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What Would Jesus Do?

Friday, October 15, 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.

Lapid’s First Day in Washington

by Ilse Strauss

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Sullivan assured Lapid of the US’s “commitment to ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.”

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 | The first day of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s three-day trip to the US unfolded much as expected: with a focus on securing bipartisan support for Israel and, of course, Iran, underscoring the need for an alternative to the US reentering the 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

Israel’s top diplomat spent the day rubbing shoulders with senior officials of the Biden administration, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He used the opportunity to highlight Israel’s grave concern over “Iran’s race towards nuclear capability, and the fact that Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold state,” Lapid’s office said in a statement.

According to the Times of Israel, Lapid’s uncharacteristically strong statement—uttered during his meeting with Sullivan and later reiterated during a meeting with Congressional leaders headed by Pelosi—echoes a stark warning by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the UN General Assembly last month that Tehran’s nuclear program is at a “watershed moment.”

In his meeting with Harris, Lapid conceded that Israel and the US might not see eye-to-eye on all things. However, “even when we have differences, I know that our goal is common, which is to see Israel strong, secure, and thriving.”

Another thing Israel and the US differ on is how exactly a “strong, secure, and thriving” Israel will be secured—most notably where Iran is concerned.

US President Joe Biden is a proponent for a return to the 2015 accord, while Israel advocates strongly against such a move. The return talks have been at an impasse since the election of Iran’s ultra conservative President Ebrahim Raisi in June, but those in the know say that the seventh round of talks may resume as early as later this month in the Austrian capital.

Despite Israel’s warnings that Iran might be dangerously close to the nuclear finish and Lapid’s call on Sullivan for the “need for an alternative plan” to resuming the accord, the US remains committed to exhausting diplomatic channels before pursuing alternative measures of stymieing Tehran’s dash for nuclear breakout status.

Biden’s security advisor did, however, assure Lapid of the commander-in-chief’s “commitment to ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon,” but failed to elaborate on how the president aims to make good on that promise.

According to a readout of the Lapid–Sullivan meeting, “the United States and Israel will continue to consult closely on Iran…”

Although Iran was the “center” of Lapid’s visit, Israel’s top diplomat also took the time to discuss a number of other issues, including securing strong bipartisan support for Israel in the US.

During a meeting with senior bipartisan lawmakers headed by Pelosi, Lapid noted that he planned on working specifically to strengthen support for the Jewish state among younger Americans.

The itinerary for the remainder of Lapid’s visit includes a get-together with American Jewish leaders and a trilateral meeting with Blinken and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed before heading home to Israel tomorrow.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 13, 2021)

Photo Credit: The White House/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that FM Lapid’s trip to the US will be successful in securing bipartisan support for Israel and strengthening the bond between the two nations. Cry out to the Lord that the American administration will realize the 2015 nuclear deal was not successful in keeping the Islamic Republic from moving toward nuclear arms capability and that returning to the accord will only facilitate Iran’s plan to become a nuclear weapons state.

Scripture

Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil.


- Psalm 121:4–7a

Despite Ongoing COVID, Immigration to Israel Up Nearly a Third over 2020

by Joshua Spurlock

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A flight arriving with new immigrants (illustrative)

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 | COVID has stopped many things in the world, but it hasn’t halted immigration to Israel, known in Hebrew as “aliyah.” And for the first nine months of 2021, immigration to Israel is up 31% over the same period in 2020—with 20,360 arriving so far in 2021, compared to 15,598 last year. The Israeli press release announcing the numbers on Sunday, ahead of Israel’s “Yom HaAliyah” (or “Immigration Day”) holiday today, called the increase a “dramatic rise” in spite of COVID-19.

Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Minister of Aliyah and Integration, said she is “pleased by the tremendous increase” in the 2021 numbers. “I worked in the government to ensure aliyah does not stop for a moment—also during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns—because aliyah is the realization of the Zionist dream,” said Tamano-Shata in the press release.

