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Caring for the Community

Friday, December 9, 2022

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Every week, we post seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Roiling Tensions in Judea and Samaria Impede IDF’s Readiness for War

by Ron Ben Yishai~Ynet

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The Israel Border Police (Magav) is responsible for security in urban or rural areas.

Thursday, 8 December 2022 | An official working in Israel’s security forces said that the need for constant IDF [Israel Defense Forces] presence in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] is harming the military’s readiness for other conflicts.

“A significant part of the IDF’s standing army is deployed to the West Bank to maintain security,” the official said. “Soldiers are stationed there instead of being trained.”

“This directly harms the IDF readiness for war, in Lebanon and otherwise,” the official said. “If an escalation leads to war on numerous fronts, we may enter it unprepared, as we were in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”

This prediction was repeated by more than one official involved with the IDF, who have knowledge of its readiness for large-scale engagement.

The numbers speak for themselves. At the end of 2021, 13 battalions took up positions in the West Bank, with most of them belonging to the standing army and some including reserves. In 2022, 25 battalions were positioned in the West Bank, alongside units of IDF Special Forces and Border Police.

Before the need to assign large forces to that region, the IDF managed a division of 17 weeks of training and 17 weeks of operational duty, and this ratio is now disrupted.

This means that the IDF’s standing army has very little time to train. This is also true for the 66 reserve battalions the IDF plans to conscript in 2023.

This situation does not seem likely to improve. The constant need to provide forces for the West Bank is the result of the ongoing incitement for Palestinian terror attacks, leading to casualties on both sides.

Some call what has been playing out a “mini Intifada” [uprising] while others prefer to see it as a terror wave, but the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] and the IDF believe that this surge in violence is unlike anything Israel has experienced before.

These attacks are no longer the actions of lone wolves or rioting mobs. Recent attacks have required planning and the use of firearms and have spread farther than the Jenin area, where militant groups like the Lion’s Den have operated.

Still, the Palestinian public at large has not yet joined the fight despite the fact that over 100 Palestinians have been killed since the start of 2022.

Incitement to violence may be connected to the fight to succeed Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, the widespread availability of firearms in Palestinian territories, the frustration of Palestinian youth at their leaders’ seeming lack of success, alongside having no economic or political prospects for their future.

No one in Israel can say when this incitement will end or morph into a largescale intifada, but most agree that it could happen at any moment, which is the reason why the IDF and Shin Bet continue to operate nightly in the West Bank, often incurring confrontations with Palestinians.

Palestinian casualties in these confrontations provide more motivation to carry out terror attacks.

The danger of more conflict will likely increase after the World Cup games are over, when Qatari leaders will no longer demand Hamas and the PA to keep quiet in exchange for billions of dollars.

The military’s readiness is deteriorating, incitement in the West Bank and Gaza is increasing and the political struggle is threatening to harm Israel. It seems 2023 will be a true challenge.

Source: (Excerpt from article originally published by Ynetnews on December 5, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Daniel Maleck Lewy, 2005/en.wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for His miraculous intervention in this situation. Pray that the need for a constant IDF presence in Judea and Samaria will decrease rather than increase and for Israel’s preparedness to be restored quickly. Pray that every member of the IDF will remember that their success as a military comes because the Lord of Hosts strengthens and blesses them.

Scripture

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


- Psalm 144:1–2a

Report: Saudi Arabia Looking to Normalize Ties with Israel—in Time

by Kate Norman

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A map showing the administrative areas in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 8 December 2022 | Saudi Arabia is looking to join its neighboring Arab states in normalizing ties with Israel—though not right away, i24news reported Tuesday.

The report cited an official document detailing a recent meeting between Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and Jewish American leaders.

“The direction of Saudi–Israeli relations is normalization,” Al-Jubeir said in the meeting, according to the document, “but it will take more time and we must not put the cart before the horse.”

When the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the historic US-brokered Abraham Accords in September 2020, Saudi Arabia was heavily rumored to be next in line to make peace with the Jewish state.

