Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, July 23, 2021

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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.

IDF Apprehended Two People Who Crossed Border from Lebanon

by Kate Norman

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IDF soldiers operating in the North (illustrative)

Thursday, 22 July 2021 | The Israeli military arrested two men who crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel early Thursday morning, the military said.

“They appear to be job seekers,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Twitter. The two have been arrested and are currently being held for questioning.

The IDF spotted two men crossing into Israel around 2 a.m. and launched an hours-long manhunt to find them, locking down the area and initially telling locals to remain in their homes with the doors locked.

The men were reportedly entering Israel to look for work, likely to escape the crisis in which Lebanon is currently embroiled.

Israel’s neighbor to the north is in serious financial and political trouble. The currency has crashed and inflation has ballooned, causing the price of food and other necessities to skyrocket. The price of food has increased by 700% over the past two years, according to a report by Crisis Observatory at the American University of Beirut.

The middle class in Lebanon has reportedly disappeared, and the situation is deteriorating so badly that the once-thriving nation could become the “Venezuela of the Mediterranean,” according to the report.

Many of those who can afford to leave Lebanon have abandoned the sinking ship. But there are those who cannot and are left in desperate circumstances.

The two men who hopped the border into Israel are likely a symptom of Lebanon’s serious problem—and they probably won’t be the last.

They aren’t the first, either. A similar situation happened in June, when the military arrested two Turkish nationals who also crossed into Israel from Lebanon looking for work.

Earlier this month, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz offered for Israel to send humanitarian aid to ease the burden on Lebanon. There was no response.  

“As an Israeli, as a Jew, and as a human being, my heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon,” Gantz said at the time.

The Jewish state and Lebanon had a slight skirmish in the predawn hours of Tuesday morning when two rockets were fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel. One rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system, and the other landed in an open space, causing no casualties or damage.

Nonetheless, Israel takes any attack seriously, and responded by striking the launch site where the rockets were fired from in Lebanon. No culprit was officially pinpointed for the rocket attack, but the rockets were notably fired from the same area that Palestinian terrorists operating in Lebanon launched toward Israel in May.

The IDF has also thwarted several weapons and drug smuggling attempts at the border over the past few months, and the military has warned that several similar occurrences could take place as Lebanon continues to sink into the financial mire.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 22, 2021)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that those who are protecting Israel’s northern border will discover and thwart every attempt at smuggling drugs or weapons into Israel. Thank the Lord for Defense Minister Gantz’s heart toward the people of Lebanon, and pray that the Lebanese will accept Israel’s offer to provide humanitarian assistance.

Scripture

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.


- Proverbs 18:10

Russia’s New ‘Checkmate’ Stealth Jet Expected to Arrive in Mideast

by Yaakov Lappin ~ JNS

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Russia’s Checkmate fighter jet on display at the MAKS international air exhibition

Thursday, 22 July 2021 | As soon as it can enter into operations, the new Russian single-engine stealth fighter jet will likely arrive in the Middle East through future arms sales to local countries, though this does not form a severe threat to Israel’s security, a former Israeli defense official has assessed.

Russia is due to unveil its Checkmate jet at the MAKS international air exhibition, held from July 20 to July 25 at Zhukovsky International Airport, 40 kilometers [25 mi.] southeast of Moscow. The jet is being made by Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, of which the Russian government owns a majority stake.

Yair Ramati, former director of the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization, noted that Egypt already possesses Russian Sukhoi SU-35 jets (Sukhoi is a branch of the United Aircraft Corporation).

“We have to assume that sooner or later, the new Russian stealth fighter will arrive in the Middle East,” said Ramati.

The fact that stealth technology will be available to states that have not been able to purchase the F-35 fighter jets, which are made by America’s Lockheed Martin, means that traditional Israeli objections to sales of the F-35 to regional countries become less relevant.

It will be several years before the jet is ready for operational use.

The Israeli Air Force does not deal with air-to-air combat scenarios these days, but Israeli air defenses will still need to be able to ensure they can deal with the new jet, said Ramati.

Israeli defense industries, on the other hand, like other global industries, may have a new opportunity to develop various electro-optical sensors, radars and interceptors and to export these in light of the jet’s arrival to some markets around the world.

“Air defenses are a central aspect of the Israeli defense exports portfolio,” said Ramati.

So far, the F-35 has been “the only game in town” in Western countries when it comes to fifth-generation stealth fighter jets, he said.

European jet producers will likely not have their own next-generation stealth fighters until the mid-2040s, he assessed. (China has two stealth fighter jets: J-20 and J-31.)

