Compassion

Yes, I will help Israel rebuild the lives that terror has torn apart.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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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.

Please note the Bridges for Peace offices in Israel will be closed tomorrow due to the Jerusalem Marathon. Normal operations will resume on Monday, March 18, 2019.

Ramona Lewis Israel Memorial Fund

Ramona S. Lewis, 83, of blessed memory, the mother of Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO of Bridges for Peace, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 10, 2019. At the side of her beloved husband, Dr. David Allen Lewis (1932–2007)—the founder of the original Christians United for Israel—the couple traveled the world, ministering about the Bible and especially the importance of Israel in Bible prophecy. Their pioneering work in Christian–Jewish relations built a foundation upon which Christian Zionists stand today.

Ramona’s family has set up the Ramona Lewis Israel Memorial Fund in her honor. The fund will be used to bless Israeli widows in need.

 

Tensions on Temple Mount on Knife Edge

by Jo Sarah Stanford

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The Jerusalem district police commander briefs the Israel police commissioner on the Temple Mount following Tuesday’s Molotov cocktail incident.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 | Violent riots broke out on the Temple Mount Tuesday following weeks of simmering tensions regarding control over access to a chamber within the Golden Gate. Palestinian protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at a police post, after which access to the Mount was immediately closed.

Around 1.00 p.m. Tuesday, police on the Mount were forced to evacuate their post after a fire bomb was thrown through the window. Firefighters were called to the scene. One police officer suffered from smoke inhalation and was evacuated to hospital. Videos of the event show Muslim women clashing with Israeli police while smoke pours from the window of the police building.

Ten people were arrested, including two youths suspected of throwing the Molotov cocktail.

Police immediately closed all access to the Temple Mount as well as briefly closing access to the nearby Lion’s Gate and Damascus Gate.

After the riot was dispersed and a security briefing was held later in the day, police deemed the situation under control and ordered access to the Temple Mount to be reopened Wednesday.

The Temple Mount is widely regarded as one of the Old City of Jerusalem’s most important religious sites. Judaism holds it as the holiest place, the location where both the First and Second Temple stood. Muslims vigorously dispute this claim. They hold that Judaism’s First and Second Temples were never present on the site and call it exclusively their own, naming it the third holiest site in Islam. According to Muslim tradition, it is the place where the prophet Mohammad made a miraculous nighttime journey in the year 621 CE. Traveling 666 nautical miles from Mecca on a specially gifted horse, he ascended into heaven where he engaged in dialogue with Allah before returning to Mecca that same night. In honor of the prophet’s “visit,” the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were constructed in 637 CE after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem.

These two claims by Judaism and Islam make the Temple Mount one of the most contested religious sites on earth.

Control over the Temple Mount is a constant delicate balance. Day-to-day administration falls under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Waqf (Muslim religious trust) and the Jordanian government—as per the 1967 peace agreement after the Six Day War—and security is handled by the Israeli government.

While access to the Mount is available to all, Jews and Christians are forbidden to pray.

The Golden Gate—also known as the Gate of Mercy—has long been a point of contention on the Mount. The gate itself, located in the outer walls, has been bricked up for nearly 500 years. The area in contention is a chamber in which the Islamic Waqf wishes to conduct prayers. In 2003, the area was closed permanently by court order after groups meeting there were found to have ties with the terrorist group Hamas. Previously, the Waqf conducted illegal construction on the site, bulldozing an area, destroying hundreds of artifacts buried underneath—artifacts linking the Jewish people to the Temple Mount. The chamber remained closed for 15 years to prevent further destruction.

The area was forcefully opened by rioters on February 23, and has remained open since. Despite court orders to close the Golden Gate chamber, the Waqf refused, allowing Muslim worshipers to continue meeting within. Although Israeli police had court authority to close the gate, they chose instead to pursue talks with the Jordanian government, fearing that any measure of force would lead to violent riots.

Since the opening of the Golden Gate three weeks ago, tensions have been at a boiling point. Last week, Hamas called for a “day of rage” in protest of the court order to reclose the chamber, reported the Times of Israel.  The Waqf stated they had no interest in protests, but would continue to hold prayers.

Despite this, Israeli security forces saw no escalation until Tuesday’s firebomb incident. Although the Temple Mount was reopened the following day, tensions still remain on a knife edge as nothing regarding the situation with the Golden Gate chamber has actually been resolved.

