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

Netanyahu Warns Putin: “We will Act in Lebanon if Necessary”

by Itamar Eichner

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 | Israel will act to prevent the transfer of precision missiles to Lebanese soil if forced to, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, following a meeting earlier with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“I just finished in-depth and good talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I told him that Israel views two developments with utmost gravity: First is Iran’s effort to establish a military presence in Syria and second is Iran’s attempt to manufacture—in Lebanon—precision weapons against the State of Israel,” he told journalists at the conclusion of the meeting, the first since their last tête-à-tête in August 2017.

“I made it clear to him that we will not agree to either one of these developments and will act according to need,” Netanyahu added.

On the subject of Iranian ambitions to entrench its military forces in Syria, Netanyahu told Putin he would take action if such a reality ever materialized.

“We are now on the cusp of a watershed moment of whether Iran will entrench itself there or if the process will be stopped. I told Putin that if it isn’t stopped by itself, we will act to stop it. In practice, we’re already operating,” he told the journalists.

Netanyahu also addressed reports that Damascus had threatened to attack Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport if Israel carried out another military strike in Syria.

“We always take all the elements and considerations in the area into account,” he said, before accusing Iran of attempting to rattle stability in the Middle East.

“The element currently trying to change the status quo in Syria and Lebanon is one—Iran. This is an element that is actively trying to shift the arena and turn Syria into a military colony,” he asserted.

Another major topic discussed at the meeting with Putin was, Netanyahu said, the Iranian nuclear agreement. The prime minister raised before Putin Israel’s reservations, “which in many cases are reservations I have heard from Trump. I cannot guarantee what Russia’s stance will be on the matter, but they understood what will happen if corrections are not inserted (into the deal).”

During their earlier discussions, Netanyahu told Putin that the fight against Iran’s nuclear ambitions and terror support were akin to the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.

“I think that the main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and—afterwards—their defeat, is that one needs to take a strong and timely stand against murderous ideologies,” Netanyahu told Putin during a meeting at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

“This is also our mission today, and it is to this end that I want to speak with you about our common efforts to promote security and stability in our region, and—of course—the cooperation between Russia and Israel,” Netanyahu added.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on 29 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Lift up Israel as the nation faces the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as their efforts to bring their military forces into Syria. Ask for God’s protection over the northern border and from anything that can cause harm and damage in Israel. Pray for protection of the Ben Gurion Airport. Give thanks for God’s counsel to PM Netanyahu and for establishing his steps.

Scripture

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.


- Psalm 18:35-37

Secretary of State Says US-Europe Talks on Fixing Nuke Deal Underway

by Joshua Spurlock

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Monday, 29 January 2018 | United States President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to Europe earlier this month—fix problems with the Iran nuclear deal or the United States will pull out of the accord this spring. On Saturday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that talks have started and they are seeking to determine exactly what needs to be addressed to bolster efforts to counter Iran’s nefarious actions and nuclear ambitions.

Tillerson, in a press briefing published by the State Department, said they have agreed to work with Europe to “identify what areas we believe have to be addressed and a mechanism by which we can address those.” He said that working groups have been meeting in an effort to reach agreement on principles, “what is the scope of what we will attempt to address, and also how might we engage the Iranians on discussions to address these issues.”

Said Tillerson, “The work is underway. If it was easy, it would have already been done. We recognize the challenges, but we think we have to do everything we can to address those.”

But it would be a mistake to assume that the nuclear deal is all the US cares about when it comes to Iran. To that end, Tillerson noted that the American policy on Iran is “about much, much more than the nuclear agreement. The nuclear agreement only represents a small part of the policy. The US has greater concerns and more immediate concerns regarding Iran’s malign behaviors throughout the region.”

The top American diplomat listed support for rebels in the Yemen civil war—which includes rockets fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia—and support for the Hezbollah terrorist group and militias in Iraq and Syria as other destabilizing activities by Iran.

Said Tillerson, “Our work group also is intended to identify areas of greater cooperation between Europe to push back on Iran’s malign behaviors as well.”

He noted that his country’s allies are also concerned by the “long list” of Iranian actions that trouble the US.