Since Israel’s reestablishment as a state in 1948, 3,340,000 immigrants have made aliyah to Israel. Yet despite the literal millions of persons so far who have immigrated—persons known in Hebrew in the plural as “olim” or an “oleh” in singular—each one is special.

“I’m moved by each and every aliyah flight,” said the Jewish Agency for Israel’s acting chairman of the executive and chairman of the World Zionist Organization Yaakov Hagoel. “…Olim from across the globe chose to come and build their future in Israel. These olim are a strategic asset to the State of Israel and contribute to every aspect of life. We all must contribute to their integration. We are strengthened by each oleh who comes to Israel.”

Hagoel was quoted by the press release as noting “the challenging period and many limitations brought on by the global pandemic,” while the press release also said that the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Jewish Agency have worked to keep immigration continuing “despite the difficulty and limitations on international travel.”

The country with the most immigrants to Israel in 2021 has been Russia, with 5,075 persons making the move, actually a slight decline from 2020. The United States, meanwhile, also saw thousands move to Israel—a 41% increase for that country over 2020—and France saw a 55% increase with 2,819 immigrants.

The 2021 group of immigrants is also a fairly young one. Almost a quarter of them are 17 years old or younger, and overall 56.8% of the 2021 immigrants are 35 years old or younger.

Not surprisingly, the two most famous Israeli cities—Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—were the first and second most chosen new home for the immigrants. The coastal city of Netanya was a close third.

Like so many important aspects of Israel, today’s immigration holiday is a present expression of a powerful past. Yom HaAliyah always occurs at the same time in the Jewish calendar in which the story of Abraham is read. It’s a biblical account of not just the father of the people of Israel being called to move to Canaan—it’s also the story of the first ever person to make “aliyah.” It’s a story that’s continuing today, in even greater numbers than last year.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Mideast Update on October 10, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Nefesh B’Nefesh

Prayer Focus
Praise God that Jewish people continue to return to the Land of their forefathers despite the many issues that might prevent them from doing so. Pray for these newest immigrants to have a soft landing in their new home and a smooth adjustment to their new lives as Israelis. Pray also for Bridges for Peace as we work to meet the needs of these new olim and help to ensure that they will indeed put down roots and make Israel their home.

Scripture

He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.


- Isaiah 11:12

Israeli Soldier Seriously Hurt in Terror Attack

by Ilse Strauss

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The terror attack took place near the Qalandiya checkpoint.

Thursday, 14 October 2021 | An Israeli border police officer suffered serious injuries in a terror attack late last night when a Palestinian terrorist slammed his car into the soldier.

The attack happened while troops were working overnight near the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem to remove illegally erected structures in the area. Shortly after midnight, the terrorist drove a vehicle at high speed toward the Israeli forces and struck the officer.

The 20-year-old soldier suffered injuries to his head and abdomen, and was taken to Sha’are Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in moderate condition. According to the hospital, his condition deteriorated overnight to serious but stable.

Following the attack, border police troops opened fire at the vehicle, causing the terrorist, a 22-year-old from a nearby village, to hit a wall. He reportedly sustained a moderate head wound and is receiving treatment at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.

“This attack is another reminder of the threats that exist in every operational activity and in every area of land in which we operate,” the Jerusalem Post quotes Israel Police Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turjeman as saying.

“Our operational alertness and quick and determined response is the key to neutralizing any threat immediately and preventing harm to human life. In this case as well, the quick response and operational deployment of the operatives in the field prevented injury to additional operatives and led to a speedy end to the incident and the neutralization of the terrorist.”

Last night’s car ramming comes amid a marked uptick in violence and similar lone-wolf attacks across Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Last month, Israeli security also thwarted a plot by Hamas terrorists to carry out large-scale terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 14, 2021)

Photo Credit: Justin McIntosh/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will comfort and heal this young soldier who remains in critical but stable condition. Thank God that the terrorist was apprehended and that other terrorist plots have been thwarted. Pray that the “operational alertness and quick and determined responses” of the security forces will be successful in saving lives and preventing further acts of terrorism. Cry out to the Lord for His protection for all of those who are tasked with fighting terror and protecting innocent civilians.

