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A Light in the Midst of Trauma

Friday, April 21, 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.

Netanyahu: Enemies Who Think We Lack Determination Are Greatly Mistaken

by Gilad Cohen, Itamar Eichner, Eitan Glickman ~ Ynet

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Tuesday, 18 April 2023 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog opened Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Monday evening at a state ceremony at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum to mark the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

“The victory over our enemies cannot erase the impact of our people’s tragedy during the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said in his speech.

“Entire communities were destroyed, millions of our brothers and sisters died in horrifying deaths, and in addition, millions of other people were killed.

“Moral values were shattered, human culture was decimated, and the dignity of human life was trampled to the ground. The scars of this pain will remain with us forever.

“Despite all of this, we must remember the unique victory of the people of Israel. This victory is evident in the families established by Holocaust survivors, in the upright stature of the participants in the March of the Living, and in the pinnacle of the victory itself—the independence of our 75-year-old state.

“Israel is a free, vibrant, democratic country full of achievements. It is a country that we are all building together from generation to generation.”

With Reza Koresh Ali Pahlavi, the son of Iran’s last Shah Reza Pahlavi, in attendance, the Israeli leader warned of the encroaching threat of the current Islamist regime in Tehran.

“Although the world has changed since then, the calls for our destruction have not stopped and today they come from the regime of terror in Tehran,” Netanyahu continued.

“We must prevent the forces of evil from gaining strength as soon as possible. The Jewish state must ensure that it has the power to defend itself against any enemy and threat. The victory of the past alone does not guarantee the victory of the future. The victory of the future requires constant determination and an uncompromising struggle against those who seek to harm us and any nuclear agreement with Iran that would pave the way for nuclear weapons.

We are vigorously fighting against Iran’s terrorist proxies around us. Whoever seeks to harm us will face a determined response. Our enemies will find us standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and they will rediscover the tremendous strength that lies within our people.”

Netanyahu further stated that he still has faith in the unity of the Israeli people and their capacity to confront threats, despite the growing divisions within society.

“People of Israel, I have been standing here for many years and I declare before the whole world—’never again’. This time, I want to emphasize—those who seek to harm us, our enemies, may think that we lack the determination and internal fortitude to stand up to them, but they are greatly mistaken.

“The story of the revolt of the Warsaw Ghetto embodies the destiny of heroism and the greatness of heroism that our people possess, and it also obligates us to pass it on to the next generations—spirit, strength, and inner unity. Only in this way will we defeat those who rise up against us to destroy us and only in this way will we continue to ensure the victory of Israel.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 17, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: USAF Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders/US Department of Defense/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr

Prayer Focus
Praise and thank the Lord for the victory over evil that is the State of Israel. As the nation approaches its 75th anniversary, pray that it will remain a bastion of freedom in the Middle East, a “vibrant, democratic country full of achievements.” And pray that Israel’s enemies will heed PM Netanyahu’s warning that the nation remains determined and strong, ready to protect itself with strength and courage.


Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand.

- Psalm 108:5–6a

Former NSA Chief Warns Israel Needs to Prepare for War with Iran without US Help

by Kate Norman

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A formation of IAF fighter planes flies across Israel’s desert (illustrative).

Friday, 14 April 2023 | In the wake of a tense Passover week that saw rockets fired toward Israel from Iran-backed terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, a former Israeli national security adviser warned yesterday that Israel needs to prepare for war with Iran without the help of the United States.

“We need to prepare for war,” Yaakov Amidror, who served as National Security Council chief between 2011–2013, told Radio 103 FM, as quoted by the Times of Israel. “It’s possible that we will reach a point where we have to attack Iran even without American assistance.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes a hardline stance against Iran, warning the global community of the increasing danger of Tehran’s nuclear development program and regional aggression. As the Islamic regime continues making progress with its nuclear development program, and as global powers continue tiptoeing around a new nuclear deal with Tehran, Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will never allow Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon, regardless of a nuclear agreement.