Though the kingdom had close ties with then-US President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia dispelled the rumors by reiterating its stance that Riyadh would not normalize ties with Israel until the conclusion of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Ties between the US and Saudi Arabia cooled, however, upon the entrance of the Biden administration, as President Joe Biden had campaigned on the promise of taking a stronger stance against the kingdom’s human rights violations, particularly regarding the 2018 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, one thing that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel all have in common is Iran as an enemy. And amid the Iranian regime’s growing aggression, Saudi Arabia and Israel are known to have increasing covert cooperation, particularly in the security arena.

But perhaps the cooperation will not remain covert for much longer, as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met last month with US officials visiting the Saudi capital. During the meeting, the prince reportedly presented his American guests with a list of conditions for his kingdom to enter into the Abraham Accords.

The prince’s three conditions were all directed to the US, i24news reported, citing a source who attended the meeting. The first is that Washington affirm the alliance with Riyadh, followed by the demand that the US supply the kingdom with weapons as though it were a NATO member state and the third that the US allow the kingdom to use its uranium reserves to develop a restricted civil nuclear program.

Notably, i24news pointed out, the Palestinian issue was not listed among the demands.

Though the situation is heading in the right direction, Saudi’s minister of state for foreign affairs reiterated at the recent meeting with Jewish American leaders that it will take time for Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords.

“Israel and other Gulf states have been gradually normalizing for years,” Al-Jubeir told his Jewish audience, according to i24news. “The process must be allowed to mature.”

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said last month in an online event that not only is normalization between Jerusalem and Riyadh within reach, but it would also “end the Arab–Israeli conflict,” as quoted by Jewish American newspaper Forward.

Netanyahu was serving as Israeli prime minister when the Abraham Accords were announced and joined the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain in signing the official document on the White House lawn in 2020.

Netanyahu pointed out to the audience at the online event last month that the Abraham Accords did not happen without the consent of Saudi Arabia, as a leader of the Arab world.

“It didn’t happen without Saudi approval because those countries wanted to know what their big neighbor Saudi Arabia thought about it,” Netanyahu said. “I can assure you, it wasn’t negative.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 8, 2022)

Photo Credit: www.cia.gov World fact book/ en.wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that the path to normalization between these two countries is open and the process moving forward. Pray that the US will cooperate in making this happen, helping to add Saudi Arabia to the growing list of Arab states that are joining Israel in its stand against Iran.

Scripture

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.


- Psalm 46:1–2

Israel Hosted over 2 Million Tourists in 2022 after Reopening Post-COVID

by Kate Norman

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Visitors from the nations attended BFP’s 2022 Institute of Israel Studies.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022 | Israel welcomed its two millionth tourist for 2022 in October, the Tourism Ministry announced, and expects to hit two and a half million by the end of the year.

After having its borders and airports closed to the outside world amid the global pandemic, Israel began reopening this year, welcoming back vaccinated tourists in January and then lifting all restrictions and welcoming unvaccinated tourists in March.

Between January and October 2022, some 2.078 million tourists visited Israel, the Times of Israel reported, citing the Tourism Ministry. If those numbers keep up, the ministry expects around 2.5 million visitors by the end of 2022.

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said in a statement in November after the tourism numbers were announced: “Since we removed the restrictions of the coronavirus, the employees of the Ministry of Tourism have worked tirelessly to get the tourism industry back on the right track. I have no doubt that thanks to them, the citizens of Israel will benefit from more and more income for the economy and business tourism.”

The Tourism Ministry still has its work cut out in order to get back to pre-COVID numbers. The Jewish state had hit a record number of tourists in 2019, with 4.55 million tourists. And between January and September 2019, Israel had already welcomed 3.5 million tourists, i24news reported.

For example, 277,700 tourists visited the Jewish state in September 2022, i24news reported, citing Israel’s Bureau of Statistics. That is 39% fewer tourists than the number who visited in the same month in 2019: 436,500 tourists.

Still, Razvozov announced in July after welcoming the millionth tourist to Israel that he had set a goal: 10 million tourists to Israel in 2030.

And the Jewish state is boosting its hotel industry to host the expected rise in tourists, as the Tourism Ministry is encouraging and incentivizing the establishment of new hotels and the expansion of existing hotels which will provide more options for tourists. In fact, 39 new hotels are set to open to visitors in the next few months and throughout 2023, the Times of Israel reported.

