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Caring for the Community

Friday, February 3, 2023

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Every week, we post 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.

Report: Israeli Drone Strike Hit Iranian Advanced Weapons-production Facility

by Ynet

The Hermes™ 450, a multi-role, tactical long endurance drone manufactured by Israel’s Elbit Systems

Wednesday, 1 February 2023 | Sunday’s Israeli drone strike on a military compound in Iran targeted an advanced weapons-production facility in an attack that Jerusalem believes achieved its goals, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with discussions about the operation.

According to the report, the operation early Sunday morning was executed by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and targeted a defense ministry site in the central city of Isfahan, hitting a building in four different areas with precision strikes, the sources said.

Satellite photos showed what appeared to be minor damage to the site’s roof, but the sources called the mission successful, without elaborating.

Iranian officials denied that the attack affected the facility’s activity and said that the attack caused only minor damage.

The report seems to confirm a report by Ynet’s Ron Ben Yishai according to which four weapons development facilities that were not previously used by the Iranians were damaged in the attack.

It is not yet clear what kind of advanced weapons the Iranians were developing at the facility, but Israeli officials assess that it may have been hypersonic missiles—precision-guided munitions that are nearly impossible to intercept by air defenses.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday that Israel will act to prevent Iran from not only obtaining a nuclear weapon but also the means to deliver it.

“Our policy, and my policy, is to do everything within Israel’s power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them,” Netanyahu said in a joint statement with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a tour of the Middle East.

Isfahan is a major missile research and development hub for the Islamic Republic. The central Iranian city is home to several sites manufacturing medium-range Shahab missiles, which can reach Israel and targets beyond.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, the facility targeted in Sunday’s attack is adjacent to another facility that belongs to [the] Iranian Space Agency, which is sanctioned by the US for its part in Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

According to the Ministry of Defense in Tehran, the facility was targeted by three quad-copter “suicide” drones, a model that was previously used in other attacks in Iran attributed to Israel.

The Iranians claim their security forces were able to intercept the drones. The defenses at the site allegedly prevented significant damage.

Iran on Monday released footage of what it claims are the remains of the drones, as well as a hole in the roof of the building, claiming that activity at the site continues as usual.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on January 31, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Oren Rosen/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the success of this and every mission that the IDF deems necessary to stop Iran’s development of advanced weaponry. Also cry out to the Lord that Iran will never be successful in developing hypersonic missiles. Pray that Iranian propaganda will be recognized for the vile fabrication that it is and ask the Lord to bless Prime Minister Netanyahu with the wisdom, means and support to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…Stretch out Your hand from above; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks lying words, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.


- Psalm 144:1, 7–8

Israel Strikes in Gaza after Rocket Launch; Sirens Sound in South

by Yoav Zitun ~ Ynet

Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel (illustrative).

Thursday, 2 February 2023 | The Israeli Air Force [IAF] struck two targets in the Gaza Strip linked to terrorist activity, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Spokesperson’s Unit said overnight Thursday.

Israeli fighters came under anti-aircraft fire but returned safely to Israeli airspace.

The attack came hours after a rocket launched from the Palestinian enclave was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system in the early evening hours, triggering air raid sirens in the southern city of Sderot and neighboring communities.

Terrorist group [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad claimed credit for the rocket launch. The organization stated the rocket launch came in response to Palestinian prisoners being placed in solitary confinement after celebrating a series deadly of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of seven people over the weekend.

Sirens blared again in Sderot and several other border communities overnight Thursday, just minutes before the Israeli strike in Gaza.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on February 2, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that the Iron Dome was able to intercept missiles fired from Gaza and for the safe return of the Israeli fighters who had been under anti-aircraft fire. Pray that the Lord’s protection will continue to surround Israeli’s military as they put their lives on the line to protect the people of Israel. And ask the Lord for more effective strategies in bringing terrorist activity to a stop.

Scripture

“Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.”


- Isaiah 41:11

Netanyahu: Blinken Visit Sign of ‘Unbreakable’ US–Israel Bond

by Bradley Martin ~ JNS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken give a press statement after their meeting in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 | The US–Israel relationship is one of modern history’s great alliances, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today, after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We share common interests, which are growing by the day,” Netanyahu said. “We share common values; two strong democracies which will remain, I assure you, two strong democracies.” He called President Joe Biden, whom he has known for 40 years, “a true friend of Israel, a true champion of this alliance.”

Netanyahu said Israelis might not know how much Washington has helped Israel—in one crisis “in record time”—with missile defense. “You’ve also just helped us push back on the attempts to delegitimize Israel in the United Nations,” he said. “We’re grateful for that and for your continual friendship.”

