Compassion

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Friday, October 11, 2019

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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.

Two Murdered in Attack on Synagogue in Germany on Holiest Day on the Jewish Calendar

by Kate Norman

The gunman outside the synagogue in Halle, Germany

Thursday, 10 October 2019 | One man in east Germany attempted to turn Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)—the holiest day of the Jewish calendar—into a bloodbath. The German man killed two people in the city of Halle while attempting to attack a synagogue during the Yom Kippur services.

The perpetrator, whom police have identified as 27-year-old Stephan Balliet, shot a woman passing by outside the synagogue and a man in a nearby kebab shop. Balliet, described by the media as a right-wing extremist or neo-Nazi, livestreamed the attack on Twitch, a video platform owned by Amazon.

The gunman was captured by police and is currently in custody “being treated” for injuries, a police spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Before carrying out the attack, the assailant posted a manifesto online in which he declared in a thick German accent that he believes the Holocaust never happened, blames the falling birth rate in the West on feminism and ends with: “the root of all these problems is the Jews.”

Determined to punish the people whom he blames for the world’s problems, Balliet began his attack with failed attempts to penetrate the synagogue doors, which were bolted shut. He repeatedly shot the door with a homemade rifle and tossed homemade bombs over the walls, attempting to do any damage he could once he realized he wouldn’t be getting inside.

Meanwhile, the 70–80 people inside the synagogue watched on security cameras as the gunman, dressed in combat gear and a steel helmet, tried to get inside.

“The man looked like he was from the special forces,” Max Privorotzki, a local Jewish community, told Stuttgarter Zeitung. “But our doors held firm. We barricaded our doors from inside and waited for the police.” While they waited, the Jewish people continued with their Yom Kippur services, Privorotzki said.

Frustrated at his inability to get inside the place of worship and take Jewish lives, Balliet then trained his gun on a woman in her 50s passing by, shooting her in the back and killing her. He frightened off another person passing by in a van who attempted to help the woman before getting into his car and driving to a nearby Turkish kebab shop.

He tossed another homemade bomb inside before entering the shop and shooting a man at point-blank range, killing him.

“He was very calm, like a professional,” one of the workers in the restaurant said in a TV interview. “He didn’t say anything. He just kept coming and shooting…I was hiding behind the salad counter.”

The shooter then ran outside toward his car and traded fire with the police. He made it back into his vehicle and told his audience on the livestream that he had been shot in the neck.

“Sorry guys, that was it. A total loser…” he said before he hurled his phone out the window.

The 35-minute video of the attack was streamed on Twitch until the platform operators became aware of it and took it down, threatening to suspend the accounts of any other users who shared its content.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement calling on Germany to “continue taking determined action against anti-Semitism.”

“The terrorist attack against the Jewish community in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of our people, is additional testimony that anti-Semitism in Europe is increasing,” the prime minister said. “On behalf of the people of Israel, I send condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for a quick recovery to the injured.”

The attack, like many others, should illustrate the dangers of anti-Semitism on society, chairman of the March of the Living Samuel Rosenman said.

“The whole of Europe [needs] to wake up and acknowledge that it is not doing enough to eradicate anti-Semitism,” Rosenman said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

This was not the only recent incident of anti-Semitic violence in Germany. On Friday a Syrian man, shouting “Allahu akhbar” (“Allah is great”) and brandishing a knife, attempted to enter a synagogue in Berlin. The police arrested the man and later released him from custody, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Last week, a 27-year-old Israeli woman was attacked in a cemetery in Bavaria when an Arab-speaking man heard her speaking Hebrew, screamed “Jew” in Arabic and threw a stone at her head, causing a head injury. Police are still searching for the perpetrator.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 10, 2019)

Photo Credit: The Sun/YouTube/screenshot

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s supernatural protection to surround His people no matter where they reside, but particularly in Europe right now as anti-Semitism soars. Beseech Him that the governments of the world will take a firm stand against these heinous acts of hatred, prosecuting the offenders and taking whatever other steps are necessary to eradicate this cancer from their nations. Also, pray for the families and friends of these victims who are mourning as the Jewish people enter one of the most joyous periods in their annual festival cycle.

Scripture

Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily. Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; the tumult of those who rise up against you increases continually.


