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Crisis Deepens for Ethiopian and Ukrainian Jews

Friday, December 3, 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.

Iran Stalling in Talks as it Ups Ante on Nuclear Program

by Ariel Ben Solomon ~ JNS

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World powers and Iran in Vienna for talks discussing the Iran nuclear deal

Wednesday, 1 December 2021 | European diplomats said on Tuesday that if Iran does not demonstrate seriousness in nuclear negotiations with world powers this week, there will be a problem.

Andrea Stricker, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert on the Iran nuclear program, told JNS that “if Iran comes to talks with maximalist demands for sanctions relief and refuses to resume discussing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the P5+1 will quickly realize that Tehran’s game is one of extortion, and they could pivot to a united pressure front.”

The P5+1 is made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council [China, France, Russia, UK and US], plus Germany.

Diplomats from France and Britain said on the sidelines of talks in Vienna that the issue of what to do with advanced centrifuges Iran is using to enrich uranium remains unresolved, reported Reuters.

Stricker said, “If Iran asks for massive sanctions relief in return for a limited nuclear deal, talks could drag on for months.”

The Biden foreign-policy team may accept a weaker deal than the JCPOA “simply to check a box on the Iran problem and move on,” she asserted.

Iran has made irreversible knowledge gains regarding higher enrichment, advanced centrifuges and uranium metal production, among others, continued Stricker.

Interestingly, she said it is increasingly likely that Tehran has decided that it can live without Western sanctions relief and is using talks as a cover to move closer to the nuclear threshold.

“If so, what we could be seeing is a slow-motion breakout,” she said.

Two unnamed Israeli officials told CNN in a report published Monday—confirming a story first reported by Axios—that Israel shared intelligence with US officials recently that showed that Iran is preparing to enrich uranium up to 90%.

While the P5+1 focuses on debate, they could lose precious time to unite and stop Iran’s advances, noted Stricker. “Iran could be positioning itself so close to making nuclear weapons that if Tehran chose to break out, countries might be deterred from intervening.”

Furthermore, through current inaction at the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] Board of Governors and UN Security Council, and in the absence of multilateral sanctions, “The P5+1 are narrowing their options to military intervention or accepting a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Regarding the possibility of a military attack against Iran’s nuclear program, Stricker estimates it not as an easy target, and it is unlikely that strikes could end the program, as facilities, people and capabilities are widely dispersed.

‘Talks Are Achieving No Desirable Outcome’

Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, was pessimistic regarding the chances of a good result from the renewal of talks with Iran.

“We are on our own,” he stated starkly.

If Jerusalem chooses to strike, the situation could escalate dramatically and force Washington to consider intervening. Stricker sees Israeli sabotage of the nuclear program and alleged operations against infrastructure as middle ground.

For its part, Israel has been warning that it can make life very tough for the regime if Tehran continues its nuclear advances.

In a Twitter post on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sent a message to the Western powers negotiating with Iran, stating: “Don’t give in to nuclear blackmail.”

He went on to say in the video, “Iran won’t just keep its nuclear program. From today, they’ll be getting paid for it.”

A report by David Albright, Sarah Burkhard and Stricker for the Institute for Science and International Security said the IAEA’s latest report notes that Iran has enough enriched uranium enriched to nearly 20% and 60% to produce “a single nuclear weapon in as little as three weeks.”

“Even if Iran continues to permit the IAEA to service agency equipment, the verification process may now face such serious gaps that it is impossible to restore the IAEA’s continuity of knowledge of Iran’s nuclear activities, which is so vital to verification,” it stated.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said as much, warning that it would soon be unable to effectively monitor material produced at the factory in Karaj because of a lack of access.

As Inbar summed up: “The talks are achieving no desirable outcome and serve as no more than a debate club.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 30, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: EU Delegation in Vienna/twitter.com/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Biden administration will proceed with wisdom rather than political expediency. Cry out to the Lord, asking Him to open the eyes of international leaders to the truth of these reports. Beseech Him that Iran will be met with a global united front committed to making sure the Iranian nuclear program is brought to an end.

Scripture

Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him.”


- Psalm 13:3–4

Why Britain Declared the Hamas Movement as a Terrorist Organization

by Yoni Ben Menachem ~ JCPA

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Pro-Hamas rally in Damascus

Wednesday, 1 December 2021 | Britain’s officially labeling of Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organization came very late, but it is “better late than never.” It is a very encouraging step. The British decision is based on considerable material from both the British and Israeli intelligence communities. The UK has joined countries such as the United States, Canada, the EU, Australia, and New Zealand, [which] have already declared Hamas a terrorist organization.

