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

This week’s Prayer Update is slightly abbreviated due to our participation in the annual Solidarity Mission. 

The Balfour Declaration: A Century Later

by Ilse Posselt

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Lord Arthur James Balfour

Friday, 03 November 2017 | On 2 November 1917, British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur James Balfour, penned an official letter addressed to prominent Jewish community leader, Walter Rothschild. The communiqué was relatively short; hardly a page long. Yet the 67-word statement would later be instrumental in changing the course of history – and fulfilling the promise and hope of a return to the land of their promise that the Jewish people had carried in their hearts for nearly 2,000 years.

“His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object,” the missive stated. By Palestine, Lord Balfour referred to the geographic area of the Promised Land, not to a sovereign political entity, as no such entity existed in 1917.

The document, which history would later dub the Balfour Declaration after the foreign minister who penned it, came at a time when the British forces stood ready to conquer the Ottoman-held territory, including geographical Palestine. The declaration served as groundbreaking international recognition of Jewish national rights and reiterated the inherent claim of the Jewish people to their national homeland. And although almost two decades would pass before the rebirth of the Jewish state and subsequent British governments reneged on some of its terms, it ultimately helped pave the way to re-establish a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel. To this day, the Balfour Declaration is considered one of the cornerstones on which the return of an exiled people to their ancient homeland hinged.

Yesterday marked 100 years since the day Lord Balfour drafted, signed and dispatched his letter. Both Israeli and British leaders commemorated the landmark anniversary with a special series of commemorative events, which culminated in a gala banquet at London’s prestigious Lancaster House. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived in Britain on Wednesday evening in honor of the centennial, his British counterpart, Prime Minister Theresa May as well as descendants of the declaration’s author, Lord Balfour, and its recipient, Rothschild, were but some of the important guests at the star-studded event.

Yet while many in Israel, Britain and the world over commemorated the pivotal role the Balfour Declaration played in the return of a people to their rightful homeland—and in the fulfillment of ancient prophecy—the Palestinians and a bevy of other anti-Israel activist groups made every effort to sour the celebrations.

Continued attempts to taint the day with a pro-Palestinian victim narrative turned into a dedicated drive in November 2016, when Palestinian officials announced the launch of a year-long campaign to commemorate 100 years since the “crime” of the Balfour Declaration. The crusade consisted of 12 months of anti-Israel events and activities hosted around the world.

According to Taysir Khalid, executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the campaign was aimed at reminding “the world, and particularly Britain, that they need to face their historic responsibility and to atone for the major crime Britain had committed against the Palestinian people.”

The drive did not come as a surprise. In July 2016, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced its intention to sue the British government of the document. Speaking at the Arab League summit in Mauritania, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, told his audience that the British stand responsible for all the “Israeli crimes” committed since 1948.

According to al-Malki, the Balfour Declaration “gave people who do not belong there [in Israel], something that was not theirs.” He thus implored the Arab League leaders to help the PA in its legal efforts to “bring a suit against the British government over the ominous Balfour Declaration, which resulted in the Nakba for the Palestinian people.” The Palestinians use the word nakba, which is Arabic for catastrophe, to refer to the establishment of the Jewish state.

Three months later in September 2016, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas told the international community at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that “Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.” The Balfour Declaration, he claimed, “paved the road for the Nakba of the Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.”

Abbas reiterated the Palestinian demand for a British apology in a scathing op-ed, entitled “Britain Must Atone for the Balfour Declaration—and 100 Years of Suffering,” published in The Guardian on Wednesday. In the emotive essay that blatantly ignores context, background and even historic facts, the PA president claims that the British “signed away Palestinians’ homeland and initiated decades of persecution.” The centenary, he alleges, is thus “a cause for humility, not celebration.”