- Psalm 74:22–23

President Rivlin Calls for Unity As Israel’s 22nd Government Sworn in

by Ilse Strauss and Kate Norman

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addresses the 22nd Knesset at its swearing in ceremony.

Friday, 4 October 2019 | The 120 members of Israel’s 22nd Knesset (Parliament) were sworn in yesterday, a mere 156 days since the 21st Knesset was inaugurated in April and 127 days since that Knesset voted to dissolve after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to stitch together a 61-seat majority government, sending Israel to a second round of national elections in a year.

While the inauguration of Parliament usually brings political stability, Israelis couldn’t help but feel a sense of grim apprehension. In the wake of the second national election that yielded no clear winner and failed to break the political stalemate, Netanyahu faces a much tougher challenge to gather the 61-seat majority than he did in April. In fact, Israeli media is referring to the responsibility as “mission impossible.”

As the 120 MKs (Members of Knesset) took their oaths, many wondered whether the 22nd Knesset will go the way of the 21st Knesset, sending Israel to a dreaded third round of national elections.

Addressing Israel’s new government, President Reuven Rivlin called on lawmakers to set aside personal differences, join forces and form a unity government to spare Israelis from the upheaval of going to the polls for a third time.

“We are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob,” Rivlin charged. “An emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy: all that is dear to us.

“Forming a government is not only the wish of the people,” the president said. “More than ever, in times like these, it is an economic and security need the likes of which we have not known for many years.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein took a more direct approach, addressing his remarks directly to the two men at the opposing sides of the political deadlock: Likud leader Netanyahu and his rival, Blue and White party head, former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

“My office is a few meters away,” Edelstein said. “Sit. Talk. Turn over every stone until you find a formula. We can bridge the gaps. We can repair the tears. We certainly can reach unity.”

Edelstein warned that the Israeli public would not forgive lawmakers for yet another election this year. “Let’s not fool ourselves that we can place blame on each other. We will all carry it.”

Despite the impassioned calls for a unity government, the prospect seems unlikely.

Last week, Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with forming a coalition in 28 days. Though the longest reigning prime minister’s Likud party fell just one seat behind the 33 seats won by Gantz’s Blue and White party in the elections, Netanyahu has the advantage of being the most likely to successfully form a coalition.

In Israeli elections, voters select parties, not individual candidates, to lead the Knesset. Traditionally the Israeli president then selects a member from the victorious party—after hearing recommendations from each party for a candidate—to form a coalition, requiring a 61-seat majority of the 120 total seats in the Knesset.

Fifty-five MKs have voiced support for Netanyahu, while 54 back Gantz. Unfortunately for Gantz, out of his 54 supporters, 10 who are from Arab parties have said they will not sit with the former IDF chief of staff in a coalition—giving Netanyahu the narrow advantage.

If Netanyahu is to form a 61-seat coalition, he needs 6 more seats. Yet with all the other parties refusing to join his right-wing bloc, the prime minister seems to face a mission impossible indeed.

Well aware of the deadlock, Netanyahu has called on Blue and White to join Likud in the only solution to stave off a third round of elections: forming a unity government. Negotiations between the two parties have, however, proven unfruitful, given each group’s nonnegotiables: Netanyahu and Gantz are reportedly bickering over the order of who would serve first as prime minister; Gantz has said repeatedly that he will not sit in a government with Netanyahu while he is under suspicion of corruption.

The current prime minister and the former IDF chief of staff were scheduled to meet this week to continue possible negotiations, but Gantz backed out of the meeting, with his Blue and White party accusing Netanyahu of not meeting their pre-meeting conditions. This has led to mutual finger-pointing and each side accusing the other of forcing the country into a dreaded third election.

The Likud party quickly released a statement, saying it was “shocked by the decision of Blue and White to blow up the negotiations.”

In a bid to find another way to break the stalemate, Netanyahu yesterday sat down with his former defense minister, erstwhile ally and current nemesis, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, attempting to woo the latter over and add his coveted 8 seats to Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition. However, the meeting bore no fruit.

As Israel prepares for Shabbat (Sabbath), the political situation remains in turmoil. Likud and Blue and White seem unable to lay aside their differences to form a unity government. Netanyahu needs a miracle to get the 6 seats required for the 61-seat majority. If the miracle doesn’t come, he is expected to return the mandate to Rivlin.