The British move also came after Israel decreed illegal six Palestinian organizations claiming to be nongovernment civilian organizations but actually belonged to the PFLP terrorist organization. The PFLP officially belongs to the PLO, but it advocates the destruction of Israel and has close ties to Hamas.

In November 2021, the Hamas leadership in Gaza held a special meeting with the leadership of the PFLP in the Gaza Strip to increase cooperation between the two organizations.

This is of great concern to the media in the Arab world because London is the global fundraising center for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas movement. They transfer funds to the Gaza Strip to finance the terrorist activities of Hamas’s military-terrorist wing. At the same time, the accounts provide funds for private investments by Hamas leaders abroad.

According to the Saudi publication AlArabia.net in a November 28 report, the Hamas movement’s investments in Britain until 2020 amounted to one billion dollars. It should be noted that Hamas is considered a terrorist organization in Saudi Arabia [and] Saudi intelligence services watch Hamas’s activities in the Middle East closely. Last year, dozens of Hamas operatives were arrested in the kingdom for smuggling and money laundering.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that the son of Khalil al-Hayya, the deputy Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, left Gaza to join the sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in investing money abroad. Senior Hamas figures are investing billions of dollars in various countries worldwide, and much of the funds go through London, along with funds from the Muslim Brotherhood. Two months ago, Sudan revealed the sum of investments by senior Hamas figures in the country had reached [US] $1.2 billion.

According to sources in the Gaza Strip, several hundred Hamas operatives work in three “humanitarian” fundraising associations in London. The money does not reach Gaza residents and flows directly into the pockets of Hamas leaders. Money is deposited in the HSBC Bank in Britain or Turkish banks, per Muslim Brotherhood instructions. Sixty charitable associations were established in the UK alone for the Hamas fundraising. One organization, the Islamic Aid Organization, also received funding from the British government.

The British decree froze or confiscated much of the funds of Hamas’s massive enterprise.

Hamas Refuses to Change

The Hamas movement’s outrage over the British decision is pronounced. A few days ago marked the anniversary of the historic Balfour Declaration in 1917, a historic victory for the Zionist movement. In recent months, the Palestinians pressed their demand that Britain apologize for the Balfour Declaration and recognize an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. The British answer came relatively quickly: declaring Hamas a terrorist organization and blaming the movement for anti-Semitism and threatening the lives of Jews in Britain.

Hamas is not the Palestine Liberation Organization that was declared a terrorist organization in the 1970s by the United States and most European countries. Nevertheless, the PLO was allowed to open missions in several countries and conducted secret negotiations with Israel in Oslo in 1993, officially recognized Israel, ostensibly canceled the Palestinian Covenant at a ceremony in the Gaza Strip attended by US President Bill Clinton, and opened diplomatic talks with Israel.

The PLO was coerced to renounce the principle of “armed struggle,” the Second Intifada, which Yasser Arafat unleashed in 2000, costing the Palestinians dearly. The current PLO Chairman, [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas, has learned his lessons and advocates political negotiations. He also maintains close security cooperation with Israel.

On the other hand, the Hamas movement continues to advocate the destruction of Israel. The 1988 Hamas Covenant, replete with anti-Semitic clauses, is still in force. The organization supports the destruction of Israel and the establishment of Palestine “from the river to the sea,” and its leaders have formally adopted the path of terrorism that they codenamed “resistance.” It has established a large independent terrorist entity all over the entire Gaza Strip, equipped with thousands of rockets aimed at Israel—and with Iranian aid, seeks to spread it to the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

The Benefits of the Decision to Israel

This decision by the British government helps the political and public relations struggle of the State of Israel. It is hoped that Israel will know how to leverage the British action for these tasks, which could influence other countries to follow in the footsteps of the United Kingdom. It also encourages Arab countries, which oppose the Hamas movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, to follow in Britain’s footsteps and even normalize relations with Israel.

The British decision will also help Israel fight legal battles against Palestinian referrals to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which claim Israel is committing “crimes and terrorism” in the territories.

There is another important implication of the British declaration of Hamas as a terrorist organization: it gives moral and security justification to Israel to launch a major military operation in the Gaza Strip to protect itself from Hamas rocket attacks. The British declaration helps prepare international public opinion that Israel is fighting against a terrorist movement that controls the Gaza Strip and uses it as a base for attacks on Israeli civilians.

