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A Year of Crisis

Friday, July 22, 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.

Iran on the Nuclear Bomb: We Can but We Won’t

by Kate Norman

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Chief of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharazi

Thursday, 21 July 2022 | Iran, just days after boasting that it has the technical capabilities to build a nuclear weapon, tried to reassure the world: Don’t worry—we can achieve a nuclear bomb, but we won’t.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told the press yesterday that “in regard to the topic of weapons of mass destruction, we have the fatwa” an Islamic law ruling issued by a recognized Muslim scholar.

Kanani was referring to a fatwa reportedly issued by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameini in 2003 in a speech and then made more official in 2005 in a reading before the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Iranian statement before the IAEA said: “The leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, has issued the fatwa that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons.”

Though Iran has cited the fatwa several times in the past as an alibi for its nuclear development program, which the regime says is “peaceful,” the chief of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharazi, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that “it is no secret that we have the technical capabilities to manufacture a nuclear bomb, but we have no decision to do so.”

“In a few days, we were able to enrich uranium up to 60%, and we can, easily produce 90% enriched uranium,” Kharazi added.

Enriching uranium up to 60% purity, as Kharazi claims the regime has accomplished, puts Iran just a small technical step away from achieving 90% purity, the level it takes to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

Nonetheless, the foreign ministry spokesman tried to soothe fears on Wednesday by reassuring the international community that “Iran’s nuclear capacities are great, but, as it has mentioned many times, Iran’s nuclear technology is completely peaceful and under the monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was forbidden to enrich uranium beyond 3.67% purity. However, in 2019, Iran began openly violating that restriction, as well as other nuclear restrictions, just a year after then-US President Donald Trump exited the nuclear deal, asserting that it did too little to halt Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

When current US President Joe Biden entered office in 2020, his administration set about to revive the all-but-dead nuclear deal, though negotiations over the past year have yielded little results.

Israel has vehemently opposed a return to the nuclear deal and went so far as to say that Jerusalem is not bound by a nuclear deal and is free to act on its own to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear bomb.

Just hours after the Iranian official announced on Sunday that the Islamic Republic has the technical capabilities to build a nuclear weapon, the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, said that preparations for military action against Iran’s nuclear program “are at the center of preparations in the IDF.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 21, 2022)

Photo Credit: Khamenei.ir/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will give great wisdom to Israel’s leaders as they determine the best course of action in dealing with Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Cry out to the Lord that the nations will not be fooled by Iran’s obvious duplicity and will not enter into another nuclear deal that will be very bad for the entire world.

Scripture

And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might.


- Daniel 2:21–23a

Biden’s Second Day in Israel: Discussing Iran and Cementing Regional Ties

by Kate Norman

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President Biden sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Lapid to sign a new strategic US–Israel partnership.

Friday, 15 July 2022 | The second day of US President Joe Biden’s Israel visit was filled with as many warm words of friendship as the president’s red-carpet welcome on Wednesday, though discussions on Iran throughout the day showed where Jerusalem and Washington diverge ideologically.

Thursday morning, Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and their teams to discuss “regional issues at length, first among them Iran and the nuclear agreement,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office read.

Lapid called for stronger action against Iran and its nuclear development, particularly in regards to Washington’s continued attempts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Words will not stop them, Mr. President,” Lapid said in a joint speech with Biden. “Diplomacy will not stop them.”

The only thing that will stop them, Lapid said, is knowing if Iran does not halt its nuclear development, “the free world will use force. The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.”

As is customary, the president also met with the leader of Israel’s opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who echoed Lapid’s sentiments.

“Without a reliable military option, it will be impossible to stop Iran,” Netanyahu told Biden, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post, “and if it is not deterred, the military option must be exercised.”

Biden answered in his joint address with Lapid: “I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome.”

The president added that the US will “continue to work with Israel to counter other threats from Iran throughout the region, including its support for terrorism and the ballistic missile program that continues, and the proliferation of weapons to terrorists and proxies like Hezbollah.”