Amid the turmoil, Israelis continue to hope and pray that the tenure of the 22nd Knesset will not mirror that of the 21st.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 4, 2019)

Photo Credit: i24NEWS Français/YouTube/screenshot

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s intervention in this situation. As Israel faces threats on virtually every side, a stable government is essential for the security of the nation. Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu as he seeks to form a coalition. Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of those who have stood against him, putting the needs of the country first.

Scripture

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding.”


- Psalm 32:8–9a

Is Israel Facing the Biggest Conflict since the Yom Kippur War?

by Assaf Schneider

Israel Air Force plane during the Yom Kippur war

Monday, 7 October 2019 | The words “sixth of October” send chills down the spine even 46 years later. Or, at least they should, assuming that the lessons of the 1973 Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] War (that started on that date) have been learned and internalized.

On Sunday, just days before yet another Yom Kippur, the political-security cabinet was to meet for the first time since the September elections (despite the endless political turmoil Israel has found itself in since the national vote) to discuss a “sensitive situation.”

At this point it’s impossible to know whether there is actually something serious to discuss or it’s yet another political spin, because everything feels like it’s still part of an election campaign. The bottom line is that although I wish it was all a spin, I still want the issues discussed there to be serious.

There are two disturbing similarities between 1973 and 2019. The first is that there is a ruling political party that in the eyes of a sizeable chunk of the public is invincible and can get away with practically anything. The second is the fact that defense intelligence is being made public—if you only open your eyes and look closely.

Anwar Sadat, who at the time was Egypt’s president, a year before the war described in a detailed interview to Newsweek how 1.5 million Egyptian soldiers were preparing for a war that his regime could not escape.

Like Sadat, many speeches of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah also give away his main operational objectives with regards to Israel—occupation of the Upper Galilee, accompanied by heavy rocket fire.

The alleged Iranian attack on Saudi oil fields, however, shows that Israel has spent years learning to neutralize weapons of wars we had already fought. We built anti-ballistic missile defense systems while the Iranians were developing cruise missiles.

Although the pinnacle of our defense establishment has recorded hundreds of great accomplishments, what about the infantry or armored brigades? Will the home front cope if there’s an all-out war?

However you want to spin it, a war against Iran and its regional proxies is inevitable. According to intelligence (which at this point has practically been made public) the war will include heavy rocket fire from Gaza, Iran (and the territory under its influence in Iraq), Syria and Lebanon—where ground battles will also be fought.

Are we prepared to face a prolonged bombardment of our civilian population? Will we be able to withstand precision-missile hits that would break our morale?

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Ynetnews on October 6, 2019. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Prayer Focus
As the people of Israel face conflict beyond anything they have seen in modern history, pray that the Lord will bring victory as He has in the past, bringing chaos into the camp of the enemy and an end to the battle before it begins.

Scripture

“I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.”


- Exodus 23:27

Israel’s Tourist Numbers Skyrocket in September 2019

Tour group exploring Masada

Thursday, 10 October 2019 | According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 405,000 tourist entries were recorded in September 2019, 44% more than September 2018 and 46% more than September 2017. In the period of January– September 2019, 3.297 million tourist entries were recorded, as opposed to 2.917 million in the same period last year, an increase of 13%. (It should be noted that a fuller picture will emerge with the publication of the October statistics, given the fact that the Jewish holidays typically fall in September and October).  Revenue from incoming tourism in September stood at US $581 million (about 2.1 billion shekels) and, since the beginning of the year, at US $4.728 billion (about 17 billion shekels).

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin (said): “September continues the upward trend in incoming tourism with impressive increases and monthly records broken.  We are marketing Israel around the world in line with our innovative and market-focused strategy, and we are seeing the results. We continue to develop new markets, while working to maintain traditional markets. In recent years, tourism has become an engine for economic growth and improves our image around the world and I welcome that.”

Source: (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally published this article on October 3, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: ahrest1/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Praise God for every pilgrim that has come—or is yet to come—to Israel. Pray that each will have a profound experience with the land, the people and the Lord, going home as strong supporters and advocates for this place that God calls His special treasure.

