Compassion

Help Bridges for Peace pursue our mission of doing good in the Land of Israel.

Friday, February 8, 2019

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

Netanyahu Warns UN Ambassadors: Hezbollah Controls Lebanese Government

by Ahiya Raved

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PM Netanyahu meets with UN ambassadors to tour the Hezbollah terror tunnels.

Monday, 4 February 2019 | Dozens of United Nations [UN] ambassadors toured a site near Metula [Israel’s northern most town near the Lebanon border] where the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] discovered a Hezbollah terror tunnel during Operation Northern Shield. Engineering troops gave the diplomats a tour of the tunnel using a robotic camera.

The tour was organized by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. The diplomats met with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the morning before flying with seven helicopters from Jerusalem to the north of the country. During their meeting, Netanyahu stressed the Iranian chokehold on Lebanon via Hezbollah.

“Iran has many branches, one of them is Hezbollah, which has now joined the Lebanese government. This is a misleading description—Hezbollah actually controls the Lebanese government and this means that Iran controls the Lebanese government,” Netanyahu said. “It is important to convey this powerful message—just as we prevented the terror tunnels from reaching Israel, we will thwart any aggression from Lebanon, Syria or Iran itself…We are committed to preventing this aggression and thus we are protecting not only Israel but also our neighbors and the peace of the entire world.”

Danny Danon briefed the group on the tunnels discovered by the IDF. He stressed that they entered under Israeli territory and that all operations were conducted in Israel and did not cross into Lebanon. He also stressed the high cost of their construction and the Iranian funding for them.

“The ambassadors hear a lot about our border with Lebanon and Hezbollah, but when you come here and see the tunnel, you cannot argue with the facts. The Iranian money reaches our border and threatens the citizens of Israel…We say clearly that Hezbollah has established its own state in south Lebanon, a state that advances terror operations against Israel. On the day we move to defend ourselves and the UN will want to condemn us, the ambassadors standing here will understand the reality,” Danon said.

The Panamanian Ambassador Melitón Alejandro Arrocha Ruíz said that he came to see firsthand the hostile activities against Israel. “We will pass on what we saw and convey how Israel is thriving, open and democratic and that we all certainly share similar rule-of-law values,” he said.

South Sudan Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal noted the importance of coming to see the facts on the ground: “For those of us who work in New York and hear all sorts of things, the best way is to come and see and feel exactly what is happening. We came to Israel to see the challenges and how they are being handled.”

The ambassador also pointed out the absurdity of the tunnels being dug under the nose of UN peacekeepers.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on February 3, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Benjamin Netanyahu@Netanyahu/twitter.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for those ambassadors who visited Israel with Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon. Pray that they will have the courage and persistence to stand strong in telling the truth of Israel’s story in the international arena.

Scripture

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.


- Proverbs 14:5

The Palestinian Jihad against Peace

by Bassam Tawil ~ Gatestone Institute

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says an upcoming global summit will bring the Middle East closer together.

Friday, 1 February 2019 | Palestinian leaders have recently stepped up their efforts to stop Arab countries from normalizing their relations—or even signing peace agreements—with Israel.

The campaign comes against a backdrop of reports about the warming of relations between Israel and some Arab countries, including a recent visit to Oman by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The specter of peace between the Arab countries and Israel has become a nightmare for Palestinian leaders. Instead of worrying about building a better future—which the Palestinians desperately need—Palestinian leaders are feverishly working to thwart any attempt to bring the Arab countries closer to Israel.

As part of the “anti-normalization” campaign, the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] are now putting pressure on the Arab countries to boycott a US-sponsored global summit to discuss the Middle East and Iran, which is scheduled for next month in Poland.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a televised interview that the meeting would “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

The meeting, Pompeo said, will “bring together dozens of countries from all around the world, from Asia, from Africa, from Western Hemisphere countries, Europe too, the Middle East of course.”

Palestinian leaders are apparently convinced that the upcoming conference is part of a US effort to normalize relations between the Arab countries and Israel. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials and spokesmen in Ramallah consider anything the US Administration does or says as a “conspiracy designed to liquidate the Palestinian cause and national rights.”

Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have been boycotting the US Administration ever since President Donald Trump’s December 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since then, they have exploited every opportunity to voice their condemnation of Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “deal of the century.”

On January 23, Palestinian leaders who met in Ramallah, the de facto West Bank Palestinian capital, rejected the US plan to hold the conference in Poland and also called on the Arab countries not to participate in the conference. They asked instead that that they reaffirm their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative, a 10-sentence proposal for ending the Arab–Israeli conflict that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002.

Israel has expressed reservations about the Arab League peace plan, especially the demand to retreat to the indefensible pre-1967 lines with territorial adjustments, including a withdrawal from the Golan Heights, as well as the “right of return” for refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel. Flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians will turn the Jews into a minority—as is presumably the plan.

In other words, the Arab Peace Initiative is actually demanding the creation of two Palestinian states: one in Israel, and another in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been quoted as saying that the only positive part of the plan is the willingness of the Arab nations to achieve peace and normalization with Israel.

The Palestinian leaders did not find time to discuss ways of improving the living conditions of their people. They did not discuss the ongoing “economic and humanitarian crisis” in the Gaza Strip. Those issues never made it onto their list of priorities.

What is dogging Abbas and his Palestinian Authority is the talk of rapprochement between some Arab countries and Israel.

PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, who has devoted the past two decades of his life to condemning Israel and the US, was one of the first Palestinian leaders to sound the alarm about the US Administration’s upcoming conference.

In keeping with the long-standing Palestinian tradition of denouncing everything related to Israel and the US as a “conspiracy,” Erekat said that the Poland conference was “aimed at deepening divisions in the region.”

Erekat seems particularly worried that some Arab countries will attend the conference and speak on behalf of the Palestinians, or even normalize their relations with Israel. The PLO, he said, is the only party authorized to speak on behalf of the Palestinians in any negotiations pertaining to the Palestinian issue.

Other senior Palestinian officials have gone further by warning Arab countries that any form of normalization with Israel would be considered an act of treason. Abbas Zaki, for instance, a veteran leader of Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, said about the apparent rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries: “The normalization of some Arab countries with Israel is an act of treason and cowardice.” In another statement, Zaki condemned recent visits by some Arabs to Israel as a “deep stabbing of the Palestinian national struggle.” The apparent rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries, he added, was part of a conspiracy to facilitate Israel’s control and hegemony over Arab resources.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, another senior Fatah official and former member of the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel, said that the Palestinians were frustrated and saddened by the normalization of relations between the Arabs and Israel. In an interview with the Palestinian Authority’s Voice of Palestine radio station, Shtayyeh attributed the apparent rapprochement between Israel and some Arabs to the “state of decline” in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Three Palestinian groups—the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and Hamas—have also called on the Arabs to resist any attempt by their leaders to make peace with Israel, and said that the time has come to take “serious measures to confront the dangers of normalization with Israel.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah also joined the chorus, by urging the Arabs to refrain from any form of normalization with Israel. In a speech before an Arab economic conference in Lebanon on January 20, Hamdallah said that Arab normalization with Israel should not happen before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, on the pre-1967 lines. He called on all Arab institutions and companies to abide by Arab League instructions to boycott Israel.

It is, at the very least, pure hypocrisy for the Palestinian Authority and its leaders to demand that Arabs boycott Israel when they themselves are speaking and working with Israel. The same Hamdallah who is calling on Arabs to boycott Israel, holds regular meetings with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon in Jerusalem. Another Palestinian minister who holds regular meetings with Israeli officials is Hussein al-Sheikh, who is also a senior Fatah official.

The Palestinian strategy is now based on inciting Arabs against their leaders. This is the message that Abbas and his officials are sending to the Arabs: “You need to join us in our campaign to stop Arab leaders from making peace with Israel. You must condemn any leader who seeks normalization with Israel as a traitor.”