During a Q&A with the press after their joint address, Biden was asked by a reporter if he will set a deadline for the nuclear talks, to which the president responded that Washington has laid out for Iran’s leadership “what we’re willing to accept in order to get back to the JCPOA. We’re waiting for their response.”

Biden added that he doesn’t know when Iran will respond, “but we are not going to wait forever.”

Biden and Lapid also participated in the virtual I2U2 summit along with the president of the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The topics of discussion mainly focused on cooperating on developing technology to combat global food insecurity, solve the energy crisis and develop better medicine and infrastructure.

Biden then visited the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, where he was awarded the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor by Israeli President Isaac Herzog. The award, the highest honor the Israeli president can bestow, was “in recognition of the strong support for Israel [Biden has] consistently demonstrated and the depth of the friendship” that the nations share, Herzog said in his speech.

Later in the evening, Biden joined Lapid and Herzog for the opening ceremony of the 2022 Maccabiah Games, dubbed “the Jewish Olympics.”

Today Biden will visit the other side of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The president is scheduled to visit a hospital in eastern Jerusalem to pledge funding for the eastern Jerusalem hospital network.

The president’s visit to eastern Jerusalem is significant, as it is part of the area that the Palestinian leadership hopes to claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Washington denied the request to have an Israeli official accompany Biden on his visit.

When asked by an Israeli reporter if this represents a change in Biden’s administration’s view of Jerusalem, including eastern Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel, the president responded: “No.”

Biden will then visit Bethlehem for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The president won’t be arriving to a warm meeting in Bethlehem, however, as a protest is scheduled for the main square expressing displeasure at what it calls Washington’s “bias” toward Israel.

Biden will then be rejoined by Lapid for a farewell ceremony, the Jerusalem Post reported, before the president departs for Saudi Arabia.

In their joint address yesterday, Lapid gave Biden a message to take with him to Saudi Arabia.

“Our hand is outstretched for peace,” Lapid said. “We are ready to share our technology and experience, ready for our people to meet and learn about one another, ready for our scientists to collaborate and our businesses to cooperate.”

Biden’s immediate departure to Saudi Arabia after visiting Israel has sparked expectation of an announcement that the kingdom will be one of the next Arab states to normalize ties with Israel.

The Times of Israel reported last night that there will be an announcement when Biden arrives in Saudi Arabia of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Egypt for the Saudi kingdom to take steps to normalize ties with Israel. The Times of Israel report cited an unnamed “Middle East diplomat.”

The agreement will include Saudi airspace opening to Israeli planes traveling to East Asia as well as direct flights for Muslim Israelis traveling to Mecca, the Times of Israel’s diplomat added.

Hopes and expectations are high for the expanding circle of peace, but only an official announcement from Biden’s visit in Saudi Arabia will reveal whether the Gulf kingdom will join Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco in clasping Israel’s outreached hand of peace.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 15, 2022)

Photo Credit: Office of the President of the United States/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Ask that in the aftermath of Biden’s visit to Israel, the ties between the two nations will continue to grow stronger. Pray that the truth of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be embraced and supported by the Biden administration and Biden’s interaction with Palestinian leadership will not, in fact, represent a shifting of American support.

Scripture

At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.


- Jeremiah 3:17

Moroccan King Creates New Agencies for Jewish Community in Morocco

by JNS

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The royal palace in Rabat, Morocco

Thursday, 21 July 2022 | Morocco’s government announced last week that “acting under royal instruction,” it will create several new initiatives aimed at strengthening the Jewish community there, preserving the Jewish cultural and historical connection, and improving ties with Jews of Moroccan descent.

King Mohammed VI and Crown Prince Moulay Hassan were presented with the plan during a July 13 council of ministers meeting at the royal palace in Rabat.

According to a local news organization, MAP: Agence Morocaine De Presse, the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco welcomed the new initiatives, saying they would “ensure the preservation of the sacred values of Moroccan Judaism and the rehabilitation and promotion of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Hebrew tributary of the rich Moroccan civilization.”

