Updated: 3 days ago
1. ALIYAH UPDATES:
Father, we thank and praise You for allowing us to be witnesses to Your rebuilding of Jerusalem and regathering of the scattered people of Israel (Psalm 147:2; Jer. 31:10). With Israel ready to receive the remaining Ethiopian-Jews, Lord, remove any obstructions that the Ethiopian government has placed in their path (Isa. 43:5-7). Abba, declare once again to the "Pharaohs" of all nations which are holding Your people back – to Ethiopia, to Iran, to China and to Venezuela, and to any other place – Let My people go! (Ex. 9:13). Encourage all Jews who have met with any type of obstacle while trying to return to Israel to keep on trying (Deut. 31:6). Remove all bureaucratic obstacles to Aliyah in Israel, including replacing any of its representatives in the nations who are not 100% behind this return for every Jew in exile (Isa. 62:10). Help any of Your people who do not have the right paperwork to still be able to come home. May those who have made Aliyah give a good report to their friends and families and encourage them also to come home (Prov. 15:30). Provide new immigrants – in fact all Israelis – with affordable housing (Isa. 65:21). Put pressure on the current government to fulfill their promise of building housing throughout Israel, including Judea-Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and the Negev (Josh. 21:43). As Ukrainian and Russian Jews escape their birth-nations, guide them home to Israel (Isa. 11:11-12). Thank You for planting Israel in Your land – with all of Your heart and soul (Jer. 32:41). Father, please wake up believers in Your Body who are just deaf, dumb and blind to how important Aliyah is to You and to Your reputation in the world today (Jer. 31:8-10; Ezek. 20:41-42; 36:21-24).
“Thus says Lord YHWH; I am not doing this for your sakes, house of Israel, but for My holy Name's sake, which you defiled among the gentiles to where you were scattered. I will sanctify My great Name… and the nations shall know that I am YHWH…when I shall be sanctified in you [Israel] before their eyes. (Ezek. 36:22b-23)
2. ISRAEL/UKRAINE/RUSSIA UPDATES:
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday (May 19) that Moscow expects that Israel will take a more balanced and objective stance on the issue of Ukraine. He told media: “We expect that our Israeli partners will take a more balanced and objective position regarding the developments in Ukraine.” Israel did not support the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Russia, but it did support two condemnation resolutions at the General Assembly, as well as the call for Russia’s removal from the UN Human Rights Council. PM Bennett is restrained in his statements, trying to preserve Israel’s relations with Russia, while Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has been harshly critical. Both have sharpened their tone recently. On a practical level, Israel sent an entire field hospital to Ukraine, complete with staff and equipment. Israel also sent six generators for a hospital in Lvov, ten ambulances, and 100 tons of humanitarian aid. Also, despite resistance from Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Bennett’s lifelong ally, Israel has absorbed 24,000 Ukrainian refugees, two-thirds of whom are non-Jews.
Lord, as Israel considers how to build adequate, affordable housing, let them plant immigrants throughout Your land, including the Negev, the Golan, and especially in Judea-Samaria (Jer. 32:41-44). Bless Israel's new immigrants with an ability to learn Hebrew and adapt to all of the various cultural differences quickly. Provide every group and organization that is aiding the Jewish people to escape and return home with everything that they need – including wisdom from on high (2 Sam. 19:32; Phil. 4:19). As there will be a need for additional staff to deal with this situation – both in Israel and in Europe – send people with a gentle heart to work with these agencies and with Your people (1 Sam. 16:7). Use the Israeli field hospital recently established in Ukraine to save both Jewish and Gentile lives. Use all Christian groups working with the Jews to provoke Your people to jealousy (Rom. 10:19). Let the suddenness of this war and of the worldwide changes since Covid shake up Jews in exile, especially in the West, to see that they may not be able to flee to Israel tomorrow (Jer. 51:6-10)! Yeshua, use the sense of displacement in all the Ukrainian immigrants who celebrate their first Passover in Israel, to see their need of a personal relationship with You (Psa. 5:2; 18:6; 61:1).
“The God of my Rock, in Him will I trust. He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, my refuge, and my Savior. You save me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3)
3. JUDEA-SAMARIA/JERUSALEM UPDATES:
For the first time since he took office as prime minister, Naftali Bennett visited an Israeli community located to the right of the Green Line. The PM has restricted his visits in Judea-Samaria to IDF bases. This week, he visited the town of Elkana in the north-western Samarian hills on Tuesday (May 17) to mark its 45th anniversary. He also arrived Wednesday (May 18) morning at the Kida settlement in Binyamin to call on the family of Yamam officer Noam Raz who was killed last Friday in an operation in Jenin.
Local residents of Kida planned to welcome the PM with a protest at the entrance to the settlement, but he tricked them by arriving earlier than anticipated. Residents waving Israeli flags waited for Bennett outside the Raz family’s home. Kida is one of the religious settlements of Gush Shilo. As of 2021, about 100 families live in there. It should be noted that Kida and other settlements formed the core of Bennett’s electoral support in past elections.
