Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, April 9, 2021

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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’s 24th Knesset Sworn in Under Cloud of Coalition Crisis

by JNS

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The swearing-in ceremony of the 24th Knesset in Jerusalem yesterday

Thursday, 8 April 2021 | Israel’s 24th Knesset [Parliament] was sworn in on Tuesday with less than the customary fanfare due to coronavirus restrictions on the number of attendees and the political crisis that is threatening to lead to a fifth round of elections.

Most of the 120 Knesset members, both veterans and newcomers—sporting the traditional flower pinned to their lapels—confirmed their oaths of office from their plenum seats: “I pledge myself to bear allegiance to the State of Israel and faithfully to discharge my mandate in the Knesset.”

The MKs [Members of Knesset] from the Joint Arab List altered the words of the oath, each standing when his or her name was called to state: “I pledge to fight the [Israeli] occupation, racism and apartheid.”

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin disqualified their vows, which—if not altered in a subsequent private swearing-in session—will lead to their being denied some of their rights as members of the legislative body.

Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Ra’am Party—who has been dubbed a “kingmaker” for the four seats he garnered in the March 23 elections that could make or break the formation of a coalition—was absent from the proceedings. According to Kan News Radio, he was in the hospital being treated for kidney stones.

Also absent was United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush, who was out of the country attending his granddaughter’s wedding. Both he and Abbas are reported to undergo their swearing-in sometime next week.

Upon his arrival on the red carpet outside the Knesset building in Jerusalem, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was greeted by Levin.

In his address to the plenum ahead of the swearing-in of each MK, Rivlin said: “The disagreements that divide our society are genuine differences…But there are times when we are obliged to resolve even wrenching, tough, painful disagreements. The seats on which you are sitting…are rare and valuable. The power you have…is enormous. The Israeli people look to you and expect each one of you to show leadership…that is faithful to the people and their values, but that also knows how to mark boundaries and show the way; leadership that is confident in its path, but that sees ideological rivals not as the enemy…but as potential partners.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Rivlin gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the mandate to form the country’s next government.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by JNS on April 7, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the newly sworn in members of Israel’s Knesset will take President Rivlin’s words to heart and put their power to good use, putting aside their differences and putting the needs of the people of Israel first. Pray for a miracle if it is within His will, that Israel’s leaders will be able to forge a coalition that will lead to national unity and prevent a fifth round of elections.

Scripture

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”


- Daniel 2:20b–21

Israel is Sending the US a Clear Message on Iran

by Ron Ben Yisahi

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The attack on the Iranian vessel took place in the Red Sea (illustrative).

Thursday, 8 April 2021 | The talks in Vienna that began Tuesday on the US returning to the Iran nuclear agreement are directly connected to the same-day attack on an Iranian vessel in the Red Sea that has been attributed to Israel.

Both Tehran and Jerusalem are signaling to Washington that the Middle East must be higher up on US President Joe Biden’s list of priorities and that if untreated, the conflict between Israel and Iran could escalate to all-out war.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that the vessel had been attacked and “caused minor damage with no casualties.” An investigation is underway, it said.

The vessel that was hit, the Saviz, is actually a floating naval base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Red Sea, off the coasts of Yemen and Djibouti—whatever Iran says to the contrary.

Tasnim, the Iranian news agency linked to the Revolutionary Guard, said Tuesday that the Saviz was there to “support Iranian commandos sent on commercial vessel (anti-piracy) escort missions.”

Saviz was actually in the area to protect Iranian ships in the Red Sea and to grant fast-moving Revolutionary Guard commando boats the freedom of movement to carry out objectives in line with Tehran’s interests.

These boats are kept onboard the Saviz for use by the commando forces who protect Iranian oil tankers and vessels smuggling weapons as they make their way to Syria and Lebanon through the Suez Canal, whilst mindful of Israeli forces in the area. Pictures of the boats onboard the Saviz appeared in the Israeli media.

The vessel also acts as an intelligence base, monitoring Saudi vessels that are enforcing a maritime embargo on Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching them.