The Palestinians’ “anti-normalization” campaign is also part of their effort to thwart Trump’s “deal of the century,” which, according to some reports, will call for normalization between the Arabs and Israel. The Palestinians say that they are determined to foil Trump’s unseen peace plan and its attempt to normalize relations between the Arab countries and Israel. This, then, is what Palestinian “diplomacy” boils down to these days: foiling peace plans and Israeli–Arab normalization. That is what happens when Mahmoud Abbas and his officials have nothing good to offer their people. It now remains to be seen whether the Arab countries will surrender to the latest campaign of Palestinian incitement and intimidation.

Bassam Tawil, a Muslim Arab, is based in the Middle East.

Source: (Gatestone Institute originally published this article on January 28, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s will and direction as Israel fights a new campaign of Palestinian hatred. Pray that no leader—Palestinian or otherwise—will fall prey to such incitement and intimidation.

Scripture

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.


- Proverbs 3:25–26

Report: Iranian Bot Army Trying to Influence Israeli Elections

by Roi Rubinstein

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PM Netanyahu speaks at a cybertech conference on the Iranian cyber threat.

Friday, 1 February 2019 | Iranians have been using hundreds of fake accounts on Israeli social media pages in an effort to sow social division and influence the upcoming general elections, according to a report released Thursday by American media company Vocativ.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of Iranian cyber-attacks carried out against Israel “on a daily basis.”

Vocativ, which was founded by Israeli entrepreneur Mati Kochavi, noted an increasing presence of bots operating from Iran that automatically respond to events by posting on social media in an effort to influence the discourse in Israel.

The company contacted the social networks and asked them to stop what appears like an organized Iranian move.

According to Vocativ‘s analysts, there are at least 350 fake Iranian accounts operating on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram, whose posts have the potential of reaching some half a million Israelis every month.

Over the past few months, Vocativ used an intelligence system to scan the web to search for keywords based on the geographic location they originated from as well as ties between bots, leading them to the fake profiles.

Their algorithm determined whether the profile was real or fake by, inter alia, examining whether the profile was posting in regular intervals or at an unusual pace.

The algorithm, they said, could also uncover who was behind the bots, with most of the tweets and posts posted by the fake accounts traced back to an Iranian English-language website called Countdown 2040, which claims Israel will cease to exist by 2040.

The investigators told Ynet that in previous months, the bots engaged in matters concerning internal Israeli affairs but in recent weeks, due to senior Israeli official’s proclamations on Iran, the bots have been engaged in matters concerning Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

The report states that the bots were initially used to enflame the Israeli–Palestinian conflict but once elections were announced, they have been set to focus on influencing their outcome. Analysts noted a 783% increase in bot accounts activity since elections were declared. Of the 350 Iranian bot accounts identified, only 50 were active prior to the elections announcement.

Method of Operation

After the analysts discovered the fake accounts, they began to examine their method of operation and found that they operated very similarly. First the Iranians opened fake accounts under the guise of seemingly legitimate news websites such as “The Hot News” or “Uncensored News.”

They then set up a network of dozens of bot accounts pretending to be random individuals whose goal was to share, spread and bolster the information being spread by the fictitious news sites. The next step involved following prominent Israelis in the hope that they would follow them in return.

Afterwards, they opened Telegram group chats with thousands of Israeli users with the goal of identifying hot topics worth focusing on in order to manipulate.

Often, the Iranians would use genuine news headlines and rephrase them in a controversial manner in order to instigate divisive discourse around the issue. According to US intelligence agencies, the same method of operations was used by ostensibly Russian agents ahead of the 2016 [US] elections in order to undermine the nation’s social fabric as well as democratic institutions and norms.

Following Right Wing Personalities

The bots focused primarily on right wing trend setters and spread tweets designed to provoke responses from the electorate on the right. Among others, they followed the accounts of popular Twitter personalities. Often, legitimate users share and unknowingly aid the spread of Iranian disinformation.

The Iranians also opened Facebook fictitious accounts through which they developed contacts with Israelis and added them as friends, thereby legitimizing their fake accounts. They then joined politically focused Facebook groups where they advanced their divisive agenda.

