Friday, April 07, 2017
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 email@example.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.
US Launches Over 50 Cruise Missiles at Syrian Base after Chemical Weapons Attack
Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile launches from guided missile destroyer (illustrative)
Friday, 06 April 2017 | The United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield Thursday night in response to a recent chemical attack in Idlib province that killed at least 70 people, including many children, US officials told NBC News.
Two American warships fired the missiles at the Ash Sha’irat air base near Homs in western Syria which the US believes was used to launch Tuesday’s lethal chemical weapons attack against the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun. US officials said the strikes did not target people, instead hitting aircraft and critical infrastructure at the base.
“The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, said in a statement. “US military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”
The choice of target “suggests that the Trump administration is seeking to punish the perpetrators and deter future gas attacks while minimizing the chances of a larger military confrontation with Assad’s forces or Russia,” Politico reported.
Cruise missiles were used to avoid the possibility of American aircraft being at risk from Syria’s air defenses.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis presented President Donald Trump with a number of military options to respond to the lethal chemical weapons attack earlier Thursday.
The decision to go ahead with a strike came just a day after Trump declared that the attack on Khan Sheikhun had had “crossed many, many lines” and that his view of the Assad regime had “changed very much” as a result.
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 06 April 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: US Navy/public domain/wikipedia
Photo License: Wikipedia
Bring the situation of Syria's chemical warfare before the Lord and pray for Israel's government and other world leaders for wisdom in preparation for any possible aftermath of these attacks. Cry out to the Lord for the misfortune of the Syrian people and pray for the injured and the families who lost members.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.
- Psalm 86:6–7
We’ve Almost Arrived at Pesach (Passover)!
by Rebecca J. Brimmer
Editor’s note: This week the atmosphere in Jerusalem, and in fact all over the nation of Israel, has been filled with anticipation as Jewish families prepare for Pesach. The material that follows may be very familiar to you but there is always something more to be gleaned. Taken from the Israel and the Church: God’s Roadmap, Rebecca J. Brimmer’s review of the Jewish celebration of Passover is well worth your attention.
Symbolic foods of the seder meal
Passover (Leviticus 23:5–8) is one of three pilgrimage festivals during which all the men of Israel were to come up to Jerusalem. Celebrated on the days 14–21 of the Hebrew month of Nisan (this year beginning at sunset on April 10th), Passover is an eight-day holiday. The holiday begins with a special meal called the seder (“order”) on the eve of the first day of Passover, called Erev Pesach. The meal often takes four to six hours. During the seder, the story of God delivering the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt is told in detail with song, symbolic foods, and liturgy. In virtually every Jewish home this holiday is observed, to some degree, as families gather together to remember God’s protection and provision.
The Scripture says that during this holiday no leaven is to be eaten. For eight days, no bread is eaten, or anything else with a leavening agent in it. In the days leading up to Passover, the nation has spring cleaning on a scale most of us have never heard of. Every crumb of leaven must be found and removed from the home. For example, every item of clothing is taken out of the closets, pockets turned inside out, and everything washed. Pots and pans are taken to communal centers where they are boiled in large vats to ensure no leaven remains. On the last day before Passover begins, the last vestiges of bread or other leavened products are gathered up and ceremoniously burned.
This holiday is rich in significance for both Christians and Jews. The Apostle Paul tells us that leaven is symbolic of sin. Oh, that we were as diligent about removing sin from our lives as the Jewish people are about removing every crumb from their homes.
In biblical times, a spotless, perfect lamb was sacrificed for the Passover meal. Did you realize that the Last Supper was a Passover meal? Yeshua (Jesus) became our Passover lamb, as the only sinless man in history, who was sacrificed for our sin.
During the Passover meal, three pieces of unleavened bread (matzah) are ceremonially set aside. The middle one is called the afikomen. At one point in the meal, it is taken out, broken in half, wrapped in linen, and hidden. Later in the evening, the children are invited to search for it, and the one who finds it rejoices greatly as they receive a gift. The matzah is striped and pierced in appearance. What a picture of the sacrificial gift of Yeshua! He also was striped by the whips of the Roman guards, pierced with a sword, broken, wrapped in linen and hidden in the grave. Three days later, He rose again, a cause for great rejoicing by believers ever since.