It largely remains off the Yemeni coast, some 1,600 kilometers (994 mi.) south of Israel.

The Saviz suffered serious damage in Tuesday’s attack, far more than was caused in other attacks on Iranian vessels attributed to Israel as they transported oil and arms to both Syrian and Lebanon. The damage to the Saviz was below water level, briefly preventing it from moving, but not sinking it.

It is probable that the damage requires the ship to be towed for repairs to a port big enough to accommodate it, most likely in Iran. And weeks if not months will pass before such an operation can take place.

The attack marks an escalation in the ongoing covert war being waged at sea between Israel and Iran.

The aim of the attack was threefold:

  1. To retaliate for an Iranian attack on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Arabian Sea last month
  2. To show the Iranians that Israel has the upper hand in the waters of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and that Tehran would be wise to refrain from efforts to attack its navy or Israeli-owned vessels anywhere near their shores, including in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Iran must also end efforts to smuggle oil and arms to Syria and Lebanon.
  3. To clarify to the US that Israel will continue its relentless fight against Iran’s subversive actions in the region, whether it is in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, even if the US is attempting to rebuild relations with the Islamic Republic.

Israel has come to understand that Washington is hoping to deescalate their conflict with Iran at almost any cost so that the administration can focus its attention on the coronavirus pandemic, infrastructure and adversarial relations with China and Russia.

The Iranian nuclear program is a nuisance to the Americans. Biden has committed to preventing a nuclear Iran and his administration is concerned that if Tehran continues to develop its atomic capabilities, Israel might launch a strike against it. This would certainly lead to a war that the US would be dragged into whether it likes it or not.

To avoid this, the administration is prepared to make significant concessions to the Iranians in order to entice them back to the negotiating table and ensure abidance to the nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump walked away from in 2018.

Israel wants to stop the Iranians from fulfilling their plan, but is facing serious obstacles.

The current government has little to no sway over Washington’s foreign policy decisions. Even if [Israel] could affect the Vienna talks, Israel and the US must be on the same page about the next diplomatic steps should Iran keep pushing ahead with its nuclear program. But such discussions have not even begun.

Meanwhile, Iran’s economy has rebounded thanks to covert oil sales to China and Russia and its leaders no longer fear the sanctions imposed on the country.

In fact, Iran inches closer every day to becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on April 7, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Catherine Poh Huay Tan/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray for the Lord’s hand of blessing over this situation, that He will open the eyes of the US leaders to the dangers of rejoining the nuclear deal and allowing the Islamic regime to continue its nuclear development program. Pray against Iran’s evil ambitions and plans to harm Israel as well as other countries in the region.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the poison of asps is under their lips…Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted.


- Psalm 140:1–3, 8

Israeli Organization Breaks World Record for Kidney Donations

by Yehuda Shlezinger~Israel Hayom via JNS

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An Israeli boy receives a donor kidney. 

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 | Israel celebrated a special milestone Sunday, as the Matnat Chaim nonprofit organization, which encourages and facilitates living kidney donations, broke a world record by marking its 1,000th transplant.

Since Matnat Chaim, Hebrew for “Gift of Life,” was founded in 2019, the number of kidney donations in Israel has quadrupled.

The organization’s data reveals that about two-thirds of the donors are men, a third are women and 40% of all donors are teachers or educators. The organization’s work is estimated to have saved the state some NIS 4 billion (US $1.2 billion) by decreasing the need for treatments, hospitalization and medication for patients with kidney disease.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in the number of donations. Some weeks, the organization said, it oversaw five to nine kidney transplants a week. An especially large number of donations occurred when Matnat Chaim’s founder, Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber, passed away after having contracted coronavirus.

Kidney recipient Kobi Oshrat told Israel Hayom that since he received the transplant, “life has been wonderful. The transplant was more successful than expected. My physical condition improved tremendously. I am back to being a young man. I engage in sports and generally function.”