The British decision may embarrass Egypt, which is now trying to achieve long-term understandings of calm between Hamas and Israel, and also makes it difficult for the PA chairman to go into a political partnership with the Hamas movement without changing its positions. The Biden administration is also being reminded by Britain that Hamas is an extreme Islamic terrorist organization that is unwilling to moderate, recognize Israel, and abandon the path of terrorism.

Today, when Hamas’s influence on the Palestinian street has increased following Operation Guardian of the Walls, it is essential that the residents of the territories know what a country like Britain thinks of the Hamas movement and that the world does not accept the path of terrorism, the idea of destroying the State of Israel, and harming Jews living abroad.

The Palestinians will eventually have to decide which strategy they choose: an approach to peace negotiations, however long and difficult it may be, or terrorism and a violent struggle against Israel. As things seem at the moment, the future does not bode well.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on November 30, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: thephotostrand/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the decision made by the British government to label Hamas as a terrorist organization. Pray that it will have far-reaching implications that will benefit Israel on many fronts. Pray that Britain and other nations will stand firm in this decision and that many other countries will follow suit.

Scripture

Arise, O LORD, confront him, cast him down; deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword.


- Psalm 17:13

Happy Hanukkah from Jerusalem

by Ilse Strauss

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Lighting the hanukkiah

Monday, 29 November 2021 | Since yesterday, streets in Israel resound with the joyful phrase, “Chag Hanukkah Sameach!” as loved ones and perfect strangers wish each other a happy feast of Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights). Last night, in homes across the Promised Land and in Jewish communities across the world, family and friends gathered for the first night of this eight-day festival to light the first of eight candles on the hanukkiah, the special Hanukkah lampstand with nine candleholders, feast on treats traditional to the festival and remember the great miracle that Hanukkah commemorates.

The story behind Hanukkah reads like the ultimate epic tale. All the ingredients are there: a small band of faithful warriors taking a stand for what is right instead of settling for what is comfortable, a tyrant determined to bend his subjects to his iron will, miraculous victory in the face of overwhelming odds and the God of the universe showing up for those who wait on Him.

The events took place some twenty-one centuries ago, when the Land of Israel was ruled by the mighty Syrian king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. His reign was characterized by severe oppression and frequent massacres. Antiochus prohibited the people of Israel from practicing Judaism, set up altars and idols for the forced worship of Greek gods, desecrated the Second Temple in Jerusalem by sacrificing a pig on the altar and placed a Greek priest in charge of the God of Israel’s dwelling place. He offered the Jews only two choices: convert or die.

Many converted, opting for a life of comfort and subjugation over conviction and freedom. Yet a handful of Jews, known as the Maccabees, revolted and waged a three-year guerrilla campaign against the overwhelming force of the Syrian empire. Against all odds, the tiny band of Jews defeated one of the world’s mightiest armies at the time and drove the oppressors from Jerusalem.

Immediately after their miraculous victory, the Maccabees sought to purify and rededicate the Temple by rebuilding the altar and relighting the menorah, the golden lampstand with seven branches, which was meant to be kept burning day and night. There was, however, a problem: only one vessel of consecrated anointing oil could be found to light the menorah, enough to keep the lampstand aglow for one night only. Yet according to tradition, the miraculous happened. The flames of the menorah continued flickering for eight nights, the exact time it took to prepare a fresh supply of consecrated oil. From there comes the name of the feast Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in both Hebrew and Aramaic.

Today, the descendants of the ancient Maccabees celebrate this miracle of light and oil through the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. On each night of the eight days, family and friends gather to light the candles of the hanukkiah—one candle on the first night, two on the second and so forth, until all eight candles of the hanukkiah are alight.

For eight days, tables are laden with traditional Hanukkah treats, like sufganiyot (sweet donuts), latkes (potato pancakes) and other deep-fried delicacies to mark the miracle of oil. And for eight nights, the fragile glow spilling from thousands of candles in Israel and in Jewish homes across the world reminds those who witness it of the tremendous significance of something as seemingly ordinary as light.

This year, the first candle on the hanukkiah was lit at sunset last night. And on the evening of Sunday, 9 December, all the candles on the candelabrum will be burning brightly.