On Tuesday (May 17) morning, the PM visited a settlement to the right of the green line for the first time since taking office. He joined the celebration of Elkana’s 45th anniversary and was greeted by local schoolchildren, but also by angry demonstrators who yelled at him: “Bennett, don’t sell Elkana to the Arabs,” “The settlements are not disposable,” and the always trusted, “Bennett go home.” It should be noted that the biggest vote winner in Elkana last election was Bennett’s Yamina party.
The head of the Red Line Protest, Yoel Shilo, told Israel Hayom on Tuesday: “Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, as part of revving up his election campaign, is trying to flatter the residents of Judea and Samaria after boycotting them so far, and selling out the State of Israel to the [Islamist] Shura Council. We would expect someone who used to be the chairman of Yesha Council to increase the settlements. Bennett needs to understand that the public in the settlements is saying he is not welcome here, and we won’t let him sell out Elkana and other settlements to Mansour Abbas and his friends.”
Wednesday morning’s shiva call lasted about an hour, and when the prime minister left, local residents protested outside the family home and chanted slogans like: “Bennett, you scoundrel, you liar.” One resident told media that “this is the first Palestinian prime minister.” Another resident said that this is the worst government for the people of Israel since the pogroms of 1929 (when more than 70 Jews were massacred by Hebron Arabs – DI), and that the State of Israel is at the lowest point in its history.
Father, prevent unity among Israel's Palestinian enemies (Psa. 55:9). Oversee all IDF's operations in Judea and Samaria, letting them be supernaturally successful as they capture and/or kill the terrorists who are planning to kidnap and/or kill Israelis (Psa. 35:1-8). Abba, let accurate actionable intelligence be received by Israel's security forces concerning any plots to wreak havoc in Israel –whether by Israeli-Arabs or Palestinians (Job 42:2; Prov. 15:3). Shield the young IDF soldiers who face demonic hatred as they perform their duties (Psa. 3:3-6). Protect them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually (2 Sam. 22:3; Psa. 121:3-4). Give them wisdom to know how to respond appropriately in volatile situations (Eccl. 7:19; 9:18a). Encourage both government and military leaders to visibly support all of Israel's security forces. Let the government deal decisively when it comes to asserting Israel's total authority over all of Jerusalem – in particular over its eastern side, including the Temple Mount (Neh. 2:20; Zech. 2:4-5).
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’” (Zechariah 8:7)
4. ISRAEL TERROR ATTACKS UPDATES:
A Palestinian man hurled a cinderblock at a car carrying Israeli civilians in Judea-Samaria, smashing the front windshield, before being shot by an IDF soldier last Friday (May 13) morning near Beit El. The IDF said a knife and bottle of acid were found on the man. Video of the incident showed the Palestinian throw the cinderblock and try to open the car's door, as a van that a soldier was driving stops on the other side of the road. The soldier can then be seen with his rifle drawn running after the Palestinian, who appears to charge toward the soldier with a large stone in hand. (Note: Earlier, security forces had also made arrests throughout Judea and Samaria overnight. In recent hours, two suspects have been arrested in the village of Kifl Haris in northern Samaria. Also, weapons have been located during searches in the city of Hebron.)
Police arrested a Palestinian man Friday (May 13) near the Israeli community of Tzur Yitzhak in central Israel who was carrying a knife and a letter expressing his intent to commit a terror attack.
The Israel Police said Saturday (May 14): "Plans for the funeral procession of [Al Jazeera journalist] Shireen Abu-Akleh were coordinated in advance by the Israel Police together with the Abu-Akleh family. On Friday, about 300 rioters arrived at Saint Joseph hospital in Jerusalem and prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery as had been planned and coordinated with the family in advance. Instead, the mob threatened the driver of the hearse and then proceeded to carry the coffin on an unplanned procession to the cemetery by foot. Israel Police instructed that the coffin be returned to the hearse, as did the EU ambassador and Abu-Akleh's own family, but the mob refused. Israel Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family. During the riot that was instigated by the mob, glass bottles and other objects were thrown, resulting in the injury of both mourners and police officers."
A Palestinian, 22, armed with an ax and carrying a note stating that he sought to carry out a terror attack, was arrested by Israeli police at Tapuah Junction in Judea-Samaria on Sunday (May 15). The man was in the area for about an hour looking for Israelis standing alone in order to attack them.
Police forces successfully thwarted a terror attack in Samaria on Sunday (May 15) night after arresting an Arab armed with an ax and carrying a suicide note indicating his intention to carry out an attack. During a police operation to secure and maintain order at the Tapuach Junction, a central site in Samaria, police stopped a vehicle that raised their suspicion. During a search of the vehicle, the police seized an ax and a suicide note, in which the suspect wrote that he was on his way to carry out an attack. A preliminary investigation shows that the suspect went around for about an hour looking for Israelis standing alone in order to attack them with the ax.