One concerned ally is Israel, and that nation’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with President Trump and other world leaders recently to discuss Iran. In comments released by Netanyahu’s office on Sunday, the Israeli leader summarized the Iran portion of his conversation with Trump.

“We discussed the need to block Iran’s aggression in the region and its attempts to achieve nuclear weapons via the failed nuclear agreement that must be either fixed or nixed,” said Netanyahu. He said he also spoke “at length” on the topic with French President Emanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he termed Israel’s “friends.”

While Europe may need convincing, Trump is resolved on the Iranian nuclear issue. Said Tillerson, “As to the Iranian nuclear agreement, President Trump has been quite clear on his view that that agreement has a number of flaws, and he intends to have those flaws addressed.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 28 January 208. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Beseech God for a miracle that will bring stability to the Middle East. Give thanks for the nations like the US who understand the Iranian aggression and cry out for European nations to join them in taking action to correct the nuclear deal that promotes Iran’s goals. Pray for your nation’s leaders to join in Israel’s struggle against nuclear weapons that threaten Israel’s existence.

Scripture

But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.


- Job 5:8-9

Gazan Terrorists Launch Midnight Rocket Attack on Israel

by Ilse Strauss

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A launched rocket (illustrative)

 Tuesday, 30 January 2018 | It was just after midnight last night when the air raid sirens started wailing in the south of Israel. The residents of towns and cities located close to the Gazan border are no strangers to the bloodcurdling sound. They do, after all, have ample experience with incoming rockets fired by terrorists in Gaza and a mere 15 seconds to find shelter.

Through the wail of the alarm, residents reported hearing at least one loud explosion. Following an investigation, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) concluded that the projectile fell short of Israeli territory. Palestinian sources later confirmed that the rocket struck inside the Gaza Strip. There were no reports of injury or damage on either side.  

According to The Jerusalem Post, Palestinian sources also claimed that Israel retaliated by striking naval targets off the Gaza Strip shore. These reports, however, have not been corroborated.

The Israel-Gaza border has been relatively quiet over the past two weeks, following a time of near incessant rocket fire from the coastal enclave after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump’s December 6, 2017 statement sparked a steady bombardment of nearly 20 rockets launched on Israel over the course of a month. The Jewish state responded to each attack with retaliatory strikes on Hamas terror infrastructure in the Strip, standing firm on its policy that it holds the terror group ruling the coastal enclave responsible for all attacks at Israel emanating from its borders.

The final attack before last night’s occurred in the first few days of 2018, when Palestinian terrorists fired a volley of three mortar shells at Israeli communities near the border. The projectiles fell in open, uninhabited areas and caused no damage or injury.  

According to The Times of Israel, a number of recent reports have warned that the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, as its 1.8 million inhabitants suffer from appalling unemployment figures, recurrent electricity blackouts and an undrinkable water supply.

While the situation is certainly concerning, UN Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, holds Hamas accountable for the plight of the people of Gaza. Following a visit to a terror tunnel, Greenblatt said that the terror group who rules the Gaza Strip is more concerned with the annihilation of Israel than with the prosperity of their people by “getting the lights on, the water flowing and the economy growing.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 30 January 2018)

Photo Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Petition the Lord for protection from the current rocket attacks happening near the Gaza Strip. Pray for the IDF soldiers who are always on alert to thwart any kind of terror attacks near the southern border of Israel. Ask the Lord to give them strength, courage, wisdom and peace of mind. Also pray for the elderly, families and small children who can never truly rest because of the sirens that can blare at any time.

Scripture

Consider my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget Your law.


- Psalm 119:153

UN Body Published Report of Companies Operating in Judea and Samaria

by Ilse Strauss

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Sha’ar Binyamin, a light industrial park in Judea–Samaria

Thursday, 01 February 2018 │The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday published a report detailing their progress on compiling a “blacklist” of companies doing business in Jewish communities located in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights—areas the world body calls “occupied” or at best “contested.”

According to the document, the highly controversial database currently contains the names of 206 Israeli and international companies that the UNHRC charges with complicity in “pervasive and devastating” violations against the Palestinians. The report saw the light mere hours before the United Nations was set to commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day.