He has also vowed to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in countries neighboring Israel, which would provide the Islamic regime a springboard to launch attacks against the Jewish state.

Israel and the US have conducted joint military exercises over the years geared towards preparing for strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites. But the tides in the Middle East are turning, as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—countries that once looked at Iran as a regional adversary—signed peace pacts and restored diplomatic ties with the regime.

Those new agreements have made Iran “more sure of itself,” Amidror warned, increasing the chances of a security deterioration.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi told Army Radio earlier this month that the Jewish state can and would carry out an attack on Iran without the United States.

“We are ready to act against Iran,” Halevi told Army Radio, as quoted by i24News. “The Israeli army has the ability to strike both in distant countries and near home. In the coming years, the IDF will significantly strengthen its capabilities for a [preemptive strike on Iran] and, despite the distance, such a strike will be overwhelming.”

In discussing acting alone or in coordination with the US, Halevi said Israel is “capable of meeting any security challenge” but that it is better to be acting hand-in-hand with its ally in Washington.

“We know how to act alone,” the IDF chief said. “We are a sovereign nation that reserves the right to make its own decisions. It would be good to have the United States on our side, but it is not an obligation.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 14, 2023)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that all Israel will recognize that their safety, security and military victories come not from alliances with other nations but from the Lord God of Hosts. Pray for His blessing on any measures Israel must take to protect itself from Iranian aggression.


Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

- Psalm 108:12–13

Cohen Heads to Turkmenistan to Open Israeli Embassy

by JNS

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Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen

Thursday, 20 April 2023 | Eli Cohen is set to become the first Israeli foreign minister to set foot in Turkmenistan in nearly three decades when he arrives in the Central Asian country’s capital Ashgabat on Wednesday night to open an embassy there.

It will be the closest Israeli embassy to archenemy Iran, as Ashgabat is located 15 miles [24 km.] from the Turkmenistan–Iran border, which spans 713 miles [1,147 km.] from the Caspian Sea to Afghanistan.

Shimon Peres was the last Israeli foreign minister to visit the former Soviet state, making a trip there in 1994 along with a stop in Uzbekistan.

Cohen is scheduled to meet on Thursday with Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedow and Vice President and Foreign Minister Raşit Meredow, as well as Agriculture Minister Esenmyrat Orazgeldiýew and members of the local Jewish community.

Israel’s top diplomat will depart for Turkmenistan from the South Caucasus country of Azerbaijan, where he had brought a delegation of business leaders from Israel on Tuesday.

Baku [the capital of Azerbaijan] last month upgraded its relations with the Jewish state by inaugurating its first-ever embassy in Israel, stationing Ambassador Mukhtar Mammadov to Tel Aviv. It was the first time that a Shiite country has opened an embassy in Israel.

On Wednesday, Cohen met in Baku with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. In a statement, Cohen said that the two men “talked about the strategic regional challenges we share, chief among them regional security and the fight against terrorism.”

Cohen met with Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov on Tuesday.

Azerbaijan also shares a border with Iran.

In an interview with Azeri media, Cohen said that Jerusalem sees Baku as a “strategic partner” with a growing trade relationship.

“I am here to fulfill this potential and further strengthen relations between the two countries. We will sign agreements on innovation, cybersecurity and education. Our governments have set a goal to strengthen bilateral cooperation. My goal is to take the relationship to a higher level, and we are working on that,” Cohen said.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 19, 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 Israel’s relationship with Turkmenistan. Thank Him for the opening of the embassy and pray that relations between the two countries will be strengthened to the benefit of both nations.


The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

- Psalm 34:7–8

IDF Strikes Hezbollah Targets in Syria

by JNS

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Israel Air Force jets flying in formation (illustrative)

Thursday, 20 April 2023 | The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] struck assets belonging to Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah in southern Syria overnight Tuesday, according to foreign reports.