Blinken called the meeting with Netanyahu “a very productive, very candid, and I think important discussion that covered a lot of issues.” He added that he had expressed his condolences for the victims of Friday’s terrorist shooting—which took place at a synagogue in Jerusalem and claimed seven lives and injured several—to Netanyahu.

The US secretary added that Biden called Netanyahu immediately after the attack to underscore the steadfast support of the US for Israel and its people. Blinken reaffirmed that message in his meeting with Netanyahu.

“In the context of this attack and escalating violence, it is important that the government and people of Israel know that America’s commitment to their security remains ironclad,” said Blinken.

Before meeting with Blinken, Israeli President Isaac Herzog expressed Israel’s gratitude to the US secretary for Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’s “condolences and strength in a very painful moment we had over the weekend where dear, beloved, innocent citizens of Israel were butchered simply for being Jews and Israelis.”

“I want to thank you for standing by with us in this battle against terror and hate,” he said.

Blinken—who previously said a military option remained on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran—reiterated to Netanyahu that the Islamic Republic remained a regional threat.

“Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said Blinken. He and Netanyahu discussed ways in which to coordinate against Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region. Blinken also said Iran was providing drones to Russia, which it is using to “kill innocent Ukrainian civilians.”

“In turn, Russia is providing sophisticated weaponry to Iran,” Blinken said. “It’s a two-way street.”

He added that one of the most effective ways to ensure Israel’s security is to continue to build bridges in the region by deepening and broadening the Abraham Accords “and other normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states.” Blinken highlighted the first meeting of the Negev Forum working groups earlier this month.

“This was the largest gathering of Israeli and Arab officials since the 1991 Madrid Conference,” said Blinken, praising Netanyahu’s leadership for making significant progress for Israel’s integration in the region.

The US secretary of state concluded with support for the two-state solution, which he said would achieve a permanent peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

“These efforts are not a substitute for progress between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “As we advance Israel’s integration [in the region], we can do so in ways that improve the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.”

Source: (Excerpt from article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 30, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/POOL/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the critical alliance between Israel and the US. Thank God that America continues to stand with Israel vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear threat, and pray that the Biden administration will remain true to its promise that “America’s commitment to their security remains ironclad.”

Scripture

You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God by what you have promised with your mouth.


- Deuteronomy 23:23 ESV

Russia Warns Israel against Arming Ukraine

by JNS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Thursday, 2 February 2023 | Russia on Wednesday warned Israel against arming Ukraine, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated he was considering providing military assistance to Kyiv and was willing to mediate.

“We say that all countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russia’s armed forces,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, reported AFP.

“Any attempts—implemented or even unrealized but announced for the supply of additional, new or some other weapons—lead and will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this,” Zakharova said.

Washington has been cautious about which arms it provides Kyiv and from where the weaponry arrives. But speaking in Israel on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli counterparts that they should be doing more to support Ukraine from a security perspective.

Israel has yet to provide weapons directly to Ukraine. Doing so could risk undermining Israeli security, some commentators have argued.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for great wisdom for Israel’s leaders as they walk this tightrope between the West and Russia regarding the war in Ukraine. Pray that they will not be pressured by the US or the EU into any action that will undermine Israel’s security.

Scripture

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.


- Proverbs 2:6–8

‘The Nation Grieves with the Families of Those Murdered’

by JNS

A Palestinian terrorist killed seven people at a synagogue at this location in the Neve Ya’akov neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Monday, 30 January 2023 | Israeli President Isaac Herzog extended condolences on Saturday night to the families of the victims of two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in the previous 24 hours.

“My heart breaks at news of the horrific terror attacks over Shabbat [Sabbath] in Jerusalem. We have lost seven innocent civilians in a murderous terror attack, who had only just welcomed Shabbat into their homes and communities. May their memories be a blessing,” said Herzog in a statement.

“This morning in synagogue, as the cantor recited the El Malei Rachamim [Hebrew for “God full of mercy”] prayer for the souls of the victims of the attack, there was not a single dry eye among the worshippers, including me. We were all moved together. These awful terror attacks remind us again of a simple and painful truth: Whatever disagreements we may have between us, against our enemies who want to harm us and rise up to kill us, we must maintain our unity,” added the Israeli president.

Seven people were killed and several others wounded in a terrorist shooting attack on Friday night at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.

Israeli security forces have since arrested dozens of suspects in connection with the attack. Many of the more than 40 people detained are relatives or acquaintances of the terrorist, 21-year-old Alqam Khayri, from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of a-Tur, who was shot and killed by police during the attack.

