VFI News May 5, 2020

Giving Life to Israel This Giving Tuesday

O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me. Psalm 7:1

As the world prepares the tentative and uneven process of reopening for business, we feel we must turn our attention to those who have been gravely impacted by this global pandemic—some even paying the ultimate price. In Israel, the rate of unemployment is still hovering at 27%, and many whose lives depend upon in-person industries are anxiously waiting for a return to some kind of normal. Suicide and Covid-related deaths are also up, with the Ultra-Orthodox community having been hit particularly hard. If ever there were a time to reach out and make a difference in someone’s life, this would be it. Click this link to make a donation: https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/donate This year’s Giving Tuesday carries with it special significance because of the incredible strain it has placed on some of the most vulnerable people in Israel—from hungry children to Holocaust survivors. If you are in a position to do so, we ask you to search your hearts this Giving Tuesday, and consider making a targeted contribution to make a direct positive impact in the lives of so many who are suffering during this crisis. (VFI News)

Intel Set to Purchase Israel's Moovit for $1 Billion

American chipmaker Intel will reportedly agree to a $1 billion acquisition of Israeli transportation app developer Moovit in the coming days. Negotiations between Silicon Valley and Ness Ziona firms commenced about six months ago, with approximately 10% of the purchase price expected to be paid to retain workers for the next two years. Launched in 2011, the Moovit app and website assists individuals in planning and navigating their way around urban areas, using all modes of available transportation. The company says it has served more than 720 million users in some 3,100 cities, spanning six continents. Moovit uses up to six billion anonymous data points daily “to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data,” the company said. In addition to its popular app, the company also provides analytics platforms to cities, transit authorities, and businesses, enabling optimized planning and operations for residents and employees. (VFI News)

Hasidic Rebbe Calls on Followers to Immigrate to Israel - Before it's too Late

“Leave while it's possible," he was quoted as saying. "Things will get worse and it will be difficult to move from one country to another." He added that prior to World War II, some Hasidic rebbes asked their followers to move to Israel, but "part of the decree was that the Jews didn't listen." "Whoever can afford to rise and ascend to the Holy Land should do it as soon as possible. The US will also become a dangerous place, mired in war—and it is still too early to tell which US state will survive....the Land of Israel will be the safest place to survive the war, even though there will be terrible difficulties there as well." He himself, however, could not immigrate, he said: "I don't have permission to do so—in Heaven they are holding me back for the time being, to stay here in the US." (VFI News)

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24

Danon Calls Unrwa Gaza Schools 'Terror Storage Facilities'

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has charged that UNRWA schools in Gaza are “terror storage facilities” and has called on the UN to condemn the organization, which is the main provider of services to Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. He sent a letter to UN senior officials on the matter, after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency reported a few weeks ago that a grenade and a military vest had been found in one of its Gaza facilities. UNRWA has consistently condemned the placement of such weapons in its schools and did so as well last month when it reported the incident to Israel, the Gaza authorities, and the media. “UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the individual or group responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” it said last month. (VFI News)

Antisemitic Al-Quds Rally Cancelled In Berlin Following Ban of Hezbollah

The organizer of the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day rally pulled the plug on its mid-May event in the heart of Berlin after the German government banned all Hezbollah activities within the territory of the federal republic. The office of the Berlin Senator of the Interior, Andreas Geisel, tweeted on Thursday: “[today] the organizer of the al-Quds march canceled the demonstration for this year. We are all spared one of the most disgusting antisemitic events. Good news for Berlin." The current Berlin government and its social democratic party mayor Michael Müller have faced criticism over the years for not seeking to legally ban the al-Quds march, which has been permitted to proceed each year since 1996. Müller's administration said it would lose a legal battle to outlaw al-Quds. In 2019, roughly 1,000 demonstrators participated in the al-Quds march along Berlin’s main shopping district. They screamed “child murder” to describe Israel. (VFI News)