And good news for prospective tourists who have yet to visit the Holy Land: Israel has been ranked by US data analytics website The Swiftest as the fifth safest country in the world among the top 50 tourist destination nations.

Many people, when they think of Israel, think of chaotic images they have seen on the news of explosions and terror attacks. But the chances of that happening are very low. The last recorded death of a foreign tourist in Israel was April 2017.

In fact, compare Israel to other countries around the world: Australia, which was ranked at 15th on the list of safest countries; Canada, which ranked at 21; France, ranked at 15; the United Kingdom, ranked at 10 and the US, ranked at 30, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The doors are open and the people of the Jewish state are ready and waiting to welcome new friends.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 7, 2022)

Photo Credit: Institute of Israel Studies 2022/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel’s doors are open and the number of tourists visiting the Land is increasing. Pray that millions more will make the pilgrimage, experience the beauty and mystery of God’s chosen nation and return to their homelands as committed advocates. Thank God that Israel is recognized as a safe destination for tourists and pray that it will remain so.

Scripture

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.


- Psalm 4:8

Police: Anti-Semitic Crimes up 125% in New York City

by JNS

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New York City Police Department cruisers (illustrative)

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 | The New York Police Department on Monday reported 45 anti-Semitic crimes in the city in November, compared to 20 over the same period in 2021, according to police data.

In the most high-profile incident, two men were arrested for plotting to attack Jewish targets in the city. One was in possession of a hunting knife and a swastika arm band at the time of his arrest, with authorities later seizing a handgun and [a] 30-round magazine from a bag one of the men had been filmed carrying earlier.

In other anti-Semitic incidents, four suspects assaulted a Jewish man on a street in Brooklyn; a man threw rocks at a Jewish school; and a vandal sprayed “Free Palestine” on a Chabad outreach vehicle, according to local media.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams last Wednesday denounced the increase in global Jew-hatred in an address at the 2022 Mayors Summit against Anti-Semitism in Athens, Greece.

“The temperature is increasing ever so slightly that we have allowed [anti-Semitism] to normalize in every part of our lives. We have become accustomed to it; it has become popular,” said Adams at the event, which was attended by over 50 mayors and municipal leaders from across the globe.

The Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in 2021, a 34% increase over the previous year.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 6, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Photo Spirit/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for the safety of His people wherever they may be on the earth. Beseech Him for an end to anti-Semitic acts of harassment and violence, and pray that Jewish people the world over will make the decision to make Israel their home. Also pray that international leaders will take significant steps to educate their citizens and punish perpetrators in an effort to curb the rise of this hatred of God’s chosen ones.

Scripture

For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones.


- Psalm 83:2–3

Israel Hits Hamas Military Post after the Terrorist Group Fires on IAF Jets

by JNS

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An Israeli airstrike on a Hamas target in the northern Gaza Strip in 2021 (illustrative)

Monday, 5 December 2022 | The Israeli military struck a Hamas military post on Saturday night after terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired on an Israeli fighter jet, according to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF].

Hamas said on Sunday morning that it had fired anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli jets conducting reprisal strikes in Gaza.

Earlier on Saturday, the IDF struck a Hamas tunnel and one of the terrorist group’s “central” rocket manufacturing sites in response to a rocket that was launched into Israel from Gaza. The rocket landed in an unpopulated area, causing no damage, according to the IDF.

Rocket alert sirens were, however, activated in the border kibbutzim [collective communities where all property and work are equally shared] of Kfar Aza and Nahal Oz, and residents reported hearing an explosion.

A month ago, a rocket fired at the Eshkol region by Gazan terrorists was intercepted by the Iron Dome, and shortly after that, three additional rockets failed to cross the border, landing inside the Strip. It was the first such barrage since “Operation Breaking Dawn” on August 5–7, when Palestinian terrorists fired approximately 1,100 rockets toward the Jewish state.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that this activity is not a harbinger of yet another spate of rocket attacks. Praise the Lord that IDF jets were not harmed and cry out to the Lord for Israel’s success in curtailing Hamas violence.