The new agencies, states MAP, include the National Council of the Moroccan Jewish Community to manage “the affairs of the community” and safeguard “the cultural and religious heritage and influence of Judaism, and its authentic Moroccan values”; the Foundation of Moroccan Judaism to “safeguard” the traditions of the Jewish-Moroccan community; and the Commission of Moroccan Jews Living Abroad “to consolidate the ties of Moroccan Jews living abroad with their country of origin, to strengthen their cultural and religious influence and to defend the supreme interests of the kingdom.”

The plans were reportedly enacted in consultation with the Jewish community in Morocco, which numbers fewer than 3,000 Jews out of a total population of more than 35 million.

Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on July 20, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Wizard8492/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the true friendship and support the Jewish community finds in the government of Morocco. Pray that these new initiatives will have the desired effect and ask the Lord to richly bless Morocco’s leaders as they bless God’s chosen ones. Pray also that other nations with Jewish populations will follow suit.

Scripture

Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 28:14

Lapid: Israel to Respond ‘Forcefully, Without Hesitation’ to Any Gaza Attack

by Joshua Spurlock ~ The Mideast Update

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A missile is launched by an Iron Dome defense system to intercept and destroy incoming rockets.

Monday, 18 July 2022 | The night after United States President Joe Biden departed from his historic visit to Israel, Gaza terrorists launched at least four projectiles at Israel—and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] response was unexpectedly strong. Furthermore, Lapid made it clear on Sunday that Israel would act with similar speed and power in response to any future attack.

Lapid, in comments published by Israel, said the IDF response to Friday night’s rockets “attacked targets in Gaza on a magnitude that they were not prepared for. This government’s policy has not changed. We will respond quickly, forcefully and without hesitation to every launch and every incendiary balloon. I commend the IDF on its strong and precise operation.”

The IDF Twitter page said that after the first wave of Gaza rockets, Israel “targeted one of Hamas’s most significant rocket production sites in Gaza. This strike will significantly impede Hamas’s force-building capabilities.”

After the second wave of rockets, the IDF struck again. Said the IDF Twitter page, “In response to these attacks aimed at Israeli civilians, our fighter jets struck an additional Hamas weapons manufacturing site in Gaza.”

The IDF Twitter page emphasized the civilian impact of the Gaza rockets, including posting a dramatic video that appears to show Israel’s missile defense system destroying a rocket midair above a city with Israeli civilians running for safety. The video included the caption saying, “This is the moment innocent Israelis had to run for immediate shelter when terrorists in Gaza fired 2 rockets toward them. The IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted 1 of the rockets, saving the lives of civilians below.”

Lapid, in his comments, noted the broader impact on Israeli civilians that go beyond the immediate threat of Gaza rockets. “From here, all of us, all members of the government, send a big hug to the children of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip who slept in protected spaces Friday night.”

Gaza, which is ruled by the terrorist group Hamas, has fired thousands of rockets and mortars at Israel over the years. Israel has responded with counterstrikes, with the back-and-forth escalating to full military conflict more than once.

After months of calm, sporadic Gaza rocket attacks have recently resumed, with Lapid taking a firm stance against any further acts of terrorism. The goal is to deter future incidents. As the IDF Twitter post on Friday’s counterstrike noted, “We will continue to defend Israeli civilians from Hamas terrorism.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the the Mideast Update on July 18, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for the citizens of southern Israel as they again deal with the fear and chaos caused by Gazan terrorists. Ask the Lord to surround the children with songs of deliverance and cause a blanket of calm to settle over all those under threat even as sirens blare and they must run for shelter. Pray that Israel’s retaliatory actions will be effective in deterring future attacks.

Scripture

The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.