The IDF, Shin Bet, and Border Police operated on Sunday (May 15) night to arrest terror suspects throughout Judea-Samaria, including in the villages of Beituniya, Akhtabta, and the Palestinian Authority city of Tulkarm. Israeli forces also operated in the village of al-Yamun near Jenin and arrested a wanted man suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. During the operation, Israeli forces were shot at by terrorists. In addition, the forces operated in the village of al-Bira and arrested five wanted persons suspected of terrorist activity. A total of nine wanted persons suspected of terrorist activity were arrested. There were no Israeli casualties. The arrests were made as part of Operation Wave Breaker, Israel’s counterterrorism operation, following several deadly terror attacks that the country experienced in recent weeks.
Arab rioters confronted police, threw rocks and firebombs, and caused damage to property in Jerusalem on Monday night, in the worst riots the city has seen since Operation Guardian of the Walls a year ago. The riots broke out after the funeral of Walid Sharif, a Muslim who rioted on the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan several weeks ago and was sustained a severe injury after slipping and falling while fleeing the police. He died of his injuries last Friday (May 13). The riots began in the cemetery, and rioters launched fireworks at the forces while using gravestones for cover. The police stated that its forces confronted rioters in eastern Jerusalem, and especially in the Old City. Six officers were lightly injured, and two of them were sent to a hospital for treatment.
Five suspects in a car were arrested after they sped toward police in the A-Tur neighbourhood, injuring a passerby.
Another 15 rioters were arrested in the clashes. Further arrests are expected, the police stated.
Monday night’s riots were the worst the city had experienced since the countrywide riots conducted by Muslims about a year ago as the IDF conducted Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Border Guard fighters on Friday (May 20) morning thwarted an attempt by an Arab van driver to run over them at the Hizma checkpoint, near Pisgat Ze’ev in eastern Jerusalem. No one was injured in the incident, and four Arab suspects from Judea and Samaria were arrested. The driver of the van fled to Judea-Samaria. A vehicle from the Palestinian Authority approached the checkpoint from the direction of Judea-Samaria and tried to break through the crossing at high speed. Border Guard fighters and security guards at the scene lifted the spikes at the checkpoint and shot at the vehicle that was moving toward them quickly. The vehicle stopped. A search of the vehicle turned up drugs and pepper spray. The suspects were taken for interrogation, together with the vehicle and the suspicious substances.
Security guards at the Reichan crossing thwarted the smuggling of about 4,000 IDF 5.56 rifle into northern Shomron (Samaria), on Friday (May 20). Two Israeli citizens, residents of Wadi Ara, who arrived at the crossing while traveling on the pre-67 side, raised the suspicion of the security inspectors. An inspection of their vehicle revealed four stolen IDF boxes containing hundreds of packages with about 4,000 rifle bullets. The ammunition was seized and the suspects were taken for questioning by security forces.
Israeli security forces say the ongoing Palestinian terror wave is religiously motivated and not a result of incitement by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. The common denominator in the recent terror attacks was that they were carried out by lone wolves, and were often provoked by events around the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The IDF is preparing for twice the amount of violence within Israeli-Arab cities in the event of a new conflict, as compared to what occurred during last year's anti-Hamas operation in Gaza, which saw heavy rioting in mixed Israeli-Arab cities such as Lod and Jaffa. The IDF wants to be able to send troops before violence breaks out, and not in response to the violence, and will work to keep roads open.
Amid an ongoing terror wave, 4,000 Israelis have thus far stepped forward to volunteer in the new civilian ‘Home Guard’ established by the Israel Police. Yael Lahav, 44, one of the 4,000 volunteers, is a mother of three from Kiryat Motzkin who enrolled in the campaign because "I was worried for the children." Adam Hakim, 33, from Tel Aviv, said the training "course gave me basic tools that would allow me to respond in the case of a terror attack. I'm protecting my family, friends, and surroundings. It is the most basic and necessary thing to do as an Israeli civilian." 12% of the volunteers are Muslims who are mostly concerned for their safety in the face of increasing violence in Arab communities.
Lord, as the best protection for Israel is to extend its sovereignty over Your land, let its responsible leaders respond positively to this verse over Shabbat: “The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.” (Lev. 25:23) Give Israel's government and the IDF Your plans on how to quench this radical Arab-Israeli danger before it ignites again as in last year's war with Hamas (Prov. 16:27). Help Israel avoid what is spoken of in Ecclesiastes 8:11: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” As we see more acts of intimidation by Israeli-Arabs against the Jews, help the authorities to make godly decisions that will put Your fear on the lawless (Gen. 35:5; Ex. 15:14-16; 2 Chr. 17:10). Lord, as You did in the past, place the fear of the Jews on their enemies (Est. 8:17; 9:2-3). Do not allow the media's twisted portrayal of Israel's police prevent them from protecting Israel's citizens against these lawless attacks (Rom. 13:1-4). Send a wave of salvation throughout the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian communities (Jer. 12:14-17). Protect the true Church among the Arabs throughout the land of Israel (Matt. 16:18).
“The God of my Rock, in Him will I trust. He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, my refuge, and my Savior. You save me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3)
5. ISRAEL GOVERNMENT/KNESSET UPDATES:
Knesset Member Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the Meretz Party resigned from the government coalition on Thursday (May 19), sending shockwaves through the Israeli political system. Following Zoabi’s departure, the coalition has just 59 seats to the opposition’s 60. Attempts by Meretz to convince Zoabi to resign from the Knesset, rather than remaining and voting against the government, have so far proven unsuccessful.
