“Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” Ps. 55:17
Iran: No Backdown on Nuclear Work Despite More US Sanctions: Iran said on Friday 29 May 2020 that its scientists would continue nuclear development activities, despite US sanctions imposed last week. The country’s nuclear department was quoted as saying the US’s decision to impose sanctions on two Iranian nuclear scientists indicates the continuation of a “hostile” attitude. It said the sanctions would make them even more “determined” to continue their nonstop nuclear efforts. The two officials who were sanctioned are involved with Iran’s atomic energy organization and are participants in the development and production of centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Hours earlier, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned the US against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. “We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future,” said the Guards’ navy chief, Alireza Tangsiri. (VFI News)
Netanyahu Addresses Israel After New Virus Surge: PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night 30 May 2020 addressed the nation after a weekend that reflected a surge in coronavirus cases -especially in schools. “Here is the essence of my message,” said Netanyahu: “Corona is running amok in the world. It is not skipping over us. If we do not adhere to the rules, it will come back and strike us. We need to tighten discipline so that we will be able – at the same time – to open the economy. We will keep the rules and with God’s help they will keep us.” Netanyahu said that Israel did not reach the number of deaths seen in other countries, thanks to the timely and precautionary measures instituted by the government. He also emphasized that climate is “not a factor” where coronavirus is concerned, noting that in a number of countries with climates similar to Israel, such as Iran, Turkey, and Egypt, the death toll from coronavirus has been exceptionally high, as was the number of deaths in chilly Belgium. Netanyahu also said that the government had reopened the economy and educational system “on an experimental basis.” If Israel saw another wave of coronavirus cases, the protective measures would be reinstated, warned Netanyahu.
“We have had very major successes in the fight against corona, successes on a global scale. But the pandemic is most definitely not behind us. We extinguished the greatest flames of the conflagration in the country, but we have been left with the smoldering embers which a slight breeze can fan ablaze and carry the fire to other places. Nobody is immune. As long as there is no vaccine for the virus, it will return and spread if we are not strict about being cautious. We are all called upon to continue adhering to the rules. The rules are simple: Maintain two meters; distance. Wear masks in the public sphere. Wash your hands and maintain the rules of hygiene. If we do not do this, there will be no choice but to go back to restrictions on the economy and in the public sphere. If we do this, we will be able to continue to open our economy, bring back jobs, restore growth, and restore hope.” (VFI News)
US Holocaust Education Bill Becomes Law: President Donald Trump on Thur. 28 May 2020 signed into law a bill to allocate $10 million in federal funding over the next five years to further Holocaust education. The Never Again Education Act directs millions of dollars toward expanding the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s education program, supporting a website with curriculum materials for teachers and hosting workshops in Holocaust education and awareness throughout the country. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation on 13 May 2020, and then sent it to the president’s desk. (VFI News)
Good Relations Increasing Between Arab States and Israel: Israel and the Arab world are increasing ties with each other without a peace deal. On 21 May 2020 Saudi writer Khalid Turki Aal Turki wrote “Israel is a peace-loving country. From the day of its establishment until today, we have never heard, read or seen Israel working to spread any ideology or belief in other countries or to support terrorist groups, as Iran and Turkey are doing. Israel dispatches doctors to treat the sick in impoverished African countries and elsewhere without recompense. It also treats many Palestinians, even some who tried to commit terror attacks to murder innocent Israelis! I believe that, by any logic and in view of reality, the interest of the Arab homeland lies with Israel.”
Contrary to warnings from diplomats, analysts, and peaceniks who predicted Israel would become a pariah if it didn’t settle up with the Palestinians, Israel seems to be making more progress toward normalization with Arab regimes without a credible peace process. Trade between Israel and the Gulf states is now estimated at $1 billion a year. Much more on the intelligence and security side is reportedly happening behind closed doors. The rise of Iran and Sunni Islamists spewing terror across the region has created a narrow but important coincidence of interests between Israel and the Arab world. Increasing exhaustion and frustration with the never-ending Palestinian cause has opened up more space for Arab states to follow their own interests with Israel. (VFI News)
Israel Faces More Iranian Cyber Attacks: Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) chief Yigal Unna said last week that in April 2020 Israel faced a “synchronized and organized attack” targeting civilian water infrastructure. He said that when various chemicals are mixed with water in the wrong proportions – which could happen due to a hack – it “can be harmful and disastrous.” The attack was “very directly aiming to cause damage in real life said ICS [Industrial Control Systems] controllers. This is the first time we can see something like that aiming to cause damage to real-life, not to data. It wasn’t one or two controllers. It was a wide spectrum of attacks aiming specifically at energy and water, and the only reason it failed was our efforts, said INCD sources. We managed to mitigate it and overcome it, but I’m afraid it’s only the sign of the first major attack of a new era, on humanitarian targets. The level of attacks will probably get more sophisticated and deadlier.” (J.Post/VFI News)
Austria’s Anti-Semitic Incidents Continue to Escalate: In a recent report released by the Jewish Community of Vienna, 550 anti-Semitic acts occurred in Austria in 2019. This is an increase of 9.5% since 2017. “Among the 550 incidents, there were six physical assaults, 18 instances of threats, 78 instances of damage and desecration of Jewish property, 209 instances of mass-produced anti-Semitic literature, and 239 instances of abusive behavior,” confirmed the European Jewish Congress (EJC). The majority of crimes were carried out by “right-wing extremists,” according to EJC. Other ideological motives include radical Islam and far-left extremism. Germany announced last week that its anti-Semitic crime rate was at its highest level since 2001, reporting 2,000 crimes targeting Jews in 2019. The number of crimes in 2019 was 13% higher than it was in 2018. (VFI News)
Six-Year-Old Israeli Discovers Ancient Tablet: Young children with sharp eyes and a sense of curiosity are always finding ancient treasures buried in the dust and earth of Israel. Most recently a six-year-old Israeli boy discovered a 3,500-year-old clay tablet. The 1.1-inch by 1.1-inch tablet is engraved with a depiction of a man wearing a skirt leading a naked captive whose hands are tied behind the back. The tablet indicates ethnic differences between captor and captive; the captor’s hair is curled and his face is full, while the captive is thin and his face elongated. It is the first such tablet ever found in Israel. Imri Elya from Kibbutz Nirim found the artifact at Tel Jemmah and turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Researchers estimate that the artifact dates to between the 12th and 15th centuries BC, a period during which the Egyptian empire ruled the area. (VFI News)
Hotels in Israel Begin to Reopen: Israel’ Ginosar View Hotel is located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. On Wed. 27 May 2020 hotels began to reopen and at the Ginosar View Hotel, occupancy was at 100% after two and a half months of a coronavirus shutdown. “We are pleased to announce that all 245 hotel rooms will be filled today with guests arriving from across the country to enjoy the Sea of Galilee at its highest level, the gorgeous views, the swimming pool, and excellent service in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. There is no more perfect time for an Israeli vacation on the shores of the Sea of Galilee,” noted Roni Manor, CEO of Nof Ginosar. (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