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Friday, April 15, 2022

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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.

Israel Thwarts Major Passover Terror Attack

by Ilse Strauss

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Israeli soldier in combat training (illustrative)

Thursday, 14 April 2022 | Israeli security forces yesterday foiled another major terror attack, Hebrew media said last night. According to the reports, the Palestinian terrorists planned to strike in Jerusalem on Friday evening to coincide with the eve of Passover.

Six prospective terrorists were arrested last night in a joint operation by the Border Police’s special counterterrorism forces, the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Palestinian towns of Silwad and Kobar, near Ramallah, after security forces were tipped off regarding the imminent attack.

One of the would-be terrorists was identified as 33-year-old Maad Hamed, a member of the Hamas terror cell that murdered Israeli Malachi Rosenfeld and wounded three others in a shooting attack on a car in June 2015.

Hamed was arrested following the 2015 attack and had spent the past seven years in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison. However, he recently escaped and was planning his next hit on “Israeli targets in the immediate future,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

Rosenfeld’s father, Eliezer, told Hebrew media that he received word of Hamed’s arrest from the IDF. He lauded the capture of his son’s killer, saying it represented “closure and the avoidance of more murders.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also praised Hamed’s arrest. “The long arm of Israel will reach whoever lifts a hand against us,” the premier said. “There is no expiration date for this.”

The arrests last night form part of ramped up operations against suspected terror operatives in Judea and Samaria. The operations are preemptive and aim to stop prospective terrorists before they can strike.

Over the past weeks, Israel has experienced a wave of terror with four bloody terror attacks in which 14 people have been murdered, making it the bloodiest month in Israel in years.

These are but the tip of the iceberg. According to Bennett, Israel foiled 15 terror attacks over the past two weeks, while IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said that the military has managed to thwart nearly a dozen terror attacks in the past 14 days, preventing further bloodshed and loss of life.

Bennett revealed at the beginning of April that Israel had foiled 15 terror attacks within a two-week period, while IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said the military had thwarted nearly a dozen terror attacks in 14 days.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 14, 2022)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel has been so successful at intercepting terrorists before they are able to carry out their plans. Pray for continued success, protection for all Israel’s security forces and ongoing solid intelligence that will enable them to achieve their goals. Pray for peace and consolation for the families and friends of the many victims of terror over the past weeks.

Scripture

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; in You I take shelter.


- Psalm 143:8­–9

Hamas Calls for Escalation as Ramadan Tension Simmers

by Kate Norman

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The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel

Thursday, 14 April 2022 | Terror leaders in the Gaza Strip yesterday issued a clarion call for the Palestinian people to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount tomorrow to protect it from perceived threats by the Jewish people.

Following a meeting between terrorist factions in Gaza yesterday, led by the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, they released a statement calling on “our people in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], Jerusalem and Israel to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque this coming Friday, and call on the Palestinian resistance to stay vigilant and be prepared to defend the mosque.”

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, sits atop the Temple mount—the holiest site in Judaism, where the first and second temples once stood—making it a lightning rod for religious tension.

And now, as the Islamic holiday of Ramadan and the Jewish holiday of Passover are coinciding, tensions threaten to boil over into violence.

The tense status quo on the Temple Mount allows non-Muslims to visit the site, but they are not allowed to pray there or conduct any religious ceremonies.

However, a fringe Jewish group called The Returning to the Mount drew ire when it made a Facebook announcement offering a cash prize to anyone who would successfully sacrifice a lamb on the holy site, or if they were arrested during the attempt.

Hamas called this a “dangerous escalation that crosses all red lines, as it is a direct assault on the belief and feelings of our people and our nation during this holy month,” as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Any such attempts will be blocked, Israeli officials said, in order to keep the peace.

The month-long holiday of Ramadan is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset, reading the Quran and gathering in the mosque multiple times per day for prayer. It is a time to practice self-restraint as one of the five pillars, or foundations, of Islam.

The self-restraint was largely lacking over the first few nights of the holiday in Jerusalem, amid several nights of rioting in the Old City, particularly at the flashpoint of the Damascus Gate.

However, despite the riots, most of the violence this year has taken place outside of Jerusalem. The past few weeks in Israel have been one of the bloodiest in recent years, in a spate of terror attacks that have left 14 dead around the country.