‘We Don’t Know about this Plane’s Avionics Yet’

Only a few images have so far emerged of the jet on social media, and those suggest that the plane is around 80% of the dimensions and weight of the F-35, said Ramati.

The new jet is powered by a version of AL-41F Russian-made engine. It has a highly maneuverable, aerodynamic configuration.

“It can carry 7.4 tons of armament, and the max theoretical range is 3,000 kilometers [1,864 mi.] (meaning an estimated 750-kilometer [466-mi.] operational radius),” said Ramati.

“Why is it attractive? There are states that have a hard time buying the F-35, either because they have been ruled out by the [US] State Department, because they are not willing to line up with American political conditions to purchase the F-35 or because they can’t afford it,” explained Ramati. “The Russian stealth fighter will be significantly cheaper than the F-35. The Russian claimed it is less than [US] $30 million per unit.”

Some states could also purchase the jet and install Western avionics on it—just as India did with the Sukoi-30 fighter aircraft, the Russian parallel of the American F-15.

“We don’t know about this plane’s avionics yet,” said Ramati. “Does it have a suitable radar? We can assume it has scaled-down radar like the type onboard the Sukhoi 57, which is the twin-engine stealth fighter used by the Russian air force and navy. This type of radar employs measures to avoid detection, and is known as LPI [low probability of intercept].”

Ultimately, he added, the State Department will likely need to update its export policy when the Russian jet goes on sale or face several new clients opting for the Russian stealth technology in place of America’s own jets.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 21, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will be successful in its attempts to develop whatever air defense systems would be necessary to ensure their ability to deal with this new Russian jet and to protect the nation from any attacks from the air.

Scripture

The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!


- Psalm 34:7–8

Israeli Researchers Say Three Existing Drugs Could Stop COVID in its Tracks

by Kate Norman

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Medical worker holds a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination (illustrative)

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 | Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have identified several drugs that are effective at treating COVID-19 as well as potential variants of the virus.

After placing SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus) and human cells in vitro with several different drugs, the scientists discovered that three particular drugs “can protect cells from onslaught by the virus with close to 100% effectiveness, meaning that almost 100% of the cells lived despite being infected by the virus,” one of the scientists from the lab study told the Times of Israel.

Professor Isaiah Arkin, a biochemist at Hebrew University, pointed out that normally “around half the cells would have died after two days following contact with the virus.”

After conducting what Arkin described as a needle-in-a-haystack search through some 3,000 existing medicines to repurpose for treatment of COVID-19, the team found three drugs that work against the virus and would likely encompass potential variants of the virus as well.

The drugs that tested well in the lab include Darapladib, a medicine that treats atherosclerosis, a plaque buildup that can block blood flow through the arteries. The other two drugs are Flumanitib, which is used to treat blood cancer, and an HIV medication.

These drugs don’t target the spike protein on the virus like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do, Arkin said. Instead they target the envelope protein and the 3a protein, which Arkin said usually remain the same between variants of the virus. This is good news, meaning the drug treatments could be effective in virus mutations, Arkin said.

The envelope protein was previously dismissed as a target for treatment, but the Israeli team pinpointed it as an ion channel, “a class of proteins that are located in the membranes of all organisms, which because of their structure respond particularly well to drugs,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Having more than one means of battling the pandemic is important, Arkin noted.

“We should never be in a situation where in our arsenal we only have one firearm,” he told the Jerusalem Post. “If we only have one and we rely solely on it, and there comes a time that it fails, we will be in a very precarious situation.”

The lab study, while showing very promising results, has yet to be peer reviewed and go through clinical trials. However, the drugs themselves have already gone through trials and are available on the market, which should fast track the path to potential new treatments for COVID-19.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 21, 2021)

Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando/US Secretary of Defense/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the discovery that these drugs are effective in the treatment of COVID-19. Pray that they will move smoothly through peer review and clinical trials and quickly be approved for repurposing by doctors. Also pray that other nations will follow suit, providing new avenues of treatment for all those who are infected with the disease.

Scripture

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge.” 


- 2 Samuel 22:2b–3a

Iran Claims It Can Enrich Uranium to Weapons Grade

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Friday, 16 July 2021 | Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday his country was capable of enriching uranium to weapons-grade purity of 90%, if necessary.

“The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran can enrich uranium by 20% and 60%, and if one day our reactors need it, it can produce 90% enriched uranium,” Rouhani told a cabinet meeting, reported Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.