Scripture

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.


- Psalm 18:2–3

Never Again: Nearly Fifty Countries’ Pledge against Anti-Semitism

by Kate Norman

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UN office in Geneva where the UNHRC meets

Monday, 11 October 2021 | Nearly 50 countries pledged to combat anti-Semitism within their borders in a joint statement at the 48th United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva last week.

The declaration was headed by Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic—heads of the Slavkov Format, a group which sees the three nations cooperate on certain issues—as well as the World Jewish Congress.

“We will remain steadfast in our pledge: Never again!” Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg vowed in a video statement on anti-Semitism.

“Even 75 years after the end of World War II it is a tragic reality that anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past,” the foreign minister continued. “This venom still exists, right in the midst of our societies. This is why today we declare our unequivocal solidarity in the face of hatred.”

“We restate our commitment to combatting anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, prejudice and discrimination anywhere, at any time,” he concluded.

The declaration was made on behalf of at least 43 other countries, including Israel, Germany, the United States, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

The topic of discussion was anti-Semitism and racism amid the resurgence of Nazism.

The UNHRC issued a statement on the session in response to the “recent global resurgence in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence,” particularly as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories sparked by the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed many crises and has diverted our attention from critical developments such as rising anti-Semitism, intolerance and hatred,” Foreign Minister Schallenberg said in his video statement.

“This isn’t a fight between anti-Semites and Jews,” he added. “This fight is between anti-Semites and anyone who believes in the values of equality, justice and liberty.”

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, reissued the clarion call of many Israeli and international leaders for every country to adhere to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.

“Legislation and law enforcement mechanisms are essential,” Shahar said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post, “but can only work when complemented by educational programs that embrace tolerance and diversity and promote the memory of past atrocities and their victims.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 11, 2021)

Photo Credit: UN Photo/Elma Okic/flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the words of Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg and for the nearly 50 nations that have restated their commitment to combat anti-Semitism within their borders. Pray that these countries will remain true to their pledge as anti-Semitism continues to rise and that other nations will join the fight against racism in all its forms.

Scripture

The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.


- Psalm 145:20

Israel Launches Abraham Accords Caucus on Anniversary of Agreements

by Josh Hasten~JNS

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Israeli politicians in the Knesset as part of the newly formed Abraham Accords Caucus

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 | Several hundred dignitaries and guests, including Israeli government ministers, Knesset [Parliament] members, foreign ambassadors and mayors gathered in the Knesset auditorium on Monday afternoon for the launch of the Knesset’s Abraham Accords Caucus, whose mission is to further the progress made through the US-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

In attendance was Jared Kushner, who served as senior adviser to his father-in-law, former US President Donald Trump, and was a key negotiator in helping to make the accords a reality, accompanied by his wife, Ivanka Trump.

Kushner recently co-founded (along with media mogul Haim Saban) the Abraham Accords Peace Institute to continue promoting normalization between Israel and her neighbors.

The new Knesset Caucus is co-chaired by Likud [Party] Knesset members Ofir Akunis and Ruth Wasserman Lande from the Blue and White Party.

Four Reasons the Agreement Came to Fruition

The longtime former prime minister and current head of the opposition in the Knesset Benjamin Netanyahu received a standing ovation when he walked into the room.

Netanyahu, who was prime minister last year when the accords were signed, used his remarks to explain four reasons the agreements came into being.

He said that the first condition was the fact that Israel’s “strength increased.” He shared how economically, Israel went from a semi-socialist economy to a free market, and at the same time became much stronger militarily, which made it an asset in the Arab world when standing up to Iran and Islamist groups.