Israeli security forces have been on high alert in Jerusalem, particularly the Old City, as well as other flashpoints around the country. After visiting survivors of the terror attack last week in Tel Aviv that left three people dead, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel is shifting “from defense to offense and [is] striking the sources of terrorism at any time and any place…”

Israeli forces have been conducting raids nearly every night into Arab villages in Judea and Samaria. According to security officials, they are arresting and detaining those suspected to have connections with the recent terror attacks or with ties to extremist groups.

Ramadan often sparks a rise in tensions, violence, terror attacks and riots. Last year in particular stirred the pot, as religious and political tensions triggered a clash that saw terrorists in the Gaza Strip launch more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel. The tension led to a volatile 11-day war, dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls by the Israel Defense Forces.

Aside from the rockets, Ramadan 2021 also involved rioting, particularly in areas with mixed populations of Jews and Arabs, as well as heightened terror attacks.

Israelis fear a sequel to Guardian of the Walls—thus the uptick in Border Police officers and soldiers stationed around the country, a necessary security measure in the face of threats like Hamas’s clarion call to defend Al-Aqsa.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 14, 2022)

Photo Credit: עומר מרקובסקי/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for a peaceful beginning to the Passover holiday. Pray that Hamas’s lies and incitement will fall on deaf ears as Muslims continue to observe Ramadan. Pray specifically for Jerusalem and the nation’s other flash points, and beseech the Lord that Israel’s strategy of shifting “from defense to offense and striking the sources of terrorism at any time and any place…” will bring this current wave of terror to an end.

Scripture

In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save…”


- Zephaniah 3:16–17a

Israeli Medical Team Heads to Haiti to Treat Burn Victims

by Abigail Klein Leichman ~ JNS via Israel21c

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Dr. Josef Haik, second from left, working with Haitian physicians to treat a young burn victim

Friday, 8 April 2022 | On December 14, 2021, a fuel tank truck crashed in the Samari neighborhood of Cap-Haïtien in northern Haiti. It then exploded, killing more than 65 people and burning dozens of others when residents rushed to collect the leaking gas, a commodity in severely short supply.

Hospitals in Haiti are still overwhelmed with the wounded. This week, expert medical help arrived from Israel—some coming directly from serving in Israel’s field hospital in Ukraine.

Professor Josef Haik, director of Israel’s National Burn Center at Sheba Medical Center, is leading the mission, in cooperation with the US-based Burn Advocates Network (BAN).

“Unfortunately, a few months ago, they had a big fire disaster, and they still have injured patients that we need to treat,” said Haik as he departed on April 3.

“We’re going to do as many surgeries as we can to try and help their wounds. We will [also] bring equipment they are lacking and teach them how to use it and leave it there so they can continue rehabilitating Haiti,” he added.

Haik, who also heads Sheba’s division of plastic surgery and is a professor at Tel Aviv University, has brought his expertise to Haiti before.

In February 2020, on the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, Haik led an international team of burn surgeons, sponsored by BAN, to set up the first pediatric laser for treating disfiguring burn scars in children at Sacre Coeur Hospital in Milot.

Haik has often undertaken humanitarian medical missions in places such as Romania, Cameroon, Congo and Guatemala.

This article was first published by Israel21c.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate via Israel21c on April 7, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sheba Medical Center/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Professor Haik and his team as they bring desperately needed medical help to Haiti. Pray that their surgeries will be successful and that their presence will bring comfort and hope to Haitians as they shine the light of the God’s mercy in such dire circumstances. Pray for the dozens of people who are suffering as a result of this tragic accident.

Scripture

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.


- Psalm 86:15

Israel Poised to Provide Fuel to Europe as Alternative to Russia

by JNS

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The Israeli Leviathan gas-processing rig, as seen from Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, Israel, on January 1, 2020.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | Europe is considering importing fuel from Russia because of shortages due to that country’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and Israel is ready to fill in the gap with its own natural-gas reserves.

“The EastMed pipeline is still an option, and the company advancing it, Poseidon, is in the final stages of geophysical and geotechnical surveys of the pipe’s route in our waters, and those of Greece and Cyprus,” said Orit Ganor, director of natural gas international trade at Israel’s Ministry of Energy, reported AFP.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said the European Union hopes to remove its dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027.