According to reports, the military fired artillery at targets in Quneitra in the Syrian-held part of the Golan Heights.

The IDF on Wednesday morning dropped leaflets in the area warning the Syrian army against working with Hezbollah.

The Israeli military did not comment on the reports but said that a Skylark drone conducting a routine operation crashed overnight in Syria.

The unmanned aerial vehicle suffered a technical malfunction and an investigation into the incident has been opened.

The military added that there was no danger of critical information being leaked.

Earlier this month, the IDF struck targets in Syria in response to six rockets fired towards the Golan Heights. Among the targets were a military compound of the Fourth Division of the Syrian Armed Forces, military radar systems and artillery posts.

“The IDF sees the State of Syria responsible for all activities occurring within its territory and will not allow any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty,” the IDF said.

The military regularly conducts airstrikes in Syria with a view to preventing Iran and its terror proxies, foremost among them Lebanon-based Hezbollah, from developing permanent military infrastructure with which to open a front against the Jewish state.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 19, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Maj. Ofer via Wikimedia Commons/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel’s airstrikes in Syria will be successful to prevent Iran and its terror proxies—foremost among them Lebanon-based Hezbollah—from developing permanent military infrastructure with which to open a front against the Jewish state.


I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.

- Psalm 57:2–3a

Jordanian Top Diplomat Accused of Aggravating Temple Mount Tensions

by Joshua Marks ~ JNS

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Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi

Friday, 14 April 2023 | The diplomatic dispute between Jerusalem and Amman over the security situation on the Temple Mount remains hot, with a senior Israeli official accusing the Jordanian foreign minister of fanning the flames.

Senior Israeli officials are pointing the finger at the Hashemite Kingdom’s top diplomat, Ayman Safadi, who also serves as deputy prime minister, for not trying to calm down the tensions at the holy site that last week saw clashes between police and rioters.

On April 5, Israeli police arrested more than 350 Muslim rioters who barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque. On April 8, hundreds of Muslims again barricaded themselves inside the mosque, preventing Muslims from praying and attempting to provoke a response from Israeli security services. However, police did not enter the building to clear out the extremists as they had on previous occasions.

The Jordanian government has publicly held Israel responsible for the escalation, with Israel’s Foreign Ministry shooting back by calling on Amman, through the Waqf Islamic trust tasked with safeguarding Muslim sites on the Temple Mount, to take action against the extremists.

Senior Israel officials met with Safadi before Ramadan [one of the Five Pillars of Islam when stringent disciplines are observed] in a bid to reduce tensions ahead of the holiday month, in talks they described to Walla! News as “very good.” But when the Temple Mount tensions increased, Safadi took a hardline approach, they added.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry has published a series of tweets and statements in recent days condemning Israel for what it claims are “violations” on the Temple Mount. On Wednesday, Safadi retweeted a ministry statement published in the parliament that the Palestinians are the No. 1 cause for Jordan and that “a just and comprehensive peace will not be achieved unless Jerusalem is liberated as the capital of an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian national soil.”

Preempt Violence in Mixed Jewish-Arab Cities

The decision by Israeli police to bar non-Muslims from the Temple Mount over the last ten days of Ramadan prevented an outbreak of violence in mixed Jewish–Arab cities similar to that which occurred in May 2021, Channel 12 reported on Wednesday, citing law enforcement officials.

Clashes on the Temple Mount could have spilled over into other flashpoint areas in the way that the events of 2021 quickly unfolded into a wider conflict, the intelligence indicated, according to the police officials.

The May 2021 tensions in Jerusalem led to the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza firing thousands of rockets at Israeli territory. Israel responded by targeting terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Tensions to Continue Past Ramadan

The IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate in recent days has warned Israel’s political leadership that tensions are expected to continue after Ramadan ends on April 21.

The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] report warns that war is closer than calm while cautioning that the military should wait to respond to any provocations from Hamas, Hezbollah or Iranian proxies in Syria so as to cool down tensions on the Temple Mount.