- Zephaniah 3:17

UN Committee Against Torture to Review Palestinian Authority’s Record

by Mike Wagenheim ~ JNS

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 | The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) will for the first time hone in on the actions of the Palestinian Authority. Members of the Geneva-based body, which is a subsidiary of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), will meet on Monday and Tuesday.

The committee will determine whether the PA [Palestinian Authority] is in compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and investigate instances of forced disappearances, violent interrogations, the holding of the remains of Israeli soldiers and other issues. The review will also address actions by Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip and is routinely accused of torture by international watchdogs.

“Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held in Palestinian custody in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, told JNS.

The 10-member CAT is meant to review all parties (174 to date) to the Convention Against Torture every four years. However, this will be the first review of the PA, which signed on to the convention in 2014 despite not being a state.

According to a spokesperson at the Israeli mission to the United Nations in Geneva, CAT reviews are considered quite thorough, marked by demanding questions by committee members. Prior to this year’s session, Ramallah submitted the required compliance report, which nonetheless ignores documented PA abuses or deflects blame for them onto Israel.

For example, the June 2021 death in PA custody of critic Nizar Banat, which led to a wave of protests in which Palestinian police beat protesters, journalists, civil rights activists and lawyers, is completely omitted from the PA’s submission to CAT.

The PA, which is a party to other UN rights bodies such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), has a habit of skirting responsibility in such forums, according to the spokesperson at the Israeli mission in Geneva.

“They usually take little responsibility and blame Israel and ‘the occupation’ for everything going wrong. CEDAW had, for instance, called them out on this lousy excuse,” the Israeli spokesperson told JNS.

CAT is expected to review additional reports submitted by American, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs. These include Human Rights Watch, the Palestinian Coalition Against Torture and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Clinic on International Human Rights, among others.

Botswana, Nicaragua and the United Arab Emirates are also set to be reviewed.

In its own report, UN Watch charged that the PA and Hamas routinely torture human rights activists, women, political opponents, “collaborators” with Israel and Palestinians who sell land to Jews. CAT published the UN Watch report on its website. UN Watch representatives will present their findings to CAT’s 10-member committee during a private briefing for human rights groups on Monday.

The UN Watch report details numerous instances of torture by the PA, including a 2021 series of arrests of activists and students who were taken to an infamous Jericho prison and severely abused. UN Watch also noted examples of PA torture of those accused of “collaborating” with Israel, including beatings, the pulling out of teeth and sexual abuse.

The report also cited the life sentence handed down in 2018 to American–Palestinian Isaam Akel for violating the PA law prohibiting land sales to Jews. Akel’s sentence for selling his Jerusalem property included hard labor. A US official who visited Akel in prison confirmed that he had been put in isolation and tortured.

“We trust that our collection of evidence and harrowing testimonies will assist the UN committee experts when they review whether the PA has followed through on its promises to eradicate the use of torture,” said UN Watch’s Neuer, who called on the Palestinian envoy to Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, to come clean about the PA’s regular use of torture.

CAT’s conclusions, which will include recommendations for reforms, are due later this month.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 18, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: A Katz/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank God that the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) is finally willing to take seriously the mountain of evidence pointing to acts of torture, inhumane treatment of prisoners and a wide range of other abuses committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Beseech the Lord that this committee will be objective in their investigation, uncovering the truth and holding the PA accountable for its illegal and immoral actions.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 12:22

Biden Administration Funds Anti-Israel Curricula, Hate Messages

by Bassam Tawil ~ Gatestone Institute

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Logo of the UN Relief and Works Agency

Thursday, 21 July 2022 | The Biden administration has decided to resume financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), even though the agency’s school books continue to incite violence and erase Israel’s existence from their maps. This means that US taxpayer money, thanks to the Biden administration, is now once again going directly to an international agency that promotes messages of hate against Israel and denies its right to exist.

The resumption of the financial aid to UNRWA will also help to perpetuate the problem of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Instead of helping the “refugees” move on with their lives and seek a better future for themselves and their children, UNRWA will continue to encourage them to remain in refugee camps by providing them with various services, including education and healthcare. Why would any Palestinian want to leave a refugee camp when he or she is receiving free education and healthcare?