Another option for a pipeline would be through Turkey, but tense relations with Israel have thwarted the idea. However, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has of late been seeking to thaw relations—notably meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog last month—and its energy minister is planning a visit to Israel in the coming weeks, according to the report.

Israel currently exports some natural gas from its Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields to Egypt and Jordan.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 12, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s wisdom as Israel strategizes ways to provide Europe with natural gas and help to reduce European dependence on Russian gas and coal. As various options present themselves, pray that Israel’s Ministry of Energy will choose the direction that will be the most efficient and effective. Pray that deals can be struck that will bless all involved.

Scripture

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.


- Isaiah 30:21

Mainstream Media’s Distorted Coverage of Terror Attacks on Israel

by Ilse Strauss

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Logos for the Guardian and Reuters

Monday, 11 April 2022 | If you get your news from popular mainstream media headlines, you wouldn’t know about a gruesome terror attack in Israel last week. You wouldn’t know that a Palestinian terrorist casually strolled down a street in Tel Aviv teeming with civilians as he picked his target: a popular sidewalk café packed with Israelis winding down at the end of the work week. You wouldn’t know that the terrorist then opened fire on innocent civilians, murdering three. And why would you? The popular mainstream media headlines didn’t tell you.

You would, however, be forgiven for shaking your head at Israel’s supposed unprovoked aggression against a hapless Palestinian—yet again. You’d be forgiven for condemning armed Israeli forces for shooting dead a Palestinian—yet again. You’d be forgiven for slamming Israel as the bad guy—yet again. And why wouldn’t you? The popular mainstream media headlines surely told you to—if not explicitly, most certainly by implication.

Case in point. On April 8, Reuters took to Twitter with the headline, “Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after Tel Aviv bar attack.” Perhaps to dispel any lingering doubt of who did the shooting and who did the dying, a picture of a heavily armed Israeli soldier accompanied the headline.

Reuters’ headline came hours after 28-year-old Ra’ad Hazem opened fire on a crowd of people relaxing at the Ilka bar on Tel Aviv’s busy Dizengoff Street. Two young men—childhood friends out for a drink—died on the scene. A third, a father of three, succumbed to his wounds a day later. Nearly a dozen were injured, several seriously.

His bloody work done, Hazem fled the scene, prompting an hours-long manhunt. Cue the heavily armed Israeli soldier pictured in Reuters’ tweet.

Hazem was found in the early morning hours near a mosque in Jaffa. Israeli security forces implored the terrorist to surrender. Hazem wouldn’t. Instead, he fired at the Israeli forces and was killed in the ensuing firefight.

To be fair, Reuters included the above information in its article, but not in the headline. Moreover, for balance, the news agency could have chosen a picture of Dizengoff Street in the aftermath of the terror attack to accompany the headline. It could have opted for a photo of petrified civilians fleeing the gunfire.

Instead, Reuters chose to pair the words “Israeli forces shoot dead” with the image of an armed Israeli soldier, thus communicating an unmistakable message. So unless you took the time to dig into the accompanying article but merely looked at the headline and picture, what would be your takeaway of the situation?

Unsurprisingly, Reuters was not the only media outlet leading with a distorted headline. The Guardian informed its readers that “Israeli forces kill Palestinian after Tel Aviv shooting leaves two dead.” The headline failed woefully to establish a timeline of cause and effect. It also failed to point out that the Palestinian was responsible for the Tel Aviv shooting or that the Palestinian was killed in a shootout he started.

Perhaps prominent Israeli social media personality Hananya Naftali summed up the situation best as follows: “Portraying the story like that is just like saying ‘A German man was found dead in a bunker after invasion of allied forces,’ when referring to Hitler’s death.”

Israel and several Jewish organizations slammed the distorted coverage. Both the Foreign Ministry as well as Israeli embassies around the world took a number of media outlets to task. In a few instances, their efforts bore limited fruit, with some publications altering their reports. However, both Reuters and the Guardian refused to refer to Hazem as a terrorist or to the incident as a terror attack.

Calling out the Guardian on Twitter, the Board of British Jews vowed to take action in the form of “a formal complaint to yet another self-regulated media outlet that has a long and problematic record when it comes to coverage on Israel,” appealing to others to do the same.

Regardless, you cannot unring a bell.

