Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, May 28, 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.

Largest Anti-Israel Event in US History Hosted in Washington DC Tomorrow

by Kate Norman

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Tomorrow’s rally will start at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Friday, 28 May 2021 | An anti-Israel event scheduled to take place in the US capital on Saturday is expected to have a large turnout amid a spike in Western anti-Semitism following a cease-fire that ended the volatile 11-day onslaught of rockets from the Gaza Strip that prompted retaliatory Israeli strikes.

The “National March for Palestine” is being organized by the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) organization in partnership with six other organizations and endorsed by 110 more.

Buses of protestors from across the US—including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Minnesota and others—will descend on the capital and begin their march at the Lincoln Memorial.

The march is expected to be much larger than the similar “National Demonstration for Palestine” in London last week that drew thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors.

The DC protest falls under the umbrella of the AMP’s “Sanction Israel Now” movement.

The Virginia-based organization is calling for people to sign a petition for the Biden administration to impose sanctions on Israel, boycott products made in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, institute an arms embargo, support the impending probe by the International Criminal Court into alleged Israeli war crimes, and “support Palestinian liberation and self-determination”—essentially doing away with the Jewish state and replacing it with a Palestinian state.

This event is an offshoot of the rampant anti-Semitism that has raged across the Western world after the campaign of misinformation and lies that spread amid the 11-day conflict in which terrorists in Gaza fired more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel. The rocket attacks prompted an Israeli response in which the military struck more than 1,500 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip and eliminated more than 225 terrorists—many of whom were preparing to launch more rockets toward Israeli civilians.

Touting the usual anti-Israel buzzwords, such as calling the Jewish state an “apartheid state, the AMP website went so far as to spew outright lies, including the false charge that “Israeli mobs and police attacked Palestinian citizens,” when in fact, the opposite was true.

Thanks to the cease-fire, AMP said on its website, “We must redouble our efforts to sanction Israel now. There is no going back to the status quo. No more ‘peace process’ talks designed to cement Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Israel was forced to defend itself on the battlefield when terrorists in Gaza began launching rockets starting on May 10—and continuing the onslaught for 11 days, keeping thousands of Israeli families in southern and central Israel pinned inside bomb shelters for the duration. Even so, 13 civilians in Israel were killed in the rocket attacks.

Israel was forced to try to protect civilians in Gaza when Hamas, the terrorist organization in control of the Strip, used its own people as human shields by launching rockets from residential areas and storing weapons in mosques, hospitals, schools and homes. The Israel Defense forces went out of its way to avoid civilian casualties amid its responsive strikes, going so far as to call and text civilians to warn them of impending strikes, and even calling off a few strikes when civilians—especially children—were known to be present.

Now Israel is having to defend itself again—this time in the public arena, as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred is spreading as fast as the misinformation and lies about the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 28, 2021)

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord as those who hate Israel prepare to descend on the US capital to spread their vicious anti-Semitic lies, libels and slanders. Pray that He will bring their malicious intentions to naught so that it will not infect and influence more people with the hateful and false rhetoric. Urgently ask the Lord for His light and truth to disperse that forces of darkness, evil and falsehood.

Scripture

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure.


- Psalm 101:5

Blinken, Egypt and a Long-term Cease-fire between Israel and Hamas?

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) in Jerusalem

Thursday, 27 May 2021 | Amid a Mideast tour for the US secretary of state, Egypt invited Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas to a summit in Cairo to follow up on the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire between the Jewish state and Hamas.

Egypt last week mediated an end to the volatile 11-day conflict in which Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza fired more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel, prompting retaliatory Israeli strikes that targeted over 1,000 terrorist targets and eliminated over 200 terrorists in the Strip.

Following the cease-fire, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to the Middle East to visit Israel, Egypt and Jordan to ensure the cease-fire holds and to garner financial and humanitarian support for Gaza.

After meeting with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Tuesday, Blinken traveled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, where he “conveyed President Biden’s appreciation” for Egypt’s “critical mediation efforts” between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group in control of Gaza, as well as other terrorist groups in the Strip.

Now Egypt is working to protect its investment by offering to host the summit to discuss rebuilding Gaza and ensuring that the cease-fire holds long-term, Israel’s Kan news reported Wednesday—the same day of Blinken’s visit.

The summit would include negotiations over the return of the bodies of two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who were killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Their bodies were reportedly stolen by terrorists and dragged into Gaza through terror tunnels, where they have remained for years as a bargaining chip. Hamas is also holding two Israeli citizens who entered into Gaza around 2015 (separately), were captured and are also being held as bargaining chips.

No date has been set yet for the summit, Kan reported, though an unnamed Egyptian official visited Israel last week to discuss it.

Israel has two conditions before agreeing to participate, Kan reported. First, the Jewish state will meet separately with Hamas and the PA. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, and the PA oversees the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria. Second, rebuilding efforts in the Strip should advance the cause of returning the Israeli captives.

Secretary Blinken throughout his trip has highlighted the US priority of helping to reconstruct Gaza. “We see the cease-fire not as an end, but as a beginning, something to build on,” he said at a press briefing in Jordan on Wednesday.

Blinken announced that Washington is giving US $360 million in aid to the Palestinians. Of that, $250 million was announced last month. Since the conflict with Gaza, Blinken said the US will provide another US $75 million in humanitarian aid, US $5.5 million for disaster relief in rebuilding Gaza and US $33 million for a UN humanitarian appeal.

“All of these funds will be administered in a way that benefit the Palestinian people—not Hamas, which has only brought misery and despair to Gaza,” Blinken said in a statement released by his office. “The US government is also firmly committed to ensuring all its assistance is provided consistent with applicable US law, including the Taylor Force Act.”

This is a reversal on the policy of former President Donald Trump, who cut funding to the PA in 2018 due to its “Pay-for-Slay” policy financially rewarding terrorists and their families.

Egypt also pledged US $500 million toward the rebuilding efforts in Gaza.

Before Egypt and Jordan, Blinken visited Israel to meet with top Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken reiterated that the US “fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against such attacks such as the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas indiscriminately against Israeli civilians.”

The state secretary also visited top PA officials in Ramallah, where he reiterated Washington’s determination to reengage with the Palestinian people. To that end, he announced that the US will be reopening a consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinian people, though he did not give a date.

Blinken’s whirlwind tour ended in the Jordanian capital of Amman, where he met with King Abdullah II and the Jordanian foreign minister. At a press conference, Blinken announced that he will be “consulting broadly with Gulf countries and other partners to ensure we all contribute to recovery, stability and the reduction of tensions.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 27, 2021)

Photo Credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that this cease-fire between Gaza and Israel will be more than a temporary cessation of violence but will lead to a true and lasting peace. Pray that the Lord’s will is done in any summit or discussion regarding the future relationship between Israel and Gaza. Beseech the Lord that all funds given to Gaza will be administered properly, ensuring that none will be used to further the terrorist activities of Hamas.

Scripture

Like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over poor people. A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor.


- Proverbs 28:15–16a

Two Wounded in Palestinian Terror Attack in Jerusalem

by JNS

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Israeli Police at the scene of a stabbing attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem yesterday

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 | At least two people were wounded on Monday, one severely, in a suspected terrorist attack in Jerusalem, according to the Israel Police.

The assailant, who had attacked passersby near the Ammunition Hill light-rail station with a knife, was shot and neutralized by officers on the scene and taken away, said police.

“When we arrived at the scene, we saw two victims, conscious, with stab wounds to their upper bodies,” said Magen David Adom [Red Star of David, Israel’s ambulance service] paramedic Sigalit Mizrachi.

Both males were in their 20s and were treated on the scene before being evacuated to the hospital, according to MDA. One was in moderate condition, while the other’s condition was listed as “severe.”

There was no information immediately available regarding the suspect’s condition.

The Ammunition Hill station is adjacent to Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the focus of violent disturbances in recent days over a pending court ruling regarding the eviction of several Arab families from Jewish-owned properties. It was not clear whether Monday’s attack bore any connection to those events.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on May 24, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the physical and emotional healing of both of these young Israelis and for an end to these violent attacks. Ask the Lord to break through and deliver young Arabs from the bondage of hatred, helping them to see that they have been misled and manipulated by their own leaders who have taught them that dying while committing evil is to be valued over life.

Scripture

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions.


- Psalm 5:9–10a

Choosing Life: Organ Donation Cuts across Riots

by Kate Norman

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Israeli security forces dispelling riots in the city of Lod

Monday, 24 May 2021 | Despite the violence that has rocked Israel over the past two weeks, two recent organ donations highlight the coexistence between the Jewish and Arab residents of the nation.

Yigal Yehoshua, a 56-year-old resident of Lod, was killed amid the violence and rioting that shook the central city in recent weeks. Arab riots in the mixed-population city led to the burning of synagogues and stores that sparked comparisons to Kristallnacht “Night of Broken Glass” in Nazi Germany.

Yehoshua was on his way home on May 11 when a group of young Israeli Arab rioters threw a brick at his head. After spending days in the hospital fighting for his life, Yehoshua passed away on May 17.

His tragic death, however, saved the life of a desperate Christian Arab.

Randa Aweis, 58, had been waiting nine years for a kidney.

Aweis, a mother of six who was born in Jerusalem’s Old City, did not know before her surgery this week that her donor was Yehoshua, whose tragic death had become well known.

After the successful surgery that changed her life, Aweis found out who the donor was and expressed her gratitude, saying that she “can’t wait to host Yigal’s family in my home.”

The Christian Arab has already met her Jewish donor’s wife and said “we are like family now.”

“This Jewish kidney has now become a part of me,” Aweis told Channel 12 news.

Despite their joy over her new chance at life, Aweis and her family have expressed their sorrow over the tragic circumstances for Yehoshua.

Aweis’s 29-year-old daughter told the Times of Israel that her “heart goes out to Yigal’s family. We would like to get to know them personally and thank them for having this kidney inside my mother’s body.”

In addition to Aweis’s long-awaited kidney transplant, Yehoshua saved other lives across Israel through his donated organs. A retired 67-year-old soldier received his second kidney, a 22-year-old woman received his liver and a 69-year-old man was given his lungs.

On the flip side, five Jewish patients are receiving organs after an Israeli Arab teen died amid rioting in the city of Umm al-Fahm, located just 20 kilometers (12.4 mi) northwest of Jenin, a hotbed of Palestinian rioting and clashes with Israeli security personnel.

17-year-old Muhammad Mahmid Qiyan passed away on Wednesday night after being injured two weeks ago amid rioting in Umm al-Fahm.

Qiyan’s father told Walla that as soon as it was clear his son would not survive his injuries, “it was natural to me to give his organs to save other people.”

The teenager has lent life to six people across the country who were in desperate need of organs—five of them Jewish. A 1-year-old Arab boy received a lobe of Qiyan’s liver. The five Jewish patients included a 37-year old man who received his heart, a 66-year-old man who received his lungs, a 69-year-old man who received his liver and a 16-year-old girl who was transplanted one of his kidneys.

“The fact that the life of five Jews and one Arab were saved make Muhammad’s mother and me very happy,” Qiyan’s father told Walla. “We respect all people, both Arabs and Jews. I really live in this country, and I ask that all the people in the country to think the same way I do. A Jew or an Arab is the same. That’s what I would like.”

The onslaught of rocket attacks, rioting and attempted terror attacks have plagued Israel with an undeniable tension over the past two weeks. But the picture painted by a Jewish terror victim’s kidney saving the life of a Christian Arab, and a Muslim’s organs being donated to five Jewish people and an Arab baby, restores faith that the Jews, Muslims and Christians who live in this land can, amid such tragedy and seeming hopelessness, set aside their differences and save each other’s lives.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 24, 2021)

Photo Credit: Police Foreign Press Spokesman/Micky Rosenfeld

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for these beautiful stories of coexistence and true brotherly love between those who are often thought of as enemies. Pray for the success of each of these transplants, and beseech the Lord that these stories will be heard throughout the world, serving as an example of the kind of relationships that are possible regardless of race or religion.

Scripture

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


- Psalm 133:1

As Conflict with Hamas Subsides, Anti-Semitism Rages across the Globe

by Kate Norman

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Pro-Palestinian rioters in northern London shouting anti-Semitic slurs

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 | Days after a cease-fire ended the unflinching barrages of rockets fired from terrorists in Gaza toward Israel, Jewish people around the world are still paying the price for anti-Israel anger and hatred.

The international community watched like a hawk as the Jewish state worked to protect its civilians from the 11-day onslaught of more than 4,300 rockets from Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded by striking more than 1,000 terrorist targets in the Strip and eliminating more than 200 terrorists—all while trying to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

As they always do, anti-Israel activists came swooping out of the woodwork, waving “Free Palestine” signs condemning Israel as an apartheid state for defending itself. Anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic content spread through social media like wildfire. And some anti-Semites took to the streets to physically express their anger on the nearest Jew—or anyone who looked like one.

Following the 11-day attack on Israel, anti-Semitism skyrocketed, particularly in Europe—especially the United Kingdom—and the United States.

The first rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel on May 9 sparked anti-Semitic hatred over 2,000 miles away in the UK. The country saw 116 reported anti-Semitic incidents since that date, the Times of Israel reported, a stark rise compared to the previous two weeks, which saw only 11 such cases.

One of those incidents included an attack on a rabbi by two young men, who beat him so severely that he required hospitalization.

The day the cease-fire was announced, an Orthodox Jewish man was attacked by a man who broke into his car and assaulted him. The Jewish man survived, and his attacker was held by people nearby until the police came.

One of the most disturbing instances out of the UK took place on May 16, when a convoy of cars parading Palestinian flags drove through the streets, particularly through the Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green. A video of the incident shows people screaming anti-Semitic slurs out of the windows.

A Jewish woman who witnessed the event called into the British LBC radio station to share her reaction. “I can’t even put into words how terrifying it is at the moment of being a Jew, living in North London, seeing what we saw in the streets last night,” she said.

A Jewish former Labour official took to Twitter to express her fears. “Very difficult to watch the anti-Jewish hatred being aggressively shouted/broadcast/on placards in London over the past 2 days,” Luciana Berger wrote. “Some of it happening [very] near to where I live. Antisemitism in the UK sadly always spikes when there is conflict in the [Middle East] but this feels worse than ever.”

Across the pond, American Jews are also feeling the weight of anti-Jewish hatred, as anti-Semitic attacks have increased since the announcement of the cease-fire in Israel. New York City has been a lightning rod for anti-Semitic attacks over the past few days.

Two Jewish teens were attacked in Brooklyn on Saturday by six men who started beating them. The teens were whisked to safety by a passing Muslim Uber driver who saw what was happening.

In another incident last week, a 29-year-old Jewish man wearing a kippah (skullcap) was attacked by an Arab man while exiting the subway in Manhattan. The Arab man beat Joseph Borgen and pepper-sprayed him in the face for a full minute, he told the Jerusalem Post, until police appeared.

In fact, the anti-Semitic violence in New York has gotten so bad that the governor has ordered the state police to ramp up security at Jewish sites across the state, especially Jewish schools and synagogues.

The city has been a battleground for pro-Israel rallies and pro-Palestinian protests that have turned violent—especially on Thursday when the activists collided and started brawling in the street.

Last week in Los Angeles, another convoy waving Palestinian flags and screaming anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs passed a restaurant. Some of the people sitting outside reportedly yelled at the activists, who responded by jumping out of the cars, asking who in the crowd was Jewish and beating those who answered yes.

The hatred has spread across the rest of the US as well. Florida has seen its disturbing share of Jewish hatred, as a man screamed anti-Semitic slurs at a rabbi and dumped human feces outside the synagogue in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

An unidentified subject also shattered the glass door of a synagogue in Tucson, Arizona with a large object. Other synagogues around the country have been targeted as well.

Not all the activism comes from the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic camp, however. Thousands of people gathered outside Ground Zero of the World Trade Center site in New York City on Sunday. The rally, called “United against Antisemitism. United Against Terror. United for Us,” was organized by the Israeli American Council (IAC) New York region.

The IAC cofounder said at the event that “a cease-fire does not put an end to the unprecedented attacks against Israel in the US and against our community. We must protect and defend our families both here and in Israel.”

Similar rallies took place across the US, including Texas, Colorado, New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

US President Joe Biden called for an end to the hatred on his Twitter page. “The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad—it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”

The rockets may have stopped, but the hatred continues rippling across the world, building up until anti-Semitic waves sweeping Jews in the Diaspora off their feet.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, director of global social action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, told JNS the attacks are not just a response to what’s going on in Israel and called on local leaders to stand up and condemn violence.

“No one in Williamsburg, NY, Golders Green [in] London or Los Angeles started this conflict, and no one has the power to impact on events in the Holy Land, but that hasn’t stopped the hate threats and violence from proliferating in too many places.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 25, 2021)

Photo Credit: Heart and Faith/youtube/screenshot

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for the safety of Jewish people around the world. Pray that governments will truly work to prosecute those who commit such acts and to educate their populations regarding the evil of anti-Semitism. Also pray that the Lord will open the door for Diaspora Jews to make their way to Israel, finding a safe haven in their ancient homeland.

Scripture

Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.


- Psalm 106:47

UN Institutes Permanent Open-ended Investigation into Israel 

by JNS

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The United Nations building in New York City

Friday, 28 May 2021 | The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) approved a measure on Thursday to permanently investigate Israel for war crimes, while also calling for an embargo against it.

The 47-member body passed the measure 24–9, with 14 members abstaining. The countries that opposed the resolution were Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshal Islands, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Bahrain, which established ties with Israel last year, voted in favor of the resolution, along with other countries with poor human rights records, such as China, Russia, Cuba, Libya, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Venezuela.

The resolution calls on the council to “urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021.”

It also calls on “all states to refrain from transferring arms” to Israel when “there is a clear risk that such arms might be used in the commission or facilitation of serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

In her opening statement to the council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that Israel’s air strikes on Gaza may constitute war crimes.

“If found disproportionate, such attacks might constitute war crimes,” she said. She also urged Hamas to refrain from firing rockets at Israel, calling the action a “clear violation of international humanitarian law” but stopped short of calling it a war crime as well.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “shameful decision, and that the council had shown a “blatant anti-Israel obsession.”

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States Gilad Erdan called the resolution “outrageous.”

“This appalling, one-sided anti-Semitic resolution has effectively predetermined the results of the so-called investigation. It ignores the rockets fired at Israeli civilians and equates Israel with Hamas, a terrorist organization, thereby legitimizing Hamas and other terrorist organizations worldwide.”

Erdan added that the resolution is further evidence of the UNHRC’s “obsession” with Israel.

“Since its establishment, the UNHRC has proven that it is morally corrupt. It has held 30 special sessions—nine of which were solely focused on Israel—with no resolutions against human rights violators such as Syria and Iran,” he stated.

Going on to thank the countries that opposed the resolution, Erdan said that “anyone who cares about human rights, including the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza, must stop equating Israel with Hamas and focus on the atrocities Hamas inflicts on Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

The US, which is not currently a member of the council, called the resolution “a distraction that adds nothing to ongoing diplomatic and humanitarian efforts” and instead “threatens to imperil the progress that has been made.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on May 27, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Steve Cadman/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will shake the United Nations to its very core, causing them to open their eyes to their own anti-Israel bias. Pray that those nations who are supportive of Israel will take a firm stand against every anti-Semitic action that the UN attempts to take, and pray that Israel’s growing friendship with Arab nations will result in a weakening of the anti-Israel Arab bloc.

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

Report: IAEA Head Says No Turning Back Clock on Iran’s Nuclear Program

by JNS

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A nuclear power facility in Iran

Thursday, 27 May 2021 | Amid ongoing talks in Vienna regarding a possible US return to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog warned in an interview published on Tuesday that “you cannot put the genie back in the bottle.”

International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] director general Rafael Grossi told the Financial Times that while most of the measures taken by Iran since the United States unilaterally exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 could be reversed, the level of research and development that has taken place since then is an “issue.”

“The Iranian program has grown, become more sophisticated, so the linear return to 2015 is no longer possible. What you can do is keep their activities below the parameters of 2015,” he said.

The only way to accomplish this, he said, is through verification.

Grossi noted that Iran has now stockpiled 10 times the 300 kilograms [661 lb.] of enriched uranium stipulated by the accord, including some to near-weapons grade.

Iran announced on April 13 that it had notified the IAEA of its intent to begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, far above the 3.67% level stipulated by the JCPOA. Iran had already begun enriching uranium to the 20% level in the preceding months. The nuclear watchdog confirmed just days later that Iran had indeed begun the process of enriching to 60% at its Natanz nuclear facility.

“A country enriching at 60% is a very serious thing—only countries making bombs are reaching this level,” Grossi told the Financial Times. “Sixty percent is almost weapons grade, commercial enrichment is 2, 3%.”

While it is Iran’s “sovereign right” to develop its nuclear program, he said, “this is a degree that requires a vigilant eye.”

“It’s obvious that with a program with the degree of ambition, sophistication that Iran has, you need a very robust, very strong verification system…otherwise it becomes very fragile,” he added.

Iran restricted its cooperation with IAEA inspectors in February, although it agreed to allow some monitoring to continue for a three-month period that was extended this week until June 24, six days after Iran’s presidential elections.

Grossi told the Financial Times that the arrangement would ultimately be “unsustainable.”

“We are entering a phase where we have to take [things]…one week at a time and see how the other process [the Vienna negotiations] evolves,” said Grossi.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on May 26, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Paolo Contri / IAEA/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations of the world will recognize the danger in attempting to control the Iran nuclear program through means such as the JCPOA. Cry out to the Lord for a strategy that will bring Iranian nuclear ambitions to an end once and for all.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war.


- Psalm 140:1–2

Holocaust Survivor Attacked with Hateful Comments on Social Media

by JNS

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Holocaust survivor, Lily Ebert

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 | The TikTok account of a Holocaust survivor was recently flooded with anti-Semitic messages as violence took place in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians.

Lily Ebert, 97, a native of Bonyhád, Hungary, who is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, created a TikTok account to answer questions about the Holocaust. Over the course of several days, TikTok users posted numerous hate messages on her page, according to her great-grandson, Dov Forman.

“We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horror of the past, and what hatred can lead to,” he tweeted on May 16, along with a screenshot of the disturbing messages. “Hate only breeds hate.”

Some of the comments include “Happy Holocaust,” “Free Palestine,” “Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]” and “Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

In a TikTok video posted on May 21, in which Ebert wished her followers “Shabbat Shalom” [“peaceful Sabbath”], users commented with the Palestinian flag emoji and wrote, “Holihoax, not Holocaust.”

Forman said that despite the hateful comments, Ebert, who lives in London and survived the coronavirus in January, will continue to educate others about the Holocaust.

“Hate breeds hate. We will not let this vile anti-Semitic abuse stop us in our mission of educating the younger generations about the horrors of the Holocaust,” Forman posted last week on Twitter.

He also made a point to show appreciation for those who stood by his great-grandmother, saying: “Thank you for all of your support over the past few days.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on May 25, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the courage of this family as they work to educate younger generations about the truth of the Holocaust. Pray that they will be very successful in their efforts, and ask the Lord to protect and encourage them as they deal with constant anti-Semitic abuse. Ask the Lord to give them the wisdom and courage to stand against those who would demean or deny the Holocaust.

Scripture

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.


- Proverbs 14:5

Gaza Residents: We Are Tired of Fighting Israel

by Elior Levy

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Smoke billowing from Gaza (illustrative)

Monday, 24 May 2021 | Some residents of the Gaza Strip are expressing exhaustion at the seemingly endless cycle of violence with Israel, whose latest outbreak ended with a mutual and unconditional cease-fire Friday morning after 12 days of IDF [Israel Defense Forces] strikes in Gaza and waves of rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities.

“Both sides lost,” says T., a resident of the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

“People here expect no more than two or three years of calm before another round of fighting breaks out. While many in the Strip are furious when they hear the word ‘Israel,’ we no longer have any strength for fighting,” he says.

The cycle of violence began when the Hamas terror group seized control of the coastal enclave in 2007.