Our celebration of Resurrection Day (Easter) commemorates the resurrection of Yeshua, and it actually was during Passover. Yeshua rose from the dead and became the firstfruits of the resurrection.
Source: (Excerpt from “A Year in the Life of Israel” Israel and the Church: God’s Roadmap)
Photo Credit: Jeff Wasserman/ Shutterstock.com
Offer thanksgiving to God that we as Gentiles have been grafted in with the Jews and are enabled to celebrate God’s redemption in our lives. Pray for the Church and ask God to stir an understanding of the importance of serving Israel and kindling our Jewish roots.
And Moses said to the people: Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
- Exodus 13:3
Terror Strikes in Jerusalem for the Second Time in a Week
by Ilse Posselt
Israeli security at Damascus Gate (illustrative)
Monday, 03 April 2017 | Israeli security forces have stepped up their levels of alertness ahead of the upcoming Passover holiday as Palestinian terrorists struck twice in Jerusalem over the past week.
On Saturday afternoon a knife-wielding Palestinian assailant stabbed two Jewish teenagers in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. The attacker fled the scene, with Israeli security forces giving chase. After seeking refuge in a nearby residence, the terrorist attacked and stabbed a border policeman, who shot and killed the assailant.
The three wounded Israelis were treated on the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital, suffering light to moderate wounds.
Commenting on the attack shortly after it occurred, police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said, “Police units and Border Police [officers] quickly searched the area and received intelligence that the terrorist was heading toward a house in the Muslim Quarter. Police units entered the building and the attacker stabbed one of the officers. The other officer responded and shot the terrorist.”
The Palestinian terrorist was later identified as 17-year-old Ahmad Zahlr Jazal from a village near Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria. Moments before setting out to kill, a smiling Jazal posed for a picture on the steps of the Temple Mount’s Dome of the Rock. Following the attack, Jazal’s photograph was shared widely on social media, with Palestinians hailing the young terrorist as a hero. Hamas praised Jazal as a “martyr” and called his actions “heroic.”
Clashes broke out shortly after the attack between police and Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. Police were forced to close some of the gates to the Old City and dispersed the rioters with tear gas.
Saturday’s incident marked the second terror attack in Jerusalem over the past week. On Wednesday a Palestinian woman tried to stab Israeli police officers near the Old City’s Damascus Gate. The officers managed to thwart the attack and neutralized the woman. Over the past year and a half, the Old City of Jerusalem, and particularly the Damascus Gate, has proven a popular spot for Palestinian terrorists to strike, The Times of Israel says.
Israeli security forces have raised their level of alertness ahead of the upcoming Passover holidays, which start on the eve of 10 April 2017. Additional forces have been deployed across prospective flashpoint areas, including Jerusalem’s Old City, where tensions have in the past erupted into violence during Jewish holidays, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Moreover, last week Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security agency) Director, Nadav Argaman, warned that Hamas will, without a doubt, try to launch terror attacks on Israel during the Passover holidays. “Our goal, of course,” he assured, “is to ensure quiet holidays for every citizen of the State of Israel.”
Over the past month, Israel has uncovered numerous Hamas terror cells operating in Israel. These cells were in various stages of planning terror attacks against the Jewish state.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 03 April 2017)
Photo Credit: Ashernet
Pray that this festive season of Passover (Pesach) will be peaceful and for the nation of Israel to be safe in God’s arms as they remember His great deeds. Beseech Him to shelter Israel once more and drown the enemy with their own plots.
So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left…the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians…and the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.
- Exodus 14:22, 24-25
Hamas Takes Underwater Attacks on Israel to New Depths
Russian-designed ADS amphibious assault rifle (illustrative)
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 | The Palestinian terror group Hamas is seeking undersea routes to strike the Jewish state, The Times of Israel reported Saturday.
“We see rearming on every level on the sea-front — systems, weapons and trainings. Hamas sees the sea as an option to achieve its aggressive, operational ambitions,” said Maj. Irad Shtatar, commander of the Ashdod Observation Company, the division of the Israeli Navy charged with tracking Hamas’ efforts to launch naval attacks. The company is made up entirely of female soldiers.
Hamas’ attempts to smuggle weapons by sea have decreased, Shtatar told the Times. He attributed this to efforts by the Israeli Navy, as well as Hamas’ collaboration with the Islamic State to smuggle weapons from the Sinai Peninsula.