Scripture

You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come. For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favor to her dust.


- Psalm 102:13–14

Israel Proposes “Historic” Non-Aggression Pacts, Cooperation with Arab Nations

by Joshua Spurlock

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz during his recent visit to the United Nations

Monday, 7 October 2019 | Israel and the Arab Gulf states may face a common enemy in Iran and may not be in open conflict—but technically, they are still at war. Now Israel is talking with those countries about changing that technicality by signing non-aggression pacts with those Arab nations. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted to Twitter that he has recently been promoting, with the support of the United States, a “political initiative to sign ‘non-war agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states. The historic move will put an end to the conflict and allow civilian cooperation until peace agreements are signed.”

In his tweet, which included a news report from Israel’s Channel 12, Katz further said that he presented to multiple Arab foreign ministers and outgoing US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt during his recent visit to the United Nations (UN). “I will continue to work to strengthen the status of Israel in the region and around the world,” said Katz in the tweet, which was translated from Hebrew by Google.

The tweet from Katz follows a report on the initiative by Channel 12 news. The Times of Israel recapped the Hebrew-language Channel 12 report by noting that Katz and the Arab contacts agreed to launch working groups to proceed towards the non-aggression pact plan. The report further clarified that the discussions come against the backdrop of the Iran threat and that fighting terror and economic cooperation are in the draft proposal.

Katz mentioned working with Arab nations on another initiative during his speech at the UN General Assembly in September. The Israeli diplomat and legislator reiterated a plan to build a rail line from the Arab nations in the Gulf to Israel’s coast on the Mediterranean. Katz said the plan would be to “connect the Palestinian Authority to this project” as a “boost” to the Palestinian economy and a boon to Middle East peace.

“Israel has a clear policy to advance ties, and normalization with the Arab Gulf States,” said Katz, whose speech was republished on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

“We have no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat as well as in developing many joint civilian initiatives.”

Katz also has a long-term vision for the cooperation. “Israel has a lot of capabilities in many areas, including hi-tech, innovation, agriculture and water technology, which can help the Gulf states, and the Gulf states have a lot of capabilities that can help Israel as well,” he said.

“I hope that this cooperation will lead to the signing of peace agreements between our countries, as we did with Egypt and Jordan.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on October 6, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: United Nations/YouTube/screenshot

Prayer Focus
Pray for the Lord’s wisdom and direction as Israel works toward a non-aggression pact with her neighbors. Pray that Israel’s leaders will move the initiative forward cautiously while remembering that their only true freedom from aggression comes from the God of Israel.

Scripture

“For I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the LORD. “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”


- Jeremiah 15:20b–21

What Iran’s Friends Are Doing in Gaza

by Khaled Abu Toameh~Gatestone Institute

More than 100,000 Palestinian children attend “summer camps” run by Islamic Jihad and Hamas each year. (Illustrative)

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 | As Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations pursue their efforts to spare the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip another war with Israel, the Islamic Jihad organization is promising its people more suffering, violence and bloodshed. The terrorist organization is also promising to continue the fight until it achieves its goal of annihilating Israel.

The Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad’s latest pledges came as the organization, the second largest group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, celebrated this week the 32nd anniversary of its founding.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians participated in a major Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City under the banner “Our Jihad [war with unbelievers in Islam]—The Promise Will Soon Be Fulfilled.” The promise, of course, refers to Islamic Jihad’s pledge to “liberate Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River—a well-known euphemism for the destruction of Israel.

Particularly disturbing is that a large number of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, an enclave often described as suffering from a high percentage of poverty and unemployment, continue to support Islamic Jihad, one of the organizations there that has done nothing to improve the living conditions of its people. Their hatred for Israel seems to be stronger than any wish to better their situation by revolting against failed Palestinian leaders and groups.

Islamic Jihad has, since its establishment, brought Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip nothing but misery, destruction and death.

During the Second Intifada [uprising], which erupted in September 2000, Islamic Jihad and its military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, took credit for killing dozens of Israelis in more than 60 terror attacks. Since 2008, Islamic Jihad has fired thousands of rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into Israel, killing and wounding several Israelis. According to Iran’s state-run Press TV, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired 3,000 rockets at Israel during the 2014 Israel–Hamas war.