The move, which saw Hamas oust Palestinian [Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah [leading secular Palestinian political] party in a bloody coup, led a year later to the first of four wars fought with Israel across the Gaza border, causing massive destruction and loss of life.

Now some Gazans were also calling on Israel to directly aid for reconstruction to them and not offer assistance through Hamas, which they fear will divert financial aid to rebuild their military capabilities and not civilian infrastructure.

“Hamas lost its military capabilities but people here are afraid to speak out, especially now,” says T.

“My entire family had to leave their homes in the western part of the city and seek shelter in other areas. When they returned on Friday, hours after the cease-fire came into effect, they found their street destroyed, although their house remained intact,” he says.

S., a 30-year-old man living in Jabalia in the northern part of the Strip, says Gaza had just begun to recover from a 2014 war, the third since 2008, when the latest fighting began.

“We have now been set back seven years and people have lost all hope,” S. says.

“Not all Gaza residents support Hamas. We have been forced into this war.”

Civilian projects were started following the 51-day war in 2014, including the construction of a hospital near the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza.

Israel had also approved the construction of a gas pipeline to supply Gaza’s only power station with fuel, a move that would have ensured an uninterrupted flow of electricity to Gazan homes.

During the recent fighting, electricity was available for no more than four hours a day, severely curtailing the supply of water that is electrically operated.

Now Gaza residents fear that such vital infrastructure programs will be postponed and that huge inputs of financial aid will be needed to rebuild the Strip, an effort that would last for years.

The medical center, which was being built by an American organization, contained advanced technological equipment never before seen in the Strip.

On Saturday, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar emerged from his underground bunker to tour the streets of Gaza City.

He did not make a victory speech and was seen to have only a small number of civilians rallying in his support.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on May 23, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Al Jazeera English/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the people of Gaza who live under the oppressive leadership of Hamas. Pray that they will have the courage to speak out against their oppressors, and cry out to the Lord that the nations of the world will hear them and protect them from an endless cycle of violence. As efforts are made to rebuild the Gaza Strip, pray that steps will be taken to ensure that Hamas will never be able to rebuild its military capabilities.

Scripture

Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.


- Isaiah 10:1–2

Netanyahu Names David Barnea as Israel’s Next Spymaster

by Itamar Eichner, Tova Tzimuki

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Incoming Mossad head David Barnea (left), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and outgoing Mossad chief Yossi Cohen

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 | David Barnea will be the next head of the Mossad clandestine intelligence agency, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday.

The announcement was made after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit gave the go-ahead to the appointment of Barnea, who currently serves as the agency’s deputy chief.

Barnea, 56, will take up his new role on June 1 and will replace outgoing spymaster Yossi Cohen, who is retiring from the organization after 38 years.

Barnea, a father of four, joined Mossad in 1996 for an intelligence collection officers’ course and was assigned to the agency’s operations division. Later, Barnea was assigned as the commander of several of Mossad’s operations units, both domestic and abroad.

Between the years 2013–2019, Barnea led Mossad’s Tzomet Division, which operates the organization’s officers and agent network around the world. During that time, the division under his wing won much acclaim.

Barnea has been serving as Mossad deputy chief since 2019.

“He who dares, wins,” said Netanyahu in his announcement. “Someone has to dare to lead…each operation is bolder, more creative and insane than the one before it…We are going to open cinemas in a few days, but there is not a single action film that could compare to what Mossad does.”

The outgoing Mossad director, Yossi Cohen, also greeted his successor at the ceremony.

“Mossad’s daily routine is war, a clandestine war. We carry out countless operations all the time, everywhere,” Cohen said. “These operations provide Israel with vital intelligence, they thwart unconventional weapons, acts of terrorism and espionage. They break new grounds in peace and regional cooperation.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on May 24, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: OneNews/youtube/screenshot

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the Mossad and the remarkable but dangerous work that they do to protect not just Israel but the rest of the world as well. Ask the Lord for His protection over every agent involved in its operations. Pray also for David Barnea and his family. Ask the Lord to give him supernatural wisdom and ability as he assumes leadership of this incredible agency.

Scripture

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.


- Psalm 32:7