The implication? Thousands, hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions the world over who get their news from popular mainstream media headlines will yet again shake their heads at Israel’s supposed unprovoked aggression against a hapless Palestinian, condemn armed Israeli forces for shooting dead a Palestinian and slam Israel as the bad guy. And why wouldn’t they? The popular mainstream media headlines surely told them to.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 11, 2022)

Photo Credit: The Guardian: Asvensson/wikipedia.com, Reuters: Reuters/wikipedia.com

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray against the tsunami of lies and disinformation that is constantly spewed forth by the mainstream media around the world. Cry out to the Lord that such rank anti-Semitism will be recognized for what it is and that media sources will realize the harm their shoddy journalism is causing to Israel and to the Palestinian people as well. Beseech the Lord for more and more news outlets who are interested in the truth and willing to take a stand against those who are attempting to use the media to delegitimize Israel.

Scripture

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.


- Psalm 5:9–10

Amid Terror Wave, Social Media Calls on Palestinians to Kill

by Ilse Strauss

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Incitement on social media calls on Palestinians to sustain the current wave of terror in Israel.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | The past three weeks have been the bloodiest Israel has experienced in over a decade. Israeli and international leaders alike have condemned the killings that have now left 14 people dead and dozens injured. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has also chimed in, denouncing two of the attacks. He was, however, a lone voice among the Palestinian powers-that-be. In fact, the majority of Fatah (leading secular Palestinian political party), Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders applauded the carnage, calling for more of the same.

Disturbing? Absolutely. Sickening? Most certainly. But perhaps the opinion of those who sit in office presiding over the everyday man on the street is the lesser of two evils.

Even more alarming is the flood of praise and incitement on social media, venerating the so-called martyrs and calling on Palestinians to sustain, even perpetuate the bloodshed. And in a society where the youth is enchanted by popular opinion and online renown, the call can be irresistible.

The Times of Israel sifted through the online hatred to compile a sample of the incitement that bombard the Palestinian youth. It is a sickening laundry list of graphic footage of the terror attacks set to rousing music, stirring songs revering the terrorists, graphics and images celebrating their supposed blood sacrifice, official statements, commentaries praising the attacks and so forth.

These Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts—some originating from official Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and channels—received multiple likes, hearts and thumbs ups, and were shared widely.

In one particularly disturbing post, actual footage of the terror attack in Bnei Brak and images of the terrorist’s victims—bloodied and slumped over in death—serve as the graphics for a jaunty song telling Israelis, “you will see hell and its gates will open on the Day of Resurrection.”

Another post that proved popular among Palestinian social media users is a song originally produced and shared by the Islamic Jihad’s Filastin al-Yawm channel, boasting, “God blessed the champions of Jenin [the hometown of the Palestinian terrorist who killed five people, including an Israeli Arab, in the Bnei Brak attack] with a Molotov cocktail and a knife.”

According to the Times of Israel, the Hamas mouthpiece Falastin also uploaded a number of videos featuring children expressing their joy, delight and admiration for the terrorists—all receiving hundreds of likes.

Then there are, of course, the countless posts featuring pictures, posters and placards of the terrorists, singing the praises of their bloody exploits and venerating them to the point of national heroes worthy of emulation.

And therein lies the rub.

The vast majority of the terrorists responsible for the bloodiest three weeks in Israel in over a decade were teenagers, youngsters, lone-wolf operators. Scrolling through the sickening social media glorification of murder, I recalled a conversation I had with an 18-year-old boy a few months ago. As we discussed role models and the people he looked up to, he whipped out his phone, opened his Instagram account and proudly pointed out his heroes: other teenagers or young men or women who had somehow climbed the oh-so-desirable pedestal of online notoriety.

“If I could just be like them,” he breathed, his eyes shining with admiration.

Yes, therein lies the rub. Scrolling through the sickening social media glorification of Palestinian teenagers, youngsters and lone-wolf operators who had climbed the oh-so-desirable pedestal of online notoriety by shedding innocent blood, I couldn’t help but wonder how many other Palestinian teenagers and youngsters are scrolling through their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok feeds, their eyes shining with admiration, breathing, “If I could just be like them.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 13, 2022)

Photo Credit: Today Testing (For derivative)/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for a move of His spirit among Palestinian youth, helping them to realize that they are being victimized by the very people whose responsibility it is to protect them. And pray for God to deal swiftly and severely with Palestinian leadership who are guilty of rank child abuse as they perpetrate a culture of terrorism and martyrdom that has taken the lives of countless young people—both Israeli and Palestinian.