Mark Regev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, was quick to answer Abbas in a letter to The Guardian, entitled, “The Balfour Declaration and Failings in Palestinian Leadership.” “Following the 1917 Balfour declaration, Sharif Hussein, leader of the Arab Revolt, urged the Arabs to “welcome the Jews as brethren and cooperate with them for the common welfare,” Regev writes. “Those wise words were ignored by the Palestinian Arab leadership then, and continue to be ignored by President Mahmoud Abbas now.”

“Rather than “negating the Arab-Palestinian right to self-determination”,” Regev charges, “President Abbas knows that Britain repeatedly put forward proposals that would have led to Palestinian independence… Looking back over the past century, it is easy for the Palestinians to blame Israel, Britain and others, while ignoring their own culpability.” The current reality, concludes Regev, might have been very different, “[h]ad the Palestinians pursued negotiations instead of extremism and confrontation.”

Despite the PA’s demands, Britain has no intention of apologizing. In fact, the man who now fills the shoes of British Foreign Secretary—the position Lord Balfour held 100 years ago—stated unequivocally: “I am proud of Britain’s part in creating Israel.” The Balfour Declaration, he added, was “indispensable to the creation of a great nation.”

May herself has also been clear on her country’s stance. “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel,” the British prime minister said earlier this week.

Moreover, in excerpts of May’s speech, which were made available to the press ahead of last night’s gala dinner, she reiterated the sense of pride she feels in the warm ties between Britain and Israel, and in the key role Britain played as the first major Western power to formally recognize the right of the Jewish people to their homeland.

For his part, Netanyahu dismissed the Palestinians’ claims in an address shortly after landing in London on Wednesday evening. “The Palestinians say that the Balfour Declaration was a tragedy,” he said. “It was not a tragedy. What’s been tragic is their refusal to accept this 100 years later. I hope they change their mind, because if they do, they can move forward finally to making peace between our two peoples.”

Perhaps the Israeli prime minister answered the Palestinian allegations best last September during an address to the UNGA. “The Palestinians might as well sue Iran for the Cyrus declarations,” Netanyahu held, “or file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 03 November 2017)

Photo Credit: George Grantham Bain/Public Domain

Prayer Focus
Give thanks that Britain’s government has taken a strong stand in support of their role in the rebirth of the Jewish state instead of bowing to pressure from the Palestinian Authority. Rejoice with Israel during this year of significant milestone anniversaries.

Scripture

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.


- Proverbs 21:1

IDF Destroys Active Terror Tunnel Leading from Gaza into Israel

by Ilse Posselt

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Inside a Hamas terror tunnel (illustrative)

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 | The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Monday the discovery and destruction of a cross-border terror tunnel dug from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and leading into Israeli territory. The tunnel, which the IDF confirmed was still under construction, ran from near the Gazan city of Khan Yunis in the south of the coastal enclave, crossed under the Gaza-Israel border for several meters and had its entry point in Israel near a kibbutz.

Terror tunnels such as these are constructed by Hamas and other extremists in the Strip as a means to dispatch its militants into the Promised Land to infiltrate, kidnap and murder Israeli civilians.

The official announcement of the destruction came via the IDFs spokesperson’s official Twitter page, “Moments ago, the IDF neutralized a Gazan terror tunnel inside Israel… This is a severe violation of Israeli sovereignty and must not be overlooked. The successful operation was based on advanced technologies. The IDF continues [to combat tunnels] with the various means at its disposal which are becoming more and more sophisticated.”

The military also revealed that Monday’s operation forms part of a dedicated effort undertaken by the IDF since the end of the 2014 Israel-Hamas war to preempt and foil any terror attacks on Israel’s southern border. The IDF vowed that it “will keep taking all measures needed over and under the ground to thwart attempts to harm the residents of the State of Israel and to keep the area quiet.”

Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also credited the discovery of the attack tunnel to “advanced technologies.”

“I told you many times before that we are developing breakthrough technology to deal with the tunnel threat,” Netanyahu said on Monday afternoon. “We are implementing it. Today, we located a tunnel and we destroyed it.”