On Saturday morning, another Palestinian terrorist shot an Israeli father and son near the entrance to the City of David National Park adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Magen David Adom [Israel’s ambulance service] emergency medical service said the victims were treated at the scene for gunshot wounds to the upper body and then taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in serious but stable condition. The father’s condition subsequently improved to moderate.

Police said the attacker, a 13-year-old from the nearby Silwan/Shiloach neighborhood, was shot and neutralized by armed civilians. He was arrested and taken to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus for treatment.

The Kan public broadcaster identified the terrorist as Muhammad Aliyat.

“My support and trust are with the security forces, who are working night and day against terrorism. I call on everyone to remain alert and act responsibly in these times. I send my wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded, and grieve with the families of those murdered,” said Herzog.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai on Saturday ordered the alert level in the capital raised to the highest level.

Israel Defense Forces [IDF] Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi similarly ordered reinforcements deployed in Judea and Samaria in preparation for a possible escalation in Palestinian violence.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 28, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Source: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this horrific attack. Also play for complete healing for those who were injured. Cry out to the Lord that all those who were involved in carrying out these attacks will be caught and punished to the full extent of the law. Pray also for the unity that President Herzog spoke of, bringing the country together as Israelis face ongoing hatred and terror. And pray that Israel’s security forces will be successful in preventing an escalation in violence.

Scripture

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forevermore.


- Psalm 133:1, 3

Israel Grapples with Border Police Shortage amid Spike in Terror Attacks

by Meir Turgeman ~ Ynet

Policewomen in the Israeli Border Police

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 | Israel’s Border Police recently began a recruitment drive in order to bolster its forces to meet the needs following the escalation of violence, including a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem over the weekend.

Targeting mainly veterans of military service, the Border Police said it intended to increase the number of active-duty officers from 600 to 1,000.

Since the beginning of the campaign, more than 300 applications to enlist have already been received.

The drive was launched as the Border Police were preparing for violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will begin in less than two months. In recent years, the Muslim holiday saw violent clashes with Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount, throughout the city of Jerusalem and in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

The Border Police also intend to increase their presence in the mixed Jewish and Arab cities around Israel after violent racial riots broke out there in 2021.

A senior police official said that the police plan to deal with such events effectively and forcefully, should they break out, in order to contain them and prevent their spread.

Commander Liat Pearl, deputy chief of Israel’s new National Guard said the tense security situation was probably behind a large number of new applicants wishing to join the force. “This is most likely the reason young people are choosing to enlist in the Border Police at this time.”

Sergeant Anna Yaskov has been serving in the Border Police’s northern command for a year and a half. “Protecting others in Israel is a calling,” she said. “The Border Police is like a family to me. I plan on becoming an officer.”

Yaskov added that she and her unit were saving lives even when off duty. “We stopped for coffee on the way to a photoshoot and suddenly heard yelling and saw people with batons chasing two Arab youths,” she said. “We intervened immediately and stopped the assailants. We need people who served in combat roles in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] to join us in order to keep everyone in Israel safe.”

Serving alongside Yaskov is Barel Shmuel, whose father and older brother also served in the Border Police. “We are on the frontlines of the battle against terror and criminal activity. The Border Police quickly becomes your family.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on January 30, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Police/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will continue to call Israel’s bravest and strongest into the security forces, as He has done throughout Israel’s history. Pray that the Border Police will have the forces it needs to successfully “keep everyone safe.” Also beseech the Lord to keep each member of the security forces safe.

Scripture

…mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.


- 1 Chronicles 12:8b

IDF Soldier Wounded in Jerusalem Terror Attack Fighting for Life

by JNS

The aftermath of the terror attack on Saturday in which the father and son were injured.

Thursday, 2 February 2023 | The condition of the Israeli soldier who was shot and seriously wounded by a Palestinian terrorist on Shabbat [the Sabbath] deteriorated on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old IDF [Israel Defense Forces] paratrooper, whose father was also shot and wounded on Saturday, is in critical condition and fighting for his life, Shaare Zedek Medical Center said.

His family held a public prayer service at the Western Wall on Tuesday night.

Despite being wounded, the soldier was able to shoot 13-year-old attacker Muhammad Aliyat from the nearby Silwan/Shiloach neighborhood. The terrorist was taken to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus where he died of his wounds.

The attack came a day after a Palestinian killed seven people in a shooting rampage at a synagogue elsewhere in the Israeli capital.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to respond quickly and decisively.