Secondly, Netanyahu said countries started to “go around the Palestinian veto”—in other words, recognize that negotiations could be made with Israel even without peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Thirdly, Netanyahu shared (without singling anyone out) that several US administrations and foreign-policy leaders believed that “the way to get the Arab states on board with peace was to create daylight between Israel and the US.”

He noted that the Trump administration took the opposite approach, and as a result, once there was “no daylight between Israel and the United States, the Arab governments understood that the road to Washington passed through Jerusalem and not Ramallah.”

Lastly, Netanyahu said that bold and imaginative Arab leaders were willing to take a chance at making peace with Israel.

At the same time, both members of the current Israeli government and the US administration used their remarks to call on Israel to pursue a peace deal with the Palestinians as well.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that when he attended the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the new Israeli embassies in the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, he felt that he was cutting the “Gordian Knot” of hate, while also calling on the Palestinians to step forward for peace.

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz added that the spirit of the accords should be used in arriving at a peace deal with the Palestinians.

In addition, Michael Ratney, interim head of the US embassy in Jerusalem, called the accomplishments and collaborations in the fields of investment, culture, academia and others thanks to the Abraham Accords “inspiring,” adding that the Biden administration was committed to working towards a two-state solution to solve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Kushner shared his experience as a passenger on the first commercial flight last year between Israel and the UAE, after the agreement was signed, especially when the El Al jet landed in Abu Dhabi and the image of the Israeli flag was on display for all to see. He said that his team realized how powerful the moment was, so they stayed up all night hammering out aviation agreements so the two countries could immediately start business development and launch the tourism market.

Kushner also noted that the accords were “metastasizing throughout the Middle East and the world,” pinpointing to other Muslim countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan, possibly floating a normalization trial balloon between those nations and Israel.

“We’ve created a new paradigm in the region,” he said. “It’s imperative we set high expectations of what Abraham Accords can be.”

Other Countries that Want to Make Peace

Following the event, Aryeh Lightstone, former special envoy for economic normalization for the Abraham Accords and former senior adviser to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, told JNS that “the Abraham Accords are not a Republican ideal or Democratic ideal. They are an American ideal. Today’s caucus event proved that. But it also proved that the Abraham Accords are a great uniter of Israel. Today, the full spectrum of the Israeli government was represented. The full spectrum of the Israeli people was represented, and that speaks to the potential of the Abraham Accords.”

He said the fact that senior Moroccan diplomat, Ambassador HE [His Eminence] Abderrahim Beyyoudh, who heads the Moroccan liaison office in Tel Aviv, spoke at the Knesset is yet another “incredible first in a year of firsts.”

Lightstone concluded his remarks by reciting the Shehecheyanu blessing, a prayer said by Jews to offer thanks to God or to commemorate a milestone event.

Lande echoed Lightstone’s remarks, albeit from an Israeli perspective, saying that support for the accords and the caucus itself was apolitical.

As she told JNS, “the most important thing about this event by far is that it is bipartisan. The fact that we have a co-chairmanship of coalition and opposition in the leadership of this caucus—this is the essence, truly, I mean it from the bottom of my heart, to make Israel strong, resilient and able to really make peace with its neighbors. This is something that we must maintain—the very fragile bipartisan nature of this caucus and in general the unity of our country.”

Akunis told JNS that he deemed the caucus launch “a huge success.”

“It is so very important that these peace treaties were signed and approved here in the Knesset,” he said. “I hope we see other countries that want to make peace with Israel. If we are strong, we will have peace treaties with other countries. If we are weak, the opposite will happen.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 12, 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
Praise God for the positive effect the Abraham Accords have had on Israel’s relationships with her neighbors as the desire for peace and normalization of relations with Israel “metastasizes” throughout the Middle East and the world. Thank the Lord for the incredible bipartisan nature of this caucus, and cry out to Him that it will continue.

Scripture

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forevermore.


- Psalm 133:1,3

Second Alleged Israeli Strike this Week Targets Iranian Targets in Syria

by Kate Norman

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Israeli planes allegedly struck targets in Syria for the second time this week (illustrative).