The bots zeroed in on issues of controversy that are often used to defame Israel.

This isn’t the first time attempts by Iran to influence the Israeli national discourse have been uncovered. Last September, Israeli cyber intelligence company ClearSky claimed that Iran operates a network of fake news sites across the globe, including in Israel. According them, the Tel-Aviv Times is in fact a bogus Iranian website.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on January 31, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Prime Minsiter of Israel@IsraeliPM/twitter.com 

Prayer Focus
Pray that the social networks will cooperate with Israel to stop Iranian intervention in Israeli elections. Ask the Lord to protect Israel from this new form of warfare against His chosen nation and people.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the poison of asps is under their lips.


- Psalm 140:1–3

Sirens Blare in the South as Hamas Attacks Israel

by Kate Norman

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Terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket towards innocent civilians in Israel’s south.

Thursday, 7 February 2019 | Jerusalem and neighboring residents heard a test siren on Wednesday morning as part of the Home Front Command’s scheduled drill to prepare Israel for an air raid or missile attack. Israelis in southern Israel, however, heard the real deal on Wednesday evening, as the all too familiar Code Red siren screamed a warning of an incoming rocket attack.

Palestinian terrorists fired the first rocket of February from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory on Wednesday night, reportedly causing no damage or injuries. The Eshkol Regional Council spokesperson said Israeli citizens nearby heard a loud explosion as the rocket crashed in an open field.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tank responded to the attack by firing at a Hamas military post in southern Gaza, the Israeli military stated.

Israeli media reported earlier yesterday that another rocket had been fired from Gaza toward Israel but didn’t cross the border, landing in Palestinian territory. According to i24 news, the IDF said it was an “internal issue” and declined to comment further.

The Jewish state warned Hamas via Egyptian mediators that the upcoming election on April 9 will not deter Israel from launching a military campaign should the violence on the Gaza border continue, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.

“Israel can make tough decisions during elections and is not afraid of a military campaign,” the Jewish state said in its warning message to the terror group, according to the Times of Israel.

Palestinians have been flocking to the Israeli–Gaza border every Friday since last March to riot, burning tires, throwing stones, launching incendiary kites and balloons and occasionally firing into Israeli territory. Last Friday, 10,000 Palestinians rioted at the border, causing the IDF to respond with tear gas and live fire after being targeted by tires, rocks and explosive devices, the Times reported.

According to i24, Hamas’s leadership in Gaza were meeting in Cairo with Egyptian mediators for peace on Wednesday when the rockets were launched from the terror enclave.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 7, 2019)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces@IDF/twitter.com

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord that He would restore peace and calm to Israel’s southern region. Ask Him to bring an end to the weekly riots on the Gaza border and seek His protection for His people who live in this area of the country.

Scripture

I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.


- Jeremiah 15:21

Iran Unveils New Long-range Cruise Missile that Can Reach Israel

by Kate Norman

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Iran has long-range missiles that can reach Israeli cities. (Illustrative)

Monday, 4 February 2019 | While celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on Saturday, Iran proudly unveiled and displayed a newly developed cruise missile that puts Jerusalem within Tehran’s reach.

An unsourced Fars News Agency report said Iran mounted “home-made guided warheads on its most destructive and longest range (2,000km) [1,200 mi.] Khoramshahr missiles.”

The newly unveiled cruise missile, named Hoveizeh, has a range of 1,350 kilometers (839 mi.) and is “good for targeting ground targets,” Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami said at the anniversary ceremony on Saturday, according to Fars.

“Hoveizeh ground-to-ground cruise missile has been test-fired in a 1,200 kilometer [745 mi.] range and it managed to precisely hit the specified target,” Fars quoted Hatami.

By mounting the Hoveizeh cruise missile on the ballistic Khoramshahr 2 missiles, which “can be controlled until hitting the target and are able to carry warheads weighing nearly 2 tons,” Fars reported, Tehran will be able to reach Israel and several American bases within the region.

