For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. – Luke 21:15
NETANYAHU COMMITTED TO ANNEXATION AMID THREAT OF EU SANCTIONS: The EU is applying pressure to impose sanctions on Israel if it proceeds with its plan to annex parts of the West Bank next month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
The first high-level dignitary to visit Jerusalem since the establishment of the new government, Maas arrived on Wednesday to try to convince Netanyahu to back down from his plan to begin the process of unilaterally annexing up to 30 percent of the West Bank on July 1. In addition to pressures within the EU – Israel’s biggest trading partner – to adopt punitive measures against Israel if it moves forward with annexation, Maas said the states could also move forward with recognizing a Palestinian state. Netanyahu told Maas that any peace plan must take Israeli settlements into account. “Any realistic plan must recognize the reality of Israeli settlement in the territory and not nurture the delusion of uprooting people from their homes,” he said. (J. Post / VFI News)
NETANYAHU TO GERMAN FM: STOP FUNDING ANTI-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Wednesday evening with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Jerusalem. The two discussed, among other things, Israel’s demand that Germany ceases funding anti-Israel organizations that defame the Jewish State.
Maas inquired about the Israeli government’s plans in light of the Trump Administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’ and its intentions to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. He noted that this was important because Germany will soon assume the presidency of the European Union (EU) and its membership in the UN Security Council. The prime minister stated that Israel’s security interests must be maintained in any agreement, including full security control on the western side of the Jordan River. “Every realistic plan must recognize the reality of Israeli settlements on the ground, and not foster the illusion of displacing people from their homes,” Netanyahu added. (VFI News)
ISRAELI SCIENTISTS MAKE PROGRESS ON NEW COVID-19 PASSIVE VACCINE: A team of Israeli researchers at Bar-Ilan University have identified short amino acid sequences—often referred to as the “building blocks of life”—that could help develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, and which they believe could stop the next outbreak.
“Our study has identified a set of potential immunodominant epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 proteome, such that these epitopes are capable of generating both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses,” Dr. Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, head of the Cancer Genomics and BioComputing of Complex Diseases Lab at Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, explained. Epitopes, known also as antigenic determinants, are the part of the antigen that binds to a specific antigen receptor on the surface of B cells or T cells. They are capable of stimulating an immune response. The result: A passive (as opposed to an active) vaccine, capable of activating both cellular and humoral immune responses in humans. (VFI News)
ANTISEMITIC GROUPS SEEK TO HIJACK THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT: The protests in the US and around the world have sought to confront police brutality, tapping into growing anger among many young people over a variety of systemic issues. And in many ways, the mass protests are unprecedented—as is the crackdown.
But, as with any popular movement, there have been documented attempts to hijack the agenda—and that list includes groups who are anti-Jew and anti-Israel—even white supremacists. The issue facing pro-Israel Jews in the US and abroad amid the protests is whether to allow these fringe antisemitic voices to steal focus in the way the Women’s March or other groups were hijacked. Because the reality is that for ninety-nine percent of participants, Israel is not the issue. Rather, making Israel a central argument plays into the hands of those who try to inject anti-Israel views into everything in the US, from cuisine to fashion—as it reinforces Israel as a partisan issue in the US and abroad, and severely limits our ability to draw the broad international support that we desperately need. (J. Post / VFI News)
TOP SAUDI CLERIC: JEWS, MUSLIMS NEED TO JOIN FORCES TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM: The Muslim World League, a Saudi Arabian government-funded NGO, is prepared to fight “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Jews from around the world to defeat antisemitism, head of the group Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa said on Tuesday.
“We in the Muslim World League are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters to build understanding, respect, love and interreligious harmony,” said al-Issa from Mecca in a virtual conference organized by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement and the American Sephardi Federation. He said that Jews and Muslims need to work together to rebuild ties and create “bridges of dialogue” between their communities. “Whereas Jews and Muslims lived centuries together, in these last decades we have sadly grown apart,” al-Issa said. “Now, we must rebuild the bridges of dialogue and the bonds of partnership between our communities… Since taking over the Muslim World League, it has been my mission to fight the forces of hatred and violence.” (J. Post / VFI News)
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY REFUSES SECOND MEDICAL SUPPLY SHIPMENT FROM UAE: For the second time in a month, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has refused a planeload of medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates to help fight coronavirus, since it was coordinated with Israel rather than with them, AFP reported.
“We refuse to receive it because it was coordinated directly between Israel and them (the UAE),” the PA’s Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said. “We were not part of the coordination,” he added. The PA is outraged over the coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which stipulates that the government can apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in July. In response to the move, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced recently that the PA was no longer bound by the agreements it signed with Israel and the US, including the security coordination with Israel. (VFI News)
ISRAELI RESEARCHERS: SAVE THE ENDANGERED BIBLICAL GAZELLE: “When the day blows gently, And the shadows flee, Set out, my beloved, Swift as a gazelle, Or a young stag, For the hills of spices!” reads a verse in Song of Songs, a powerful celebration of love that is traditionally read as an allegory of the connection between the people of Israel and God.
For millennia, mountain gazelles have roamed freely around the land, with their graceful slender bodies and their dark gaze becoming an integral part of its ancient landscapes. But Israeli researchers have raised an alarm about their survival, and are proposing a comprehensive plan to protect them. With about 5,000 gazelles, Israel has remained the last stronghold of the species once common all over the so-called Levant, including northern Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, according to a paper published in Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation on Wednesday. (J. Post/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