However, in what Hebrew media hail as a diplomatic victory for the Jewish state and the US, the UNHRC Commissioner, Jordan’s Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, decided to release only the number of companies on the database and postpone the publication of the actual names to a yet undetermined date.

While the decision can reportedly be ascribed to dedicated efforts by Israel, the US and diplomats from a number of other countries, the UNHRC blamed “limited resources” for the delay. According to the report, the UNHRC has to date only managed to discuss the allegations of operating in Judea and Samaria with 64 of the 206 companies on its infamous database. The blacklist, the UNHRC vowed, would, however, be published as soon as the remainder of the businesses have been contacted.

Yesterday’s document was widely criticized. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, condemned the report and committed to continue the efforts to fight the publication of the database of company names. 

“On the day that the UN is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UNHRC has chosen to publicize this information about the number of companies operating in Israel,” he said in a statement. “This is a shameful act which will serve as a stain on the UNHRC forever. We will continue to act with our allies and use all the means at our disposal to stop the publication of this disgraceful blacklist.”

The US’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, similarly slammed the report, labeling it “the latest anti-Israel action taken by the Human Rights Council” and yet another example of the council’s “anti-Israel obsession.”

According to Haley, “[t]his whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources… The more the Human Rights Council does this, the less effective it becomes as an advocate against the world’s human rights abusers.”

The blacklist first became a possibility in March 2016, when the UNHRC tasked al-Hussein to “investigate the implication of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians” and passed a resolution calling for a database of all companies doing business with Israelis in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. In February 2017, the UNHRC said for the first time that the publication of the list would be pushed out. In December last year the announcement came of a second delay.

The prospective blacklist will carry no legal status and those who appear on it will face no penalty. Israel is, however, concerned that companies appearing on the database could be targeted for boycotts and divestment, aimed at increasing the pressure on the Jewish state over its presence in the so-called “contested areas.”

According to yesterday’s report, 143 of the 206 companies on the list are situated in Israel, while 22 are based in the US. Although the businesses on the list have not been named, Israeli companies such as Coca-Cola Israel, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, communications company Bezeq and bus line Egged will reportedly appear on the list alongside American corporations like Airbnb, Caterpillar, Priceline and TripAdvisor.

While world leaders, international bodies and the global media refer to Judea and Samaria as the West Bank or “contested” or “occupied” territory, this particular plot of land served as the stage on which some 80% of the events in the Old Testament played out. It was also the home country of the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh and today still stands as the historic heartland of Israel, the patch of earth embedded with the fingerprints of Israel’s biblical history—and ours as Christians.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 01 February 2018)

Photo Credit: Atefrat/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Declare that this UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) blacklist of companies doing businesses in specific locations of Israel will never see the light! Pray that other companies who want to support Israel will not be deterred by this absurd document. Continue to lift up Danny Danon, asking the Lord to grant him perseverance, wisdom and enlightenment as he continues the struggle for Israel at the biased UN.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.


- 1 Kings 10:9

US Says Abbas’s Hate-Filled Speech Shows He’s Not Ready to Make Peace

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaking at the UN Security Council

Friday, 26 January 2018 | Referring to a recent “hate-filled” speech given by Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas in which he declared the Oslo Accords dead, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council Thursday, “A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories is not the speech of a person with the courage and the will to seek peace.”

Haley, who was addressing the Security Council during its monthly meeting to address the Middle East, said that she would “set aside her usual practice” of highlighting the Iranian threat to the Middle East and instead address what she called the “important element” of making peace, specifically “leaders who have the will to do what’s needed to achieve peace.”

Haley cited the example of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who addressed Israel’s Knesset and told Israel, “You want to live with us in this part of the world. In all sincerity, I tell you, we welcome you among us, with full security and safety.” The words, Haley said, made “Israel understand that it had a partner with whom it could make those painful compromises” that were necessary for a peace deal with Egypt.

In contrast, in his recent speech to the Palestinian Liberation Organization Central Committee, Abbas “declared the landmark Oslo Peace Accords dead. He rejected any American role in peace talks. He insulted the American president. He called for suspending recognition of Israel. He invoked an ugly and fictional past, reaching back to the 17th century to paint Israel as a colonialist project engineered by European powers.”

