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A Year of Crisis

Friday, November 18, 2022

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

Netanyahu Tapped to Form the Next Government

by Kate Norman

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Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu has been tasked with forming Israel’s next government.

Monday, 14 November 2022 | President Isaac Herzog yesterday tasked Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government of Israel, following the victory of Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc in the elections earlier this month.

After five elections in less than four years had failed to break the political stalemate, leaving the Jewish state without a stable government, Netanyahu’s bloc of right-wing, religious parties won 64 seats, giving him a comfortable majority in the 120-seat Knesset (Parliament).

Netanyahu served as prime minister from 1996–1999 and then from 2009–2021, giving him the title of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Now, as he seems to return to the helm of the Jewish state to form the 25th Knesset, Netanyahu promised yesterday to form a “stable and successful government” to serve “all of Israel’s residents, without exception,” as quoted by the Times of Israel.

“I intend to be a prime minister for everyone—for those who voted for me, and for those who did not vote for me,” Netanyahu added at yesterday’s ceremony, where he received the mandate from Herzog at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

In Israeli elections, people vote for parties rather than candidates, and parties are given certain amounts of seats in the Knesset based on how many votes they won in the election. Each party then meets with the president of Israel to recommend a candidate to form a government comprising a majority coalition.

President Herzog said in a speech at his residence in Jerusalem yesterday that 64 members of the Knesset recommended Netanyahu for the job based on the election results and his strong chance of putting together a government.

Netanyahu will now have 28 days to finish the job, with an optional extension of 14 days if necessary—though he is expected to have little difficulty rallying the required majority.

This is Netanyahu’s eighth time receiving the mandate to form a government from the president, with a track record of succeeding five times and failing three times.

Given the cushy majority his bloc received from the voters, Netanyahu is expected to once again put together a majority coalition and return to his old seat at the head of the Knesset. The next 28 days will comprise divvying out ministerial and government positions.

After giving Netanyahu the mandate, President Herzog wished him well on his mission.

“Your success is the success of the entire people,” Herzog said.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 14, 2022)

Photo Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray for Benjamin Netanyahu as he has been tasked with forming the next government of Israel. Ask the Lord to grant him wisdom for the controversial ministerial appointments he will have to make to form partnerships, and pray he will not be influenced by outside pressure. Ask the Lord for discernment as Netanyahu puts together the governing coalition, and pray that the coalition members will be more interested in leading the nation with courage and fairness than in personal political ambition.

Scripture

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.


- Psalm 32:8

Three Killed, Three Wounded in Samaria Terror Attack

by JNS

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Three Israelis were killed and three others wounded in a Palestinian terrorist attack in and around Ariel in Samaria.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 | Three Israelis were killed and three more wounded on Tuesday when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Ariel in Samaria.

The assailant stabbed one person at the entrance to the Ariel Industrial Park and two others at an adjacent gas station, according to the Israeli military.

He then fled the scene in a stolen vehicle, which he subsequently slammed into several cars on Route 5 before exiting the car and stabbing another person, and then stealing a second vehicle and driving it against traffic.

At this stage, security personnel shot and killed him.

The slain Israelis were Michael Ladygin, 36, a father of two, and Mordechai Ashkenazi, 59, a father of three and grandfather of two, who were stabbed at the gas station, and Tamir Avihai, 50, a father of six, whom the terrorist drove into.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry identified the terrorist as Muhammed Souf, 18, from the town of Haris.

The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] was conducting a search for a second suspect in connection with the attack.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid released a statement following the attack, saying, “The citizens of Israel awakened today to a difficult and painful morning. A despicable terrorist has carried out a heinous terrorist attack in Ariel. On behalf of the government and State of Israel, I send my condolences to the families of those murdered and my wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

“We are relentlessly fighting terrorism with the full might of…the security forces,” the statement continued, adding, “Recently, we have succeeded in dismantling extensive terrorist infrastructure and planning, but we must fight this war every day anew. Our security forces are working around the clock to protect the citizens of Israel and target terrorist infrastructure anytime, anywhere.”

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter: “Praying for the peace of those injured in the serious attack in Ariel and strengthening the security forces operating in the area.”