The Ashdod Observation Company tracks Hamas’ activities both above and below water. “Hamas is making serious developments in the underwater domain,” Shtatar said, though he did not specify weapons or tactics. It employs “advanced optical cameras and radar” and monitors boats entering and exiting Ashdod port, as well as Israel’s commercial shipping lanes, to guard against possible terror attacks.
During the previous two years, Israel has interdicted numerous attempts to smuggle wetsuits and other scuba gear into Gaza. Hamas even attempted to infiltrate Israel by sea on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
As part of its lawful blockade of Gaza to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Hamas-ruled territory, Israel has imposed a 6-mile [9.65 km] limit on Gazan fishing boats. Israel extended the limit last year during the spring fishing season and intends to do so again this year. Extending the limit in the fall was also considered, but the Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security agency] accused Hamas of abusing the leeway to smuggle weapons.
In the north, Israel is also preparing to thwart any attempts by Hezbollah to launch terror attacks by sea.
Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 03 April, 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia
Photo License: Wikimedia
Ask God to guide the Ashdod Observation Company with divine wisdom in order to track down Hamas’s smuggling operations on the sea front. Praise God for His armies protecting Israel’s borders on land and at sea.
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.
- Proverbs 4:5-6
Trump, al-Sisi Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Peace Summit
by Ilse Posselt
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Photo: Kremlin / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Wikimedia)
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 | Egyptian president, Fattah al-Sisi, headed to the White House on Monday for a meeting with his American counterpart, Donald Trump. The meeting was reportedly an amicable one, lasting nearly two and a half hours. The two world leaders had various discussion topics on their agenda, including the continuation of military and economic aid to Cairo as well as the two countries standing united against radical Islamic extremism. Yet the conversation soon turned to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“You, Mr President,” al-Sissi told Trump, “can find a solution.”
Pledging his country’s full backing in the pursuit of such a solution, al-Sisi referred to clinching a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians as solving “the problem of the century.” The Egyptian president’s terminology echoes language that Trump himself has used in the past, when he hailed Israeli-Palestinian peace as “the ultimate deal.”
A day after the meeting between the two world leaders, leading London-based Arab daily, Al Hayat, reported that Trump and al-Sisi discussed the possibility of hosting an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit aimed at kick-starting renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The summit will reportedly take place in Washington as early as this coming summer. Moreover, the Trump administration is said to expect that Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf nations will play a leading role in convincing the Palestinians to return to negotiations.
According to Al Hayat, al-Sisi presented Trump with the Arab nations’ position on the conflict. The position calls for “a just solution for the Palestinian issue based on the Arab Peace Initiative, and opposes moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.”
The Arab Peace Initiative is a ten-sentence proposal, unveiled and adopted by the Arab League in 2002, which demands that Israel withdraw to pre-1967 borders, evacuate all Jews living in Judea and Samaria, divide Jerusalem and welcome an influx of “Palestinian refugees.” In exchange, the Jewish state will receive the promise of normalization of ties with Arab countries.
While the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit is still in its infant stages, Al Hayat reported that the idea is in line with the discussions that US Special Envoy for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, held with Arab leaders last week during the 28th Arab League Summit.
US President Donald Trump (Photo: Public Domain/ Wikimedia)
According to The Times of Israel, Greenblatt assured Arab leadership that the US president remained committed to inking an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that would “reverberate” through both the region and the world. Greenblatt, who attended the summit as an “observer,” met with the ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Qatar as well as with Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Following last week’s summit, the Dubai-based Al Khaleej Times claimed that al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah planned to propose the principles of the Arab Peace Initiative framework to Trump during their upcoming meetings with the US president. King Abdullah’s meeting with the US president is scheduled to take place today.
Moreover, according to Al Khaleej Times, Trump is expected to respond to the Jordanian-Egyptian proposals during a meeting with Abbas, which is tentatively scheduled to take place later this month.
Al Khaleej Times claimed that getting the Palestinians to the negotiation table would require a number of gestures from Israel, including a release of Palestinian prisoners as well as a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria outside the existing settlement blocks.
While Israel has not offered an official response to these reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in the past said that the Jewish state would never accept the original Arab Peace Initiative as the basis for negotiations.