Thursday, 14 October 2021 | The Israeli military reportedly struck targets in central Syria on Wednesday night, killing one Syrian soldier and wounding three others, state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

The Israeli jets targeted telecommunications towers “and some adjacent positions” in Palmyra (central Syria), according to SANA, causing “material damage to the area.” The planes approached from the south—specifically the al-Tanf region, which lies near Syria’s border with Jordan and Iraq.

The United States has a base in al-Tanf, a region controlled by the Syrian opposition.

Israel, as usual, did not comment on its alleged involvement in the strikes. The only time the Jewish state acknowledges cross-border activity is in response to attacks from Syria.

This is the second attack in Syria within a week attributed to Israel.

Israeli planes also allegedly targeted the T4 airport in Homs—close to Palmyra—last Friday night, SANA reported. According to the agency, the Syrian army “downed most of the hostile rockets,” a claim often dismissed as an empty attempt to save face.

Six Syrian soldiers were injured in that strike, SANA reported.

The specific target at the airport was unclear, but satellite imagery captured and published by Sentinel Hub shows the T4 runway before and after the strikes.

Aurora Intel, an independent news source for Twitter, tweeted the satellite footage and noted that “at least 3 Air Defense positions and the runway (and whatever may or may not have been on the runway)” were targeted.

Though Israel officially offers no comment on its involvement in such strikes, leaders from the Jewish state have acknowledged over the years that Israel has conducted at least hundreds of strikes in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian Civil war in 2011.

The purpose of the strikes is to prevent Iran and its terrorist proxies—both of whom have used war-torn Syria as an opportunity—from entrenching on Israel’s doorstep.

And Iran is not happy with the pushback.

After Wednesday night’s strike, the Jerusalem Post reported that a joint operations room connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah and the Syrian regime threatened a “harsh response” to the alleged Israeli strike in a joint statement.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 14, 2021)

Photo Credit: Tomás Del Coro/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will be successful in all its efforts to end Iranian influence in Syria, ending Iran’s continued financial and military support for their terrorist proxies and ending any opportunity for Iran to become entrenched on Israel’s doorstep.

Scripture

“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.”


- Deuteronomy 33:29

Israel Gears Up to Take Facebook to Task over Damaging Posts

by Janet Aslin

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Facebook logo

Monday, 11 October 2021 | According to a recent report by N12, a Hebrew-language television station, Israel’s Communications Ministry is currently in the process of assembling a team of experts who will tackle certain practices of the social media giant, Facebook.

At the heart of the matter: Should Facebook be legally liable, like newspapers and other traditional publishers, for the content that appears on its platform? Hate speech, incitement, libel and misinformation—Facebook has come under fire in recent years for failing to curb this damaging content. As of today, the social media Goliath currently faces no legal liability for the content posted by its users.

In addition to responsibility for content, the Israeli government task force seeks to bring more transparency to social media platforms. Facebook has been accused of censorship, removing user accounts and content without revealing the reason for such action.

The Times of Israel wrote that Israeli “officials will attempt to get Facebook representatives to hold discussions with them to find a solution. The idea would be to urge Facebook to take steps of its own to ensure greater transparency and responsibility in its operations, or face government-imposed measures.” If these overtures are not successful, according to the N12 report, Israel’s communications ministry may seek to hold social media liable for libelous or other damaging content.

Facebook began in February 2004 as a social networking service to connect college students in the United States. It rapidly outgrew that limited audience and as of March 2021 had 2.85 billion users around the globe.

The platform’s six-hour outage on October 4 should serve as a wake-up call to the world that Facebook functions as much more than a social networking service these days. It is a powerhouse that connects people to world events and in the eyes of many is their only source of news.