Oshrat’s donor was Yoav Matityahu, and Oshrat says, “We have become a family. He and his wife are wonderful people. Those who decide to donate a kidney are undeniably saving a life. And all of this is happening here, in Israel. It’s amazing.”

Culture Minister Yehiel Tropper, who donated a kidney more than a year ago, told Israel Hayom that he had not been nervous or afraid of the procedure.

“I spoke with the doctors beforehand, and they explained the process to me. I understood that the risk was minimal. It’s true that it involves surgery, but the understanding that the kidney is highly likely to save a life trumps it all.”

As for this week’s record that Matnat Chaim broke, Tropper said, “It is one of Israel’s greatest points of pride. Israel ranks first in the world in organ donations from live donors. We are a wonderful and extraordinary people.”

Discussing the person who received his kidney, Tropper said, “I am in touch with Yair. He had his operation on his 60th birthday. We speak every Friday. We haven’t skipped a single Friday, even when it was especially busy. Each time, it’s inspirational, over and over again.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Israel Hayom via JNS on April 5, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Matnat Chaim/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the marvelous work He has done through this wonderful Israeli organization. Praise His name for all the lives that have been saved and all the families that have been touched, especially during the pandemic. Lift up this organization in prayer, asking the Lord to bless them with everything they need to continue their lifesaving work.

Scripture

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”


- John 15:12–13

“Until the Very Last Jew”: Holocaust Remembrance Day

by Kate Norman

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Jerusalem came to a halt as the siren sounded at 10 a.m.

Thursday, 8 April 2021 | Last night ushered in a somber event in Israel: Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a solemn day in which the Jewish state remembers the 6 million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust.

Israel’s national flag bearing the Star of David—the modern-day symbol of strength and pride that replaced the degrading yellow stars the Jewish people were forced to wear under the Nazi regime—is flying at half-mast today to commemorate the dark anniversary.

Each year on Yom HaShoah, Israel gives as many survivors as possible a platform to share their story to ensure the world remembers what happened. Because if the world remembers the atrocities of that dark event, there is a smaller chance of history repeating itself.

Throughout the day in Israel, ceremonies are held and the awful stories retold and remembered. The main ceremony takes place at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, attended by dignitaries and political and military leaders. This year’s theme is “Until the Very Last Jew.”

“My dear Holocaust survivors, Israeli citizens, the burden of memory that we carry in our hearts is a sacred duty,” President Reuven Rivlin said at last night’s ceremony. “Whether we want it or not, the memory of the Holocaust shapes our identity as a people.”

“Our historical memory requires us to continue learning and teaching about the Holocaust,” the president added.

Holocaust survivor Roza Bloch also stood before the audience at Yad Vashem and spoke on behalf of all the survivors. After losing almost her whole family during the Holocaust, Bloch said she returned to her hometown of Kovno, Lithuania, to find the city “almost empty of Jews.” Kovno had been emptied of Hebrew schools, synagogues, the sounds of Hebrew and Yiddish and the smell of Sabbath meals, she described. “An entire world had been obliterated.”

“Who would have believed then, in a period when we were parted from our children and our elders, that we would have an independent, strong state, in which Jews can talk and study in Hebrew with pride,” Bloch continued, “in which we can educate generations of babies and children in a Jewish state, naturally and without fear.”

She ended with a call to action: “As a Holocaust survivor, I call upon the entire nation not to forget! To remember the Holocaust, the heroism of the Jewish people during this dark time, and the memory of our murdered brethren.

“We emerged from the abyss, we regained our strength, and we established a wonderful country, which we must never take for granted.”

But with more than 75 years having passed since the end of World War II and the Holocaust, Israel and the Jewish people are facing a problem: each year leaves fewer Holocaust survivors to tell their stories and the truth about what happened.

Thus, the Jewish people are faced with the problem of how to ensure future generations remember the Holocaust even after the last survivors are gone.

“Together, we pledged to remember the Holocaust and to fight anti-Semitism, racism, hatred and delegitimization—deadly enemies, home and abroad, that can bring down nations, undermine liberty and the human spirit,” Rivlin vowed.