The prime minister continued to stress that Israel holds Hamas accountable for all attacks on the Jewish state from Gaza. “Whoever hurts us, we hurt them,” he warned.

Lieberman also had a word of warning for Hamas. “I think the message is clear to all: We will not tolerate a breach of our sovereignty. I emphasize that the explosion took place on our territory.”

The defense minister was quick to add that Israel has “no interest in an escalation [in hostilities],” but at the same time made it clear that “we have no intention of letting anyone hurt Israel’s sovereignty.”

The incident triggered an escalation of tension in the area, which had been relatively quiet in the three years since the end of Operation Protective Edge. Hamas warned on Monday evening that the incident constitutes a “grave escalation.” Disregarding the fact that the tunnel was to be used as a means to kill and kidnap Israelis and that the exit point was in sovereign Israeli territory, the terror group claimed in a statement, “The latest Zionist crime is a grave escalation against our people and against our resistance aimed at harming our steadfastness and unity.”

According to The Times of Israel, the heads of the various Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have already met to formulate a plan of response. In a clear indication of trouble brewing, The Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas had been evacuating its bases, a move which may point to a looming rocket attack on the Jewish state. For its part, Israel has deployed Iron Dome rocket interceptors throughout the area to protect its civilians from a possible barrage of rockets.

The threat that terror tunnels pose to Israel and its civilians was fully realized during Operation Protective Edge. During the 2014 summer war, Israel discovered an elaborate network of underground terror tunnels dug from strategic spots in Gaza that lead directly into Israel to enable terrorists to infiltrate, kidnap and attack Israeli civilians. Throughout the course of the war, the IDF managed to uncover and destroy 32 tunnels, 14 of which led directly into Israel.

Yet Israeli and military sources have warned repeatedly that Hamas is hard at work to reconstruct and even enlarge its web of terror tunnels. In May 2016, Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, highlighted that the construction of terror tunnels was a clear sign that Hamas is preparing for the next war with Israel, The Israel Project reports.

Eight months later, high-ranking Hamas official, Khaled Meshaal, confirmed this suspicion, stating that the terror group is “smuggling weapons and digging tunnels in Gaza to prepare for a confrontation with [Israel], which will taste its woes on the edge of the Gaza Strip.”

In the aftermath of Monday’s operation, Col. (res) Atai Shelach, the former commander of the engineering combat unit, Yahalom, the unit tasked with discovering and destroying the tunnels, told The Israel Project that the destruction was “part of a race.” He confirmed that Hamas has constructed a number of tunnels since 2014. “There are many in several parts of [the] operational situation. Some of them just in the beginning, some of them in the middle and some of them nearly to cross the border with Israel.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 1 November 2017)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Israel Defense ForcesPhoto

Prayer Focus
Beseech God for the safety of the Israeli citizens living near Gaza as terrorists continue to construct tunnels into Israel. Pray for supernatural intelligence for the IDF soldiers who work around the clock to detect and destroy these terror tunnels. Thank God that no Israeli citizen was hurt or kidnapped and continue to pray for safety as Israel is expecting rocket fire in retaliation.

Scripture

For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.


- Malachi 3:6

Hamas and Hezbollah: Warming Ties between Israel’s Sworn Enemies

by Roi Kais and Elior Levy

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Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader

Thursday 02 November 2017 | Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met with deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut on Tuesday, Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV station reported on Wednesday.

According to Al Manar, the two discussed “the Zionist aggression against Gaza and its ramifications” after the IDF blew up a terror tunnel on the Gaza border crossing into Israeli territory, which [was] dug by Islamic Jihad, earlier this week.

Nasrallah offered his condolences to al-Arouri, who lives in Beirut after having been expelled from Turkey and Qatar, for the death of the terrorists who were in the tunnel when the IDF blew it up.

The Hezbollah secretary-general also offered his condolences to Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah in a phone call on Tuesday.