“We have (earlier) said about the missile issue that we will not compromise at all about our country’s defense issues and will not allow others to interfere in it,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said last month, according to Fars.

Despite the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was meant to curb Iran’s developing nuclear program, Iran continues to develop and improve its missile program, claiming it is “purely defensive.”

“The Hoveizeh missile is the symbol of self-belief and an important defense achievement based on today’s technological progress in the world,” Hatami said, as quoted by Breaking Israel News. “No obstacle can hinder the Iranian nation’s determination and will in the defense field…[Iran] will decisively respond to any kind of threat at the same level.”

Though Israel successfully tested its new Arrow 3 missile defense system in January, Arrow 3, as well as Israel’s other missile defense systems, will have difficulty intercepting Iran’s Hoveizeh missile. Cruise missiles fly low to the ground, and the Arrow 3 system is designed to combat exoatmospheric missiles.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a message to Iran at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday that the Jewish state is not intimidated.

“In Iran today they are making 40 years since the Islamic revolution and are trying to boast about the new missile,” the Israeli prime minister said. “Iran openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel.

“I have a clear message for the tyrants of Tehran: We know what you are doing and where you are doing it. We will continue to take action against Iran with all the tools at our disposal in order to ensure the security and future of Israel,” he continued.

US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both called on world powers to help curb Iranian aggression. Anyone left with doubt about Iranian’s stance on the United States received a clear message during the anniversary celebration last weekend.

“America be damned,” said Ahmad Jannati, secretary of the guardian council. “It does whatever it can to break the power of Islam, like the many sanctions they have imposed. They are waging psychological war. They want to make people pessimistic about Islam. They haven’t achieved it so far, and they never will.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 4, 2019)

Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will show Himself strong on Israel’s behalf, giving them wisdom, strategies, equipment and everything else they might need to protect His land and people from Iran’s determination to annihilate them.

Scripture

A land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.


- Deuteronomy 11:12

Russian Air Defense System in Syria Appears Ready for Use

by Yoav Zitun

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The Russian-made S-300 air defense system, now operational in Syria. (Illustrative)

Thursday, 7 February 2019 | The Russian-supplied S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, deployed on Syrian soil, appears to have become operational, according to satellite images taken by Israeli ImageSat International company and published by Israeli military Wednesday. Three out of four aerial defense batteries were captured in an upright position, while the fourth one remained covered by a net. The development might endanger Israel Air Force [IAF] missions against Iranian targets in the war-battered county.

The anti-aircraft missile system was delivered to President Bashar Assad’s forces by the Russian Defense Ministry in October after the downing of a Russian spy aircraft by Syrian troops that were trying to thwart an Israeli aerial attack. Russian officials insist that Israel bears responsibility for the Syrian downing despite Israeli efforts to present findings proving otherwise.

Although the batteries have reportedly been operational for nearly four months, this is the first time the defense system has been photographed in an upright position. The batteries are still believed to be in the hands of the Russian troops who will continue training Syrian military personnel on the use of the S-300 in the coming months.

Earlier, it was announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in two weeks’ time. According to the prime minister’s office, the meeting will be a follow-up to a previous meeting held in Paris three months ago and will focus on regional issues, the situation in Syria and strengthening the security coordination mechanism between the countries’ militaries.

Netanyahu later issued a statement confirming the discussion will deal with the continued Iranian efforts to establish a long-term presence in Syria.

“We will continue to try and prevent Iran from arming itself. This is the main issue I intend to discuss with President Putin,” the prime minister said.

Russia last month demanded that Israel end its “arbitrary” airstrikes on targets in Syria, two days after the Israeli Air Force struck a series of Iranian military and intelligence targets in response to a rocket strike on the Golan Heights.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on February 6, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will continue to uphold stability in the relationship between Israel and Russia, as Russia serves as a buffer between Israel and Iran. May the Russian leadership come to truly realize that the God of the Universe is Israel’s shield and defender.

Scripture

Let them be confounded and consumed who are adversaries of my life; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor who seek my hurt. But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more.