Scripture

He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.


- Psalm 145:19b–20

IRGC Chief: We Will Turn the World into a Graveyard for US, Israel, Saudi Policies

by JNS

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IRGC Commander-in-Chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 | Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), predicted that Israel would soon fall and Iran will use the impending “world war” as a “graveyard” for the policies of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their allies.

According to a report by MEMRI [Middle East Media Research Institute], Salami, in a speech that was broadcast on Ofogh TV (Iran) on November 27, said, “Rest assured that we will witness the collapse of the Zionist regime, but we will never witness any serious damage to our revolution.”

He added, “Our enemies—America, England, Israel and the regime of the Saud clan—have left their dens and are overtly meddling in the domestic affairs of this country. We are determined to confront them.”

The Iranian commander continued, “The Quran instructs us…Note that I am quoting the Lord: ‘Oh you who believe, do not take the Jews and the Christians as your allies.’”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/MEMRI/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that these statements from the commander-in-chief of the IRGC will be a wake-up call to the nations, causing them to realize the gravity of the situation and the foolhardiness of attempting to negotiate with a sworn enemy whose heart is set on destruction. Pray that Al Jazeera and others will take seriously Defense Minister Gantz’s suggestion to focus their attention on countries like Iran where such misconduct is occurring.

Scripture

Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go.


- Proverbs 22:24

Al Jazeera Asks ICC to Open Probe into Abu Akleh Killing

by JNS

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Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Wednesday, 7 December 2022 | Al Jazeera has formally requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) open an investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the news outlet announced on Tuesday.

Abu Akleh, who worked for the network, was killed in Jenin in May during an exchange of fire between the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] and Palestinian terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid criticized the move, saying in a statement, “No one will investigate IDF soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al-Jazeera.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz noted that the incident had already been investigated by the IDF.

“I expressed my condolences following the passing of Shireen Abu Akleh. At the same time, we must remember that this was a combat scenario, which was investigated thoroughly,” he said in a statement.

“I suggest that [international] officials and Al Jazeera representatives go investigate what is happening to reporters in Iran and nearby regions where Al Jazeera operates. There is no other military that operates under the moral standards of the IDF, and I would like to emphasize my full support and that of the entire defense establishment, to the commanders and soldiers who are defending the citizens of Israel,” he added.

The IDF investigation into the incident found that while it was not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the shot that killed Abu Akleh, there was a “high probability” that she had accidentally been hit by IDF fire. The investigation further took into account the context in which the incident occurred, with Israeli troops under “life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate” fire from Palestinian terrorists.

The IDF emphasized that at no point was Israeli fire directed at anyone other than the Palestinian terrorists, some of whom fired “from the area in which Ms. Shireen Abu Akleh was present.”

In November, news surfaced that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched its own probe into Abu Akleh’s death.

Both Lapid and Gantz said at the time that Israel would not cooperate with the investigation.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 6, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for an end to this determination to investigate what has already been investigated. Pray that Israel’s findings will only be verified by those who are attempting to find misconduct where it does not exist.

Scripture

Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength.


- Psalm 54:1

IDF Identifies as Many Enemy “Targets in a Month as It Did in a Year’

by Yaakov Lappin~JNS

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IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi speaking at the Gazit Institute in Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 | The Israel Defense Forces’ [IDF’s] Intelligence Directorate is using artificial intelligence technology to generate the same number of targets in a month that it once took a year to produce, IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi revealed on Sunday.

Kochavi, speaking at a conference organized by the Military Intelligence Directorate’s Gazit Institute, said that the Targets Center, established by the directorate in March 2019, has become a significant force multiplier.

“It takes all of our existing advanced sensors and sources—we almost didn’t have to build new sensors—and connected these abilities to advanced artificial intelligence,” said Kochavi. “The result is that the number of [potential enemy] targets we identified per year, we now produce in a month or two, depending on the arena,” he stated. “The significance of this strategy is enormous.”

In Syria, for example, such intelligence has been matched with precision firepower to severely disrupt Iranian plans to build a war machine against Israel.

