It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8
IRAN STILL WORKS TO OBTAIN WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TECH – GERMAN INTEL: A German intelligence report released on Monday says Iran’s clerical regime has continued its illicit proliferation activities in the federal republic during 2019.
The 181-page Baden-Württemberg state intelligence agency document declares in a section titled “Proliferation” that the states “Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Syria are still pursuing such efforts. They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems. They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant know-how, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.” According to the report, the term “proliferation” refers “to the further spread of atomic, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction – or the products and know-how required to manufacture them – and corresponding delivery systems.” Iran’s regime agreed to limit the development of its nuclear program in a 2015 deal with world powers. Tehran received economic sanctions relief as part of the unsigned 2015 atomic accord. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAELI-DESIGNED INSTANT CORONAVIRUS BREATHALYZER COULD BE ROLLED OUT GLOBALLY: An Israeli-designed one-minute breath test to tell whether someone has coronavirus could soon be installed at hundreds of global entry points pending FDA approval.
The clever contraption, which uses frequency to detect the deadly SARS-CoV-2, was designed by a team based at an Israeli university and has a success rate of more than 90 percent in trials to-date. Current tests for the new coronavirus use throat or nose swabs and look for particles but the team led by Professor Gabby Sarusi at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev thought outside the box in terms of detection. Sarusi said the idea was for these breathalyzers to be installed throughout the country at places such as ports, workplaces, and cruise ships, with each device processing breath from about 4,000 people every day. The next steps are to conclude the validation process then get FDA approval, for which there is a Covid-19 fast-tracking system in-place, meaning that the tests could be seen in public as soon as September. (JNews / VFI News)
CORONAVIRUS CABINET APPROVES RENEWAL OF TRAIN SERVICES, CULTURAL EVENTS: Trains will finally return to Israel’s railways on Monday after the coronavirus cabinet approved the renewal of services under tight health restrictions on Wednesday evening.
In addition, the ministers decided that cultural events will be permitted with crowds limited to 250 attendees, or 500 attendees if approved by the director-general of the Culture and Sports Ministry. They designated the Ajami neighborhoods of Jaffa, Rahat, and Ar’ara as “red zones” with high levels of infection, where schools will now be closed and gatherings limited to 10 people. The meeting held at the Foreign Ministry took place as official data showed that Israel had recorded its largest number of daily cases in two months. Some 288 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported Wednesday evening, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,993. At last count, 19,783 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in Israel, and the death toll was 302. (JPost / VFI News)
MINISTER YULI EDELSTEIN WARNS: LACK OF DISCIPLINE WILL RESULT IN ANOTHER LOCKDOWN: Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned during today’s meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet that non-compliance with Health Ministry instructions may lead to tragedy.
Edelstein said that while the Ministry was in favor of it, “if there is no public discipline, we will not re-open the railway system and cultural institutions. We can’t allow the morbidity rate to go back up as a result of people ignoring instructions.” 288 new infections were recorded over the last 24 hours. The number of virus patients in Israel now stands at 3,993, with 36 of them in critical condition and 29 on respirators. Earlier in the day, the government declared the neighborhoods of Ar’ara in the north of the country and the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert as restricted areas. The government will also impose a partial closure on the predominantly-Arab Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, and the nearby Tzahalon neighborhood. A daycare center in Jerusalem was also temporarily closed after a two-year-old was diagnosed with the coronavirus. (INN / VFI News)
EU CUTS FUNDING TO ARAB ANTI-ISRAEL ORGANIZATION: The European Union has for the first time canceled a grant to a Palestinian Arab non-profit organization for refusing to sign a clause that no terrorist organization would benefit from its funds.
The organization, the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights had secured a €1.7 million (about 1.9 million USD) for a three-year project called “Mobilizing for Justice in Jerusalem,” which sought to document alleged Israeli crimes and violations in Israel’s capital. BADIL claimed that it refused to sign the clause because it “criminalizes the Palestinian struggle against oppression and requires the recipient organization to perform ‘screening’ procedures which amounts to policing its own people.” On Friday, BADIL received a letter from the EU stating that since it had refused to sign Article 1.5 of Annex II of the “General conditions applicable to European Union-financed grant contracts for external actions,” the EU would “consider your application no longer valid.” (INN / VFI News)
CABINET APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF RAMAT TRUMP: The Cabinet on Sunday approved the proposal to establish the community of Ramat Trump in the northern Golan Heights.
Settlement Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely said at the Cabinet meeting, “The decision to establish the community of Ramat Trump is great news for the settlement in the Golan Heights. The Settlement Affairs Ministry is starting to work to prepare the ground to be populated by the first core of families, which in the future will grow to 300 families.” Ramat Trump is named after the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump, as a token of gratitude for his support of Israel and the decision that led to US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan. “The area does not yet fully realize its potential in terms of population size. The expansion of the settlement in the Golan is great news for an important and flourishing land, whose historical roots reach as far back as the time of the Hasmoneans,” Hotovely added. (INN / VFI News)
BIRD STUDY BACKS BIBLE: PIGEONS, DOVES SACRIFICED IN ANCIENT JERUSALEM: Analysis of bird remains excavated in Jerusalem confirmed that specific species of birds—pigeons, doves—were indeed sacrificed in the Temple as the biblical text suggests.
“[Noah] again sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth,” (Genesis 8:10-11).
From the story of Noah and the dove in the Book of Genesis to the issues of ritual sacrifices and dietary restrictions, birds play a very important role in the biblical text. Pigeons and doves often appear in the Bible as animals fit to be offered to God. For example, as described in Leviticus, they were one of the options for an atoning sacrifice for those who committed several types of sin or who had become impure. Moreover, a mother was required to bring a turtledove after completing her purification period following childbirth. (JPost / VFI News)
SPECIAL VESSELS SHOW JEWISH CONTINUITY IN ISRAEL AFTER ROMAN DESTRUCTION: New research offers insights on how Jewish life continued in the Land of Israel after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans.
The use of chalkstones vessels, very common among the Jewish population during the Second Temple Period, did not stop with the destruction of the city in the second century CE as previously thought but continued in the Galilee, the new center of Jewish life, for at least another two centuries. The most accepted interpretation on the reason why chalkstone vessels were prevalent during the Second Temple Period is connected to Jewish purity laws. According to these laws, stone vessels did not receive impurity, while clay vessels were extremely susceptible to it and very hard to purify. Tzipori was already a major Jewish center in the first century CE, and that importance only grew: the great Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi moved the Sanhedrin there in the second half of the second century, and the Mishna, the foundational text of rabbinic Judaism, was compiled in the city. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff