Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, June 5, 2020

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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.

Report: Application of Israeli Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria by July 1 Highly Unlikely

by Ilse Strauss

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US President Trump meeting with PM Netanyahu in January

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 | The date Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set to extend Israeli authority over the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria may not be feasible. A high-ranking source told the Times of Israel yesterday it is “highly unlikely” that US President Donald Trump’s administration will give their nod of approval for the move to go ahead on July 1.

The move is in line with US President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan unveiled in January and will see Jerusalem apply sovereignty to some 30% of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s biblical heartland or what the world calls the West Bank. The remainder is set aside for a future Palestinian state—provided the Palestinians meet a set of conditions.

According to the source, the holdup lies with the joint US–Israel mapping committee, tasked with demarcating the precise swatches of land over which Jerusalem will apply sovereignty, the Times of Israel said. The US has set the complete mapping as a precondition before giving its nod of approval for the application of Israeli sovereignty to move forward.

However, Judea and Samaria is arguably one of the most contested plots of land on earth and the task of delineating borders is thus fraught with complexities and requires painstaking on-the-ground work—made all the more difficult by international scrutiny, censure from neighbors and threats of violence from the Palestinians.

Moreover, travel restrictions and social distancing rules implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 have pushed back the mapping process. While the mapping committee has not stopped working during the pandemic, one of its key US members has been unable to visit Israel since the outbreak, the Times of Israel reports. It also remains unclear exactly when the member will be able to travel to the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who last week assured party lawmakers that the July 1 deadline stands firm, seems to have taken note of the US’s urgings to slow the process. In a meeting with mayors of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria yesterday, the prime minister said the US “may have lessened its enthusiasm about seeing sovereignty carried out,” the Times of Israel quotes an official as saying.

Despite the question mark hanging over the exact execution date, Israel’s defense establishment is bracing for a renewed outbreak of Palestinian violence. The Palestinians have rejected the Trump peace plan and Israel’s extension of sovereignty out of hand, and Hamas leaders and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have threatened to answer such a move with violent resistance.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday instructed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi to make the necessary preparations. Although the IDF has already been on high alert, Gantz provided Kohavi with more specific information on the government’s intentions and briefed him on a number of possible scenarios.

Moreover, IDF and Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization) heads and top commanders will sit down together today to mull over security responses to a number of possible scenarios, including a renewed Palestinian uprising and Jorden severing diplomatic with Israel, the Times of Israel said.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 3, 2020)

Photo Credit: D.Myles Cullen/The White House/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that He is not One who sees Israel’s borders as “fraught with complexities.” Pray that He will give wisdom and direction to those who are tasked with demarcation while strengthening Israel’s resolve to move forward in accordance with His will. Pray that the US support for Israel will not waiver, regardless of threats.

Scripture

“‘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 16:15

COVID-19 Comeback: Israeli Schools Closed, Thousands Quarantine

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A coronavirus testing site in Jerusalem

Thursday, 4 June 2020 | Almost 10,000 students and teachers have been quarantined and 31 schools closed in Israel as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Fifty new cases were reported in less than 24 hours and more patients have tested positive in the past week than in the three previous weeks.

Also Tuesday, two more people succumbed to the virus—bringing to 287 the number of fatalities in the country from the disease.

The Education Ministry said that 3,723 students and teachers were told to quarantine on Tuesday alone, bringing the total number of quarantined students and teachers to 9,935.

On Monday, newly appointed Education Minister Yoav Galant announced he would be instructing any school that has seen a staff member or student confirmed with coronavirus to immediately close and send all faculty and students into quarantine.

A survey conducted by the Health Ministry in tandem with Tel Aviv University found that at least 200,000 Israelis have been exposed to the virus, close to ten times the number of confirmed cases.

This is, however, just 2–3% of the total population, meaning Israel is far from achieving herd immunity to the highly infectious disease.

The survey examined 1,700 blood tests of people from different age groups across the country, looking for IGG antibodies that indicate an immune response to the virus.

The government said it intends to conduct serological testing in areas that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

The tests were to begin with students at the Gymnasia Rehavia High School in Jerusalem, where more than 140 students and teachers have already contracted the virus.

A military report circulated among health authorities Tuesday called on schools to use remote studying to reduce student attendance and the risk of coronavirus infections. 

The report calls for mass testing of all students, faculty and their families at schools where cases of infection were found.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 2, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord for His protection over the people of Israel and particularly the students and teachers that have been exposed to the virus. Pray that Israelis will behave circumspectly, taking every precaution to keep from spreading the disease, and beseech the Lord for a sovereign move that will bring an end to the pandemic.

Scripture

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.


- Psalm 91:2¬–4a

Israel Spearheads First Disinfectant Tunnel for Use in Public Areas

by Ilse Strauss

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Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv

Thursday, 4 June 2020 | While researchers and scientists around the world work tirelessly to develop a cure for COVID-19, large parts of the global population are navigating the unchartered waters of cautiously resuming pre-coronavirus activities while remaining safe and healthy. Various innovations have come to light that give humanity a helping hand to go about everyday life as normally as possible while facing a global pandemic without a cure. And once again, Israel is leading the way.

RD Pack, an Israeli industrial automation solutions company, applied its skill and expertise to develop a smart sanitation tunnel that sprays a disinfectant mist on those walking through to ward off bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus. Designed for high traffic locations like malls, hospitals, airports and schools, the tunnel ensures the health and safety of individuals entering these public spaces in a post-lockdown pre-cure society.

The tunnel is fully automatic and senses when someone steps inside, the RD Pack website explains. Once a person is inside, the spray nozzles releases a fine mist of electrolyzed water—an approved environmentally-friendly disinfectant—for 15 seconds, sanitizing both the person and any belongings. The mechanism has been developed to saturate every surface, even those not directly exposed to the nozzle, for maximized sanitation. As soon as the person leaves the tunnel, the automatic system turns off again, preserving water and electricity.

The result? Decreased disease transmission, lower risk of infection and greater peace of mind—and ultimately greater mobility.

“We are not a cure for the coronavirus,” said Eran Druker RD Pack vice president for business development. “We are fighting against its spread.”

Israel installed the first pilot tunnel at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv on Saturday to disinfect soccer players, staff and media arriving for matches. The Jewish state’s soccer league has resumed, but matches are played without cheering fans in the bleachers.

Although nobody is forced to pass through the tunnel, nearly everybody prefers to. “Most people want to go through it,” Druker told Reuters. “They feel much more secure.”

According to Druker, RD Pack hopes to obtain regulatory approval for the sanitation tunnel within the next three months.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 4, 2020)

Photo Credit: Little Savage/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray God’s blessing of success on the disinfectant tunnel that is now being tested. Pray that it will in fact provide protection from spreading the disease and allow people to return to some form of normalcy in their lives. Pray also that the innovation will be used beyond Israel’s borders as another blessing for the nations.

Scripture

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me.


- Psalm 108:5–6

Israel Battles Enemies Seen and Unseen with Missile Test During COVID Crisis

by Joshua Spurlock

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A LORA missile (illustrative)

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 | The coronavirus may have led to mass shutdowns across the State of Israel, but it hasn’t shut down Israel’s efforts to improve their self-defense. On Tuesday, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a successful test of the Long-Range Artillery (LORA) Weapon System, all while maintaining COVID-19 restrictions. The LORA missile hit targets at both 90 kilometers (55 miles) and 400 kilometers (248 miles) away in tests conducted at sea.

A press release on the IAI website said the tests, which included remote management due to the COVID-19 restrictions, were a success as the missile both times “launched to its trajectory, navigated its course to the target, and hit it with utmost precision.”

IAI weren’t the only ones happy with the test results—so was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Parallel with our war on corona, we are continuing to safeguard Israel’s security—on defense and offense,” said Netanyahu in a statement released by his office. “Well done to IAI and the defense establishment. Today’s successful test is good news for the citizens of Israel and more bad news for Israel’s enemies.”

The IAI said the LORA system has both ground-to-ground and sea-to-ground attack capabilities using a long-range ballistic missile, a system for command and control and a “ground/marine support system.”

Boaz Levy, IAI’s EVP and general manager of the Systems, Missiles and Space Group, was quoted in the press release as thanking the Israeli Navy, Air Force and Ministry of Defense for their “collaboration and assistance in this trial.”

“The complex trial, performed under COVID-19 limitations, demonstrated the advanced capabilities of both IAI and LORA, our strategic missile system,” said Levy.

“…Performing a trial with this level of complexity during these days is a testament to IAI’s unwavering commitment to our clients across the globe. The impressive results of the trial prove the system’s maturity and state-of-the-art capabilities.”

IAI isn’t new to the missile development world. Previously it has been involved in the Arrow 2 and 3 missile defense systems, as well as other missile and satellite technology. It also co-built the Beresheet spacecraft that reached the moon in 2019.

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on June 2, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Wikibob/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for another successful addition to Israel’s defense arsenal. Pray that these innovations will be strong deterrents to Israel’s enemies and beseech Him for peace so that these weapons need never be used.

Scripture

For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us.


- Psalm 44:6–7

Report: Iran Tried to Poison Israelis by Increasing Chlorine in Water

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IDF cyber warfare department (illustrative)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020 | Iranian hackers intended to poison Israel’s water by increasing the amount of chlorine during a thwarted cyberattack in April, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing both Israeli and foreign sources.

Last week, Israel’s national cyber chief officially acknowledged the country had thwarted a major cyberattack against its water systems, an assault widely attributed to arch-enemy Iran, calling it a “synchronized and organized attack” aimed at disrupting key national infrastructure.

Yigal Unna did not mention Iran directly, nor did he comment on the alleged Israeli retaliation two weeks later said to have shut down a key Iranian port, but he said recent developments have ushered in a new era of covert warfare, ominously warning that “cyber winter is coming.”

The Financial Times yesterday quoted a Western official as saying that the hackers planned to increase the amount of chlorine added to water that was used in Israeli homes, with an Israeli official telling the paper that the foiled attack “had opened the door to ‘an unpredictable risk scenario.’”

The report says the attack “could have triggered fail-safes that would have left tens of thousands of civilians and farms parched in the middle of an Israel heatwave, as the pumping station shut down when the excess chemical was detected.”

According to the Western official, in the “worst-case scenario,” the attack could have put hundreds of people in Israel at risk.

“It was more sophisticated than they [Israel] initially thought,” the official told the Financial Times. “It was close to successful, and it’s not fully clear why it didn’t succeed.”

Alireza Miryousefi, Iran’s spokesman at its United Nations mission, accused Israel of fabricating the attack in order to secure increased financial support from the US, saying that Iranian cyber activity was “purely defensive and protective.”

The Financial Times also quoted an Iranian insider as saying: “Iran cannot politically afford to try to poison Israeli civilians. And even if Iran did so, where is the Israelis’ appropriate response?” 

But Israel apparently did respond, with a May 9 cyber strike on Iran’s state-of-the-art Shahid Rajaee port, which handles almost half of the country’s foreign trade.

Citing unnamed US and foreign government officials, the Washington Post said last month that the disruption of Iranian computers was presumably in retaliation for the earlier attempted cyberattack on Israeli water distribution systems.  

Iran sought to downplay the impact of the attack, the Financial Times said Monday, with a source linked to Tehran arguing that “Iranian ports are usually chaotic and disruptions happen.”

The managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, Mohammad Rastad, previously told Iran’s ILNA news agency that the attack did not penetrate the organization’s computers and was only able to infiltrate and damage a number of private operating systems.

But according to the Washington Post, a foreign government security official called the attack “highly accurate” and said the damage to the Iranian port was more serious than described in official Iranian accounts.

The Financial Times attributes the Israeli decision to target the port to then-Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, the hard-line former aide to Benjamin Netanyahu who went on to found his Yamina (right-wing) party.  

The paper quotes an unnamed Israeli official as saying of the cyberattack: “It was small, very small—like a knock on the door…Think of it [as] a gentle reminder. ‘We know where you live.’”

The Israeli–US cyber war against Iran has been going on for almost 20 years but has gained momentum in the last 15 years. And Israel, the Financial Times said yesterday, is bracing for more.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 1, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Cpl. Eden Briand/IDF Spokesperson's Unit/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise God that Israel’s fail-safes remained intact, keeping the nation’s water supply from being poisoned. Beseech the Lord for His retaliation against enemies that use such vile and insidious means in attempts to wreak havoc. Pray for His continued blessing on Israeli technology and innovation, helping the nation to remain ahead of those who are committed to Israel’s destruction.

Scripture

“For he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”


- Zechariah 2:8b

The Jews Are to Blame, Again

by Ben-Dror Yemini

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The Israeli Police cooperates with many police departments around the world on training.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 | No matter what disaster or crisis besets the earth, it is merely a matter of time until the Jews or Israel are held at fault for it.

Coronavirus has already earned the moniker of “The Jewish Plague” here and there, for just as in the plague pandemic of the 14th century, in 2020 Jews are blamed for that too.

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has already released a report on the matter titled The Virus of Hate.

The Anti-Defamation League and the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry have also released reports on the subject.

It is not the rebirth of blood libel just yet, and while Jews in western nations were disproportionately hit harder by the disease than the general population, anti-Semites never cared about facts.

And we were still not done with dealing with the hate triggered by the coronavirus outbreak when the anti-Semites crawled out of the dark to spin a whole new tale.

They allege that the despicable death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was a result of the police officers being trained by the Israel Police.

Many police departments around the world cooperate on training and information gathering and the Israel Police has extensive expertise in anti-terror tactics and operations.

The Jewish Institute for National Security of America prides itself on sending delegations of high-ranking police officers from the US to Israel to learn about counter-terrorism methods.

Organizations affiliated with the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement have protested in the past and tried to stop these delegations.

Amnesty International even released a report in 2016 alleging that human rights violations by police officers in the US were connected to their training in Israel.   

In response to the report, the National Black Police Association wrote a letter supporting the training in Israel, highlighting the counter-terrorism tactics they are taught.

There is not a single shred of evidence that American police officers are brutalized during their visits to Israel or that those who mistreat African Americans have any connection to such training.

Data shows that police brutality has actually dropped in recent years, but again, anti-Semitic propagandists never care about the facts.

Columbia University’s Iranian-born Prof. Hamid Dabashi wrote in the past that “every dirty treacherous, ugly and pernicious act happening in the world, just wait for a few days and the ugly name of ‘Israel’ will pop up.”

The old anti-Semites blamed the Jews. The new ones blame Israel.

Dabashi’s words have a point. Just wait a few days and either the Jews or Israel will be blamed for every disaster in the world. So it was with coronavirus, the Ferguson Riots of 2014 and now with the death of George Floyd.

Anti-Semitism is a contagious disease.

Back in the day, it was clear that shadowy organizations were behind it. Today the infection is twice as effective—coming from both the far-right and the far-left.

The war against this disease is long, hard and arduous, and it may never really be won.

But the first step in killing a disease is acknowledging its existence.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Ynetnews on June 2, 2020. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Police/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord for divine intervention in the fight against anti-Semitism, causing a multitude of voices to be raised worldwide, decrying the evils of racism and anti-Semitism. Pray that those who would spread such malicious lies about the Jewish people and the nation of Israel would find their tongues cleaving to the roofs of their mouths.

Scripture

“‘I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.”


- Isaiah 41:10b–11

Survey: Half of Diaspora Jews Want Regular Contact with Israel

by Yaniv Pohoryles

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A pro-Israel rally in LA

Thursday, 4 June 2020 | Nearly half of Diaspora [the Jewish population outside Israel] Jews are interested in regular contact with the State of Israel to promote initiatives and activities connecting Jews, says a survey conducted by Genesis Philanthropy Group, a collective of foundations focusing on strengthening Jewish engagement around the world.

Almost 50% of voters said that the common destiny of the Jewish people is a world in which the State of Israel and Jewish communities around the world continuously support each other in initiatives of mutual respect, frameworks for dialogue and a wide range of activities for Jews of all ages.

A quarter of Diaspora Jews want to establish a democratically elected body of Jews from around the world to which the government of Israel will turn for advice on issues of concern to world Jewry.

Moreover, half of the respondents believe that the Jewish people’s common destiny is ensuring the well-being and security of Israel and Jews worldwide.

The survey is part of the Our Common Destiny initiative—launched by Genesis Philanthropy Group and the State of Israel, under the auspices of President Reuven Rivlin—whose goal is to unite the Jewish people worldwide around a common goal and provide a better future for the people and mankind as a whole.

The document compiles values and principles that are meant to connect and unite all Jews, wherever they live.

Some 12,000 Jews from around the world have already filled out the survey, which will remain open until the end of the year, and its findings will be presented to President Rivlin, featuring new perspectives from all over the world.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 3, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israeli American Council/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for President Rivlin’s efforts to build greater communication and connection between the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora (the Jewish population outside Israel). Pray that the Jewish community worldwide will benefit, becoming stronger together as they fulfill the Lord’s call to be a light to the nations.

Scripture

For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.


- Deuteronomy 7:6

Lebanese Soldiers Caught on Camera Aiming RPGs at Israeli Tanks

by Ahiya Raved and Yoav Zitun

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The Israel–Lebanon border

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 | Lebanese army soldiers were caught on camera yesterday directing RPGs [Rocket-Propelled Grenades] at Israeli tanks that were patrolling the area along Israel’s border with Lebanon.

The incident apparently occurred in the upper Galilee area near Kibbutz Misgav Am—outside Israel’s border fence—during routine military activity, which was coordinated with the United Nations UNIFIL peacekeeping forces.

The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Spokesperson’s Unit said the presence of armed Lebanese military personnel is not unusual during Israeli patrols in Lebanon’s territory.

Witnesses said the incident was documented by a photographer affiliated with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group. Lebanese civilians, suspected to be undercover Hezbollah operatives, were also seen in the area at the time of the incident.

Earlier on Tuesday, alternate Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured the northern front for the first time as defense minister—together with Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi, Northern Command Chief Maj. Gen. Amir Baram and Commander of the 210th Division Brig. Gen. Amit Fisher.

During the tour, Gantz emphasized the security challenges prevalent in Israel’s northern front. Most notably the Iranian presence in Syria, alongside any other developments in the Lebanese arena.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on June 2, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Johnny Zoo/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Benny Gantz as he assumes his new role as defense minister. Pray that he will have great wisdom and courage as he deals with the security challenges prevalent on Israel's northern front. Ask the Lord again for Israel’s success in eliminating the Iranian presence on her northern border as well as ending Iran’s role in supplying arms and supplies to Israel’s enemies.

Scripture

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


- Psalm 34:7–8

Why Western Media is Biased against Israel

by Bassam Tawil~Gatestone Institute

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Eyad Hamad was a cameraman for the Associated Press (illustrative)

Thursday, 4 June 2020 | When Palestinian journalist Eyad Hamad criticized Israel, his employers at the Associated Press (AP) summoned him for a hearing, which ended only with a warning.

When Hamad criticized the Palestinian Authority [PA], he received a letter from the AP informing him that “your employment has been terminated.”

The dismissal of 63-year-old Hamad from the AP—an act that enraged Palestinian journalists as well as human rights and media groups in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and the Gaza Strip—did not surprise those familiar with the way the foreign media has been covering the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Many foreign journalists seem to see the conflict along the lines of “good guys (Palestinians) versus bad guys (Israel).” They wake up every morning and search for any story that reflects badly on Israel. The foreign correspondents then hire Palestinians to assist them in spreading lies about Israel. Many of these Palestinians are not real journalists, but political activists who serve as propagandists for the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.

What is particularly disturbing about the dismissal of Hamad is that the AP knew one of its Palestinian workers was engaged in anti-Israel activities, but failed to stop him. Hamad even ignored repeated warnings from his employers against pursuing political activities.

Despite Hamad’s determination to pursue political activities, he was nevertheless permitted to continue working for AP for 20 years. Palestinians are proud of Hamad because he used the AP for many years as a platform to spread lies about Israel.

If Hamad had “repeatedly” violated AP policies by engaging in anti-Israel political activities, why was he allowed to continue covering Palestinian affairs even though his anti-Israel sentiments were known to his employers and everyone else?

What does Hamad’s continued employment by the AP (for two decades) tell us about the stories, photos and videos he produced all those years?

Will the AP now launch an investigation into Hamad’s work to see if he has been misleading readers or staging events all these years? Will the AP management launch an investigation to see why Hamad was allowed to continue working for the agency although his employers were aware of his political activities?

What is even more worrying is that Hamad was eventually fired not because of his anti-Israel activities, but for criticizing the PA.

The AP is now confirming that it fired Hamad after receiving a complaint from the PA police.

The complaint was filed after Hamad and other Palestinian journalists demonstrated against PA security forces to protest the arrest and beating of Anas Hawwari, a Palestinian journalist from the northern West Bank who was arrested for allegedly insulting a Palestinian policeman.

The PA does not want to see journalists who criticize its actions working for the international media. The PA does not want to see Palestinian journalists airing the dirty laundry in public.

By firing Hamad immediately after receiving a complaint from the Palestinian police, the AP is sending a message to all journalists that criticizing the PA is far more serious than engaging in anti-Israel activities. This is a message that says: “If a journalist speaks out against Israel, he receives a warning; but if he criticizes the Palestinian Authority, the journalist gets fired.”

The incident also shows that international news organizations evidently have no problem hiring anti-Israel activists as reporters and cameramen.

The AP evidently knew that Hamad was engaged in political activities. It nevertheless chose to turn a blind eye because Hamad was directing his hate only against Israel. As far as the AP is concerned, the moment Hamad spoke out against the brutality and repressive measures of the PA security forces, he crossed a red line. That is when he was informed of the decision to terminate his employment.

The problem is that there are many Palestinian journalists like Hamad working for the international media in the Middle East. These journalists see themselves as soldiers serving the Palestinian cause, and their duty as bashing Israel on a daily basis. That is at least one of the reasons why the Western mainstream media remains biased against Israel.

It now remains to be seen whether other media organizations will wake up and take a closer look at the political activities of their Palestinian employees. Will those organizations allow these activists to continue to mislead them by promoting fake anti-Israel propaganda?

Source: (Gatestone Institute originally published this article on June 3, 2020. The article has been edited for length, and time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Al Jazeera English/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will awaken international news organizations to the negative influence of Middle Eastern journalists in their employ who are bent on spreading lies and working to poison popular opinion against Israel. Pray that they will have the courage to fire such propagandists and commit to using their platforms to tell the truth at long last.

Scripture

Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones.


- Psalm 83:1–3

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