United States Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides similarly weighed in on the social media platform: “Horrified by the rampage of one terrorist today in Ariel that left three Israelis dead, and as many wounded. My heart goes out to the grieving families and those injured. This senseless violence needs to stop!”, the American envoy wrote.

Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on November 15, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for healing for those who were injured in this latest attack and for the loved ones of Michael Ladygin, Mordechai Ashkenazi and Tamir Avihai who were stabbed to death by Muhammed Souf. Plead with the Lord for an end to the violence, terror and death that have become daily occurrences across the nation.

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

Israeli Humanitarian Organization Saves the Life of Mauritian Toddler

by Ynetnews

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Children at “Save a Child’s Heart” in Israel, which provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other procedures

Thursday, 17 November 2022 | Doctors from Wolfson Medical Center, who volunteer at the Israeli humanitarian organization “Save a Child’s Heart”, managed to save the life of a one-year-old Mauritian toddler with a complex heart condition.

Little Raghav, nicknamed Samael, was born in April 2021 in Mauritius, an island nation in the Southern Indian Ocean. His mother, Marie, could already sense something was wrong during her pregnancy, which was difficult and painful. During an ultrasound, her doctor grew suspicious that the fetus she carried had a heart defect.

Marie went to a cardiologist to make sure, and he confirmed the doctor’s fear. Even before Samael was born, his mother knew he would need complex life-saving surgery.

Samael was born with TOF (Tetralogy of Fallot), a condition that comprises four congenital heart defects, including a hole in the wall between ventricles and a problem with the flow of blood between ventricles. The condition leads to extreme fatigue from even the smallest action, delays the baby’s development and endangers its life.

From the moment he was born, Samael’s mother knew he would need surgery. “We prayed for a miracle. The surgery Samael needed was not available where we live, and we knew his life was in danger with every second that passed. But then our story reached ‘Save a Child’s Heart’.”

So far, “Save a Child’s Heart” has operated on children from 64 countries around the world and has brought more than 6,000 children to Israel from developing countries and countries with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations. Now, thanks to a collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, the organization has expanded its activities to include Mauritius.

Marie soon got the news that her little boy would receive life-saving surgery in Israel. “I was very worried at first. I had never been on a plane before, and I was afraid to fly alone with my baby to a distant country where I don’t know anyone. But I knew it was the only way to save him. The people from ‘Save a Child’s Heart’ supported and accompanied us from the very first moment, which really reassured me.”

Marie and little Samael arrived at the organization’s Children’s Home in Israel, and a few days later, Samael was admitted to Wolfson Medical Center for open-heart surgery. “Samael was a bit scared, but we quickly calmed him,” says Dr. Lior Sasson, Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. “We’ve already performed surgery on thousands of children, but we still get excited and happy every time we manage to reach another child from a distant country. Samael’s surgery was a success and will allow him to lead a full and healthy life just like any other child.”

So far, “Save a Child’s Heart” has reached children from Tanzania and Zanzibar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Moldova, Kosovo, Ethiopia, the Palestinian Authority/Gaza and other countries, carrying out complex and sometimes secret missions to bring them to Israel for life-saving surgery.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on November 16, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Article 25 Flickr/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s richest blessing on the doctors who volunteer with Save a Child’s Heart as they give of their time and expertise to save the lives of children from across the globe. Pray that little Samael and his mother—together with the thousands of other families who have been touched by the generosity and kindness of Israeli medical staff—will become outspoken advocates for the nation that made life-saving miracles a reality in their lives.

Scripture

The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.


- Proverbs 11:25

IAEA: Iran Increases Highly Enriched Uranium Stockpile

by JNS

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Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, shows then-President Hassan Rouhani models of nuclear centrifuges.

Friday, 11 November 2022 | Iran has increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday.

The UN agency also chastised Tehran for continuing to bar its officials from accessing or monitoring Iranian nuclear sites.

As of October 22, Iran has around 62.3 kilograms (137.3 lb.) of uranium enriched to 60% purity, according to the IAEA’s latest quarterly report. This represents a 6.7 kilogram-increase since the IAEA’s last report in September.