Scripture

Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?


- Proverbs 24:11–12

Israel Reportedly Strikes Hezbollah Targets in Syria

by Kate Norman

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Masyaf, Syria, one of the villages where military targets were struck in alleged Israeli strikes on Saturday

Monday, 11 April 2022 | Israeli aircraft on Saturday struck military targets in western Syria, where Iran-backed militias and Hezbollah are active, according to Syrian state media and a watchdog group.

The strikes hit Hama, the countryside north of Lebanon and Homs, around 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

The strikes caused material damage and no casualties, according to SANA. The state-affiliated agency said the Syrian army shot down “a number of missiles,” though military analysts often dismiss this common claim as an empty boast.

The targets included a “defense lab” research center and two military positions where Iran-backed militia and Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorists are active, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported. “Moreover, there are warehouses, research centres for upgrading missiles and drones,” SOHR added.

The human rights watchdog group also reported building damage but no casualties.

This is the eighth reported Israeli attack in Syria this year, SOHR noted. The last was on March 7, when SOHR reported Israeli missile strikes targeting weapons storage sites near the Damascus airport belonging to Iran-backed militias.

Jerusalem did not comment on its involvement in the strikes, as it never does—unless the strikes are in response to a direct attack on Israel.

Israeli officials, however, have acknowledged over the years conducting hundreds of strikes in Syria, targeting weapons shipments and attempts by Iran to entrench itself and strengthen its proxies in the region.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 11, 2022)

Photo Credit: Amjad helo/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will be successful in its campaign to destroy weapons, storage sites, warehouses and research centers in its drive to weaken Iran’s grip on Syria, cripple Tehran’s attempts to entrench itself on Israel’s northern border and diminish Iranian support for terror groups around the region.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.


- Psalm 144:1–2

Israel’s Battle against Intellectual Anti-Semitism

by Ben-Dror Yemini ~ Ynetnews

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BDS sign at an anti-Israeli protest (illustrative)

Monday, 11 April 2022 | Just one day after the deadly terror attack in Beersheva, where four civilians were killed and several others wounded, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) announced their decision to ratify the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) resolution.

If we seek to understand why anti-Semitic, jihadist terror is alive and kicking, we need only to remember that it has the support of integral parts of Western academia.

BDS remains the propaganda wing and the intellectual arm of terrorism aimed against Israel.

Many terror groups operated in recent years all over the world, from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Most of these groups are no longer active. Islamist terror is, [however,] and it is growing.

Upwards of a quarter of a million people have been murdered by jihadists in the past two decades.

Not all movements and groups among the jihadis are the same, but they all share the hope for an Islamic Caliphate, the rule of Islam, that must ultimately rule the world—and destroy Israel, to be followed by [the] subsequent annihilation of all Jews.

Prominent Sunni religious authority Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in one of his recent sermons, called for his flock to finish what “Hitler had started.”

Iran-backed Hezbollah [Shiite terror group based in Lebanon] leader Hassan Nasrallah said that it was good that Jews congregated in Israel because “there will be no need to chase them around the globe, and in Israel, the final solution could be implemented to the end.”

There is no argument that even when some of these organizations are physically distant from the borders of Israel, their aim to destroy remains the same.

Nazi hate for Jews, just like that of the BDS, is not a logical process. After all, the Jews did [not do] anything to Germans, and most of the jihadists in the world, from Boko Haram to the Taliban, have never seen a Jew in the flesh. Those who incite hatred do it primarily for the purpose of cultivating their own identity. Hatred was and remains a unifying force. It is the same with white supremacists, but at the moment, the damage done by the Islamic radicals is much worse.

These groups do not exist in a vacuum. They are supported by those who often consider themselves progressive and enlightened.

No murderous call to arms will succeed without intellectuals backing it.

Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo once wrote: “When [former Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad calls to wipe Israel off the map, he merely expresses a demand that should be more explicitly shared by democratic countries that instead consider him an enemy.”

British philosopher Ted Honderich, meanwhile, went straight to the point in his use of academic jargon when he justified Palestinian terror as their “moral right.”

