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What Will We Do Now?

Friday, January 14, 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.

Bennett: Iran Is an “Octopus that Constantly Threatens Israel”

by David Isaac ~ JNS

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a press conference about COVID-19 at HaKirya base in Tel Aviv.

Thursday, 13 January 2022 | Naftali Bennett, appearing for the first time as prime minister before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, described Iran as an “octopus that constantly threatens Israel.” He said Israel is shifting to “consistent offense and not just consistent defense.” Analysts who spoke with JNS said Bennett’s remarks were meant to signal Israeli resolve amid reports of progress in the Vienna talks between Iran and world powers to resuscitate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Bennett said as much in his remarks on Monday: “Regarding the nuclear talks in Vienna, we are certainly concerned. It is important for me to say here clearly and unequivocally: Israel is not a party to the agreements. Israel is not bound to what will be written in the agreements if they are signed.”

Eyal Pinko, an expert in national security and intelligence, and a researcher and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, told JNS that “the Iranians, in the last week or two, have been promoting the idea that the negotiations are going very well—that it’s intense and they are about to do it.” (Reuters reported on January 7 that Western diplomats “are hoping for a breakthrough in talks by the end of January or early February.”)

“The fact that nobody knows what is really happening over there, inside the rooms, has Israel very concerned about the outcome, and because of the uncertainty you have declarations like Bennett’s,” he said. “He made those comments in the hopes of creating some type of deterrence—to tell the Iranians, ‘We’ll continue regardless of the resolutions or negotiations.’”

“Things are happening now. The mood in Vienna seems to be that a deal is possible,” agreed Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum. “So it seemed to me that Bennett is responding to that and saying, ‘Don’t think because last time you tied the Israeli prime minister’s hands with this, you’re going to do it this time. I preserve complete freedom of action,’” Pipes told JNS.

Pinko, however, voiced concern that Bennett might have undercut his own tough talk with inconsistent messaging on Iran, noting the prime minister’s comments in late January that he wasn’t opposed to a “good” nuclear deal.

“Take that with the fact that Aman, Israel’s military intelligence, is saying that a nuclear agreement is OK, and the Mossad is saying it’s very bad. Two intelligence agencies—major intelligence agencies—in Israel are saying different things from day to day. The Iranians are clever guys—they are more than clever—and they see there is no coherent message from Israeli officials,” he said.

“They see our willingness to settle or enter an agreement not as a source of strength, but as a source of weakness. I’m sorry to say it but in the Middle East, if you are seeking peace or looking for an agreement, the other side takes that to mean you’re weak,” said Pinko.

Pipes viewed it differently, saying the “Israeli cacophony” of differing opinions is mainly a break from former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach, which put Israel on a head-to-head collision with the US administration. “The whole emphasis of the coalition government has been on keeping lines of communication open, not condemning it publicly, saying they’re sure there is an agreement that Israel can live with better than the last one,” he said, noting that Bennett’s most recent statement didn’t condemn the agreement, but nevertheless made it clear that Israel would take action when and if necessary.

‘A Matter of Emotions, Not Just Technology’

As to whether the nuclear deal will be revived, Pinko said it will because the Europeans want the economic benefits. “The Germans, the French are really eager to sell their goods in Iran. It’s a good source of oil. It’s a good source of revenue. So I do believe for these economic reasons, it’s just a matter of time,” he said.

“A nuclear Iran is a real threat to the Middle East,” he said. “Once you have a nuclear weapon, you have full deterrence; you are able to do more things. The influence of Iran will be much greater in the Middle East.”

Pipes is less sure a deal will come off. While US President Joe Biden may be “eager” for a deal—though even then, “not at any cost”—he said that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is “not eager.” Pipes characterized Khamenei’s attitude as an unenthusiastic boss who’s pushed into a project by an eager subordinate.

“The boss has his doubts, and when it doesn’t go so well, his doubts are confirmed. So I’m inclined to think that [Khamenei] is not disposed towards it,” said Pipes, adding that the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency “would seem to confirm that.”

Khamenei is “going full-blast” towards building a nuclear weapon capability in any case, and “nobody’s stopping him,” he continued. “The economy—the ‘resistance economy,’ as he calls it—is sufficient to keep going. So I think in part, it’s a matter of emotions, not just a matter of technology.

“He doesn’t like the idea of acquiescing,” said Pipes. “So it comes down to psychology—more than a military issue or politics—it’s psychology.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 12, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the God of Israel who alone knows for certain the best course of action in this situation. Pray that Israel’s leaders will be like the sons of Issachar, truly knowing what is best for the country, and pray that the nations will be wise in all of their interactions with Iran.