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.” Psalm 138:7

Hezbollah Finally Banned in Germany

After years of pressure from the US (both the Obama and Trump administrations) and the Israeli government, Germany’s interior minister on Thursday banned all activities of the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah within the federal republic’s territory. “That was overdue,” wrote Frank Jansen about the ban in his Tagesspiegel newspaper commentary. Jansen is one of Germany’s leading national security reporters. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer declared that Hezbollah’s activities “violate criminal law and the organization opposes the concept of international understanding.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration has declined to comment further. Last year, after the UK outlawed Hezbollah, Germany's deputy foreign minister, Niels Annen, said when asked about a ban: “Hezbollah is however also a relevant factor in Lebanese society and an integral part of the country’s complex domestic-policy make-up. It has seats in Parliament and is part of the Government.” (VFI News)

German Jews and Pro-Israel NGO Praise Hezbollah Ban, Urge EU Action

The president of the Munich Jewish community and the head of the German-Israel Friendship Society on Thursday lauded the German interior ministry for outlawing the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah within the federal republic. “The complete ban on Hezbollah is the only right step and a serious blow to anti-Israeli terror in Germany,” said Charlotte Knobloch, the president of the Munich Jewish community and survivor of the Holocaust. Currently, the EU merely bans Hezbollah’s so-called “military wing” which, in 2012, blew up an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria. The terrorist attack murdered five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver. Hezbollah's “political wing” is still permitted to function within the EU. The Lebanese terrorist organization declares itself to be a unitary movement and raises funds, recruits new members, and spreads its jihadi ideology across Europe. (VFI News)

Two Alleged Israeli Airstrikes Target Syria within a Day

Two alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted both western and southern Syria within a matter of hours on Thursday night and Friday. According to the reports, IDF helicopters were seen firing rockets at numerous targets, with some reports from Syrian media claiming that the targets belonged to Hezbollah. Explosions were heard in the southern area of Homs after an attack on Friday morning, said the governor of the Homs Governorate to the Syrian state news agency SANA. The governor told SANA that an assault on a military site east of Homs caused explosions, leading to shells falling in the area, and injuring civilian bystanders. Ten injured people were treated at area hospitals, according to the Health Director of Homs, Dr. Hassan Al-Jundi. On Thursday, unidentified aircraft targeted Iran-backed militias in the area near the city of Al-Bukamal in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, according to the opposition-affiliated TV station Halab Today. Militants were killed and wounded in the strikes. The last attack by the IDF in Syria targeted the Damascus area on Monday night, killing at least seven people, including four operatives and three civilians. (VFI News)

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

Opinion: Iran's Most Dangerous Virus is its Regime

While the coronavirus tore through Iran, including its elderly leadership, the regime focused on burying the truth. While leaders told people there was nothing to worry about, refusing to shut down public space, police were posted at hospitals to keep the medical staff from disclosing the true extent of the pandemic, and the Iranian health system’s inability to cope. The result is that the official number of confirmed infections is likely highly inaccurate. Some estimates suggest it is perhaps as high as 2 million. Amid its domestic troubles, Iran’s leaders have found time to launch propaganda and missile attacks against the United States. Iran’s proxies have thrice attacked U.S. bases in Iraq, killing two Americans and a Brit. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, used his national address marking the Persian new year to acknowledge the suffering caused by the pandemic, blame the United States, and refuse any international medical assistance. If the United States truly wants to help the Iranian people, it cannot strengthen the Iranian regime. If anything it should help delegitimize it, while demonstrating its friendship toward the Iranian people. American officials can work around, not through, the regime. The United States can coordinate with its European partners on a humanitarian relief and medical assistance package, conditioned on Iran allowing international organizations and aid groups — like the World Health Organization, Red Crescent and Doctors Without Borders — to deliver and administer the aid directly. This would circumvent the corruption and incompetence of the Iranian regime and ensure that the Iranian people receive the help they need and that they know who is providing it. Presented with such an offer, Iran’s regime will have to choose between opening its borders or publicly refusing to save its people. Iran’s most dangerous contagion is its regime. Lifting sanctions is not the cure. (VFI News)