Instead of Syria hosting tens of thousands of Iranian-backed militias, a “Hezbollah 2.0” in the Syrian Golan region and a hub of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles—three goals that were set by the late Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani—a majority of efforts to this end have been foiled, the chief of staff said.

“Eighty percent of the Iranian smuggling routes to Syria via sea, land and air have been closed,” Kochavi added, referring to Israel’s campaign to disrupt Iranian entrenchment.

The partnership between “great intelligence and great technology” produced such results, he added.

He described the result as “the ability to hit a building in the heart of a crowded city, not in Gaza but in the north, to know what floor the ammunition is stored on in a seven-story building, which stays standing after it is hit and no noncombatants are hurt, and lots of the ammunition is destroyed.”

Such strikes occur once every two to three weeks, and sometimes once a week, greatly shaping Israel’s strategy against northern security threats.

“This new strategy will also be relevant to the future Third Lebanon War—or the First Northern War—when we use intelligence and technology shaped for these sectors and reach new achievements,” said Kochavi. “This, therefore, is the connection between intelligence, technology and strategy.”

Kochavi dedicated much of his speech to the triangle of intelligence, technology and strategy, arguing that this linkage “has never been stronger. This connection is only getting stronger and we have no choice but to strengthen it,” he said.

Political and military leaders have always needed intelligence to set policies whether on the battlefield or elsewhere, said Kochavi, defining strategy as the definition of a state’s interests and objectives and the techniques needed to reach these objectives.

Ultimately, methods used to pursue national strategies are either political or military, he said, and “in our reality, in recent years, strategy has increasingly been based on activating military force.”

The Gaza Strip, he said, forms the clearest example of this trend.

“…[If] the current reality of Gaza continues as it is until May, we will be able to say that these have been two of the quietest and most stable years that southern Israel and Gaza have experienced. That is a result of a strategy whose central plank is the use of force,” said Kochavi.

Operations “Black Belt” (against Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] in November 2019), “Guardian of the Walls” (against Hamas and PIJ in May 2021) and “Breaking Dawn” (against PIJ in August 2022) have produced a reality in which “Hamas is not only not responding to our attacks, it’s not even thinking of responding,” the general said. “This is mainly because of the activation of force.”

The use of precise intelligence and firepower technology also leads to what Kochavi described as the lowest combatant-to-civilian casualty ratio in the world in recent Gaza conflict:, 1:2, which he said compared with 1:7 in other conflicts fought by Western militaries.

The use of long-range precision firepower prevents casualties among the Israeli military by reducing the need for bloody maneuvers while also decreasing civilian casualties on the other side, he said.

“Low casualties enable international and local legitimacy and for us to align with our own values. We do not need international legitimacy or any formal institution or other organizations to remind us that we have to fight those that we need to hit and not those that we do not,” said the chief of staff.

Wars of the 21st century will be based on intelligence and technology, and on creating gaps between “what we did to the enemy and what the enemy does to us. It is these gaps that cause PIJ head [Ziyad] Nakhalah to order a stop to hostilities,” said Kochavi, referring to the three-day aerial conflict that Israel fought with PIJ in August.

“All of this holds true for [ground operations] too. One day, when these go into full force, the maneuvers will have to achieve a very high level of destruction based on intelligence and technology, and be highly defended [from enemy attacks],” he said.

“The key phrase we use is ‘eliminating capabilities,’” said Kochavi, adding that removing enemy capabilities and targeting “centers of gravity” among the enemy at a high rate is the central pillar of the IDF’s operational logic.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Gideon Markowicz/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God for Israel’s ability to combine “great intelligence and great technology” to drastically improve military efficiency, granting the power to eliminate capabilities and creating the lowest combatant-to-civilian casualty ratio in the world.

Scripture

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.


- Proverbs 2:6

UN to Commemorate Palestinian ‘Nakba,’ the Catastrophe of Israel’s Creation

by JNS

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Israeli Arabs wave the Palestinian flag marking the 74th anniversary of so-called nakba.