Moreover, with tensions high in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria, the Temple Mount has the potential to become a flashpoint for these volatile areas.

The official policy on the Mount is to maintain the status quo, but with the Waqf refusing to cooperate, the potential for further violence remains high as ever.

Ilse Strauss contributed to this report.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 13, 2019)

Photo Credit: משטרת ישראל@IL_Police/Twitter

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will move strongly on behalf of Israel, easing tensions and restoring calm to the place where the Temple once stood and where He placed His heart forever.

Scripture

I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.


- 1 Kings 9:3b

Israel Exposes Terror Network in Syrian Golan Led by Hezbollah Killer of US Troops

by Joshua Spurlock

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Hezbollah soldiers marching. (Illustrative)

Thursday, 14 March 2019 | Just two days after a key United States legislator promised to push for American recognition of the Israeli Golan—citing Israel’s security in his comments—that rationale was highlighted as the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] exposed a Hezbollah terror network operating on the Syrian side of the Golan next door to Israel.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, in a video posted to the IDF Twitter page on Wednesday, noted that not only is Ali Musa Duqduq [a senior Hezbollah leader and advisor] heading a network in Syria “aimed at striking Israel,” but he’s been an enemy of the US before too—killing their soldiers in Iraq.

“For American ears, he has history. He was responsible for the abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” said Conricus in the video, noting that Daqduq served time in prison in Iraq before being released as part of a prisoner swap. The terror network includes Syrians, but is “masterminded by Hezbollah,” according to Conricus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday pointed out Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy of Iran, which has sought to build a military foothold in Syria. “So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

Conricus said the terror network was using the Syrian civilian infrastructure as observation posts to obtain intelligence “against Israeli targets.” The IDF spokesman said that Israel would hold the Syrian regime [responsible] for attacks against Israel that come from Syria.

Conricus also made it clear that a Hezbollah terror presence so close to the Israeli border with Syria was not acceptable to Israel and shouldn’t be to anyone else. “We’re not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on the Golan capable of striking Israeli civilians,” said Conricus. “…Anybody who cares about regional stability should be concerned about the fact that Hezbollah is trying to build a terror network on our doorstep.”

At least one important member of the US certainly seems to share that concern. A secure Israel was listed by US Senator Lindsay Graham in his endorsing of Israeli control of the Golan Heights on Monday

Regardless of what the rest of the world thinks of Hezbollah, Israel is confident in knowing who they are and how to respond to them.

Said Netanyahu of Hezbollah, “It does Iran’s bidding and this terror network is part of Iran’s aggression against Israel…Israel will continue to do all that’s necessary to defend itself. We will continue to use all means, overt and covert, to block Iran’s effort to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on March 13, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/idf.il/en

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for exposing the menace on Israel’s doorstep, enabling the IDF to dismantle the threat. Pray that He will bring to the light all the plots for evil that Israel’s enemies concoct covertly.

Scripture

But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever.


- Psalm 44:7–8

As Gaza Tensions Continue, Netanyahu Warns Israel “Will Do Everything Necessary”

by Joshua Spurlock

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Once again, rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza over the weekend. (Illustrative)

Monday, 11 March 2019 | More rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel over the weekend and Israel responded with air strikes on terror targets. As the tensions between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip brew, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a warning to those who think that next month’s election in Israel will prevent Israel from engaging in another full-scale military operation in Gaza.

“I suggest to Hamas—don’t count on it. We will do everything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office.

Netanyahu acknowledged that some of the attacks stemming from Gaza lately have come from other terror groups besides Hamas. However, given Hamas’s power as the authority in Gaza, the Israeli leader expects the main Gaza terror group to keep the smaller ones in line. “We have recently seen provocations and heads being raised from the direction of the Gaza Strip. This has been done by dissidents, but this does not absolve Hamas,” said Netanyahu. “Hamas is responsible for everything that comes out of the Gaza Strip, and we respond accordingly, with assaults by Air Force planes against Hamas targets.”

This weekend was no different. On both Friday night and on Saturday, rockets were fired from Gaza, according to the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Twitter feed. In response to the Saturday attack, an IDF Twitter post noted that “we responded by striking several military targets in a Hamas compound in Gaza & 2 Hamas vessels.” On Friday, per the IDF Twitter feed, the Israelis hit “several Hamas targets & underground structures in Gaza.”

