Jerusalem Citizens Prosper and Reach 1 Million as Jerusalem Day is Celebrated
Jerusalem Day Flag March: Violence Erupts as Thousands Gather | Demographic Shifts Revealed: Stay up-to-date with the latest news in Israel! This covers the most significant headlines from the past few days, keeping you informed about the developments in Israel that matter. From political updates to security incidents, cultural events, and more, we provide a comprehensive overview.
Discover the latest on Jerusalem Day, a momentous occasion in Israel, and its impact on the region. Our goal is to keep you well-informed so that you can pray with knowledge and understanding.
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Some 50,000 Israelis Join Jerusalem Day Flag March, Scuffles Erupt in Old City: About 50,000 Israelis gathered in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Day flag march on Thursday, May 18, with police working throughout the day to break up scuffles that broke out between Jews, Arabs, and journalists.
The march was conducted on its traditional route, departing from the center of the city along King George and Agron streets before splitting into two, with men continuing through Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter and women continuing through Jaffa Gate before meeting up again at the Western Wall.
Several Jews carrying Israeli flags headed to the Damascus Gate area ahead of the flag march, with scuffles breaking out in the area between Jews, Arabs, and police. Scuffles between Jews and Muslims were also reported in additional locations throughout the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
Journalists covering the flag march were attacked by right-wing participants of the march near the Damascus Gate on Thursday afternoon, with participants jeering at them and hitting them with various objects.
At the ending ceremony at the Western Wall, Ben-Gvir stated “How beautiful to see tens of thousands, in the Old City, on the way to the [Western] Wall. How beautiful to see our flags, the blue and white flag. Today we say to Hamas who threatened us, to the terrorists who threatened us, Jerusalem is ours. We will continue to love Jerusalem, we will continue to dream of Jerusalem, we will continue to be and live in Jerusalem.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the government ceremony for Jerusalem Day at Ammunition Hill on Thursday evening, stating “We dealt heavy blows to our aggressors in the Gaza Strip, and I believe that the message was received not only by them, [but] also in other places in our region, who witnessed the impressive operational capabilities of the State of Israel. We changed the equation.” (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for gifting us the land of Israel and Jerusalem and enabling us to persevere and prosper in all areas of life. We are also particularly grateful for being able to defend ourselves against terrorists and for showing the world that we are a powerful nation that can be an important ally, as well as a formidable opponent.”
The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.
Jerusalem Remains Israel’s Biggest City with Nearly 1 Million Residents: Jerusalem remains Israel’s largest city with 984,500 residents, about 10% of the entire country’s population, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday, May 17, ahead of Jerusalem Day.
In December 2022, some 60.8% of the city’s population was Jewish or non-Arab, while 39.2% was Arab. Some 29% of the city’s residents are Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) and thus comprise almost half of the city’s Jewish population.
The capital’s population grew by about 13,200, but more people left the city than moved to it. The rise was accounted for by 20,200 additional births while 8,500 arrived and 15,500 left for other localities.
Most new arrivals came from Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, and Bnei Brak. Most who left moved to Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, and Givat Ze’ev.
Children under 15 account for 33% of the city’s population, while only 9.6% are over the age of 64, making Jerusalem a relatively “young” city compared with other municipalities.
The birth rate in Jerusalem stands at 3.86 children per family, higher than the national average of 3. It is higher among Jews and non-Arabs than among Arabs: 4.39 compared to 3.09. (JPost / VFI News)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
70 PA Arabs Attempt Lynching of Israeli Farmers in Samaria Hills: The Samaria Regional Council reported that a group of around 70 PA Arabs attacked Israelis in the hills near Havat Yair in Samaria. According to the report, the Israelis are farmers from the “Shuvi Eretz” farm in the area.
IDF and Israeli Police forces as well as security officers from the regional council arrived on the scene and they disclosed that one Israeli was lightly wounded and treated on the spot.
Yossi Dagan, Head of the Samaria Regional Council, said: “It is unthinkable that farmers cannot roam freely in the hills of our country. This is a serious case of a lynching attempt that ended in a miracle.”
“I expect the security forces to track down the rioters and bring them to their punishment. The answer is one of deterrence, and embarking on a military operation to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure.” (INN / VFI News)
“‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.” – Leviticus 25:18-19
Russia and Iran Ink Deal for Rail Link as Part of Intercontinental Trade Route: Russia and Iran signed an agreement Wednesday, May 17, to finance and build a railway line that will form part of a developing international cargo route they hope can become a major player in global shipping.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, participated via video link in the signing ceremony for the Rasht-Astara railway, inked by Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash and Russia’s Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev.
The 162-kilometer (100-mile) route will run along the Caspian Sea coast and through Azerbaijan. It will be a key part of the International North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200-kilometer (4,473-mile) combined road, rail, and sea route aimed at moving goods from Russia via Central Asia to India, slashing shipping costs and times.
“The unique North-South transport artery, of which the Rasht-Astara railway will become a part, will help to significantly diversify global traffic flows,” Putin said, according to British media.
“Without a doubt, this agreement is an important and strategic step in the direction of cooperation between Tehran and Moscow,” Raisi said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will spend 1.6 billion Euros on the construction of the railway, whose completion is planned within 48 months, while Iran’s side of the project will cost about 4.6 billion Euros and it is looking for foreign investors to help cover the expense. (TOI / VFI News)
Anti-Israel Left Has Become New York Dems’ Ugly Future — Op-Ed: Progressives’ rise to power in New York’s Democratic Party also means soaring anti-Semitism. The latest is the bill from Democratic Socialist lawmakers Jabari Brisport (D-B’klyn) and Zohran Mamdani (D-Qns.) that would punish New York-based charities that supposedly engage in “unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.”