With that position, comes responsibility. Kudos to the Israel Communications Ministry for taking a step towards holding social media to a higher standard.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 11, 2021)

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan/Unsplash.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will be successful in holding Facebook accountable for the hate speech, incitement, libel, anti-Semitism and other types of damaging content that are posted by its users. Pray that discussions with Facebook representatives will result in the social media giant taking responsibility for content and ensuring greater transparency and responsibility in its operations.

Scripture

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.


- Isaiah 54:17

Bennett: “The Golan Heights is Israel”

by JNS

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The southern edge of the Golan Heights

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 | Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Israel would approve a “national plan” for the Golan Heights in six weeks’ time, calling the development of the area a “strategic goal” for the country.

“Exactly 40 years ago, the government of Israel, led by Menachem Begin, made an incredibly brave and important decision: to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights,” said Bennett at the Makor Rishon Golan Heights Economic and Regional Development Conference in the southern Golan town of Hispin.

“Almost three years ago,” he continued, “we were informed of another significant development: the decision of the previous American administration to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel—a perception that has been adopted by the current administration.”

The premier noted that while there was “wall-to-wall agreement” regarding the Golan Heights, with the slogan “The People are with the Golan” being familiar to every Israeli child, the Golan’s potential was far from being realized.

“Generations have fought over this beautiful section of the land, insisted on living [there] and never gave up on the dream and vision [associated with it]. This is our home; this is the scenery of our homeland. And now, given this magnificent history, we must ensure that the future of the Golan Heights is even more magnificent,” he said.

“It is not enough to say, ‘The people are with the Golan Heights.’ The people need to be on the Golan Heights. And for this, the government also needs to be [there]. And today there is such a government,” said Bennett. He added that Israel needs to encourage those who sought and seek to build a life in the Golan “in every way.”

Prior to the conference, said the prime minister, he had met with regional council heads and businesspeople, reiterating that the government’s goal was to double the communities of the Golan.

“My directive in this context is unequivocal,” he said.

“In six weeks, we will hold a Cabinet meeting at which we will approve a national plan for the Golan Heights. Our goal is to double, and double again, the number of residents in the Golan Heights. The establishment of two new communities, jobs and more investments in infrastructure,” said the prime minister.

The government is working on a plan that will change the face of the Golan, said Bennett, and will allocate the necessary resources to implement it.

“This is the obligation of the government that I lead—and we will live up to it,” he said.

From the Golan, Bennett then addressed the situation in adjacent Syria, saying that Israel was closely monitoring the situation there.

“For more than a decade, Syria has not known stability,” said Bennett. “We are closely—very closely—monitoring what is happening in Syria, and its ties with Iran. Iran, which has dispatched proxies and built armies to surround the State of Israel, aspires to build yet another army on the border of the Golan Heights,” he added.

Israel, he went on, would continue to act “wherever and whenever necessary, at our initiative and on a daily basis,” in order to roll back Iran’s presence in the country. The Iranians, he said, “have nothing to look for there. Their adventure on our northern border needs to end. Thus, we will ensure not only the peace of the residents of the Golan Heights but that of all citizens of Israel.

Bennett emphasized, however, that Israel’s position on the Golan Heights was not connected to the Syrian situation.

“True, the horrors that have been taking place there [in Syria] for a decade have convinced many in the world that perhaps it is preferable that this beautiful and strategic piece of land be in the hands of the State of Israel—that it is preferable that it be green and prosperous, rather than yet another arena for killings and bombings.

“But even in the situation, which could happen, in which the world changes direction regarding Syria, or regarding the Assad regime, this has no connection to the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights is Israel, period.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 11, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: English Wikipedia user Daniel Case/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for PM Bennett and the Israeli government as they develop and institute a national plan for the development of the Golan Heights. Pray that they will be successful in developing the area, building new communities and encouraging Israelis to make the Golan their home. Pray also that Israel will have every success in ensuring the security of the Golan and the peace and safety of its residents.

Scripture

Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.


