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

Over 70 Mortars Fired at Israel, IDF Retaliates

by Joshua Spurlock

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Mortar shrapnel found at the Israeli kindergarten from Gaza rockets launched into Israel

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 | Terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip unleashed a massive rocket and mortar assault on Israel on Tuesday—the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Spokesperson’s Twitter feed had counted more than 70 projectiles by late that evening with sirens indicating additional ones coming—and Israel responded by striking dozens of Hamas targets. Three Israeli soldiers were wounded in the fierce fighting, which called into question the possibility of a new Gaza war.

Meanwhile, multiple world powers expressed their dismay at the Hamas assault and the United States called for the attacks to be discussed by the powerful United Nations Security Council. The stunning escalation follows weeks of Hamas-led riots near the Gaza border and efforts to breach the Israeli security fence there.

Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The Hamas terror organization again chooses to act against the interest of the residents of the Gaza Strip. After it failed during the violent riots along the security fence, it now chooses to conduct and allow a wide-scale attack against Israeli civilians.”

A graphic on the IDF Twitter feed showed Gaza rockets and mortars being launched throughout the day, starting in the morning, during which a kindergarten was hit. The IDF soldiers were lightly-to-moderately wounded in the afternoon attacks, while another barrage was launched in the evening—with repeated tweets announcing sirens well into the night.

In response, Israel struck more than 30 Hamas targets. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that among other targets, the IDF hit “sheds of drones used for terror purposes, a rocket-manufacturing workshop, advanced naval weaponry, military compounds, training facilities, and a munitions manufacturing site.”

Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned there would be a price to pay for the brazen assault. “Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it and its communities by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip,” he said in comments released by his office. “The IDF will respond with great force to these attacks. Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to attack it, and we view Hamas as responsible for preventing such attacks against us.”

Gaza terrorists were also accidentally harming their own people. Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted that one of the Palestinian rockets took out three power lines providing power to Gaza. Gendelman tweeted that tonight “Gazans don’t have any power, thanks to Hamas’ terrorism.”

The world took notice of the Palestinian escalation. US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Reprehensible—mortars fired from Gaza at a kindergarten and community in Israel! Hamas has failed—all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders to work on Gaza’s real problems with its water, its economy and so much more.”

In response, the Americans also raised the aggression with the UN Security Council and expected it to be discussed on Wednesday. A press release from the US Mission to the UN also quoted US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley as calling the Gaza attacks “the largest we have seen since 2014… The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza.”

In addition to the Americans, the Europeans condemned the Gaza assault as well. A statement released on the EU website from the spokesperson of EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said the Palestinian rocket and mortar launches “must stop immediately.”

“Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are completely unacceptable under any circumstances. A de-escalation of this dangerous situation is urgently needed to ensure that civilians’ lives are protected,” said the EU spokesperson’s statement. “Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to live in peace, security and dignity: the cycle of violence and despair has to be broken with a genuine political process.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 29 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Twitter/ IDF@IDFSpokesperson

Prayer Focus
Beseech God for a solution to the violence and chaos on the Israel-Gaza border. Thank God for protecting the people of Israel against the barrage of rockets. Pray for emotional and psychological healing from the trauma of the attacks. Ask God to imbue Israel’s leadership with wisdom to face its enemies.

Scripture

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.


- Psalm 55:22

Over 300 Incendiary Kites Flown into Israel in a Month

by Matan Tzuri

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Monday, 28 May 2018 | On April 13, a new era of combat commenced as part of the ongoing conflict between Israel and residents of the Gaza Strip. Several incendiary kites flown into Israel, under the auspices of the violent riots on the Gaza border fence, caused a fire in the kibbutz [communal settlement] of Nahal Oz.

Since then, the “aerial terror offensive” against the Gaza border communities has continued with greater vigor, including some 300 incendiary kites flown into Israel’s territory, 100 fires and more than 3,000 acres of wheat destroyed, causing millions of shekels worth of damage to the farmers of the area.

The modus operandi has been the same in all the incidents causing fires: During the Gaza border riots, terrorists attached Molotov cocktails and other incendiary objects to kites and flew them into Israel.

Hundreds of drones were developed and purchased within several days by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] to intercept the incendiary kites.

The Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (Maf’at) managed to provide within several days new operational solutions assembled on existing drones and on those which are being currently developed by the “Aeronautics” security industry, such as the “Pegasus 120.”