“We could have done 60% [enrichment] before. Today, we can do 90% enrichment if we want to, but we are not seeking a nuclear bomb,” he added.

The nuclear deal that the United States is seeking to revive limited uranium enrichment to 3.67%.

Rouhani is set to end his term on August 5 when Ebrahim Raisi takes over, though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ultimate authority. Two senior Iranian officials told Reuters that Raisi would adopt a “harder line” in negotiations.

Meanwhile, the United States said on Wednesday that it would continue nuclear talks with Iran even after an Iranian plot to kidnap a US-based journalist was revealed, reported Reuters.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 15, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Asatur Yesayants/shutterstock.com/JNS

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord that the US will move with great wisdom and caution in its interactions with Iran. Beseech the Lord that the American government will awaken to the reality and the dangers of Iranian nuclear ambitions and, like Israel, be firm in a commitment to use whatever means necessary to keep Iran from achieving their nuclear goals.

Scripture

Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; for their heart devises violence, and their lips talk of troublemaking.


- Proverbs 24:1–2

United States Transfers $135 Million in Aid to UNRWA

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Palestinians receiving food aid from a UNRWA distribution center in the Khan Younis camp in the South of the Gaza Strip

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 | The United States transferred $135.8 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on Saturday, after signing a framework agreement with the refugee agency on July 14.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on Saturday, “The signing of the [2021-22] US-UNRWA Framework and additional support demonstrates we once again have an ongoing partner in the United States that understands the need to provide critical assistance to some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees.”

In April, the Biden administration announced the restoration of $235 million in US aid to Palestinians, including $150 million to UNRWA, restoring part of the $360 million in US funding to the agency cut by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was quoted by Reuters at the time as saying that the Trump administration had determined that UNRWA was an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

A letter from the State Department to Lazzarini dated May 19 states that “the Biden administration has stated its intent to resume the full range of assistance to the Palestinians.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 19, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Fadi Fahd/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord would move on the Biden administration to stop using taxpayer dollars to support terrorism. Also pray that the international community will recognize the truth in the Trump administration’s appraisal of UNWRA and cease to pour money into a corrupt system. Pray that other means of helping those Palestinians who are truly in need will be developed.

Scripture

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles!


- Psalm 25:22

Ambassadors Tour Israel to Better Comprehend its Multifaceted Security Challenges

by Josh Hasten ~ JNS

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Ambassadors from several nations in the Old City of Jerusalem overlooking the Western Wall

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 | Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan is back on his home turf, leading 16 of his colleagues—ambassadors to the United States and the United Nations—from countries around the world, along with some of their staffers, on a week-long fact-finding mission throughout the Jewish state.

The diplomats hail from Australia, Argentina, Bhutan, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Kenya, Guatemala, Ukraine and Tonga. The trip, sponsored by the American Zionist Movement (AZM), includes representatives from the International March of the Living and B’nai B’rith International.

The delegation is visiting communities along Israel’s northern and southern borders to see Hamas and Hezbollah terror tunnels, as well as to receive security briefings. The ambassadors will also visit historical and religious sites and high-tech centers, and meet with senior Israel government officials. On Tisha B’Av [Fast of the Ninth of the Hebrew month of Av], they participated in a special Holocaust Remembrance program at Yad Vashem, arranged by International March of the Living.

At press briefing in Jerusalem’s Old City overlooking the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, organized by Aish, Erdan told JNS that he decided to arrange the trip in order to set the record straight on Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas in Gaza in May.

“After ‘Operation Guardian of the Walls,’ I decided to bring a group of UN ambassadors, and also ambassadors from Washington who represent their countries in the United States, to experience and learn firsthand about our security challenges,” he said.

Erdan said another goal of the trip was to highlight the connection between the Jewish people and the State of Israel, going back thousands of years because that union “is being challenged every day at the UN and on the world stage. I’m sure that after visiting here and learning so much, they will support Israel’s cause much more in the international arena.”

He expressed confidence that the mission will be successful, saying that “Israel sells itself. Whenever you experience Israel, you learn the complexities, you understand the deep roots and the history, you go back someone different—that’s the experience, and we know it.”

‘I Can always Learn Something New’

AZM president Deborah Isaac said, “We hope that the participants come away from the experience with a deeper and more realistic perspective of Israel and the threats it faces, as well as an appreciation for the rich and diverse culture of the State of Israel. The American Zionist Movement looks forward to forging new and lasting friendships with the members of the delegation and their host countries.”