Enrichment to 60% purity is one short step away from 90% weapons-grade fissile material.

Due to restrictions Tehran placed on UN inspectors last year and the regime’s removal of the agency’s monitoring and surveillance equipment from sites in Iran in June, the IAEA said it could not determine the precise size of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is “seriously concerned” that Iran has not cooperated with the agency’s investigation into uranium found at three undeclared sites, according to another report.

Separately, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] announced on Thursday that two F-35i Adir aircraft accompanied two American B-52 bombers assigned to CENTCOM through Israel’s skies.

The IDF said that the flight was part of the growing cooperation with the US military, which is an important component of Israel’s national security, maintains regional stability and counters regional threats.

Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on November 10, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Iranian President’s Office/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the IAEA inspectors will be allowed into Iran and will be able to determine the exact state of Iran’s progression toward nuclear statehood. Cry out to the Lord for courage, determination and unity among the nations of the world to stand against Iran’s nuclear ambitions and continuing offensive actions in the region. Thank Him for the growing cooperation between the Israeli and American militaries and the important role that relationship plays in Israel’s security.

Scripture

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.


- Psalm 18:30 (ESV)

‘Report It’: New Online Portal to Combat Anti-Semitism

by JNS

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Thursday, 17 November 2022 | The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Fighting Online Anti-Semitism (FOA) organization on Wednesday announced the launch of a new portal, called “Report It,” to help people fight against anti-Semitic content online.

The new platform also provides step-by-step guides to facilitate the reporting of hateful content on social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.

“This new platform is a game-changer in the fight against online anti-Semitism because it provides all the basic tools for anyone and everyone to report this hateful content and get it banned,” said CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “For too long, there was a sense of helplessness around the ubiquitous nature of anti-Semitism online, and the average person did not think they could make a difference. This is now changing, because now we fight not as individuals, but as a community,” he added.

“We will be able to fight future anti-Semitic comments like those made by Kanye West and Kyrie Irving in a far quicker and more concerted manner, even if they have millions of followers.”

The “Report It” portal will also store all anti-Semitic content in a secure online database for future reference.

“Online anti-Semitism has multiplied massively in recent years, and we are unfortunately seeing greater impunity on many major social media platforms for spreading hatred against Jews,” said FOA CEO Tomer Aldubi. “This immunity for hate must stop. All those who stand for fairness, tolerance and against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism must join together to make social media platforms a safer place for all. Jews are being attacked from all sides, so we need as much help as possible. This platform will be the force aggregator as we fight back against online anti-Semitism,” he continued.

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

Photo Credit: jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for this innovative new platform. Pray that it will be very effective in combatting the deluge of anti-Semitic hatred that exists on social media sites.

Scripture

You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.


- Psalm 5:6

UN Votes to Ask ICJ to Weigh in on Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

by Ilse Strauss

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The United Nations logo

Monday, 14 November 2022 | In a measure Israel blasted as the latest in a “long line of anti-Israel resolutions,” a UN committee decided on Friday to reach out to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to “urgently” offer its opinion and advice on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict—and presumably take Israel to task over what the UN committee called the Israeli “annexation.”

The UN General Assembly Fourth Committee ratified the decision into a resolution with 98 countries—including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates—voting in favor. Sixteen countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, a number of Pacific island nations and the United States sided with Israel to vote against the accord, while 52 abstained.

The resolution’s title, “Israeli Practices and Settlement Activities Affecting the Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,” sets the biased tone for its contents. It offers a rather unsurprising—yet no less disturbing—hodgepodge of anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian rhetoric, claims and accusations followed by a request to the ICJ to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on what it slates as Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

The resolution continues by calling on the ICJ to weigh in on the status of Jerusalem, one of the most contentious points of disagreement between Israelis and the Palestinians. The UN committee, however, clearly has no reservations about blatantly picking sides, highlighting Israel’s so-called measures “aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem” and charging the Jewish state with adopting “discriminatory legislation and measures.”