“Pegasus 120” can carry up to 75 kilograms [165 lbs.], and was tested for the purpose of carrying cargo supplies, ammunition and fuel to forces maneuvering deep inside the enemy’s territory as part of the Northern Command’s military exercise last year.

Nevertheless, it seems the incendiary kites phenomenon is growing stronger. Last Wednesday, several kites flown into Israel caused serious fires across the Gaza border communities.

The Gaza border communities’ farmers are dealing on a daily basis with putting out fires instead of taking care of their harvest. Recently, they decided to hold the harvest earlier than planned so the wheat wouldn’t be destroyed by fires caused by the kites.

“We are frustrated with the situation, it has become real terror. We are coping with this phenomenon on a daily basis,” one of the farmers said.

“When a fire breaks out, we don’t wait for the firefighting forces and use our own equipment (to put out the fire); otherwise, the wheat would be completely destroyed and entire fields would disappear,” he explained.

“The right thing is to collaborate with the firefighting forces, but without our efforts the damage would have been much more severe,” he added.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon visited the western Negev communities two weeks ago and said, “Those who fly incendiary kites must be treated with the same severity as those who launch rockets into Israel.”

Kahlon was accompanied by a property tax representative during his visit and promised that farmers would be compensated for the damages caused to their wheat fields.

In addition, the region authorities’ heads have sent messages demanding the government to compensate them for their damaged “down to last shekel.”

They have also asked for the matter to be among IDF’s top priorities.

The fight against the relatively new threat consists of both offensive and defensive actions by the IDF including aerial attack of Hamas’s posts as retaliation to launching incendiary kites into Israel.

The IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said after one of the retaliatory attacks, “The IDF will continue to fight against terror above and below the ground.

“The IDF considers the Hamas terror organization as solely responsible for what is happening in Gaza and outside of it,” the statement added.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in Ynetnews on 27 May 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.) 

Photo Credit:

Prayer Focus
Intercede for Israel as she faces this new form of terror. Ask God to protect, comfort and strengthen the farmers and their families in their battle against the fires that threaten their livelihood. Bring the IDF soldiers and Israel’s firefighters before the Lord for wisdom and fortitude.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.


- Psalm 144:1-2

US Envoy Decries UN’s “Different Standard” toward Israel

by Itamar Eichner

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UN Security Council Chamber (illustrative)

Thursday, 31 May 2018 | US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed “the dangerous and destructive activities” of the Hamas terror group in Gaza on Wednesday afternoon during remarks made at a UN Security Council, during which she also accused its members of a “different” standard.

The Security Council met at the behest of the United States to discuss Tuesday’s Gaza mortar and rocket attacks on south Israel, which left 3 soldiers wounded, prompting an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] military response.

Speaking after the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, Haley said that a unanimous condemnation by the council would have been in order, but was not forthcoming because the attacks were launched on Israel.

“You might think that the rest of the Security Council would join us in condemning a terrorist organization like Hamas. There shouldn’t be any debate about this. But of course, because this attack involves Israel, the standard is different,” she said in her opening remarks.

The United States, she said, drafted a Security Council statement that would have condemned Hamas for launching rockets and endangering civilians.

“This should have been a no brainer. You would think no one would want to side with Hamas when it comes to condemning rocket launches but the statement was blocked,” Haley added.

She also bemoaned that fact that a meeting under the agenda items entitled “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts” was blocked.

“Apparently some Security Council members did not think that Hamas launching rockets qualifies as terrorism. The United States begs to differ,” she said.

“As I have asked my colleagues before, I will ask you again today. Who among us would accept 70 rockets launched into your country? We all know the answer to that. No one would,” she continued, adding that the indiscriminate nature of the rocket fire demonstrated the intention to inflict carnage on Israeli communities.

“The mere fact that one of the rockets landed on a kindergarten playground is all the proof we need of the intentions of the terrorist … Hamas openly claims responsibility for this attack. They do so proudly. Their only regret is that the attack did not kill anyone,” Haley said.

The ambassador also pointed the finger at the Security Council, accusing it of always being “quick to pounce on Israel, regardless of the facts and the circumstances.”

But the facts proved, she continued, that Hamas’s sole aim remains the destruction of Israel.