- Deuteronomy 30:5

Israeli Ambassador Erdan: Christian Allies of Israel Are ‘Iron Dome of Truth’ for Jewish State

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Israel Allies Foundation staff with Gilad Erdan and Mike Pence

Friday, 8 October 2021 | Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan and former Vice President Mike Pence addressed hundreds of Christian supporters of Israel at the Israel Allies Foundation Gala Awards in Texas on Wednesday.

“The BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement which seeks to demonize Israel is actively fanning the flames of anti-Semitism with the help of its supporters in Congress and European parliaments. In the face of the lies that some spread about Israel on Capitol Hill, I know that we can count on you to be our Iron Dome of truth,” Erdan told the gathering.

Erdan, who was deputy chair of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus when he served in the Knesset [Israeli Parliament], said Christian support for Israel and the Israel Allies Foundation around the world creates a “lasting impact of immense proportions.”

“For that, the State of Israel could not be more grateful,” he added.

Pence spoke about the Trump administration’s accomplishments regarding Israel and the Middle East, including moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and helping to broker the Abraham Accords.

He also criticized the Biden administration and progressive Democrats in Congress for eroding bipartisan support for Israel.

“The bipartisan consensus that once supported the US–Israel relationship has begun to erode in one of the two major political parties in this country,” he said.

“Leading Democrats in the House of Representatives recently tried to deny funding for the Iron Dome [aerial defense system] in Israel after a hailstorm of rockets had descended on the people of the State of Israel. And our current vice president told a student at George Mason University that ‘their truth should not be suppressed’ when they accused Israel of ethnic genocide,” he said. “It must be the position of the United States of America that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

Josh Reinstein, president of the Israel Allies Foundation, said Pence and Erdan “spoke beautifully about the importance of faith-based diplomacy.”

“All over the world, millions of Christians are standing with Israel, and they are bringing the countries with them,” he said.

A delegation of leaders from Latin America also came to the proceedings, as did Guatemalan Ambassador to United Nations Luis Lam Padilla.

Herzl Makov was the evening’s honoree, receiving the Israel Allies Award for his loyal dedication to Israel as demonstrated through his previous roles in the Israel Defense Forces, Prime Minister’s Office, the Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization and for his current role as CEO of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 7, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Allies Foundation/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this event that brought together Jews and Christians from around the world to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the Israel Allies Foundation and honor individuals who have dedicated themselves to the concept of faith-based diplomacy. Thank Him for ever-growing Christian support for the nation of Israel and for the political impact that support is having.

Scripture

Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.


- Psalm 85:10–11

Israeli Cancer Care, Heart Treatment Rank among World’s Best

by Maytal Yasur Beit-Or ~ Israel Hayom via JNS

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Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital

Monday, 11 October 2021 | In its annual World’s Best Specialized Hospitals list, the US magazine Newsweek names three Israeli medical centers.

The magazine ranks the top 250 hospitals for cardiology and oncology, the top 150 for cardiac surgery and pediatrics, and the top 125 for endocrinology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery and pulmonology.

According to this year’s rankings, Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer is number 42 in the world when it comes to cardiology care. The Heart Institute at Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center was ranked number 173 for cardiology, and cardiology care at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center ranked number 204.

Hadassah’s oncology care also came in for praise, with the hospital’s Sharett Institute of Oncology, located on Mount Scopus, ranking 211 in the oncology section.

Sheba’s neurosurgery and gastroenterology departments also performed well, coming in at number 40 and number 44 in each category, respectively.

Sourasky’s Orthopedics Department was ranked number 123 in that category.

Source: (This article originally appeared in Israel Hayom and was republished by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 10, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See the JNS version at this link.)

Photo Credit: Alex Jilitsky/Wikimedia Commons/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this list that acknowledges the excellence of care in various departments in Israeli hospitals, ranking them among the top 250 hospitals in the world. Thank the Lord for His blessings that make such accomplishments possible, and pray that He will continue to bless His chosen nation as it works to take its rightful place among the nations.

Scripture

“So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water.
And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.


- Exodus 23:25–26