“A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories is not the speech of a person with the courage and the will to seek peace,” Haley observed. And while she said that the United States “remains fully prepared and eager to pursue peace,” which would require compromise, but “hate-filled speeches and end-runs around negotiations take us nowhere.”

In remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as he met Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump also put the onus for lack of progress in peace talks on the Palestinians. Trump said that significant aid money for the Palestinians “is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace.”

Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 25 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Fox News

Prayer Focus
Offer thanksgiving for Nikki Haley who fearlessly speaks out for Israel and condemns the efforts of Abbas to negatively influence the UN with old, fictitious accusations. Lift up Israel’s leadership and security forces who deal with the aftereffects of Abbas’ incitement. Ask God to guide world leaders whose support for Israel sways like the wind.

Scripture

You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.


- Psalm 97:10

Despite Massive Rainfall in Israel, Immense Deficit Persists

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White water on the Jordan River (illustrative)

Thursday, 01 February 2018 | Last week was one of the rainiest recorded in Israel in the past few years, but the country’s water situation is still dire. Israel’s national water company Mekorot said the cumulative deficit in the country’s natural water reserves was at a ten-year low, whereas the sweet water Lake Kinneret was still more than a meter [3 ft] below the red line.

The water company’s ominous statements notwithstanding, last week’s downpour turned the precipitation picture on its head. Zikhron Ya’akov, for instance, saw 156 millimeters [6.1 in] of rainfall with a total of 411 mm [16.2 in] since the rainy season began—a 123 percent increase compared to the average up to that time.

The Jezreel Valley, northern Golan Heights, Upper Galilee, Netanya and other regions saw enough rainfall in the last week alone equal to the multiyear average.

However, that is still not enough. Mekorot said that Israel’s reserves still lacked more than a billion cubic meters of water as of late 2017, and that according to forecasts the shortage was expected to balloon by an additional 20 percent in 2018.

The water company consequently cautioned that the western Galilee’s drinking water supply had reached the limits of its capacity, and unless infrastructures were strengthened and a desalination plant was created the area’s residents will find themselves in dire straits.

Mekorot has also carried out ten cloud seeding runs—an artificial method of creating increased precipitation—over the Kinneret’s drainage basin during last week’s storms.

The Israel Water Authority, meanwhile, said recent rainfall had increased the Kinneret’s level by nine centimeters since Saturday and by 15cm [5.9 in] since Thursday. The lake’s level was measured to be -214.01 Saturday morning.

Due to the serious shortage, however, the level was still well below the lower red line, whereas a completely full Kinneret was missing 5.21 meters [17.1 ft]. The black line, the lowest level measured in the last century, was lamentably much closer—with the Kinneret only 86cm [33.9 in] away from it.

The Authority further said that despite fair amounts of rainfall last week, its impact on the Kinneret’s water levels and on aquifers was still limited, and that Israel’s water shortage was still enormous after four years of drought.

Unless the country sees significant amount of rainfall in February, the Authority cautioned, it may adversely affect its ability to allocate water for agriculture and public gardens.

The greatest variable, then, remained February’s precipitation. An American model predicted the second month of 2018 will be close to average rain-wise, but a competing European model showed that at least the first half of the month will be arid.

Regardless of weather forecasting models, Mekorot said Israel still needed roughly 30 more days of significant rainfall merely to reach last year’s rainfall—a year that was not inundated with rain to begin with and was deemed a drought year.

Even if February met expectations and staved off drought, “the Kinneret was still missing more than a billion cubic meters, and that’s not a difference that February could make up,” said Water Authority head Giora Shacham.

“Weather systems are chaotic. Everyone’s talking about climate change, and it’s very hard to know what the future holds,” he said. “All due respect to models, when you examine reality, we’re missing a lot of water and we’re making decisions under conditions of uncertainty.”

One segment of the Israel’s populace was elated with last week’s rainfall—Israeli farmers who were nearing their breaking point. “It’s amazing,” said Avi Maoz of the northern Marom Golan community, who prayed for rain in the Western Wall two weeks ago.