This is neo-Nazism. Jews are demonized as they were under the Third Reich. The demonization of the State of Israel is a thinly veiled attempt to disguise the desire to annihilate all Jews.

Any sane liberal humanist should have joined the battle against this intellectual mutation of Nazi ideology, but we are witnessing the opposite.

Now MESA too has been infected. Support for BDS is not support for peace or reconciliation. It is not support for a two state solution. It is not just criticism of the settlement movement. It is support for Israel’s destruction.

Vattimo and Hondreich and anyone who votes in favor of BDS are the same. They are complicit in the campaign of hate and the horrendous propaganda—all to demonize the only Jewish state in the world.

In the past, MESA had repeatedly rejected BDS as its members understood acceptance of that movement would constitute crossing a red line. But no more.

Now, Israel faces Iran and terror movements on the one side, and intellectual, racist and anti-Semitic “activism” on the other.

Israel will overcome the former, but may not prevail when faced with the latter.

Ben-Dror Yemini is the author of “Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli–Arab Conflict.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on April 8, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Takver/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that those who know better will speak out courageously against Western academia’s obsession with Palestinian causes and support for the BDS movement. Pray for an awakening among those whose “activism” is nothing but thinly veiled racism and anti-Semitic propaganda. Cry out to the Lord that Israel will not just “overcome the former,” but will also “prevail when faced with the latter.”

Scripture

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


- Isaiah 54:17

Bank of Israel Raises Interest Rates for First Time in Four Years

by JNS

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Bank of Israel

Tuesday, 12 April 2022 | The Bank of Israel’s Monetary Committee decided to increase the interest rate from 0.25% to 0.35% on Monday.

It said “the Israeli economy is recording strong growth, accompanied by a tight labor market and an increase in the inflation environment. The committee has therefore decided that conditions allow for the start of a gradual process of increasing the interest rate.”

The bank sees the economy as strong and has returned to levels similar to before the coronavirus pandemic hit in the first quarter of 2020.

It also noted that housing prices have continued to rise at a rate of 13% over the past year.

Its research department further assessed that the GDP will grow by 5.5% in 2022 and 4% in 2023.

Meanwhile, the global rating agency Moody’s upgraded Israel’s outlook on April 8 to “positive” from “stable.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 11, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ester Inbar via Wikimedia Commons/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the strength of Israel’s economy and its remarkable recovery from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray that it will continue to go from strength to strength. However, pray for the housing market which is making it difficult for many—especially those immigrating from other countries, including Ukraine—to find adequate homes in which to settle in their new homeland and raise their families. Also pray for Bridges for Peace volunteers who live in Jerusalem, where the rise in housing costs is creating great hardship for those who have come to bless the Jewish people.

Scripture

“For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”


- Isaiah 37:35

Israel Police Officers to Receive Special Grants Aimed at Boosting Motivation

by JNS

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Israeli Border Police stand guard near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

Thursday, 14 April 2022 | Israel Police officers will receive special grants to boost their motivation levels, the Israeli Finance and Public Security Ministries announced on Wednesday, together with the Israel Police.

The agreement comes after Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Omar Bar-Lev, and Director of Salary and Employment Agreements in the Finance Ministry Kobi Bar-Nathan approved the fiscal aid.

The grants will “increase the sense of security among Israeli civilians by compensating police serving in the Old City and holy places, promoting excellence and strengthening enforcement in the Arab sector,” a joint statement said. “The grants will be differential and given on the basis of clear criteria.”

They will be distributed as part of a biannual program created by the police’s Personnel and Planning branches.

The financial assistance will further bolster the police’s national 100 call center, as well as investigators in police stations who are in continuous contact with the public.

Police motorcyclists will also be grant recipients, as will those who enter officer courses and become instructors.

“The motivation of Israel Police officers is highly important, especially during these days,” said Lieberman. “We will continue to incentivize those who guard the security of the State of Israel and express our deep appreciation for their actions. Through active steps and initiatives, we will boost the sense of security among the country’s civilians.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 13, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
While many nations are “defunding” their police forces, praise the Lord that Israel has taken the opposite stance and is funding programs to support and encourage their police. Pray that this plan to motivate and incentivize the police—acknowledging the nation’s deep appreciation for their actions and strengthening enforcement where necessary—will result in stronger, more confident police and a more secure populace.

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