The latest announcement by the US administration was made during President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria]. “The United States believes that Palestinian refugees deserve to live in dignity, to see their basic needs addressed, and to have hope for the future,” the White House said in a statement.

“President Biden will announce an additional $201 million for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to continue delivering critical services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria…

“These services provided directly contribute to maintaining regional stability, which is beneficial to the interests of the United States, our allies, and our partners. This contribution cements the United States’ status as UNRWA’s largest donor. These new funds bring the total United States assistance to UNRWA during the Biden administration to more than $618 million.”

The claim that the UNRWA services contribute to maintaining regional stability is not only false, but, sadly, ridiculous.

For the past seven decades, UNRWA has been providing the refugee camps with all types of services, including food, medicine, healthcare, education and housing. This assistance certainly did not contribute to easing tensions or preventing violence in the refugee camps in particular or the region in general.

On the contrary, most of the refugee camps have since become hotbeds for extremist and terrorist groups and individuals, especially in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. The refugee camps in these areas have produced countless terrorists who were responsible for the killing of thousands of Israelis and Arabs alike. The camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip played a major role in the two violent uprisings that erupted against Israel in 1987 and 2000. The camps in Lebanon and Syria have similarly played a significant role in the civil wars that broke out there in the mid-70s (Lebanon) and early 2011 (Syria).

The violence and tensions in these refugee camps took place while they were administrated by UNRWA, which was providing the residents there with “vital services.” These services did not stop the terrorists from carrying out attacks against Israel and Arabs in Lebanon and Syria.

Worse, the fact that UNRWA supplies the residents of the camps with all these services effectively exempts them from responsibility: they do not have to go to work to pay for the education, healthcare and food that they receive for free from UNRWA. A terrorist who wants to carry out an attack does not have to worry about the well-being and future of his family because UNRWA is always there to meet all daily needs.

This welfare cocoon does not mean, of course, that all the refugee camps are involved in terrorism and violence. Yet it is safe to say that many of these camps embrace, encourage and produce terrorists.

Take, for example, the northern West Bank, where the Jenin refugee camp is managed by UNRWA.

In the past few decades, the camp has become the West Bank’s major center for terrorists belonging to several groups. These include Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades—the armed wing of the ruling Fatah faction headed by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Although UNRWA controls the Jenin refugee camp, its representatives have not been able to prevent a single terror attack emanating from it.

UNRWA, of course, does not have a mandate to take action against terrorists, nor does it have the forces or means to do so.

Still, this does not mean that there is nothing that the agency could do to help ease tensions and discourage terrorism and violence. It could, for example, work to promote peace and coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians. It could promote tolerance and peace in the schools it manages in the refugee camps. Is UNRWA doing any of these things?

A study published in early July by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found that children attending UNRWA schools are exposed to textbooks that include references to violence, martyrdom, overt anti-Semitism, jihad (holy war), rejection of the possibility of peace with Israel, and the complete omission of any historical Jewish presence in the region.

“Despite the relatively small amount of available material, we found material that does not adhere to international standards and that encourages violence, jihad and martyrdom, anti-Semitism, hate, and intolerance, with overtly politicized language that violates both UN values and UNRWA’s neutrality policy…

“UNRWA-produced material contains texts that glorify waging war and sacrificing one’s life and blood to liberate the motherland, which is described as the entirety of Mandatory Palestine [all of today’s Israel]. Such examples include grammar exercises that use the sentences discussing ‘Jihad warriors,’ sacrifice of blood, and liberation of Palestine from the occupier, openly suggests violence to students… and passages that exalt Palestinian militants whose daggers ‘landed on the necks of the [Israeli] enemy’s soldiers’… Another example uses a poem to teach students that dying as martyrs is a ‘hobby’ and that peace-making is undesirable and a sign of weakness.”