Scripture

The sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.


- 1 Chronicles 12:32a

Major COVID Storm Rages through Israel

by Kate Norman

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COVID is once again raging through Israel.

Monday, 10 January 2022 | As Israel continues breaking records for new COVID-19 cases amid the highly contagious Omicron variant, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on social media that the Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday was presented with information predicting that some 2–4 million Israelis “will be infected in the current wave.”

“The Omicron wave is upon us, and as you all are feeling, it is very contagious,” Prime Minister Bennett said at the start of the cabinet meeting yesterday.

Nearly 115,000 Israelis have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the month—more than the sum of the three previous months combined, Ynetnews reported yesterday.

As of Sunday, Israel has 204 serious COVID cases, i24news reported, with 53 patients hooked up to ventilators and 68 in critical condition. Israel yesterday saw 17,518 new cases out of 159,459 tested, a positive test rate of 11.71%.

The government has been scrambling to curb, or at least contain, the spread, with ever-changing restrictions and regulations, including switching up testing requirements and relegating most people to rely on at-home test kits. Those kits, however, are expensive and harder to find due to the new high demand.

Between the severe wave of Omicron combined with a surging number of flu cases, some Israeli medical experts fear seeing overwhelmed hospitals on the horizon.

But every new wave of COVID outbreaks is “difficult and cumbersome” at the beginning, Prime Minister Bennett said at yesterday’s cabinet meeting in comments published by his office.

“We are prepared with drugs, hospital beds, vaccines that are accessible to children, protection for the senior population and the fourth dose of the vaccine, and we are currently seeing to tests as well,” Bennett added.

Israel recently became the first country in the world to begin administering the fourth booster shot to the over-60 population and medical workers.

“We will find the balance between a functioning economy and management of the crisis,” Bennett concluded. “This wave will not last forever. There will be several tough weeks but we will get through then together.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 10, 2022)

Photo Credit: Jenna Solomon/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Bennett’s comments regarding management of this crisis will become reality. Cry out to the Lord for His protection for the entire nation, for healing for those who are ill and for an end to the devastating effects of this disease.

Scripture

Behold, I will bring health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth


- Jeremiah 33:6

Israeli Population Reaches 9,449,000 at Start of 2022

by Abigail Klein Leichman ~ Israel21c via JNS

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Israeli Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata welcomes new immigrants.

Monday, 10 January 2022 | Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) estimates Israel’s population at 9,449,000 as of December 31, 2021.

Of that number, 6,982,000 are Jewish (73.9% of the total population), 1,995,000 are Arab (21.1%) and 472,000 identify as “other” (5%).

Approximately 184,000 infants were born, 73.8% to Jewish mothers and 23.4% to Arab mothers in 2021. The most popular names for new babies (as of 2020) are David for Jewish boys and Tamar for girls, and Mohammed and Maryam for Arab boys and girls.

Approximately 51,000 Israeli residents died in 2021, more than in 2020 (48,788).

Overall, approximately 160,000 people were added to the Israeli population, an increase of 1.7%. Most of the increase (83%) was due to natural growth and the rest (17%) to the international migration balance.

Some 25,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel during 2021—30% from Russia and 14.6% from France—as well as approximately 9,000 other migrants, including returning citizens. That number increased from 2020 when 20,000 immigrants arrived.

The CBS also estimated that 7,500 Israelis are residing abroad for more than a year.

This article was first published by Israel21c.

Source: (This article was originally published by Israel21c and republished by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 8, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See the JNS article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Nefesh B'Nefesh/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness as He continues to fulfill ancient prophesies, bringing His people back to their homeland. Thank Him that Israel has one of the highest birth rates and lowest infant mortality rates on the globe as He works toward fulfillment of His promise to make the children of Israel as many as the sands of the sea. Pray that restrictions will be lifted and aliyah numbers will continue to climb as more and more Jewish people make their way home.

Scripture

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together.


- Hosea 1:10a, 11a

Report: Iran Reveals “Untold Story” of Arming Palestinians in Gaza

by Kate Norman

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Weapons found in a Hamas militant’s home southwest of Nablus

Wednesday, 12 January 2022 | On January 3, 2020, a US drone assassinated Gen. Qassam Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, in Baghdad.

Amid the anniversary of his death, Iran and its proxies—particularly terrorist groups in and around Israel—continue to mourn and lament the loss of Soleimani, a champion of the Palestinian cause.

Among the many news stories and tributes to Soleimani, one such report from the Tasnim news agency in Damascus divulges Iran’s “untold” worst-kept secret: its role in backing Palestinian terrorist groups.

Soleimani, who in Iran was second in power only to Supreme Leader Khameini, spent the last 20 plus years of his life to establish Iran as the “most relevant to different groups in Palestine” that popped up during his time in power.

The Islamist regime in Iran is Shiite, while Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the two terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, are Sunni. Normally, this would put them at odds. But uniting against their common enemy of Israel, Soleimani was willing to put that aside and join hands against the Jewish state.

In fact, Soleimani worked “closely with all these groups, regardless of their religious or political tastes, and this strategy was able to multiply the power of the resistance against the Zionist regime in Palestine,” the report said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

The Tasnim report cites Khalid Jabril, the deputy secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC), who boasted of meeting Soleimani throughout the years and hearing about the late general’s plans to rid Syria and Iraq of terrorists—mainly ISIS.

To achieve that goal, Soleimani met with Palestinian groups in the region and stirred them for the cause in speaking of his passion for Palestine and liberating Jerusalem from Israel.

Jabril mentioned Operation Guardian of the Walls (known as the “Sword of Quds (Jerusalem)” in Arabic), the 11-day war in May 2021 in which terrorists in Gaza fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, drawing retaliatory Israeli fire on the Strip.

“We all know that the martyr Qassam Soleimani played a pivotal role in bringing the Palestinian resistance to a state of self-sufficiency at this level of missile arsenal,” Jabril told Tasnim, giving Soleimani and Iran the credit for Gaza’s rocket stash.

In fact, it was Soleimani’s idea to build and utilize rockets in the Palestinian war against Israel, according to Jabril. “We coordinated with the Hamas movement on the issue of missiles and how to build missile propulsion and warheads and guided systems,” Jabril said. “All this was done with the knowledge and supervision of Soleimani, and this was a very important strategic issue for him.” In the 1990s the Palestinian rockets could only travel 2 kilometers (1.2 mi.), but now they have a range of 250 kilometers (155 mi.), for which Jabril again credited Soleimani.

Most of the violent anti-Israel action in and around the Jewish state—terror attacks, rockets, missiles, kidnappings and killings—trace back to Iran, and ultimately to Soleimani, during his lifetime. His Quds force created an entire unit within Hezbollah, for example, dedicated to orchestrating terror attacks on Israel.

Soleimani is also credited with stirring Iranian support of the Palestinians against Israel. Though the new regime gave the Palestinians lip service after taking over in 1979, it wasn’t until the 1990s that Iran truly put its money, weapons and resources where its mouth was. It was thanks to Soleimani, who “opened his heart and the heart of the Islamic Republic of Iran to all those who want to fight the Zionist enemy,” the Tasnim report said.

Jabril credited the late terrorist-general with the Second Intifada, “defeating” Israel in the Second Lebanon War—even defeating ISIS and “the prevention of the disintegration of Syria.”

“What Martyr Qassam Soleimani did is over, and we are now in another generation that we must continue his path,” Jabril said.

Soleimani didn’t just make orders from behind a desk; he went into the battlefields and rallied the troops, winning the hearts of his followers.

As his compatriots mourn Soleimani on the anniversary of his death, renewed vows of revenge and action against the Jewish state are sounding off around the Middle East.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 12, 2022)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/Commons.wikimedia.com

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that any threats of revenge against Israel for Soleimani’s death will never come to fruition. Beseech the Lord that Soleimani’s legacy will end, with Iran’s influence throughout the region being reduced to nothing.

Scripture

“And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the LORD.


- Jeremiah 15:20

IDF Fears Omicron Outbreak Will Sabotage Operational Capability

by Yossi Yehoshua ~ Ynetnews

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IDF Coronavirus task force

Wednesday, 12 January 2022 | The military said on Tuesday it will ask health authorities to shorten soldiers’ coronavirus quarantine period amid fears the massive surge in Omicron cases may sabotage the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces’] operational capabilities.

According to the military, at least 5,000 soldiers are currently classified as active COVID patients, of whom at least two are major generals. Thousands more have also been sent to quarantine after exposure to a confirmed carrier.

The military said that most of the infected soldiers are asymptomatic or suffer from [mild] symptoms.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.–Gen. Aviv Kochavi held on Monday a situational assessment on preservation of the IDF’s operational capabilities, with emphasis on special units, such as air defense, submarines, and critical facilities. After the meeting, it was decided to ask the Health Ministry to reduce the quarantine period of “essential” IDF personnel to five days.

Kochavi also ordered the Home Front Command to assist Israel’s economy, the Health Ministry, and the education system as much as possible.

“If quarantine time won’t be shortened, there will be no one to protect the frontier in two weeks,” a senior IDF officer said. “We must change the IDF’s quarantine policy. The main goal is to maintain operational continuity, but with such long isolations, and at this rate of contagion, it will be impossible.”

In addition to potential damage to operational activity, the large scope of isolations has brought many command and training courses to a halt.

The Medical Corps, meanwhile, said they oppose suspending leave of soldiers as was done in previous COVID waves, but it does support the capsule model, which was implemented recently in some IDF units.

Senior officials at Home Front Command said Monday that coronavirus testing labs had reached the limit of their testing capacity. “When we prepared for the worst scenario, we estimated 200,000 tests would be the limit, and we said in advance that at some point we won’t be able to test everyone.”

The officials also mentioned that they expected the testing capacity of the laboratories would be increased when the Omicron variant outbreak began, but that never happened.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on January 11, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for Israel’s leaders as they make decisions regarding the handling of the Omicron outbreak among the military. Thank the Lord that the vast majority of IDF soldiers with COVID are suffering only mild symptoms, and pray they will all be healed. Beseech the Lord for His protection over every member of Israel’s military and security forces, and pray that operational continuity will be maintained.

Scripture

For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.


- Deuteronomy 20:4

Tragedy Strikes IDF: Two Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire Incident

by Kate Norman

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Soldiers from the Egoz commando unit after completing an overnight exercise (illustrative)

Thursday, 13 January 2022 | Mistaken identity led to friendly fire outside an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base in the Jordan Valley last night, resulting in the tragic deaths of two soldiers.

Majors Ofek Aharon, 28, and Itamar Elharar, 26, were killed after the deadly exchange of fire last night.

The two officers of the elite Egoz unit were patrolling the Nabi Musa base in the Jordan Valley around 11 p.m., just after their unit had just finished a drill. They reportedly saw what they thought was a suspicious figure and shouted for the figure, who turned out to be a fellow IDF soldier, to halt and fired into the air.

Another soldier nearby heard the shooting, and, assuming it was an attack, opened fire on the pair, fatally wounding both.

They were given immediate medical treatment and then transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital outside of Jerusalem, but by the time they arrived, they were both pronounced dead.

This tragic incident occurred the night after someone had broken into their base and stolen military equipment. It is reportedly a common enough problem on IDF bases, so to prevent similar occurrences, the military had just issued an order allowing soldiers to use lethal force against thieves.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi traveled to the base this morning to open an investigation into the incident and ensure it does not happen again.

“This is a very sad morning,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

“I would like to send heartfelt condolences to the families of the two officers who were killed overnight in a tragic accident,” Bennett continued. “The two commanders had dedicated their best years to the security of Israel and defending our homeland. The entire people of Israel mourns for them.”

“The IDF is investigating the difficult incident and the necessary lessons will be learned,” the prime minister concluded.

The officer who mistakenly killed the two soldiers will be treated with compassion, IDF Spokesman Ran Kochav said.

“We will need to embrace the officer, to take care of him, to show that we are protecting him,” Kochav said. “He, of course, did this accidentally, resulting in the deaths of his friends.”

Today the nation of Israel mourns the lives of two soldiers tragically lost. Both men left behind family and loved ones. Major Elharar had been married for just one year.

“The IDF is in the midst of a comprehensive investigation, and we will do everything to ensure that a tragedy like this does not repeat itself,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed in a statement.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 13, 2022)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for the families of Majors Aharon and Elharar as they mourn the heartbreaking loss of their loved ones. Pray also for the members of their unit and others in the IDF who are mourning as well. And pray especially for the officer who fired on his fellow soldiers who must now deal with grief, guilt and other devastating emotions resulting from this tragic accident.

Scripture

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.


- Psalm 147:3

Legal Experts: Opponents of Israel to Push for “Apartheid” Designation in 2022

by David Isaac ~ JNS

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Israeli Foreign Minister and head of the Yesh Atid Party Yair Lapid

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 | Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid warned that Israel will face increasing allegations that it is an apartheid state in 2022, with the foreign minister saying that he fears that opponents of Israel will attempt to target Israel’s involvement in sporting and cultural events.

“The concern from the foreign ministry is that you have three or four different legal proceedings in which allegations of apartheid have been made and that at least one of them may end up endorsing these allegations,” Yuval Shany, professor of international law at Hebrew University and research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, told JNS.

He said Israel faces charges of apartheid at 1) the UN’s Commission of Inquiry, which has an “open-ended mandate” to look into allegations of Israeli discrimination; 2) the Geneva-based UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which is reviewing a Palestinian Authority [PA] complaint against Israel accusing it of apartheid; and 3) the International Criminal Court (ICC), where “certain Palestinian groups have submitted allegations concerning Israeli practices in the West Bank being a form of apartheid.”

“All of these tracks are aimed essentially at obtaining a legal, or quasi-legal, finding that Israeli practices amount to systemic discrimination or a form of apartheid in international law,” he said.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, told JNS that the Commission of Inquiry is the “primary threat.” The commission was established by the Human Rights Council following Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip last May. Neuer said it has become “standard practice” for the United Nations to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes after each round of fighting, but this time the commission is “unprecedented in its scope.”

It will investigate “so-called ‘systematic discrimination’—mass discrimination within Israel and the territories,” he said. “It’s quite clear that it’s going to accuse Israel of apartheid. This inquiry has no end, meaning it doesn’t last six months or a year. It will be reporting twice every year.”

Neuer said the new mandate in which the commission is authorized to continuously investigate Israel is “inspired by the zeitgeist in America” where accusations of systemic discrimination have become the “fashionable trend.” He sees the focus on racism as a “modern form of anti-Semitism,” noting that Jews have been attacked throughout history as being opposed to whatever society identified as “the highest virtue.” “Today, in 2022, anti-racism is the highest virtue, and so it’s not accidental that Israel is accused…of being intrinsically racist,” he said.

Shany, who noted that the apartheid charge has been leveled at Israel for some time, wouldn’t speculate as to why it’s gaining momentum now. He agreed that it’s possible that the political temper in the United States is a contributing factor but said it’s “probably a combination of many reasons.”

‘Wind in the Sails of the BDS Movement’

Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and head of its program on law and national security, told JNS that Israel’s opponents have at least one practical reason for pushing apartheid charges.

She said the two reports that will be produced by the Commission of Inquiry and the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination are designed to push the new ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, to prioritize the investigation against Israel started by his predecessor, Fatou Bensouda. Khan is more pragmatic than Bensouda, she noted, and based on his own comments, “I’m not sure he would like to put our case at the top of his priorities,” she said.

“So this would be an attempt, first, to push him into pursuing the investigation and, second, to try to persuade him to include in the investigation also claims about apartheid because apartheid is one of the crimes against humanity included in the Rome Statute,” she explained, referring to the treaty that established the ICC.

“Of course, more generally, it’s part of the campaign against Israel—to try to get more countries, organizations and companies to boycott Israel, to divest from Israel under the whole idea of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement,” she said.

She doesn’t see a way to stop these UN bodies from condemning Israel, noting that the United Nations has appointed South African Navi Pillay, known for her hostile views to Israel, as head of the Commission of Inquiry. She said it’s a disturbing development. “Apartheid had been considered going too far, and now there’s an attempt—it might succeed, too—to put it within legitimate criticism against Israel. I think that’s very bad for Israel.”

As for Lapid’s belief that sports and cultural events would be the first target, Shany agreed that Lapid was right in pointing out that “this is going to put wind in the sails of the BDS movement and basically render cultural, educational, sports relations with Israeli counterparts as politically unacceptable in the eyes of increasing segments of the population.”

Neuer went further. He said in the United States, during the recent Gaza conflict, legislators like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) condemned Israel. (She had tweeted: “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.”)

“During that time, Jews in America were being attacked on the streets in Los Angeles, in New York and elsewhere, and that was in connection with the war that was happening in Israel,” said Neuer. “Accusing the Jewish state of being an evil apartheid state is a means to delegitimize and demonize—and even physically attack—Jews. I think this cannot be underestimated. Exclusions from certain international bodies would be only the tip of the iceberg.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 10, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord that these attempts to use an apartheid accusations as a means to demonize and delegitimize Israel will be unsuccessful. Pray that the nations will recognize that this effort is in fact systematic discrimination, the very accusation that the commission is leveling against Israel. And pray that the Lord will work a miracle in the life of Navi Pillay, causing a complete turnaround in her attitude toward Israel.

Scripture

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!


- Psalm 43:1

Soldier Wounded in Terror Attack in Samaria

by JNS

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Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces near Ramallah.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022 | A Palestinian terrorist rammed his vehicle at a number of Israel Defense Forces [IDF] soldiers near the Israeli community of Halamish, north of Ramallah, in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] on Tuesday.

An IDF soldier sustained moderate injuries in the attack and was evacuated to the hospital by an Israeli Air Force helicopter that was dispatched to the scene, said the military. It added that “the terrorist was apprehended and transferred to security forces for further questioning.”

The incident follows a string of recent attacks:

On December 26, the military received reports of a drive-by shooting at a military post near Nablus, the IDF said in a statement. No casualties were reported.

Israeli forces found dozens of bullet casings during sweeps of the area, according to the military. An investigation into the reported attack is ongoing.

On December 16, Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed and two fellow yeshivah [religious school] students wounded when a terrorist gunman opened fire on their vehicle near Homesh in the northern West Bank.

Four suspects were arrested in connection with that attack on December 19.

In November, the IDF thwarted an attempted drive-by shooting in Nablus, which resulted in the death of the gunman.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 11, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Flash90/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for an end to these incessant terror attacks and the resulting loss of life on both sides. Pray that the Lord will lift the veil from the eyes of Palestinians who have been radicalized by their own government. Ask Him to allow them to see that terror is not the answer, that murder and violence are never the path to peace.

Scripture

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.


- Proverbs 4:17–18

Israeli Lawmakers Herald Launch of Abraham Accords Caucus in Congress

by JNS

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US Capitol Hill

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 | Israeli lawmakers welcomed the launch of the Abraham Accords Caucus this week in Congress.

The new caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington will be launched as a bipartisan initiative by Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Both caucuses will work with associated countries to advance the agreements in various fields, while also pushing to achieve additional peace agreements.

Israel signed in the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September 2020, with Morocco joining later in December of that year. Sudan also announced that it was joining in January 2021, but that relationship has been hobbled by internal strife within the Sudanese government.

The Biden administration has signaled that it is working to expand the circle with countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Maldives, Comoros, Kuwait and Qatar as possible Muslim-majority countries interested in establishing ties with Israel.

“The caucus we launched several months ago in the Knesset created a huge momentum among legislators in parliaments around the world,” stated Likud Party Knesset [Parliament] member Ofir Akunis, who co-chairs the Abraham Accords Caucus in the Knesset. “They are looking very closely at the accords and want to help take part in their implementation and expansion.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 10, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: rarrarorro/Shutterstock/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the establishment of this caucus in the US congress and for the interest generated in governments around the world. Pray that more such caucuses will be formed and that all will be successful in promoting the implementation and expansion of the Abraham Accords.

Scripture

Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid.


- Jeremiah 30:10b

Delegation of Israeli Doctors Visit India to Assist with Women’s Health Issues

by JNS

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A special delegation organized by Israel’s Foreign Ministry to help with women’s health issues in India.

Friday, 7 January 2022 | A group of female Israeli doctors traveled to India recently to help women with health issues, particularly cancer, as part of a special delegation organized by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Dr. Ronit Almog, a senior gynecologist at Tel Aviv University’s Sourasky Medical Center, told i24News that in October—Breast Cancer Awareness Month—the Foreign Ministry asked her to assemble a delegation of female doctors that would be sent to India.

The delegation spent eight days in the country, during which they examined approximately 1,000 women and provided services that included pap smears, ultrasounds and breast exams. The doctors were sent to the South Asian country to “increase awareness of women’s health in general, especially for cancer,” according to Almog.

“India is a country where women are afraid to even mention the word cancer. It’s something maybe cultural, of shame, or maybe fear from not getting treatment and to have a stain on them and their family,” she said. “In India, the most common cancer is breast cancer, and the second most common cancer is cervical cancer. If you detect them early, it can really save lives.”

She told i24News that in the presence of the female doctors, many women opened up about their health issues and asked for assistance and advice.

Almog said “it was a great opportunity to encourage Israeli and Indian relations, as well as to help a lot of women who [often] die of something that we can prevent.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Israel News Syndicate on January 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
Thank the Lord for providing this opportunity for Israeli doctors to use their expertise to aid women who would otherwise have lacked the diagnoses and treatment they so desperately need. Pray for the many lives that were touched by their presence, and ask the Lord to use this initiative to further strengthen the relationship between Israel and India.

Scripture

Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles…”


- Isaiah 49:6