Those underground structures weren’t just highlighted in the current conflict over the weekend—they were a topic of discussion for key American officials as well. United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visited one of the decommissioned Gaza terror tunnels that led into Israel on Sunday, along with visiting US Senator Lindsay Graham. Tweeted Friedman, “Cost of tunnel = cost of 2 new schools = cost of 30 new homes. #Hamas consistently makes the wrong choices for the people of #Gaza. Heartbreaking.”

Hearts won’t be the only thing breaking in the coming days if the attacks from Gaza continue, according to Israel. Netanyahu last week toured the Israel–Egypt border, which is near the border with Gaza, and had stern words for the rulers of the Gaza Strip.

“I am aware that in recent days there has been a renewal of Hamas aggression in all sorts of ways,” said Netanyahu last Thursday in comments released by his office. “Hamas should understand now that any display of aggression will be met with a very vigorous response on Israel’s part. They would do well to understand this now rather than later.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on March 10, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will stand strong against Hamas’s violence and intimidation. Ask that the upcoming elections will not influence the government’s decisions regarding defense nor in any way be influenced by those decisions.

Scripture

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


- Psalm 140:1–2

Jordan and the Palestinian Authority Seek to Sabotage the Trump Peace Plan

by Yoni Ben Menachem

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Tension continues to grow on the Temple Mount as the Islamic Waqf still refuses government orders to close the Golden Gate.

Monday, 11 March 2019 | In recent weeks, signs are growing of an imminent explosion in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and the Gaza Strip as the Israeli elections in April draw near.

Israel can take measures to prevent such an explosion. The most serious danger, though, is that of an eruption sparked by events on the Temple Mount, where the new Islamic Waqf [Muslim religious trust] Council—at Jordan’s bidding—took over the Gate of Mercy compound by force.

On the east Jerusalem street, against the backdrop of what is perceived as Israeli depredations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic Waqf institutions, the young generation is calling for a new intifada that will be dubbed HaBat Sha’ar a-Rahma (the Gate of Mercy uprising).

Palestinian social networks were full of mendacious propaganda calling on Muslims to come to the Temple Mount last Thursday to prevent “the settlers” from forcibly entering the new mosque at the Gate of Mercy.

Hamas called on Muslims to demonstrate in Jerusalem last Friday, in tandem with measures announced by the Islamic Waqf to counteract Israel’s decision to bar from the Mount those who were involved in the takeover of the Gate of Mercy chamber.

On March 4, the Islamic Waqf announced that the Mount would be closed to worshippers last Friday and prayers would not be held there. The intention is to protest the measures Israel took against the top Islamic Waqf officials and particularly the head of the Waqf, Sheikh Al-Azim Salhab, who was barred from the Mount for 40 days from the Gate of Mercy takeover.

This decision by the Waqf recalls its approach to the crisis involving the metal-detectors that were installed at the Mount’s gates in the summer of 2017.

For their part, on March 4, 2019, the Islamic Waqf’s security guards on the Mount issued an announcement warning that Israel is working to sabotage the achievement of opening the Gate of Mercy.

The announcement said Israel had so far arrested 14 Waqf security guards who were involved in opening the Gate of Mercy and barred them from the Mount for different periods of time. The announcement also calls on Muslims to demonstrate on the Mount.

Israel should have drawn the right lessons from the 2017 metal-detectors crisis and internalized the fact that sensitive issues on the Temple Mount are instantaneously combustible. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority [PA] are well aware of that fact; seeking to throw a wrench in the works as the proclamation of Trump’s “Deal of the Century” approaches, they laid a trap for Israel in the form of the Gate of Mercy takeover. They likewise established a new, joint Waqf Council that includes senior PA representatives for the first time. They aimed to signal that sovereignty on the Temple Mount belongs to Jordan and the PA and not to Israel or Saudi Arabia or any other international Arab body.