The study concluded that UNRWA-produced material consistently ignores the existence of Israel and tasks students with labeling cities and sites in Israel proper as Palestinian. In addition, social studies exercises imply that Israel is a colonial entity created by European colonialism to divide the Arab world. Israel is described solely in a negative manner as having malicious intentions toward Palestinians. It is accused of intentionally and maliciously mistreating Palestinian prisoners (terrorists) and their families and of attempting to erase Palestinian heritage and identity. In some instances, Israelis are accused of desecrating Jerusalem and the [Al] Aqsa Mosque.

Instead of pressuring UNRWA to change its policies and stop the anti-Israel incitement in its schools, the Biden administration has decided to reward the agency for encouraging hate, violence, martyrdom and the delegitimization and demonization of Israel and Jews. Instead of pressuring UNRWA to help the refugees move out of the poverty and misery of the camps, the Biden administration, by resuming financial aid to the agency, is actually prolonging the “suffering” of the Palestinians in the camps.

The money that the Biden administration is giving to UNRWA aims to preserve the status of the camps and ensure that the Palestinians living there stay where they are. By supporting UNRWA, the Biden administration is telling the refugees to remain patient in the camps because one day they will move to Israel as part of the so-called right of return.

The “right of return” means flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants as a first step toward its destruction and replacing it with an Iranian-backed Islamist state run by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Biden administration, in short, has just sent a message to the Palestinians and all the Israel-haters that it supports their efforts and shares their dream of obliterating Israel. Those who fund school textbooks that glorify terrorists and deny Israel’s right to exist are complicit in the global jihad against Israel.

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

Source: (This article was originally published by Gatestone Institute on July 20, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, United Nations/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Biden administration will have an “aha” moment, realizing that their support for UNRWA is not contributing to regional stability nor is it helping Palestinians to “live in dignity, to see their basic needs addressed.” Ask the Lord to reveal to the American people this ludicrous waste of tax payers’ dollars, resulting in pressure on lawmakers to bring this travesty to a halt. Pray the nations will realize that UNRWA’s goal is the same as that of Palestinian terrorists: the complete delegitimization and destruction of the nation of Israel.

Scripture

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 83:3–5

Israeli Man Wounded in Jerusalem Terror Attack

by Kate Norman

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The stabbing attack occurred on an Egged bus (illustrative).

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 | An Israeli man was moderately wounded in a terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon. The terrorist was shot by a passerby and reportedly neutralized.

The 41-year-old Israeli man was stabbed by a Palestinian man identified as 44-year-old Ismail Nimer from Ramallah, Ynetnews reported.

The two men were traveling on an Israeli Egged bus in Ramot, a northeastern neighborhood of Jerusalem, when the terrorist suddenly attacked the Israeli man with a screwdriver, stabbing him several times, including in the head.

The bus driver stopped the bus, the police said, according to the Times of Israel, allowing the other passengers to escape safely.

Ynet photographer Meshi Ben Ami said he was driving by, saw the terrorist lying on top of the victim stabbing him, and realized what was happening.

“I was a little hesitant at first,” Ben Ami told Ynetnews, “but when I saw people running, I had to act.”

Ben Ami said he pulled his gun and ran toward the scene. He said he saw the attacker get off the victim and that he saw someone else throwing a rock at the attacker.

The terrorist then approached Ben Ami, he said, wielding the screwdriver. Ben Ami said he ordered the terrorist to stop, but the man refused and stood just a short distance away.

“I felt threatened,” Ben Ami said. “I felt my life was in danger, and then I neutralized him.”

Police and other emergency personnel soon arrived on the scene and found the victim conscious, lying next to the bus. They transferred him to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, where he is in stable condition with moderate injuries, the Times of Israel reported.

The terrorist was also reportedly transported to a hospital for treatment, also in moderate condition.

Ismael Namir had a work permit to enter into Israel from Judea and Samaria, the so-called West Bank, the Times of Israel reported, citing a defense official.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid issued a statement wishing the victim a speedy recovery and praising Ben Ami for acting “resolutely to neutralize the terrorist and prevent harm to other people.”

Ynetnews pointed out that this incident was not Ben Ami’s first run-in with a terrorist, but that he “thwarted a similar attack in Jerusalem six years ago.”

A spokesman for the Hamas terror group, which operates out of the Gaza Strip, issued a statement praising the attack, calling it a “natural response to the occupation’s crimes against our Islamic and Christian sanctities in the city of Jerusalem.

“This act of resistance confirms once again the failure of all attempts to stop the escalation of the act of resistance in the occupied West Bank and the city of Jerusalem,” the spokesman added.

This attack follows a similar stabbing attack a few weeks ago in which a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli man outside of the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.

These acts of terror come on the heels of a bloody terror wave between March 22 and May 5 in which terrorists killed 19 people across Israel.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 20, 2022)

Photo Credit: אפי אליאן@he.wikipedia/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the many families who are mourning the loss of loved ones killed in recent terror attacks. Also pray for those injured including the Israeli man wounded in Ramot. Pray that Ismael Namir will be punished to the full extent of the law. Cry out to the Lord for an end to this relentless cycle of violence and for peace and safety for the people of Israel.

Scripture

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever


- Psalm 73:26

Health Ministry Website down after Iranian Cyberattack

by Adir Yanko, Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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A cyberattack (illustrative)

Monday, 18 July 2022 | A group of hackers affiliated with Iran carried out a cyberattack on the website of the Health Ministry on Sunday, intermittently restricting access to the site from abroad.

The pro-Iranian group Al-Tahira claimed responsibility for the DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack, which disrupts a website’s normal traffic by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic.

The same group claimed Thursday that it hacked the Jerusalem Municipality website and the website of state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. On Monday, the pro-Iranian group also made the Tel Aviv Municipality site crash in the same way.

A message on the hacker group’s Telegram channel said: “In the name of God, Moses, and Muhammad, the actions of Shahid Abu Sayif al-Gharawi have begun.”

“The continued bombing of the Gaza Strip and the prevention of medicine shipments to the Palestinian territories, the economic siege of Iran, and the prevention of the arrival of treatments and COVID vaccines led to thousands of deaths, and now you stand against Russia for a Nazi capitalist regime in Ukraine. All of these will lead to your downfall. Now our focus is on you.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on July 17, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Blogtrepreneur.com/tech/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord to bless Israel’s tech community with innovative and effective ideas for strengthening Israel’s cybersecurity. Ask the Lord for His protection to surround His nation and guard systems, networks and devices on every level from hackers and their evil and destructive intentions.

Scripture

Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the blameless; suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear. They encourage themselves in an evil matter; they talk of laying snares secretly; they say, “Who will see them?” They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.” Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded. So He will make them stumble over their own tongue; all who see them shall flee away.


- Psalm 64:2–8

Saudi Influencer Plays Israel’s National Anthem on Oud

by JNS

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Saudi influencer Mohammed Saud plays Israel’s national anthem on an oud.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 | Saudi social media influencer Mohammed Saud played Israel’s national anthem “Hatikvah” on an oud, a traditional Arab instrument, and posted it on his Twitter account on July 15.

The Twitter caption, in Hebrew, says: “Preparing for peace and normalization, practicing in the meantime,” reported the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister denied previous reports that his country has been involved in discussions on setting up a Gulf–Israeli defense alliance.

Furthermore, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud also told reporters after a US–Arab summit “that Riyadh’s decision to open its airspace to all air carriers [including Israeli airliners] had nothing to do with establishing diplomatic ties with Israel and was not a precursor to further steps,” according to Reuters.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 19, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Mohammad Saud and his act of respect for the nation of Israel. Pray that the relationship with Saudi Arabia will continue to strengthen and eventually reach normalization, benefitting both nations and bringing true stability to the region.

Scripture

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


- Proverbs 16:7