Al-Arouri, responsible for Hamas’s terror attacks in the West Bank, played a major role in the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

He also leads the pro-Iranian faction inside Hamas, seeking to restore relations with Tehran at any cost after years of strained ties under Hamas’s former political bureau chief Khaled Mashal.

Mashal preferred the support of the moderate Sunni axis of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while al-Arouri and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh are trying to gain favor with both the Sunni axis and the Shiite axis of Iran, Hezbollah and Syria.

To that end, al-Arouri has led two Hamas delegations to Tehran in the past three months.

His meeting with Nasrallah this week is likely the first since Hamas and Hezbollah cut ties in 2011, when the Syrian civil war began, over Hamas’s support of rebel groups fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, who enjoys the support of both Hezbollah and Iran.

Such a meeting would not have happened without a green light from Iran, which likely indicates the warming of ties between Hamas and Tehran.

Meanwhile, Nasrallah’s second-in-command Naim Qassem commented on the tunnel explosion in Gaza during an event in Beirut, saying “Israel has the ability to determine when the war would start, but not how it would end. Israel should know that if it decides to start a war, its home front and buildings would be exposed to the missiles of the resistance.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 01 November 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson blog

Prayer Focus
Lift up the nation of Israel, praying for protection on all its borders. Pray that the world would not be deceived by continuous lies from Hamas and Hezbollah about the “Zionist aggression.” Ask God to lead the Israeli government as they face the threat of Tehran’s increasing influence within multiple terror organizations seeking Israel’s destruction.

Scripture

And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.


- Deuteronomy 4:37-38

IDF Identifies Hezbollah Commander Who Will Lead Next War against Israel

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Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Munir Ali Naim Shaiti’s direct commander.

Monday, 30 October 2017 | The IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate has identified the new Hezbollah commander on the Syrian Golan Heights, Munir Ali Naim Shaiti, as defense analysts warn that Israel could be heading for a new war with Hezbollah.

The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that Shaiti, also known as Haj Hasham, mainly operates out of Syria, where he spearheads the terrorist organization’s southern front in support of the Assad regime. According to intelligence sources, he receives his orders directly from Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Shaiti is also a close associate of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He served as deputy chief of Hezbollah’s Bader Brigades, which handles terrorist operations north of the Litani River in Lebanon, before he was appointed head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria in June 2016.

During the Second Lebanon War, Shaiti led a combat force against the IDF and in 2002, he ordered the shooting attack at Kibbutz Matzuva, which led to the deaths of six Israeli civilians.

According to Aymenn Tamimi, research fellow at the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, Israeli intelligence on Shaiti is probably solid, although “it’s hard to verify as Hezbollah tends not to say much about where exactly its commanders are stationed.”

He further noted that Hezbollah is playing the long game in Syria, working with local affiliates to cement its power even after the civil war comes to an end. “We are talking of a long-term presence in those border areas and having local Syrian affiliates as a way to get around any meaningful insistence of no Iranian-backed [non-Syrian] militias on the border,” Tamimi explained.

The strategic importance of the Golan Heights and the deep Iranian entrenchment there have left Israel on high alert. The IDF is said to have carried out hundreds of strikes against Hezbollah operatives, weapons convoys, and infrastructure in Syria since January 2013. Israel has also targeted senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders such as Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the late Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyeh, and Samir Kuntar, who previously served as Hezbollah’s commander on the Golan Heights.

Source: (The Israel Project originally this article in its publication The Tower on 27 October, 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: sayyed Shahab -o- din vajedi/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the IDF as they collect intelligence about the possible new commander of Hezbollah and future war possibilities. Pray for wisdom as the decision makers in the IDF and government brainstorm, seeking strategies to counter the more intense threats posed by Hezbollah in Syria. Thank God that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, bound by His everlasting covenant with Israel.