Security forces are bracing for possible violence on April 21, with the Friday also marked as Quds Day—an annual event that takes aim at Israel and Zionism. A police official told Israel Hayom that Hamas could use Quds Day as propaganda against Israel, claiming the Temple Mount tensions as a victory.

Social Media Incitement

The Temple Mount tensions amplify incitement against Israel on social media, the IDF intelligence report states.

In that regard, action is already being taken to push back against online incitement, with Channel 14 reporting that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the State Attorney’s Office received court approval to shut down four websites associated with Hamas that incited terrorism.

The Tel Aviv District Court approved the request to restrict access to the sites.

The Shin Bet and the Cyber Department of the State Attorney’s Office will “continue to thwart incitement on the internet carried out by the terrorist organization Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” the Shin Bet said.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 13, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will exercise great wisdom in its responses to any provocations during these last days of Ramadan and in the following weeks. Cry out to the Lord for an easing of tensions and an end to the violence.


The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

- Proverbs 18:10

Israel Foils Plot to Enlist Palestinians in the Service of Iran

by Yoav Zitun ~ Ynet

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Terror puppet master Iran attempts to recruit new terror proxies from among Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria.

Monday, 17 April 2023 | The Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] said on Monday that it had uncovered attempts by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC], Quds Force to enlist Palestinians residing in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] to carry out terror attacks.

The months-long investigation ended with the arrest of two Palestinians—Yussef and Marsil Mansour—by the Shin Bet, who told investigators that they had been approached online by two men—Huda Mahna and Haj Mohamad Raduan, also known as Mohamed Bashir—both identifying as Hezbollah operatives.

The Palestinian suspects agreed to smuggle weapons into the West Bank for the purposes of trade and with the help of Israeli criminals. Yussef agreed to carry out surveillance of IDF [Israel Defense Forces] troop movement in the West Bank and elsewhere in Israel and tap others to join their terror plot. He was transferred money on a number of occasions with Marsil’s help.

It was also revealed that in the covert communications with Mohamed Bashir, Yussef used an inscription program for mail addressed to a specific address.

After their interrogations, the two were charged with serious security offenses.

The Shin Bet said their intelligence found that Mohamed Bashir and Huda Mahna were both members of the IRGC’s Quds force responsible for assisting Palestinian terror in the West Bank and that their investigation exposed the methods used by both Hezbollah and Iran.

“We view efforts by Iran and its proxies to establish a terror infrastructure in Israel with gravity,” Shin Bet said. “Security forces will continue to work to identify and disrupt any attempts to attack Israel and threaten its security,” they said.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 17, 2023. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: w:Barry Hunau at Cartoons by Barry/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that these two criminals were caught and that Iranian-backed terror plots were thwarted. Pray that Israeli security forces will continue to identify and disrupt attempts to attack Israel and threaten its security.


Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

- Psalm 27:14 ESV

Nearly 150,000 Holocaust Survivors Live in Israel

by JNS

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A survivor participates in the annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremony at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.

Monday, 17 April 2023 | The number of Holocaust survivors living in Israel stands at nearly 150,000, according to statistics published on Sunday by the Holocaust Survivors’ Rights Authority ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The 147,199 Holocaust survivors residing in the Jewish state include 521 new immigrants from war-torn Ukraine, who last year were recognized as survivors of the Nazi genocide.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual event in Israel commemorating the six million Jews murdered by the Germans and their collaborators, and those who fought back and partook in rescue efforts, takes place this year from Monday evening until the following evening. The somber day features a two-minute siren at 10 a.m. local time when the country comes to a standstill.

One of the central themes of this year’s commemoration is Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, as the world marks 80 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

According to the data, 462 Holocaust survivors celebrated their 100th birthdays last year. Around 31,000 are more than 90 years old. The average age of survivors is 85 and the youngest survivor is 76.

