the enriching of uranium, than appear to be necessary for a program whose intent is nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.
The deadline to reach a deal has already been extended from last summer’s July 20th date to November 24th. There are a number of key issues, among which are the number of centrifuges Iran may operate and the amount of low-enriched uranium they may stockpile. The P5+1 appear willing to consider raising the number of centrifuges Iran may operate from 1,500 to 4,000. Currently Iran has approximately 9,400 centrifuges operating.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has repeatedly and consistently warned the world of Tehran’s intentions to develop a nuclear weapon and the ability to deliver it and the need to keep economic sanctions in place.
Source: (By Janet Aslin, Bridges for Peace, October 30, 2014)
Ask the Almighty to intervene in the Iran nuclear talks in His wisdom and might. Implore Him to give wisdom, knowledge and truth to those standing between the intents of Tehran and the safety of the Middle East nations.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.- Daniel 2:20–21
A Resurgence of Jew-Hatred in Hungary
Straddling both sides of the Danube River, the city of Budapest has all the look and feel of a charming European metropolis.
Indeed, a visitor to Hungary could be forgiven for thinking that the country has shaken off its dark and sordid past from the 20th century and transformed itself into a tolerant and liberal Western democracy.
Unfortunately, that is far from being the case.
As recent election results indicate, anti-Semitism is alive and well in Hungarian society, so much so that instead of deterring voters from supporting a particular party, it seems to attract them.
In municipal elections held on October 12, the anti-Semitic Jobbik party made large—and frightening—gains.
They won control over 14 towns and villages, compared with just the 4 they took in 2010, and came in second to the ruling Fidesz party in 18 out of 19 Hungarian counties.
And just why is Jobbik a matter of such concern?
Consider the following. Two years ago, Jobbik's deputy parliamentary leader called for all Jews in Hungary to be registered in a move that chillingly evoked the Nazi era. He also insisted that an investigation be undertaken regarding Jews serving in the Hungarian government to determine "the potential danger they pose to Hungary."
Two months ago, during the Gaza conflict, the mayor of the Hungarian city of Erpatak denounced Israel as a "Jewish terror state" and arranged for effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres to be hung in mock execution.
Earlier this year, Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, described Jobbik as an "unashamedly neo-Nazi party," adding that, "This is a party that feeds on hate."
It is simply deplorable that Hungary would slide back into anti-Semitic hatred just 70 years after more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Germans and their Hungarian allies in the Holocaust.
There are over 100,000 Jews still living in Hungary, and the threat to their safety and well-being is mounting.
The writing is clearly on the wall for Hungary and its Jews. Time is of the essence, because seemingly with each day that passes, Jobbik is growing stronger and spreading its tentacles throughout the country.
Photo License: www.wikipedia.org/Michael Thaidigsmann
As anti-Semitic threats to the safety and well being of Hungarian Jewish people rise, pray for their protection. Pray that those who are able will seriously consider making aliyah to Israel, the Jewish homeland.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.- Isaiah 35:10
Israel’s President: ‘We are losing our ability to speak with one another’
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 | Yesterday Israel's President Reuven Rivlin made an articulate plea for civility in public discourse, including heated debate. While unlikely that his admonitions will modify a global tide of spiteful rhetoric, Rivlin's appeal for boundaries in dialogue is notable. Almost no one is calling to account the way we speak to one another in the public square, on Facebook and in Twitter.
Addressing members of Israel's Knesset, Rivlin said he was "horrified by the severe bullying and intimidation that has contaminated debate."
Recounting things he has heard in the few months since his inauguration on 24 July, Rivlin said critics have often hurled epithets such as, "You lying Jew; Damn your name, you agent of the Arabs; Disgusting suck-up; Rotten filth; Lowest of the low; Traitor." And these, he said, were far from the most disturbing.
It is difficult, he continued, "not to feel that we are losing our ability to speak to one another.
"How have we reached the point where simple statements on our lives here ... warrant such reactions? How can it be, that expressions of core values—[such] as a Jewish democratic state—are seized upon by some as heroic and others as treason?
"Is there ... someone who thinks that the burning of a mosque is not a crime? Is there someone who thinks that stoning the Jerusalem Light Rail, that hurling rocks at Jews, is not a crime?
"Far too many basic values ... have fallen foul of harsh disputes between different ideological camps. They have become defiled.
"If words such as 'the rule of law, democracy, culture of debate, Zionism, settling the land'—if these become a reason to indict someone for treason or fascism—then even a constitution, ladies and gentlemen, will not help us."
"Each of us must ask ourselves, what is our part in this?