“The apples, pears, nectarines, cherries—all received a healthy dose of cold and snow, which was precisely what we needed,” he explained.

Farmers in the Hula Valley were also pleased. “I was pleasantly surprised,” said Shimon Bitton of the Hulata kibbutz. “It was a pleasure seeing streams gushing. Everything’s saturated and flooded and it warms the heart. Only someone who grew up as a farmer can understand. We welcome every droplet of rain with open arms.”

“The massive rainfall to hit our country over the past few days allowed us to refrain from declaring this a drought year,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said over the weekend. “There is still a dramatic shortage in our natural water reserves, however, and the Kinneret is expected to go below the black line this summer, for the first time in its history.”

“This means we have to continue the program to upgrade the national water system, including creating new desalination plants, in order to tackle climate changes and provide water to both the population and the agricultural sector,” he concluded.

Ahiya Raved, Ilana Curiel, Amir Ben-David and Goel Beno contributed to this report.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 28 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Itamar Grinberg/Israeli Ministry of Tourism/info.goisrael.com

Prayer Focus
Thank God that we can trust and fully rely on Him for rain instead of drawing hope from the weather forecasts. Summers are very hot in Israel and the only way to change the uncertainty of drought is to pray for a season of rain! Also pray that it would rain in the areas of the rivers that flow into the Kinneret to raise the drastically low water level to assist farmers in the region once again.

Scripture

Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.


- Zechariah 10:1

Israel Opposes Polish Draft Law: “Holocaust Cannot Be Denied”

by Joshua Spurlock

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Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp in Poland

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 | A draft law approved by the lower Polish parliament that would make it a crime to say Poles participated in the crimes of the Holocaust caused outrage in Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he is “strongly opposed” to the legislation. According to a report by The Guardian, the bill still must be approved by the Polish senate and President Andrzej Duda before it becomes law. In its current version, it would make phrases such as “Polish death camps” punishable by Poland—which was occupied by the Nazis during the Holocaust—was only on the right side in World War II.

“The law is baseless; I strongly oppose it,” said Netanyahu on Saturday in comments released by his office. “One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied.” The Israeli leader’s stern comments were made on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Guardian reported that the Polish law passed the lower legislative branch the day before.

Netanyahu’s office announced on Sunday that he and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke by phone that evening and “the two agreed that teams from the two countries would open an immediate dialogue in order to try to reach understandings regarding the legislation.”

In his comments on the new law, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin noted that there were Polish heroes in World War II that saved Jews, but that the villains must be acknowledged and condemned as well.

“Among the Polish people there were those who aided the Nazis in their crimes. Every crime, every offense, must be condemned. They must be examined and revealed,” said Rivlin in comments released by his office on Saturday.

“There were also others among them who fought and were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, more than ever, and above all considerations, we are faced with our duty to remember our brothers and sisters who were murdered.”

Rivlin noted that just 73 years after the Holocaust, and with the remaining survivors passing away, “we still have to fight for the memory of the Holocaust as it was.”

On Saturday, Netanyahu said he had instructed the Israeli ambassador to Poland to meet with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to share “my strong position against the law.”

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel that seeks to identify all Jews killed in the Holocaust by name, issued a statement also opposing the law, saying it “is liable to blur the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust.”

Yad Vashem acknowledged that “there is no doubt” that phraseology such as “Polish death camps”—as opposed to Nazi death camps set up in occupied Poland—is “a historical misrepresentation!” Yet while the Nazis were the ones ultimately responsible for camps in Poland such as Auschwitz, Yad Vashem said that cooperation by Poles in the Holocaust cannot just be ignored either.

“Restrictions on statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people’s direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust are a serious distortion,” said the statement. “Yad Vashem will continue to support research aimed at exposing the complex truth regarding the attitude of the Polish population towards the Jews during the Holocaust.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 27 January 208. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Uri Yanover/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for truth to always prevail over theories that clutter our common sense and distort the facts of history. Pray for the legal teams who will have the difficult task of accurately interpreting this new law regarding Polish involvement in the Holocaust. Give thanks for Yad Vashem that preserves the dreadful truth about the horrific killing of the Jewish people in the Holocaust.