It also ignores Jewish ties to the holiest site in Judaism—the Temple Mount, the site where the two Temples once stood—by calling it only by its Arabic name, Haram al-Sharif, and referring to it as part of “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan blasted the resolution at the committee hearing. “The only purpose is to demonize Israel and exempt the Palestinians from responsibility,” he said, adding that the resolution was “destroying any hope for a resolution.”

According to Erdan, it gives the Palestinians “the perfect excuse to continue boycotting the negotiating table.”

The resolution will now be passed to the General Assembly for official approval, which will likely take place next month.

The Hague-based ICJ, also known as the World Court, is a UN organ and is not to be confused with the International Criminal Court, which is also in The Hague. Its chief purpose is reportedly to settle disputes between states in line with international law and to offer advisory opinions on international legal issues.

Israel hardly expects a fair, unbiased assessment from the court, and rightly so. Neither does Jerusalem expect the ICJ’s opinion and advice on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to be in Israel’s favor, and again, rightly so. However, regardless of what its opinion and advice on the matter turn out to be, it is non-binding. It doesn’t make it inconsequential though. An ICJ decree against Israel in favor of the Palestinians will help codify into international law the Palestinian demand that all the territory Israel reclaimed from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War should fall within the borders of a future Palestinian state.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 14, 2022)

Photo Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that any “advisory opinion” rendered by the ICJ will be seen for what it is: anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda which was requested, not because the ICJ has any jurisdiction, but because of the influence it can have on the court of public opinion. Cry out to the Lord that any attempt to demonize Israel will simply be ineffective, and that regardless of accusations, truth will prevail.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 14:5

The Dangerous Nexus: Russia and Iran’s Mullahs

by  Majid Rafizadeh ~ Gatestone Institute

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Image of the Iranian flag

Monday, 14 November 2022 | The Iranian regime is now providing weapons and troops to Russia with full impunity. What are the ruling mullahs [an honorific title for Muslim clergy] of Iran getting in return?

First of all, Iran’s theocratic establishment is rushing to cross the nuclear threshold in order to become a nuclear-armed state. Iran wants Russia to help it bolster and speed up its nuclear program. On October 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accurately warned:

“In eight months of full-scale war, Russia has used almost 4,500 missiles against us. And their stock of missiles is dwindling. Therefore, Russia went looking for affordable weapons in other countries to continue its terror. It found them in Iran.”

Zelenskyy added:

“I have a question for you—how does Russia pay Iran for this, in your opinion? Is Iran just interested in money? Probably not money at all, but Russian assistance to the Iranian nuclear program. Probably, this is exactly the meaning of their alliance.”

The Iranian regime, which has long argued that it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons due to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s reported fatwa [a binding legal opinion or ruling issued by a leading Islamic scholar] forbidding such an act, has lately changed its tone and is boasting that it currently has the ability to build a nuclear bomb.

In July, Kamal Kharrazi, Iran’s former foreign minister, acknowledged to Al Jazeera:

“It’s no secret that we have become a quasi-nuclear state. This is a fact. And it’s no secret that we have the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb… In the past, and within just a few days, we were able to enrich uranium up to 60%, and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium.”

Kharrazi added that “what we want is a Middle East without any nuclear weapons”— most likely meaning that only Iran will hold onto nuclear weapons, but not any other country.

Other Iranian officials have also come out admitting that the regime’s nuclear program was always designed to manufacture nuclear weapons. In April, it was reported that former deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Motahari said:

“From the very beginning, when we entered the nuclear activity, our goal was to build a bomb and strengthen the deterrent forces but we could not maintain the secrecy of this issue.”

The former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, also acknowledged that his work was part of a “system” designed to develop nuclear weapons.

The Biden administration’s non-existent leadership has helped the ruling mullahs to buy time in the last two years and speed up their nuclear program, increasing their uranium enrichment from 20% to 60%, conducting uranium metal research, development and production as well as adding additional advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges. The emboldened regime of the mullahs even announced that they would not allow the International Atomic Energy to see images of the centrifuges.

Even a joint statement issued by the UK, France and Germany stressed that Tehran “has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon.”

Russia and Iran previously worked together to construct several nuclear reactors in Iran and advance the regime’s nuclear technology.