“If the Arab nations grasp the fact that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes Israel demands, then we can talk,” Netanyahu explained late last year. “But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’—we’ll choose to leave it.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 05 April 2017)
Offer petition for God’s will to be done regarding the two state solution. Pray for heavenly solutions to all the demands of all the parties involved. Pray for PM Netanyahu, asking for boldness, courage and fearlessness; and for wisdom for President Trump as they continue to seek venues to solve the problem of the century, peace in the Middle-East.
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
- Isaiah 62:6-7
US Baby Boomers to Visit Israel for the First Time
The Old City of Jerusalem
Friday, 07 April 2017 | You’re never too old to try something new. That’s why nearly 50 Baby Boomers from across greater New York City will travel to Israel for the very first time April 29-May 5 to celebrate the Jewish state’s 69th Independence Day and to mark the UJA-Federation of New York’s century of supporting the Jewish community and Israel.
The Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 during the post-war years of America’s economic surge, will be embarking on their maiden journey to Israel as part of the largest UJA-Federation mission to the country in years, the William Rosenwald Mission, featuring 300 visitors on a multi-track trip.
“The Baby Boomer’s Overview of Israel” will see historic places like Jerusalem’s Old City, Tzfat and Caesarea, cultural sites like the Museum for the History of Society and Democracy in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Yitzhak Rabin Center and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek and Nachalat Binyamin.
Among the Baby Boomers will be sisters Sandra Hellman, 74, and Zita Bernstein, 66, both of whom are visiting Israel for the first time. For Hellman and Bernstein, the Baby Boomer mission offers the sisters a chance to realize a lifelong dream—though not for all the same reasons.
While Zita is looking forward to swimming in the Dead Sea and shopping, in addition to seeing historic sites, Sandra has been a longtime student of the Holocaust and puts the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial atop her must-do list for Israel.
Sandra, who has suffered from serious respiratory ailments and lung cancer, among other challenges, said: “I am happy to be alive to realize the one thing I’ve always wanted to do my whole life—visit Israel.”
“There’s no better way to celebrate UJA-Federation’s century of Jewish community building and Israel’s 69th anniversary of independence than with this incredible, inspiring mission,” said UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric S. Goldstein. “Whether hiking in the footsteps of our forefathers, or gaining insights from Israel’s high-tech entrepreneurs, participants will experience their Jewish homeland in powerfully new ways and come away with memories that will last a lifetime.”
UJA Federation of New York was founded in 1917, when Jews across the New York area pioneered the idea of bringing a network of different charitable agencies and institutions under one federated system—and has provided many billions of dollars to support the State of Israel since its inception.
Source: (Excerpt of article originally published by Ynetnews on 04 April, 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: www.freeimages.com
Praise God for all the Baby Boomers who at a ripe age are coming to visit and experience their own homeland for the first time. Pray for them to be drawn to the land, fall in love with it and make aliyah. Pray for other Jews around the world to make their lifelong dreams come true to visit and start a new life in Israel.
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
Palestinian Textbooks Teach Children to be Martyrs
by Ilse Posselt
Gazan children learn from Hamas textbooks that deny Israel’s existence (Photo: IDF / idfblog.com)
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 | Parents send their children to school fully expecting their kids to learn a whole range of new things – from reading and writing to math and geography. Yet the prescribed textbooks for Palestinian first to fourth graders who attend school in east Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem also teach little ones a whole different skills set which the Palestinian Authority (PA) deems crucial: the alleged glory and virtue of becoming a “martyr.”
According to a report published on Sunday by the Hebrew University’s Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), the PA’s 2016-2017 elementary school curriculum is significantly more radical than that of previous years, with a curriculum that “teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ‘return’ to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.”
The report is based on an analysis of the PA’s current educational curriculum for elementary schools (grades one through four) and high school (grades 11 and 12).
Entitled “Palestinian Elementary School Curriculum 2016-17: Radicalization and Revival of the PLO Program”, the report explains that young Palestinian children are “taught to be expendable.” The messages they receive from their educators include catchphrases like “the volcano of my revenge,” “the longing of my blood for my land,” and “I shall sacrifice my blood to saturate the land.”
The report found that the textbooks introduce Arabs as the original owners and inhabitants of the land and disregard Jewish ties. “The vision of an Arab Palestine includes the entirety of what is now Israel, defined as the “1948 Occupied Territories,” the report highlights.