“Hamas’s stated purpose is the destruction of Israel. That is its purpose when it fires rockets into Israel, that is its purpose when it builds terror tunnels underneath Israeli territory and that is its purpose when it orchestrates violent protests and riots at the boundary fence calling for a march of return,” she told the Security Council members.

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

Photo Credit: Public domain/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God for Israel’s allies who stand with her regardless of international pressure. Ask Him to raise up more allies by revealing the truth to more nations. Continue to intercede for the UN and its affiliated bodies that its approach to Israel with be fair and unbiased.

Scripture

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.


- Psalm 51:10

Israel Aims to Get Russia to Agree to Clearing Syrian Border of Iranians

by Itamar Eichner

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Aerial view of the Israel-Syria border. Syria begins where the farmland ends.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 | Despite the security escalation on the Gaza border, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman embarked for Russia Wednesday, heading a defense establishment delegation in an attempt to reach an agreement to return control of southern Syria, and particularly the border with Israel, to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Defense Minister Lieberman will be accompanied by the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Tamir Hayman, among others.

Russia was said to have accepted Israel’s fundamental demand for Assad’s army to resume control of the border region without the presence of any pro-Shiite militias.

Lieberman will meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu Thursday, and his trip is considered an important attempt to reach understandings with the superpower on the matter, an issue that may have ramifications on ameliorating tensions along the northern front.

The need to engender such understandings in the first place was born of preparations by Assad’s army to return to southern Syria and take position along the border with Israel.

While Jerusalem consented to the army’s return, they conditioned it on Iranian and Hezbollah forces not accompanying it.

Confirmation for the nascent understandings came Monday in Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statements, who explicitly stated that no foreign troops will be stationed along the Israeli border except for Syrian army soldiers.

The encouraging Russian statements notwithstanding, the Prime Minister’s Office was quick to clarify that Israel never consented to Iranian forces remaining elsewhere in Syria, and reiterated Israel’s demand for a full withdrawal of all Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the country.

“Israel is uninterested in partial agreements, rather in an exit of all Iranian forces from Syria,” a source at the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Concurrently, Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat left for Washington to discuss a coordinated stance with the United States on the challenge posed by Iran, in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the 12-condition plan presented to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Netanyahu to leave for 3-day European trip next week

More on the diplomatic front, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will leave next week for a three-day visit to Germany and France starting Monday, during which he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat and Tehran’s entrenchment in Syria.

The [prime minister] is also said to be mulling continuing across the English Channel from Paris to London, to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined his upcoming trip at the outset of his Likud Party meeting Monday, saying, “Next week I will leave for Europe. I will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with French President Emmanuel Macron and perhaps with British Prime Minister Theresa May as well.”

“I will discuss with them blocking Iranian nuclear aspirations and Iranian expansion in the Middle East,” the [prime minister] expounded. “I will present our positions as clearly as possible. We are already well experienced. For years we stood alone against these twin threats, and I think that the situation has changed for the better. Of course I will present these matters as vital to the security of Israel.”

On Syria, Netanyahu said, “We believe that there is no room for any Iranian military presence anywhere in Syria. And of course, this reflects not only our position; I can say with certainty that it also reflects the positions of others in the Middle East and outside it. This will be the main focus of discussions there.”

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

Photo Credit: Masterpjz9/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring Minister Lieberman, his aids and the trip to Russia before God. Pray for favor, understanding and cooperation regarding the withdrawal of Hezbollah and Iranian forces from Israel’s doorstep in Syria. Give thanks to Him for his faithfulness and protection over Israel.

Scripture

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand.


- Psalm 37:23-24

Netanyahu: Israel Working to Prevent Arms Production in Lebanon

by Daniel Salami and Kobi Nachshoni

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 | A hangar, two hardened aircraft shelters (HAS), and likely a convoy of vehicles or a weapons cache as well, were the targets attacked in the Dabaa military airfield in the Syrian province of Homs on Thursday evening, according to satellite images.

Hezbollah attributed the airstrike to Israel and said “it was the biggest attack by the Israel Air Force since the missile night,” referring to the night of May 10, when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force fired 32 missiles at military posts in the Golan Heights, before Israel’s crushing retaliation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the regional developments at the state of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, threatening both Iran and Lebanon.

“The regime in Tehran is the main factor undermining stability in the Middle East, and the battle against its aggression hasn’t ended,” the prime minister said. “We are working to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we are working to stop the transfer of lethal weapons from Syria to Lebanon or their production in Lebanon. All these weapons are directed against the State of Israel and we have the right, as part of the right to self-defense, to prevent its production or transfer.”