Biden’s new nuclear deal, if reached, will also allow Russia to cash in on a [US] $10 billion contract to further expand Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stunningly made it clear to US lawmakers that the Biden administration will not stand in the way of Russian–Iranian nuclear cooperation and Russia cashing in on the [US] $10 billion contract. State Department Spokesman Ned Price repeated the Biden administration’s stance by pointing out:

“We, of course, would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA”.

Sadly, this still seems to be the legacy that the Biden administration wants to leave: Iran’s predatory regime, the top state sponsor of terrorism, armed with nuclear bombs, and an empowered Russia that does not hesitate to use aggression and military force to invade other countries.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy.  

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Gatestone Institute on November 11, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: David_Peterson/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
In ancient days, the Lord caused Israel’s enemies to turn against one another. Pray that this relationship between Russia and Iran will also come to a screeching halt. Also cry out to the Lord that no agreement will be reached based on the dangerous plan suggested by the Biden administration.

Scripture

The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other.


- 2 Chronicles 20:23 (NLT)

FBI to Investigate Death of Abu Akleh, Israel Calls Probe ‘Serious Mistake’

by JNS

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Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 | The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] has launched an investigation into the killing of Palestinian–American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, Israeli media reported on Monday.

In September, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] concluded its own investigation into the death of Abu Akleh, who was killed during a firefight between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin. The IDF stated at the time that “it appears that it is not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire which hit Ms. Abu Akleh. However, there is a high possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by IDF gunfire that was fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate [fire was directed] toward IDF soldiers.”

The IDF had added that the possibility of Abu Akleh being hit by Palestinian fire “remains relevant.”

On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would not cooperate with the FBI’s probe or any external investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh.

“The US Justice Ministry’s decision to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a serious mistake,” Gantz said in a statement.

Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on November 14, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshop/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will have great wisdom in dealing with the investigation launched by the FBI. Ask the Lord to direct the FBI’s examination of the circumstances and the evidence, and pray that they will come to the same conclusions as Israel did in their investigation. Pray, again, that truth will prevail.

Scripture

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”


- Isaiah 30:21a

Something Larger than Us All

by Cheryl Hauer

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Bridges for Peace volunteers packing food parcels

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 | One more trip to Israel! So, how many has it been? Seventy-five? More? And if you count the ten years that my husband and I lived there, how much of my life have I spent in that beautiful, chaotic, captivating, schizophrenic little place? Not nearly enough.

This was a brief trip though—only a week—and it was strange, being there such a short time. I arrived on Sunday, my travel-weary brain just started to clear around Tuesday, meetings Wednesday and Thursday, and finally Friday. No more meetings, the cobwebs gone, I was alert and beginning to experience the delight that only comes when you feel the soil of Jerusalem beneath your feet—and then it was Saturday morning and I was on a flight to London. Sort of like having to leave home just before the coffee is done.

But in that brief time, typical of Israel, I had experiences that I will never forget. In all my years of being with Bridges for Peace, I had never packed food at our assistance center in Jerusalem. Somehow, I was always too busy with other things: deadlines; speaking tours; high-level meetings; the list goes on. But this time, I joined a team of amazing volunteers putting together food parcels to be distributed to the thousands of people we help every month. My pallet was going to Holocaust survivors.

Starting the day with worship and devotions had set the tone as we gathered in a circle and prayed for God’s anointing on every can of beans, every grain of rice and for every individual who would receive them. Then we went to the assembly line, where every volunteer almost gleefully did their part until all the bags were full, tied and placed on the pallet. When the pallet was wrapped securely with clear plastic wrap, we gathered round, placed our hands on the bags and prayed again. And I wept. The atmosphere in that room was electric with the presence of God, and the unadulterated joy on every face made it apparent to all of us this was indeed holy work.