Israel To Join USA In Surrendering Health Authority To WHO
On Sunday (May 22), the World Health Organization will vote on resolutions that will give them emergency powers over any country they choose. The Biden administration initiated the measures but kept them under wraps until just a few weeks ago when the vote was a foregone conclusion. It was recently revealed that Israel fell into lockstep, backing the measure, though one exceptional politician has become the voice of reason in a government that has run amok.
The World Health Assembly (WHA), the World Health Organization’s (WHO) governing legislative body, will be voting on Provisional agenda item 16.2 in Geneva on May 22. The agenda, described by the WHO under the headline “Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies,” the new agenda would give them the power to unilaterally declare a health emergency in any country, thereby giving them emergency powers. The Biden administration gave these proposed amendments to the WHO on January 18. No one knew this until April 12, less than a month ago. If passed, the resolutions will go into effect in November.
These amendments will empower WHO’s Director-General to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation and do so unilaterally and against the opposition of the target nation. The Director-General will be able to declare these health crises based merely on his personal opinion or consideration that there is a potential or possible threat to other nations.
These regulations are a “binding instrument of international law.” UN member states can be required by law to obey or acquiesce to them. Under the new regulations, WHO will not be required to consult with the identified nation beforehand to “verify” the event before taking action.
In a covert manner similar to what happened in the USA, the Israeli government intends to support Provisional agenda item 16.2, as well. The only politician willing to speak out against joining in is Moshe Feiglin who is a veteran of Israeli politics and the leader of the Zehut Party. A former member of Likud, he headed the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction within the party and represented Likud in the Knesset between 2013 and 2015. Defined as a libertarian, he is a thoughtful ideologue. At the same time, he has put his ideas into action and led nationwide acts of non-violent civil disobedience.
Feiglin recognizes that the USA seeks to delete a crucial restriction in the WHO’s International Health Regulations. The restriction currently says that in health emergencies, the “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring….” Without that restriction and other amendments, the WHO will have emergency powers over Israel or any other country they choose, Feiglin warned.
“This agenda has already been decided,” Feiglin told the media. “There won’t be any debate or decision process. What has been discussed and said already is only the tip of the iceberg. The actual decision will be far more extreme in removing the rights of the individuals. This decision has nothing to do with world health, and if you read the resolution itself, it is clear that it deals exclusively with the transfer of power. It sidesteps entirely any democratic process.”
“Throughout history, any successful power grab is aided by silence from the people who have the most to lose. Even if they are aware of what is happening. They tell themselves that it really won’t affect them, that the world will not change. The people want to believe the lie.”
“This is entirely a war of beliefs, an agenda to create a new world order of globalism. This is the belief in progressivism versus the belief in God. Progressivism wants to turn Man into God, replacing the Creator, claiming that the world is a result of chance and happenstance and that Creation is made-up.”
On the website Israel Tomorrow, Feiglin described the new agenda as “a totalitarian world revolution that abolishes the whole principle of human freedom.”
If passed, the resolutions will go into effect in November, empowering WHO’s director-general to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation. The WHO leader can do so unilaterally silencing the opposition of the target nation.
Lord, lead us how to pray for Israel's current government at this time in history (Luke 11:1b). Lord, fulfill all the good things that You intend for this coalition to accomplish (Psa. 33:10-11). Yet prevent them from making decisions that set bad precedents for future Israeli governments – such as regulations to ease abortions, letting Palestinians build in Area C, submitting to the World Health Organization concerning various health issues, or anything else that would bind up future governments from doing Your will with Your people in Your land. We know that You determine the boundary between compromise and appeasement, and concerning this, as well as all other issues, we declare Your sovereignty over this government (Isa. 54:7b). Uncover all underhanded dealings of anyone or any party in the coalition (Job 12:22). Confront PM Bennett with his betrayal of those who voted for him and then lead him on the path of repentance – both in his heart and publicly (Job 42:5-6; Psa. 80:3, 7, 19). Remove from Bennett the spirit of appeasement and a willingness to do whatever it takes to remain in power, and replace it with a desire to do Your revealed will (Psa. 145:19-20). Show Ayelet Shaked, the Interior Minister, that her double-mindedness is dangerous for her and the nation, and guide her in Your way (Psa. 119:133; Jam. 1:8). Protect Israel from its Defense Minister Gantz, who often seems to be setting the stage for the creation of a Palestinian state. (Psa. 120:2). Reveal Gantz's true heart intent as we are unclear of where this man really stands (Jer. 17:9-10). Draw Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to Your Son and prevent him from doing or saying anything that is against Your will for Israel (Prov. 16:9). Lord, we ask You to use Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman for Your purposes (Dan. 4:17b). Bless Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel's Minister of Aliyah and Integration, and anoint her for the task You have set before her, and also please remove all obstacles from her path (Psa. 23:5; Isa. 57:14). Regardless of whether Benjamin Netanyahu will ever be prime minister again, draw him closer to You, save him and prepare him to do Your will in the future (Prov. 22:29; Jer. 31:3). May all politicians hear the repeated exhortation to fear You and do Your will…and may it be driven deep into their hearts and minds (Lev. 25:17, 36, 43) Lord, use the above prayer to work in every Israeli leader's heart so that they end up fearing You more than USA President Biden or any other world leader (Psa. 118:6-9).
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and all that are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior Who will have all to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
6. ISRAEL DEALING WITH NAKBA 2022:
Palestinians and Arab Israelis held scattered Nakba Day commemorations to lament the establishment of the State of Israel on Sunday (May 15), with the day largely passing without incident. Palestinians call Israel’s 1948 founding the ‘Nakba’, an Arabic word for ‘catastrophe’. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled during the 1948 war as the nascent Jewish state fought for its survival. Rallies are held every year on May 15, the anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Israelis celebrate their state’s establishment on the Hebrew date, which shifts from year to year according to the Jewish calendar.
The Palestinian Authority will continue to pay allowances to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks against Israel, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday (May 15) to commemorate the 74th anniversary of Nakba Day, "Catastrophe Day," a term Palestinians use to describe the 1948 War of Independence. Abbas has refused to halt the payments - a scheme described by some as "pay to slay." On Nakba Day, Hamas said there was "no legitimacy or sovereignty" for Israel "over one inch of the land of historic Palestine" and vowed to pursue "armed resistance" against Israel.
Members of the USA Congress have called on Washington to describe the events surrounding Israel’s founding with the Palestinian term “Nakba,” an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe.” The resolution, authored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), was submitted nearly two weeks after Israel celebrated its Independence Day and one day after the anniversary of the Jewish state’s 1948 War of Independence. The measure demands that the USA “commemorate the Nakba through official recognition and remembrance,” while claiming that the word also refers to “an ongoing process of Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land and its dispossession of the Palestinian people that continues to this day…” The resolution’s text runs counter to the US State Department’s own historical records, which state that after the UN approved the division of Palestine, “fighting began with attacks by irregular bands of Palestinian Arabs attached to local units of the Arab Liberation Army composed of volunteers from Palestine and neighboring Arab countries. These groups launched their attacks against Jewish cities, settlements, and armed forces.” (Note: The other co-sponsors of Tlaib’s resolution were Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Cori Bush of Missouri, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Marie Newman of Illinois and Betty McCollum of Minnesota. The group has repeatedly criticized Israel, to the point of being accused of antisemitism.)
Abolish "Nakba Day" – (by Bassem Eid in JNS-Israel Hayom. The writer is a Jerusalem-based Palestinian political analyst and human rights pioneer.)
"Nakba Day," which occurs every year on May 15, was established in 1998 by former Palestinian Authority leader - and international terrorist mastermind - Yasser Arafat to turn Israel's Independence Day into a festival of grievance. The very fact of Israel's existence was branded a "catastrophe" - nakba in Arabic - but not the displacement that affected both sides in the subsequent war, which included the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
And during and after Israel's War of Independence in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Arab lands. In all, more than 850,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab countries for Israel, followed by more than 70,000 Jews from Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Although my family is Muslim, I was born in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, then under Jordanian control. In 1966, when I was 8 years old, the Jordanian government moved my family north of Jerusalem to the Shuafat Refugee Camp. It was the government of Jordan, not the government of Israel, which made me a refugee.
Palestinians should celebrate our rich heritage and, like our Jewish cousins, grieve our losses. But now is the time for negotiated reconciliation, not the perpetuation of generation-old victimhood. "Nakba Day" is part of the victimhood problem, not part of the forward-looking solution. Israel has three times offered Palestinians peace, dignity and independence. The fetishization of Israel's very existence as a catastrophe is a distortion that wounds our children and leads them to war and suicide bombing.
The Palestinian leadership should reverse course on the incitement against Israel and Jews. Instead, Palestinian schoolchildren and citizens should learn the history, the joys and the traumas of our neighbors the Israelis, with whom we have a great deal in common.
The Palestinians and a Destiny of Self-Imposed "Nakba" – (by Prof. Eyal Zisser in Israel Hayom. The writer is a lecturer in Middle East history at Tel Aviv University.)
On May 15, 1948, after the British Mandate in Palestine expired, armies of neighbouring Arab countries attacked the Jewish community of Israel, laying waste to everything in their path. The attempt to blame the Jews for fighting those who came to kill them, yet won, doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny. This disaster was the work of the local Arab population and its leaders, who refused proposals of compromise, opted for the path of violence and lost everything.
Nakba Day "celebrations" send the message to the Jewish public that: we are not willing to accept the existence of the State of Israel, and this conflict is a "zero-sum game" in which a Palestinian victory means the eradication of the Jewish state. Even if Israel is strong and powerful right now, when the time comes and the conditions arise, we will raise our heads and our hands against it. This message isn't predicated on economic distress, nor even anger at what is happening on the Temple Mount, but rather on the rejection of the State of Israel.