Hungary’s ambassador to the United States, Szabolcs Ferenc Takács, told JNS that while this wasn’t his first trip to Israel, he was looking forward to discovering more. “I’ve been here many times, but I can always learn something new, and I very much appreciate those who organized this trip,” he said.

Takács added: “I’ve been working with the Jewish community back in Hungary and also with the State of Israel for many years. And, of course, my country’s political ties with Israel are very strong…It’s quite natural for me to be on this diplomatic trip because everything that we are doing with Israel and for Israel brings me here; we admire [its] achievements.”

Doma Tshering, the Kingdom of Bhutan’s ambassador to the United Nations, told JNS that she was very excited to be in Israel for the first time: “We have had a wonderful itinerary so far. It’s been extremely fulfilling and absolutely enriching.”

After touring Jerusalem’s ancient City of David archeology park and the tunnels connecting ancient Jerusalem to the Temple just minutes before the press briefing, Tshering noted that the visit was “really quite amazing. To think of all the generations that lived in the area before us and how they progressed is quite breathtaking.”

Rachel Moore, director of communications and Public Affairs for Aish HaTorah, who ran the briefing and then hosted the delegation for lunch, told JNS that “Ambassador Erdan has shown consistent friendship and support to Aish for many years through several of his government positions. It’s an honor and privilege to have his friendship and to be able to host his important delegation. We look forward to continuing to work together with him on fighting the hate directed at Israel and the Jewish people.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 20, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Josh Hasten/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for Ambassador Erdan’s fact-finding mission for other ambassadors. Pray that he will be successful in imparting solid information about the reality of life in Israel and the challenges Israel faces from hostile neighbors. Pray that each participant will return home prepared to communicate the truth regarding Israel and to use their position to advocate for God’s chosen land.

Scripture

Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.


- Psalm 54:1–2

160 New Immigrants from France Arrive in Israel amid Surge in ‘Aliyah’

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Children from France arrive in Israel as part of a group aliyah flight on July 21, 2021

Thursday, 22 July 2021 | A group of 160 new French immigrants to Israel arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday aboard a special aliyah [immigration to Israel] flight from Paris organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel and Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

The new arrivals were accompanied on the flight by Israel’s Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata, who was returning from a tour of the Jewish community in France in light of growing interest in aliyah in that country. Israel has seen a 137% jump in the number of olim (new immigrants) from France so far during 2021 compared to the same period last year.

Among this particular group were doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers and marketing and media professionals, as well as 46 young people under the age of 18 who will enter the Israeli education system. They first had to observe mandatory home isolation in accordance with coronavirus safety guidelines before moving to what will be their new homes in cities and areas throughout the Jewish state.

The flight was organized with support from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod, Christians for Israel of the Netherlands and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

With approximately 500,000 people, the Jewish community in France is the largest in the world outside of Israel and the United States. About 1,370 French immigrants made aliyah in the first half of the year, compared to 578 during the same period last year, according to the Aliyah Ministry and the Jewish Agency. The pandemic year of 2020 saw a dramatic increase in the opening of new aliyah files from France: 6,053 compared to 2,475 in 2019.

The Jewish Agency’s Aliyah Global Call Center, which operates with the support of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, received more than 14,000 calls in 2020 from people interested in immigrating to Israel from France. Data shows that in the last decade, a record number of 39,592 people made aliyah from France out of a total of 125,000 French immigrants to Israel since the establishment of the country in 1948. Twenty percent of the French olim were under the age of 18; 31% were between the ages of 18 and 35; 12% were between 36 and 50; 15% were between 51 and 65; and the rest were older than 65.

The group of French olim from the past decade has included 404 doctors—among them 22 surgeons, 10 anesthesiologists, 24 gynecologists, sports doctors, nutritional rehabilitation doctors, neurologists—in addition to 74 optometrists, 238 opticians, 77 journalists, 317 lawyers, 102 legal professionals, 281 accountants and 12 film producers.

About 11,000 of the immigrants live in Netanya, 6,700 in Jerusalem and 6,500 in Tel Aviv with significant numbers also residing in Ashdod, Ra’anana, Hadera, Herzliya, Ashkelon and Eilat.

