Tourists to Return to Israel
INDIVIDUAL TOURISTS TO BE ALLOWED INTO ISRAEL STARTING JULY 1: Vaccinated individual tourists are to be allowed into Israel from July 1.
Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen made the announcement, but a Health Ministry official said the statement was premature. “I’m happy that the hard work of the Tourism Ministry staff, along with the Health Ministry, Foreign Affairs, and the Interior Ministry, led the interior minister to declare that the requirements for vaccinated tourists will be relaxed and there will be an expansion of the entry of individual tourists starting July 1,” Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen tweeted Friday. “The time has come for Israel to open up to tourism and to take advantage of its status as a vaccinated country for the benefit of its economy.” (JPost / VFI News)
TEXAS FIRST US STATE TO ADOPT IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTI-SEMITISM: Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill Wednesday adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. Texas is the first US state to officially adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
The State Senate and House of Representatives both passed the bill to adopt the definition without any dissenting votes. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations praised Texas for adopting the widely accepted tool for identifying anti-Semitism. (INN / VFI News)
4.2 EARTHQUAKE ROCKS DEAD SEA: A magnitude 4.2 earthquake was felt in southern Israel last week. The epicenter of the quake was 68 kilometers northeast of Eilat and a depth of ten kilometers.
According to statistics and seismic history, the region should experience a major quake every 80-100 years. The last major quake was on July 11, 1927, and registered 6.2 on the Richter Scale killing 500 people. Another major earthquake is therefore now due. As terrifying as earthquakes can be, there may be a silver lining to an increase in regional seismic activity. In a 2007 article in the J-Post, Dr. Shmuel Marco, Head of the School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, noted that prophets became active a certain number of years after major earthquakes. Major earthquakes were recorded in the Jordan Valley in the years 31 BCE, 363 CE, 749 CE, and 1033 CE. (i365 / VFI News)
AFTER YEARS OF DELAYS, JORDAN TO NIX RED SEA-DEAD SEA CANAL WITH ISRAEL, PA: Jordan has decided to cancel a highly touted joint project with Israel and the Palestinian Authority for a canal linking the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, after years of the plan stagnating, the Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday, June 17.
According to the report, Amman has decided to finally pull the plug on the joint pipeline, citing unnamed sources saying there was “no real Israeli desire” for the plan to go ahead. After being talked about for years, an agreement on the canal was signed in 2013 to help to alleviate Jordan’s severe water shortage while helping replenish the fast-shrinking Dead Sea. According to the plan, a desalination plant in Jordan would provide much-needed drinking water to the region while its leftover brine would be pumped north to the Dead Sea to replenish the fast-shrinking lake, while also producing green energy through the use of water turbines. Instead, Jordan will reportedly focus on a potential internal project that will see water pumped from the Red Sea and desalinated at a facility in Aqaba. (TOI / VFI News)
IDF DESTROYS SYRIAN OUTPOST USED BY HEZBOLLAH: The IDF struck a Syrian outpost near the city of Quneitra on Thursday, June 17, marking the first strike on the northern border by the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The post, some 150 meters away from the border, was affiliated with the Syrian Army’s 90th Brigade and First Corps and had been frequented by Hezbollah officials and used as a reconnaissance post against IDF forces on the Golan Heights. According to Syrian opposition reports, it was destroyed by tank fire. Two weeks ago, the IDF destroyed another observation post in the same area, built in the demilitarized zone. (JPost / VFI News)
US SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING SURGE IN ANTI-SEMITISM: On Monday, June 14, the US Senate passed a resolution by voice vote condemning anti-Semitic violence and threats targeting the Jewish community.
The motion was led by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), the co-founders and chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, and was co-sponsored by 74 senators. “Proud that my bipartisan resolution w/ @SenatorLankford condemning the surge in anti-Semitic incidents & calling for action, cosponsored by 74 Senators, just passed the Senate by voice vote,” Rosen tweeted. (INN / VFI News)
NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE FILED AGAINST NEW GOVERNMENT: The first two no-confidence votes against the new government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett were filed on Wednesday.
The Likud wrote in its no-confidence motion that “the government was formed with lies and tricking the public, and has no mandate from the public.” The motion was filed by Likud faction chairman Miki Zohar and will be presented on Monday by MK Ofir Akunis. A separate no-confidence motion, filed by Shas and United Torah Judaism, relates to matters of religion and state. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL ISSUES NEW PROOF-OF-VACCINE, RECOVERY DOCUMENTS VALID UNTIL END OF 2021: Israel has begun issuing new documentation with proof of virus vaccination or recovery that will be valid until the end of the year.
The new documentation can be downloaded from the Health Ministry’s website. The Health Ministry told the Ynet news site it was acting to ensure that the current certification won’t lapse, leaving people without the means to travel or requiring them to undergo expensive testing. Last month, the Health Ministry announced that it would be extending the validity of the Green Pass for those vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recovered from coronavirus, through 2021. The initial certificates were valid for just six months; at the time of their issuance, it was still unknown how long the vaccines’ protection would last. (TOI / 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