Perhaps the most somber part of the day occurs at 10 a.m. when a siren wails for two minutes, and everything comes to a stop. A solemn spell falls over the land, as the bustling street comes to a complete pause when people stop and hang their heads in remembrance of the dead. Busy traffic grinds to a halt as cars pull off the road and the drivers exit the vehicles and stand in reverence.

Entertainment venues are closed for the duration of the day, and everywhere stories from the Holocaust are broadcast, remembering, remembering, remembering. It’s important to the Jewish people, because in remembering, they are able to keep their vow: “Never again.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 8, 2021)

Photo Credit: Jenna Solomon/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Lift up Israel and the Jewish people in prayer and pray for the Lord’s divine protection and blessing over them, ensuring that nothing as awful as the Holocaust ever happen again. Pray that the truth of the Holocaust will continue to be told, even after the last Holocaust survivor has gone. Pray for the peace and protection of this Land, where God’s chosen people can live in freedom.

Scripture

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.


- Psalm 122:6–9

Israel’s Pandemic Budget Deficit Hits NIS 180 Billion

by Gad Lior

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With high percentages of the adult population vaccinated against COVID-19, Israel has largely reopened its economy (illustrative).

Monday, 5 April 2021 | Israel’s cumulative budget deficit for the 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic (March 2020–March 2021) will reach around NIS 180 billion (approximately US $54 billion), which translates to about 12.6% of the country’s GDP, the Finance Ministry said Sunday.

According to estimates, the national budget deficit for the first quarter of 2021 is expected to reach around NIS 20 billion [approximately US $6 billion].

Government expenditure for Q1 will come to NIS 140 billion [approximately US $42 billion]—a 30% increase compared to the same period in 2020.

The National Insurance Institute told Ynet that since the beginning of the health crisis exactly one year ago, it has paid out NIS 31 billion [approximately US $9 billion] in unemployment benefits and unpaid furlough stipends.

Meanwhile, the economy appears to be recovering rapidly with preliminary data obtained by Ynet showing that March marked the third consecutive month of high tax revenue that matched pre-pandemic numbers.

The increased tax revenue indicates rapid recovery in consumption and economic activity, despite some industries such as aviation, tourism and cinemas remaining stagnant to varying degrees.

With high percentages of the adult population vaccinated against COVID-19, Israel has largely reopened its economy. High street shops, malls and entertainment venues are all back in business, although with some restrictions for those who have not been inoculated.

Tax revenue in March came to some NIS 28 billion [approximately US $8.4 billion], bringing the total since the start of the year to almost NIS 90 billion [approximately US $27 billion]. This is a monthly average that is far higher than throughout the months of the pandemic in 2020 when the first closures in March led to a significant decrease in tax revenue.

Even so, the government is seeing ongoing high expenditure due to the crisis, primarily in the payment of unemployment benefits to some 600,000 jobless Israelis, grants and other assistance paid to tens of thousands of businesses.

The government has also been transferring additional funds to the health and education systems since the start of the year.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on April 4, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Jenna Solomon/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord’s blessing over this nation, as it is still reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic and having been shut down for most of a year. At the same time, thank our Father for the progress Israel has already made in recovering financially, as the country slowly starts to reopen. Pray that their road to financial and national recovery is a blessed highway that brings glory to the Lord.

Scripture

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.


- Jeremiah 29:11

Biden Administration to Allocate US $90 Million in Aid to Palestinians

by JNS

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US President Joe Biden

Friday, 2 April 2021 | The Biden administration has allocated [US] $90 million in aid to the Palestinians, with only a portion of the money being publicly announced, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The United States announced last week that it would give [US] $15 million in coronavirus relief to the Palestinians. However, the Biden administration notified Congress a day later, without a public announcement, that it will allocate [US] $75 million to the Palestinians for economic support to be used in part to regain their “trust and goodwill” following Trump administration cuts, the AP report said.