While Hanukkah usually shares December with Christmas, the two feasts rarely coincide. The variance in timing is due to the use of two different calendars. Each year, the Jewish people continue to celebrate the feasts according to the Biblical calendar, which is based on a lunar cycle. The eight-day festival of Hanukkah starts on the 25th of the ninth month, called Kislev. The date for Christmas, on the other hand, is determined according to the solar-based Gregorian calendar. Since these two calendars do not line up, the two feasts seldom start together.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 29, 2021)

Photo Credit: Maddie Hunt/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the miracle of Hanukkah and His guidance and protection over His people for millennia. Ask Him for a peaceful Hanukkah season for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world, and pray that the hearts of all Israel will be turned toward Him as the lights of Hanukkah glow in their homes to remind them of His love.

Scripture

The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11


- Psalm 29:11

Israel “Very Disturbed” By Openness to Lift Sanctions on Iran

by Joshua Spurlock

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The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran

Monday, 29 November 2021 | One day before the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers, Israel isn’t sounding optimistic about the sides reaching a deal—because a deal is what has them concerned. At least, a deal based on what they’ve been hearing so far regarding the “willingness” of key players in the talks.

“Israel is very disturbed by the willingness to lift the sanctions and allow billions to flow into Iran in exchange for insufficient restrictions in the nuclear sphere,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was quoted by his office as saying on Sunday. “This is a message that we are passing along however we can, to the Americans and to the other countries that are negotiating with Iran.”

Iran, the United States—indirectly—and other major world powers are trying to resurrect the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that would curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. After months of no negotiations, the sides are set to resume in Vienna on Monday. Ahead of the talks, both Iran and the US are talking tough—but may also be implying a shared goal.

The US last week sounded impatient with Iran’s foot-dragging on the nuclear talks and unwilling to lift sanctions unilaterally as a good faith effort. “We have been very clear that we are not prepared to take unilateral steps solely for the benefit of greasing the wheel, as you said. We are prepared to engage in a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA,” said US spokesperson Ned Price in comments to reporters last Tuesday published by the State Department.

“…We’ve also been very clear that this is not a process that can go on indefinitely. And if the Iranians, through their actions or through their inactions, demonstrate or suggest that they lack that good faith, that they lack that clarity of purpose, we’ll have to turn to other means.”

Meanwhile, the Fars News Agency reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian made it clear that their aim is to “completely lift the sanctions” against Iran. However, he pointed to complete compliance with the JCPOA as the target for an agreement, which sounds notably similar to the same goal voiced by Price at the US State Department.

Israel has long warned the international community that the original nuclear accord did not effectively close off the path to nuclear weapons for Iran. The United States, under former President Donald Trump, agreed the deal was inadequate, withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and resumed major sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran stopped adhering to the restrictions under the JCPOA and has since even expanded their nuclear program to make significant progress towards military-grade nuclear fuel, all while alleging their program is peaceful.

The US and Israel both have hinted that should the talks with Iran break down, a military option to halt the Iran nuclear threat may still be on the table. In his comments on Tuesday, Price noted that in addition to negotiations, “We have a variety of other means [to address the nuclear program]. We’re discussing those with our allies and partners. In the category of things that aren’t prudent to discuss from here, that’s one of them.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz reminded the world that Iran isn’t just Israel’s problem in an editorial published last week in the Arabic Moroccan newspaper Ahdath Maghrebia.

In an excerpt of his column published by Israel, Gantz wrote, “The State of Israel is particularly concerned by Iran’s regional aggression and its nuclear aspirations. I am taking this opportunity to emphasize the importance for global action against Iran—as it is not just a challenge for Israel. It is first and foremost a global and regional challenge.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Mideast Update on November 28, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Paolo Contri/IAEA/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Defense Minister Gantz’s warning will be heard and heeded by those nations that are trying to resurrect the JCPOA. Cry out to the Lord that they will recognize the global nature of the Iranian threat and the disingenuous nature of Iranian negotiations, and that sanctions will not be lifted under any circumstances.

Scripture

[They] speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts. 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.


- Psalm 28:3b–4

Gantz’s Historic Visit to Morocco Met with Great Fanfare

by Liad Osmo

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Friday, 26 November 2021 | Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s historic two-day visit to Morocco did not go unnoticed as local media reported on the former IDF [Israel Defense Forces] chief extensively and his image graced the front pages of the North African nation’s newspapers.

During his visit, Jerusalem’s head defense officer and his Moroccan hosts signed a slew of cooperation agreements, with the aim of further cementing the burgeoning bonhomie between the countries which long had to go under the radar up until the signing of the US-brokered Abraham Accords last year.

Gantz’s visit is considered a major step up in bilateral ties, which are now also set to include shared endeavors in the fields of trade, commerce and tourism.