After the war ended, the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera TV network broadcasted a video of Islamic Jihad’s tunnel systems. In the video, an Islamic Jihad member declares that the organization is preparing for its next war with Israel and that the tunnels will be used to launch terror attacks and mortars on Israel.

In various statements marking its anniversary, Islamic Jihad could find nothing good to say about its “achievements” for the Palestinians. The organization did not use the millions of dollars it received from its sponsors in Iran to build a school or hospital in the Gaza Strip. It also did not use any of the funds to create job opportunities for the tens of thousands of unemployed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Instead, the money went into building tunnels and smuggling and manufacturing thousands of rockets and mortars to attack Israel.

The only education Islamic Jihad has been offering is one in which children and teenagers receive radical Islamist indoctrination and semi-military training. A report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that more than 100,000 Palestinian children and adolescents attend “summer camps” run by Islamic Jihad and Hamas each year:

“Their objective is to foster a cadre of future Hamas [and Islamic Jihad] supporters and operatives for its military-terrorist wing and its organizational and administrative institutions. The campers learn the themes of ‘the liberation of Palestine,’ jihad and ‘resistance’ [i.e., terrorism], the destruction of the State of Israel, the so-called ‘right of return’ and other facets of the movement’s anti-Israeli Islamist ideology.”

In a statement last week, Islamic Jihad’s military wing (Al-Quds Brigades) boasted that one of its major achievements in the past 32 years has been “instilling the spirit of jihad and sacrifice” in the hearts and minds of Palestinians. “The organization has always proved that our right to liberate our land can be achieved only through resistance, fighting and jihad against the criminal enemy,” the statement added.

“The Zionist enemy knows that we are a thorn in its throat. We will remain so until the liberation of our land, from the river to the sea. We will continue to build our military capabilities.”

In other words, Islamic Jihad’s promise is one of unending toxicity: to go on poisoning the hearts and minds of generation after generation of Palestinians—as well as to continue investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and amassing weapons to ensure that the fight against Israel continues forever.

For Islamic Jihad leaders, easing the suffering of their people or ending the economic and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip pales in comparison to the real goal of pursuing the fight against Israel—even if that means sacrificing the lives of all Palestinians.

“Let us fight for our freedom,” Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhalah said during the organization’s rally on October 5.

“Be assured that victory belongs to those who pay the price for freedom and are always prepared to do so. Resistance and jihad are the only way to extract our right to Palestine. We stick to our right to all Palestine, no matter how long it takes.”

Hamas also joined the celebration by congratulating Islamic Jihad on its anniversary and repeating the same threats to continue the fight and jihad against Israel. Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official who attended the rally, heaped praise on his friends in Islamic Jihad for their continued commitment to waging terror attacks against Israel.

“We are proud of our relations with Islamic Jihad and its military wing,” Bardaweel said.

“We are proud of all the resistance groups [in the Gaza Strip]. The policy of resistance and jihad is the genuine policy to liberate all Palestine, and the Palestinian people will not abandon this path. We will not accept any agreement that contradicts the project of jihad and liberation. Under no circumstances will we give up one inch of the land of Palestine.”

Despite the ongoing threats by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israel seems to have agreed to a temporary cease-fire with the Gaza-based terrorist groups. Last month, Israel even allowed the delivery of equipment into the Gaza Strip for constructing a new American-funded field hospital.

Last week, Israel was reported to have allowed thousands of Palestinians to enter from the Gaza Strip to conduct business and work at jobs, apparently as part of the cease-fire understandings reached under the auspices of Egypt, Qatar and the UN.

Earlier, Israel had allowed Qatar to deliver millions of dollars in cash to allow Hamas to pay salaries to its employees. In addition, Israel has allowed the UN to step up aid efforts in the Gaza Strip.

Evidently, Israel is doing more to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip than the leaders of Islamic Jihad and Hamas. As the recent statements by these leaders show, the two terrorist groups have nothing to offer their people. The only future they portray is one that consists of terrorism and jihad. The only future they promise is one where more young Palestinians will be recruited as suicide bombers and jihadis in a holy war whose chief goal is to eliminate Israel and replace it with an Iranian-backed Islamist state.