Israel is now ensnared in the Gate of Mercy crisis. On March 4, 2019, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the Islamic Waqf to respond in a week to the State Attorney’s Office’s request to close the Gate of Mercy compound, saying otherwise it would issue an edict to close it. The Waqf already declared last week that it does not recognize the Israeli courts’ authority or the Israel Police’s directives and that it takes orders only from the Jordanian government. If the court does issue the edict, the police will then have to enforce it, further aggravating the situation. For now, the mosque that was set up in the Gate of Mercy chamber is operating unhindered.

The political echelon must now act to forestall the widespread disruptions that could ensue. The solution lies in dialogue with Jordan, which oversees the Waqf Council and can restore calm. Israel must not succumb to the trap that Jordan has laid.

Worrisome Signs in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Meanwhile, at the Gaza border and in the West Bank there are worrisome signs of escalation and an outbreak on the Temple Mount could ignite these on a wide scale. Therefore, the order of the day is to calm the furies on the Temple Mount, which is of a sensitive religious nature for every Muslim.

On the Gaza border, the “night confusion” units have been active again, attacking IDF soldiers along the border fence in the nighttime hours. Explosive-balloon and arson-balloon attacks on the Israeli communities along the border have resumed as well.

Although the Rafah crossing has already been operating for a month or so and even though [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas has cleared it of PA officials, Hamas seems to want to gradually escalate the situation with the aim of putting the Gaza issue back on the international agenda.

Almost a year has passed since the start of the Great March of Return campaign, and the Hamas leadership cannot point to any significant achievements or breach of the blockade. Gaza’s economic situation is difficult, there is great distress among the population, and Qatar announced that it will stop giving Gaza [US] $15 million in financial aid each month.

Meanwhile, Abbas keeps withholding salaries and stipends from Gaza officials and the families of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.

Hamas is now demanding that Israel hand it a sum of $20 million and carry out the second stage of the ceasefire understandings, which includes setting up a new electricity supply line from Israel to Gaza (known as Line 161), opening a maritime crossing to Cyprus, and building a floating maritime terminal.

In the West Bank, the PA is in distress as well. Israel has started to implement its law to withhold revenues equal to the stipends the PA pays to terrorists, freezing the transfer of 500 million shekels [US $138 million] to the PA. The PA has declared in turn that it will now forgo all of the tax monies that Israel collects for it if even a single cent is deducted from them.

The Trump administration, too, has cut financial aid to the PA and its security agencies. Hence the PA’s financial situation stands to get worse and it will have a hard time providing services to citizens and paying its officials’ salaries.

To this should be added the simmering anger among Palestinian security prisoners in Israel over the Prison Service’s decision to install electronic cell-phone-jamming devices in the Ketziot Prison as an initial measure. This anger radiates out to thousands of families of security prisoners in the West Bank and Gaza.

In the absence of what the Palestinians regard as a political horizon and with the United States aiming to foist the Deal of the Century on them, the tension in the West Bank could spark the outbreak of a spontaneous intifada involving vehicular ramming assaults, stabbing attacks and an uptick in “popular resistance.” Fatah activists are now talking about a new tactic of blocking roads leading to West Bank settlements.

What Can Be Done?

The atmosphere in the territories is fraught with explosive vapors. It can gradually be calmed if it is borne in mind that the main fuse is on the Temple Mount and that if this fuse is lit, the security situation could spin totally out of control. That means the state of affairs on the Temple Mount has to be accorded the highest priority.

Jordan is the custodian of the Jerusalem holy places and its status is anchored in the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. In the Gate of Mercy crisis, the Arab League and the PA are totally behind Jordan. Since the crisis began two weeks ago, the Israeli police have arrested about 300 Palestinians and barred them from the Temple Mount.

In light of the tense situation at the Gaza border and in the West Bank, Israel must calm tensions on the Temple Mount and launch a dialogue with Jordan’s King Abdullah before Friday.

The heads of the Islamic Waqf Council accuse Israel of a deliberate escalation on the Temple Mount with an eye to Israel’s election campaign. For its part, Israel must draw the full benefit from a dialogue with the Jordanian government. Israel can always resort to force and impose the law, but at present, every effort should be made to avoid an escalation on the Mount in light of what is happening along the Gaza border and in the PA.

Israel can also ask Egypt to restrain the Hamas leadership, and it can temporarily freeze the installation of the cell-phone-jamming devices in the security prisoners. Such measures will help allay the tension in the territories.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on March 6, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Фотобанк Moscow-Live.ru/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Again, pray for the situation on the Temple Mount in light of its impact on the rest of the country. Pray that the Lord will give Israel the wisdom and direction to end the violence before it explodes into a full-blown intifada (uprising).