“Our response will be strong, swift and precise. Whoever tries to harm us—we will harm them and everyone who assists them,” he said.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for this IDF paratrooper as he fights for his life. Entreat the Lord in His mercy to heal this brave young man, and pray for his father who was wounded as well. Pray that the family will turn to the God of their fathers for comfort and courage as they deal with this tragedy.

Scripture

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.


- Psalm 147:3, 6

What Prompts a Teenager to Terror?

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynet

Palestinian children participate in a rally for the jailed perpetrators of terror attacks against Israelis.

Monday, 30 January 2023 | After a string of Palestinian terrorist attacks on Jews across Jerusalem over the weekend, researchers have found disturbing anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement in textbooks used by the school that one of the teenage gunmen attended.

Muhammad Aliwat, 13, a resident of the predominantly Palestinian east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, ambushed an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] officer and his father on Saturday at the entrance to the capital’s historic City of David and opened fire at them with a pistol from a short range before being neutralized by the Israeli soldier.

Before leaving for the attack, Aliwat left a note in a school notebook in which he expressed his desire to die in a demonstration attack against Jews. In addition, he also apologized to his mother in the note and informed her that she was going to be proud of him. “God, or victory or martyrdom,” the boy wrote in the note.

Researchers from the education monitor, Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), dove into textbooks used by the eighth-grader’s school and found some unsettling materials.

They found math and science books used by Al-Furqan School in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood, which teaches a curriculum approved by the Palestinian Authority [PA], that feature glorification of violence and call on students to sacrifice themselves.

The students learn reading comprehension through an Arabic textbook that glorifies violent descriptions of suicide attacks in which Palestinians “cut the throats of enemy soldiers” and “put on explosive belts.” The graphic descriptions are accompanied by illustrations of Israeli soldiers shot dead by a Palestinian gunman.

A lesson in one Islamic education book, published last September by the Palestinian education ministry in Ramallah, devotes an entire chapter to teaching that martyrdom is a “must” for fighting enemies, and that it brings honor and glory, and guarantees entry to heaven.

The book asks students to write an essay about terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinians, and they are taught that those who do not sacrifice themselves are weak.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on January 29, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Joe Catron/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Storm the gates of heaven for an end to this blatant child abuse perpetrated by Palestinian leaders and educators. Pray for outrage in the international community that will prompt them to action until, after countless broken promises to do so, this education to hatred and martyrdom will come to a stop. Also pray that young Palestinians who have been indoctrinated by those who should have had their best interests at heart will be able to see the truth that Israel is not the enemy. May they truly understand that life is to be celebrated, not death.

Scripture

These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.


- Proverbs  6:16–19

Report: 68% of Online Anti-Semitism Comes from Palestinians, Progressives

by Shimon Sherman ~ JNS

Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 | Sixty-eight percent of anti-Semitic discourse on social media originates from Palestinian or pro-Palestinian progressive circles, a report presented by Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli shows.

The report was presented at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, in conjunction with International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of anti-Semitism in the Diaspora [the Jewish population outside Israel], including data on the number and geographic distribution of incidents.

Chikli focused on new anti-Israel forms of Jew-hatred, saying, “Anti-Semitism is changing its face and is increasingly focusing on hatred towards the Jewish state and the denial of its right to exist.”

Violent Anti-Semitism

Globally, the number of anti-Semitic incidents decreased in 2022 from the record set the previous year. The exception to this trend was the United States, where there was a significant increase in the number of anti-Semitic interactions.

Despite the decrease in overall incidents, there was a 13% increase in violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2022. The countries with the highest rates of anti-Semitic attacks were the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

In the United Kingdom, there was a 28% increase in physical anti-Semitic attacks recorded last year. The majority took place in London and targeted Jewish individuals or institutions with a clear Jewish identity. Additionally, there was a rise in the number of attacks directed at children or schools, as well as in the frequency of hate crimes committed by minors with anti-Semitic motives.

In France, physical attacks constituted 50% of the total reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2022. There were three murder cases with suspected anti-Semitic motives compared to zero cases in the previous two years.

In Germany, there was a marked increase in violent anti-Semitic incidents, with a 57% rise in reported cases.

New Trends in Global Anti-Semitism

The report focused on emerging trends in the United States. Chikli noted that recent years have seen anti-Semitic discourse permeate into mainstream society, resulting in its normalization. This discourse, which was once primarily propagated by fringe elements, is now being perpetuated and legitimized by influential figures such as prominent politicians, celebrities and athletes.

“In the face of a relative decrease in the manifestations of anti-Semitism in the world, the number of anti-Semitic incidents specifically in the USA has risen, where a hostile atmosphere is emerging on some campuses towards Jewish students, in particular if they identify as Zionists,” the minister said.