Images from the Sentinel-2 satellite documented the targets hit in the strike on the Syria airbase. According to an analysis conducted by Ronen Solomon of the Intelli Times blog, three targets were bombed inside the base, including a cargo hangar and two hardened aircraft shelters, in which missiles and mobile anti-aircraft missiles can also be stationed. The Syrian war monitoring organization reported over the weekend that the attacked base housed Hezbollah operatives and weapon depots, and Hezbollah’s Al-Akhbar newspaper said several targets had been hit in the airbase.

The images indicate that one of the bombed targets may have been a convoy of vehicles or a weapons cache, in light of signs of a fire in the area that was hit. According to Arab media reports, Israel attacked an aid shipment that had arrived from Iran, on the backdrop of estimates that the airfield served as an access point from Iran to Syria and likely to Lebanon too, in light of its proximity to the Lebanon-Syria border.

The images show that the airbase underwent construction and expansion works recently, including the creation of the cargo hangar. According to Syrian opposition sources, the construction work was carried out by the Iranians. Air defense trenches may have been built near one of the hangars.

On Friday, in a speech marking the “victory celebration day,” 18 years after the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] withdrawal from Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah accused Israel of attacking Syria from Lebanese territory.

A website affiliated with the Syrian opposition reported in the past that the Assad regime had begun converting the Dabaa airfield, located about 30 kilometers [18.6 mi] west of the city of Homs, into a “civilian” airport with the help of Iranian elements. The regime’s goal, according to the report, was to provide an alternative airport to the international airport in Damascus, which was subject to nonstop attacks by the rebels organizations.

The airfield was to be used to receive supplies crucial for the regime’s survival from its allies in Moscow and Tehran. At the start of the civil war, Syrian opposition forces took over the airfield and the nearby areas, but several years later it was reoccupied by the Assad army and its partners.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 27 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit:

Prayer Focus
Lift up Prime Minister Netanyahu and the IDF leadership. Ask God to direct their hearts, minds and steps as they plan and carry out missions to prevent the transfer of weapons from Syria to Lebanon. Intercede for the soldiers involved in high-risk operations and pray for their protection and wellbeing.

Scripture

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.


- Isaiah 43:2-3a

Netanyahu to Meet European Leaders on Iran

by Itamar Eichner, Shahar Hay and Yoav Zitun

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris (illustrative)

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will leave for a three-day visit to Germany and France starting next Monday, during which he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat and the Islamic republic’s entrenchment in Syria.

The [prime minister] is also said to be mulling continuing across the English Channel from Paris to London, to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Before he does, however, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave for a working visit to Russia this coming Wednesday. Lieberman was invited by his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu after the two conversed this past weekend.

The meeting will take place Thursday, with the defense minister being joined by the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tamir Hayman, head of the Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Bureau Zohar Palti and other defense establishment officials.

Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined his upcoming trip at the commencement of his party’s parliamentary group meeting saying, “Next week I will leave for Europe. I will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with French President Emmanuel Macron and perhaps with British Prime Minister Theresa May as well.”

“I will discuss with them blocking Iranian nuclear aspirations and Iranian expansion in the Middle East,” the [prime minister] expounded. “I will present our positions as clearly as possible. We are already well experienced. For years we stood alone against these twin threats and I think that the situation has changed for the better. Of course I will present these matters as vital to the security of Israel.”

On Syria, Netanyahu said, “We believe that there is no room for any Iranian military presence anywhere in Syria. And of course, this reflects not only our position; I can say with certainty that it also reflects the positions of others in the Middle East and outside it. This will be the main focus of discussions there.”

Earlier Monday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said that only Syrian soldiers should be stationed on the country’s southern frontier, near Israel.

In so doing, the Russian diplomat may have been sending a message to Syrian rebels, still waging war against the Syrian army near the border, or it may have been a rare warning aimed at Hezbollah and Iran, whose presence near the border greatly perturbs Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu himself met Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, and expressed his concern at Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

“I have no reason to believe Russia will harm our interest,” Netanyahu said after the meeting. “I told Putin it was our right to defend ourselves against Iranian aggression emanating from Syria.”

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

Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Pray for PM Netanyahu as he embarks on the trip to meet with Europe leaders. Ask God to go before him and pray for wisdom, insight and favor. Beseech God to prepare the hearts of those he will meet by revealing the truth regarding Iran’s intentions towards Israel and the Western world.