Haifa is home to the largest population of Shoah [Hebrew for Holocaust] survivors in Israel, followed by Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Some 63% of Holocaust survivors in Israel were born in Europe. Significant numbers of Holocaust survivors came from outside of Europe, including Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Iraq.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 16, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for an outpouring of His blessing on these thousands of Holocaust survivors who reside in the Land of their ancient forefathers. Pray that they will have everything they need to live out their remaining days in peace and happiness. Pray also that Christians around the world will give generously so that Bridges for Peace can continue its programs that provide food, special gifts for holidays and birthdays and above all, love and companionship to these precious children of God who have suffered so much.


“The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands.”

- Exodus 34:6b–7a

Hamas Visit to Saudi Arabia Postponed; PA Chief Abbas in the Kingdom

by JNS

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Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas terrorist movement’s political bureau

Monday, 17 April 2023 | Saudi Arabia has postponed a planned visit to the kingdom this week by a senior Hamas delegation, Arab and Iranian media reported.

The delegation of terror leaders had been scheduled to make a pilgrimage to Mecca on Monday, but according to Iranian media outlet Jade Iran, Riyadh refused to issue them entry visas, despite a verbal agreement to do so made by the Saudi ambassador in Doha, Qatar.

The delegation was reportedly to be led by the head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied by the bureau’s deputy chairman, Musa Abu Marzouk; the head of Hamas’s Office of Martyrs, Wounded and Prisoners, Zaher Jabarin; and the head of the group’s Diaspora Office.

The Saudis did agree to release a number of Palestinian prisoners associated with Hamas that had been held in detention for several years, according to the report.

Arabic-language news site Arabi21 also confirmed the cancellation.

It would have been the first visit by an official Hamas delegation to Saudi Arabia since 2015, and the first since the Saudis agreed in March to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iran.

Relations between Riyadh and Hamas were strained after the Saudis blamed the terrorist group for the failure of the 2007 “Mecca Agreement,” which was a Saudi attempt to facilitate a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip.

PA Chief in Saudi Arabia

Palestinian Authority [PA] chief Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for an official visit, according to Arab media reports.

Two Jordanian helicopters landed in Ramallah on Sunday to transport Abbas to Jordan and then on to Saudi Arabia, where he is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

Secretary of the PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] Executive Committee Hussein al-Sheikh, and the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, Majed Faraj, are accompanying Abbas on the trip, according to the reports.

Abbas will also participate in an Iftar meal, held daily at sundown during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan [one of the Five Pillars of Islam when stringent disciplines are observed].

The Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bassam al-Agha, said in an interview with the PA–backed radio station Voice of Palestine that “President Abbas will discuss during his visit the situation in Palestine and the crimes of the occupation in the city of Jerusalem.”

He is scheduled to return to Ramallah on Wednesday.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia hosted a meeting of ministers from Arab countries in Jeddah in which were discussed ways to support the Palestinian cause and to resolve the crisis in Syria. It featured the participation of Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 17, 2023. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will prevent alliances being formed that will increase the threat level against the nation of Israel. Pray that Israel’s newly formed relationships with Arab states will prove beneficial as Arab leaders look for solutions to problems in the region. Also beseech the Lord that Palestinian propaganda will fall on deaf ears.


Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts.

- Psalm 28:3

Twitter Responds to Rampant Anti-Semitism with Hate Speech Policy Change

by Emily Schrader ~ Ynet

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Thursday, 20 April 2023 | On the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, Twitter announced they are unveiling a new policy to fight hate speech on the platform entitled “Freedom of Speech Not Freedom of Reach.”

The policy will reduce the organic reach of tweets that violate or may violate Twitter’s existing hate speech standards, and advertisements will not be displayed next to such content.

“Starting soon, we will add publicly visible labels to tweets identified as potentially violating our policies, letting you know we’ve limited their visibility,” said Twitter.