"Friends, we must not be silent. Silence is dangerous...specifically silence about the erosion of shared values.
"We have to find the way, the language and words whereby we deal with difficult tensions between us. I ask you, for us, for all of us, to find new meaning and think about your words."
Source: (By Brian Schrauger, Bridges for Peace, October 28, 2014)
Photo Credit: www.wikipedia.org
Pray that President Rivlin’s challenge for civility in public debate will be adhered to by political leaders, not only in Israel, but in other nations that share the godly value of respect for others, even in differences of opinion.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.- Proverbs 8:13
Sinai Attack Reverberates Around the Middle East
The deadliest attack on Egyptian soldiers since the new government of Abdel Fatteh Al-Sisi took office is affecting not only Egypt, but Israel and the Palestinians as well.
After an attacker drove a car rigged with explosives into a military checkpoint in the Sinai desert, killing at least 33 soldiers [October 24], Al-Sisi has vowed to crack down on Jihadi groups to prevent further attacks.
The Sinai Peninsula, which borders both Israel and the Gaza Strip, has long been a center for weapons and drug smuggling. After the most recently attack, Sisi closed the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt. Sisi blamed Palestinians in Gaza for helping the extremists behind the attack and announced that Egyptian-brokered talks on a more permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, that were supposed to have started this week, have been postponed.
Palestinians in Gaza expressed frustration that yet again, their interests are being pushed aside by extremist groups in Egypt. “Egyptian army failures can't routinely be blamed on others, on outside forces and on Hamas,” Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian columnist for Al-Monitor told The Media Line from Jordan.
Following the first visit to Gaza by the new Palestinian National Consensus Government, the plan was to have the Palestinian Authority replace Hamas forces, an agreement which has yet to materialize.
Israel, Egypt and the United States have all said that having PA troops running the Rafah border crossing is a condition for allowing large amounts of reconstruction aid into Gaza. Israel worries the cement and iron could be used for weapons or tunnels instead of rebuilding homes.
“Egypt is creating an atmosphere that is not conducive for meetings, when something happens, they (Egypt) blame Gaza,” West Bank political science professor Abdelsattar Qassem told The Media Line. “In failing to prevent what happened in Sinai, it shows a weakness in the Egyptian intelligence.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said, while he could not elaborate on the security coordination between Israel and Egypt, that the two countries did see eye to eye on the same objective—fighting terrorism. Calling it a “dreadful terrorist attack,” he said that Israel was concerned and was behind Egypt in its fight against terror. “We are in constant dialogue,” he told The Media Line.
The Palestinian President’s top adviser on international affairs Majdi Al Khaldi says Mahmoud Abbas spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Al-Sisi on Sunday and gave him assurances that the Palestinian people “stand firm with Egypt in this war against terrorism.”
Photo Credit: The Media Line
Appeal to the Lord to rise up and confront the terrorists who are attacking from the Sinai Peninsula. Thank Him that Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian leadership are standing together against this mutual threat.
Rise up, LORD, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked.- Psalm 17:13 (NIVUK)
Israeli Teams Meet Ebola Crisis Head-On
Marcella Rosen is committed to telling Israel’s story better. The latest global scare—Ebola outbreaks—is helping that work surge across cultural lines.
The New York chief of Untold News (white-hot on Facebook, with more than 370,000 “likes” currently) works with a team of researchers and writers to produce stories about the Jewish state that don’t often find their way into media.
Take for example the latest Ebola scare. And it is a scare.
The deadly disease has First World and Third World countries on edge, with Americans wondering why flights to and from afflicted West African nations are permitted to land in America. Elsewhere, fears are growing that the outbreak cannot be contained.
Rosen, though, is sure of one thing: Israel will come up with answers.
“Once again, Israel has heeded the humanitarian call, sending to West Africa specialized medical equipment and personnel to battle the Ebola epidemic..
Recently, according to Untold News, “Israel is sending three mobile Ebola treatment units to in-need countries—more than a million shekels of medical equipment, plus expert personnel.
Gil Haskel is deputy director general of MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation of the Foreign Ministry, recently told journalists that the importance of mobile units sent to stop the spread of the Ebola virus cannot be overestimated.
“We are constructing the units in accordance with WHO [World Health Organization] standards and preparing them to be sent out by sea,” Haskel said. “We hope they’ll be received sometime in November.”
The units, each with 10 beds, will be sent along with medical personnel who will train locals to assemble and operate them. A doctor and nurse will be on-hand to provide instruction.
Rosen and her team help spotlight a dizzying number of innovations, apart from the humanitarian news associated with stories like Ebola containment.