Friday, 2 December 2022 | The United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] voted on Wednesday to adopt a resolution to commemorate the “Nakba.” The Arabic term, meaning “catastrophe,” is used by Palestinians and their supporters to describe Israel’s creation and the resulting displacement of some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 war initiated by Arab nations to destroy the nascent Jewish state.

The UN resolution calls for a “commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Nakba, including by organizing a high-level event at the General Assembly Hall” in May of next year.

The sponsors of the initiative included Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, and passed by a vote of 90 in favor to 30 against, with 47 abstentions.

Abraham Accords signatories the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan all voted in favor. Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the countries that voted against.

The vote came a day after Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan inaugurated an exhibit highlighting the expulsion of Jews from Middle East countries, calling the story of these Jewish refugees the “real Nakba.”

Marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of a resolution to create Israel, Erdan said that “those who really suffered from ‘Nakba’ following the decision were Jews—almost a million were expelled from Arab countries and Iran. Since the vote [on November 29, 1947], which the Arabs rejected, the United Nations has been telling a completely false story about the ‘disaster’ the Palestinians brought upon themselves.”

The launch of the exhibit also coincided with Wednesday’s Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries, which has been marked annually in Israel since 2014 and is running at the UN headquarters in New York City for one week.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on December 1, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Jamal Awad/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that this event will be seen for what it is: another propaganda move on the part of the Palestinians to rewrite history and delegitimize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation in the Land of their forefathers.

Scripture

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels.


- Psalm 5:9–10a

Israeli Firm Works to Increase Motorcycle Safety

by Janet Aslin

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Ridevision’s new invention aims to make motorcycles safer.

Friday, 2 December 2022 | “There is no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident,” Harry Brown, Jr. wrote in a recent article on motorcycle safety. However, a promising new technology developed by Ridevision, an Israeli firm, is leading the way to the prevention of many of those accidents before they happen. The invention, named CAT or Collision Aversion Technology, can be installed on all makes and models of motorcycles and scooters.

Over the last twenty years, car manufacturers have designed systems with cameras and sensors that aid drivers as they maneuver tight parking spaces, change lanes and face potential dangers from blind spots. However, until recently, similar aids for motorcycles lagged behind. The main reason is the huge difference between the way four-wheeled cars are driven versus how the two-wheeled motorcycle are handled.

Ridevision’s website provides this comprehensive description: “Motorcycles are quick and agile. They lean, maneuver quickly on the road, and sometimes even navigate between other vehicles. Their lightweight builds and nimble maneuvering means they experience greater effects of physical force and roadway vibrations. Even basic navigating in traffic requires a rider to shift their motorcycle’s weight from side to side and from front to back (when braking and accelerating).”

The company’s co-founders Uri Lavi and Lior Cohen are two avid Israeli motorcyclists who determined to do something to help bring the safety features enjoyed by automobile drivers to their own mode of transportation.

Because of the uniqueness of two-wheeled motorcycles, the system had to be designed from the ground up. In an interview with the Times of Israel, Lavi said “A motorbike is a completely different creature on the road. Motorcyclists are constantly turning their heads to see around them, and steering and turning requires leaning the motorcycle to the side, techniques not used in cars.”

Lavi went on to explain that “only after predicting the trajectory of the bike can we actually understand and say what is a real problem and a real hazard to the driver.”

The resulting system combines two small wide-angle cameras, one in the front and one in the rear of the motorcycle, with an onboard processing unit that has company-developed algorithms to analyze the images and determine potential collision threats.

The other challenge was that of notifying the rider when there is a threat of collision. The system had to be simple and not distract the rider. The final product consists of different colored LED lights mounted on the bike’s mirrors. Flashing red indicates a danger in the front while flashing orange warns of a vehicle in the rider’s blind spot or a car approaching at high speed.

This Israeli-based company has global ambitions and has already begun to accomplish them. And with technology that has proven results—reducing fatal collisions by 60%—this is good news for the 400 million motorcycles and their riders around the world.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 2, 2022)

Photo Credit: Becca Treharne/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for yet another Israeli development that will save lives. Pray that motorcycle and scooter manufacturers the world over will quickly include this technology in their production, making the roads safer for everyone.

Scripture

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!


- Psalm 31:19