The State Department declined to comment on the report, and it remains unclear if the [US] $75 million includes the [US] $15 million in COVID aid.

US President Joe Biden has been outspoken in wanting to reengage with the international community, especially European allies but also with Iran and the Palestinians, and roll back many of former President Donald Trump’s foreign-policy positions.

State Department spokesman Ned Price says that in general, the United States supports the restoration of aid to the Palestinians.

“We continue to believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, is consistent with our values. It is consistent with our interests. Of course, it is consistent with the interests of the Palestinian people. It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that going forward,” he told reporters.

The Trump administration cut nearly all aid to the Palestinian Authority [PA] as part of the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits US aid to the PA as long as it continues to provide support to terrorists or their families.

According to USAID’s congressional notification, much of the [US] $75 million will go towards short-term projects aimed at rebuilding US–Palestinian relations. This includes [US] $5.4 million to Palestinian civic groups, including possibly independent media in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza, as well as funding for the health-care sector and the resumption of assistance to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.

Additionally, the Biden administration seeks to fund sanitation, water supply, transportation infrastructure, social services, job training for Palestinian youth, micro-loans and grants for small businesses and disaster preparedness.

The USAID notification said that it would adhere to US law for providing the money.

Said the notice: “USAID adheres to rigorous partner anti-terrorism vetting and certification, auditing and monitoring procedures to help ensure that its assistance does not go to Hamas or other terrorist organizations.”

Source: (This article was originally posted by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 31, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for wisdom for the Biden administration, especially those who make decisions in regard to Israel. Pray especially that not a penny of American money will go toward the Palestinian Authority’s “Pay-for-Slay” program rewarding terrorists for spilling Jewish blood. Ask the Lord also to protect the people of Israel against terror attacks.

Scripture

The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” but the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.


- Proverbs 12:5–7

IDF Destroyed Syrian Border Outpost in 2020 Operation

by Hanan Greenwood~Israel Hayom via JNS

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Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 | It was cleared for publication on Sunday that Israeli forces operated in Syrian territory in the summer of 2020, though many details remain classified.

In one of the operations in July 2020, troops belonging to the Israel Defense Forces’ [IDF’s] Golani Brigade crossed into Syria under cover of night. The mission targeted a Syrian army position that according to Military Intelligence was built in March 2020 in the buffer zone along the Israel–Syria border. This was the first Israeli incursion into Syria in years.

The post had been erected some 4,000 feet [1,219 m.] from the Israeli border, and constituted a violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement with Israel, signed following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The agreement calls for the buffer zone to remain free of military outposts at all times.

Israel viewed Syria’s move not only as a provocation but also a serious threat to the safety of Israeli forces deployed near the border.

According to available information, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi authorized the operation.

A team of 18 soldiers was deployed for the mission, including a combat demolition team. An additional IDF contingent remained in reserve on the Israeli side of the border. The Israeli Air Force was also on standby to provide air cover.

The Israeli forces mined the base of the Syrian post, remaining in Syrian territory until the outpost was destroyed.

Lt. Col. Liron Appleman, who was involved in the mission as well as in several similar operations that followed, said that “it was very important to us [the IDF] to send a clear message to the other side that things perceived as a violation of our sovereignty won’t be tolerated.”

The message, he said, was received.

“This type of deterrence is working—none of the positions we destroyed has been rebuilt,” he said.

“The enemy is watching and trying to push the line, and we need to constantly be clear in our operations,” he added.

Source: (This article was originally published by Israel Hayom via JNS on April 5, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: JMichael Giladi/Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for this successful operation by the IDF in protecting its borders, and pray for His divine protection over the nation of Israel and its borders from enemies who would seek her harm. Lift up the IDF soldiers in prayer, as they have the high-pressure job of defending the Jewish state from external attacks.

Scripture

And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”


- Deuteronomy 20:3–4

Poll: Most American Jews Have Experienced Anti-Semitism in Past Five Years

by Dan Lavie~Israel Hayom via JNS

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A man holds a sign promoting an anti-Semitic conspiracy in New York City.