Scripture

But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against Me. Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears…


- 2 Kings 19:27-28a

Germany Probes Kuwait Airlines for Rejecting Israeli Passengers

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Israeli passenger in New York, flying to India on Kuwait Airways prevented from boarding

Monday, 30 October 2017 | German authorities have launched an investigation into an incident in which Kuwait Airways refused to allow an Israeli passenger from boarding one of its flights, a decision that would place the airline in violation of aviation laws.

The investigation was launched at the behest of Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt a month after a short clip that went viral was uploaded to the internet.

It is being conducted as separate from legal proceedings currently underway in Frankfurt after an Israeli citizen filed a complaint that his boarding pass from Germany to Thailand with the airline was canceled by the company due to his nationality.

Earlier this month, the aforementioned video was published on Facebook by an Arab-Israeli web star named Nuseir Yassin in which he raged over the discrimination he was subjected to by the airline as a result of his Israeli passport.

Planning to fly from New York to India on a Kuwait Airways plane, he was prevented from boarding at JFK Airport.

“It turns out that because I’m an Israeli an entire airline is not allowed to take me on their planes even if I’m not going to Kuwait,” Yassin said on his video posted on his account which has gathered a following of more than 2 million people.

“Dear Kuwait, if you want to boycott Israel, be my guest. Refuse me service but give me your USB flash drives, your phones, your safe-driving cars, your viber, your Waze or your antivirus. This is also Israel,” he added.

Yassin went on to scold Kuwait for boycotting Israel which he said was having an adverse effect on Palestinian workers.

“If you want to boycott Israel because of Palestine, I don’t think you actually care, because you’re also boycotting 2 million Muslim Palestinian Israelis like me,” he said before holding up his Israeli passport, deriding the “stupid” boycott campaign as “pure politics.”

In The Algemeiner, it was written that a Jewish American lawyer Brooke Goldstein—the executive director of the Lawfare Project, a US-based pro-Israel non-profit legal group which is providing assistance to the Israeli citizen who filed the Frankfurt case—has praised the German government for looking further into the affair.

“We commend the German Federal Ministry of Transport for launching an investigation into Kuwait Airway’s discriminatory practices. Our team will continue to pursue legal action until the German Government makes clear that Kuwait Airways must either comply with the law or cease doing business in their country,” he said.

Another senior official in the NGO added: “This incident shows there is no place for discrimination in Germany. Our laws and shared values call on all policy makers in Germany to immediately act in order to end the systematic violations of human rights by Kuwait Airlines in our country.”

In 2015 Kuwait Airlines, the leading airline in the Gulf States, ceased operations between New York and London due to demands by the US Transport Department to end its boycott against Israeli passengers.

Kuwait holds no diplomatic relations with Israel and according to an academic study published this year, it is one of five airlines in the Middle East that forbids Israelis from flying on its planes.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 26 October 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Mark Harkin/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the Arab Israeli citizens like Yassin who are standing up to join the fight against racial discrimination of the nation of Israel. Pray that we, ourselves, will be brave and stand up for Israel with the same boldness, letting our voices be heard in a world of economic warfare and discrimination against Israel. Ask God to open the eyes Israel haters and give them an undeniable, unquestionable love for the nation of Israel.

Scripture

He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppression, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure.


- Isaiah 33:15-16

UN Official Calls for Sanctions against Israel, Pens Scathing Report

by Itamar Eichner

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UN Security Council meeting in progress (illustrative)

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 | A United Nations official called on Thursday for heavy sanctions to be imposed on Israel to “bring a complete end to the 50 years of occupation of the Palestinian territories in as expeditious a time period as possible.”

In a scathing report authored for the UN Security Council by the Canadian law professor Michael Lynk, who serves as the “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967,” the international community is urged to take harsh measures against Israel.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday where he shared his conclusions, Lynk said the international community had “recoiled from answering Israel’s splintering of the Palestinian territory and disfiguring of the laws of occupation with the robust tools that international law and diplomacy provide.”

Calling for “appropriate diplomatic and legal strategies” Lynk described the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “a non-violent movement” which operates within the confines of free speech against all states or companies that it believes harms others.