Scripture

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


- 1 John 1:8

Israeli Security Agency Foils Cyber Attacks from “All over the World”

by Itay Blumenthal

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CyberTech Israel logo

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 | Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] Director Nadav Argaman said Tuesday the agency foiled cyber attacks against Israeli systems over the past year “from all over the world.”

“Cyber warfare is a main tool for us in our daily work to thwart terror activities,” Argaman said during a visit to the CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv.

To that end, he said the Shin Bet recruits “the best minds in Israel” to the agency.

“Nowadays, rivals’ ability to more easily and quickly purchase groundbreaking technologies requires us to be better than before and stand at the forefront of global technology,” Argaman explained. “This is what we’re trying to do, and this is what we work on every day.”

According to the Shin Bet chief, “The State of Israel is today among the leading cyber superpowers in the world, and the defense establishment and Israeli intelligence community are a part of this. We of course cooperate with intelligence services and defense establishments from all over the world.”

He also said the Shin Bet has significant, far-reaching defensive and offensive cyber capabilities.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 30 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: cybertechisrael.com

Photo License: CyberTechIsrael

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for all Israel’s special unit soldiers in the IDF and especially for the Shin Bet with their significant, far-reaching defensive and offensive cyber capabilities. Pray that those fighting the cyberwar will have wisdom and intuition to easily identify and counter new strategies from the enemy.

Scripture

When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things…


- Proverbs 2:10-12

Report: More Jerusalem Arabs Working in Jewish Section of City, Narrowing Income Gap

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An aerial view of the Jewish section of the Old City

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 | An increasing number of residents from Arab sections of Jerusalem are working in the Jewish parts of the city, leading to a narrowing of the income gap between Jews and Arabs in the city, Bloomberg News reported Monday.

Ro’aa, a 22-year-old sales clerk, explained that she didn’t have success working in the Arab section of the city. “There were no benefits, my salary was always two months late,” she told Bloomberg. “On the Israeli side you get paid more and receive all your benefits, and if they see you are working hard you get promoted.”

According to the report, Ro’aa is emblematic of “an increasing number of young Arabs…finding more professional opportunities in the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem.”

“We want to create a better life for our residents,” Hussam Watad, who runs a community center that offers Hebrew classes in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina. told Bloomberg. The center also supports lawsuits to improve the infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods. The goal, Watad said, is “to show a rosier future” to resident of Arab neighborhoods.

Currently some 6,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem are studying Hebrew, and more are registering to attend institutions of higher learning in the Jewish sections of the city. The municipality has established one employment center in east Jerusalem and is planning to build a second one.

“It is dripping into the consciousness that Israel is a reality and that if east Jerusalemites want to improve their lives, they might be willing to pay the price of integration,” Ben Avrahami, the mayor’s advisor for east Jerusalem affairs explained. The city of Jerusalem, he said, is working to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the city.

The growing integration of Arabs into the city’s economy has helped stabilize the city due to the “shared interest both sides have in this dual economy,” Marik Shtern, a researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, told Bloomberg.

In September 2016, the Israeli government agreed to allocate 1.41 billion shekels ($374 million) toward building public housing for Israeli Arabs and to lift restrictions from construction on private land, with the goal of facilitating the construction of 30,000 apartments on both public and private land in Arab localities.

An October 2014 report by economists Robert Cherry and Robert Lerman highlighted some of the efforts undertaken by the Netanyahu government to “[prioritize] economic development in Arab towns.” Among the initiatives they mentioned were the establishment of employment offices and industrial parks in Arab towns. In addition, Cherry and Lerman wrote, “the Israeli government developed a five-year plan for Arab education and established a special unit in the prime minister’s office to promote economic development in the Arab community.”

Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 30 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Amnon ziv/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the current shift Israel is experiencing from their Arab citizens who find comfortable work environments in the Jewish sections of Jerusalem and are learning the Hebrew language. Ask God to protect each one who secretly loves Israel and pray that their lives will speak louder than the hatred that’s forced from the Arab communities. Pray that the second employment center will also make major strides to stabilize Jerusalem and boost the economy.

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.


- Psalm 122:6-8

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