But there was more to come. Later that day, we were privileged to participate in distributing life’s essentials to immigrants who have fled the war in Ukraine, arriving in Israel with literally nothing. In partnership with a Jewish organization, Bridges for Peace is supplying everything from heaters to pots and pans, from dishes to baby diapers, from blankets, towels and pillows to deodorant, shampoo and body wash…and more. These new immigrants came from all over Israel in desperate need and left with more supplies than they could have imagined. But most important of all, they left with hope, knowing that they really are literally not alone. The fact that Christians from around the world actually care about them, anticipating their needs and then meeting them, not to mention praying for them, was bewildering to many. Eyes filled with tears, amazement on their faces, they whispered their thanks as they hugged us. More holy work. Again, I wept.

We are living in dangerous and unsettling times. But as I watched Jews and Christians hugging each other, weeping together, the givers and the receivers aware that we are all part of something much larger than all of us, I was filled with an overwhelming sense that God is still very much in control. He is keeping promises made millennia ago and He won’t quit until He has fulfilled every one of them. What an incredible privilege to be a part of that fulfillment. Thank you, Father, for holy work.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 16, 2022)

Photo Credit: Daniel Kirchhevel/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the opportunity He has given Bridges for Peace to be a part of His unfolding plan for the ages. Pray that ever-growing numbers of Christians will realize the importance of supporting Israel and join with Bridges for Peace as we show the love of the Lord to the people He calls the apple of His eye. Pray also that donors around the world will continue to give generously so that our work can not only continue but expand.

Scripture

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered.


- Psalm 108:5–6b

Action
We are able to do this holy work because of the generous donations from Christians around the world who love God and want to be an active partner in what He is doing. Your gift to our Greatest Israel Need fund will enable us to come to the aid of Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, refugees, widows, orphans and children from poverty-stricken families and poor Israelis in the area where they need it most. Your gift will translate into a physical outpouring of love, showing them that they really are literally not alone.

Israelis, Palestinians Can Head to World Cup in Qatar Together

by Ilse Strauss

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Friday, 11 November 2022 | In news that no doubt has Israeli soccer fans astir with excitement, Israel reached an agreement with the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and Qatar to allow direct charter flights between Ben Gurion International Airport in the Jewish state and Hamad International Airport in the Gulf nation for the World Cup, which kicks off on November 20, FIFA and Israel announced yesterday.

These will mark the first direct flights between Israel and Qatar in history.

Jerusalem and Doha do not have diplomatic relations. And although ties between the Jewish state and a number of Arab nations have warmed considerably since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, Israel and Qatar are not on friendly footing yet.

For one thing, Israeli citizens are usually not allowed to enter Qatar. However, Israel announced earlier this year that a special allowance would be made for the World Cup, the first to be held in the Middle East. Yet with no direct flights taking off in Tel Aviv and landing in Doha, attending the World Cup would prove a logistical nightmare and a costly endeavor for any Israeli planning to make the trip. Yesterday’s announcement changes all that, simplifying logistics and bringing down the cost significantly.

Neither Israel’s nor Qatar’s national carrier will fly the route though. According to the FIFA statement, the charter flights will be run by a yet unnamed foreign airline, which will adhere to the Jewish state’s safety measures.

“Direct charter flights will be temporarily operated between Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Hamad International Airport in Doha by an airline with existing landing rights in Qatar for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, subject to Israel’s security requirements and operational capabilities,” FIFA said.

The terms of the agreement also allows Palestinians who do not hold Israeli citizenship to board the flights for Qatar.

“With this deal, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to fly together and enjoy soccer together,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“Football has the power to bring people together,” he continued. “The World Cup is the ultimate symbol of football’s unifying power, and today’s historic announcement provides a platform to improve relations across the Middle East.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken lauded the announcement as “a historic development and an important step that also holds great promise to bolster people-to-people ties and economic relations.”

According to the Times of Israel, thousands of Israelis are expected to flock to Qatar for the World Cup. The Jewish state does, however, have some security concerns over its masses of its citizens spending time in a country with close ties to Iran and the Hamas terror group.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 11, 2022)

Photo Credit: Timo Al-Farooq/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that this would be a successful experiment in relationship building. Ask the Lord to surround the events, their locations and all Israelis traveling to and from Qatar with myriads of His angels. Pray that there will be no negative incidents of any kind and that it really will be a time of sports bringing people—even very diverse people—together.

Scripture

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up.


- Psalm 91:11–12a