Scripture

Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.


- Psalm 119:135

The Boomerang Effect of Anti-Israel Lies

by Ben-Dror Yemini

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Anti-Israel Lies

Monday, 28 May 2018 | When the “massacre” lie appears in the first act, the United Nations Human Rights Council will appear in the third act, to help Hamas.

The UNHRC, as we all know, has an automatic majority of unenlightened anti-Israel countries. Even if all European countries had voted against the new commission of inquiry, whose conclusions we already know, the resolution would have been adopted.

The thing is that the representatives of the unenlightened countries are not alone. The “enlightened” are providing them with ammunition. “How long after this week’s Gaza massacre are we going to continue pretending that the Palestinians are non-people?” asked Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent of The Independent.

With Fisk, it’s already a tradition. When the Palestinians fired rockets, he was there to explain that they are simply reminding the world that they were expelled by Israel. If we adopt his logic, Ukrainians should fire rockets at Poland, because that’s where they were expelled from. And Germans should fire rockets at the Czech Republic, because they were expelled. And Finns should fire rockets at Russia, because they were expelled. And Greeks should fire rockets at Turkey, because they were expelled. And Turks should fire rockets at Greece, because they were expelled.

We can go on. The list is long. And we have yet to mention the Jews, who according to Fisk’s logic were not only supposed to fire rockets at Germany but also to wipe it off the face of the earth in acts of retaliation. Interestingly enough, nothing happened. And had it happened, no one would justify it.

But the Arabs are allowed to do it. They attacked the newly established Jewish state with a declared goal to destroy it, violating the UN resolution. Their plot failed. Some of them, it should be mentioned, have gotten over the annihilation aspirations. But the different Hamasniks are openly declaring that their goal is to destroy the State of Israel. And they, of all people, have regiments of Fisks, including Jews and Israelis, to provide them with justifications.

There are countless journalists and academics who are repeating the same lie, that Israel is the result of a crime and that it keeps committing crimes nonstop. The most poisonous propaganda campaign belongs, as always, to Al-Jazeera. I don’t think five minutes passed in the past week without the word “massacre” being uttered. The different Fisks, in the media and in the academia and in politics, are legitimizing the incitement campaign.

This incitement campaign is a boomerang. Israel is the target, but the incitement leads to a radicalization of the Muslim communities across Europe. Because when there is a consensus among Muslims in the continent that Israel committed a massacre in Gaza last week, the obvious result is that they’re allowed to respond with a massacre. There’s no need for thousands to respond. A few individuals are enough. The sympathetic atmosphere is already there. So every media manipulations turning Israel into a criminal adds supporters to the Salafi groups that already exist in Europe.

Only several days ago, a report emerged that a neighborhood in the La Verrière commune in France was turning into a Salafist stronghold. Occasionally, the French take a firm hand and expel imams engaged in incitement. But when certain neighborhoods include a “religion police,” which is stronger than the security forces, the next terror attack is only a matter of time. The perpetrators of the attacks, against Jews or against a country in Europe, will cry out that it’s in retaliation for Israel’s crimes. Of course it is. They believe in this lie with all their heart. They have been brainwashed by the Fisks and Al-Jazeera.

Sometimes, it should be mentioned, Israeli groups add fuel to the fire of hatred. Hamas has already admitted that 50 of the Palestinians who were killed were Hamas operatives, and Islamic Jihad admits it has three shahideen [martyrs] on the list. But that won’t help. The “massacre” claims have become a consensus in progressive circles, in Israel and worldwide.

This includes The New York Times’ main headline, “Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza,” with a shocking image of bodies. Every human being who isn’t familiar with the facts would rage over what seems like crimes against humanity. This isn’t another lie, because most journalists covering this topic know Hamas is sending its people to the fence. They know this isn’t an innocent civilian protest. But they are insisting on providing their share of incitement. They and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are one and the same. It makes them, in their own eyes, enlightened.

The result will be another rise in the level of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, hatred and terror. And when blood is shed, and it will be shed, the Fisks will keep going. In the preliminary stage, they presented Israel as a monster committing atrocities. And when terror strikes in the West again, they will explain that we must understand those raging about the atrocities.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 25 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Facebook/Israel Defense Forces

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord to stem the flood of lies coming against Israel and poisoning hearts and minds across the world. Ask God to raise up stewards internationally to speak on behalf of Israel and expose the deceit. Pray that He would protect Jewish communities in Europe from the backlash of the lies.