The Message of Nakba Day: Palestinians Want to Undo Israeli Independence – (by Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post)
In 1998, even as the Oslo process was still alive, Yasser Arafat decided that the Palestinians should mark "Nakba Day." The "catastrophe" was that the Jews won after defeating the invading Arab states that tried to drive them into the sea.
For the last 74 years, the Palestinians have been trying to undo the catastrophe that could have been avoided had they accepted the offers for partition. But they refused, because they wanted it all - a refrain that has repeated itself numerous times since.
Average Israelis see these rallies, hear the hateful chants and read the odious placards. And the message this sends is that the conflict is not about a settlement in lands that Israel took control of in the Six-Day War in 1967. Rather, it is about lands Jews settled before 1948.
Lord Yeshua, we bless You for the many Muslims who have recently come to know You throughout the world – especially in the Middle East (Psa. 60:4). More, Lord! Use them to witness to other Muslims (Isa. 51:5; Zeph. 2:11; Rom. 15:8-12). Let every Muslim who at this time is truly seeking for spiritual reality find You (Heb. 11:6b). Send a wave of salvation upon the Muslims in the Middle East and worldwide (Psa. 22:27; 86:9). We ask for Your grace unto salvation to come on many Palestinians (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14). Use ex-Muslim believers to witness to Jews – provoking them to jealousy with their love for You, the God of Israel, and for the Jews themselves (Rom. 11:11).
“The God of my Rock, in Him will I trust. He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, my refuge, and my Savior. You save me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3)
7. GOLAN HEIGHTS/SYRIA/LEBANON/IRAQ/TURKEY UPDATES:
Israeli planes fired missiles at an ammunition warehouse and positions of Iranian militias in the Misyaf area in the Hama governorate last Friday (May 13). Images published by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat of a site struck by Israel on Friday show its complete destruction. The structures that were hit served as an entrance to underground tunnels. A five-man crew of a Pantsir missile-defense system was killed after firing toward Israel Air Force jets. The Syrian Arab Army has fired over 1,000 missiles toward Israeli jets in the past seven years, but have been unable to stop them from carrying out their missions.
In what may indicate a serious shift in Russia’s previously cordial attitude toward Israel, Russian forces on the ground reportedly fired at Israeli jets while they were carrying out airstrikes on Iranian terrorist targets in Syria last week. A close ally of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad, Russia maintains a dominating military presence in Syria. Accordingly, prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Israel coordinated with Moscow before carrying out anti-terrorism strikes in the war-torn country. Russia has turned a blind eye to Israeli strikes on Iranian targets reportedly because Putin, too, considers Iran to be a destabilizing force in the Middle East. However, political tensions between Israel and Russia have risen following the invasion of Ukraine, with the Israeli government condemning Putin’s actions as war crimes, and the Russian Foreign Minister making antisemitic remarks. In an apparent escalation, Russian forces on the ground reportedly used advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to fire at Israeli jets last Friday (May 13).
Two solar-powered ‘Watergen’ devices have been installed producing 1,000 liters of pure mineral drinking water per day in an area of Syria controlled by the USA-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in collaboration with the USA organization Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees. Eight more devices will be installed in medical facilities and schools to provide local communities with 10,000 liters of water per day.
The Hezbollah terrorist organization and its allies lost their majority in Lebanon’s parliament following a general election held last Sunday (May 15) amid the country’s devastating economic crisis. The election results finalized on Tuesday have been interpreted as an indictment against a ruling political and militant class which has aligned itself with Iran and which has done almost nothing to alleviate chronic and crushing poverty in the country. An arch-enemy of Israel, the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its coalition won 61 seats in Lebanon’s 128-member parliament – ten seats fewer than it obtained in the last election in 2018. The nationalist Christian Lebanese Forces were the biggest winner, with a dozen independent newcomers also winning seats. The results represent a country that is exhausted by a corrupt ruling political class that has been in power for decades and allows many of its citizens to go without even basic necessities such as medicine and electricity.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Tuesday (May 17) brought down a drone sent into Israeli air space from Lebanon by Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese terror organization which is an enemy of Israel. At least 74 Hezbollah drones were flown into Israel over the last year, most of which were downed. Tuesday’s drone was taken down while the IDF was engaged in a month-long drill focused on defending Israel’s northern border, including against Hezbollah in Lebanon. The IDF did not specify how it brought the drone down, although the device was photographed and, according to the IDF photo, remained intact. The device was a commercially available drone made by the Chinese company DJI. (Note: Hezbollah sent 94 drones over Israel in 2020 and 54 in 2019. Most of these were downed. Israel also sends surveillance drones into Lebanon, and the Lebanese government complains about it. However, Israel says its actions are necessary because it must monitor Hezbollah terror activity – an activity that the Lebanese government is supposed to keep in check.)
A Hezbollah video circulating online purports to show that the terrorist group has some new munitions in its always expanding arsenal. Over the years, Hezbollah has stockpiled more than 100,000 missiles and rockets. However, the real danger of these weapons is that some have been upgraded or use new technology that enables them to be precision-guided munitions, or maneuvering munitions, drones and cruise missiles. A recent video posted online purports to show a glimpse of an “Abu Mahdi anti-ship cruise missile.” According to the Twitter account that found this image, “The new Hezbollah video shows a glance of what is likely an Abu-Mahdi anti-ship cruise missile launcher. That means Iran has armed Hezbollah with her longest range (reportedly 1,000 km.).” This range would mean it could reach deep into the Eastern Mediterranean, which would threaten a NATO naval support facility at Souda Bay in Crete. This means it is a strategic weapon that potential threatens far more of an area than Israel if there is a conflict.