One publication published a letter penned by Gantz in which he praises the budding relations between the nations and even commends the past Moroccan kings for their treatment of the country’s once-bustling Jewish community.

“The Jewish nation will forever honor Morocco’s kings,” Gantz wrote. “Under the brave leadership of King Mohammed V, the history of Moroccan Jewry lives on to this day.”

“One day in the future, I will sit in my living room with my grandchildren and tell them about my visit to Morocco, how we seared our place in the history books as the first countries sharing a mutual defense pact. More than 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco in safety and prosperity during one of the darkest chapters of Jewish history as millions of Jewish people were rounded up in trains like cattle and were shipped to death camps all across Europe. My parents lived through the horrors of Nazism. At that time in history, His Majesty King Mohammed V announced to the world: There are no Jews in Morocco.

The King’s words still resonate within the hearts of Moroccan Jews…and today, close to half a million Israelis carry their Moroccan culture, language and heritage with pride.”

The Defense Minister told the local paper that Jerusalem and Rabat are at a historic point in their relations as they cooperate in the fight against terrorism, intelligence and more.

The same paper published an editorial on Thursday titled “Benny is here, Shalom!”

As Defense Minister Gantz sealed his visit late Thursday and was about to jet off back to Tel Aviv, he thanked Moroccan King Mohamed VI for sponsoring the visit and the other dignitaries with whom he met.

“The historic agreement I signed will enable further development of relations in the intelligence aspect, in military cooperation and in the industrial aspect,” he said.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on November 25, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Benny Gantz 2019/עידית וקסלר צח - רמ"ט ארגון - מפלגת חוסן לישראל/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Morocco’s history as a true friend to the Jewish people, and praise Him for the recent developments in the relationship between the two nations. Pray that Genesis 12:3 will become a reality for Morocco, as it continues to strengthen its interaction with Israel on so many levels.

Scripture

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 12:3

US Envoy Thomas Nides Lands in Israel, Touts ‘Unbreakable Bonds’

by Ariel Kahana and Neta Bar ~ Israel Hayom via JNS

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Incoming US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides takes a COVID-19 test shortly after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport

Wednesday, 1 December 2021 | Newly confirmed US envoy Thomas Nides landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday morning to take up the post left vacant after the departure of David Friedman in January.

The Biden appointee was confirmed by the Senate on November 3 and will replace senior diplomat Michael Ratney, who has served as charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Jerusalem since June.

Nides posted on Twitter that landing in the Jewish state was an unforgettable moment and that he was following quarantine rules to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

“I’m eagerly awaiting a negative test result so I can begin to meet many of you soon!” he tweeted.

The new American ambassador will be residing in Jerusalem, but not at the 19th-century building on Agron Street owned by the United States, where his predecessor stayed during his final months in the position. Instead, Nides will be staying at a rental home.

Nides was the managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and previously served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources from 2010–2013 in the Obama administration.

“There’s no greater privilege than what I have been asked to do, to represent the United States of America to the State of Israel,” the envoy said in a video message posted to his Twitter account.

“I will be making my home in Jerusalem,” added Nides, “and I’ll soon be traveling all over this country, to connect with Israelis’ rich history and culture. As President Biden has said many, many times, America’s strength is, and has always been, rooted in our diversity. I aspire to represent the full diversity of Americans, whose backgrounds and beliefs may differ but are united in the core US values of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.

“The same rings true for Israel. That’s why the bonds between our two countries, as [US] President [Joe] Biden has said, are unbreakable. There’s no greater privilege than what I have been asked to do, to represent the United States of America to the State of Israel.”

He added: “I look forward to traveling all over this beautiful country, and meeting many, many of you in the weeks and months ahead. Todah rabah [thank you very much]!”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

Source: (This article was originally published by Israel Hayom and republished by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 29, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Ambassador Nides will indeed spend his time representing Americans, nearly 80% of whom are committed in their support for the nation of Israel. Pray that truth rather than politics will define his term as ambassador.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 12:22

Israel Approves Immigration of Thousands More Ethiopian Jews

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Members of the Ethiopian Falashmura community arrive at Ben Gurion Airport.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 | The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved the immigration of thousands of Ethiopians who have been waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar for more than a decade to reunite with their families in Israel.

“Finally, parents, children, siblings and orphans will be reunited with their families after decades of waiting,” tweeted Immigration Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata on Sunday.