Scripture

The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.


- Proverbs 18:10

US Senator Vows Plan to Recognize Golan as Israel’s “Now and Forever”

by Joshua Spurlock

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Israeli PM Netanyahu explains to US Sen. Lindsey Graham and US Amb. to Israel David Friedman the importance of the Golan Heights.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 | In a significant diplomatic win for Israel, US Senator Lindsay Graham—a former candidate for president and a key member of US President Donald Trump’s Republican political party—on Monday openly endorsed Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights that border Syria. “I’ve got a simple message. I will go back to the United States Senate. Working with Senator (Ted) Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever,” said Graham during a visit to the Golan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments published by Netanyahu’s office.

Graham didn’t stop there, continuing by highlighting that the history behind the territory Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 war is further evidence that Israel should keep it. “Israel occupied this territory by fighting for its survival. This territory was taken by military force because it was used as a launching point to attack the State of Israel. This territory has a rich Jewish history,” said Graham.

Perhaps even more important than Graham’s endorsement, US Ambassador David Friedman—the American representative of President Trump to Israel—was not only present with Graham on the Golan, he sounded moved by the senator’s comments.

In a Twitter post, Friedman said, “With @LindseyGrahamSC and @IsraeliPM today on the #Golan Heights at the Syrian border. Compelling evidence presented of the critical strategic importance of Israeli control of this territory. Senator Graham spoke movingly and with great moral clarity on this subject.”

Graham’s argument for why Israel should matter to America was straightforward. “What’s best for America is for a safe, secure and prosperous Israel. Why? Common values, common enemies, and from a military point of view, the best friend the United States could possibly ever have in a troubled region,” Graham was quoted by an Israeli press release as saying.

Netanyahu believes Graham’s support for Israel represents the view of President Trump. “You heard very strong words here from Senator Graham that express American policy, President Trump’s policy, of support for Israel. They are taking this to a very concrete step—to keep the Golan as part of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

The Golan has become especially relevant lately as Iran has attempted to build military bases in Israel’s northern neighbor Syria. Netanyahu warned that if Israel were to lose the Golan, “our border will be with Iran on the shores of the Kinneret—and we are not prepared to accept that,” he said, referring to the Hebrew name for the Biblical Sea of Galilee.

The US has never formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, although the Trump Administration has already made history by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This support has apparently given Netanyahu encouragement that recognition of the Golan is possible as well.

Said Netanyahu of Graham’s comments, “I was very pleased to hear him make these remarks. I think that this is a very important direction and very, very promising for our national security.”

Graham wasn’t the only person waxing eloquent about the strategic importance of the Golan. Netanyahu made his own case for why the key mountain region bordering Syria needed to stay in Israeli hands.

“I think every time you come here, you can appreciate the strategic importance of Israel being on the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu was quoted by the press release as telling Senator Graham. “And the fact that we’re creating here new life, green life, a future, which is very different obviously from what existed before. The Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been part of the State of Israel since 1967, and more recently since 1981 (when it was annexed by Israel).”

Continued Netanyahu, “The Golan is part of Israel; the Golan must stay part of Israel forever. I think it’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially, our great friend the United States.”

If Senator Graham gets his way, the US will do just that.

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on March 11, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for US Senator Graham’s outspoken support of Israel. Pray that he will have great success in influencing others as he speaks boldly of Israel’s rightful, eternal sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Scripture

“Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”


- Genesis 17:8

Anti-Semitic Incidents Hit Record High in the Netherlands for 2018

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Vlaardigen, Netherlands, where a nightclub security guard threw a Jewish teenager off the premises after seeing the Jewish name on his identity card.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 | The Netherlands on Tuesday became the latest European country to report sickening levels of anti-Semitism with a 19% increase in recorded anti-Jewish incidents in 2018 to a record 230 cases, Ben Cohen reported in the Algemeiner.

The Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI)—a Dutch Jewish watchdog group—recorded in its annual report 135 anti-Semitic incidents during 2018, with a further 95 cases of anti-Semitism online.

“CIDI is concerned about the increase in anti-Semitism and wants a clear action plan from the government to combat this problem,” a statement from the group that accompanied the report said. “It is high time that the police and the judicial authorities paid specific attention to anti-Semitism and properly identified the problem.”

In one incident in June, a security guard at a nightclub in the Dutch city of Vlaardingen violently removed a Jewish teenager from the property after seeing his identity card, which carried a distinctly Jewish name. In a separate incident in February, a man waiting for the metro was approached by another man who told him, “God will kill you.”

The CIDI noted that many Dutch Jews are subjected to anti-Semitic abuse at work, on campus or in school and in their neighborhoods.

“The most drastic increase was registered in incidents occurring in people’s direct vicinity,” the report said. “This encompasses incidents at schools, at work or between neighbors. The increase in this category is 67% compared to the previous year (from 24 in 2017 up to 40 in 2018).”

The report emphasized: “This is the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in people’s direct vicinity in 10 years.”

The watchdog also observed that many anti-Semitic attacks go unreported. “Only 25% of respondents in the Netherlands report incidents of anti-Semitism to the police, other government agencies or an NGO such as CIDI,” the group said. Moreover, the report observed, “Forty-one percent of all cases of discrimination [in the Netherlands] concern anti-Semitism.”

CIDI concluded that when “anti-Semitism occurs—on the street, at school, on the internet—it is important that people speak out clearly.”

“We should not consider antisemitism to be normal,” the watchdog urged.

In February, studies in both the United Kingdom and France reported sharp increases in anti-Semitic incidents during 2018.

Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of history at Emory University and author of numerous books on the Holocaust, assessed the results of a poll of more than 7,000 Europeans in seven nations conducted on behalf of CNN in November of last year.

According to the poll, 25% of those surveyed across Europe felt that Jews had too much influence in business. Lipstadt said the results were “frightening.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project in its publication The Tower on March 12, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Opuntia/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the safety, protection and strength of the Jewish people, wherever they are on the globe, as the enemies of God mount an increasingly aggressive campaign against them. Pray that the guilty parties will be brought to their knees in shame for allowing such vile abuse of God’s people.

Scripture

Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”


- Isaiah 35:4

Gallup: 70% of Americans View Israel Favorably

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American support for Israel across the political spectrum is higher than it was in the early 2000s. (Illustrative)

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 | In its recently released poll, 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably across all political party lines—a level of support that has been steady in recent years, Gallup reported Wednesday.

According to Gallup, the 69% of Americans who view Israel “very” or “mostly” favorably was down slightly from last year’s 74%, but “within the 66% to 72% range seen between 2010 and 2017.” In stark contrast, 70% hold a “mostly” or “very” unfavorable view of the Palestinian Authority [PA], which is “identical to last year and similar to the finding most years since 2010.”

The poll surveyed 1,016 adults from February 1 to 10.

The analysis showed that, overall, the average American support for Israel across all political identifications over the past three years is higher than it was from 2001 to 2004. Support for Israel was highest among “conservative” Republicans, followed by “moderate/liberal” Republicans, “moderate/conservative” Democrats and lastly, “liberal” Democrats.

The poll emphasized that “all groups, including liberal Democrats, have maintained a largely favorable view of Israel since 2001.” In viewing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, 59% of Americans said they favored Israel, and only 21% said they favored the Palestinians.

The polling was conducted before freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested American Jews owed their allegiance to Israel—a comment that has drawn bipartisan backlash and evoked condemnation from outside groups, including many in the pro-Israel community.

According to Gallup, their latest poll shows “a slight softening of Americans’ partiality toward Israel in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, particularly among moderate/liberal Republicans and, to a lesser extent, liberal Democrats.”

Last year’s survey found that nearly twice as many Americans (50%) felt that more pressure should be brought to bear on the Palestinians than on Israel (27%). That question was not addressed in the 2019 survey.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project in its publication The Tower on March 7, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Maj Stephanie Addison/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God that there is such strong support for Israel among the American people. Pray that support will only increase, strengthening the bond between Israel and the United States. Beseech the Lord that Americans will use their voting power to make sure that their love and support for Israel continues to be represented in the decisions made by the American government—for the good of both nations and the world.

Scripture

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. For the LORD commanded the blessing—life forevermore.


- Psalm 133:1–2, 3b

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