Lord, allow the results of the Lebanese elections to weaken the chain of command of Hezbollah and to bring it crashing down from within (Psa. 59:1-2; Mark 3:25). Give wisdom to the true Lebanese Church to know how to pray and what to do now (John 10:27). Set all believers in the Middle East free from the demonic spirits of replacement theology and anti-Semitism (John 8:32; 1 Tim. 4:1). Enable the IDF to maintain a high alert on the northern border in case Hezbollah tries to draw attention away from its election losses by attacking Israel (Mal. 1:5). Prevent Russia from interfering with Israel's attacks against Iranian bases and weapons depots in Syria. Lord, bring salvation into Syria and Lebanon in the midst of the confusion and turbulence in these countries!
“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you [Israel] shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” (Isaiah 60:12)
8. PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY UPDATES:
Hamas scored a landslide victory in the student council election at Birzeit University in Judea-Samaria on Wednesday (May 18), winning 28 of the 51 seats. The ruling Fatah faction got only 18 seats, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) won 5. In the previous election in 2019, both Hamas and Fatah garnered 23 seats.
PA President Abbas has vowed to maintain the so-called “Pay-for-Slay” policy that doles out “salaries” to Palestinian terrorists and their families. Speaking on the eve of ‘Nakba Day,’ the Arab term for “catastrophe” that many characterize as the birth of the Jewish state, Abbas reportedly told the families of “martyrs” that he would continue the fund. He furthermore reaffirmed his commitment to the “right of return,” which would see millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants settle in Israel.
Jenin in Judea-Samaria is re-emerging as a stronghold of Palestinian militancy. Four of the assailants who killed 19 Israelis in terrorist attacks since March were from the Jenin region. The Israeli military has responded with raids to arrest people they say helped carry out those attacks. The raids are regularly met with gunfire. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have developed extensive networks of support in the region. A senior Israeli military official said the army needs to conduct raids into Jenin to stop terrorism in Israel. "We don't have the ability to wait for the next attack from Jenin, we cannot sit and wait for our civilians to be killed. In general, and more specifically in recent weeks, we're acting to stop those who want to kill Israelis now, right now, so that they're stopped before they carry out their murderous intent."
Lord, guide Israeli citizens in these areas as they travel and provide divine protection for them against stone throwing, car-rammings, shootings and any other terrorist attack (Psa. 121:8). Expose and confound any demonic plans to increase violence and escalation (Job 12:22). Provide Israel's intelligence services with accurate actionable intelligence and watch over the intel so that it gets to the responsible people who need to make decisions based on it (Dan. 2:22; Job 32:8). Anoint Israel to be creative and effective in its deterrence efforts against terrorism (Eccl 8:11). Let confusion and chaos reign among the top Palestinian leaders at that time (Psa. 40:14-15). Continue to provide all needed intelligence for the IDF and protect Israel from deception from the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (2 Kin. 6:12). Enable all relevant intelligence to be passed on to the correct place (Jer. 11:18; 49:10). Impart to Israel's security forces wisdom and courage to deal with violence in Israeli-Arab communities.
"YHWH discovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light." (Job 12:22)
9. GAZA UPDATES:
A Hamas delegation led by Moussa Abu Marzouk visited Moscow on May 4, where it held talks with Russian officials. Walid al-Mudallal, a professor of political science at the Islamic University of Gaza, told Al-Monitor, "Hamas needs to strengthen relations and develop cooperation with Moscow as a superpower in the world. It finds the Russian-Ukrainian crisis an ideal opportunity to do so. Friendly relations between Moscow and Hamas will benefit both parties. Such support can be done in indirect ways, through Iran and Hezbollah, which have forged an alliance with Moscow in the face of the United States on many international issues, most notably the Syrian issue."
Abba, shake up many people by saving some of Hamas' top leaders (Acts 9:3-6) Improve Israel's intelligence gathering and the processing of gathered information (2 Kin. 6:12). Anoint all IDF soldiers to be alert and to never be distracted (Ezek. 33:7). Thank You that Israel is continually upgrading its development of new weaponry – both offensive and defensive – especially in the arena of laser technology, tunnelling and cyberwarfare (Psa. 20:7-9). Thwart every evil attempt of Hamas to harm the Jewish residents in the Negev. We ask You to send confusion into their midst of each terrorist group in Gaza…and nullify the adverse effects! Father, arise and squash every terror attack that is being planned against Your nation (Psa. 68:1, 30). In mercy, save as many Palestinians as possible – including whole families (Josh. 2:18
“Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing. And those who fight with you shall perish. You shall seek them, and shall not find them; men warring against you shall be as nothing, and as ceasing.” (Isaiah 41:11-12)
10. THE LIGHT SHINES INTO THE DARKNESS
(This weekly commentary documents incidents where God shines his light into the darkness and exposes pending attacks, injustices and terror incidents. It also documents situations where the goodness of God breaks through into evil circumstances)
Tens of thousands of marchers are expected to attend the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York on Sunday (May 22) which will be held for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The event is considered the largest USA march in support of the Jewish state, attended annually by over 40,000 marchers, including dignitaries, entertainers, artists, musicians, dancers, celebrities, floats, and marching bands. In 2020 and 2021, the parade was held virtually. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Together Again.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is slated to represent Israel at the parade, as well as Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai and Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata. Former Ambassador of Israel to the United States and now Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, and Consul General of Israel in New York Asaf Zamir are also scheduled to attend the event.