Jerusalem, for example, is described as an “Arab city” built by “our Arab ancestors.” Israeli cities like Haifa and Jaffa are also hailed as “Palestinian cities overlooking the Mediterranean.”
According to The Times of Israel, the Jewish state is conspicuously absent from the maps used in the textbooks. “A political map in a third grade textbook shows Palestine in the entire territory of Israel. While neighboring Arab countries are shown, Israel is not.” The map does, however, show a number of Israeli cities with their names changed to Arabic.
Play executing soldier (Photo:PMW / palwatch.org)
The report also points out that the textbooks glorify the concept of martyrdom. “Children are expected to become martyrs,” the document explains, “in other words, to be killed in conflicts with security forces.”
An illustration in one of the textbooks shows a pristine classroom filled with Palestinian youngsters. Only one desk in the classroom is vacant. A sign on the vacant desk identifies the absent friend as “The Martyr.” A Palestinian flag is draped heroically across the empty chair. “Getting killed in clashes becomes part of the curriculum,” the report clarifies. “Students are aware that they should follow in the footsteps of those martyrs (shuhada) who died before them.”
The issue of martyrdom and dead martyrs is also a firm favorite when it comes to teaching elementary school Palestinians arithmetic.
The following question serves as an example of a math problem posed to fourth-graders: “The number of martyrs of the First Intifada during 1987–93 totaled 2026 martyrs, and the number of martyrs of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Intifada in the year 2000 totaled 5,050 martyrs while the number of the wounded reached 49,760. How many martyrs died in the two intifadas?”
According to the report, this year’s text books display a significant deterioration in terms of peace and tolerance when compared to the editions for previous curricula. “There is little doubt of significant—even alarming—deterioration of the curriculum’s message when compared with our review of previous texts for these age groups…. The strategy of violence and pressure [in place of negotiations] is advocated as the most effective action to achieve Palestinian goals… That does not bode well for future peace prospects,” the report warns.
“Despite assurances from the PA Education Ministry, these new books are actually more radical than we have previously seen,” The Jerusalem Post quoted IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff as saying.
“There is clear evidence of a strategy of radicalization of young Palestinians, devised and implemented by the ministry, which includes a commitment to an Arab Palestine encompassing the entirety of Israel,” he said.
Sheff also told The Times of Israel that the emphasis on martyrdom in this year’s textbooks “places the idea of a young person being a martyr in a public light.” The message, he explains, is that “these children are potentially expendable.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have long since pointed a finger at the PA curriculum as a source of incitement amongst Palestinian youth, spurring children on from an early age to view Israel as illegal and illegitimate in every sense and thus act out in violence and terror against the Jewish state.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 04 April 2017)
Intercede for all the children who are lured and indoctrinated to be martyrs. Pray for their parents’ eyes to be enlightened that these teachings and textbooks are false and ask God for discernment to bring healing and sound minds through miracles and dreams to reveal His truth in countless ways.
For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;
- Proverbs 3:12-13
New UN Report Attempts to Equate Israel to Slavery in the US
by Itamar Eichner
Former UN Under Secretary General Rima Khalaf
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 | The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is expected to publish a report equating “the Israeli Occupation” to slavery in the United States and put the financial damages suffered by Palestinians as a result of “50 years of occupation” in the billions of dollars.
The Arab-dominated committee published a report two weeks ago claiming that Israel established an Apartheid regime that controls the entire Palestinian people. The report set off a firestorm leading to the resignation of its author, UN Under-Secretary-General Rima Khalaf.
Committee members are currently in the process of publishing a new report that will attempt to draw comparisons between Israeli actions and the period of slavery in the United States.
The report is expected to be published next month, coinciding with the anniversary of the Six Day War.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, is currently working with senior officials in the UN to thwart the report’s publication.
According to Danon, “This is another disgraceful attempt using Rima Khalaf’s anti-Semitic playbook to make false claims against Israel. Just as we were successful in canceling the first report, we will also fight against these lies.”
(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)
Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 03 April 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Chatham House / Wikimedia
Photo License: Wikimedia
Persevere to pray for the UN with a renewed fire as God is in control of the UN and Israel! Thank God for the positive change and pray for Danny Danon and his family as they have to rise above the world’s thinking every day. Pray against the enemies’ strategies of spreading lies and falsify the truth of Israel.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! so God granted him what he requested.