“Unfortunately, the media doesn’t really give you a chance to develop an informed opinion about Israel—or many other countries, for that matter—because, in the press, “If it bleeds it leads”—and the Middle East certainly does bleed. So that’s all you hear.
“But the truth is this: while the world’s attention has for decades been focused on one single dimension of Israeli life, something entirely different has been taking place away from the cameras: Israel has quietly become the little country that changed the world—and your life—for the better…without you even knowing it.”
Source: (By Jim Fletcher, firstname.lastname@example.org , October 29, 2014)
Ask the Father to be gracious to the West Africans who are in the midst of the Ebola epidemic. Ask for containment of the deadly disease. Praise Him for the on-going faithful support from Israel to nations in crisis; thank Him for the caring heart He has placed in His people Israel. May Israel be blessed as they bless others.
Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.- Psalm 41:1
IsraAID Assisting Displaced Christians and Yazidis in Iraq
IsraAID has joined the international relief effort to help the Yazidi, Christian and other refugees. Together with its partner organizations, among them ONEXONE, IsraAID has been operating in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI), supporting displaced Christians and Yazidis living in camps and temporary shelters.
In the KRI there are now more than 1.4 million internally displaced people and 200,000 Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS. Most arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and with winter approaching the situation is increasingly desperate.
To respond to these pressing needs, IsraAID and its partners are distributing blankets, mattresses and other emergency supplies to thousands of refugees. To date, 2,000 blankets and mattresses as well as food for 1,000 babies have been distributed to over 1,000 families seeking refuge in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.
IsraAID, founded in 2001, is Israel’s leading humanitarian non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support. For over a decade, its teams of professional medics, search & rescue squads, post-trauma experts and community mobilizers, have been first on the front lines of nearly every major humanitarian response in the 21st century, reaching over 1 million people in 25 countries. IsraAID offers training and support programs in both developed and developing countries using Israel's unique know-how in the fields of psychosocial support, education, agriculture and health. Today, IsraAID conducts on-going training programs in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Haiti, Kenya, Jordan and South Sudan.
Photo Credit: IsraAID/MFA
Praise God for the relief aid coming from Israel to assist the displaced Christians and Yazidis in Iraq. May His name be honored through this outpouring of help. Pray for the displaced people that God will watch over them and comfort them.
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.- Proverbs 14:31 (NIV)
7 Soldiers, 7 Countries, 7 Days
Israel is a country made up of a diverse social fabric of cultures and ethnicities. The IDF is the army of the nation and therefore also represents this diversity. The following are seven stories from seven distinct individuals, from seven different countries.
Private Ester ~ Panama
Three years ago, Ester was celebrating the same holidays celebrated in any other Jewish home. The only difference was the location—Panama. Today, Pvt. Ester is the only soldier serving in the IDF from Panama.
Pvt. Ester proudly serves in a classified unit of the Israeli Navy. “I’m very satisfied with the path I’ve chosen. I’m proud of myself and of each step I took in order to get here.” Pvt. Ester added, “My mother is very proud of me, and that makes me happiest. I miss her very much.”
2nd Lieutenant Ion ~ Greece
Second Lt. Ion was born and raised in Athens, Greece, but in the past five years he has called Israel his true “home”. Originally, Ion moved to Israel in order to complete his academic degree, but after a while he decided to join the IDF.
Second Lt. Ion is an officer in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and serves at the Erez Crossing. During Operation Protective Edge, 2nd Lt. Ion was responsible for facilitating the connecting between international organizations and wounded Palestinians in need of evacuation.
“I’m proud to be Greek, especially being the only one [in the IDF],” said 2nd Lieutenant Ion. “In the Jewish community in Athens, there are young people who are inspired by my story. I share experiences from my service with them. No university will teach you what you can learn and the experience in the army.”
Private Sevilla ~ Cuba
Pvt. Sevilla is a soldier in the Technological and Logistics Directorate. A few years earlier while living in Cuba, she couldn’t have imagined how much her life would change.
“I moved to Israel because life wasn’t easy in Cuba, and I needed a new beginning,” said Pvt. Sevilla. “I joined the IDF shortly after arriving in Israel. For me, it’s the first step of the life I want to have here.”
Though Pvt. Sevilla admits to having concerns before joining the IDF, she asserts, “I now realize that it is an amazing opportunity. My life here is good, and I like being in the army.”
[Editor’s note: the article continues with 4 additional soldiers. See the link in Source below to read about the others.]
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces blog
Praise the Father for the commitment and dedication of these young immigrants who have come to serve by defending the nation of Israel. Thank Him that He is bringing his children from all nations to the Land.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.- Psalm 107:1–3