With leaders like these, the Palestinians do not need enemies. Hamas and Islamic Jihad simply continue their lies to the Egyptians, the Qataris and the rest of the world with their talk about a cease-fire with Israel.

For them, a cease-fire means further amassing weapons and preparing their people for war without worrying about Israeli military action. When will the international community pull its head out of the sand in which it has so long been buried and understand that with organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad running the show, the Gaza Strip will remain the humanitarian disaster that is so bitterly blamed on Israel?

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: (Gatestone Institute originally published this article on October 7, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Al Quds Brigades/Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that the millions of dollars of support Hamas receives from Iran will stop. Ask the Lord to reveal to the nations, but especially to the people of Gaza, that their poverty is not the fault of Israel. Beseech the Lord for a true leadership change in the Gaza Strip.

Scripture

Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness.


- Psalm 82:4–5a

PA Removes Mention of Agreements with Israel from Textbooks

Textbooks in the West Bank and Gaza strip no longer include references to agreements signed with Israel. (Illustrative)

Thursday, 10 October 2019 | The Palestinian Authority (PA) has removed all traces of agreements signed with Israel from its textbooks, according to an organization tracking educational material in the Middle East.

According to the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), the only signed agreement still mentioned in schoolbooks for West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza students from first grade to high school is the 1993 Oslo Accords, but even those are mentioned less favorably and in less detail than in earlier versions of the textbooks.

Some of the examples of agreements signed by the PA with Israel were removed, with the new curriculum representing a quantum leap backward toward radicalizing the textbooks, IMPACT-se claims.

The 2019 textbooks no longer include the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) statement calling for coexistence, peace and non-violence with Israel, which appeared in the old version of the curriculum

The sentence that previously appeared—”The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability”—has been changed to:

“Forcing the Zionist Occupation [Israel] to recognize the PLO after the first Intifada [uprising] in 1987 contributed to the return of PLO cadres and institutions in 1994 to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Deleted from the new curriculum was the relatively substantial amount of information taught to Palestinian students about ancient Jewish history in “Palestine” and the Jewish presence and connection to Jerusalem. There is no longer mention of the Jews’ capital in the ancient period.

Another example of material now missing from textbooks is the use of the term Jewish state, which appeared in an atlas showing boundaries in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the 1949 armistice lines.

According to IMPACT-se, there are far fewer references to Israel by name in the curriculum, instead there are references to “Zionist Occupation,” “The Occupation,” “Israeli Occupation,” “The Zionists,” and “The Zionist Entity.”

The elimination of any reference to Israel, the Jewish people and peace has dashed any reasonable hope for a reformation of the Palestinian curriculum, the authors of the IMPACT-se study conclude.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz told Ynet the new curriculum harms hopes for a better future for new generations.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on October 7, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Bobby Neptune/USAID/flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that all international aid to education will stop immediately. Pray that the global community will put intense pressure on the PA until its educational resources are rewritten to tell the truth of history and the current reality, eliminating hatred and mistrust and bringing this manipulation and child abuse to an end.

Scripture

“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”


- Luke 17:2

Unseasonal Showers, Thunderstorms Hit Israel

Rain clouds forming in Jerusalem on Saturday

Monday, 7 October 2019 | Israelis living in the southernmost resort city of Eilat woke up Sunday to an unexpected and unusual for this time of year thunderstorm.

The downpour came after an especially rainy weekend that saw showers hit central parts of Israel as well as Jerusalem.

The wet weather came in stark contrast to the weekend weather forecast that promised the above average high temperatures.

According to Tzahi Wachsman from the Meteo-Tech meteorological organization, light drizzle was predicted in some parts of southern Israel in the late hours of Saturday evening. “The surprise is the location—the center of the country—and the timing—the afternoon hours,” he said.

According to Meteo-Tech, winds in the southwestern Mediterranean Sea will reach speeds of up to 40 kph (17 mph), while the waves could reach heights of up to 90 cm (3 ft).

Today will see a mix of sun and clouds with the temperatures staying at their seasonal average.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Ynetnews on October 6, 2019. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Sarah Yoder/Bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the blessing of rain! Beseech Him that the moisture will continue to fall throughout the rainy season…and beyond!

Scripture

…As the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater.


- Isaiah 55:10

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