American dignitaries at the parade will include Mayor of New York City Eric Adams, Governor of New York Kathy Hochul and congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Lee Zeldin.
Iranian intelligence agents’ attempts to lure Israeli academics and former senior members of the defense establishment abroad by contacting them while impersonating academics, journalists, businessmen, and philanthropists were exposed and thwarted this week. The Shin Bet found that the Iranian agents were using authentic identities of foreign entities who were unaware of the use made of their identity, unlike previous exposed Iranian schemes which involved using fake identities. The contacts with the Israelis were made while presenting a “cover story” to gather information about the targets and draw them abroad with the intention of kidnapping or harming them. Contact with Israeli citizens was made by e-mail, using an address similar to the authentic “stolen” address, changing a letter or sign. After making initial contact with the Israeli target, he was asked to switch to a conversation on WhatsApp through a new phone number that was unfamiliar to him.
The Israeli government has decided to end the requirement that all passengers and crew aboard international flights wear masks as of May 23, 2022. The decision is subject to the approval of the Knesset. The mask mandate has been in effect for almost 2 years due to the Covid crisis. The mask mandate will be ended for both incoming and outgoing flights.
Exactly one year after 45 people died in a stampede that was the deadliest civil disaster in Israel’s history, tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Mount Meron in the Galilee on Wednesday (May 18) night to celebrate Lag Ba’omer, the Jewish festival celebrating second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Following last year’s tragedy, a national day of mourning was observed, with flags being flown at half-staff in Israel and diplomatic missions abroad, and sports and cultural events being canceled. Over the past 12 months, the government has ordered extensive changes at the site, demolishing illegally built structures, including Dov Bridge, and widening existing passageways. Tickets need to be pre-ordered and will serve as both transportation and entry passes. Entry will be staggered, with 4,000 people allowed per hour. People will be given passes for a four-hour stay. No private vehicles will be allowed to approach the site, and all public and private transportation will be diverted to 11 bus terminals, from which shuttles will ferry people to the compound.
The funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh, a senior journalist and one of the icons of the Qatari Al-Jazeera network, was a show of forces by the Fatah movement in eastern Jerusalem, and the pallbearers were convicted terrorists. Abu Akleh was killed during an encounter between IDF forces and terrorists in the Jenin Refugee Camp last Wednesday, and her funeral turned into a demonstration, with mourners waving PLO flags and chanting anti-Israel slogans. The police’s clashes with the procession generated expressions of shock around the world. Protest activists from Europe were also present at the Jaffa Gate during the funeral. The World Council of Churches (WCC) “ecumenical accompaniers” were documented at the funeral. The activists were seen wearing the vests of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), operatives sent to Israel to “monitor” and “report human rights abuses,” the flagship program of the World Council of Churches. (Note: EAPPI has come under fire from an array of pro-Israel groups who have shed light on the EAPPI’s anti-Israel activities, noting that the accompaniers violate the conditions of their tourist visas by harassing IDF soldiers and Israeli residents, and upon their return home, engage in anti-Israel advocacy including promoting BDS boycotts and smearing Israel as an apartheid state. The organization’s activists regularly take part in disturbances and violent protests within closed military zones and occasionally harm IDF soldiers and police officers.)
The USA will participate in Israel’s large-scale drill simulating a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities as part of the broader Chariots of Fire exercise later this month. The USA Air Force will reportedly serve in a complementary capacity, with American refueling planes drilling with Israeli fighter jets as they simulate entering Iranian territory and carrying out repeated strikes. The unprecedented Israel-US aerial collaboration is seen as a message to Iran amid long-stalled negotiations in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, a possibility that Jerusalem has repeatedly and strenuously voiced its objection to. Dozens of Israeli fighter jets will reportedly take part in the simulated attack. The last time Israel conducted such a war game was some 10 years ago, when it was widely reported to be on the point of striking Iran. The USA did not participate in that exercise. (Note: A spokesman for USA Central Command, Army Col. Joe Buccino, said there was no connection between a USA Air Force refueling training flight off the coast of Israel Thursday (May 19) and a major Israeli training exercise simulating an attack on Iran. "The tanker refuel was not tied to" the Israeli exercise. There is no direct U.S. military involvement in that exercise, Buccino said. The timing of the refueling exercise was coincidental.)
Israeli Teen Punished for Refusing to Compete on Shabbat