In the former Soviet Union, the main driver of anti-Semitic incidents in 2022 was the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Anti-Semitic sentiments and references to the Holocaust have been a persistent aspect of the conflict from its inception.

In March 2022, right after the conflict began, the Anti-Semitism Cyber Monitoring System (ACMS) in the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs—a fully automated monitoring system based on artificial intelligence and semantic analysis technologies—recorded around 317,000 anti-Semitic posts on social media, an increase of 40% compared to March 2021. Certain groups may have used the Russia–Ukraine crisis as a means to promote anti-Semitic messages, the report noted.

According to the report, 2022 also saw a marked rise in online anti-Semitic discourse compared to the preceding five years. Compared to 2021, there was a 27% increase in the number of anti-Semitic posts and a 21% increase in the number of users promoting such content. A large portion of this discourse was directed toward the State of Israel, accounting for 68% of all anti-Semitic discourse on the internet. The cities with the highest levels of anti-Semitic discourse online included Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Berlin.

Arab Anti-Semitism

In the Arab and Muslim world, the centers for anti-Semitic discourse on the internet were in Jordan and Egypt, according to the findings. The discourse in the region mainly focuses on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This became even more apparent in the wake of events such as the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin in May 2022 and the aerial war (Operation Breaking Dawn) between the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and Islamic Jihad in Gaza in August, both of which led to a massive spike in anti-Semitic rhetoric on internet platforms across the Arab world.

The spread of anti-Semitic content in the Palestinian arena continued to escalate last year. These messages, including the demonization of Jews, were widely distributed by prominent political and religious figures as well as official media outlets of the Palestinian Authority [PA]. Additionally, the report found that some nongovernment organizations claiming to promote human rights and enforce international law in relation to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict were promoting anti-Semitic views through their activities, publications and rhetoric. Some of these organizations receive funding from the European Union and other European nations.

In response to these findings, Ad Kan, an Israeli NGO that combats anti-Zionist groups, said: “The Palestinian terrorist organizations that operate as ‘human rights’ organizations as part of their terrorist campaign against Israel are key players in the rise of anti-Semitism around the world. In recent months, we have exposed a number of such organizations, which work with and are financed by terrorist organizations.”

New Definitions of Anti-Semitism

Chikli said adapting the definition of anti-Semitism to modern conditions would be a major step forward. He focused on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Anti-Semitism that broadens the term to include anti-Israeli sentiment and discriminatory double standards toward Israel, as well as denying the country’s right to exist.

“The State of Israel has the duty to lead the fight against anti-Semitism and to work to expand the adoption of the IHRA definitions, which have become the standard for the definition of anti-Semitism, including the new anti-Semitism that denies the Jews the right to self-determination, in as many countries and institutions around the world as possible,” Chikli said.

Ninety-one major organizations have adopted the definition in the past year, with 52% of them located in the US and Canada. This represents a major decrease compared to the 200 adoptions in 2021.

Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, encouraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to advocate for the adoption of the IHRA definition.

The IHRA definition is an important “tool in the fight against the sick and evil hate,” Hagoel said.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 30, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism will become the standard as more and more organizations and governments adopt it. Cry out to the Lord for an end to the vile hatred that is perpetuated on social media, and plead with Him for an end to the global trend of increasing violence against His chosen ones.

Scripture

Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up.


- Psalm 129:5–6

Israel Blocked More than 1,000 Cyber Attacks in 2022

by JNS

Wednesday, 1 February 2023 | During the past year, Israel’s cyber defense authorities repelled more than 1,000 attempted attacks that collectively had the potential to cripple the country’s economy, according to the Jewish state’s cybersecurity czar.

At the Cybertech 2023 conference, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate Gaby Portnoy gave a briefing on Israel’s cyber activities and explained how they have become an integral part of protecting the country from external threats, particularly those emanating from Iran, i24NEWS reported.

“As in the worlds of counterterrorism and spy games, the general public is mostly unaware of the attacks that have been stopped. Our job is to prevent those attacks that, if successful, would result in millions of damage to the economy and the country,” Portnoy said.

In December, Israel participated in the inaugural Arab International Cybersecurity Exhibition and Conference in Manama, Bahrain.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 31,2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank God that Israel’s cyber defense authorities have been able to protect the nation from the potentially devastating results of over 1,000 attempted cyberattacks. Pray that they will continue to successfully repel such attacks and pray that the country will expand its reach as a leading authority and technology provider in the field of cyber security.

Scripture

Attend to me, and hear me…because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me, and in wrath they hate me. But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction.


- Psalm 55:2a, 3, 23a

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