- 1 Chronicles 4:10
Eighty Foreign Ambassadors and Diplomats Take Part in Passover Seder
by Itamar Eichner
Passover Meal (illustrative)
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 | More than 80 foreign ambassadors, senior diplomats and international journalists took part in a Passover seder Sunday night sponsored by The Israel Project and the World Jewish Congress.
The actual meal was hosted by former Israeli ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, and included guests from a variety of sectors in Israeli society, including the heads of social organizations and even actress Ania Bukstein.
For many participants, it was the first time they had ever sat at a Passover table.
Among diplomats who participated in the meal was Turkish ambassador to Israel, Kemal Okem, who tasted gefilte fish and was interested in seder customs. Additional diplomats included representatives from the United States, France, Germany and the UN.
The afikoman—a piece of matzo hidden at the beginning of the seder to be found later—was found by a member of Nigeria’s diplomatic corps and a CNN correspondent.
According to Lior Weintraub, Vice President of The Israel Project, “The combination of foreign ambassadors and Israeli guests at the seder table creates a unique interaction that allows exposure to Israeli culture and shows the beautiful face of the State of Israel and Israeli society.
“In the spirit of the holiday, the combination of tasty food, good company and an enjoyable traditional evening helps strengthen the connection between Israel and the Jewish people and the distinguished ambassadors who participated in the event.”
Former MK Shai Hermesh, said, “This holiday symbolizes an inspiring story of redemption and rebirth that has been passed from generation to generation for thousands of years around countless Passover tables in Israel and in the most remote corners of Diaspora Jewry. The breaking of matzo around the seder table was an enriching and unforgettable experience for our guests and friends.”
(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)
Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 03 April, 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Royalty-Free/Corbis
Give thanks to God for using a gathering of ambassadors, journalists and diplomats from all over the world to bring joy and understanding of the redemption and rebirth of a nation and at the same time reveal the rich culture of Israel. Pray that their enriching and memorable experience will go beyond a one-time event at a dinner table.
And if a stranger dwells among you, and would keep the Lord’s Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land.
- Numbers 9:14
Boom in Chinese Tourism
by Amit Cotler
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 | The Ministry of Tourism’s investment in promoting Israel in China has paid dividends, with a 68.6% increase from 2015 to 2016.
The ministry has invested nearly ten million shekels a year, and China’s largest private airline, Hainan, started offering flights to Israel.
The Ministry of Tourism’s data show that 79,268 tourists from China visited the Jewish state in 2016, but the ministry’s goal is to cross the 100,000 barrier in number of Chinese tourists per year.
The average Chinese visitor is extremely interested in Israeli history and culture from biblical times to the modern high-tech boom. Their preferred destination is Jerusalem, with 81% of Chinese tourists visiting the capital with most making sure to visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Despite Jerusalem’s popularity, Israel’s second city still receives a fair amount of Chinese tourists, with 71% visiting Tel Aviv. The Dead Sea sees 56% of the Chinese who come to Israel.
According to the official data, the average Chinese tourist spends considerably more in Israel than the average European, with the former spending about $267 per day versus the latter’s $158.
Israeli hoteliers at the Dan and Isrotel chains have sought to adapt their offerings to their new guests from the Far East, with many hotels establishing a “Chinese corner” in the breakfast room. Apparently, many non-Chinese guests have also taken to the rice congee and steamed broccoli to start their day rather than the traditional Israeli offerings of salads, cheeses and baked goods.
Roy Kriezman, Manager of China and Far East Markets at Dan, told Ynet that representatives from his hotel chain are travelling to China to learn from Chinese hotels how best to accommodate the influx of new visitors.
In addition to the breakfast offerings, modifications for Chinese guests include the coffee selections in the rooms being switched out with teas, the addition of two Chinese television station, written information being provided in Chinese, and providing smaller complimentary slippers.
A seemingly small detail has also been addressed, Kriezman shared: flower colors. Dan learned to change out the white flowers in its room with red ones, as white flowers symbolize death and mourning in Chinese culture.
(Translated and edited by J. Herzog)
Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 25 March 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rejoice as Jerusalem is a choice destination for the Chinese tourists and for the improvement in her economy as the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts and investment pay off. Pray that many other nations will discover the beauty of the Land and her people.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
- Psalm 48:1-2