The policy change comes in the aftermath of a sharp increase in anti-Semitism on Twitter according to multiple recent reports analyzing online hate speech. Data reported by the organization Fighting Online Anti-Semitism (FOA) revealed that there was an increase of 180% in online anti-Semitism in 2022, and furthermore, that Twitter’s removal rate of hate speech has actually decreased by 50% since Elon Musk took over.

In their statement, Twitter outlined several specific examples of what this new policy would look like and what constitutes hate speech, specifically mentioning the Holocaust as an example of genocide.

Twitter further added that harassing victims of the Holocaust, using Nazi symbols and adding yellow stars to photos to co-opt the Holocaust would all be examples of content that would have diminished exposure as well as a warning label.

In the event a tweet is limited in error, Twitter said that users will be able to submit feedback should they believe their content is not a violation of Twitter’s hate speech standards.

While the examples described by the platform are broad, the examples shown in the statement explicitly refer to anti-Semitism.

“Some examples of hateful imagery include: symbols historically associated with hate groups, e.g., the Nazi swastika…images altered to include hateful symbols or references to a mass murder that targeted a protected category, e.g., manipulating images of individuals to include yellow Star of David badges, in reference to the Holocaust,” said Twitter.

Is Twitter Responding to Activists?

The policy change likely comes in response to a campaign by over 180 Jewish and pro-Israel organizations who signed a letter to Twitter CEO Elon Musk several months ago, urging the platform to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and to label anti-Semitic content rather than removing it.

This effort was part of an ongoing initiative by these organizations to hold social media platforms accountable for the proliferation of online anti-Semitism by urging the adoption of the IHRA definition to help identify anti-Semitism and label it appropriately. The core message of the #AdoptIHRA campaign is “education, not censorship.”

Patricia Teitelbaum, chair of the International Movement for Peace and Coexistence (IMPAC) and one of the signatories of the letter to Elon Musk, told Ynet that this policy change is a step in the right direction, but more should be done.

“IMPAC welcomes the announcement by Twitter Safety that it has not been transparent when responding to those who report tweets for violation of its rules. We further welcome the clarifications and exemplifications which, if applied consistently, should increase the number of anti-Semitic tweets removed or degraded and accounts suspended or removed,” she said.

“The University of Vermont was recently required by the US Department of Education to recognize and address anti-Zionist harassment as a form of national origin discrimination on the basis of shared ancestry. But the fact that Twitter says it will not take action against tweets from pro-BDS accounts since it considers such tweets to be political, suggests that hatred of Israel will continue to be viewed as a legitimate expression of free speech…”

The change will be implemented this week for Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy, but the platform also noted that they plan to expand the labeling of tweets to additional categories of violations in the future.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 19, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: MrHerii/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Twitter’s new policy to combat the rampant anti-Semitism and hate speech found on the platform. Pray that the “hateful conduct” policy of education not censorship will be successful in eliminating anti-Semitic content and educating users to the dangers of such hate mongering.


Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.

- Proverbs 12:22

Convicted Palestinian Terrorist to Hold Talks in UK and Ireland

by Georgia L. Gilholy ~ JNS

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Dublin, Ireland

Wednesday, 19 April 2023 | The Palestinian French lawyer and researcher Salah Hamouri, who has been linked to a Palestinian terrorist group, is slated reportedly to go on a lecture tour later this month in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Israel expelled Hamouri, who was convicted of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), last December. And in January, Gregory Doucet, the mayor of Lyon, France, canceled a conference that was to include Hamouri, citing the need to “ensure harmony” in the city.

Hamouri spent more than three years in custody, without a trial, after his 2005 arrest for allegedly plotting to kill then-Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. He pled guilty but claimed he did so only on the advice of his lawyers seeking a lighter prison sentence. He was released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit in 2011 and his social media profiles indicate he is a lawyer for Addameer, a Palestinian NGO that Israel designated a terrorist group.