The plan, formulated by Tamano-Shata and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, involves the full implementation of Government Resolution 716 from 2015, along with the formation of a special team to evaluate the eligibility of those not covered by the resolution.

Resolution 716 sets various criteria for immigration eligibility, including having immediate family members already in Israel, and having joined the communities waiting in Addis Ababa or Gondar to immigrate by January 1, 2010. Several thousand Ethiopians did immigrate following the passing of 716, but thousands still remained behind.

Tamano-Shata and Shaked had pushed to expedite the resolution’s full implementation in light of Ethiopia’s worsening civil war.

The Jewish Agency [JA], Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Keren Hayesod welcomed the Israeli move, with the JA announcing that it was “immediately” commencing implementation of the necessary groundwork.

“Upon arrival in Israel, the new olim [immigrants] will be quarantined in strict accordance with all Ministry of Health requirements. During the quarantine, [they] will be supported by Jewish Agency staff who will look after all their needs,” the JA said in a statement.

“We applaud Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata for her tireless efforts to continue aliyah [immigration to Israel] from Ethiopia, together with the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of the Interior led by Minister Ayelet Shaked,” said Acting JA Chairman Yaakov Hagoel. “This government decision will put an end to the suffering of many families who will finally be reunited after years of waiting to make aliyah.”

Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees chairman Steven Lowy said: “Keren Hayesod and our 60 campaigns around the world stand united with our strategic partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the government of Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America in working to bring thousands of Ethiopian Jews home to Israel, thanks to the government’s recent decision, which we applaud. We will work to ensure the safety of their aliyah, as well as their absorption in Israel. We will continue to make it a priority to safeguard the well-being and successful integration of olim into Israeli society.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 29, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the decision that will allow thousands of Ethiopians to immigrate and join their loved ones in Israel after waiting for such a long time. Pray for the myriad of details involved in such a migration, and cry out to the Lord for a smooth transition for every one of these beloved by Him.

Scripture

So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


- Isaiah 51:11

Palestinian Minister of Education to Kids: “The Entire Land Is Ours”

by JNS

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Text on poster (right): “Palestine: The entire land is ours, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.”

Friday, 26 November 2021 | The Palestinian Authority [PA] Ministry of Education posted images on its Facebook page earlier this month showing several maps of “Palestine” that erase the State of Israel.

According to a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), while participating in a school event marking Palestinian “Keffiyeh Day” (where students wear Arab headdresses), Palestinian schoolchildren at the Kafr Qaddum High School for Girls in Qalqilya received this message: “Palestine: The entire land is ours, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan River].”

The PA ministry wrote that similar celebrations were held “in all of the homeland’s schools.”

“Denial of Israel’s right to exist and the use of the PA map of ‘Palestine’ erasing Israel’s existence in an educational context…is official PA policy,” stated PMW.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 25, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Facebook page of the Kafr Qaddum High School for Girls in Qalqilya, Nov. 17, 2021, via PMW/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations will use whatever leverage they have over the PA to bring this educational abuse of children to an end. Pray that Palestinian leaders will be stopped from filling the minds of their people with propaganda and hate.

Scripture

A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good.


- Proverbs 16:29

OECD Report: Israeli Economy Rapidly Recovering from Pandemic

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New Israeli shekel (NIS)

Thursday, 2 December 2021 | Israel’s economy is making a rapid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has stated.

According to Army Radio, the report said that Israel’s GDP will rise by 6.3% in 2021 and is forecasted to rise by around 5% in 2022.

Exports have risen by more than 11%, despite the strengthening shekel and decrease in world trade, said the report, as quoted by Army Radio.

According to the assessment, inflation in Israel will stand at 2% in 2022 and 1.4% in 2023.

According to the Israeli Finance Ministry’s own estimates, Israel’s economy will likely grow by 7.1% by the end of this year and 4.7% in 2022, Reuters reported in November.

In 2019, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the economy grew by 3.8%.

During the past two years, the state paid 40 billion shekels (nearly [US $13 billion]) in grants to hundreds of thousands of businesses and self-employed citizens.

In October 2020, the Israel Employment Service recorded almost a million unemployed citizens, approximately half of whom went on unpaid leave.

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

Photo Credit: Yuvalf123/commons.wikimedia.org/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for His blessing on the Israeli economy. Pray that the recent restrictions because of the Omicron variant will be brief and successful and not have a negative impact on these projections. Pray that Israel will continue to prosper, showing the world the love and faithfulness of God.

Scripture

And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.


- Deuteronomy 7:13