- Psalm 71:13–14

Netanyahu Reminds Foreign Officials Israel is Protecting the World from Terror

by Joshua Spurlock

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Israeli PM Netanyahu and Austrian President Van der Bellen discuss how Israel protects Europe from terror.

Thursday, 7 February 2019 | Israel is often at the forefront of the voices concerned about Islamic terrorism and the nuclear and non-nuclear threats from Iran. But Israel is also at the forefront of fighting against those dangers, and it’s not just Israel that’s being protected by those efforts. Europe and the rest of the world benefit as well. On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the risk posed by radicals such as ISIS and Iran and what that means for friendly foreign powers.

“We are committed to blocking (radicals’) advance and in so doing we are defending not only ourselves, but in many ways, defending Europe,” Netanyahu said in comments released by his office during a meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

“Israel is the great fortress, here at the edge of Asia, at the edge of the Mediterranean, that is preventing the forces of militant Islam from sweeping the region and sending millions and millions and millions of people into homeless wandering throughout the continents, especially the continent of Europe,” he continued. “The best way to deal with this is to deal with it here, to defeat these forces here. And Israel is doing more than its fair share in that regard.”

The civil war in Syria has notably impacted Europe by driving refugees into the western continent. Along with the legitimate Middle Eastern refugees, terrorists have used the chaos to sneak into Europe and launch attacks.

And while Islamic extremist terror attacks have become a disturbingly regular occurrence in Europe, it could have been even worse if not for Israel, Netanyahu noted in separate comments published by his office earlier this week. Speaking with a delegation of ambassadors to the United Nations from other nations, Netanyahu highlighted Israel’s achievements in this arena.

“We’ve prevented planes from being shot down from the sky. We’ve prevented maybe 40 major terrorist attacks in recent years in various continents,” said Netanyahu. “So I think that the quest on the one hand to have a better future, progress on the one side; and second to combat the forces that want to take the world back to a dark, medieval period, the forces of terrorism and fanaticism; that creates this basis for both regional cooperation and global cooperation on a vast scale.”

Israel’s counterterrorism efforts are a specific reason for partnering with central European nations, he stated. That partnership is “based also on the quest for security against terrorism that unites everyone here and many others. Because terrorism is a disease that is spreading from the various forces of militant Islam attacking Muslims, attacking Arabs, attacking Europeans, attacking Latinos, attacking everyone,” said Netanyahu on Sunday.

“So everyone wants to have that extra measure of security and Israel is very, very advanced in combating terrorism, in using intelligence and other sophisticated means to fight terrorism.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on February 6, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: PM of Israel@IsraeliPM/twitter.com

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the blessings that the Lord continues to bestow on Israel as she leads the way in the fight against terror. Pray that the nations will see the hand of God in the strength and stealth of His tiny nation.

Scripture

The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.


- Deuteronomy 28:9–10

UN Rights Council Preparing to Once Again Single Out Israel for Condemnation

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UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer says the UN is attacking Israel with its biased resolutions. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019 | The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is set to disproportionately single out Israel in the body’s upcoming 40th meeting in Geneva, which will take place from February 25 to March 22, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

Of a list of 79 reports to be dealt with, seven separate papers blast Israel’s conduct, including during the Hamas-orchestrated Gaza border riots that have taken place since March 2018. No other country has as many reports against it.

In comparison, not a single report is expected to address China’s crackdown on Muslims. The UN learned last year that up to one million Uyghur and Turkic Muslims could be being detained in the western Xinjiang region, where they’re said to be undergoing “re-education” programs.

Only two reports each address Iran and Syria, criminal regimes that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Additional reports will examine Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.

The UNHRC has not yet published a list of resolutions that the Council will vote on, the majority based on those reports. However, the body is likely to continue its discriminatory treatment of Israel.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer told the Post that he estimates that the UNHRC will vote on at least five anti-Israel resolutions.

“With an unprecedented amount of seven reports and five resolutions, the UN is planning to attack Israel—more than any other country in the world—at its upcoming 40th Human Rights Council session in March, when it devotes an entire agenda item and day to scapegoating the Jewish state,” said Neuer.