Shai Glick, chair of BeTzelmo, a human-rights organization in Israel, publicly petitioned Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to call on Britain and Ireland to prevent Hamouri from entering the country. “We cannot stand idly by while a convicted terrorist spreads his terrorist ethos across Europe and thus endangers the safety of Israelis and Jews living in the countries he visits,” Glick told Israeli media.

BeTzelmo, the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs, Addameer and Hamori did not respond to requests for comment from JNS. The British Home Office told JNS it does not comment on individual cases and would not confirm whether Hamouri would be permitted to enter the country.

‘Endanger the Well-being of European Citizens’

Wasiq Wasiq, a research fellow at the Oxford-based Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy, told JNS that Hamouri will likely enter the United Kingdom [UK] easily and under the radar since London does not currently identify the PFLP as a terrorist group.

“This poses a blind spot for the UK security services and the Home Secretary Suella Braverman,” he said. “Groups designated as ‘terrorist’ in one jurisdiction are not designated in others. This imbalance needs to be addressed, as I have explained and urged the government to do as recently as last year.”

That Hamouri was alleged to have been involved in and pled guilty to planning to assassinate Ovadia Yosef makes it even more pressing for the British government to prevent him from entering the country on a speaking tour, said Wasiq, who is also a trustee of the UK charity Muslims Against Anti-Semitism.

Vincent Chebat, a senior researcher at the Israel-based think tank NGO Monitor, told JNS that Hamouri’s planned appearances in Ireland and the United Kingdom are “another example of whitewashing radical individuals and their hateful discourse.”

“The Irish and British governments should take all necessary steps to ensure that Hamouri’s lectures do not endanger the well-being of European citizens, particularly Jewish communities,” said Chebat.

There are six stops on Hamouri’s speaking tour in Ireland and the United Kingdom, according to the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Facebook page. “Apartheid Israel jailed and deported him. France is trying to silence him. Hear firsthand from Palestinian lawyer and human-rights defender Salah Hammouri!” it states.

On April 19, he plans to talk at Academy Plaza Hotel in Dublin. The following day, Hamouri is scheduled to speak in Navan at the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union Dan Shaw Centre. On April 21, he is listed to be at Omagh Community House. He is slated to make addresses at Áras Uí Chonghaile in Belfast on April 22, at Old Ground Hotel in Ennis on April 23 and at Richardson’s in Galway on April 25.

None of the six venues responded to questions from JNS.

‘Omitting the Context of Violence and Terror’

Moira Leydon, chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s [IPSC] branch in Meath, Ireland, confirmed to JNS that the IPSC is hosting a public meeting with Hamouri on April 20 at the Dan Shaw venue.

Hamouri “works as a lawyer and field researcher for Addameer, a legal aid and prisoners’ rights NGO,” Leydon told JNS. “In July of last year, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden said they had not received substantial information from Israel that would justify reviewing their policy of providing aid to Palestinian humanitarian and human-rights organizations, including Addameer.”

Addameer, which has been heavily linked with the PFLP, regularly leads campaigns in aid of Palestinian prisoners convicted of security offenses. In January 2020, the Palestinian NGO Network, of which Addameer is a member, opposed a new clause to EU [European Union] grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs prohibiting grantees from working with and funding groups and individuals designated on EU terror lists.

The United States, Canada and the European Union consider the PFLP a terrorist group. Three PFLP employees—Khalida Jarrar, Naser Abu Khdair and Bashir Al-Kahiri—were on the PFLP’s candidate list ahead of the May 2021 postponed Palestinian legislative elections.

“Addameer is a leader of campaigns in support of Palestinian prisoners convicted of security offenses, referring to them as ‘political prisoners’ and altogether omitting the context of violence and terror,” according to NGO Monitor.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 18, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Menachem Wecker/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the people of Ireland and the UK will not be taken in by Salah Hamouri and the Israel-hating organizations that support him.


The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

- Psalm 33:10–12