Scripture

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.


- Proverbs 4:7-8

Could Israel Offer Palestinians What Their Own Leaders Won’t—Hope?

by Irina Tsukerman

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes part in a soccer match with Jewish and Arab youths.

Friday, 25 May 2018 | After the deadly Hamas-led riots last week at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Gazans were asking of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, what it had accomplished by ratcheting up the violence. One young man told The New York Times that nothing was accomplished by the violence, adding, “People are dead. They deceived us that we would breach the fence. But that didn’t happen.”

The Times reported further, “Hamas is no closer to improving the lives of increasingly restless Gazans. The group lacks money to even pay public employees’ salaries or other expenses of governing.”

While the residents of Gaza are no closer to independence than they were at the end of March, when Hamas started the weekly riots, called the Great March of Return, neither are the Palestinians of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], ruled by the Palestinian Authority [PA] and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas who is now in the 14th year of a four-year term as president, has recently been hospitalized. Though he’s in his 80s and in uncertain health, he says that the PA will not negotiate with Israel as long as Donald Trump is president. His possible mortality has not moved him to seek a historic capstone to his career, a Palestinian state, and prefers to brood that the terms of that state would not be to his liking.

Neither Hamas, nor the Palestinian Authority offer any positive vision for the future. They offer more conflict with Israel but no vision of independence. Hamas may be more explicit about it, but in his more than 13 years as PA president, Abbas has turned down one peace offer, and scuttled other chances at negotiation.

Israel is now uniquely positioned to steer much of the Palestinian society in a better direction, through strategic collaboration with Palestinian companies and individuals, who, for at least pragmatic reasons, are willing to engage with the Jewish state.

Additionally, Israel could reach out to Palestinian children who are brainwashed by their corrupt government-run schools and other institutions under PA control. For instance, Israel could present them additional opportunities to move out of that climate and be introduced to a better education.

Joint cultural programs that are not merely private efforts of small groups of peace activists, but which are actively encouraged and promoted by the Israeli government, will help build trust with those portions of the Palestinian society that are looking for a way out of the hopelessness of their undemocratic society. That, of course does not mean compromising on security matters.

That also does not mean that Israel should accept full responsibility for the Palestinian education. That would contribute to the false narrative of occupation, and further entrench the Palestinian society into an unhealthy mindset of dependency. However, Palestinian children and young people should have an opportunity to participate in alternative educational and cultural programs, encouraged to ask questions, and be paired with volunteer mentors and social groups that will help them form life-affirming paradigms and pursue constructive directions in life.

In economic matters too, Israel could play a role in cultivating a more moderate Palestinian society. In April, Karim Fanadka, an Israeli-Arab tech entrepreneur wrote about how the Israeli-Arab tech sector had grown in just a decade’s time. Fanadka noted that “With a collaborative effort between the non-profit sector, the government, and the tech industry, Arab techies went from 350 to 4,000—a 1000% increase—in ten years.”  There is no reason similar effort can’t be attempted with the Palestinian sector.

For Israel adopting such a strategy means adopting a pragmatic approach of outreach and relationship building starting with small mutually beneficial trust-building social steps that will change the image of Israel’s government from a monolithic entity that can only run on one platform to an entity that not only talks, but listens.

The prospects of reforming any one society overnight are of course not realistic. But changing a strategy to take advantage of an adversary’s vulnerability is central to good governance and forward-looking thinking. What Netanyahu has already effectively done in Africa, creating new relationships, where previously there seemed little common ground, he can effectively bring home and replicate in the vicinity, likely with at least some positive outcome.

Bringing in potential supporters is not a weakness. Rather, by extending the theme of Israel’s anthem “HaTikvah” [The Hope] to people who have otherwise lost hope could be a way to take away valuable ground from one’s enemies. Hamas and Abbas thrive on social divisions and fearmongering and have brought few benefits to the Palestinians through their misrule.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 24 May 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Moshe Milner/GPO

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria who suffer under the corrupt leadership of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Give thanks for Israeli initiatives that seek to enhance Palestinian lives and bring hope in areas of despair.

Scripture

But He saves the needy from the sword, from the mouth of the mighty, and from their hand. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth.


- Job 5:15-16

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