The US withdrew from the UNHRC in June 2018, branding it a “cesspool of political bias,” citing its chronic obsession with Israel in the face of other pressing human rights issues.

Former United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said at the time that “The UN has failed to adequately address major human rights crises in Iran, North Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere, or stop its chronic, disproportionate obsession with Israel.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project in its publication The Tower on February 6, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Israelkongress

Prayer Focus
Pray that the UNHRC would be faithful to its founding principle of defending the human rights of all people in all nations—or be disbanded. Pray that its incomprehensible anti-Israel bias, fueled by a strong Arab/Muslim block, be brought to a swift and permanent end.

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. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You.


- Psalm 83:2–5

BDS: Terrorists in Suits

by Itamar Eichner

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Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Erdan has released a report linking BDS to terror group Hamas.

Monday, 4 February 2019 | Palestinian terror organizations, such as Hamas and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), have infiltrated civil society organizations in recent years in order to advance the boycott of Israel as part of the overall strategy of its struggle against Israel, according to a new report.

According to the report, titled “Terrorists in Suits,” by the Ministry for Strategic Affairs, headed by Gilad Erdan, a recent study examined 13 international BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement) organizations and found 30 terror activists, past and current, twenty of whom were in prison and some of them murderers and senior terrorists with senior positions in the BDS organizations.

The report, conducted by the research division of the ministry, was released in several languages and will be sent to world leaders and global financial players in order to better combat the BDS organizations.

The report states that Israeli courts have labeled some of the activists as posing significant danger to the public. It further noted that terror organizations view BDS as an additional tactic to be used for the destruction of Israel and that the civil organizations serve as an incubator for their activities.

The report points to a web of global interconnections between BDS and terror organizations. More than 100 connections were identified, including joint campaigns, manpower and financial assistance.

The report found that convicted terrorists who maintain their organizational, financial and operative connections with terror groups, serve in senior positions in BDS organizations while trying to keep a low profile by, among other methods, using titles such as journalist, author, dancer, etc.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) views itself as leading the global BDS campaign. Its cultural and academic arms aggressively advance cultural boycotts and often resort to violence and intimidation against cultural entities that maintain ties with Israel, according to the report.

The BNC includes nationalist and Islamic members, including members of Hamas and the PFLP. Recently, following information conveyed by the ministry, the crowdfunding site DonorBox blocked the BNC from using its platform to collect donations.

As an example: the Palestinian “human rights” organization al-Haq is headed by convicted PFLP terrorist Shawan Jabarin. The report states that Jabarin travels Europe, gaining legitimacy from western governments and raises large amounts of money for BDS operations against Israel, while being lauded as a human rights advocate.

The report also points to Leila Khaled, the female PFLP terrorist who took part in the hijacking of a TWA [former major American airline] airliner in 1969 and was also involved in a 1970 attempt to hijack an El Al [Israel’s national airline] plane. Khaled promotes and raises money for BDS, while still active in illegal terror organizations.

The report describes a meeting between Khaled and another PFLP terrorist Mustafa Awad at the EU [European Union] parliament. They were there advocating for the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons under the auspices of a human rights organization. Awad was sentenced to one year in prison last July for membership in a terror organization, including contact with Hezbollah.

The BDS organizations listed in the report receive millions of Euros in funding from European countries and philanthropic foundations. They also receive access to banking and financial services.

In light of the release of the report, Minister Erdan said, “The terrorist and boycott organizations are united in their goal of destroying Israel and see de-legitimization and boycotts against Israel as a complementary means to the armed struggle. I expect that following the exposure of the ties between the boycott organizations and the terrorist organizations, the European Union and the sponsoring countries will reconsider their steps regarding the legitimacy and funding they grant BDS organizations.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on February 3, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Source:

Photo Credit: Koby12345/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations receiving this report will take it very seriously, recognizing the terrorist involvement in the BDS movement and the very real danger it presents to Israel. Ask the Lord that each one be compelled to cease all funding of BDS organizations and activities.

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; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against you.


- Psalm 5:9–10

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