Friday, 2 April 2021 | More than 60% of American Jews “have either experienced or directly witnessed some form of anti-Semitic incident in the last five years,” the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] said in a statement on Thursday.

“The 2021 poll found that 63% of respondents have either experienced or heard anti-Semitic comments, slurs or threats targeting others, an increase from 54% a year earlier,” the statement read.

“Alarmingly, 9% of Jewish Americans indicated in the survey that they had been physically attacked in the last five years because they are Jewish, up slightly from 2020, but still within the margin of error. And one in four Jewish Americans reported having been directly targeted by anti-Semitic comments slurs or threats.”

According to ADL national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, “In the aftermath of major anti-Semitic attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City and Monsey, American Jews are reporting that they feel less safe in the US today than they were just a decade earlier.”

Greenblatt said that “looking back on the past five years, which were bookended by the anti-Semitism in Charlottesville in 2017 and the hateful symbols on display during the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, it is understandable that the level of anxiety is rising and concerns about communal safety are on everyone’s minds.”

The survey was conducted by YouGov, a major data analytics firm, and it gauged anti-Semitism both online and offline among more than 500 Jewish American adults over the age of 18. It has a margin of error of 4.4%.

Source: (This article was originally published by Israel Hayom via Jewish News Syndicate on April 1, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Ask God to extend His arm around America’s Jewish people, protecting them from the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Pray against such evil hatred and that the enemy’s plans of wielding the sword of anti-Semitism will be thwarted by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 6:16–19

Houthi Textbooks Rife with Anti-Semitism

by Daniel Salami

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Arabic textbooks (illustrative)

Friday, 2 April 2021 | The Ansar Allah Houthis, an Iranian proxy movement, have penetrated the mainstream Yemeni education system and are spreading anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish rhetoric, a study published this week by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) said.

The Mideast educational watchdog’s report reviewed materials produced by the Houthis for use in their network of summer camps and extra-curricular classes as well as take-home materials, including a monthly children’s “educational” magazine called Jihad.

As an Iranian proxy, the Houthi materials mimic much of the Khomeinist rhetoric of that regime and represent some of the more egregious violations of UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance among current Middle Eastern education.

Some disturbing instances include images of graphic violence, including pictures of dead children featured in material for preteens.

Researchers say that the materials feature severe anti-Semitic rhetoric, including Holocaust-related imagery such as a yellow Star of David and barbed wire used in lessons on how to oppose all forms of normalization with the “Zionist–American hegemony.”

The Houthi slogan, “Allah is the greatest—Death to America—Death to Israel—Curse on the Jews—Victory to Islam” is taught in an Arabic numeral exercise and the Hewish state is described as a “cancerous tumor.”

The United States is described as the “Greater Satan,” a universal force of evil and the puppeteer behind all the atrocities afflicting the region, including the creation of ISIS. The American flag is commonly used as a symbol of oppression and children are instructed to memorize the phrase “death to America.”

IMPACT-se CEO said that the materials “are a worrying insight into the violent ideology of the Houthis, and an extreme example of how education can be used as a weapon to ignite conflict and hatred.”

The organization’s deputy CEO, Arik Agassi, said that the Houthis recent actions—such as rejecting a US-mediated ceasefire with Saudi Arabia, and expelling most of the remaining Jews in Yemen in areas under their control—and the rhetoric in their textbooks “leave no room for interpretation as to their true desires and intentions for the future of Yemen and the region, through a violent and uncompromising struggle for without Jews, Israel and American–Saudi influence.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 1, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Jeekc/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Children are so precious to the Lord, and education and love are incredibly important for their development. Pray for the children being raised within the Houthi movement of Yemen. Pray against the evil plans to program hatred into their hearts and minds and turn them into weapons. Pray that God and His love will prevail and be glorified amid the darkness and hatred

Scripture

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve. Because they do not regard the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up.


- Psalm 28:4–5