Legislative leadership in both houses has made it clear that the bill is DOA — for now.
Brisport and Mamdani engaged in age-old anti-Semitic tropes of deception and disguise: The Jewish outfits in their crosshairs “masquerade as charities”, “funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to ethnic cleansing”, “white supremacy” by Israel’s (multiracial!) Jewish community somehow drives (nonexistent!) “apartheid” there.
Let’s take note of the single-minded, punitive focus on the Jewish state and its alleged crimes. Neither puts anywhere near the same energy into defending actual victims of current and ongoing genocide, like China’s Uyghurs.
The bill is a clear warning about just how wedded the next generation of New York Democrats is to anti-Israel rhetoric and policies. It’s adjacent to open Jew-hatred.
And Mamdani and Brisport are far from the only examples. Late April saw City Council Shahana Hanif and Sandra Nurse (both D-B’klyn) vote “no” on a resolution to establish an “End Jew Hatred” day.
Also, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not long ago joined her Squad in (briefly) stopping US support for Israel’s purely defensive Iron Dome and falsely claimed Israel cages Palestinian children. (NYP / VFI News)
“God, we ask that Israel is recognized universally as a just and rightful country and that any misconceptions surrounding it are quickly disproved and not taken seriously. We are grateful for the nations that believe in us, but we also pray for the elimination of the hatred displayed against Israel and the Jewish people.”
Swedish Party with Nazi Roots ‘Wants to Be Friends of Israel, Jews’: The Israeli Foreign Ministry has long had a policy of blacklisting political parties with Nazi or openly antisemitic roots, from the Austrian Freedom Party to the National Front in France and beyond.
The Sweden Democrats always fell under that category, counting Nazis and neo-Nazis among its founding members, but the boycott had little impact since they were far from positions of power in Stockholm.
Last year, however, the Sweden Democrats became the second-largest party in parliament, supporting the governing coalition – and they want to befriend Israel.
“Israel is the only true democracy in the region, and we like that,” Sweden Democrats lawmaker Richard Jomshof, chairman of the parliament’s Justice Committee, said on a visit to the Knesset on Wednesday, May 17. “We are pro-Israel, we would like to cooperate with Israel and we want to be friends.”
Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers, who has been an outspoken supporter of Israel in Brussels in recent years was proud to point out that a recent study by the European Coalition for Israel determined Sweden Democrats had the most pro-Israel voting record of the Swedish parties in the European Parliament and was the eighth-most pro-Israel overall. (JPost / VFI News)
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” – Proverbs 12:26
New Immigrants to Israel to Get ID Cards at the Airport: To improve the landing process for new Olim into the State of Israel, the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration will issue identity cards to new immigrants at its different branches throughout the country.
New immigrants will not have to go through the Interior Ministry as they did in the past, and this will ease the overcrowding and difficulties in scheduling appointments at the Interior Ministry.
The Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Ofir Sofer, and the Minister of the Interior, Moshe Arbel agreed Sunday morning, May 21, to take immediate action and move forward with a new plan to issue Identity Cards (Te’udat Zehut) to new Olim upon their arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.
In a joint meeting held this morning at the Ministry of the Interior between the Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer, Minister of the Interior Moshe Arbel, Director General of Interior Ministry, Eyal Siso, and Director General of the Ministry of Aliyah, it was agreed to hire additional staff at Ben Gurion Airport to ensure that new Olim can receive their ID cards upon arrival to Israel.
Starting next month, new immigrants arriving in Israel will receive ID cards at the airport at the branch of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry on-premises, and will not have to go through the difficulty of scheduling an appointment at the Ministry of Interior.
The ministers also agreed that they will work together so that the ID cards issued to new Olim by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration will qualify as biometric Identity cards so that the tens of thousands of Olim arriving in Israel will not need to travel to the Interior Ministry offices. (INN / VFI News)
Healing through Nature: Israeli Mental Health Center Uses Butterflies to Help Kids: Udi Ohayon, a psychotherapist and art therapist at the Shahaf School at Bat Yam’s Abarbanel Mental Health Center, loves butterflies.
An idea struck him that the teens at the hospital might benefit from watching the colorful insects, which could serve as a therapeutic tool. In fact, his unique “butterfly garden” at the 79-year-old hospital has become the young patients’ favorite place to be and improved their emotional state.
The art teacher initiated a project inspired by the garden in which the patients and staff members created their own special butterflies in a piece of art. A Butterfly Garden News board was established by the pupils as part of the work habits workshop that operates at the school. They made keyholders in the shape of 3D-printed butterflies. The Purim carnival was also inspired by the butterfly garden, and the staff dressed up as butterflies.
“The emotional contents that arise in the clinic are amazing; through the butterflies, the kids manage to express feelings and share. One of the children treated here at the center suffers from anxiety and withdraws, and the butterfly garden is one of the few places where he’s willing to go” Ohayon said.
“A girl suffering from severe depression draws encouragement from the butterflies and said during the course that ‘if the small and delicate butterfly is able to wander like that and overcome all the hardships on the way, then so can I.’” (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for all the brilliant Israelis who devise unique plans to help their fellow citizens and give back to the community. We are especially grateful for the noble Israelis that consistently try to improve the lives of our children while making us proud worldwide.”
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.