Aliyah to Israel is the bedrock of Zionism. Ever since the days of Abraham and our forefathers, we’ve contended with disasters, wars, challenges and most recently, a global pandemic,” said Jewish Agency acting chairman Yaakov Hagoel. “Yet the Jewish people have continued to arrive in Israel and be greeted with open arms. This is our true home. Today, 160 olim arrived to strengthen us as a people and, by doing so, they are fulfilling the dreams of being connected to the land of Israel. Welcome home!”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 21, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Noga Malsa/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the new immigrants arriving from France, many of them fleeing growing anti-Semitism in that country and a real fear for their own safety. Pray that they will be successful in adjusting to life in their new homeland and that they will be able to work in their chosen professions. Pray also for Bridges for Peace, that we will have the necessary resources to make an impact on the lives of many as the numbers of new olim continue to increase.

Scripture

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the Children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the Children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.


- Jeremiah 16:14–15

The Ice Cream War of 2021

by Janet Aslin

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Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in an Israeli shop

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 | When Ben & Jerry’s, a well-known and much-loved ice cream manufacturer, announced on Monday that it would “no longer distribute its products in the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory,’” the opening shot of this summer’s ice cream war was fired.

The global company went on to say that it would not be renewing the contract with its Israeli franchise holder when it expires at the end of 2022. It further stated that Ben & Jerry’s would stay in Israel through a “different arrangement,” the details of which would be revealed at a later date.

Responses were immediate, emphatic and perhaps a bit confusing. Generally speaking there are two sides in a war, but in our case, we can identify at least four parties: Ben & Jerry’s itself with parent company, Unilever; followed by the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s; Israel franchise holder Avi Zinger; and finally significant Israeli political figures who weighed in on the issue. We will look at each separately.

Ben & Jerry’s was founded in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont, by two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. In 2000, they sold their highly successful company to Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. Unilever’s products are available in over 190 countries and used by 2.5 billion people every day. They are truly a global conglomerate, a super-power in the consumer marketplace.

However, when Unilever purchased Ben & Jerry’s, there was a special condition involved: an independent board of directors who would “retain control over decisions relating to the company’s social mission and branding.”

Anuradha Mittal, chairman of the board, fired the second shot of the war when she posted on the following statement on Twitter: “The statement released by Ben & Jerry’s regarding its operation in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory does not reflect the position of the Independent Board nor was it approved by the Independent Board.”

In an interview on NBC, Mittal went on to say that Unilever had overstepped its authority “by pledging to remain in Israel.” Although they bear the same name, Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors and the company itself are on opposite sides in this war. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, “Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever.”

This brings us to the third party—Avi Zinger, who has owned and operated the Ben & Jerry’s franchise in Israel for the past 35 years. Unfortunately Zinger finds himself in a fight he did not start and stands to lose the business he has worked to build up. Ben & Jerry’s is a popular ice cream choice and has always been sold throughout the entire Land of Israel, on both sides of the so-called Green Line (armistice line when the cease-fire was established in 1948), dividing what the world calls the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) from Israel proper. The company employs both Jewish and Arab workers in two locations.

Although there are many calls to boycott Ben & Jerry’s product as a result of their impending action against Israel, Zinger urged people here to continue to buy his product. He told Kan radio that “it is important that people differentiate between the blue and white [Israeli] product and the international company.”

Finally, members of the Israeli government, from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as well as Israel’s ambassador to the US, Gilad Erdan, have been quick to condemn both Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever in their plans to stop selling their ice cream.

Boycotts and threats of boycotts are nothing new in Israel. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement has been very active in its attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel for the past twenty years. The movement was begun by Palestinian activists who sought to pressure Israel through economic means to withdraw from what they call the “occupied territory of the West Bank,” remove the security fence, enact the right of return for Palestinian refugees and other concessions. It has become a global lobby against the State of Israel and its right to exist.

BDS has suffered setbacks in the past years as, for example, 35 US states have made it illegal to boycott Israeli businesses. In his efforts, Ambassador Erdan has sent letters to the governors of each of these states, urging them to place sanctions upon Ben & Jerry’s operations because of their current actions.

This current boycott, a BDS war with ice cream at its center, does differ slightly from previous ones. In the past, BDS activists have targeted companies with manufacturing facilities in Judea and Samaria. This war boycotts the products sold in Judea and Samaria, since the locations where Ben & Jerry’s are made in Israel are not in what some call the “territories.”

At the end of the day, it does seem very sad and almost underhanded that ice cream should be the center of this attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel. In the words of Avi Zinger, “ice cream is not politics.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 21, 2021)

Photo Credit: Uziel302/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the American governors approached by Ambassador Erdan will in fact place sanctions on Ben & Jerry’s operations in their states. Pray also that the BDS movement will continue to suffer setbacks until this form of anti-Semitism becomes so ineffective that it disappears.

Scripture

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.


- Psalm 145:19–20