Included in his list of territories “occupied” by Israel was Gaza, despite the fact that Israel disengaged from the enclave in 2005 under Israel’s late prime minister Ariel Sharon.

“Israel’s role as occupier in the Palestinian Territory—the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza—has crossed a red line into illegality,” Lynk said at the press conference.

After completing his exposition against Israel, he urged the international community to push forward with boycotts and ostracize the country.

“Only when the Israelis need visas to travel abroad and don’t receive them, only when the EU trade with Israel is limited and only when cooperation in academic, military and economic fields with Israel comes to an end—only then will we see a real change and the occupation will come to an end,” Lynk suggested.

Taking his recommendations further to force Israel’s hand, Lynk called for filing criminal charges against the country in the international courts.

While the report lacks teeth, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon blasted Lynk for his conclusions, accusing him of “exploiting his position in order to wage a full incitement campaign against the State of Israel.”

He also accused Lynk of “working as a BDS activist under the sponsorship of the UN.”

“The Security Council long ago became an irrelevant body which obsessively attacks Israel instead of dealing with humanitarian crises in the world. It has lost all connection with reality and the original purpose it was intended to fill,” Danon added. 

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 27 October 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Cancilleria Ecuador/wikimedia

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to God for truth to prevail in a crooked world of hatred and incitement against Israel. Lift up Danny Danon and others before God as they confront the UN and other organizations. Beseech God to intervene and nullify the enemy’s efforts to distract people from the real truth about Israel.

Scripture

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.


- Psalm 19:14

Wisconsin Becomes 24th State to Adopt Israel Anti-Boycott Law

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Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Thursday 02 November 2017 | Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin (USA) signed an executive order on October 27 that prohibits all state agencies from entering into contracts or conducting official state business with companies engaged in a boycott of the State of Israel, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.

“We stand firmly against discrimination in any form and we wholly support our friends in Israel,” said Walker, adding “I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Israel to foster new trade partnerships between Wisconsin and Israeli businesses.”

The decision by the governor to sign the executive order makes Wisconsin the 24th state to have either anti-BDS legislation, or an executive order.

The executive order states, “Consistent with existing Wisconsin nondiscrimination provisions of and regulations governing purchases…agencies may not execute a contract with a business entity if that entity is engaging in a boycott of Israel. Further, agencies shall reserve the right to terminate any contract with a business entity that engages in a boycott of Israel during the term of the contract.”

The order further notes that “boycotts based on religion, national origin, ethnicity, or residence are discriminatory” and “the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel serves to inflame conflict; and over 20 states have enacted laws or resolutions against the BDS campaign.”

Beyond sharing common values and history with the U.S., Israel has emerged as a central business partner with the state of Wisconsin.  Trade relations are flourishing between the two parties “with Wisconsin exporting over $80 million annually to Israel and importing over $200 million annually from Israel,” according to the governor.

The Israel Project’s CEO and President Josh Block said, “The Israel Project is grateful to Governor Walker for his leadership in fighting against BDS discrimination. For years, Israel—and only Israel—has been targeted by this deceptive attempt to delegitimize its very right to exist. BDS proponents do not seek a better life for the Palestinians, nor do they aim to create a political environment favorable to a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. Their true aim is the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Block added, “From the North to South, in blue and red states – and with strong bipartisan support – lawmakers in 24 states have now declared BDS a form of discrimination and sent a clear signal that their states will not tolerate or condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize anti-Israel hate.”

The governor’s executive order comes ahead of his departure for Israel with a 15-member trade delegation this week.

Source: (The Israel Project originally this article in its publication The Tower on 30 October, 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Dori/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Offer thanksgiving to the Lord for the great leadership and example of Wisconsin and the other 23 states who have enacted strong legislation against the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli products. Pray that your tax money will not be used against Israel. Pray for your nation to stand with God and His people, Israel.

Scripture

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.


- Isaiah 62:1

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