VFI News December 25, 2020

Israel to Enter Third Lockdown for At Least Two Weeks Starting Sunday

Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza are dealing with a renewed coronavirus outbreak, leading to proposals and measures intended to curb its spread and mitigate the economic ramifications of the crisis by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

Israel is severely limiting the entry of foreigners into the country as cases continue to spike. Starting Wednesday, Israelis returning from abroad will be obligated to enter a 14-day quarantine, or 10-days if they twice test negative for COVID.

Israel currently has 28,308 active cases; 3,136 people have died. In the West Bank, there are 14,894 active cases and 1,033 deaths, and in Gaza 9,574 active cases and 283 deaths. (HRZ / VFI News)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

Pfizer, Moderna to Test Their Vaccines Against UK Coronavirus Variant

Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc are testing their COVID-19 vaccines against the new fast-spreading version of the virus that has emerged in Britain.

Moderna expects immunity from its vaccine to protect against the variants and is performing more tests in the coming weeks to confirm, the company said in a statement.

Pfizer said it is "generating data" on how well blood samples from people immunized with its vaccine "may be able to neutralize the new strain from the UK," according to the report.

The main worry is that the new variant is 40%-70% more transmissible.

Scientists have said there's no evidence that vaccines currently being deployed in the United Kingdom or other COVID-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant. (JPost / VFI News)

While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus. - Acts 4:30

Israel Ranks No. 1 in COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered Per Capita

Only three days after launching its nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign, Israel now ranks first in the world in the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people, according to official data collected by Our World in Data and published on Wednesday.

According to the recent data, Israel and the UK outrank other countries by far, with Israel ranking at 0.83%, followed by the UK with 0.74%. The US is next with a much lower rank of 0.19%. The world average stands at 0.03%.

As more and more Israelis are getting vaccinated for coronavirus, it seems like the ongoing endeavors of providing vaccines from different companies around the world paid off. With doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already available and with more AstraZeneca vaccines expected to arrive, it looks like Israel is heading towards a coronavirus-free population, perhaps sooner than expected. (JPost / VFI News)

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. - Psalm 6:2

Israel Set for Fourth Election in Two Years as Netanyahu’s Coalition Collapses

Israel will now face its fourth election in the last two years following the Tuesday collapse of its governing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, failed to pass a new budget by the midnight deadline. That was the final straw that broke a coalition that has been splintering for months.

The governing coalition between Israel’s main right-wing and centrist parties has failed at a number of basic governing duties in recent months. Netanyahu’s popularity has fallen as members defect from his Likud party, presenting him with a strong challenge in the newly scheduled elections to be held on Mar. 23. (DK / VFI News)

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. - Exodus 18:21

Netanyahu Hints Israel Won't Shy Away from Military Action Against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that Israel would not shy away from military action against Iran when he spoke at the graduation ceremony for new IAF pilots on Wednesday.

“We will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

We do not take lightly the threats made against us, nor do we shy away from them,” Netanyahu said.

“Our policy is clear and consistent: whoever tries to harm us will suffer a crushing blow.

“In the face of danger, the air force is ready to act forcefully – at any range, in any arena, and on any target,” Netanyahu stated.

He promised that Israel would stand firm against Iran’s nuclear program and its entrenchment in Syria.

“We will continue to act against attempts by Iran and its proxies to establish military bases in Syria. We will not compromise on this issue,” he said. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect Your people from all who would do them harm.”

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US Threatens Iran after Rocket Fire on Baghdad Embassy

US President Donald Trump threatened Iran on Tuesday afternoon, two days after rockets struck the US embassy compound in Baghdad. The rockets are some of dozens that have been fired over the last year by pro-Iranian militias. The US has put in place air defense called C-RAM to defend the Green Zone and embassy area, however some of the rockets still caused damage.

In the past when US soldiers and a contractor have been killed the US responded with airstrikes in December 2019 and March 2020. Trump also ordered the strike on IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January 2020. Iran and its allies in the region are commemorating those deaths this month. Tensions are running high. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring those guilty of violence against Your people to justice.”

Indonesia May Receive $1 B. in US Financing if it Makes Peace with Israel

Indonesia could receive over $1 billion from the Trump administration if it normalizes ties with Israel, US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler said while he was in Israel.

“We’re talking to them about it,” said Boehler. “If they’re ready, they’re ready, and if they are, then we’ll be happy to even support more financially than what we do.”

Boehler’s government agency, DFC, already invests over $1b. in Indonesia, and he said that this amount could be increased by a further “one or two billion.”

Boehler was part of the US delegation headed by White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner that visited Israel on Monday prior to heading to Morocco on Tuesday to advance the normalization of ties between Rabat and Jerusalem. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to build the cause of peace among the nations.”

Miss France Runner-Up Attacked Online for Saying Her Father is Israeli

A flood of antisemitic insults, threats, and violent comments were spread on social media over the weekend targeting Miss Provence, April Benayoum, first runner-up in Miss France 2021 pageant, after it was revealed Saturday night during the final competition that she has an Israeli father.

“I have an array of origins: my mother is Serbo-Croat, my father Israeli-Italian. This gave me a passion for geography and the discerning of other cultures," Benayoum said in response to one of the judge's questions.

The reactions on social media were not long in coming.

“Hitler forgot to exterminate you, Miss Provence.”

"Uncle Hitler forgot to exterminate you."

"#MissFrance2021 do not vote for her. The reason: She is Jewish."

"Miss Provence has a link with Israel. Get rid of her."

The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif), the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish community, called the attacks on Benayoum “vile and unacceptable!” (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you root out all forms of hate and anti-semitism, wherever they exist.”